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ISLAMABAD: Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Ali Arshad Hakim on Wednesday informed the Senate Standing Committee that the overall percentage of taxpayers’ vis-à-vis total population has gone down in Pakistan, as only 0.3 percent of the population is paying taxes.

Chairman FBR informed the Committee here on Wednesday that as per percentage of population in the country only 0.3 percent is paying tax. On the other hand, 4.7 percent of the total population is paying taxes in India. The FBR is taking a number of steps to increase the number of taxpayers and bring un-documented persons within the formal tax regime.

FBR Chairman also presented a CD to the committee, according to him the journalist who compiled and released the report on tax payments by parliamentarians has said in his interview that he obtained the data from Election Commission of Pakistan. The CD is about the video interview of the said journalist, he added.

FBR Chairman said that the Board has not shared data with any of the state institution including Election Commission of Pakistan or Nadra. Chairman FBR informed the committee that Income Tax Ordinance do not permit FBR to make public tax details of the parliamentarians.

Kamil Ali Agha of Pakistan Muslim League (Q) said that Election Commission does not maintain information about the tax returns declared with the FBR.  Parliamentarians do not submit the tax related data to the Election Commission. The Election Commission never asked for the tax related information from the parliamentarians as the same is not required by the commission.

Nobody can imagine that the tax related information could be retrieved from the Election Commission. Senator Ishaq Dar of Pakistan Muslim League (N) suggested that the statement of assets and liabilities submitted to the Election Commission should be modified for collecting tax payments related information of the Parliamentarians. A new column, “tax paid as on June 30” should be added to the annual statement of assets and liabilities.