Justice (retired) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim – File photo
Justice (retired) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim. – File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan has made it mandatory for candidates for national and provincial assembly seats to submit income and agriculture tax returns of the past three years.

According to changes in declaration and oath approved by the ECP at a meeting presided over by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim here on Tuesday, candidates will be required to disclose their income and source and income tax paid over the past three years.

They will also have to submit details of their children studying abroad and expenses incurred on their education, foreign trips undertaken by them during the period and cost incurred and a copy of the passport used.

The candidates will be required to give details of agricultural land held by them and agriculture income and tax paid during that period.

Earlier they were required to provide details of their movable and immovable property in and outside Pakistan, but now they will also have to state location, description, built-up area and market value of the house or apartment in which they are living.

The candidates will also have to submit names of their spouse and dependants and declare that the names are correct and no name has been left out. They will be required to give details of companies owned by them, their spouse or dependants.

They will also have to submit a statement on oath that they have neither ceased to be a citizen of Pakistan nor they have acquired or applied for citizenship of a foreign state and a declaration that they will have no objection if information relating to acquisition of citizenship of a foreign state or application for such citizenship is provided by a foreign state to the ministry of foreign affairs. Failure to provide details about any matter mentioned in the form shall render their nomination invalid.

Those who have been members of the national or a provincial assembly will be required to describe what they consider to be the most important contribution made by them for the benefit of their constituency.

Candidates will also be required to state whether they made any payment to their political party to obtain its ticket, and if so how much.

They will also have to disclose if they received any amount of money from the party which awarded them the ticket. They will be required to provide details of any donation given by them to any recognised charitable organisation or educational institution over the past three years.

Candidates will also be required to provide details of the bank account opened for election expenses, along with the name and branch of the bank and an undertaking that they will make all election expenses from the amount deposited in the account and will not make any transaction for poll expenses through another account.

They will have to provide details of the value of total assets and expenditure including mortgages secured on property or land and their personal expenditure, indicating increase or decrease over the previous year.

An official of the ECP told Dawn that rules needed to be amended for making changes in the format of nomination papers and declarations, which the commission would be able to do with the approval by the president. He said a reference for the purpose was being sent to the president through the ministry of law and justice.

He said the commission had taken notice of reports about Sindh government’s plan to give 27,500 plots to PPP workers and sought a report from the chief secretary.

The ECP decided that a ban on transfer of Rs250 million by the Finance Division to the ministry of law for payments to be made to the bar councils will be lifted next month after expiry of the term of the National Assembly.