ECP seeks FBR, SBP help to vet candidates
14 February, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday sought the help of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to scrutinise the financial and taxation documents of all aspiring candidates in the upcoming general election.
A meeting was held at the Election Commission of Pakistan to discuss ways and means for implementing provisions contained in Articles 62 and 63 of the constitution, especially pertaining to bank defaulters, tax evaders and national tax numbers.
The ECP asked SBP and FBR to prepare a mechanism for scrutiny of election candidates who had their names in the list of tax defaulters, loan defaulters or were involved in financial scandals, within three days of the filing of their nomination papers.
The ECP has invited SBP governor, FBR chairman and NAB authorities on February 17-18 to finalise a fast-track procedure for the scrutiny of the election candidates.
SBP and FBR told the meeting that they had the capacity to complete verification process within two to three weeks of the filing of the nomination papers. However, ECP was of the opinion that verification process be completed within days and not in weeks, sources informed our sources.
Tax: The ECP intends to identify names of election candidates, their spouses and their dependants who do not have NTN; have NTN but are not filing income tax returns; are involved in tax evasion. In this regard, the ECP has also asked FBR to provide an online link.
Loans: The ECP wants to identity candidates, their spouses and dependants who have defaulted in loan repayment of Rs 2 million and above; written off their loans on un-justified grounds or are involved in banking crimes. ECP has directed the SBP to provide the list of loan defaulters as well as those who have their loans written off on unjustified grounds.
Utility Bills: The ECP also intends to identify candidates, their spouses and dependants who have defaulted in payment of electricity, gas and telephone bills, having arrears of more than six months. ECP will hold meetings with officials of public utility companies soon.
The NADRA, SBP and FBR have assured the ECP that they would extend full cooperation within their respective spheres to ensure that the forthcoming elections are fair and transparent.