‘Benami’ assets can lead to five-year jail term: FBR chief

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Honourary chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Shabbar Zaidi, on Wednesday said that individuals possessing ‘benami’ assets could be sentenced up to five years in prison. Talking to a private news channel, Zaidi said showing one’s assets, including his residential property, in someone else’s name was tantamount to holding ‘benami’ assets. He revealed that 300 major taxpayers, including corporations, accounted for 80 percent of the overall tax collection of the country. The FBR chief said the salaried class had a 5-6 per cent share in the overall tax collection. He said the FBR had set a target of more than Rs 5,000 billion for revenue collection during the next fiscal year. Speaking on the show, Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala said the recent Asset Declaration Scheme by the government was also an amnesty scheme, which would benefit the country. “The undeclared economy would be declared under the same scheme,” he said. It is pertinent to mention here that President Arif Alvi on Wednesday signed an ordinance confirming the tax amnesty for declaring undeclared assets.