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Scheme to bring 3.8m in tax net

September 26, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Sept 26: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Ali Arshad Hakim said on Wednesday that the government would provide an opportunity to around 3.8 million unregistered persons to avail the amnesty scheme for legalisation of their undisclosed assets abroad or in the country.

Briefing the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the FBR chief said that persons who have made foreign investments or have assets aboard would be allowed to regularise their assets under the amnesty scheme on payment of nominal amount of taxes.

“The government is committed to expand the tax base and generate additional revenue instead of relying on loans,” Mr Hakim said and added that non-filers who do not have any documented presence in the tax regime have been allowed to become a part of the formal FBR system by availing the amnesty scheme.

The PAC was informed that FBR has collected data of around 3.8 million persons with luxurious life-styles and having significantly active banks accounts.

Data has been gathered with the help of Nadra that these persons frequently travel board and live in posh areas, the FBR chairman said and added that the foreign assets purchased by Pakistanis aboard are also national assets.

“Therefore, foreign assets could also be legalised under the proposed amnesty scheme,” he added.

Responding to queries by PAC members over details related to tax-payers and non-filers, the FBR chairman informed the committee that it was the duty of FBR to maintain privacy of tax-payers.

About tax thieves, the FBR chairman assured the committee that they would see a change soon.

The meeting of Public Accounts Committee was held in Parliament House on Wednesday.

The committee met here under the chairmanship of Nadeem Afzal Gondal. Members of the committee Asiya Nasir, Yasmeen Rehman, Zahid Hamid, Khurram Dastagir Khan, Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah and Saeed Iqbal were also present.

Meanwhile, the PAC directed the FBR to take disciplinary action against the tax officials who could not submit the tax record in audit objections raised in 2006-2007 onwards.

The committee also sought action against FBR officials who were showing negligence in recovery of taxes.

The committee directed the FBR to provide record for auditing within a month and also sought reasons of those special cases which could not be presented to the audit.

The PAC members expressed concern over non-production of the record in the audit para pertaining to 2006-2007, and gave one month time to FBR submit the record.