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Pakistan's Khan announces tax evasion amnesty scheme

June 10, 2019

The prime minister is seeking to end Pakistan's rampant tax evasion as he secures a major IMF bailout. Only about 2 million tax returns are filed in Pakistan annually.

Imran Khan
Image: picture-alliance/AA/Iranian Presidency

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who ran on a campaign of tackling corruption, gave a televised address on Monday calling on the country's wealthy to disclose previously hidden assets by the end of the month as part of an amnesty scheme hoping to curtail Pakistan's widespread tax evasion.

"I am appealing to all of you to take part in the Asset Declaration Scheme, because if we don't pay taxes, we will not be able to raise our country up," Khan said, adding that "after June 30, you will not get this opportunity," and that strict consequences would be enforced.

The Federal Board of Revenue estimates that only 2 million tax returns are filed annually.

Under Khan's scheme, the rich will be able to legalize their wealth by paying 4% taxes on previously undisclosed assets. They will not face legal penalties if they do so by June 30.

A similar program under Khan's predecessor Nawaz Sharif failed to gain much traction.

Khan inherited an extremely weakened economy and is currently negotiating a $6 billion (€5.3 billion) bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

es/rt (AP, dpa)

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