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July 4, 2019

Rs65b collected through amnesty scheme

Top Story

July 4, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The tax amnesty scheme has fetched more than Rs65 billion so far through total declarations of over 140,000 properties till expiry of deadline of Asset Declaration Scheme 2019.

However, Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi earlier said that that total 121,000 declarations were submitted while over 25,000 were pending into the system out of which the total paid up tax amount crossed Rs60 billion mark.

On other hand, the FBR’s tax collection for the previous fiscal year 2018-19 failed to cross to the figure of 2017-18 when the Board had collected Rs3,842 billion. In the fiscal year 2018-19, the FBR collection stood at Rs3,832 billion. It indicates that the FBR achieved negative growth in fiscal 2018-19 compared to the corresponding period of last financial year 2017-18.

When The News asked for his comments after receiving complaints about choking of FBR portal for availing amnesty scheme on last day, the FBR chairman said that they were appealing to people from couple of weeks to avail the scheme but it had become people’s habit that everyone tried to do the assigned task when deadline approached. He said that the response of amnesty was much better than his expectations. He said that this scheme was largely availed by those who were not into the tax system. He said that he was encouraged with the response of this amnesty scheme because it was second amnesty scheme in short span of one year.

Another tax official told this scribe that the tax amnesty scheme achieved broad based results as it helped to bring non- filers into tax system. He said that the deposits into banking sector had gone up substantially as the figures from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) would demonstrate that the deposit amount phenomenally gone up. When contacted, SBP officials said that there was not much increase in foreign currency amount but they would have to get information from relevant department that how much deposits were increased during the period of this amnesty scheme. Medium and small size businessmen availed this latest amnesty scheme, they said.

One top official said that ministers wanted to announce results of the amnesty and he requested them not to quote him.

The FBR this time did not receive more declarations fromabroad because the last scheme had attracted whitening of over Rs1 trillion through foreign amnesty scheme. The last scheme had also been availed by Benami holders as the FBR had explained on the occasion of last scheme that Benami assets/income could also be regularised.

The last amnesty scheme introduced during the PML-N regime had got Rs124.8 billion in taxes for whitening of Rs2.5 trillion black assets and income in 2018. Out of total Rs124.8 billion, the FBR had collected Rs90 billion in June 2018 while the remaining amount of about Rs35 billion was collected in July 2018.

The government had received total 82,889 declarations in last tax amnesty scheme for whitening of Rs2,500 billion out of which foreign assets having worth of Rs1040 billion and domestic assets of Rs1,460 billion were made part of the formal economy of the country. Out of total 82889 declarations, the FBR received 5,929 foreign and 76,960 domestic declarations. The last amnesty scheme had fetched $436 million foreign currency.

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