Cabinet approves PTI government’s first Amnesty Scheme

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that tax amnesty scheme will help encourage people to disclose their hidden assets legally by June 30.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, he said every Pakistani is eligible to become part of the scheme, but public office holders will not be able to benefit from it.

Under the scheme, if a person brings his undeclared wealth to Pakistan from abroad, he will have to pay four percent fee on that amount. If he decides to put this money abroad, the penalty imposed will be six percent.

“We have tried to make this scheme very easy to understand and implement,” the adviser said at the news conference, adding that the scheme has realistic targets with low rates.

“The basic purpose of the scheme is not to generate revenue but to document the economy and to bring dead assets into the economy and make them functional.”

The philosophy behind the plan is not to “intimidate” people but to encourage businessmen to participate in the legal economy, the adviser said.

He said people will have the opportunity to become part of the scheme until June 30. Every Pakistani citizen will be able to avail the scheme except for people who have held a public office and their dependents.

Under the scheme, the finance adviser revealed, assets within the country and abroad (except for real estate) can be whitened after paying a rate of 4 per cent. The whitened cash assets will have to kept in Pakistani bank accounts.

For people wanting to keep their whitened money abroad, a rate of 6pc will be charged.

For the declaration of real estate, its value will be considered 1.5 times more than the FBR-assigned value to bring it at par with the market rate, Dr Shaikh announced.

The amnesty scheme also has the facility for citizens to whiten their benami accounts and properties before the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 2017, is enforced.

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