ISLAMABAD: Federal Finance Minister Asad Umar has said that the government can reconsider the budget proposal of lifting ban on the non-filers who want to purchase property and new cars.
During his budget speech late on Tuesday, Asad had justified the proposed waiver for non-filers on the ground that the ban slapped by the PML-N government had hurt the overseas Pakistanis intending to invest in the real estate.
According to the State Minister for Finance Hammad Azhar, the ban on non-filers is in violation of fundamental rights prescribed in Article 23 of the Constitution. That it has also affected the transfer of inherited property, as doing so also required the beneficiary to be a filer is another excuse.
However, Article 23 of the Constitution states that “Every citizen shall have the right to acquire, hold and dispose of property in any part of Pakistan, subject to the Constitution and any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the public interest.”
Majority of the rich are out of the tax net. A Nadra study in 2010 found 3.5 million Pakistanis who frequently travel abroad, own more than one luxury vehicles and live in posh areas but they are out of the tax net. This waiver of non-filing is not going to benefit the poor of Pakistan, as real estate investors and purchasers of cars range from the middle class to the upper sections of the society.
According to Hammad, the non-filers may move the court declaring the ban as a violation of their fundamental rights. As a matter of fact, this ban is in force since July 1 this year and nobody has moved the court.