Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a televised address on Monday morning, called on citizens to declare their assets by June 30.
“I am appealing to all of you to take part in the Asset Declaration Scheme that we have brought. If we don’t pay taxes, we will not be able to raise our country up,” PM Imran Khan said.
This announcement comes ahead of the federal budget for fiscal year 2019-20. It is scheduled to be announced tomorrow.
The PM added that we will need to change ourselves if we want to become a great country.
The premier said that people have until June 30 to declare their benami assets. Moreover, people need to declare benami bank accounts and money that has been kept abroad.
“After June 30, you will not get this opportunity,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Threatening Tone or A Calculated Bluff?
“Remember our government today has that information which no government before had.”
He added that they had made agreements and were receiving information from abroad about properties and bank accounts of Pakistanis.
“Our agencies have information about who has benami accounts and benami properties,” the premier said. He added: “This was never available to us before therefore take advantage of this scheme. Give Pakistan the benefit. Fix your children’s future. Give the chance that we get this country to stand on its own two feet and take people out of poverty.”
“Take full advantage of this scheme,” he said.
By that logic, the Prime Minister’s claim of acquiring information which was never available to previous governments essentially exonerates all previous governments.
As per common understanding, certain central banks, where most of the money of Pakistanis is kept, have refused to provide the PTI government with the details of the account holders.
The question which arises here is how the government is then claiming to have the data which it most certainly doesn’t have?
The easiest thing to do is to go house to house like in the case of census. In that way, accurate information can be gathered as most housing societies already have detailed information of all property owners.
Second Appeal by Imran Khan
This is the second time that the premier has appealed to the people to declare their benami assets and bank accounts under the government’s Assets Declaration Scheme by June 30.
In May, the PTI government had announced its first tax amnesty scheme — Asset Declaration Scheme. It was for whitening of undisclosed expenditures, sales and assets, including foreign assets, at nominal tax rates.
The scheme came into effect through a presidential ordinance, which will offer a period of 45 days to people for declaration of their undeclared assets, expenditures, and sales along with payment of taxes until June 30 this year.
When the government claims to have all the data, then why is it not taking a firm action as soon as possible? Why does it keep on offering a grace period and appealing to the culprits instead?
The government plans to present an austerity-oriented budget tomorrow. It will provide a ‘slight’ relief to middle and low grade government employees. It will include military personnel, with no increase in the salaries of army officials of higher ranks.
All in all, indecisive and confused rhetoric of the PTI government is sending shockwaves around the country. The US Dollar has gained against Pakistani Rupee in interbank market by Rs. 2.15.