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April 3, 2013

Half of 8,000 candidates paid no tax, have no NTN

April 3, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Almost 4,000 out of the 8,000 candidates, whose nomination papers had been scanned and scrutinised by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) till Tuesday, do not pay any income tax and have no National Income Tax (NIT) number.
On the basis of this trend, it is believed that out of the estimated 14,000 candidates who have submitted their nomination papers to take part in the May 11 polls, at least half would be non-taxpayers and tax defaulters.
Sources in the ECP confided to The News that it was very disappointing to find that almost half of those interested to lead the nation in parliament do not pay any tax despite the media’s campaign against tax defaulters and tax evaders.
These sources said that out of the total 8,000 nomination papers scanned till Tuesday morning, around 4,000 candidates do not even have the NTN, which means that they don’t pay any tax. “It means that half of the members of the next parliament and provincial assemblies would be non-taxpayers if not stopped by the ECP from contesting the polls,” one of these sources said.
The ECP sources said the returning officers would be deciding the fate of such candidates on the basis of scrutiny of their nomination papers and the documents attached. It is also said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) team, which is assisting the ECP in this particular matter, has not been provided all the details and documents of the nomination papers but are only given the ID card number and NTN number, if any, of the candidates.
In the past National Assembly and the present Senate, out of the total 437 members, 305 had not even bothered to file their mandatory tax returns in the year 2011. The number of such violators amongst the members of last provincial assemblies is also believed to be very high.
It is the massive number of these non-filers in parliament that the political parties from both sides of the political divide have been opposing the new nomination paper

finalised by the ECP.
Despite making law of mandatory filing of “Return of Income”, 70 percent of parliamentarians (305 out of the present 437) did not file returns in 2011. According to a recent report, such violators of law in the National Assembly and Senate included 67.3% legislators of PML-N and 66.8% MPs belonging to the PPP. The highest percentage of non-filers of tax returns was of ANP with 87.5%.
Amongst the PPP parliamentarians, 87 MNAs out of 125 and 24 Senators of the total 41 did not file tax returns in 2011 and these members include federal ministers and key figures of the PPP.
The PML-N non-filers of tax returns included 62 MNAs out of the total 90 and eight senators of total 14. The PML-Q’s 69% (38 out of 55 parliamentarians) did not file the returns. This included 35 MNAs out of the total 50 and three senators out of total five.
The MQM’s 62.5% (20 out of total 32) parliamentarians did not file returns of income. This included 17 MNAs out of 25 and three senators out of seven. The ANP’s 87.5% (21 out of 24 parliamentarians) did not file returns of income. This included 11 MNAs out of 12 and 10 senators out of 12.
The JUI-F/MMA 86.6% (13 out of 15 parliamentarians) did not file returns of income. This included seven MNAs out of eight and six senators out of seven.
The BNP-A’s four parliamentarians did not file returns of income. The PML-F’s three MNAs out of five did not file returns of income. Amongst the independent members, 79.3% (23 out of 29 parliamentarians) did not file returns of income. This included 16 MNAs out of 17 and seven senators out of 12.

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