ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Tuesday approved the four bills related to the recently announced tax amnesty scheme and reducing income tax relief with amendments.

The committee chaired by Senator Farooq H Naik has discussed the recently announced tax amnesty scheme.

Minister of State for Finance Rana Afzal Khan informed the committee that government has announced the scheme to broaden the tax base of the country. He said that impact of reducing income tax rates would cost Rs90 billion to the national kitty. "However, the government can afford it as it increased the tax collection to Rs4 trillion in 2018 from less than of Rs2 trillion of 2013," he said.

Afzal said that amnesty scheme would be effective till May this year.

Earlier, the committee chairman said that reduced income tax returns would cost to the national kitty.

Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Tariq Pasha informed the committee that government has announced the amnesty scheme for the Pakistanis to declare their hidden assets, otherwise the assets were seized. "People had starting taking benefit from the amnesty scheme at domestic side," he said.

The committee approved four bills with amendments are government's Domestic Assets Declaration Bill and Foreign Assets Declaration and Repatriation Bill 2018 and Income Tax Amendment Ordinance 2018.

The President has recently promulgated Foreign Assets Declaration and Repatriation Ordinance 2018, Pakistan Economic Reforms Protection Act Amendment Ordinance 2018, the Voluntary Declaration of Domestic Assets Ordinance 2018 and Income Tax Amendment Ordinance 2018.

APP ADDS: Appreciating the FBR’s move to reschedule the tax regime, Musadiq Malik said this decision would specially give relief to the salaried class who were poor or belonging to the lower middle class and would get a reasonable relief.  He said the effect of Rs 80 billion in term of relief was a very minor one if we see the total revenues of more than Rs 4000.

FBR Member Inland Revenue Dr Muhammad Iqbal informed that the tax payers whose income was less than Rs 100,000 per month and were tax filers would remain among the tax filers but would be declared as zero rated.

Meanwhile the meeting also considering the Money Bill to provide for declaration and repatriation of assets and income held outside Pakistan (The Foreign Assets (Declaration and Repatriation) Bill, 2018). While discussing the Bill, the meeting was informed that all those who remit more than  $100,000 per year from abroad would have to prove the source of their income.

The committee also considered and discussed in detail money bill to provide for voluntary declaration of domestic assets in Pakistan (The Voluntary Declaration of Domestic Assets Bill, 2018), and the Money Bill to further to amend the protection of economic reforms Act, 1992 (The Protection of Economic Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2018).

The committee members unanimously gave a go ahead to these bills, however they proposed some amendments to these bills for further consideration.