Imran Asks Pakistanis to Declare Benami Assets, Money Stashed Abroad Before June 30
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the people had until June 30 to declare their benami assets and bank accounts as well as the money that was kept abroad.
“After June 30, you will not get this opportunity,” he said. “Remember our government today has that information which no government before had.”
In a recorded televised address that was aired on Monday morning, Imran urged the citizens to take advantage of the Asset Declaration Scheme [tax amnesty scheme].
“I am appealing to all of you to take part in the Asset Declaration Scheme that we have brought, because if we don’t pay taxes, we will not be able to raise our country up,” he said, ahead of the federal budget for fiscal year 2019-20, which is scheduled to be announced tomorrow (Tuesday).
“We will need to change ourselves if we want to become a great country,” Imran said in his message meant to take people into confidence about the financial situation of the country.
He added that they had made agreements and were receiving information from abroad about properties and bank accounts of Pakistanis.
“Our agencies have information about who has benami accounts and benami properties,” the premier said, adding that: “This was never available to us before therefore take advantage of this scheme. Give Pakistan the benefit. Fix your children’s future. [Give us] the chance that we get this country to stand on its own two feet and take people out of poverty.”
“Take full advantage of this scheme,” he said.
This is the second time that the premier has appealed to the people to declare their benami assets and bank accounts under the government’s Assets Declaration Scheme by June 30.
Imran said: “My Pakistanis, in the past ten years Pakistan’s debt went from Rs6,000 billion to Rs30,000 billion.”
He said that the damage that this had caused to the country was that the annual tax collected was approximately Rs4,000 billion, half of which went towards repaying loans “they” had taken.
“This country cannot cover its expenses on the money that is left behind,” he said and added, “Pakistan is the country that unfortunately gives the least tax in the world but is among the few countries that give the most charity.”
“This is the country that has [the] capability and if passion comes in, we can at the very least gather Rs10,000 billion every year,” the premier said.
In May, the PTI government had announced its first tax amnesty scheme for whitening of undisclosed expenditures, sales and assets, including foreign assets, at nominal tax rates.
The scheme came into effect through a presidential ordinance, which will offer a period of 45 days to people for declaration of their undeclared assets, expenditures, and sales along with payment of taxes until June 30 this year.
Unlike past schemes no revenue realisation projection was made on the plea that it is meant for allowing the grey economy’s inclusion in the tax net.