ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar told the Senate on Tuesday that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had detected 36,936 tax defaulters this year and Rs87.93 billion was outstanding against them.
The Senate unanimously passed a resolution to pay homage to the military men who had sacrificed their lives for the country’s defence in the 1965 war. The resolution was read out by Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq soon after the Question Hour.
Earlier, in response to a question asked by Mian Ateeq Shaikh of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the finance minister stated in a written reply that a total amount of Rs106.82bn was due from the defaulters, of which Rs18.89bn had been recovered by the FBR.
FBR yet to recover more than Rs87bn tax dues
Giving a province-wise break-up, he said that the highest number of 21,370 tax defaulters had been detected in Punjab, followed by 10,776 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Interestingly, the number of tax defaulters in Islamabad is higher than in Sindh and Balochistan.
The statistics provided by the minister show that the FBR has detected 3,437 tax defaulters in Islamabad whereas the number of tax defaulters in Sindh is 1,351. Only two tax defaulters have been detected in Balochistan.
Though the number of tax defaulters in Punjab is higher than in Islamabad, the amount which the FBR is required to recover from the defaulters in Islamabad is much higher than the amount due from the defaulters in Punjab and other provinces.
The minister’s reply shows that the FBR is required to recover Rs52.16bn from the defaulters in Islamabad, followed by Rs37.84bn from Punjab, Rs11.43bn from Sindh, Rs2.62bn from KP and Rs2.76bn from Balochistan.
However, the FBR has so far succeeded in recovering Rs9.87bn from Islamabad, Rs5.37bn from Punjab, Rs3.11bn from Sindh, Rs17.91 million from KP and Rs507m from Balochistan.
Explaining the procedure adopted by the FBR for detection of tax defaulters, the minister said that data had been collected through third-party sources such as motor vehicle registration authorities, educational institutions, property registrar offices, development authorities, housing societies, electricity distribution companies, automobile manufacturing companies and withholding tax statements.
He said that the data declared in withholding tax statements and sales tax returns was analysed and cross-matched to identify persons who carried out financial transactions but were not on tax rolls. He said that appropriate action in respect of such persons had been initiated in accordance with the law.
Mr Dar said that the Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation, an agency of the FBR, was mandated to investigate cases of tax fraud and evasion. The directorate investigates and gathers information on tax evasion and reports detection of tax evasion to field formations of the FBR.
Responding to a question asked by PPP’s Taj Haider, Mr Dar said that the amount of local debt stood at Rs13,430bn and foreign debt at Rs5,834bn as on May 31.
He said that the estimated amount of domestic debt to be obtained by the government during 2016-17 was Rs1,589bn. The estimated amount of foreign debt to be obtained during the next two financial years is expected to be $9.74bn while repayment of foreign debt will be $8.15bn.
In response to another question, put by the PML-N’s Chaudhry Tanvir Khan, the finance minister refused to give names of persons and companies which had obtained loans from the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), saying the private information of borrowers was protected under Section 33-A of the Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962, and Section 9 of the Protection of Economic Reform Act, 1992.
However, he disclosed that the aggregated amount of loans of Rs5m and above disbursed by the NBP over the last five years amounted to Rs360bn. Out of the total amount disbursed, he said, Rs271bn was outstanding comprising regular loan of Rs216bn and non-performing loans of Rs55bn. He claimed that no loan was written off over the last five years.