KARACHI - Instead of recovering full taxes as per prevalent regulations and dealing as per existing laws in respect of assets acquired through allegedly unlawful means including through tax evasion, FBR has approved two blanket Tax Amnesty Schemes which are expected to be announced after approval from the government in next few days,” said renowned economist Dr. Shahid Hassan Siddiqui in an interview with The Nation.FBR hopes that through the Tax Amnesty Schemes, a sum of Rs.176 billion will be collected at very nominal rates which would be about 90 percent less than the rate of income tax paid by honest tax payers,. The proposed scheme will allegedly give protection to funds and assets acquired illegally. The NAB and FBR would therefore, not be allowed to investigate about the sources of these funds. If this target of FBR is achieved, it would mean a loss of over Rs.1,000 billion to the national exchequer,” he added. He said it was a known fact that the assets of trillions of rupees have been acquired from the incomes concealed from tax authorities. These assets include deposits in banks/ DFIs, National Saving Schemes, Government Securities, Shares, properties, and vehicles etc. The details of these assets along with CNIC number are available in record. These must be matched the data available with FBR (Tax Returns). The Income Tax as per prevailing regulations including fine must be recovered while assets acquired from alleged plundered money must be confiscated”, he emphasised.Dr. Shahid Hassan said he failed to understand as to why this Tax Amnesty Scheme is being launched when government could very easily lay its hands on these allegedly illicit assets as these assets were in Pakistan and its details are available in records and these are not hidden assets.  He argued that due to introduction of one of the tax amnesty scheme would cause huge losses to the national kitty.He sad that in the real estate and property sector there was around Rs50 million has been invested and the amount of tax payable could only be about only Rs one lakh.The FBR is also proposing to launch another Tax Amnesty Scheme for the illegal funds to be repatriated from abroad. This scheme is not likely to get response. It is however, felt that many persons having illegal money in Pakistan would arrange remittance of funds to foreign countries through hundi system only to arrange remittance of this amount to Pakistan through banking channel and avail concessions under the scheme. This scheme is therefore, not likely to achieve its objectives. It is also apprehended that many persons would declare in advance the anticipated income to be earned in FY13 or beyond to pay income tax at nominal rates under the Amnesty Scheme”, he added.The present government has already introduced various Tax Amnesty Schemes in FY 2008 and FY 2012 but these failed to achieve the desired results. Transparency International has already said that corruption has increased in Pakistan during last few years. The national exchequer is suffering a loss of about Rs.1,300 billion per year (Rs.3.5 billion per day) due to corruption etc,” he added.The people were of the view that the government was planning to whiten the illicit money earned during its tenure before handing over power to caretakers. The income tax returns of the politicians are now subject to closer scrutiny by the Election Commission as also by the media. Some of the politicians having large assets have not declared these in tax returns in the past. The Tax Amnesty Schemes would also provide an opportunity to the politicians desirous to take part in next elections to regularise the position of their assets by paying nominal tax – at a much lesser rate than the rate of tax paid by honest tax payers.The Tax Amnesty Schemes if approved by the government would be a national tragedy and a recipe for disaster. These Schemes are nothing but “Financial NROs” and would discourage documentation of the economy, as well as to honest tax payers. These schemes would also be a major set back to the objective of documentation of the economy.