Over 160 Pakistani Lawmakers Including Federal Ministers Evading Taxes, Reveals Report
© AP Photo / B.K. BangashA Pakistani money changer counts US dollar bills in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.
© AP Photo / B.K. Bangash
According to Pakistan’s Parliamentary Tax Directory for the year 2018, only 847 parliamentarians out of 1,170 paid taxes of around 1.6Bln rupees ($9Mln). The directory has the tax returns of 1,008 lawmakers but the returns for 161 were left blank and some names were missing altogether. Directories for 2019-20 and 2020-2021 have yet to be released.
More than 160 lawmakers in Pakistan are evading taxes either because they are not paying income tax or have not registered themselves with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the Pakistani media has revealed.
A report on the website of TV channel Geo News claimed that out of 1,170 legislative members, 161 are violating tax laws. The report also revealed that some of these are members of the National Assembly and the provincial government.
Of these, 103 MPs have not paid the taxes they were meant to have paid and the remaining MPs have not yet registered with the FBR.
The report also said that these lawmakers hold assets worth more than 35Bln rupees ($200Mln).
Although the names of the lawmakers have not been disclosed, the report said that at least 76 of them are associated with major political parties and two are ministers in the federal government.
The report further added that four of these lawmakers have collectively bought property worth millions of dollars in the UK, the UAE, and Norway in the past decade.