ABDULLAH ZAFAR

KARACHI - With seven lawmakers paying no income tax to the government, the Sindh Assembly has majority of the lawmakers from both opposition and government side who had paid minimal tax despite owning businesses, lands and visiting foreign countries on personal trips.

These figures were revealed in 2nd Tax Directory of Parliamentarians and General Tax payers for the Year 2014. It included tax payment figures of parliamentarians of the National Assembly and four provinces and members of the Senate.

The tax records of Sindh Assembly lawmakers showed varied figures with some top lawmakers paying taxes as per their living standards while the others on the contrary to it, paying little or no money to the national exchequer.

The list showed that there were seven lawmakers including two from the MQM, one from the PTI and four the PPP in the Sindh Assembly who did not submitted even a single penny to the government exchequer.

These lawmakers included MQM’s Waqar Hussain Shah - a businessman who contested the general elections from PS 128 Karachi-, PTI’s Khurram Sher Zaman who owns a restaurant in Saddar and lives in DHA-, PPP’s Advocate Fayaz Ali Butt - a landlord who lives in Askari-III, Karachi Cantonment- PPP’s Mir Allah Bux Talpur - a landlord who lives at Country Club Apartments in DHA Phase V-, PPP’s MPA on reserved seats for women Saira Shahliani - who resides in DHA Phase V, MQM’s MPA on reserved seats for minorities Arif Masih Bhatti - who lives at MA Jinnah Road and PPP’s MPA on reserved seat Shahnaz Begum.

According to tax details, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah paid a tax amount of Rs111,772, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro paid an amount of Rs141,143 while Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani and Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza paid an amount of Rs537,986 and Rs 126,770 in terms of tax respectively.

Minister for Prisons and Anti-Corruption, Manzoor Wasan paid Rs883,525 while Murad Ali Shah paid Rs627,138. Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon remained the highest tax payer in the provincial cabinet with submitting Rs1,589,564 in the national exchequer.

Meanwhile, some other members of the Sindh Cabinet who despite of enjoying a luxurious living standard submitted as much tax as paid by a working class member of the country. Sindh Minister for Health Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar - a landlord and an MBBS, who lives in DHA- paid Rs36,100, Minister for Transport Mumtaz Hussain Khan - a landlord and a resident of Clifton- paid Rs31,647, Minister for Works and Services Mir Hazar Khan Bajrani- a landlord and resident of DHA Phase II- paid Rs18,050 and Minister for Relief Rehabilitation and Revenue Makhdoom Jamiluz Zaman paid an amount of Rs36,100. Owais Muzaffar, who is a businessperson and the foster brother of PPP Co-Chairman, paid a tax of Rs372,103.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Shaheryar Khan Maher- who had a farm at Shikarpur and lives in DHA Phase II- paid Rs1,204,155 as tax.

The MQM leaders including its parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly Syed Sardar Ahmed paid Rs78,034 while Deputy Parliamentary leader Khawaja Izhar paid Rs94235.