PM urges nation to declare assets to help Govt in collecting taxes


ISLAMABAD:     Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday asked the tax evaders to declare their financial assets, within the country and abroad, before June 30 or be ready for an indiscriminate action.
The prime minister in a televised address to the nation said this government had an unprecedented in-depth information about the assets of the citizens including their bank accounts, real estate and benami (in the name of another person) transactions and thus would not spare anyone who does not declare them before June 30. The government is to present the Budget 2019-20 on Tuesday.
PM Imran Khan said the government had bilateral agreements with several countries on information-sharing and also had information received from the intelligence agencies.
He mentioned that in 10 years, the country’s total debt and liabilities rose from Rs six trillion to Rs 30 trillion and regretted that half of the amount collected from tax – Rs two trillion out of Rs four trillion- was being spent on the paying the debts of previous governments.
Imran Khan said Pakistanis were one of the ‘most charitable nations’ in the world, but they were also the ‘least tax payers’.
“I appeal to you that come forward as we are able to collect Rs 10 trillion rupees from your contribution,” he told the nation, adding that a passion for the uplift of the country could revive the national economy currently facing challenges.
The prime minister called upon the nation to bring reformation within them, register to tax culture and take benefit from the Asset Declaration Scheme to make the country financially stable and strong.
“Benefit yourselves from this scheme and also give benefit to your country by taking it out of the reigns of poverty,” he stressed the nation.
The Assets Declaration Scheme was announced earlier this month by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh which allows citizens to declare assets including benami accounts and properties to get proper legalization.
On Sunday, PM Imran Khan chaired a meeting regarding upcoming fiscal budget 2019-20, considering proposals for the budget.
The meeting was attended by Adviser on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr Reza Baqir, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Shabbar Zaidi and other officials.
Before the budget’s presentation in the National Assembly on June 11, the Federal Cabinet would discuss and approve the proposals.