ISLAMABAD: The government has re-imposed a ban on non-filers of tax returns from purchasing property and vehicles.
Addressing the National Assembly on Wednesday, Finance Minister Asad Umar announced that the ban which the government had earlier lifted has been imposed again.
“Non-filers still have time, they can pay their returns and become eligible to purchase property and vehicles again,” the finance minister said.
“Non-filers should be told that the state is not as weak as it appears and has the strength to retrieve money from them.”
The finance minister clarified that non-filers will be able to purchase motorcycles under 200cc, while overseas Pakistanis and those acquiring property through inheritance will be exempted from filing tax returns.
He informed that a campaign against non-filers has been started and 169 big individuals have been issued notices, while a second phase of the campaign will also be launched this week and notices to thousands of non-filers.
“The nation’s money should be spent on the nation and they should come back and take part. We will catch those non-filers who have stashed huge amounts in their bank accounts,” he added.
Finance Bill 2018 passed
The National Assembly passed the Finance Supplementary (Amendment) Bill 2018 with a majority, presented by Asad Umar in a session chaired by Speaker Asad Qaiser.
However, several opposition members challenged Clause 2 of the supplementary bill and demanded that there should be headcount on it, just before the voting session.
The request was approved and 158 voted in favour while 120 opposed it. A clause-wise approval of the bill was then sought in the assembly.
The last amendment in the bill was presented by a Pakistan Peoples Party member regarding the increase in salaries of lawmakers and a request for the right to withdraw pension.
However, Asad Umar objected to the recommended amendment and said the country’s economy is not in a state to allow it. The National Assembly then rejected four amendments put forth by the opposition, and approved the bill through majority votes before adjourning the session.