No immediate relief to masses as country nears financial collapse: Khawaja Asif

SIALKOT: In a candid revelation, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif acknowledged that Pakistan stands on the brink of financial collapse, resembling a default scenario.

Speaking to the press in Sialkot, Asif highlighted the gravity of the situation, attributing it primarily to the country’s near-bankruptcy and rampant tax evasion plaguing various sectors.
“As it stands, the government is unable to provide immediate relief to the populace,” remarked Asif, addressing the dire economic predicament. He pointed out that a staggering number of citizens, particularly in key sectors such as retail and wholesale, evade their tax obligations, exacerbating the nation’s economic woes. Shockingly, only a fraction of the population, amounting to a mere few hundred thousand individuals, diligently fulfill their tax duties.

Compounding the issue, Asif revealed that tax disputes worth a colossal 2.6 trillion rupees linger unresolved in the courts, with the judiciary’s sluggishness further impeding any semblance of fiscal stability. The burden of taxation disproportionately burdens the salaried class, exacerbating the socio-economic disparities within the country.

However, Asif expressed cautious optimism for a turnaround within the next 18 to 24 months, citing the government’s strategic policies as the beacon of hope. He assured that the fruition of these measures would gradually alleviate the financial strain on the populace.

In a bid to alleviate the tax burden and encourage compliance, the government unveiled the Tajir Dost Scheme, commencing its registration today. Targeting traders and shopkeepers across major cities, including Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Quetta, and Islamabad, the scheme aims to foster a business-friendly environment while bolstering tax revenues. Under the scheme, participants stand to benefit from a 25 percent discount for prompt tax payments and return submissions, with an estimated additional tax influx of approximately Rs 500 billion annually anticipated.

Small traders, shopkeepers, wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers, and importers will all be eligible to partake in the initiative, underscoring the government’s commitment to inclusive economic reform.

As Pakistan navigates through its financial turbulence, the Tajir Dost Scheme emerges as a beacon of hope, signaling a concerted effort towards economic revival and stability in the foreseeable future.



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