ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday warned of indiscriminate crackdown against tax evaders after the June 30 deadline, saying the government would show no leniency to such people once the date of the amnesty scheme passed.
With the government set to roll out the Economic Survey on June 10, the prime minister and his economic team firmed up budget proposals, including targets for taxation measures, for fiscal year 2019-20, including measures to tap new resources and plugging lacunae in the tax machinery.
In this regard, Prime Minister Imran was given a detailed briefing about the revenue and spendings.
The meeting was attended by Finance Adviser Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, Planning Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, State Minister for Revenue Hammad Azhar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Sania Nishtar, Chairman of Federal Board of Revenue Shabbar Zaidi and senior government officers, a Prime Minister Office statement said.
The meeting discussed various proposals that could create a revenue cushion of about Rs1.45 trillion in the next fiscal year, taking the year’s revenue target to Rs5.55 trillion from a dismal Rs4.2 trillion.
Hinting at a crackdown against tax evaders after June 30, the prime minister said those who failed to take advantage of the government’s latest tax amnesty scheme would be dealt with according to the law.
“All state institutions are in sync when it comes to taking action against tax evaders,” the prime minister told the meeting, adding “Those who fail to benefit from the amnesty scheme will not be spared.”
Titled ‘The Assets Declaration and Amnesty Scheme 2019’, the scheme introduce through a presidential ordinance provides non-filers of tax returns an opportunity to whiten their undeclared assets at home and abroad and get into the tax net, besides introducing further budgetary measures in the run-up to entering into an IMF programme.
During the meeting, the prime minister asked his economic team to devise a mechanism to bring more people into the tax net.
The prime minister also questioned the logic of taxing the already taxed middle class. “Why should only the working class pay taxes?”
According to sources, Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Shabbar Zaidi briefed the prime minister about the progress made so far in broadening the tax net and how far the tax amnesty scheme contributed towards that end.
Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar briefed the meeting about the revenue about generated after extension in the tax returns date.