Imran Khan
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan urges people to declare their hidden assets to avoid legal action against them. Image Credit: Twitter/video grab

Dubai: Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again warned Pakistanis to declare their hidden assets and secrets accounts by June 30 to avoid strict legal action against them.

In his second video message on Monday morning in less than 12 days on the same topic, Imran looked quite desperate and frustrated while addressing the nation. He tried to explain to people that the current worsening economic situation in the country is due to heavy debts and wrong economic policies by the previous governments. Economist and common people have been blaming Imran Khan’s governemt for dipping rupee, massive price hike and worsening economic conditions in the country.

In his address, he also tried to take people into confidence related to the financial situation of the country a day ahead of his government is going to present the first federal budget for the year 2019-2019 on June 11.

“I urge people to declare your hidden assets including any benami (secret) accounts until June 30 as afterwards you will not get a chance to do so,” he said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government had announced in May its first tax amnesty scheme named ‘Asset Declaration Scheme’ to allow people ‘whiten’ their undisclosed expenditures and assets, including foreign assets, at nominal tax rates.

He also warned people that they must not be under the impression that they would be able to hide their assets any more as the institutions concerned have already collected all the data about their assets and ‘secret’ accounts whether in the country or abroad. He said people should benefit from the Asset Declaration Scheme providing amnesty to people who would declare their hidden assets and wealth, and become part of the tax net.

He said that Pakistan cannot become a great nation until unless its citizens pay taxes. He noted that Pakistanis pay the least amount of taxes in the world, adding that if the citizens want the country can gather up to Rs10,000 billion in taxes.

“I am appealing to all of you to take part in the Asset Declaration Scheme that we have brought, because if we don’t pay taxes, we will not be able to raise our country up,” the premier said.

During his address to the nation, Imran blamed his predecessors for taking hefty loans. “Pakistan’s debt increased from Rs6,000 billion to Rs30,000 billion during the last ten year. Our annual tax collection is only Rs4,000 billion and half of this goes towards paying loan instalments. This country cannot cover its expenses on the money that is left behind,” he added.

What is Assets Declaration Scheme 

The Assets Declaration Scheme came into effect in May 15 through a presidential ordinance, and it offered r a period of 45 days to people for declaration of their undeclared assets, expenditures, and sales along with payment of taxes until June 30.

Under the scheme, assets within the country and abroad (except for real estate) can be whitened after paying a rate of four per cent. The whitened cash assets will have to be kept in Pakistani bank accounts.

How to whiten money in Pakistan

For people wanting to keep their whitened money abroad, a rate of 6pc will be charged.

For the declaration of real estate, its value will be considered 1.5 times more than the FBR-assigned value to bring it at par with the market rate.

The amnesty scheme also has the facility for citizens to whiten their benami (secret) accounts and properties before the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 2017, is enforced.