- PTI chief says PML-N showing true colors of being ‘Rich Man’s Club’
- Govt should net tax evaders, electricity thieves instead of raising taxes, rates
Rejecting recent power tariff hike, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Friday demanded the government to immediately take back the decision, saying by taking such decisions the PML-N was showing its true color of being a “Rich Man’s Club” rather than a political party.
Addressing a press conference, the PTI chairman demanded the government immediately rollback GST and hike in electricity prices, as these were causing immense suffering to the citizens, especially those who were little able to bear the burden of spiraling inflation and rising indirect taxation.
He said Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif declared during his elections campaign that Rs 300 billion was being lost to electricity theft and Rs 600 billion to tax evasion and had vowed to stop that. “But where are the steps to do so now?” Khan said, adding that the government instead of increasing power tariff should immediately take action against power thieves and tax evaders.
The PTI chief said by ending the theft, the national exchequer would be richer by Rs 900 billion instead of gaining just Rs 150 billion through raise in electricity rates, which was heavily burdening the poverty-stricken people.
“All tax evaders should be caught. The FBR has identified three million people who should be paying taxes but are not. An immediate Rs 300 billion can be added to the national exchequer if each of these tax evaders- thieves robbing the state of its dues- is made to pay even Rs 100,000, although many would be falling in a much higher tax bracket. Additionally, there is about 35% sale tax evasion in the country and if this s stopped, Rs 250 billion can be recovered.”
Flanked by Asad Umar and Dr Shireen Mizari, Khan said all exempted sectors, particularly property and agriculture, be brought into the tax net. He said Capital Gains Tax must be introduced on property and the stock market and the federal government could take this measure. “The rich in Pakistan have too many legal tax exemptions, while the middle classes and the poor continue to be burdened with increasing indirect tax.”
He said the government should bring back all looted money of corrupt politician from foreign countries to improve the crippling economy.
“New laws in West allow the government of Pakistan to bring illegal money back. Why has the government not taken advantage of these laws to bring back this money that belongs to the poor people of Pakistan? I’m pretty sure, under a muk muka formula, Nawaz league would not bring back the $6 billion of Asif Ali Zardari stashed in Swiss banks. In return, Zardari will not speak about Sharifs’ money in foreign accounts.”
The PTI chief said to end this muk muka, his party was going to try change the opposition leader in the National Assembly.
Khan said his party was going to table a bill in the National Assembly seeking absolute austerity.
“An immediate austerity policy should be formed per which all Governor Houses in the country should be converted into the public buildings and their lawns into pubic parks. The current present expenses of maintaining these should be made public also.”
He said there were colonial remnants and should be converted into museums.
“The practice of declaring private residences as ‘CM House’ must end immediately as it puts further strain on limited state resources,” Khan added.