Pakistan tax evaders owe Rs.100 bn to exchequer


Islamabad : Tax evaders in Pakistan owe a whopping Rs.100 billion to the national exchequer, officials said.

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The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is stuck in litigation in courts against thousands of tax evaders.

Revenue officials told National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that they had requested Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry to constitute a special bench for speedy disposal of cases to enable them recover money from tax defaulters, Dawn reported Wednesday.

They said there were tax claims of Rs.37 billion against a number of people who had gone to the Supreme Court, therefore they had to wait for verdicts on the cases.

Mohammad Aqil Usman, the board’s member legal, said over 6,000 cases were awaiting hearing in high courts.

He said that the FBR had a total of Rs.100 billion tax claims which had been challenged in the Supreme Court and high courts.

FBR Chairman Sohail Ahmad said that he had already moved a request to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to constitute a separate bench for hearing tax-related cases.

He said last year the Karachi Port Trust had refused to pay taxes. But after the board got a court decision in its favour, it promptly deducted a tax of Rs.8.2 billion which the port trust owed to the government.

“If the Supreme Court can spare two to three judges for tax-related cases, it will be a great help to the FBR,” he was quoted as saying.

PML-Q’s Hamid Yaar Hiraj said the easiest way to evade tax was to move court and then try to keep the case pending as long as possible.