ISLAMABAD - The government and opposition lawmakers are set to lock horns in upcoming National Assembly session over the newly issued ‘tax amnesty scheme’ through presidential ordinance.

The PTI’s government the other day approved the scheme aims at encouraging people to disclose their hidden assets by June 30.

The opposition parties have strong reservations for approving the ‘tax amnesty scheme’ through presidential ordinance and not taking parliament into confidence on this matter. With recent IMF deal and the rupee devaluation, the opposition members plan to strongly register protest in the upcoming National Assembly session over recently approved ‘tax amnesty scheme’.

When contacted, PPP-P Information Secretary Nafeesa Shah strongly condemned government for approving the scheme through presidential ordinance. “We (opposition) will strongly oppose the government’s move as the previous session of National Assembly was prorogued to issue this scheme presidential ordinance,” she said mentioning that why the government had avoided conducting debate in the parliament before its approval. Other opposition parties have also same reservations on the matter.

On the other hands, the government side is prepared to give its justification on the floor of the house for approving tax amnesty scheme through presidential ordinance.

Sources said that the opposition parties will force government to initiate a thorough debate, of at least parliamentary leaders of political parties, on the scheme. The National Assembly session is scheduled to start from coming Tuesday.

In tax amnesty scheme, the government side has introduced a package of concession named Asset Declaration Scheme (ADS) for giving people chance to whiten their black money. The scheme has been announced two days after the government reached an agreement with the IMF for a $6 billion bailout package  to implement an “ambitious structural reform agenda” over a period of 39 months. The scheme, according to the government side, will provide people with the means to legitimise all kinds of offshore and onshore undeclared assets. The government has claimed to generate around Rs150 to Rs200 billion after the successful implementation of scheme.

The government in this scheme may issue the Foreign Assets (Declaration and Repatriation) Ordinance, 2019 for undisclosed foreign assets and Voluntary Declaration of Domestic Assets Ordinance, 2019 for undisclosed income and domestic assets.

The proposed scheme would also cover declaration of undisclosed assets, Benami assets, sales and income on or before 30 June, 2018. Tax rates range from 5 percent to 10 percent with certain exceptions. Under the draft scheme, the rate of tax for Benami assets reportedly may be 10 percent while for foreign liquid assets repatriated into Pakistan, the tax rate may be 5 percent.