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Candidates have to show property, income, tax, utility bill details

20 February, 2013

ISLAMABAD: As a part of its policy to bar corrupt elements, defaulters and tax evaders from taking part in the next general election, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday approved as many as 15 amendments in the nomination papers, which will now consist of six forms.

Under the new amendments, the candidates will have to furnish details about their property, income, taxes and utility bills. "It is our utmost effort to send home all the tax defaulters, evaders and bank loan defaulters and those who got written off their loans at the stage of scrutiny of their nomination papers," sources at the ECP said.

The electoral body rejected a request by the Ministry of Law for the disbursement of Rs250 million grant among various bar associations. ECP sources told our sources the meeting advised the government to wait for March 16, after which a caretaker government will be in place to take up the matter for consideration and possible approval.

The Election Commission has decided to form two-official election monitoring teams for each constituency that would report to the concerned district returning officers. Their reports will contain details of the candidates' polls campaign and related activities.

Among other important things, the electoral body, through a letter, also sought report from the Sindh chief secretary regarding reported allotment of 27,000 plots to favourites by the provincial government. An application to this effected was forwarded to the ECP Secretariat by Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) the other day.

The forum okayed these amendments in its meeting under Chief Election Commissioner Justice (R) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim while all the four Election Commission Members (ECMs) and the Secretary ECP attended.

Under the amendments, candidates will have to also provide details of his or her income during the last three years: how much tax was paid, a copy of the tax returns will have to be attached with the nomination papers; other details such as foreign travel details, agriculture tax details and how many dependents were being educated abroad.

Briefing media persons after the meeting, Director General (Elections) Sher Afgan said that unlike in the past, now candidates would also file a declaration about their loans and taxes in addition to details of dependents. He said dependents could be changed in case of written off loans etc.

He continued candidates would also provide details regarding their property, its value and market price and share also with the nomination papers whether or not they had any other country's passport.

Explaining the proposed amendments, the senior official maintained that in case of a former MPA or MNA, he or she would be required to submit along with nomination papers the details of services he or she extended or rendered in his or her constituency during the last five years.

The candidates, he noted, would also disclose how much amount he had to pay for getting party ticket to contest the election or as head of the party, how much he demanded for awarding party ticket to a party member.

Moreover, the details of any donation made during his or her tenure as MPA or MNA would also be required to be provided while submitting the nomination papers.About the voters' verification in Karachi, he said that the process of door-to-door verification of voters had been completed and now these were being scanned at the five offices of district election commissions and this would be over within next five to six days.

He said after scanning, data would be transferred to Islamabad for entry by the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) for incorporation in the voters' lists afterwards.Sher Afgan said the Wednesday's meeting here at the ECP would finalise modalities for the scrutiny of nomination papers. He said that 14 days for scrutiny would be sufficient time for FBR and SBP, which would thrash out a mechanism in the meeting.

End.

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