Nearly half of the country’s businesses were operating without paying taxes, it was disclosed in the National Assembly on Friday.
Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha told the House that half of the country’s businesses were running without paying their taxes.
During the Question Hour of the NA session, presided over by its speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Aisha said the citizens, who did not pay their taxes, should become a part of the country’s economy too.
The state minister stressed the need for the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to change its policy.
She added that the FBR should register new taxpayers.
Aisha ruled out the possibility of the country defaulting on its loans.
She maintained that when the incumbent government took over, the threat of the country hitting a default was looming.
“When we took over the IMF [International Monetary Fund] programme was stalled, but it has resumed now,” Aisha said.
“There is no danger of default now,” she added.
The state minister further told the House that the dollar was currently in a free market.
She added that there were signs that banks were involved in exchange rate fluctuations.
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“The State Bank is looking into this matter. If any bank is found to be involved [in the fluctuations], action will be taken against it,” Aisha informed the House.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Murtaza Javed Abbasi told the NA that the final estimates of the damage inflicted upon the country by the recent devastating floods had not been made yet.
He added that the estimates in Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan had been completed.
However, he said many areas in Sindh and Balochistan were still inundated with floodwater. Therefore, surveys could not be conducted there.
The minister said the damage assessment survey teams would be able to complete their work in these areas by the end of the current month.
He added that the complete data of the losses caused by the floods would be available with the provincial disaster management authorities of Sindh and Balochistan by the first week of December.
The minister said in the first phase, the provincial disaster management authorities had estimated the loss of lives in the flood-hit areas and the families of the victims had been compensated.
The details of external loans taken during the PTI government’s tenure were also presented in the House.
The PTI government collectively took external loans worth $47.10 billion from August 1, 2018, to April 30, 2022, Economic Affairs Minister Ayaz Sadiq informed the NA.
This sum included the $4.38 billion taken from the IMF, he added in his written statement.
PML-N MNA Mehnaz Akber Aziz tabled a resolution in connection with the World Children’s Day falling on November 20 and it was passed by the House unanimously.
The resolution read that 16 million children were affected by the recent deluges in the country caused by climate change.
It added that the House backed legislation for the right to the best environment possible for every child born in the country.
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