FBR, SBP to provide ECP data on tax, loan records of candidate

FBR, SBP to provide ECP data on tax, loan records of candidates

ISLAMABAD: In a major development, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) have agreed to provide all details of tax returns and loan history of candidates to Election Commission Pakistan (ECP) for scrutiny.

FBR will help the commission in verifying contents of statement of assets and liabilities filed by candidates along with their nomination papers, within 10 days. Before this development, there was no mechanism available with the ECP to verify details of assets and liabilities of candidates.In a meeting held on Wednesday at the ECP Secretariat, representatives of FBR and SBP assured the election commission that both institutions would extend full cooperation to scrutinise candidates in the next general elections.

ECP Secretary Ishtiak Ahmed Khan and three other members of the election commission represented the ECP while senior members of FBR and State Bank represented their respective institutions. Representatives from NADRA were also present in the meeting. It was decided that the FBR chairman and State Bank governor will be asked to attend the next meeting, to be held within a week’s time, when a mechanism will be finalised for verification of nomination papers.

During the meeting, participants discussed ways and means to halt tax evaders and bank defaulters from taking part in the upcoming general elections. During the meeting, the possibility of examining the candidates’ telephone and mobile phone records was also discussed. It was also agreed that the FBR will assist the ECP in verifying National Tax Numbers (NTNs) of candidates. It will also help the commission in verifying contents of the statement filed by candidates within ten days after receiving details from ECP.The FBR also agreed it would share particulars of candidates who were on the tax roll but are not filing tax returns.

Whereas, information of all potential tax payers who are not filing their returns or are not on the tax roll shall be shared with the election commission. FBR would formulate its recommendations regarding desired changes in the current format of declaration of assets filed by candidates with the ECP.STATE BANK: The representatives of State of Bank of Pakistan also assured full co-operation to the ECP and told the commission that the data available in Electronic Credit Investigation Bureau (eCIB) maintained at SBP contains information on borrowers from financial institutions including defaulted amounts. The representatives of banks assured they were ready to share information as provided under the relevant law.Meanwhile, the commission also sought details of dual nationality holders from Senator Babar Awan in reference to his claim last year that he had information on dual nationality holders. – PT