Journalism

Did Bol CEO Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh really pay Rs 26 tax?

There’s gotta be something wrong with you if you haven’t heard of Bol Media Group by now, their fancy ads have stormed virtually every corner of the Pakistani internet space. The ‘largest media group’, top names of the media industry associating with the group, owned by ‘world’s leading IT company’, those ads and their PR activities will have you believe that Bol CEO Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh is a magician. He might as well be since he only paid Rs 26 in taxes in 2014 as per the tax directory released recently by the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR). His company Axact, however, paid Rs 1,890,256 in taxes.

Being the Chairman and CEO of ‘world’s largest IT company’ and only paying Rs 26 (20 cents in USD) in taxes? It’s one hell of a magic.

This information was first tweeted by Ahmed Noorani of the Jang Group that is a rival media group to Bol.

After it generated some buzz, I set on a mission to verify the claim; no blogger would want a libel suit by the world’s leading IT company, right? So I downloaded the whole tax directory and checked this a number of times. It turns out, it is true as per the public information provided by the FBR.

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Was it some sort of tax relief or the CEO does not have any taxable income or assets, I don’t not. I am not implying tax evasion…in fact, I am not implying anything.

Remember, tax directory and information about taxpayers is a public information, so no, nothing was hacked to retrieved this information.

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