ISLAMABAD - Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) Dr Muhammad Shoaib Suddle has taken notice on a report stating that 67pc of parliamentarians and 62pc of ministers in the Federal Cabinet did not file their income tax returns, it was learnt on Tuesday.

Sources informed The Nation that FTO has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to provide detail report in this regard within next ten days, as this is serious matter of concerns that huge number of parliamentarians did not file their income tax returns. “Yes we have taken a notice on the report regarding parliamentarians and ministers income tax returns and asked the FBR to provide details in this regard”, said a top official on the condition of anonymity. 

Centre for Investigative Reporting in Pakistan (CIRP) and Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) had recently launched a tax report on members of the Parliament.

According to the report, 67PC of parliamentarians and 62pc of ministers in the Federal Cabinet did not file their income tax returns. The report further revealed that President Asif Ali Zardari and Interior Minister Rehman Malik and other 34 of the 55 cabinet members did not file a tax return in 2011. Only 49 of the 104 senators paid income tax last year, and of the 341 sitting members of the national assembly, only 90 MNAs filed their tax returns. The federal cabinet comprises prime minister and his 55 colleagues. However, only 20 ministers filed their tax returns. Of 28 parliamentary secretaries, only seven filed tax returns. Of the 55 MNAs holding key positions in the national assembly and its standing committees, only 15 filed tax returns.

However, the members of National Assembly as well Senators (from the treasury as well as opposition benches) with one voice severely criticised the publication of the report and said that the report was baseless as some details about tax returns of a number of MPs as mentioned in the report were incorrect.