Pakistan vows to net 700,000 tax evaders

December 14th, 2011 - 12:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Dec 14 (IANS) Pakistan will focus on 700,000 tax evaders who possess properties and frequently travel abroad but pay no tax, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said.

“We will go after these 700,000 evaders and collect taxes from them as the country cannot progress without tax collection,” Hafeez Shaikh said at a conference here.

Shaikh said the government had initiated reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and these were also producing results in the form of higher tax collections.

He said due to prudent economic reforms of the government specially in the FBR, Rs.640 billion have been realised during five months of the current financial year which is 28 percent higher than that of last fiscal year, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

He added that the FBR paid refunds of Rs.27 billion to the taxpayers in 2010 while in 2011 Rs.52 billion had been refunded to them.

The minister urged the affluent to come forward and play their vital role by paying due taxes and participate in the nation building process.

He said the government has initiated an economic stabilisation programme and the economy was once again put on the path to recovery.

He said due to devastating floods of last year and high international oil prices, Pakistan’s economy suffered heavily.

The floods cost $10 billion to the national economy and also 2 percent of the GDP.

Shaikh said that Pakistan has performed well on the external front as its exports reached $25 billion and overseas Pakistanis expressed sent $1 billion per month.

He added that Pakistan foreign exchange reserves have reached $18 billion.

The minister said that inflation has been brought down from 25 percent in 2008 to 12 percent during the current financial year.

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