61 per cent Pak lawmakers, including PM, don't pay any income tax!

Written by: Anita Nair
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Islamabad, Dec 22 (ANI): A whopping 61 per cent of lawmakers in the Senate, National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies do not pay any income tax, and of the remaining 39 percent, only 9 percent paid more than 100,000 rupees, a detailed examination of the documents that legislators submitted in 2008 to the Election Commission of Pakistan has revealed.

Out of 1,170 legislators of the Senate, National Assembly and the four provincial assemblies, 707 confirmed through their sworn affidavits to the Election Commission in 2008 that they paid no income tax, and only 109 of the remaining 463 legislators paid 100,000 rupees or more, The News reports.

Starting from the National Assembly, a House of 342 members that passes the finance bill each year deciding an increase or decrease in taxes, there are as many as 181 MNAs who did not pay tax, which means that 53 per cent are tax evaders.

The leader of the House, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, and his 25 cabinet members do not pay any income tax.

Of the remaining 161 members of the House who said they did pay, only 43 (12 per cent) were those who deposited 100,000 rupees or more. Although this is not a big amount in terms of income tax, it sounds significant compared to others.

Balochistan Assembly has had the biggest number of non-taxpayers (78 per cent), followed by Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa- 77 percent, Sindh Assembly- 74 percent, Punjab Assembly- 57 per cent, National Assembly- 53 percent and Senate- 48 percent.

For the year 2008, Punjab Assembly's leader of the House, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and KP Chief Minister Amir Haider Hoti had zero income tax returns.

Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani was among those who paid tax, with a paltry sum of 1,225 rupees, while Sindh Assembly's leader of the House, Qaim Ali Shah, paid only 224 rupees as tax! (ANI)

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