Qatar Airways Implicated in INR 57 Billion Tax Fraud Uncovered by DGGI; Investigation underway

Qatar Airways - Tax - Fraud - Billion Tax Fraud Uncovered by DGGI - DGGI - taxscan

Ongoing investigations by the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) into potential tax evasion by Middle Eastern airlines have recently honed in on Qatar Airways, marking a significant development in the probe.

The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI), spearheaded office searches in October, which included raids on the premises of Qatar Airways in India. Although the focus on the Qatari airline is described as being in its “very initial stage,” a DGGI spokesperson revealed to Indian media outlets that the agency had uncovered instances of tax evasion totaling INR 57 billion (USD 685.1 million). The alleged evasion involved over 6,000 fraudulent claims of input tax credit between April 2020 and September. It remains unclear whether these figures exclusively pertain to Qatar Airways or encompass other carriers under investigation, reported CH-Aviation.

It is crucial to note that ch-aviation neither asserts nor implies that Qatar Airways, or any other carrier, has engaged in tax evasion in India. The report merely highlights the existence of allegations and an ongoing investigation.

The investigation has garnered attention in India due to the deepening trade and investment ties between the two countries, including India’s reliance on Qatar for liquefied natural gas supplies. The geopolitical context is underscored by the recent death sentences handed down to eight former Indian Navy personnel in Qatar, who were detained and sentenced on unspecified charges in August 2022. The DGGI faces the challenging task of conducting an inquiry while navigating the influence wielded by the Qatari government, which holds significant leverage in the form of strategic assets.

Qatar Airways, a key player in the region, operates flights to 13 destinations in India, with a weekly schedule of 120 roundtrips and a capacity of 24,500 seats in either direction, according to ch-aviation capacities data. Other Middle Eastern airlines with a presence in India include Emirates, Etihad Airways, Air Arabia, Saudia, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, Kuwait Airways, flynas, Jazeera Airways, flydubai, Iraqi Airways, and Fly Baghdad.

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