ICCI calls for extending amnesty scheme till December 2019

ISLAMABAD, May 15 (INP): Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that PTI government has announced its first amnesty scheme for whitening of undisclosed expenditures, sales and assets, including foreign assets at nominal tax rates, however, he said that very short period of just 45 days have been given for taking benefit of this scheme, which was quite insufficient.

He stressed that government should extend amnesty scheme at least till December 2019 so that maximum undisclosed expenditures, sales and assets could be declared that would benefit the economy.

Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that since 1958, successive governments in Pakistan introduced amnesty schemes that could not generate significant amount of tax revenue for the country. The main reason of their failure was that thorough consultations with stakeholders were not held. He said that amnesty scheme launched in 1958 recovered Rs.1.12 billion from undeclared assets followed by Rs.920 million in 1968, Rs.1.5 billion in 1976, Rs.10 billion in 2000, Rs.3.16 billion in 2008 and around Rs.120 billion in 2018.

However, he said that amnesty scheme launched by Indonesia in 2016 had brought around 745,000 persons into the tax net and recovered over $330 billion from undeclared assets. He said that government should follow Indonesian model for amnesty scheme to maximize its benefits for the economy as its validity up to 30th June 2019 was a very short period for its success.

Rafat Farid Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that sufficient period should be given for amnesty scheme to obtain meaningful results from it as due to the engagements of Ramazan and other factors, short period of 45 days would not help in achieving its desired objectives.