No taxes, no progress, says PM

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–Urges people to serve country by declaring illegal assets

–Premier reaches Medina ahead of OIC summit

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday urged the people to take advantage of the “easiest asset declaration scheme” to serve the country in this time of economic crisis.

In a video message, he talked about the importance of bringing people under the tax net and how it impacts the development of the country.

“Today I want to speak with you on an important issue facing the country. Out of 220 million Pakistanis, only one per cent are tax filers, which means this one per cent Pakistanis were bearing the burden of the total 220 million,” he said, adding that if the people do not pay their taxes, it would be impossible for the state to serve the people.

“If the people do not pay tax, neither can we establish hospitals for citizens, nor the schools for children, the infrastructure cannot be fixed and the government has to take loans,” he said.

The prime minister also said that for this very purpose, the government has introduced the “easiest” amnesty scheme which is valid till June 30. He said that the government has information about the undeclared assets of the people and would take action against them if they fail to declare their assets by the due date.

“You won’t be worried as to some institution might trouble you, once your assets are declared. This is good for all. You will not get this chance after June 30,” he added.

He also said that it is better for people to serve the country by declaring their assets. “That would help us secure future of our children, we can help the country stand on its own and uplift the poor, and above all, you can also sleep in peace,” he further said.

The premier assured that the money collected from the taxes will be spent on the welfare of the people and will aid in steering the country out of the economic crisis it is facing at the moment.

“I guarantee you that the money collected from your taxes would be spent on you and this country. I would not let this money to be misappropriated,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the prime minister reached Medina on an official trip to Saudi Arabia where he will represent Pakistan at the two-day summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) titled “Makkah Summit: Together for the Future”.

The summit to develop a unified stance on events underway in the Muslim world is scheduled to begin on Friday in Makkah and will be chaired by Saudi King Salman.

Upon arrival in Medina, the premier paid a visit to the shrine of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and offered prayers there before departing for Jeddah to attend the summit.