Amnesty scheme may fail to achieve objectives, says former ICCI president

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ISLAMABAD: The recently announced tax amnesty scheme may fail to achieve desired results due to shortcomings in its design, said former ICCI president Shahid Rasheed Butt on Sunday.

“The scheme is full of mistakes and contradictions while it has some weaknesses which are keeping tax consultants and businessmen at a distance,” he said.

Talking to the business community, he said that the outcome of the amnesty scheme announced by the current government will not be different from the schemes announced earlier by various governments.

Shahid Rasheed Butt who has also served as President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) noted that tax amnesty schemes have not added to the revenue in a satisfactory way nor have these schemes improved documentation of the economy.

The purpose of such schemes is to give a chance to tax evaders to whiten their money and join the taxpayers club but the majority of the tax evaders have preferred to remain out of the tax net because they consider it safe.

He said that amnesty schemes will remain counterproductive unless tax evaders believe that not availing the opportunity will result in severe punishment and confiscation of assets.

The amnesty scheme should be followed by strict action against tax evaders and they should be made an example otherwise such moves will result in wastage of time and money, he warned.

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