BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:30 A.M.) – The Syrian Ministry of Communications and Technology confirmed that it is proceeding with the collection of treasury funds, after a widely-circulated video recorded by businessman Rami Makhlouf protesting his claim about 130 billion Syrian Pounds.
The Regulatory Authority for Communications and Post, which is affiliated with the Ministry, responded to what Makhlouf mentioned in the video, and explained that “the amounts required to be paid by cellular companies are amounts due to the state in accordance with clear and existing documents, and were calculated based on the work of specialized committees in financial, economic, technical, and legal affairs.”
“In order to preserve the continuing work of the cellular network and the continued provision of its services to citizens … all the reservations of the companies were taken into consideration and given the deadlines and periods requested by them,” the authority added.
The authority said that it subsequently approved all the data and numbers provided by the two companies, and after all of the above, the actual value of the amounts required to be paid was calculated and that despite the illogicality of this data, according to the description of the authorities.
The authorities said that “the amounts required to be paid in two phases have been calculated, the first according to the actual figures during the first five operating years of 2015 to 2019 (according to the request of the two companies and according to the published financial data) … and the second according to the expected numbers presented by each company.”
Regarding the contracts, the authority said that the management contracts concluded by the cellular companies with offshore companies (the subject of tax imbalance) are worked on by those concerned in this regard in the Ministry of Finance, and the amounts referred to and due to us have nothing to do with the issue of tax evasion “and made it clear that the matter relates to” amounts due the two companies must pay them to balance the licenses. ”
The commission acknowledged the tax defect “that exists in those contracts” and said that it “affects the value of the income tax and the value of the net profits of the shareholders themselves.”
The commission concluded by stressing that it “continues to collect public funds (central treasury funds) in all legal ways,” noting that it takes into account “the continued work of any company required to pay to provide its services to citizens to the fullest extent” and stressed that it will not be deterred by attempts to jam this.
Makhlouf had posted a video on his Facebook page in which he addressed the Syrian President and his cousin, Bashar al-Assad, explaining what he described as his ‘suffering’.
This came after the ministry issued a warning through the authorities to the two cellular companies in Syria, one of which Makhlouf owns, and gave them until the 5th of this month to pay more than 233 billion pounds to “achieve a balance in the license”, otherwise legal measures will be taken.