FBR, SBP join hands with ECP in vetting election candidates

Published: February 13, 2013
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FBR to help the ECP in investigating those politicians who had not lodged their tax returns with the agency. PHOTO: FILE

FBR to help the ECP in investigating those politicians who had not lodged their tax returns with the agency. PHOTO: FILE

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.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • A - No.1
    Feb 13, 2013 - 6:33PM

    It is no secret that FBR is riddled with corrupt officials. SBP personnel are subject to pressure. How then, are they going to scrutinize the corrupt politicians standing for election. lol.

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  • PakPower
    Feb 13, 2013 - 6:39PM

    A step in the right direction, good going CEC!!!

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  • Nasir Mahmood
    Feb 13, 2013 - 6:47PM

    Beginning of a bright future.

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  • asim
    Feb 13, 2013 - 6:58PM

    what is the criteria set by ECP for scrutiny?what new is added compared from last elections?

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  • unknown
    Feb 13, 2013 - 7:03PM

    so it means no nawaz shariff in the election….

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  • Feb 13, 2013 - 7:03PM

    It was the FBR that provided the information about tax evading parliamentarians to a senior media person. Let us hope scrutiny efforts of ECP succeed.

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  • H. Khan
    Feb 13, 2013 - 7:25PM

    FBR is dysfunctional and has no clue about those who are evading taxes
    Did they find out how the information about non tax paying MNAs/Senators got leaked from FBR?
    Oh what happened to 230000 non duty paid cars and Rs 40 billion potential duty?

    EC should seek probono help from Tax Bar Associations or FTO

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  • Adnan
    Feb 13, 2013 - 7:29PM

    This should not be ad hoc decision, FBR should be providing regular reporting to ECP with the individuals involve in tax evasion, avoidance and defaulters and also in the same way SBP should report to ECP with details of loan defaulters, who had their loans written off either as an individual or as a directors.
    Things will only change when we have a tax culture in our country. Only salaried class person and multinational companies are paying the tax in full , other than that either the classes of income are not subjected to tax e.g. agriculture or the due to the high corruption in FBR tax is not properly collected, which is evident from the fact that Pakistan’s Tax/GDP ratio is less than 10%.

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  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Feb 13, 2013 - 8:13PM

    It is a commendable start by the ESP but 10days of investigation is not enough, 30days could have been better but the parliamentarians saw to it that the time frame is short so the ECP will not be able to do their job as they want to do.If any one living in the US is caught cheating on their tax returns to the US Internal Revenue Service, their property is under hold and they go to jail after the court sentence them and believe me they do regardless who they are, even millionaire like Mrs. Hemsly go to jail. There should be precise laws about those evading taxes in Pakistan and these people should be brought under investigation and thoroughly check their assets and expenditures. What about those who has properties and bank balances overseas, are they liable for taxation, if they do then they should submit to taxation in Pakistan. Pakistan does not need hand outs from abroad if those Pakistanis liable for taxation to pay their fair share of taxes.

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  • elcay
    Feb 13, 2013 - 9:32PM

    FBR could show its integrity by starting fair & transparent investigations into how the Bilawal House was built. It should cover all aspects i.e. from the acquistion of land to the finished Bilawal House.

    Come on FBR show your guts!!!!!!!!Recommend

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