PPP and PTI refuse to accept amnesty scheme

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–PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi says scheme is aimed at those who want to loot Pakistan 

–Miftah Ismail says unprecedented relief has been given to salaried class in amnesty scheme

 

 

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Wednesday said they will put up stiff resistance to the recently announced tax amnesty scheme when the government presents it in the National Assembly.

Speaking on the floor of the House, PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the amnesty scheme is aimed at those who want to loot the country, adding that the PTI has decided to oppose the ordinance.

The PTI leader said that the government should do something for direct taxation rather than heavily relying on indirect taxes only. He further demanded to include the scheme in the upcoming budget if it is that much effective, adding that it’s the first government to present six budgets in five years.

Qureshi said that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) were also hesitant in accepting it.

Meanwhile, PPP leader Naveed Qamar said that the ordinance is inappropriate and asked why the people should trust the PML-N’s scheme as it does not promise any reliefs.

Earlier, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while announcing the tax amnesty scheme for non-taxpayers had said that the politicians could not take advantage of the scheme.

The prime minister said that only 1.2 million people file income tax returns out of a population of 207 million, adding that only 700,000 were paying tax while others only filed returns and paid no income tax.

“The maximum rate of income tax was being reduced from the existing 30% to 15%,” Abbasi said.

He said that an individual earning Rs4.8 million per annum will pay 15 per cent tax, adding that the rate of income tax for the income bracket of Rs 2.4 to 4.8 million would be 10 percent.

Responding to the concerns of the opposition members over the recently announced tax reforms package, Adviser on Finance Miftah Ismail said it is a historic and fantastic package in which unprecedented relief has been given to the salaried class by substantially reducing the tax rates.

He wondered why the PPP and the PTI are protesting over the tax reduction which has given a raise of 10 to 15 per cent in salaries to the employees.

The adviser also clarified that proceeds of criminal activities or corruption cannot benefit from the tax amnesty scheme. He said the scheme is aimed at increasing the tax base and it will help attract more investment and spur industrial activity in the country.

KASHMIR DISPUTE: 

The National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution strongly condemning atrocities perpetrated on innocent Kashmiri by the Indian security forces in the Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK).

The resolution moved by Minister for Kashmir Affairs Barjees Tahir demanded the international community implement the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that promise right of self-determination to Kashmiri people.

The resolution urged the government to request the Human Rights Council in Geneva to send a fact-finding mission to the occupied valley to investigate the human rights violations.

Minister of State for Interior Tallal Chaudhry laid before the House, “The Prevention of Smuggling of Migrants Bill, 2018. The chair referred the bill to the relevant committee for further consideration.

The House will now meet on Thursday morning.

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