General

MNA Sohail Mansoor threatens to return national honour over tax amnesty

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) MNA Khawaja Sohail Mansoor on Thursday threatened to return the Sitara-i-Imtiaz conferred on him for being the nation’s highest tax payer in protest against the government’s tax amnesty scheme.
Mansoor made the remarks during a National Assembly (NA) session. He said he had received the award in recognition of his probity.
Addressing those present, Mansoor said he had received country’s highest civil award for his honesty in financial details. “A person like I should not venture into business or pay taxes in Pakistan,” he said.
Highlighting how the rupee had weakened against the dollar, the MQM-P leader said the nation’s fate was in the hands of the select few. “The value of dollar is increasing yet we are offering amnesty schemes. This will adversely affect the common man. I will return my Sitara-i-Imtiaz tomorrow,” he said.
In a bid to placate the fuming MNA, Safdar Awan of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) counselled Mansoor against returning the honour. “I want to inform him that the amnesty scheme is beneficial for the country,” he said. He suggested the lawmaker become part of the committee on the amnesty scheme.
The tax amnesty scheme is a three-month window extended by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for wealthy Pakistanis to whiten concealed local and foreign assets at nominal rates from two to five per cent. The premier recently announced a five-point ‘radical economic reforms package’ to expand the national tax base from 1.2 million to 30 million individuals.