ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) soothed the frayed tempers of members of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by giving the MPs a clean chit, saying that all the parliamentarians were paying taxes.
The clarification was made at a PAC meeting held with its Chairman Syed Khursheed Shah in the chair wherein FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa showed up to clarify the FBR position on the ‘leaking’ of tax details of the parliamentarians.
While clarifying reports pertaining to discrepancies in tax details of parliamentarians, the FBR chairman declared that the board did not put up tax details of parliamentarians as it was a secret.
He claimed that in the run up to the elections, the ECP, through a letter, sought to upload tax details of parliamentarians online “but we refused,” adding that tax details of any individual could not be made public as per the law. Tariq Bajwa maintained that the ECP put these details on its website without caring for making difference between the total income and taxable income which needed to be understood.
The FBR chairman pointed out the parliamentarians paid agriculture tax to the provinces and whose income was generated from business paid taxes in a different way, adding that income tax from the salaries of parliamentarians was deducted at source.
On the occasion, PML-N MNA Sheikh Roheel Asghar asked the FBR chairman if the income coming through foreign remittances was taxable to which he replied in negative, saying the source of income was not taxable. The irate MNA regretted that through the ‘leakage’ of secret documents an impression was created that the politicians did not pay taxes. To which the FBR chairman replied a clarification was ready to further clarify the matter. Sh Roheel Asghar came down hard on TV ‘experts’ saying that every one becomes experts on TV screens after reading one or two books. “Everyone trying to pose himself as Auditor General of Pakistan,” he lamented.
MNA Mian Abdul Manan also took part in the debate and said that the parliamentarians, who ran business, possessed NTNs and paid due taxes.
After the FBR clarification, PAC Chairman Syed Khursheed Shah settled the issue. Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood and Dr Azra Fazal Pucheho also attended the PAC meeting.