CCP protests against 'tax amnesty scheme'... By Citizen
11 February, 2013
The Concerned Citizens of Pakistan Society (CCP) strongly condemns the government's proposal of giving legal cover to a 'money whitening' scheme through a controversial Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, which is likely to become law before the general elections after hasty passage by parliament. The proposed law provides for legalising undisclosed assets on payment of less than one percent tax. Such legislation is a mala fide exercise of legislative power, the intent being to protect those parliamentarians and their cronies who have amassed vast assets through illegal means and through abuse of power. Such fraudulent tax amnesty schemes dissuade conscientious citizens from paying taxes.
The assertion that this scheme will help to bring non-taxpayers within the tax net are unfounded. According to media reports, the last amnesty scheme resulted in receiving only Rs 2.5 billion, which pales into insignificance in view of the increased trust deficit between the citizens and the government as a result of these moves. Such measures also result in a skewed tax structure, which exempts the elite class and shifts the burden of taxation onto the poor. Only two percent of the population pays tax on its incomes. There is an urgent need to bring asset-seizure legislation to confiscate the untaxed assets of those who are the intended beneficiaries of this ploy.
The tax ombudsman has revealed that 70 percent of parliamentarians have failed to pay their taxes. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and FIA, instead of investigating these serious allegations, are ignoring them under government pressure. The CCP urges the election commission to disqualify and bar proven tax evaders from contesting elections by enforcing Articles 62 and 63 of the constitution. Otherwise, the assemblies will again be filled by dishonest and self-serving legislators for another five years.
CONCERNED CITIZENS OF PAKISTAN