Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his opponent Imran Khan’s tax contributions extremely declined in tax fiscal year 2015 accompanied by steady increase in overall income tax payments by parliamentarians in contrary.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday unveiled the parliamentarians’ tax directory that national lawmakers, including members of the federal cabinet, paid Rs310.8 million in taxes during tax year 2015 – up by Rs72 million or 30%.
Imran Khan paid 64 % less tax this year while Nawaz tax payment reduced to 16%
Prime Minister, Nawaz paid Rs2.2 million in taxes, down by 15.45% over the previous year. The PTI chairman, on the other hand, paid only Rs76, 244 in income tax, which was 64% less than the previous year – he had paid Rs218, 237 in tax year 2014.
The naming and shaming strategy of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) appears to be having an effect on at least parliamentarians.
In 2013, when FBR published the first tax directory, parliamentarians had paid only Rs127 million in taxes. This amount increased by about two and half times within three years.
Senator Taj Mohammad Afridi paid the highest tax of Rs41.7 million, while PTI’s Jahangir Tareen paid Rs37.6 million in taxes.
However, four federal ministers and one minister of state did not file their income tax returns for tax year 2015.
FBR did not take any action against them, underpinning views that the machinery was not effectively working. Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir, Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Syed Sadaruddin Shah Rashidi, Ports and Shipping Minister Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Mohammad Yousaf and Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali did not file their returns.
Cabinet ministers paid 20% more compared to last year with their total contribution standing at Rs16.8 million.
The parliamentarians’ tax directory has yet again reinforced the view that Pakistani lawmakers are contributing very little to the national exchequer.
Overall, out of a total 1,169 members of the Senate, the National Assembly and the four provincial assemblies, as many as 120 legislators did not file their tax returns, said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while speaking at the launching ceremony of the directory.
In tax year 2014, about 401 national lawmakers had filed the income tax returns – a figure that has now further slipped to only 386 due to weakening writ of the federal government.
Dar said that the Senate chairman and NA and provincial assembly speakers have been informed about those parliamentarians who have not filed income tax returns.
Under the law, filing the income tax return is binding on every citizen who earns more than Rs400,000 per annum and non-filer parliamentarians may face serious consequence, provided FBR plays its due role.
The tax contribution of 83 senators of Rs173.6 million was more than the Rs122 million paid by 96 senators in the previous year. The 303 NA members paid Rs137.2 million during tax year 2015 as against Rs116.6 million in the previous year. On average each senator paid Rs2.1 million in taxes compared to an average of Rs452,805 contributed to the exchequer by each MNA.
In total, 1.074 million people filed income tax returns in tax year 2015, said Dar, which showed the Nawaz administration’s failure to meet its own goal of broadening the tax base.
Several parliamentarians and cabinet ministers saw a dramatic increase in the amount of taxes they paid, which either reflects an abnormally large increase in their incomes, or an increasing willingness to pay the taxes they owe on income levels that have not changed much over the course of the last year.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif paid Rs7.6 million in income tax compared to Rs5.2 million last year – an increase of 36%. Finance Minister Dar paid Rs3.9 million in income tax, compared to Rs2.3 million in the previous year – an increase of 69.5%.
Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Aitzaz Ahsan paid Rs24.93 million – almost 100% more than the previous year. NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq paid Rs1.4 million tax in 2015 as against only Rs327,895 in the previous year. Leader of Opposition in NA Khursheed Shah paid just Rs100,054 in income tax, compared to the Rs62,214 that he paid last year.
Among the chief ministers, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah paid Rs661,661 in income tax. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak paid Rs766, 480 against Rs660,619 he paid last year. His counterpart from Balochistan, Sanaullah Zehri paid Rs1.28 million.
Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid paid mere Rs3, 611 in income tax compared to Rs313,681 last year. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar paid Rs847, 662 as against Rs641,228 last year.