ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar vehemently dispelled the impression that the parliamentarians did not pay taxes, saying that Federal Board of Revenue had been directed to ensure issuance of National Tax Numbers (NTNs) to parliamentarians by January 31.
Speaking in Senate, Ishaq Dar declared income tax was regularly being deducted from the salaries of all parliamentarians be that members of Senate, National Assembly or the Provincial Assemblies.
The minister pointed that the last date for filing tax returns for the lawmakers was December 16, 2013 and now after issuance of NTN numbers, tax details of all MPs would be made public by February 15, 2014. He stressed that the FBR had already briefed to the PAC on the issue and to remove misperception the FBR had also set up desks in parliament to facilitate MPs, adding that despite this step some 12 percent members of the parliament could not get NTNs.
The minister also informed the House that in the first phase, tax details of parliamentarians would be made public and in the next, details of all taxpayers would be published within two months. On the occasion, Leader of Opposition in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan thanked the minister and said the step taken by Dar was commendable.
Meanwhile, the Federal Minister for Finance stressed the need for solution to 15-year-old trade disputes with Russia, hoping that removal of the impasse will boost trade relations between the two countries.
He was chairing a meeting of the committee set up by the Prime Minister to resolve the long standing trade issues between Russia.
On the occasion, Senator Ishaq Dar asserted that resolution of prolong issues would create a conducive environment for both the countries to go forward to strengthen bilateral relations. Such uncalled-for barriers on mutual trade have held bilateral trade relations between the two countries hostage for the past one and half decade, he added.
The minister reiterated that end to the 15-year-old financial disputes between Pakistan and Russia would disseminate a positive signal to Russian investors to bring their capital to Pakistan.
To expedite the process for solution to the disputes, the Finance Minister also formed a sub-committee under the chairmanship of the Commerce Secretary.