ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar declared the Tax Directory will be published in next two and a half months. He promised that if the FBR succeeded in achieving 20 percent growth in revenue collection, the government will be in a position to transfer Rs219 billion additional revenue to provinces.
While speaking on floor of the National Assembly, Dar said the growth in revenue collection in January 2014 stood at 26 percent. If the FBR succeeded in achieving 20 percent growth in revenue collection the federal government will transfer Rs219 billion additional revenue to provinces. He said the publication of Parliamentarians Tax Directory is a great achievement as Pakistan was the fourth country in the world, which has published such a directory.
The minister said the government has also decided to publish the directory of up to 900,000 taxpayers. He said that some parliamentarians, who had shared income as members of Associations of Persons they pay tax as a separate entity. Hence, tax paid on such share is not reflected in their personal returns, he added.
He said National Tax Numbers (NTNs) had so far been issued to 99 percent parliamentarians. He said the NTNs had been issued to as many as 1,120 parliamentarians. He said he had promised to publish the directory of 1,172 parliamentarians by January 31, 2014 which was fulfilled. He said only eight members of the National Assembly and 40 members of the provincial assemblies failed to file tax returns so far. He said the remaining members’ names would be issued soon. He said the directory contained three details, including the name of taxpayer, NTN number and tax paid, adding that there is no need to give other details as per prevalent law.
To a point of order raised by MQM’s Abdul Rashid Godial, the minister said that provinces must try to ensure receipt of agriculture tax as enshrined in the Constitution, adding that agriculture tax, which was already under the domain of provinces had not been transferred to province under 18th Amendment so far. He said this year Punjab had collected Rs700 million and Sindh Rs300 million from agriculture sector.
While responding to the matter of Income Support Levy (ISL) raised by the PPP members, he said it was sub judice and an optional tax and not mandatory. He said, “I myself have paid Rs2.7 million ISL.” The government, he said has devised a strategy to enhance tax net for revenue and explore natural resources for poverty alleviation.