Have crossed almost all landmines laid by PTI govt: Kh Asif
Says PM, finance minister had courage to give such budget: Stresses effective measures against tax evasion
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Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said Friday while addressing the Speaker in the National Assembly that Finance Minister Miftah Ismail settled the worsening economic matters of the country so courageously and consistently that the government had almost crossed all the land mines laid by the previous PTI government, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
“It’s now a matter of days. We will come out of the economic difficulties. I appreciate the courage and consistence of Miftah Ismail. I also appreciate the concept which he has given for changing the tax regime and tax culture,” he said and pointed out that the prime minister and the finance minister had the courage to give such a budget.
The defence minister while commenting on the tax evasion by the tobacco companies said: “There are two tobacco companies, British Tobacco Company and Philip Morris International, in the country that pay Rs151 billion, 60 percent tax of the tobacco industry, whereas, the remaining 40 per cent, paid by other tobacco companies is Rs2 billion.”
He lamented, “It is a matter of shame for all of us. Why does this happen? It is because the lobbies of these tobacco companies, in the form of public representatives, clear ways for them to evade taxes.”
He pleaded, “For God’s sake, the National Assembly members should not intercede for the tax evaders.
He also stressed the need for curbing irregularities in the import of cars from abroad, stating that Pakistan bore a loss of $3 billion in the import of cars.
“How can a country progress when its economy is facing a loss of $3billion?” he questioned.
He also lamented that neither poor nor middleclass people, only the rich people were involved in those irregularities.
He also expressed his displeasure that on the one hand, the poor people were paying tax on each and everything thing while on the other hand, the rich were making money through ‘luxurious projects’.
“People have formed cricket teams, and they are the richest billionaires of the country,” said Khawaja Asif.
He added that politicians were notorious for corruption, but, there were members of the Parliament who could not afford cars and came to attend assembly sessions on buses.
“Some people used to say Pakistan will become Sri Lanka and its economy will collapse,” he flayed.