ISLAMABAD: “Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today.”
The first “Parliamentarians Tax Directory”, issued by the Federal Board of Revenue on Saturday, attests to these remarks made by an American novelist.
Barring a few worthy exceptions, the sums paid as income tax by most of the elected representatives are laughably low. Putting it mildly, the returns do not match their princely lifestyle.
Of the 319 MNAs who filed their tax returns, 108 paid no tax at all.
The MNAs who paid less than Rs100 as income tax include Asyia Naz Tanoli (Rs88), Tahir Bashir Cheema (Rs55) and Mohammad Zain Elahi (Rs72).
According to the directory, senators paid more income tax than members of the National Assembly in 2013. Eighty-six senators filed their tax returns while three paid nothing.
Out of 89 senators, Federal minister Abbas Khan Afridi from tribal areas paid highest income tax of Rs17.991 million, while Naseema Ehsan paid lowest Rs6,750.
Among the senators who paid over Rs5 million as income tax, Talha Mehmood topped them with Rs12.940m, followed by Aitzaz Ahsan (Rs8.763m) and Dr Farogh Naseem (Rs7.868m).
The senators who paid more than Rs1m include Heman Dass (Rs2.942m), Osman Saifullah Khan (Rs2.739m), Abdul Haseeb Khan (Rs2.456m), Malik Rafique Rajwana (Rs1.207m) and Saleem Mandviwalla (Rs1.145m).
Although their names exist on the tax roll, 14 senators have not filed their returns.
Three senators also paid income support levy which was imposed on movable assets in the budget 2013-14. They are Osman Saifullah Khan (Rs379,247), Finance Minister Ishaq Dar (Rs2.701m) and Prof Sajid Mir (Rs21,219).
Hamza Shahbaz, son of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, paid Rs4.383m as income tax.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid income tax of Rs2.646m.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi paid Rs1.205m, Obaid Ullah Shadi Khel (Rs1.256m), Chaudhry Shahbaz Babar (Rs1.075m), Sheikh Akram (Rs1.007m), Khwaja Saad Rafique (Rs1.215m) and Chaudhry Iftikhar Nazir (Rs1.213m).
As many as 23 MNAs have not filed their returns, but their names are on the tax rolls.
Tariq Christopher Qaiser paid the highest income support levy of Rs568,859, followed by Sheikh Aftab Ahmad (Rs19,475), Khawaja Asif (Rs19,607) and Syed Ali Hassan Gilani (Rs14,333).
The tax directory shows that 16 MNAs from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 11 from tribal areas, 38 from Punjab; 21 from Sindh, five from Balochistan, nine females on reserved seats from Punjab, six on reserved seats from Sindh and two from minorities did not pay any income tax.
Out of the total 353 members of the Punjab Assembly, who field tax returns, 176 paid no tax.
Although their names exist on the tax roll, 18 did not file returns.
Arshad Javaid Warraich is the highest tax-payer with Rs17.696m, followed by Sheikh Aladdin (Rs11.029m), Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif (Rs3.644m), Chaudhry Raza Ghumman (Rs3.574m), Ghazali Saleem Butt (Rs2.839m), Mohammad Siddique Khan (Rs1.860m, Raja Rashid Hafeez (Rs1.306m, Zulfiqar Ali Khan (Rs1.201m), Aamir Sultan Cheema (Rs1.151m, Mehmood Anwar (Rs1.412m) and Hashim Jawan Bukht (Rs1.734m).
Ten Punjab MPAs who paid income support levy include Ashraf Warraich (Rs10,600) Mian Tariq Mehmood (Rs165,160), Mohammad Akram (Rs297,592), Khawaja Akram (Rs297,592) Khawaja Mansha Ullah Butt (Rs12,924), Rana Abdul Sattar (Rs12,924), Liaqat Ali (74,368), Rana Mohammad Afzal (37,513), Arshad Javaid Warraich (Rs864,107) and Syed Iftikhar Hassan Gillani (Rs59,609).
Out of the 153 members of the Sindh Assembly who filed returns, 95 did not pay income tax.
There are 15 MPAs who did not file returns, but their names exist on the tax roll.
Syed Awais Qadir Shah is the highest tax-payer with Rs18.741m, followed by Moeen Amir Pirzada (Rs3.476m), Haji Khuda Bux Rajar (Rs1.784m) and Abdul Rauf Siddiqui (Rs1.779m).
Imdad Ali Pitafi is the lowest tax-payer with Rs925, followed by Abdul Karim Soomro (Rs1,000), Ahmad Ali Khan Pitafi (Rs1,090) and Jam Madad Ali (Rs1,278).
Only Khurram Sher Zaman paid Rs65,857 as income support levy.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly
Of the 97 members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, who field their returns, 61 did not pay income tax.
While their names exist on the tax roll, 27 MPAs did not file tax returns.
Noor Saleem Malik paid highest Rs11.512m as income tax, followed by Amjad Khan Afridi (Rs3.881m), Iftikhar Ali Mushwani (Rs3.249m) and Sardar Zahoor Ahmad (Rs2.028m.
Haji Qalandar Khan Lodi and Shah Hussain Khan paid only Rs1,000 each.
Zia Ullah Afridi (Rs97,072) and Raja Faisal Zaman (Rs8, 333) are the two MPAs who paid income support levy.
Out of the 61 members of the Balochistan Assembly, 44 did not pay income tax. Four MPAs did not even file tax returns.
Mir Hammal paid highest Rs1.970m, while Shahida Raouf only Rs2,000.
Prince Ahmed Ali is the only MPA from Balochistan who paid Rs3,850 as income support levy.