Register now, pay taxes later, PM Imran tells nation

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  • Says people can declare their assets by June 30 deadline and make payments in instalments 
  • Promises to reform tax authority, says no one will be allowed to harass taxpayers

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday made yet another appeal to the nation to avail the tax amnesty scheme and declare their undeclared assets, pleading them to at least register for the scheme if they could not make the payments by the deadline.

“Installments will also be given [but] no extension after June 30,” Imran said while speaking in a TV programme on a private channel. He added that no extension will be given but Sunday will be open to facilitate people.

“We pay the least tax. In the past 10 years, we took many loans” and a lot of the expenditure “goes in the interest on those taxes,” said the premier.

“We need to get out of this quicksand. We have to change ourselves,” the premier said. “In the 60s, Pakistan was on the rise,” he said, but “we don’t pay taxes. There’s too much corruption here.”

Commenting further on the hesitance of Pakistanis regarding paying taxes and how their taxes would be used, Imran said: “People think their tax won’t be spent on them. They believe it’ll be stolen or won’t be spent on them.

“However, I promise it would definitely be spent on them.”

The PM gave two assurances during his comments: That “nobody will be allowed to harass the tax-payers” and that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) “will be reformed”.

Further, he clarified that non-custom-paid vehicles were not included in the scheme but those vehicles that were custom-paid but not declared can be declared.

Speaking of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership and its accomplishments, Khan said: “The information the government has today, no government had it previously.

“Benami [unnamed] property will be confiscated in addition to other punishment,” he stressed.

At present, there is “money-laundering of $10 billion each year”.

The prime minister also took questions from the chambers of commerce from around Pakistan, with that of Lahore requesting Khan to ease the conditions for businesses by bringing down the interest rate.

“Our aim is simple. We are connecting citizens with their governors and representatives who will answer the citizen’s connections. We are the facilitators and the middlemen whose job is to conduct people,” the premier said.

“Here questions will be asked by the people. We can only encourage them to ask questions and avail the opportunity to clear their understandings and also encourage the representatives and the governors of the country to take the chance and clarify the solutions you have created for the problem in the hope of saving the country.

“One this is for sure: our tax collection rate is the lowest in the world and Pakistan can’t continue as a state with this current state of affairs!”

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