ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Friday launched fifth consecutive Tax Directory of Parliamentarians and for all taxpayers for year 2017 disclosing that Jahangir Khan Tareen of PTI and Senator Taleh Mehmood of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) were the top taxpayers among Parliamentarians.
Jahangir Khan Tareen paid Rs97,317,272 in tax year 2017 and became highest taxpayer among the members of previous National Assembly while Senator Taleh Mehmood paid Rs43,183,565 and stood at the top among Senators.
Prime Minister Imran as Parliamentarian in 2017 paid Rs103,763 in taxes compared to Rs159, 609 in 2016, showing a decrease of Rs55846.
Out of total 342 National Assembly members, only 325 filed their returns in tax year 2017 while 98 Senators filed returns out of total 104 members of Upper House of Parliament. In both Houses, 23 members had not file their returns in tax year 2017.
“We will have to abandon traditional methods and go behind powerful and influential to bring them into tax for broadening of narrowed tax base. There is political will at the top and it will be part of our strategy to ensure financial disclosure,” Minister of State for Revenues Hammad Azhar said while addressing the launching ceremony of Tax Directory 2017 here at Board’s headquarters on Friday.
The Parliamentarians Tax Directory for year ended June 30, 2017 released by FBR on Friday showed that Nawaz Sharif who was then Prime Minister paid a total of Rs263,173 compared to Rs 252, 4213 in 2016, showing a decrease of Rs 226,1040. Syed Khursheed Shah, the then leader of the opposition in National Assembly had paid a total of Rs 256,121 taxes compared to Rs 124,215 during 2016. PML-N’s leader Ishaq Dar paid Rs 9,384,606 taxes as the then finance minister while the incumbent Finance Minister of PTI led regime Asad Umar paid Rs 4,849,615 as member of the National Assembly during the tax year 2017.
President Dr Arif Ali in 2017 had paid a total of Rs 377,511 in taxes as parliamentarian who also paid Rs 1,429,043 tax as member of AOP. The current speaker National Assembly Asad Qaisar paid tax of Rs 580,896 as Member of the KP Assembly.
Among the current cabinet members, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi paid a total of Rs653,943 as member of the National Assembly, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad Rs702,698, Shireen Mazari Rs1,569,558, Ghulam Sarwar Khan Rs1,384,747, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar Rs475,573, Pervaiz Khattak Rs927,515, Murad Saeed Rs241,946, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui Rs138,573, Shafqat Mehmood Rs24030, Tariq Bashir Cheema Rs235768, Fehmida Mirza Rs227,591, Ali Amin Khan Rs84,500, Ali Muhammad Khan Mahar Rs138,573 and Ali Muhammad Khan Rs461,868.
PPP senator and former chairman Senate Raza Rabbani paid Rs605,954 in taxes and also paid Rs742,202 tax as member of AOP during the tax year 2017 while Deputy Speaker Senate Saleem Mandviwala paid Rs1,441,848 in taxes during tax year 2017.
Among other top taxpayers included PPP’s senator from Balochistan Rozi Khan Kakar with Rs40,869,089, senator from erstwhile FATA Taj Mohammad Afridi Rs29,343,435, MQM-P’s Farogh Naseem Rs 27,887,974, PPP’s Senator Aitzaz Ahsan Rs25,869,738, PML-N’s MNA Isphanyar M Bhandara Rs22,959,458, PPP’s Senator Farooq H Naek Rs11,062,116, leader of the opposition in National Assembly and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif Rs10,296,518, PML-N’s MNA Sheikh Fayyaz Ud Din Rs14,013,347.
In provincial assemblies, some members remained the top taxpayers during tax year 2017. JUI-F’s member of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly Noor Saleem Malik paid Rs15,736,750, PML-N Hamza Shehbaz paid Rs8,268,298, PML-N’s chief minister of Balochistan Sardar Sanaullah Zehri Rs10,100,750, PML-N member of KP assembly Sardar Zahoor Ahmad Rs14,320,390, PML-N member of Punjab assembly Ch Arshad Javaid Warraich Rs13,632,762 and PPP’s Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah Rs710,789, PTI’S chief minister KP Mahmood Khan Rs287,652
On the launching of Tax Directory 2017, Minister of State for Revenues Hammad Azhar said that Pakistan would have to slash down its twin deficits including the budget deficit and current account deficit. He said that the country’s growth remained lowest in last 10 years and debt rose up sharply since 1971. He said that the reform package with slight adjustments would get approval from the Parliament next week.
The high net worth individuals would be tracked to come into tax net, he said and added that the government proposed powers of provisional assessment for owners of offshore assets and soon after getting approval from the Parliament the FBR would move against them. He said that the government sought data from ten more jurisdictions including Swiss authorities to scrutinise whether they declared banking and other assets and in case of non-compliance the law of the land would move against them.
While appreciating improvements on external front of the economy, he said that the budget deficit was still on higher side because the government had to pay Rs 1700 to Rs 1900 billion as debt servicing payments during the current fiscal year. He blamed the last government for undertaking wrong policies and piled up such liabilities that required to pay off by the incumbent regime.
Chairman FBR Mohammad Jenhanzeb Khan said that the number of return filers went up by 34 percent and it is the top most priority of the government to bring non-filers into tax net. “We want fair taxation system based on principles of justice and equity,” he added.