Islamabad: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) today said Withholding Tax (WHT) on bank transactions is illegal, as well as unethical and violation of the basic rights of banked population.

PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal said that Government should not punish masses and the business community, for the failure of FBR to broaden tax base, according to press statement issued today.

The decision to slap additional WHT on bank transaction was extortion which is encouraging underground economy therefore the deadlock between government and traders must be resolved.  He said that Some banks are taking the benefit of the prevailing situation to get undue advantage from account holders, which is illegal but regulator prefer to remain silent.

Mughal said that Government and FBR has repeatedly claimed to have details of 3.2 million rich people evading taxes, but they have not touched a single person among them. Taxing these influential would help government raise additional Rs1 billion, while tax on bank transaction will not help government raise one-third of it, added President PEW.