ISLAMABAD - Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is holding a departmental inquiry into Rs 47 billion tax evasion scam involving five cellular companies, ostensibly to get off the hook of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which had traced the scam and barred the FBR from granting what they termed unjust relief to these telecom companies. Sources in the FBR on condition of anonymity confirmed to The Nation and also provided the copy of the SRO No. (1)/2012 dated June 30th wherein some five cellular companies were given waiver in tax payable on interconnect service provided or rendered by the telecom operators to other telecom operators within Pakistan and FBR intended to provide out of the way relief of Rs 47 billion to these companies in shape of tax waiver.Though the officials of FBR had denied issuance of any SRO in this connection but the fact of the matter is that the department had issued the SRO but the timely intervention of the NAB had prevented them from causing such a huge loss to the national exchequer, sources aware of these developments further informed.It was the on the direction of the Chairman NAB Admiral (Retd) Fasih Bokhari that Chairman FBR had suspended the said SRO and blocked the way of undue favour about to be given to the telecom companies.In his interaction with Chairman NAB, the FBR Chairman had assured him that he would definitely be looking into the matter and the responsible persons would be punished under the departmental laws.Sources in FBR informed that a departmental inquiry into the matter was initiated and the FBR was keeping NAB authorities monitoring the case abreast with the developments of the inquiry but so far they were portraying the whole case as if all this had happened inadvertently. Interestingly the FBR was facing the shortfall of Rs 37 billion in tax recovery target fixed for the year just ended on June 30th and on the last day of the financial year the FBR officials wittingly or unwittingly going to allow some cellular companies the waiver of Rs 47 billion in a murky fashion.Sources in NAB informed that when the NAB Chairman had taken notice of the matter and summoned Chairman FBR to explain the position he instead of appearing in person sent a team of senior officials who attempted to hoodwink the NAB officials but the officials in the Financial Crimes Investigation Wing had forced them to accept the flaws and lacunas in the whole exercise.Sources further said that Chairman NAB was quite annoyed over the way Chairman FBR had taken the whole matter lightly but later appeared in person before the NAB officials after receiving a caution call from the former.When the whole matter was fully exposed Chairman FBR not only admitted serious lapse on part of his department’s officials but also assured Chairman NAB that he would hold departmental inquiry into the affair and would take action against the responsible persons.But the sources in NAB informed that though at this stage they were just waiting for the outcome of the departmental inquiry initiated by FBR, but if the findings of the departmental inquiry would fail to satisfy the NAB then the ace accountability apparatus of the country could take action against the persons behind the whole scam.