Prime Minister Imran Khan’s adviser on finance, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, announced on Sunday that the deadline for the amnesty scheme — alternatively the Assets Declaration Scheme 2019 — has been extended till July 3.
Dr Shaikh made the announcement during a press conference here in the federal capital. He was accompanied by Minister of State for Revenue, Hammad Azhar, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairperson Shabbar Zaidi, and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.
No extension in amnesty scheme: FBR chairperson Shabbar Zaidi
A day prior, FBR chairperson Zaidi had clarified that there would be no extension in the amnesty scheme as opposed to the speculation rife in social and mainstream media.
The FBR chief had rubbished rumours that have been circulating for the past few days, confirming that “there would be no extension in the amnesty scheme”.
The federal government had introduced the Asset Declaration Scheme 2019 in May, the deadline of which was supposed to come to an end today (June 30).
(L-R) Prime Minister Imran Khan’s adviser on finance, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, addresses a press conference alongside Minister of State for Revenue, Hammad Azhar, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairperson Shabbar Zaidi, and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan (not pictured) at the Press Information Department in Islamabad, Pakistan, June 30, 2019. Geo News/via Geo.tv
However, on June 28, Khan had hinted at extending the deadline, indicating that a new programme may be introduced in the next 48 hours, a development that at that time sources, too, had confirmed.
Sources had said the FBR was likely to do so as it struggles to get the desired results and that more people could benefit from it.
Speaking with state broadcaster Pakistan Television (PTV) about the Assets Declaration Scheme, Khan had said people believed their tax payments would be wasted, which is why his government was making efforts to help the public realise their money would only be spent on them.
Asset Declaration Scheme likely to be extended as FBR struggles to get desired results
“If the people do not pay taxes, we would be unable to pull ourselves out of this quicksand of loans. We need to work together to pull our country out of this quicksand of loans,” he had said.
“If the public wishes, we can easily collect taxes worth Rs8 trillion. It is now up to the people to decide if we want to work together to help the country sustain itself” independently, he had added.
Tax culture could not take off due to prior leaders, PM Imran Khan had reasoned, adding that Pakistan’s biggest problem was corruption, which leads to inflation and unemployment.