ISLAMABAD: The tax payment by Prime Minister Imran Khan fell by about 35 per cent to Rs103,763 in the tax year 2017 from Rs159,609 a year ago, while that of former premier Nawaz Sharif saw a staggering fall during the period.
Mr Sharif paid Rs2.524 million in 2016, when he was prime minister, but it fell to Rs263,173 in 2017, a decline of 860pc or Rs2.27m. However, former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s tax payment saw a growth of over 16pc to Rs3.086m in 2017 from Rs2.65m a year ago.
The fifth tax directory of parliamentarians released by the Minister of State for Revenue, Hammad Azhar, on Friday provided some insight into the wealth of members of the National Assembly, Senate and provincial assemblies, but lifestyles and expenditures of many of them are in stark contrast to what their income tax declarations indicate. The directory prepared by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) 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 lifestyles.
Former MNA Jahangir Khan Tareen, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court, was the richest parliamentarian in the country in 2017 with a tax payment of Rs97.3m, while MPA Khatu Mal Jeewan, with Rs1,145 tax payment, was the poorest. In the tax year 2016, Mr Tareen was also the richest parliamentarian with Rs53.67m tax payment.
Ex-PM Nawaz’s tax payment dropped by staggering 860pc to around Rs260,000
Former Punjab chief minister and current MNA Shahbaz Sharif paid Rs10.29m tax, while his son Hamza Sharif paid Rs8.26m in 2017.
Sindh Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah paid Rs988,864 tax in 2017, besides a hefty amount of Rs7.08m in the category of association of persons (AoP). Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan paid Rs232,725. Balochistan Chief Minister paid Rs6.14m in 2017. Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervez Elahi paid Rs2.13m.
Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed paid Rs702,698 tax, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai Rs138,573, Jamaat-i-Islami emir Sirajul Haq Rs138,573 and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman paid Rs125,225.
The directory has been compiled on the basis of returns filed with the FBR.
According to the directory, the senators paid more income tax in 2017 than the MNAs. Of the 104 senators, 98 filed tax returns. Senator Talha Mehmood from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa paid the highest income tax of Rs43.18m, while Rubina Khalid of the Pakistan People Party paid only Rs44,485.
Other taxpayer senators are: Rozi Khan from Balochistan (Rs40.86m, second highest) Taj Mohammad Afridi Rs29.3m, third highest) Dr Farogh Naseem (Rs27.88m), Aitzaz Ahsan (Rs25.86m), Muhsin Aziz (Rs1.5m), Farooq H. Naek (Rs11.06m), Ishaq Dar (Rs9.38m), Shahi Syed (Rs2.4m), Chaudhry Tanvir Khan (Rs3.03m), retired Lt Gen Abdul Qayum (Rs3.12m), Sherry Rehman (Rs1.8m), Saleem Mandviwalla (Rs1.44m) and Islamuddin Shaikh (Rs1.89m).
Senator Raza Rabbani paid Rs605,984 income tax, along with contribution in AoP. Most of the senators paid income tax in the range of Rs100,000 to Rs200,000, followed by Rs200,000 to Rs400,000, with a few exceptions.
The MNAs who paid taxes in 2017 are: Sheikh Fayyazuddin (Rs14.01m), Khawaja Saad Rafique (Rs5.22m), Khawaja Mohammad Asif (Rs5.56m), Finance Minister Asad Umar (Rs4.84m), Bismillah Khan (Rs4.59m), Ghulam Ahmed Bilour (Rs138,573), Aftab Sherpao (Rs1.17m), retired Capt Mohammad Safdar (Rs165,243), Murad Saeed (Rs241,946), Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry (Rs255,555), former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan (Rs1.72m); Ghulam Sarwar Khan (Rs1.38m), former minister Khurrum Dastgir Khan (Rs284,780), Saira Afzal Tarar (Rs190,739) and former NA speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq (Rs289,174).
Only two MNAs paid less than Rs100,000 in taxes — Rasheed Ahmed Khan (Rs34,941) and Ihsanur Rahman Mazair (Rs96949).
Most of the MNAs paid income tax between Rs100,000 and Rs300,000.
Members of provincial assemblies
As many as 61 members of the Balochistan Assembly filed their tax returns in 2017 and only three of them paid less than Rs1m, which is unprecedented compared to other provinces. Sardar Sanaullah Zehri paid the highest tax of Rs10.1m, while Abdul Malik paid the lowest tax of Rs640,248.
Of the 369 members of the Punjab Assembly, 30 did not file returns for 2017.
MPA Chaudhry Arshad Javaid Warraich is the highest taxpayer with Rs13.6m, followed by former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif (Rs10.29m), Ghulam Saeed Butt (Rs5.8m), Sheikh Aladdin (Rs4.8m) and Monis Elahi (Rs5.77m). The least income tax of Rs4,100 was paid by Malik Mohammad Iqbal Channar and Malik Nadeem Kamran, followed by Rs5,645 by Raheela Anwar. Around 125 MPAs paid less than Rs50,000.
Of the 168 members of the Sindh Assembly, 23 did not file their returns for 2017, but their names exist on the tax roll. Sohail Anwar Khan Siyal is the highest taxpayer in the assembly with Rs2.3m, and the lowest by Poonjo Bheel (Rs3,500), Ali Nawaz Shah (Rs4,053) and Shahid Taheem (Rs5,604). Around 64 MPAs paid less than Rs50,000 tax in 2017.
Of the 123 members of the KP Assembly, 17 did not file their returns for 2017. Sardar Zahoor Ahmad paid the highest tax of Rs14m, followed by Amjad Khan Afridi (Rs6.36m), Nawabzada Wali Muhammad Khan (Rs6.08m), Fazal Shakoor Khan (Rs3.76m) and Jamshaidudain (Rs2.76m). Most of the MPAs in KP paid more than Rs100,000, with few exception of more than Rs50,000 as income tax.
Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2019