PEW criticises encouragement of non-filers

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) has said that relaxation given to non-filers to purchase property and cars has encouraged the tax evaders as well as the corrupt.

“The decision will surely cause hindrances in efforts with regard to broadening the tax net, stopping the influx of black money into the real estate market, stabilising the price of plots and homes, and bringing an end to the culture of premium in the auto industry,” said PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal in a meeting with Rawalpindi Islamabad Tax Bar Association (RITBA) President Syed Tauqeer Bukhari on Saturday.

He said the move will not go down well with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) authorities that are visiting the country next month to review the progress against money laundering and terror financing.

The PEW president warned that the real estate sector will again emerge as a favourite area for the corrupt who find it convenient to hide their ill-gotten money in this business.

Mughal criticised the government’s claim that it was facilitating the non-filers in order to encourage the expatriates to invest in Pakistan as baseless since “the expats already enjoy exemption” under the Income Tax Ordinance.

He noted that the decision to help tax cheats to buy properties and costly vehicles indicate the growing influence of real estate mafia and the auto industry.

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