The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) announced full cooperation with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to scrutinize the financial and taxation documents of all election contenders, including tax return documents, Express News reported on Wednesday.
While attending a meeting presided by the ECP Chief, Fakhruddin G Ibrahim, officials of the SBP and the FBR assured the ECP of full cooperation in its efforts to scrutinize the politicians taking part in the elections. They said that everyone in the country wanted to have free and fair elections.
Sources said that the FBR would help the ECP in investigating those politicians who had not lodged their tax returns with the agency.
Verification procedures of nomination papers, statements of interest and other relevant documents would take place over a 10 day period and new changes would be introduced to the current undertaking declaration, as and when required.
It is also learnt that that the SBP will provide updates to the ECP on candidates who have had their loans written off as well as those who have been declared as defaulters.
In December 2012, a study entitled “Representation without Taxation” by investigative journalist Umar Cheema found that Pakistan’s elected leaders pay little or no tax despite an estimated average net wealth of $882,000.
The report found that more than 60% of Pakistan’s cabinet and two thirds of its federal lawmakers paid no tax last year.