Senate President Zardari did file tax returns, Farhatullah Babar

Islamabad: Senator Farhatullah Babar, who is spokesperson to the President, clarified in the Senate on Thursday that President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari did file tax returns and reports appearing in media on the contrary are baseless.

He said he checked with the Tax Advisor of the President who was confirmed filing of returns by the President.

Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain also presented documentary evidence to prove that he filed his tax returns on 29th of December last year amounting to 6,87,597 rupees. He said Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi and Chaudhary Wajahat Hussain also filed tax returns on the same date.

Kamil Ali Agha regretted that names of some people have wrongly been included in the report and media should apologize to them.

Haji Muhammad Adeel said tax from salaries of Senators and MNAs belonging to ANP was detected at source.

However, the Prime Minister exempted KPK from tax while FATA is already exempt and therefore no tax was paid last year on income and in the province or FATA.

The Deputy Chairman said it was unfortunate that the respected personality of the President was wrongly involved in the report. He said despite the fact that the President, the Prime Minister and Governors were exempt, the President filed his tax returns.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition Ishaq Dar said it was shameful to portray lawmakers as tax evaders. He said he paid income tax worth over two hundred thousand rupees last year and spent 78.6 million rupees in four years on charitable activities.

Kalsoom Parveen, Saeed Ghani, Ghulam Ali, Humayun Khan Mandokhel and Syed Zafar Ali Shah also agitated over the issue and said Chairman FBR owes an explanation as to how the secret information was leaked. Afrasiab Khattak proposed strengthening of libel law.

Aitzaz Ahsan said a committee should be formed to probe into sales tax and other payable taxes by media owners.

At the instance of Leader of the House Jahangir Badr the chair referred the matter to the House Standing Committee on Finance for investigation by summoning all concerned.