Tax Amnesty Schemes Gave Tax Relief Of Rs61.4bn To 191 Billionaires

Tax Amnesty Schemes Gave Tax Relief Of Rs61.4bn To 191 Billionaires

A total of 191 billionaires have been given tax relief amounting to Rs61.4 billion by the current government of Prime Minister Imran Khan and former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

The Federal Board of Revenue on Thursday shared these details with the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance, but the former did not reveal the identities of those given tax relief. The tax amnesty schemes provide legal cover to keep secret the name of those given tax relief.

It was revealed by an FBR official that a few politicians were among the beneficiaries. However, the said politicians were not public office holders.

According to a report in Express Tribue, last year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development had shared information about 57,450 Pakistani nationals having $7.5 billion in bank deposits. Out of these, the NA committee focused on 325 cases, involving $5.5 billion worth of assets.

The FBR told the committee that out of the 325 cases, 191 persons availed tax amnesty schemes in 2018 and 2019 and declared Rs94.2 billion worth of assets by paying only Rs4.6 billion in taxes.

On average, those given tax relief paid 4.9% of the value of assets in taxes.

Former finance minister Asad Umar stated that the FBR could recover 70% of the assets but it settled at 2-4%. He added that this was why political parties loved to give tax amnesty schemes and this showed the elite's capture of Pakistan’s economy and politics.

He was also of the view that the benefits given to the elite through tax amnesty schemes explains why these people presented the tax amnesty schemes as a solution to the problem of economic downturn.

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