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Political elite and tax evasion

December 22, 2012

THE recent report has revealed that 67 per cent of parliamentarians and 62 per cent of ministers in the federal cabinet did not file their income tax returns in 2011.

It is unfortunate that they talk so much at public gatherings, current affairs and political talk shows that they would change the life of the common man.

But this report shows the truth. When they don’t file their tax return, how can they be earnest about making policy to generate more taxes? Because of them that sales tax percentage is so high on basic commodities that have caused inflation.

The highest paid tax by any MNA is former PML-F member Jehangir Khan Tareen. He was elected MNA from NA-195. He has now joined Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf. He has paid Rs17,053,172 as tax in 2011.

There are also many MNAs and senators who still do not have their National Tax Numbers.

The question is: if these politicians cannot lead by example in paying taxes, how can they ask people to pay taxes? What is the Federal Board of Revenue doing? Does it have any authority to catch these politicians? The FBR has also failed to collect taxes from big businessmen in Pakistan.

The recent report that real estate tycoon Malik Riaz has been involved in massive tax evasion of Rs119.40 billion shows the incompetence of the FBR.

MUBASHIR MAHMOOD Karachi