pakistan-rgst-tax-670
File photo

LAHORE: Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Ali Arshad Hakeem on Saturday issued a warning to tax evaders and said the FBR had located over three million citizens who had enormous wealth but had not been paying their taxes, DawnNews reported.

Speaking at a ceremony in Custom House, Lahore, Hakeem said out of a population of 180 million, only 800,000 people were paying their taxes.

He said tax evaders were being given 75 days' time to fulfill their responsibilities as citizens after which their names would be added to the exit control list (ECL) and their national identity cards would also be blocked.

The FBR chief said Pakistan’s system of taxation was in dire need of reformation, adding that the country could not be run with the existing taxation system in place.

Hakeem added that Pakistan had one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios in the world.

He stressed that the country was in dire need of tax reforms and that the government should take immediate steps in this regard.

The FBR chief’s remarks come in the wake of the introduction of a controversial tax amnesty bill in the National Assembly.

The opposition says the bill is meant to provide opportunity to millions to whiten their black money whereas Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh has said that there were only 800,000 taxpayers in the country and the bill would bring a substantial number of people into the country’s tax net.

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