Raja Riaz says billions embezzled in govt-funded projects


Punjab Assembly opposition leader Raja Riaz Ahmed urged the Punjab government on Tuesday to present a people-friendly budget for the next year and that if he failed to do so, they would not allow the chief minister to enter the CM’s House. Addressing a news conference at the assembly cafeteria, he said an appreciable raise should be made in the salaries of government employees which should also be in accordance with the increase in salaries approved by the federal government in its upcoming budget. He said it was a pity that the Punjab budget was around the corner and the chief minister was looking for an appropriate legislator to deliver the budget speech. He said the Punjab budget had been given final touches but neither the opposition nor the cabinet had been taken into confidence for its preparation.
Raja Riaz said the provincial affairs were being run on a dictatorial pattern and were an example of bad governance being set in the province.
He said the PPP will never compromise on people’s interests.
He added that the billions of rupees received by the Punjab government under the NFC award were being doled out to favourites.
Riaz alleged that billions of rupees were being embezzled in the Aashiana housing project, adding that the Danish school project was a complete fraud. In response to a question, the opposition leader said the Sharif brothers were criticising the federal government for the energy crisis when they were not able to add even a single megawatt to the national system during the last four years. “Leading politically motivated demonstrations against load shedding is unethical and unfortunate,” Riaz added. He said whenever a conspiracy was hatched against the PPP government, the PML-N was always part of it.

Nawaz Sharif never paid any tax: PTI

A spokesman of PML-N has tried to hide the real truth regarding taxes paid by Nawaz Sharif during the period 2005 to 2007, accruing to a press statement issued by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf here on Monday.
The fact is that during this period when he was in exile he paid zero tax. Apart from evidence available with the Federal Board of Revenue, this is borne out by the nomination papers filed by Sharif in May 2008 for NA 123 Lahore VI. Answering question No 10 relating to the taxes paid by the applicant during the last three years, the answer given by Nawaz Sharif was “nil”. This was the period when Sharif had assets in Pakistan that were not shut down but were giving income. According to the laws of Pakistan every citizen who has local income, irrespective where he or she resides, is required to file an income tax return and pay taxes. Only Sharif was in exile but not his assets. Therefore, he had to file a return and pay his share of income tax, the statement added. The documents signed by him in 2008 indicating that he never paid any taxes in 2005/6/7 are available with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. It is instructive that as soon as Sharif returned, he paid Rs 2 million as tax in 2009/10 and Rs 2.5 million in 2010/11. This tax was paid on income accrued from his shares in Chaudry Sugar Mills. The same mill was also giving him dividends in the years he was in exile but no tax was paid. Tax evasion by the Sharifs is not an issue which has come under scrutiny for the first time as Nawaz Sharif has been convicted in a tax evasion case in 1999 by the Lahore High Court. It was revealed that Sharif had failed to pay federal tax on a civilian helicopter owned by him which was worth US $ 1 million at that time. Another trick often resorted to by PML-N spokespersons is that when talking about taxes paid by the Sharif brothers, they often include sales tax and other taxes paid by their industries. This is another attempt at hiding the truth.