Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged citizens to avail the government’s tax amnesty scheme to whiten their assets as the June 30 deadline for the scheme approaches.
On Tuesday, the prime minister appeared on a special transmission on Geo TV to warn citizens that if they did not avail the amnesty scheme then the government will have to take action against tax evaders.
“There comes a time when nations stand at a crossroads. We are facing that time,” said the prime minister. “We must decide now–whether we want to pick ourselves up and progress or not,” he added.
Prime Minister Khan said that the incumbent government had a lot of information from other countries that previous governments didn’t. He said that the deadline for the assets amnesty scheme would not be extended beyond June 30.
“It is time to increase our revenues and pay our debts,” he said. “This is your golden chance to whiten your assets or the government will take action,” he added.
Prime Minister Khan said that money laundering had damaged the country a lot. He said that almost half of Pakistan’s tax money was spent on repayment of loans that previous governments had acquired.
“Money laundering used to take place as people used to send their money abroad through Hawala and Hundi,” he said.
“On an annual basis, Pakistan used to suffer a loss of $10 billion. Imagine if we can control this money laundering, Pakistan won’t need to go to the IMF for a $6 billion package.”
Khan said that his government had adopted austerity measures so that the confidence of the taxpayer could be restored.
“Unfortunately, we pay the least tax in the world,” said Prime Minister Khan. ” I assure you, I will spend every penny collected on taxes on the welfare of the people,” he added.
Dr Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed, director general for international tax at Federal Board of Revenues, said tax amnesty is not mandatory but if overseas Pakistanis have assets inside or outside the country and they don’t have money trail of these assets, then they should benefit from the scheme and declare those assets. Because later they can be questioned by the authorities inside or outside Pakistan and face penalties and jails.