ISLAMABAD   -    Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ijaz Ahmed Shah Saturday said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government will announce ‘tax amnesty scheme’ in next week through presidential ordinance.

“The tax amnesty scheme will be announced in next week, probably Monday or Tuesday, through presidential ordinance,” Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ijaz Shah exclusively told The Nation.

Former chief of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Brigadier (R) Ijaz Ahmed Shah, elected MNA on PTI ticket from NA-118, Nankana Sahib-II, recently took oath as the federal minister for parliamentary affairs.

Minister said the scheme will be announced through presidential ordinance before the upcoming national assembly session, scheduled to be summoned on April 22 (Monday). He rebuffed the impression the national assembly session was delayed only for introducing the tax amnesty scheme through presidential ordinance.

The main parliamentary opposition parties reportedly alleged that the PTI had postponed the session as it wanted to introduce a new tax amnesty scheme through a presidential ordinance and avoiding discussion on the merits and demerits of scheme in the parliament.

Prime minister Imran Khan had recently approved in principle the first tax amnesty scheme that will reportedly provide people with the means to legitimise all kinds of offshore and onshore undeclared assets. The incumbent government, with this scheme, is trying to bridge the tax collection shortfall. The government may generate around Rs150 to Rs200 billion after the successful implementation of scheme. The scheme is reportedly declared as a chance for the people of country to declare their hidden assets by paying nominal tax.

Minister for Finance Asad Umar had already said that this government may announce a tax amnesty scheme before June 2019 with the intention to give an open an opportunity to the people to disclose their local and foreign hidden assets by paying tax.

The government, under the scheme, may issue the Foreign Assets (Declaration and Repatriation) Ordinance, 2019 for undisclosed foreign assets and Voluntary Declaration of Domestic Assets Ordinance, 2019 for undisclosed income and domestic assets. The proceeds derived from the commission of a criminal offence are proposed to be excluded from the scheme.

The proposed scheme would also cover declaration of undisclosed assets, Benami assets, sales and income on or before 30th June, 2018. Tax rates range from 5 percent to 10 percent with certain exceptions. Under the draft scheme, the rate of tax for Benami assets reportedly may be 10 percent while for foreign liquid assets repatriated into Pakistan, the tax rate may be 5 percent. The tax amnesty scheme will be announced after Finance Minister Asad Umar return to the country from his US visit.

 Sources said the opposition parties might jointly submit adjournment motion in both the house of parliament (National Assembly and Senate) with the aim to thoroughly discuss the tax amnesty scheme. The opposition parties may also stage protest for introducing the important scheme through presidential ordinance.