Every Pakistani except public office holders can avail amnesty scheme by June 30

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that tax amnesty scheme will help encourage people to disclose their hidden assets legally by June 30, 2019.
He was addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday afternoon. Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi, revenue minister Hammad Azhar and adviser on information Ferdous Ashiq Awan were also present on this occasion.
Hafeez Sheikh said every Pakistani is eligible to become part of the scheme, but public office holders will not be able to benefit from it.
Under the scheme, if a person brings his undeclared wealth to Pakistan from abroad, he will have to pay four percent fee on that amount. If he decides to put this money abroad, the penalty imposed will be six percent.
He said effort has been made to implement the scheme seamlessly and it has been kept realistic.
Replying to a question, he said 216 billion rupees will be earmarked in next budget to subsidize the consumers using electricity upto 300 units a month. He said the budget of BISP will be increased to 180 billion rupees to help poor segments of society.
The adviser said those who are criticizing the decision of going to IMF have themselves gone to the fund in past. He said in order to improve the performance of FBR, several crucial decisions are being made with new FBR chairman and renewed resolve of the government.
“We have tried to make this scheme very easy to understand and implement,” the adviser said. “The basic purpose of the scheme is not to generate revenue but to document the economy and to bring dead assets into the economy and make them functional.”
The philosophy behind the plan is not to “intimidate” people but to encourage businessmen to participate in the legal economy, the adviser said.
Under the scheme, the finance adviser revealed, assets within the country and abroad can be whitened after paying a certain amount. For the whitening of properties, the value will be considered 1.5 times more than the FBR-assigned value.
A rate of 4pc will be charged for whitened money and the cash will have to be brought into Pakistan to be kept in banks. For people wanting to keep their money abroad, a rate of 6pc will be charged.
Responding to a question, Dr Shaikh said the IMF programme entered into by Pakistan is in favour of the country. “Those who are opposing the IMF programme are the ones who had already done the same,” he added.
He said actions such as reducing the gap between imports and exports, reducing losses of state-owned entities and curtailing expenditure are in favour of the country

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