PM Imran 'considering' extension in deadline for asset declaration scheme

11:07 PM | 27 Jun, 2019
PM Imran 'considering' extension in deadline for asset declaration scheme
ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan dropped a major hint at an extension in the Asset Declaration Scheme in a bid to avoid inconvenience caused to citizens by the earlier June 30 deadline.

The prime minister made an appearance on a special PTV News telethon via video link on Thursday and interacted with members of the business community.

Answering a query by Tycoon Aqeel Karim Dedhi about the scheme, the premier hinted at extension in the deadline - despite earlier assurances that the set date would not be changed.

"I think the number of people interested in the scheme could be much larger if there was some clarification on what the purpose of this is, whether people have to deposit cash by June 30, whether this deadline can be extended by a couple of months. For instance, if you could register first and make the 4 per cent penalty payment, but deposit cash in the bank later?"

Noting that leaving things until the last minute was a Pakistani trait, the premier said he was considering it, because there's a lot of pressure, and lots of people are saying that there is too little time left to register.

The premier elaborated that he was in consultation with Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Shabbar Zaidi and Adviser on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh about what process can be adopted that somehow makes it easier for people so that they can register and then after June 30, take advantage of [the scheme].

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The premier underscored the need for increasing the revenue of the country and shared that when rulers evade tax, public follows.

The government's tax amnesty scheme is intended to whiten the undisclosed expenditures, sales and assets, including foreign assets, at nominal tax rates, however, politicians and civil servants can't avail the scheme.

The scheme was approved by the cabinet after much deliberation and was announced earlier this month by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.