The federal cabinet have provided a new opportunity to all Pakistani citizens to declare and legalise undisclosed assets in and outside the country, by approving “Asset Declaration Scheme” on Tuesday.
According to The Express Tribune, the scheme will give opportunity to everyone who has assets that requires to be legalised, the state will only take 4% taxes on all assets other than real estate.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan during her press briefing stated that, the President will issue the ordinance for the declaration of assets which is part of a government’s initiative to document the economy and generate taxes from privileged sections of society.
Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh during the press briefing stated that the scheme is applicable till June 30 which will benefit all the citizens holding public offices or their dependents.
This amnesty scheme to whiten the black money stated the government’s top financial adviser. Stressing that the new scheme is aimed at documentation of the economy.
“The basic purpose of the scheme is not to generate revenue but to document the economy and make dead assets functional,” Dr Shaikh told reporters.
“The philosophy behind the scheme is to encourage businessmen to participate in the legal economy, he added. “It is not intended to intimidate people.”
Shaikh said efforts were made to make the scheme easy to understand and implement. “All assets are included in the scheme, inside or outside Pakistan.”
“In case of real estate, it would be evaluated at 1.5 on FBR [Federal Board of Revenue] value, to bring it to market value,” he added, citing an example that if the FBR value of any property was Rs1 million, it would be charged at the value of Rs1.5 million.
During the press briefing Shaikh admitted that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) have had some major changes to enhance its performance in the next financial year. Furthermore, he stated that the newly appointed chairman FBR, Shabbar Zaidi, had been mandated to provide facilities to tax payers.
“But if the rich still do not pay taxes, strict action be taken,” Dr Shaikh said. Recently law on Benami assets had been passed according to which if such assets were not declared, they might be confiscated, he said, adding: “This is why all facilities are being given to make these assets white.
State Minister for Revenues, Hammad Azhar, who was also present at the press conference, told reporters that the amnesty scheme launched last year did not have the condition of being a tax filer. “Those who want to avail this scheme will have to be tax filers,” he said, adding: “The tax amnesty scheme deadline will not be extended.”