Orascom may pay blns to reconcile with Tax Authority

Orascom Construction Industries may have reconciled with the Tax Authority by agreeing to pay LE6 billion in back taxes, claimed Mohamed al-Nahhas, head of the authority’s department of executive affairs.

He told the Turkish news agency Anadalou that the Justice Ministry’s appeals committee would rule on whether or not the company would have to pay the remaining LE8.5 billion that the authority alleges it owes.

On Sunday, Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah banned the company’s owners Nassef and Onsi Sawiris from traveling outside the country after the Interior Ministry accused OCI of evading taxes on profits from the sale of Orascom Cement. The firm had generated profits of nearly LE68 billion in 2005.

“We have not reached a final agreement on the negotiations. I expect the crisis to be resolved within a few days,” Nahhas said.

When asked about the authority’s response to demonstrations staged by OCI workers on Wednesday, Nahhas said that “the Tax Authority will not be subject to any pressure from any party in making its decisions.

Hundreds of Orascom workers protested against the government’s actions against their company and its owners.

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