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Umar Cheema, Ahmad Noorani, Usman Manzoor, Waseem Abbasi & Fakhar Durrani

Monday, December 23, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Out of 1,070 lawmakers voted to the national and provincial assemblies
in the 2013 elections, 47 percent did not pay income tax and 12 percent of these
members do not have a National Tax Number (NTN), says a study.

Non-taxpaying MNAs are in all the major parties. The PML-N has the lion’s share
with 54 such MNAs. PTI follows with 19 non-taxpaying MNAs. The PPPP has 13, JUI-F
seven and MQM five. The PkMAP and JI have three each. The AAPML, PML, ANP and NP
have one each MNA in this category. As many as 15 non-taxpayer MNAs won as independent
candidates.

MNAs whose tax declarations were contradicted by the FBR in their nomination
papers include big names like Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, PTI Chairman Imran Khan,
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq,
JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, MQM Parliamentary Leader Dr Farooq Sattar, State
Minister for Information & Technology Anusha Rehman, Shafqat Mehmood, Asim Nazir,
Nabeel Gabol, Sh. Rohail Asghar, Shazia Marri and Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar.

Capt (retd) Safdar, the PM’s son-in-law, is among the non-NTN holders. Mahmood
Khan Achakzai, Zafrullah Khan Jamali, Amir Haider Hoti, Abid Sher Ali and Sardar
Yousaf are among the noted non-taxpayers besides 120 other MNAs who failed a test
vital for raising revenues for the country.

Of the remaining 550 members who declared tax payments in their nomination papers,
31 percent include top guns whose FBR record showed that they had either exaggerated
the tax amount or paid zero tax. The record of 54 MPs was just not available to
be checked.

This discrepancy has also been noted in their income declarations. Out of 680
members who declared their incomes in their nomination papers, 25 percent have been
identified as showing lower earnings to the FBR for tax deduction.

Imran Khan has again figured in this list together with Interior Minister Ch
Nisar, PML leader Ch Pervez Elahi and other noted figures.

Any mis-declaration can lead to a member’s disqualification. A contesting candidate
signs the following undertaking in the nomination papers: “I…..s/o.….state that
failure to give detail regarding any item of this form shall render my nomination
to contest election invalid or if any information given herein above are found incorrect
at any time, my election shall stand void ab initio.”

An FBR representative, however, said on the condition of not being named, that
they have not yet seen the discrepancies in tax information of MPs. It isyet to
be checked to know the real situation and see what law will be applied. About the
cases of non-taxpayers, the FBR representative said it happens that people are getting
money from their parents or brothers. In such cases, he said, no income tax is submitted.

A politician said that tax information in nomination papers was given in a hurry
by candidates and they mentioned whatever figures were available at the time. He
said these practices have started now and it goes to the credit of the politicians
that they are implementing them. About the case of non-taxpayers, he said as the
declaration mentions disqualification for any wrong information, so it is out of
the question that someone is so foolish an to give the wrong information and get
disqualified. He said the politicians must be trusted as they are taxpayers, law
abiding and honest people. How can they commit such wrong knowingly?

The report, however, said scores of top guns in the national and provincial assemblies
have been found falling in the category of non-taxpayers, non-NTN holders, or who
filed false declarations of incomes and taxes.

Out of 1,070 members of all the assemblies, 342 belong to the National Assembly,
the only authorised institution to impose federal taxes. The present assembly has
30 MNAs who are still not registered for NTNs but they exercise their voting right
for imposing taxes, mostly indirectly constituting 78 percent of the taxes, a vehicle
for shifting the burden on the poor.

A majority of NTN-less MNAs belong to the PML-N, the majority party with nine
lawmakers falling in this category. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law Capt
(retd) Muhammad Safdar is also included among them. The PPPP has four MNAs without
NTNs; the PTI, JUI-F and JI have two MNAs each in this category whereas the BNP,
PkMAP and NPP have one each. Seven such MNAs contested the elections as independent
candidates.

The FBR had sent a handout to District Returning Officers (DRO) guiding them
on how to scrutinise candidates on the issue of taxes. It reads: “Filing of income
tax return is obligatory if the candidate: 1) Enjoys taxable income of Rs 350,000
or above……”

However, no nomination papers were declared invalid because of the tax issue
resulting in the election of 125 candidates for the National Assembly.

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad
Yousaf, State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali, and State Minister for
Railways Abdul Hakeem Baloch are prominent among the non-taxpayer MNAs. Other noted
figures in this category are: Zafrullah Khan Jamali, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Amir
Haider Hoti, Raza Hayat Hiraj, Murad Saeed, Sheheryar Afridi and Imran Khattak.

The National Assembly has 201 lawmakers who said they had made tax payments.
Upon analysis of the information given in the nomination papers and FBR data, the
study found that declarations of 53 MNAs were contradicted by FBR data. They form
26 percent of the MNAs who otherwise claimed to have paid income tax.

Two types of discrepancies were noted: (1) The tax payment claimed by a winning
candidate was denied by the FBR, and (2) FBR data showed that the amount of tax
paid was actually less than what was stated in the nomination papers.

For instance, if a candidate claimed to have paid Rs1,000 income tax, and FBR
record shows he had actually paid Rs500, it points out that he was less than honest
while declaring his tax details in the nomination papers.

There are 240 MNAs who declared their income. A comparison of information in
nomination papers of 240 MNAs with FBR data found 90 cases with inconsistencies.

Many prominent politicians submitted conflicting income statements to the ECP
and FBR. They include: Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Interior Minister Chaudhry
Nisar Ahmed, State Minister for Housing & Works Barrister Usman Ibrahim, PTI Chairman
Imran Khan, PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, PML President Ch. Pervez Elahi,
PPP leaders Makhdoom Amin Faheem, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho and Nafisa Shah, MQM’s Parliamentary
Leader Dr Farooq Sattar, Sohail Mansoor Kh and Sh Rohail Asghar.

The last two lawmakers named deserve special mention: Sohail was awarded the
Sitara-e-Imtiaz by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. The reason for the recognition
cited was that he was the highest taxpayer. The government had accepted his tax
credentials without consulting the FBR. Sohail’s income and tax have registered
a decline since he received the award.As far as Rohail Asghar is concerned, he was
the lowest taxpayer in 2011 among those 90 MNAs who had filed tax returns.

43 percent Punjab MPs pay zero tax

As many as 169 MPAs of the Punjab Assembly, or 43 percent, pay zero tax; there
is no tax record of another 23 MPs while claims of 53 MPAs that they pay tax has
been denied by the FBR and 43 MPs do not even have an NTN.

This is the grim picture of how the present elected rulers have done to pay their
share in the national exchequer.

The declared income of 51 MPAs is also different from the FBR record and an overwhelming
majority of all categories of defaulters belongs to the ruling PML-N, reveals the
latest study. Out of a total of 372 MPAs in the Punjab Assembly, 169 are non-taxpaying
but the number might be higher than this as the record of only 351 lawmakers could
be accessed.

Minister for Environment Protection Col (retd) Shuja Khanzada, and Minister for
Human Rights and Minority Affairs Khalil Tahir Sindhu are among them in addition
to other prominent figures like Afzal Sahi and Asif Nakai.

Most of the non-taxpaying MPAs (125; 74%) belong to the PML-N, followed by 15
MPAs of the PTI, two each of the PPPP and PML and one each of the JIP and JUI-F.
Another 25 non-taxpaying MPAs contested as independent candidates.

Punjab Assembly has 43 MPAs without NTNs. Thirty four of them (79%) belong to
the PML-N; four were elected independently; three contested on PTI tickets and one
from the PPPP platform. Punjab Assembly lawmakers who remained unable to even get
an NTN throughout their life include: Ijaz Khan, Zafar Iqbal Khan, Manazir Hussain
Ranjha, Muhammad Waris, Abdul Wahab Khan, Iffat Maraj Awan, Rana Shoaib Idrees Khan,
Faqeer Hussain, Riaz Bibi, Syed Shoaib Shah Nawaz, Sayed Muhammad Mahfooz, Liaquat
Ali, Malik Ahmad Saeed Khan, Sameena Noor, Zaheer-ud-Din Khan Alizai, Zeeshan Gurmani,
Mian Almdar Abbas Quershi, Muhammad Sibtain Raza, Shahab-ud-Din Khan, Malik khalid
Babar, Parveen Akhtar, Shahjahan Qaiser, Rukhsana Kokab, Sumaira, Sultana Shaheen,
Saadia Nadeem Malik, Dr. Najma Afzal Khan, Surriya Naseem, Najma Begum, Sobia Anwar,
Shabeena Zakria Butt, Haseena Begum, Farah Manzoor, Mary GiLL, Tehseen Fawad, Lubna
Rehan, Salma Shaheen Butt, Shamim Akhtar alias Shahzadi Kabir, Iram Hassan Bajwa,
Zeb-un-Nisa, Shazia Anjum, Tariq Masih Gill and Zulfiqar Ghauri.

The Punjab Assembly has 182 lawmakers who claimed to have paid their income tax
liabilities. However, the FBR record did not support the claims of 53 MPAs.

Included among those whose declarations do not match are: Speaker Rana Muhammad
Iqbal; Deputy Speaker Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani; Minister for Mines and Minerals
Sher Ali Khan; Minister for Population Welfare Zakia Shah Nawaz Khan; Minister for
Industries, Commerce and Investment Ch. Muhammad Shafique.

Other prominent figures in the list are: Tahir Ahmed Sindhu, Munazir Hussain
Ranjha, Shaukat Manzoor Cheema, Arshad Lodhi and Samina Khawar Hayat.

The Punjab Assembly has 235 MPAs who declared their income. A comparison of the
nomination papers with FBR data noted similarity in 184 cases and discrepancy in
51 cases. Discrepancies in income declarations has been noted in the record of several
prominent figures like Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal, Minister for Special Education
Asif Saeed Manais, Khawaja Salman Rafique, Moonis Elahi and Amir Sultan Cheema.

Following is complete party-wise list of 169 MPA who according to recorded submitted
by themselves pay zero tax: (PML-N) Raja Muhammad Ali, Col. (retd)Shuja Khanzada,
Muhammad Shawaiz Khan, Zafar Iqbal Khan, Nazar Hussain, Mian Manazir Hussain Ranjha,
Muhammad Waris, Muhammad Afzal Sahi, Iffat Maraj Awan, Rana Shoaib Adrees Khan,
Jaffar Ali, Arif Mahmood Gill, Haji Khalid Saeed, Faqeer Hussain, Sh. Ijaz Ahmed,
Mian Tahir, Muhammad Rehmatullah, Imtiaz Ahmad Lali, Lt. Col (R) Sardar Ayub Khan,
Muhammad Nawaz Chohan, Ch Ashraf Ali, Sahabzada Ghulam Fareed, Ch. Muhammad Ashraf
Warraich, Qaisar Iqbal, Ch. Shamshad Ahmad Khan, Riaz Bibi, Ch. Rafaqat Hussain,
Akmal Saif Chatha, Malik Fiaz Ahmad, Nawabzada Haider Mehdi, Moeen Nawaz Warriach,
Ch. Muhammad Ashraf, Muhammad Hanif Malik, Ch. Shabeer Ahmad, Syed Tariq Yaqoob,
Shafqat Mahmood, Syed Muhammad Mahfooz, Tariq Subhani, Liaqat Ali, Munawar Ahmad
Gill, Rana Muhammad Afzal, Ch. Mohsin Ashraf, Muhammad Asif Bajwa, Muhammad Ghiays-ud-Din,
Manan Khan, Kh. Muhammad Waseem, Majid Zahoor, Ch. Akhtar Ali, Muhammad Waheed Gul,
Khurram Ijaz, Faizan Khalid Virk, Arif Khan Sindhila, Sajjad Haider Nadeem, Liaquat
Ali, Naeem Safdar Ansari, Malik Ahmad Saeed Khan, Ch. Iftikhar Hussain Chachar,
Mian Muhammad Munir, Ehsan-ud-Din Qureshi, Malik Muhammad Ali Khokhar, Mazhar Abbas
Raan, Rai Mansab Ali Khan, Rana Tahir Shabbir, Naghma Mushtaq Lang, Muhammad Zubair
Khan, Bilal Akbar Bhatti, Muhammad Saqib Khurshid, Khan Muhammad, Qazi Adnan Fareed,
Malik Khalid Mahmood Babar, Mian Shoaib Awaisi, Khalid Mehmood Jajja, Shoukat Ali
Laika, Zahid Akram, Mian Muhammad Islam, Muhammad Umar Jaffar, Mehmood-ul-Hassan,
Dr. Asma Mamdot, Nasreen Jawaid Alias Nasreen Nawaz, Syeda Uzma Qadri, Shaheen Shafiq,
Parveen Akhtar, Shahjahan Qaiser, Ruksana Kokab, Farzana Butt, Sumaira, Sultana
Shaheen, Naseem Lodhi, Joyce Rufin Julius, Sadia Nadeem Malik, Kanwal Naseem, Surriya
Naseem, Najma Begum, Shabeena Zakria Butt, Haseena Begum, Farah Manzoor, Gulnaz
Shahzadi, Azhra SAbir Khan, Lubna Faisal, Tamkeen Akhtar Naizi, Mary Gill, Kaneez
Akhtar, Tahia Noon, Begum Khaula Amjad, Lubna Rehan, Salma Shaheen Butt, Shamim
Akhtar alias Shahzadi Kabir, Fozia Ayub Qureshi, Iram Hassan Bajwa, Madiha Khan,
Zeb-un-Nisa, Shazia Anjum, Khalil Tahir Sindhu, Tariq Masih Gill, Shakeel Ivan and
Zulfiqar Ghauri; (Independents – mostly joined PML-N after elections) Sardar Bahadar
Khan Maikan, Ameer Muhammad Khan, Ghazanfar Abbas, Amir Inayat Khan Shah, Ehsan
Riaz, Naeemullah Gill, Khurram Abbas Sial, Muhammad Aaun Abbas, Syed Shoaib Shah
Nawaz, Muhammad Aamir Iqbal Shah, Peerzada Jahangir Sultan Bhutta, Malik Sajjad
Hussain Joiya, Ahmad Khan Alias Ahmad Bux, Hussain Jahania Gardezi, Abdul Razaq
Khan, Sardar Muhammad Nawaz, Mehmood Qadir Khan, Muhammad Zishan Gurmani, Ghulam
Murtaza Raheem, Mehr Abdul Hussain Taragar, Mian Almdar Abbas Quershi, Muhammad
Sibtain Raza, Ishfaq Ahmad; (PTI) Asif Mehmood, Ijaz Khan, Abdul Wahab Khan, Muhammad
Sibtain Khan, Muhammad Zaheer-ud-Din Khan Alizai, Masood Shafqat, Muhammad Jahanzaib
Khichi, Javeed Akhtar, Sardar Ahmed Ali Khan Dreshak, Abdul Majeed Khan, Mian Mumtaz
Ahmed, Nausheen Hamid, Raheela Anwar, Nabeela Hakim Ali Khan, Naheed Naeem;

(PML-Q) Waqas Hasan Mokal, Sardar Asif Nakai, Sameena Noor; (PPP) Makhdoon Syed
Murtaza Mehmood, Shahab-ud-Din Khan; (JUI-F) Sardar Meer Badshah Qaisrani; (JIP)
Syed Waseem Akhtar.

59 Sindh MPs paid no tax

At least 59 members of the Sindh Assembly have not paid any tax in 2012 while
15 do not even have National Tax Number, reveals the study.

The report titled “Taxation by Misrepresentation: A Comparative Study of Public
Representatives’ Income and Tax Declarations for 2012” has been authored by award
winning journalist Umar Cheema, special correspondent with ‘The News’.

The report has been compiled from the data provided by the law makers to the
Election Commission of Pakistan through their nomination papers and from the data
provided by the Federal Bureau of Revenue to the ECP.

The report reveals that out of the 168 members of the Sindh Assembly, 59 MPAs
did not pay income tax; 104 claimed they did and the record of five MPAs could not
be examined. Minister for Wildlife and Minority Affairs Giyanoo Mal, is among non-taxpayers.

Most non-taxpayers (28) belong to the PPPP, followed by MQM (22), PML-F (4) and
PML-N (1). Three non-taxpayers are independent MPAs.

The study shows that out of the 168 MPAs, 15 are without NTNs, nine of whom belong
to PPPP. Minister for Katchi Abadi and Special Development Muhammad Jawaid is included
among them.

Former minister for excise and taxation, Abdul Rauf Siddiqui, an MQM MPA, does
not have an NTN either.

PML-F has two such MPAs. The MPAs who have no NTN include: Muhammad Rashid Shah
and Wariyam Faqeer of PML-F; Fateh Muhammad, Abdul Kareem, Muhammad Jawaid, Saniya,
Shahnaz Begum, Rehana Leghari, Sajeela Leghari, Shaheena and Farhat Seemi of PPPP:
Muhammad Abdul Rauf Siddiqui, Aisha Khatoon, Shazia Batool and Naila Munir of MQM.

There are 104 lawmakers in Sindh Assembly who said they had paid their income
tax dues, but a perusal of record identified at least 40 cases where details given
in nomination papers were disputed by FBR data.

There are several prominent figures whose tax declarations have not been confirmed
by the FBR data. They include: Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, Opposition Leader Faisal
Subzwari, Minister for Works and Communications Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Minister
for Prisons, Mines and Mineral Development Manzoor Wassan, Minister for Food Mehtab
Hussain Dahar, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sikandar Mandhro, Minister for
Livestock Jam Khan, and Minister for Women Development Rubina Saadat Qaimkhani.
Former Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim is also featured in the list.

Sindh Assembly has 119 MPAs who declared their incomes in their nomination papers.
However, a cross-check discovered at least 37 cases wherein the declarations were
not supported by the FBR data.

Prominent figures whose income declarations have been found at variance with
FBR data include Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani and Mumtaz Ahmed Chandio.

81 of KP MPs pay no tax

Despite pre-election claims of landmark tax reforms by the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf
(PTI), the party and its government in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa has failed to walk the
talk. KP chief minister, finance minister and several other cabinet members have
been found tax evaders.

According to the study, the finance minister of KP, Sirajul Haq, does not even
have a National Tax Number (NTN). Chief Minister Pervez Khattak did not pay any
tax according to FBR record, despite his claims to the contrary.

In a startling revelation, the report disclosed that out of 124 members of KPK
Assembly, 81 did not pay any tax in 2012.

Even KP Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar, Deputy Speaker Imtiaz Shahid, Minister
for Health Shaukat Yousafzai, Minister for Public Health Engineering Shah Farman
and Minister for Local Government, Elections and Rural Development Inayatullah did
not pay any tax in 2012.

Shah Farman, giving his version about the CM told ‘The News’: “It is a technical
point. If the CM has mentioned the tax, he should be right. FBR should explain why
it didn’t show his (CM) tax in the record sent to the ECP.”

Maulana Lutfur Rehman, the brother of JUI chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was among
those who did not pay any tax. Other prominent MPAs like Bakht Baidar and Anisa
Zeb Tahirkheli also featured in this category.

According to the report, the KPK Chief Minister claimed in his nomination paper
to have paid Rs21,096 income tax but the same is not reflected in the record of
Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) which says Khattak did not pay any tax.

Khattak’s income declarations to ECP and FBR also do not match. The chief minister
claimed in his nomination papers that his income is Rs11,331,157 while he told the
FBR that his income was Rs 3,074,157. There is a discrepancy of over Rs 8 million.

The report says KPK’s Minister for Finance and Revenue Sirajul Haq; Minister
for Zakat, Usher, Auqaf, Haj and Religious Affairs Habibur Rehman; Minister for
Sports, Culture and Tourism Mahmoood Khan, and Chief Minister’s Special Assistant
Soran Singh do not even have NTN.

In total, the KPK Assembly has 31 MPAs without NTNs. The ruling PTI leads with
12 such MPs followed by its ally, the Jamat-e-Islami (JI) that has six lawmakers
of this category. Out of total 124 MPs, 25 percent legislators do not have NTN.

But that does not mean the PTI’s political foes are any better in tax payment.
They are very much there among the non NTN holders according to their proportion
in the provincial assembly.

Four MPAs belong to PML-N and five to JUI-F. Four lawmakers without NTNs were
elected as independent candidates.

Only 36 members of the provincial assembly have claimed they had paid taxes;
81 did not whereas the record of seven was not available.

PTI has 34 non-taxpaying MPAs, JUI-F and JIP have eight each, QWP has seven,
ANP has three and PPPP one. Another seven MPAs in this list were elected as independents.

The KP Assembly has 36 members who declared that they had no outstanding income
tax liabilities on the dates fixed by ECP. However, cross-matching with FBR data
found out that at least in 17 cases such declarations were not correct.

Prominent figures in this category are: Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Minister
for Elementary and Secondary Education Muhammad Atif, Minister for Prisons Malik
Qasim Khattak and Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Social Welfare Meher Taj
Roghani.

In terms of income declaration the number of MPs is higher than those of taxpayers.
In total, 59 MPAs declared their incomes. In 14 cases, the declarations were found
in conflict with the income details FBR provided to ECP.

8 ministers among 36 non-taxpayer MPs in Balochistan

Those who make the policies for generating revenue have not been able to set
a good example in Balochistan as 56 percent of Balochistan MPAs including eight
members of the provincial cabinet have not paid any income tax.

The latest study revealed that out of 65 members of the provincial assembly,
only 21 MPAs claimed that they had paid income tax while 36 did not. The record
of another seven MPs is not available.

The report says among these 36 non-taxpaying MPAs, eight are enjoying key portfolios
in the provincial cabinet. The provincial ministers who have not paid the income
tax include Minister for Urban Planning and Development Abdul Raheem Ziaratwal,
Minister for Home and Tribal Affairs Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti, Minister for Food and
Women Development Izhar Hussain Khosa, Minister for Agriculture and Cooperative
Sardar Muhammad Aslam, Minister for Human Rights, Sports and Youth Affairs Mir Mujeeb-ur-Rehman
Muhammad Husni, Nawab Ayaz Khan Jogezai, Sardar Ghulam Mustafa Khan and Dr Hamid
Khan Achakzai.

The Pakhtunkhwa Mili Awami Party (PkMAP) leads with nine non-taxpaying MPAs,
followed by the National Party (NP) (eight), Pakistan Muslim League –Nawaz (PML-N)
(six), Jamiat-e-Ulma-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) (four), Pakistan Muslim League (PML)
(two), and MWM, JQM and Balochistan National Party (BNP) (one each), the report
reveals. Five independent MPAs are also non-taxpayers.

It further says that of the 21 MPAs who claimed to have paid their taxes, a comparison
of record discovered nine cases wherein the declared information was not verified
by the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR).

Key leaders listed in this category whose data was not verified by the FBR include
Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik, Minister for Revenue, Excise and Taxation Jaafar
Mandokhel, Saleh Bhootani, Moulana Abdul Waasay, and Tariq Magsi.

Only 27 members of the provincial assembly declared their income in the nomination
papers. However, out of these 27, the declarations of 10 members have been contested
by the FBR data whereas information was found correct in 17 cases.

Nawabzada Changez Marri is noteworthy among those members whose declared income
has been contested by the FBR data.

Ironically, four members of the provincial assembly do not even have a National
Taxation Number (NTN) number. Out of these, two MPs belong to the JUI-F and one
each to National Party (NP) and PkMAP whereas record of eight members was not found
from the FBR data, the report reveals.

Source:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-27464-MPs%E2%80%99-tax-anomalies-unearthed