Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has suggested that the powerful should have to be taxed if the country has to progress.

The PTI chief was addressing a press conference on Sunday, flanked by party's Policy and Planning Cell head, Jahangir Khan Tareen and Asad Umer.

Imran Khan said that corruption was at an all time high in Pakistan and that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) should be made a sovereign institution if there was any seriousness on part of the government for eliminating this menace for the country. The PTI chief said in order to stop corruption, NAB should be allowed to operate “freely”.

Giving his advice to the national finance managers how to bridge the tax to GDP ratio, Imran said the powerful needed to be brought into the tax net. “Pakistan has defaulted and the rulers are enjoying at the cost of poor.”

Imran said the rulers are themselves not paying the tax adding that the big leaders have not declared their true assets.

Terming the politics of PML-N 'all drama' he said there are four CM Houses in Punjab, being run on taxpayers' money while the masses are suffering.

Imran Khan joined the chorus in criticizing the government over the budget presented for the year 2012-13, by condemning the amount allocated to the armed forces. “The budget for the armed forces should be audited.”

He questioned the expenditure for maintaining chief minister houses in all four provinces. “We have four CM houses while the people are starving.”

“The people in power should pursue austerity,” said the PTI chairman. “They should restrict their expenses.”

Imran said that corruption in Pakistan has reached its saturation point. “Either corrupt people will survive or Pakistan will. Corruption in Pakistan has reached a point where they cannot co-exist.”

He alleged that corruption in different government-run corporations amounted to billions of rupees. “The deficit in Pakistan Steel Mills has reached more than Rs40 billion in the last four years, while corruption done in Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Railways is not hidden, too.”

“The outstanding arrears which are a result of 400,000 illegal connections as noted by the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) have to be borne by the consumers in the shape of tariff hikes,” said Khan.

He said that according to a survey conducted by Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), in the last four years, about 2.8 million air conditioners were bought, while bills for only 185,000 were being paid.