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Income tax paid by lawmakers fails to match their lifestyle

July 28, 2017


FINANCE Minister Ishaq Dar presses a keyboard button to launch the Parliamentarians Tax Directory-2016 at the FBR House on Thursday.—Online
FINANCE Minister Ishaq Dar presses a keyboard button to launch the Parliamentarians Tax Directory-2016 at the FBR House on Thursday.—Online

ISLAMABAD: A total of 139 parliamentarians paid over one million rupees in taxes in 2016.

The fourth tax directory of 1,160 parliamentarians relea­sed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday gives some insight into their wealth, based on the tax paid by members of the National Assembly, the Senate, and provincial assemblies, but the lifestyle and daily expenditures of many of them are in stark contrast to what the income tax declarations indicate.

The directory shows that, save a few worthy exceptions, the sums paid as income tax by most of the elected representatives are laughably low and do not match their princely lifestyle.

Province-wise comparison shows that the highest share of public representatives who paid over a million rupees in taxes was 59.04 per cent from Balochistan, while the lowest share of 7.1pc came from Punjab, 7.4pc from Khyber Pakhtun­khwa, 7.43pc from Sindh and 15.78pc from Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Tax directory of 1,160 parliamentarians released

The directory has been compiled on the basis of returns filed with the FBR.

MNA Jahangir Khan Tareen, who paid Rs53.67 million, was the richest parliamentarian in the country, while MPA Fayaz Ali Butt, with Rs1,095 tax, was the poorest.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid Rs2.52m, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif Rs9.53m and his son Hamza Rs7.03m. The prime minister’s son-in-law retired Capt Mohammad Safdar did not file tax return for the tax year 2016.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chair­man Imran Khan paid Rs159,609 tax, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Fazlur Rehman Rs50,181 and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Rs505,966.

According to the directory, senators paid more income tax than the MNAs.

Of the 100 senators, 92 filed tax returns. Senator Rozi Khan Kakar from Balochistan paid the highest income tax of Rs49.923m, while Jehan Zeb Jamaldini of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal paid only Rs4,451.

Senator Taj Mohammad Afridi from the tribal areas paid the second highest amount of Rs35.284m, Talha Mehmood Rs32.495m, Dr Farogh Naseem Rs20.24m, Aitzaz Ahsan Rs13.85m, Muhsin Aziz Rs8.89m, Farooq H. Naek Rs7.85m, Mir Kabir Ahmad Rs5.497m, Babar Awan Rs5.57m, Sajjad Husain Rs5.87m, Ishaq Dar Rs4.61m, Mohammad Yousuf Rs3.24m, Ashok Kumar Rs2.06m, Osman Saifuallah Khan Rs2.24m, Shahi Syed Rs1.93m, Chaudhry Tanvir Khan Rs1.64m, retired Lt Gen Abdul Qayum Rs1.65m, Nuzhat Sadiq Rs1.47m, Saleem Mandviwalla Rs1.34m, Sherry Rehman Rs1.02m and Islamuddin Shaikh Rs1m.

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani paid Rs492,201.

The lowest tax paid senators are Mohammad Yaqoob Khan Nasar with Rs6,987 and Khanzada Khan who paid Rs5,460.

Most of the senators paid income tax in the range of Rs11,313 to Rs50,000, followed by Rs100,000 to Rs300,000, with a few exceptions.

Among the MNAs, Hamza Shahbaz paid Rs7.03m, Sheikh Fayyazuddin Rs9.42m and Isphanyar M. Bhandara Rs8.89m.

Prime Minister Sharif paid Rs2.52m, National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq Rs104,853, Khwaja Saad Rafique Rs3.983m, Asad Umar Rs6.366m, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Rs2.65m, Chaudhry Iftikhar Nazir Rs3.356m, Hafiz Abdul Karim Rs2.77m, Shah Mehmood Qureshi Rs1.86m, Ahsan Iqbal Rs82,440; Talal Chaudhry Rs59,435; Daniyal Aziz Rs62,544; Chaudhry Mohammad Shahbaz Babar Rs3.85m, Pir Mohammad Aminul Hasnat Shah Rs4.61m; Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry Rs177,860, Jam Jamal Khan Rs4.01m.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan paid Rs1.19m, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi paid Rs1.48m, Faryal Talpur Rs1.90m, former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti Rs61,791, NA deputy speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi Rs1.11m, Religious Affairs Minister Mohammad Yousuf Rs247,773, Farooq Sattar Rs39,758.

Those who paid approximately Rs34,000 are around 80 MNAs. More than 20 MNAs paid income tax in the range of Rs17,000, while more than 80 MNAs paid between Rs50,000 and Rs100,000 and 83 paid from Rs100,000 to Rs800,000.

As many as 57 members of the Balochistan Assembly filed their tax returns and only one of them paid less than Rs1m, which is unprecedented compared to other provinces.

Akber Askaani paid the highest, Rs2.649m, while Mir Aamir Khan Rind paid the lowest tax of Rs950,614. Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri paid Rs1.41m.

Of the 371 members of the Punjab Assembly, 44 did not file the returns for 2016.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is the highest taxpayer with Rs9.53m, followed by Arshad Javaid Warraich with Rs8.933m, Sheikh Aladdin Rs5.453m and Monis Elahi Rs5.186m.

The least income tax of Rs1,240 was paid by Mohammad Zubair Khan.

Other MPAs who paid over Rs1m are Raja Rashid Hafeez Rs1.638m, Mohammad Arif Abbasi Rs2.30m, Aamir Sultan Cheema Rs1.103m, Rana Sanaullah Rs1.22m, Imran Khalid Butt Rs1.60m, Mian Tariq Mehmood Rs1.32m, Ghazali Saleem Butt Rs2.98m, Salman Rafiq Rs2.72m and Ramzan Siddiqe Bhatti Rs1.9m.

Around 143 MPAs paid less than Rs40,000.

Of the 168 members of the Sindh Assembly, 22 did not file their returns but their names exist on the tax roll.

According to the directory, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah paid Rs116,600. He is also a member of the association of persons which paid Rs5.058m.

Eng Pesu Mal is the highest taxpayer in the assembly with Rs8.68m, followed by Lal Chand Ukrani Rs2.33m, Sharjeel Inam Memon Rs2.185m, Mukesh Kumar Chawla Rs1.88m, Sohail Anwar Siyal Rs1.66m, Khuda Bux Rajar Rs1.659m, Mohammad Ali Malkani Rs1.42m, and Ghulam Rasool Khan Jatoi Rs1.113m.

No other MPA in Sindh paid over Rs1m as income tax.

Mohammad Bakhsh Khan Mahar Rs3,472 paid the lowest tax.

More than 61 MPAs in the province paid less than Rs50,000.

Of the 123 members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, 36 did not file their returns. Chief Minister Pervez Khattak paid Rs813,3869.

Noor Saleem Malik paid the highest tax of Rs25.622m, followed by Zahoor Ahmad Rs11.529m, Amjad Khan Afridi Rs6.432m, Fazal Shakoor Khan Rs3.56m, Mohammed Sheeraz Rs1.95m and Wali Mohammad Khan Rs1m.

Shah Farman, Shahram Khan and Imtiaz Ahmad paid Rs7,000 each.

Most of the MPAs in KP paid less than Rs100,000 and more than Rs50,000 as income tax.

Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2017