Islamabad, April 22, 2019 (PPI-OT): Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that government was working on introducing a new amnesty scheme to broaden the tax base and bring undeclared assets into the formal economy. However, he urged that government should take all major trade bodies and business associations fully on board by engaging them in consultation before formal launch of amnesty scheme to ensure that it yielded maximum benefits to the economy.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that since 1958 to 2018, successive governments in Pakistan introduced many amnesty schemes that could not generate significant amount of tax revenue for the country. The main reason of their failure was that thorough consultations with stakeholders were not held. He said that amnesty scheme launched in 1958 recovered Rs.1.12 billion from undeclared assets followed by Rs.920 million in 1968, Rs.1.5 billion in 1976, Rs.10 billion in 2000, Rs.3.16 billion in 2008 and around Rs.120 billion in 2018. However, he said that amnesty scheme launched by Indonesia in 2016 had brought around 745,000 persons into the tax net and recovered over $330 billion from undeclared assets.
ICCI President said that government has not yet finalized and approved the amnesty scheme and there were reports that the scheme would be valid only up to 30th June 2019, which was a very short period for its success. He stressed that government should give at least 6 to 9 months for amnesty scheme so that maximum people could take benefit from it. He said Indonesia had given 9 months for its amnesty scheme due to which it was very successful and urged that Pakistan should follow the Indonesian model.
Rafat Farid Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President ICCI said that sufficient period should be given for amnesty scheme to maximize its benefits for the economy as short period of 2-3 months would not help in achieving its desired objectives.
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