191 Pakistani billionaires have been provided a tax relief of Rs. 61.4 billion in amnesty schemes
This relief was provided in past two Amnesty schemes under PM Imran Khan and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Past two governments under Prime Minister Imran Khan and former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi have provided tax relief of Rs. 61.4 billion to 191 billionaires. They were caught owning off-shore assets but were provided relief through the previous two amnesty schemes.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) shared these details with the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance of people whose data was exchanged by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) this Thursday.
The details were not discussed and the identities of these beneficiaries were not disclosed as both Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have promised a legal cover to them, keeping their names secret, in these amnesty schemes.
According to a briefing given by Mohammad Ashfaq, Director General of Directorate of International Taxes of the FBR, some of the beneficiaries have also been politicians but they were not public officeholders.
Briefing on the recovery status:
The committee also took follow-up briefing from the FBR on the recovery status and what actions are being taken in off-shore assets’ cases, which the OECD offered it.
”In September last year, the OECD had shared information about over 152,000 bank accounts owned by 57,450 Pakistani nationals, having $7.5 billion in bank deposits.” (Source: Express Tribune)
Out of these, the committee particularly focused on 325 cases, that involved $5.5 billion worth of assets. Among these, 191 people availed the tax amnesty schemes in 2018 and 2019, declaring assets worth Rs. 94.2 billion by paying Rs4.6 billion in taxes only, disclosed the details shared by Mohammad Ashfaq.
“This tells why all political parties love to give tax amnesty schemes and also shows the elite capture of Pakistan’s economy and politics,” Asad Umar commented.
These 191 people have paid an average of 4.9% of the value of assets in taxes, the meeting discussed.
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