There has been an upheaval as the shocking truth of Pakistan’s parliamentary tax payers statistics has come to light. The Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) released the 2018 tax directory on Friday. The results have now become an evident symbol of the financial corruption that sits at the heart of this country.
Law maker’s tax contribution
The stunning discovery being the fact that the former prime minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was the highest taxpayer for the year 2018 as per the report, having paid Rs 241.3 million.
Current prime minister Imran khan’s tax payments increased from Rs 178,686 to Rs 282,449. Ex-president of PML-N Asif Ali Zardari paid 2.8 million rupees while the current president of the opposition party, Shehbaz Sharif paid nearly 9 million rupees. Bilawal-Bhutto Zardari also paid Rs 294,117 in taxes.
Between the four provincial leaders, the highest contribution was by Balochistan’s Jam Kamal at 4.8 million rupees. Followed by Sindh’s Murad Ali Shah at 1 million rupees and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mahmood Khan who paid Rs 235,982.
Top 5 parliamentarian taxpayers for 2018
Other than Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who paid the highest taxes for the year 2018, PTI MNA Najeeb Haroon was the runner up with Rs140 million. The third member of this list was Law Minister Farogh Nasim having paid Rs35 million followed closely by Rs29.2 million and Rs28.2 million by Senator Talha Mehmood and Taj Afridi, respectively.
These five parliamentarians contributed to paying Rs474 million which is more than half of what the rest of the parliament paid out of the total Rs800 million in taxes for the year 2018.
Lowest Taxpayers of 2018
The shocking fact which came to light with this report was that many paid a very low amount of taxes in contrast to their lavishing lifestyles. This is a clear depiction of the crisis this country is facing from those who excuse themselves out of paying taxes and the lack of transparency in the system which allows them to exhibit this behaviour.
Zulfiqar Bachani paid Rs388, followed by Taimur Saleem khan at Rs341, Tahir Sadiq with Rs214, Kanwal Shauzab at Rs165 and Ghazanfar Ali Khan with the lowest amount at Rs109.
Parliamentarians who failed to pay any taxes
There were also those who did not pay any amount of taxes at all. 45 of the members among them were reported to not have updated or submitted their tax returns for the year 2018 at all. As of yet, the FBR has issued no statement regarding this fact which weakens their authority to deal with such individuals.
Among such members, most of the notable parliamentarians who did not pay taxes for the year 2018 were the Minister of water resources Faisal Vawda and Minister of Climate Change Zartaj Gul. Sardar Usman Buzdar, Zartaj Gul, Faisal Vawda, Faisal Javed and Fayaz-ul-Hasan Chohan.
Financial advisor Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh’s comment on the situation
We wish to make the FBR’s tax system transparentDr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh
Realizing the existing flaw within the system which has allowed evasion of taxes, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh proposed new methods through which it would be ensured that the maximum number of people pay their taxes so that the country as a whole can flourish.