Pakistan’s parliamentarians became richer in the past three years.
One of the more debatable topics is whether Pakistan’s economy under Nawaz Sharif improved or not over the past few years. We can leave all other parameters of economic growth aside and just spare a few moments to have a look at the taxable income of the parliamentarians and thus the income tax they deposited in the government kitty. The data provided by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) leaves no doubt, that Parliamentarians have taken jumps and leaps in improving their financial situation and they have certainly become richer in the past 3 years. Looks like the parliamentarians went all out to support the claim of Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar that tax collection increased considerably.
A cursory look at the Income Tax Directories published by Federal Board of Revenue for the years 2013, 2014, and 2015 provides the following pertaining to Members of Senate and National Assembly. Some of the salient features are as follows:
- The members of both upper and lower house became more responsible as the number of those not paying taxes decreased tremendously. In the upper house Baluchistan and KPK proved to present a bad situation in terms of numbers not paying taxes; Punjab stands out for having no senator evading tax in 2015
- In the national assembly the position is praiseworthy as the number of defaulters decreased from 112 in 2013 to 7 and 1 in 2014 and 2015, respectively
- In the provincial assemblies, maximum improvement seemed to have occurred in Baluchistan followed by Sindh; least improvement was found in KPK, while Punjab still have a big number of defaulters though the percentage of defaulters is much less compared to KPK
The amount of income tax rendered by members of the parliament increased significantly over the years. Senators from Federal areas and KPK were prominent for paying less tax in 2015 compared to 2014, in fact senators from the federal areas turned poorer while those from Baluchistan became prominently richer as their returns showed an increase of 3 to 5.5 times in 2015 compared to 2013. Punjab senators were better off than those from Sindh. Interesting enough, senators from FATA remained on top in all 3 years followed by Punjab and then Baluchistan; KPK paying the least if number of members is taken into account.
The amount of income tax rendered by members of the parliament increased significantly over the years. Senators from Federal areas and KPK were prominent for paying less tax in 2015 compared to 2014, in fact senators from the federal areas turned poorer while those from Baluchistan became prominently richer as their returns showed an increase of 3 to 5.5 times in 2015 compared to 2013. Punjab senators were better off than those from Sind. Interesting enough, senators from FAT remained on top in all 3 years followed by Punjab and then Baluchistan; KPK paying the least if no of members is taken into account.
Members of the national assembly also posted an increase of 76 and 175% in 2014 and 2015. Something special happened with Baluchistan assembly members as their tax increased by 253% and 2856% in 2014 and 2015, respectively. FBR needs to look into this for the correctness of data. If correct, this is something special that happened in 2015. Sind assembly members paid less taxes in both the years 2014 and 2015 and much less in 2015. On the face of it, these members are faced with decreased income in these 2 years. Punjab has shown a fair increase in the income of its assembly members while KPK members have taken a big jump in 2015 i.e. 56% increase over 2013 compared to only 1% increase in 2014; for some reasons best known to them.
A critical evaluation of data provided by FBR shows that female members pay the least taxes; Faryal Talpur being a prominent exception from provinces other than Baluchistan. If data by FBR is correct, woman members from Baluchistan stand out in paying taxes as they are shoulder to shoulder with male members in terms of amount of tax paid in 2015, though situation in 2013 and 2014 was not different than other provinces.
Out of over 1000 members, the number of those paying over a million stands at 108 in 2015 as compared to 44 and 53 members in years 2013 and 2014, respectively; increasing riches of parliamentarians in the limelight indeed. Charity begins at home, country comes later of course.
Another interesting observation when looking at the figures is that quite a few members have paid same amount of tax suggesting that they have devised a formula applicable to all of them irrespective of their source and amount of earnings; very interesting indeed – an observation FBR may like to have a look at.
- Aitzaz Ahsan has been the top tax payer with cumulative tax of 46 million, followed closely by Talha Mahmood with 41 million; tax amount tripled in case of Aitzaz Ahsan in 3 years and he could thus be considered as the most prolific beneficiary over 3 years
- Imran Khan stands out as the only loser and suffered a loss in finances as his taxes decreased from 194,936 in 2013 to a paltry 76,244 in 2015 i.e. a reduction by almost 2/3rd. So for Imran Khan these 3 years have been disastrous in financial terms as well besides of course political failures to rise to the PM position
- Very interesting that in 2015, Imran Khan is even poorer than Sheikh Rashid; the later paid Rs. 0.31 million compared to Imran Khan who paid Rs. 0.08 million
- Overall tax amount by these members increased from 48 million in 2013 to 12.5 million in 2015; an increase of 250%; a reflection of that of Aitzaz Ahsan
- Interestingly Aitzaz Ahsan (a lawyer besides parliamentarian) was also followed closely by another lawyer Dr. Farogh Nasim who paid 30 million in taxes during 3 years suggesting that these 3 years were very rewarding for this profession. However, Dr. Nasim was not that prolific compared to Aitzaz Ahsan in increasing the business
- Mr. Janahgir Tareen did not pay any tax in years 2013 and 2014 but came up with huge amounts of 37.6 million in 2015; something that invokes valid questions
- Ch. Shujat Hussain refrained from paying taxes after 2013
- Ishaq Dar’s income has been taking big leaps in these 3 years as the tax increased from 0.8 million in 2013 to 3.9 million i.e. 500% increase
- Kh. Saad Rafiq also did well and increased his taxable income by 250% in 3 years i.e. tax amount increased from 1.2 to 3 million; Paksstan Railways has doing very well in is tenure as minister, we hear that
- PM Nawaz Sharif, CM Shahbaz Sharif and Hamza Shahbaz have been fairly consistent in earning not showing a major change though Nawaz Sharif has gone a bit poor as he deposited 2.2 million in 2015 compared to 2.5 million in 2013; other 2 Sharifs have flourished a bit; Hamza more than his father
- Likewise Omar Ayub paid only in 2014 and not in 2013 and 2015
- Pervaiz Elahi also made some good money and return part of it to the government willingly or unwillingly but he did improve his financial position; tax amount increased from 0.79 million to 1.4 million during the 3 years
- Except for Faryal Talpur we do not find any name from Bhutto or Zardari family in the FBR documents. Faryal Talpur has been a consistent tax payer rendering a total of 7 million and showing an increase from 0.24 to 2.26 million, probably the most prolific economic growth of 900%.
It would seem a congratulations are in order for the parliamentarians showing an admirable improvement in their financial resources in spite of everything happening in the country and to her economy.You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ for more updates. Otherwise fill in the subscription box above, or subscribe to our RSS Feed.