Jun 27: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said that within next 48 hours, the government would come up with a program to accommodate the procrastinators who had emerged in a huge number at the last moment to avail tax amnesty scheme expiring on June 30, 2019.
Talking to Pakistan Television’s special transmission “Aap Ka Paisa –Aap Kay Kaam”, the prime minister said he had discussed with his Finance Advisor Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Shabbar Zaidi as how the government could facilitate such a people.
He said it was being discussed whether the government should allow the people, complaining the paucity of time, to register within the deadline and get benefit from the scheme after June 30.
Reiterating his call to the nation to avail the tax amnesty scheme, the prime minister said being a non-filer was an illegal act. Besides, the country could not be steered out of the debt trap unless the people paid taxes.
He said, inherited from the British colonialism, the culture of tax evasion continued in Pakistan because the people found that their tax money was not being used for their welfare rather to support the luxuries of the ruling class.
To a question, the prime minister assured the people that he would safeguard them from any harassment by any public institutions after they came under the tax net.
He said along with the efforts to enhance the tax net, the government was also striving to reform the FBR to end the mistrust as well as get rid of the corrupt elements.
The prime minister also assured the nation that their tax money would be spent on them.
He said for the first time, the government had reduced its expenditures with the salaries of the cabinet ministers reduced by 10 percent, PM House expenses by
Rs 300 million and freezing of the defense expenditures in this budget.
Recounting the philanthropic character of Pakistani nation, he said they could even collect Rs 8,000 billion if they made a resolve.
To a question about the rampant corruption in FBR, the prime minister said no one could mint money illegally if the national institutions were strong enough to make even the leaders accountable.
He said the whole system spoiled when the ruling elite evaded taxes which ultimately led to the distrust among the business community and the destruction of the small business industry.
The prime minister said he had taken the responsibility to reform the FBR along with Shabbar Zaidi through scrutiny and e-governance as it was the matter of country’s survival.
He said the government had allocated around Rs 200 billion for its anti-poverty initiative and questioned as how the government could spend required fund for public welfare when half of the tax money went to the payment of markup on foreign loans.
He said the nations always faced tough times and overcame too by increasing their revenue generation that was possible by allowing the businessmen to create wealth that would ultimately create jobs and enhance the tax ratio.
Asked what the tax payers would get in return from the government, he said no system could effectively work without carrot-and-stick policy. This is why the government was struggling to reform the institutions and change the public mindset to declare the tax payers and hard workers the real VIPs and send the money launderers to jail.