Tax amnesty scheme to be introduced today: minister

Dawn

LAHORE: Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Sunday that the tax amnesty scheme, that has remained the focus of discussion at the highest level in the federal government, would be introduced on Monday (today) as the cabinet has given its final nod to it.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, he said the incumbent government had been forced to seek financial help from the IMF because of the economic crisis which, he claimed, was caused by the policies of the previous governments of Zardari and Nawaz Sharif.
Admitting that the price hike and unemployment in the country could threaten the sitting government, he said two years would be hard for the masses and they could be offered relief only after the national financial health improved.
Sheikh Rashid says two years will be hard for nation
Sheikh Rashid, who served as minister in two out of three terms of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister, said the Sharifs were the biggest thieves of the subcontinent, but regretted that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) lacked capacity to nab them.
He claimed Shahbaz Sharif was 10 times cleverer than Nawaz Sharif as he had left the country, leaving the elder brother at the mercy of the circumstances. He said he had been cautioning (the PTI leadership) that Shahbaz Sharif was engaged in winning some sort of a deal or dheel (leniency) as the latter left for London never to return, at least in the near future.
Salman Shahbaz, younger son of the former Punjab chief minister, would also not return to Pakistan, he claimed.
The federal minister said that the only issue of the corrupt politicians was to go abroad after striking a deal with the government, but Prime Minister Imran Khan would prefer stepping down than agreeing to giving an NRO to any corrupt plunderers.
He contradicted his own words by saying that he was seeing former president Zardari, who is facing money laundering cases, as closer to a deal or dheel.
Answering a question about the opposition PML-N’s claims of launching a movement after Eidul Fitr, he said he didn’t see any chance of such a movement, rather the N-League was facing rifts among its ranks as Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had sprung into action and was holding meetings with some leaders from Lahore.
About Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Fazlur Rehman’s threats against the government, the minister said Mr Rehman had been using politicians throughout his political life and was used to playing on both sides of the wicket.
He said no politician except Zardari could serve time in jail.

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