ISLAMABAD - The government in yesterday’s National Assembly session has deferred the tax amnesty bill till Wednesday to make a last-ditch effort to woo opposition and pass it with consensus.

The treasury benches main lawmakers will make an attempt to woo opposition for passage of the controversial ‘Income Tax (Amendment) Bill’, which is aimed to whiten the black money up to Rs50 million by paying a nominal one per cent tax.

Opposition parties, including PPP, MQM and PTI were not convinced to vote in favour of the bill as already these parties have submitted dissenting notes in the concerned standing committee on different clauses.

Minister for Climate change Zahid Hamid, on a point of order, said that ‘Income Tax (Amendment) Bill’ would be brought in the house on Wednesday. “The government wants opposition to take back its amendments and pass this bill unanimously,” he added.

Opposition parties conceded to discuss the clauses of the bill with the government but not given assurance to vote in favour of the bill. “The amendments of opposition will also come till Wednesday...We are ready to discuss it with government,” said Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah.

The government side will contact with main opposition parties of lower house to take their support to pass controversial ‘Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016’ from National Assembly.

The concerned standing committee approved ‘the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016’ due to numerical strength of the government members while opposition members submitted their amendments and dissenting notes.

The opposition parties expressed reservations on the Bill, as they demanded clarity in previously announced seven amnesty schemes from 1958 to 2008, which had not expanded the tax net.

The amnesty scheme introduced in this money bill would be for non-filers of income tax returns, as well as for such filers who filed the returns but underreport the income to evade taxes.

The government has estimated to generate Rs125 billion through Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016 by bringing 500,000 non-taxpayers into tax net.

However, the house passed two bills, including ‘The income tax (amendment) bill, 2015’ and ‘The income tax (second amendment) bill, 2015 with consensus.

The ‘statement of objects and reasons’ of the bill says in order to bring non-compliant taxpayers into tax net. The objective is being pursued in such a way so to promote documentation, broadening of tax base.

The government side will today (Tuesday) brief the house about Saudi-Iran conflict and recent visit of Saudi deputy crown prince to Pakistan.

“I will give detailed briefing on Saudi-Iran conflict and matters behind Pakistan’s military support to Saudi Arabia in the house tomorrow,” said Defence Minister Khawaja Asif while giving surety to opposition lawmakers.

MQM lawmakers Rashid Godil and Waseem Hussain, on point of order, asked the government to make proper legislation for new provinces in the country.

“Creation of new provinces will be in favour of country, as already two resolutions have been passed from Punjab Assembly,” said Rashid Godil.

PTI’s lawmaker Dr Shireen Mazari drew attention of the house about registration of FIR against Maulana Abdul Aziz, the custodian of Lal Mosque.

“Chaudhary Nisar should clarify about status of the two FIRs against Maulana Abdul Azizi,” she said on a point of order.

Dr Shireen Mazari from PTI also pointed out quorum in the middle of the proceedings of the house.