In Pakistan, people are rewarded for paying tax

Pakistan rewarded its highest taxpayers in a ceremony on Wednesday. 

The tax awards were given to 100 people by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.

The highest taxpayer was a woman, identified as Saima Shahbaz Malik, followed by Muhammad Yasin Malik, Ahmedullah, Hassan Mansha and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Related: 2019-20: FBR seeks income tax proposals for the new budget

Imran Khan said that people who contribute to society should be recognised. “People who don’t pay taxes are being unjust to others.”

He said that 1.7 million taxpayers cannot bear the burden of 210 million people. “Only 72,000 people have shown their income to be above Rs200,000.” If we don’t change yourselves, then our conditions will become more difficult, he remarked. “We don’t have to increase our tax rates but make sure that people pay taxes.”

Finance Minister Asad Umar said that people who have been stealing from the nation won’t be allowed to hide. “We have to make the process of filing tax easy to encourage people.” People who give taxes their money should be used for the benefit of the country, he said.

Related: Residents of Karachi: Pay your car taxes or pay the price

He remarked that some people who wish to be Mughal-e-Azam have the right to be but they shouldn’t use Pakistan’s money for that. “Some people have been using the country’s money to get medical treatments in London, open accounts in Swiss banks and build towers in Dubai,” he added.

The federal minister said that change will take some time. “It isn’t so apparent to us as yet but the world is seeing it. Foreign investors are getting interested in Pakistan,” he said.