Huzaima Bukhari & Dr. Ikramul Haq
When NAB Ordinance, 1999 is effective from 1st January 1985, how could Foreign Assets (Declaration and Repatriation) Ordinance, 2018, Voluntary Declaration of Domestic Assets Ordinance, 2018 [became Act in Finance Act 2018] and the Assets Declaration Ordinance, 2019 [became Act in Finance Act 2019] allow the public officeholders prior to 1st January 2000 to avail the amnesty schemes. It amounts to decriminalization of crimes against State!
All public officeholders, Political Exposed Persons (PEPs) and their associates who availed these schemes should be proceeded against. NAB as special law even otherwise overrules any conflicting law—Supreme Court of Pakistan in Amjad Qadoos v Chairman Accountability Bureau (NAB) Islamabad & Others 2014 SCMR 1567.
All these laws, assuring complete confidentiality to tax evaders and plunderers of national wealth, could not be passed as Money Bill but was blatantly done so by the National Assembly in utter violation of the Constitution and judgements of the Supreme Court, namely, Workers Welfare Funds m/o Human Resources Development, Islamabad through Secretary and others v East Pakistan Chrome Tannery (Pvt.) Ltd through its GM (Finance), Lahore etc. and others [(2016) 114 TAX 385 (S.C. Pak.)], Mir Muhammad Idris v FOP PLD 2011 SC 213 and Sindh High Court Bar v FOP PLD 2009 SC 789.
How could ill-gotten money created through corruption become kosher after 10 years in the hands of public officeholders and employees of State? It is worth-mentioning that the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 applicable from January 1, 1985 was ignored by PMLN under Foreign Assets (Declaration and Repatriation) Act, 2018 and Voluntary Declaration of Domestic Assets Act, 2018 and then by the PTI Government first through Assets Declaration Ordinance, 2019 and then by Assets Declaration Act, 2019. However, nobody took note of it. If the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 was draconian and reflective of legacy of a dictator, meant for political revenge, why did not Pakistan Peoples Party and PMLN repeal it during the Decade of Democracy [2008-18]? What prevented them to bring a new law and also to include generals and judges—in fact all powerful segments in its ambit liable to be probed by an autonomous agency answerable directly to Parliament.
The policy of appeasementtowards corrupt practice, looting and plundering of national wealth, spread over the last many decades, has culminated in the syndrome of defeatism that “nothing can be done”, hence amnesties! In other words defeatism has become a national malady—where the beneficiaries of tainted money successfully shift the entire blame on weak administration and existing laws. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) lost huge tax base and collection due to frequent amnesties as highlighted in Amnesties & tax losses, Surkhyian, November 13, 2020 and Legislators, declarations & accountability, Surkhyian, January 20, 2020
The question that arises is that when there are glaring inactions why corrective and remedial measures have not been taken? For example in the case of Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari, and many others, the much-needed action of freezing assets under section 12 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (NAB Ordinance) is not taken. The nation wants looted wealth back, not just putting the looters behind bars and later allowed to be released on bail or even go abroad for medical treatment. Nothing has been done on the front of retrieving untaxed and/or looted wealth for which Suo Motu Case No. 2 of 2018 was initiated about 26 months ago by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
In cases of financial crimes, the real issue is retrieval of looted money and retrieval of tax on untaxed assets. This has not been done even in a case despite the Supreme Court asked for action against the Attorney General in 2010 for withdrawal of Pakistan’s claim of US$ 60 million in para 177 to 179 of the case reported as Dr. Mobashir Hassan and other v FOP and others PLD 2010 SC 265. Tragically, even after even after 10 years, the order of Supreme Court remains unimplemented.
In the changed world scenario, over 160 countries are exchanging information and taking stringent measures against tax evasion, plundering of national wealth, looting public funds, corruption, money laundering, terrorist financing. Unfortunately, even after establishing Special Asset Recovery Unit (ARU) by Prime Minister, working since October 2018, no amount is repatriated till today by its own efforts, whereas in the case of Riaz Malik repatriation of 190 million pounds recovered by the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) from the family of real estate tycoon Malik Riaz—the deal was made with a son of Politically Exposed Person is on record.
It is worth recalling that before coming to power, Premier, Imran Khan, and top leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) were calling tax amnesties as “immoral”, “undesirable”, “unlawful” and a “slap on the face of honest taxpayers”. After coming into power, the PTI took many U-turns but the worst one was offering asset whitening scheme, drafted and owned proudly by then Chairman of FBR, Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi, resulting into tax losses of billions of rupees.
The Government of PTI even bypassed the Parliament and notified its asset/income/expenditure whitening scheme—Assets Declaration Ordinance, 2019—through a Presidential Ordinance on May 14, 2019. It was later made part of Money Bill that was unconstitutional in clear violation of the judgement of Supreme Court [(2016) 114 TAX 385 (S.C. Pak.)] which says:
“We may develop this point further; although Article 73(3)(a) of the Constitution states that a Bill shall not be a Money Bill if it provides for the imposition or alteration of a fee or charge for any service rendered, this does not mean that if a particular levy/contribution does not fall within Article 73(2) it must necessarily fall within Article 73(3). Sub-articles (2) and (3) are not mutually exclusive. There may very well be certain levies/contributions that do not fall within the purview of Article 73(3) but still do not qualify the test of Article 73(2) and therefore cannot be introduced by way of a Money Bill, and instead have to follow the regular legislative procedure. The discussion above that the subject contributions/payments do not constitute a tax is sufficient to hold that any amendments to the provisions of the Ordinance of 1971, the Act of 1976, the Act of 1923, the Ordinance of 1968, the Act of 1968 and the Ordinance of 1969 could not have been lawfully made through a Money Bill, i.e. the Finance Acts of 2006 and 2008, as the amendments did not fall within the purview of the provisions of Article 73(2) of the Constitution”.
The above judgement of the Supreme Court approved the brilliant discourse and conclusion on Money Bill by the illustrious Justice Mansoor Ali Shah (then Chief Justice Lahore High Court and later elevated to Supreme Court) in 2011 PTD 2643as under:
“The special legislative procedure is, therefore, an exception and must operate in its restricted scope. Being a special procedure it also has to be construed strictly as it is a deviation from the normal legislative process under the Constitution. Integrity of a money bill must be jealously guarded and matters falling outside the purview of Articles 73(2)(a) to (g) of the Constitution should not be permitted to stealthily crawl into a money bill (at times due to political sophistry of the Government in power) -and adulterate its sanctity”.
The PMLN Government in 2018 gave generous incentives to those who were cheating the State by not paying due taxes, indulging in corruption, concealing and/or understating assets/incomes/sales/expenses. Even the looter and plunderers of the national wealth (holding public office or were state functionaries beyond 10 years) were the beneficiaries with people of Pakistan being denied the right to know even their names!
Premier Imran Khan at the time of announcing immunities and amnesties by PMLN said “we would rescind them on coming to power”. But later, his government announced yet another amnesty giving unprecedented benefits to the corrupt and tax cheats. Simply shocking! Now, it has extended the same in the case of construction industry tycoons without first making public the Presidential Ordinance amending the law and making public the name of beneficiaries who opted for waiver from section 111 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 dealing with unexplained sources of assets and expenses [for details read Tax amnesty scheme: FBR must disclose names of investors: Expert, Business Recorder, January 4, 2021].
How could ill-gotten money created through corruption have become kosher after 10 years by public officeholders and employees of State? It is worth-mentioning that the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 was ignored by PMLN under Foreign Assets (Declaration and Repatriation) Act, 2018 and Voluntary Declaration of Domestic Assets Act, 2018 and then by the PTI Government first through Assets Declaration Ordinance, 2019 and then by Assets Declaration Act, 2019 as it was applicable from January 1, 1985. However, nobody took note of it. If the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 was draconian and reflective of legacy of a dictator, meant for political revenge, why did not Pakistan Peoples Party and PMLN repeal it during the Decade of Democracy [2008-18]? What prevented them to bring a new law and also to include generals and judges—in fact all powerful segments in its ambit liable to be probed by an autonomous agency answerable directly to Parliament.
The Government of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) got Foreign Assets (Declaration and Repatriation) Act, 2018 and Voluntary Declaration of Domestic Assets Act, 2018 passed as part of Finance Act, 2018. All these laws, assuring complete confidentiality to tax evaders and plunderers of national wealth, could not be passed as Money Bill but was blatantly done by the National Assembly in utter violation of the Constitution and judgements of the Supreme Court, namely, Workers Welfare Funds m/o Human Resources Development, Islamabad through Secretary and others v East Pakistan Chrome Tannery (Pvt.) Ltd through its GM (Finance), Lahore etc. and others [(2016) 114 TAX 385 (S.C. Pak.)], Mir Muhammad Idris v FOP PLD 2011 SC 213 and Sindh High Court Bar v FOP PLD 2009 SC 789.
Tragically, our civil society also did not bother to challenge these under Article 199 of the Constitution on the basis of above cases and/or invoking Article 189 of the Constitution. Both these schemes fetched 82,889 declarations paying Rs. 124 billion (domestic Rs. 77 billion and foreign Rs. 47 billion), though the then Adviser to Prime Minister on Revenue, Haroon Akhtar, claimed that collection would not be less than US$ 5 billion for foreign assets alone.
As many as 135 persons, named in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) database, availed the 2018 tax amnesty scheme of the PMLN and declared Rs. 62.4 billion in assets. They paid only Rs. 2.9 billion, whereas, their actual liabilities without the tax amnesty could have been Rs. 43.7 billion, getting a relief of Rs. 40.8 billion from the government of PMLN. About 56 people, whose data was shared by the OECD, availed the PTI’s tax amnesty scheme and declared Rs. 31.8 billion worth of assets. They paid only Rs. 1.7 billion and got a relief of Rs. 20.6 billion. Of the remaining cases, not availing amnesty, Muhammad Ashfaq, then Director General of Directorate of International Taxes of the FBR and now Member Operations Internal Revenue Service (IRS), FBR, told the Standing Committee of National Assembly on November 7, 2019 that the FBR assessed 115 cases, raised demand of Rs. 4 billion and recovered Rs. 1 billion. The total tax collection in 325 cases against $5.5 billion worth of foreign assets caught in the OECD web was only Rs. 5.6 billion or 0.64% of the traced assets, indeed a startling revelation before the House Committee.
The PTI Government earlier had been proudly taking credit that it received information of around 152,000 bank accounts owned by 57,450 Pakistani nationals, having $7.5 billion in bank deposits. In fact, bulk of this information was received much before the PTI came into power. Premier Imran Khan, before giving amnesty on the insistence of many, especially Shabbar Zaidi, then Chairman FBR, time and again expressed determination to bring the looted and untaxed money back. Later, he too conceded before the forces of loot and plunder.
The tall claims of premier Imran Khan, especially of reopening the cases of beneficiaries of asset whitening scheme of PMLN were exposed by Mohammad Ashfaq of FBR who told the House Committee of National Assembly that out of 191 persons who availed the 2018 and 2019 asset whitening schemes, tax received by FBR was only Rs. 4.6 billion against declared assets of Rs. 94.2 billion. Thus these 191 people paid on average 4.9% of the value of assets in taxes!! It was conceded by Chairman FBR that they could have recovered 70% [as per provisions of Income Tax Ordinance 2001 on a concealed asset, there is a maximum income tax of 35% along with 100% penalty, bringing the total tax liability to 70%] of the assets and further amount can be settled for condonation of prosecution that under section 192A of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 as an offence is punishable on conviction with fine of Rs. 500,000 or more and imprisonment up to two years or with both. Tragically, the governments of PTI and PMLN settled the matter at just 2-4%, remarked Asad Umar, former Finance Minister of the PTI and Chairman of the Standing Committee as he was at that time—now the Minister for Planning, Development Reforms and Special Initiatives. He added: “This tells why all political parties love to give tax amnesty schemes and also shows the elite capture of Pakistan’s economy and politics”.
During the hearing on November 7, 2019, members of the Standing Committee of National Assembly were of the view that the beneficiaries of the schemes illegally took funds abroad. However, then Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi defended them claiming that “$7.5 billion went out through legal channels under the Foreign Currency Accounts Ordinance of 2001 that at the material time allowed dollar buying from the market and their remittance abroad through bank accounts”. This contention of Shabbar Zaidi was contested by Asad Umar who said: “No individual can buy assets abroad without obtaining permission of SBP or ECC, as the case may be” and added: “I am not talking about your former clients of AF Ferguson, whom you had facilitated for placement of funds abroad with the help of legal lacunas”.
Asad Umar claimed [191 Pakistani billionaires given tax relief of Rs61.4b,TheExpress Tribune, November 8, 2019.] that the stance of State Bank of Pakistan on remitting money abroad without seeking permission was different from that of the FBR historically. He was referring to a statement [SBP denies giving go-ahead for $75 million investment, The Express Tribune, November 25, 2015] given by Irfan Ali, Director Banking of the State Bank of Pakistan before the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, November 24, 2015 that the central Bank neither gave any permission nor initiated a case for approval of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to a billionaire for remitting $75 million for the purchase of Saint James’s Hotel in London. Asad Umar once again emphasised that there was a need to shut this door by ending ambiguity.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, by yielding to demand of announcing asset-whitening scheme, conveniently forgot his extraordinary speech at ‘High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development‘ at the United Nations in New York on September 26, 2019. There he highlighted the issue of assets stashed in various tax havens by loot and plunder or through tax evasion. He said: “While it is true that illicit financial flows adversely affect wealthy countries, such movement of ill-gotten money is devastating the developing countries across the world”. Imran Khan’s speech was highly appreciated at home and abroad proving his stature as a global leader. He very aptly observed: “I do not think people fully realise the impact it (illicit financial flows) is having in causing poverty, death and destruction in human development in the developing world“—this received a huge round of applause from the audience.
Premier Imran Khan said that “in the last decade Pakistan had a corrupt leadership which took the national debt accumulated over 60 years, up by four times in the last 10 years and most of the money was made out of corruption and sent outside”. In his speech, Imran Khan claimed that after coming into power his government was trying its best to retrieve that money. He lamented that even after locating properties made from illegal money by Pakistanis abroad, “we face a number of legal lacunas and difficulties in trying to bring that money back”.
The briefing of November 7, 2019 to the Standing Committee of National Assembly by Muhammad Ashfaq and Shabbar Zaidi clearly established that Premier Imran Khan acted diametrically opposite to what he pleaded in respect of bringing looted and untaxed money stashed abroad. This was the worst one could expect from the PIT Government!
It seems that Premier, Imran Khan, has yet not realised how his advisors had let him down by foregoing 70% tax on untaxed assets for which definite information was already available through multilateral treaty signed by Pakistan. How could amnesty [that too at ridiculous rates] be given when the department was in possession of actionable information? In only 56 cases where data was shared by the OECD, due to PTI’s tax amnesty, national exchequer suffered loss of Rs. 20.6 billion. The nation will never forgive many, especially Premier Imran Khan speaking ostensibly from higher moral pedestal, for this lapse which also belies all their claims of bringing tax evaders and looters of national wealth to task. Actions speak louder than words!
It needs to be highlighted that in the Finance Act, 2019, the following provision was inserted in the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001:
“192B. Prosecution for concealment of an offshore asset.– (1) Any person who fails to declare an offshore asset to the Commissioner or furnishes inaccurate particulars of an offshore asset and revenue impact of such concealment or furnishing of inaccurate particulars is ten million rupees or more shall commit an offence punishable on conviction with imprisonment up to three years or with a fine up to five hundred thousand Rupees or both”.
Strangely, in the presence of above clear provision inserted by the PTI Government itself in the law, it is not ready now to expose/penalise those who concealed offshore assets having revenue impact of concealment or furnishing of inaccurate particulars of Rs. 10 million or more. One such example recently surfaced through Reuters Press agency [Pakistani tycoon agrees to hand over £190 million to settle UK probe], “one of Pakistan’s richest and most powerful businessmen and biggest private employer….known for upmarket gated housing communities…has been caught up in corruption investigations…..agreed a settlement…..hand over a property, 1 Hyde Park Place, valued at 50 million pounds, and cash frozen in British bank accounts…140 million pounds….on the grounds that the money….acquired illegally…”
While the signatory of the deal with NCA said: “some habituals……are twisting the report of NCA [National Crime Agency] 180 degrees to throw mud at me. I sold our legal and declared property in UK to pay 190M £ to Supreme Court Pakistan against Bahria Town Karachi”, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability, Mirza Shahzad Akbar, at a Press conference on December 5, 2019 said: “We [the government of Pakistan, NCA and Malik Riaz] have also signed a deed of confidentiality. Therefore, I cannot comment more than what has already been presented in the official press releases of the government and the NCA”.
The stance taken by the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountabilityregarding the deed of confidentiality in a public matter was in utter violation of the right of the citizens under the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017 read with Article 19A of the Constitution, and the order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Watan Party & Others v Federation of Pakistan & Other PLD 2012 Supreme Court 292, which says:
“Article 19A has thus, enabled every citizen to become independent of power centres which, heretofore, have been in the control of information on matters of public importance….. Article 19A is a grant of the Constitution and, therefore, cannot be altered or abridged by a law enacted by Parliament…It, therefore, will not for this Court to deny to the citizens their guaranteed fundamental right under Article 19A by limiting or trivializing the scope of such right through an elitist construction whereby information remains the preserve of those who exercise state power.”
[underlined and bold by us for emphasis]
In Pakistan from 2018-2020 asset whitening-schemes and amnesties in the garb of incentives for construction package were offered causing loss of billions to national exchequer. It may be recalled that while addressing a Press conference on October 4, 2018, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability, claimed that details of more than 10,000 properties owned by Pakistanis were traced in Dubai and England and declared it “a huge success”. He said: “We have formed a task force which will ensure the money sent abroad is brought back“.
He said that assets detected could be divided into two categories; belonging to public officeholders and common citizens. After two years, he has not recovered a single penny from culprits he mentioned.
On the other side of boarder, the Indian government, in order to fulfill its commitment made to the people, presented on March 20, 2015 the ‘Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015’, which was adopted readily by the Indian Parliament as an Act. The Act provided enhanced punishment for various types of violations. The punishment for willful attempt to evade tax in relation to a foreign income or an asset located outside India can be rigorous imprisonment from three years to ten years. In addition, there can be a fine as well. Failure to furnish a return in respect of foreign assets and bank accounts or income is punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term of six months to seven years. The same term of punishment is prescribed for cases where although the assessee has filed a return of income, but has not disclosed the foreign asset or has furnished inaccurate particulars of the same. These provisions also apply to beneficial owners or beneficiaries of such illegal foreign assets. Abetment or inducement of another person to make a false return or a false account or statement or declaration under the Act is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from six months to seven years. This provision also applies to banks and financial institutions aiding in concealment of foreign income or assets of resident Indians or falsification of documents.
Through the above law, the Indian government and Parliament firmly showed a resolve to crack down on black money and it yielded good results as around INR (₹) 3,770,000,000 in untaxed or black money were voluntarily paid within just one month of promulgation of the law. A special investigation team (SIT) in India is continuously monitoring the black money cases and reports directly to the Supreme Court. This kind of initiative is missing in Pakistan. Even our apex court and high courts dismissed petitions praying for probe of assets stashed abroad by politicians, civil-military officials and businessmen.
In Pakistan 2021 started with a FBR’s Press release, issued on the last day of 2020, clarifying extension in Prime Minister’s Package for Construction Sector (in substance an amnesty from probing into source of sellers and buyers). FBR stated that “last date for seeking immunity by builders and developers from probing their source of funds and availing fixed tax regime has been extended from 31st December 2020 to 30th June 2021. Similarly, the last date for builders and developers who want to avail fixed tax regime has been extended from 31st December 2020 to 31st December 2021. FBR has further clarified that last date for completion of projects has been extended from 30th September 2022 to 30th September 2023 and last date for buyers of housing units and plots has been extended from 30th September 2022 to 30th March 2023”.
On the last day of 2020, Prime Minister of Pakistan gave a “New Year gift” to nation [read rich developers, builders and contractors]. In a brief televised address, Prime Minister, instead of offering relief package for 2021 to the needy and the poor suffering immensely after second deadly wave of Covid-19 endemic, extended amnesty for the rich and mighty, who even after numerous amnesties, offered by successive governments in the past, have yet failed to explain the sources of their investment in real estate business.
The Supreme Court in Suo Motu Case No. 2 of 2018, which is still pending, may consider the following:
- The issue is not merely whether the Government and Parliament are making the necessary effort to bring back all or some significant part of the stashed assets. The fact that there is some information and knowledge that such vast amounts may have been stashed away in foreign banks, implies that the State has the primordial responsibility, under the Constitution, to make every effort to trace the sources of such assets, punish the guilty where such assets have been generated and/or taken abroad through unlawful activities, and bring back the assets owed to the Country.
- The degree of success, measured in terms of the amounts of assets brought back, is dependent on a number of factors, including aspects that relate to international political economy and relations, which may or may not be under our control. The fact remains that with respect to those factors that were within the powers of our State such as investigation of possible criminal nexus, threats to national security etc., were not even attempted.
- Fealty to the Constitution is not a matter of mere material success; but, and probably more importantly from the perspective of moral authority of the State, a matter of integrity of effort in all the dimensions that inform a problem that threatens the constitutional projects. Further, the degree of seriousness with which efforts are made with respect to those various dimensions can also be expected to bear fruit in terms of building capacities, and the development of necessary attitudes to take the law enforcement part of accounting or following the money seriously in the future.
- The merits of vigour of investigations, and attempts at law enforcement, cannot be measured merely on the scale of what we accomplish with respect to what has happened in the past. It would necessarily also have to be appreciated from the benefits that are likely to accrue to the country in preventing such activities in the future. Our people may be poor, and may be suffering from all manner of deprivation. However, the same poor and suffering masses are rich, morally and from a humanistic point of view. Their forbearance of the many foibles and failures of those who wield power, no less in their name and on their behalf than of the rich and the empowered, is itself indicative of their great qualities, of humanity, trust and tolerance. That greatness can only be matched by exercise of every sinew, and every resource, in the broad goal of our constitutional project of bringing to their lives dignity. The efforts that Supreme Court makes in this regard, and will make in this respect and these matters, can only be conceived as a small and minor, though nevertheless necessary part. Ultimately the protection of the Constitution and striving to promote its vision and values is an elemental mode of service to our people.
- The Supreme Court of India while adjudicating the same issue in Ram Jethmalani & Others v Union of India and Others (2008) 8 SCC 1made the above observations and held as under:
“……in many instances, in the past, when issues referred to the Court have been very complex in nature, and yet required the intervention of the Court, Special Investigation Teams have been ordered and constituted in order to enable the Court, and the Union of India and/or other organs of the State, to fulfill their constitutional obligations”.
- A Special Investigation Team, headed by a retired Judge of Supreme Court or a General who worked in NAB, or anyone else whose competent enough may be constituted and charged with the responsibilities and duties of investigation, initiation of proceedings, and prosecution, whether in the context of appropriate criminal or civil proceedings of: (a) all issues relating to the matters concerning and arising from unaccounted assets stashed abroad (b) all other investigations already commenced and are pending, or awaiting to be initiated, with respect to any other known instances of the stashing of unaccounted assets in foreign bank accounts by Pakistani citizens or other entities operating in Pakistan; and (c) all other matters with respect to unaccounted assets being stashed in foreign banks by Pakistanis or other entities operating in Pakistan that may arise in the course of such investigations and proceedings.
It is high time that government should give up the absurd policy of appeasement towards untaxed money. It must present in the Parliament a law to provide not only taxation of untaxed assets, but also penalty and prosecution as is the case under Indian Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Act, 2015.
It is the time that the entire nation from the beginning of 2021 makes a resolve to raise voice for taking concrete measures by the government for recovering looted wealth of the nation rather than lamenting over our past mistakes and extending further amnesties, exemptions, concessions and waivers. While many countries have regularized the past through bilateral agreements, multilateral initiatives and seeking help of specialised agencies, we are still debating on how to further succumb to those who have consistently violated laws of the land, created assets beyond their own means and have always escaped punishment taking refuge under anti-people laws and/or frequent amnesties whether in the name of package for a particular industry or any class of persons.
Ms. Huzaima Bukhari, Advocate High Court and Visiting Faculty at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), is author of numerous books and articles on Pakistani tax laws. She is editor of Taxation and partner of Huzaima & Ikram, a leading law firm of Pakistan. From 1984 to 2003, she was associated with Civil Services of Pakistan. Since 1989, she has been teaching tax laws at various institutions including government-run training institutes in Lahore. She specialises in the areas of international tax laws, corporate and commercial laws. She is review editor for many publications of Amsterdam-based International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD) and contributes regularly to their journals. She has to her credit over 1500 articles on issues of public importance, printed in various journals, magazines and newspapers at home and abroad.
She has coauthored with Dr. Ikramul Haq many books that include Tax Reforms in Pakistan: Historic & Critical Review, Towards Flat, Low-rate, Broad and Predictable Taxes (revised & Expanded Edition, Pakistan: Enigma of Taxation, Towards Flat, Low-rate, Broad and Predictable Taxes, Law & Practice of Income Tax, Law , Practice of Sales Tax, Law and Practice of Corporate Law, Law & Practice of Federal Excise, Law & Practice of Sales Tax on Services, Federal Tax Laws of Pakistan, Provincial Tax Laws, Practical Handbook of Income Tax, Tax Laws of Pakistan, Principles of Income Tax with Glossary andMaster Tax Guide, Income Tax Digest 1886-2011 (with judicial analysis).
The recent publication, coauthored with Abdul Rauf Shakoori and Dr. Ikramul Haq, is Pakistan Tackling FATF: Challenges & Solutions
available at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RXH8W46
She regularly writes columns for Pakistani newspapers and has contributed over 1500 articles on issues of public finance, taxation, economy and on various social issues in various journals, magazines and newspapers at home and abroad.
Dr. Ikramul Haq, Advocate Supreme Court, specialises in constitutional, corporate and tax laws. He established Huzaima & Ikram in 1996 and is presently its chief partner as well as partner in Huzaima Ikram & Ijaz. He studied journalism, English literature and law. He is Chief Editor of Taxation andVisiting Faculty at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
He has coauthored with Huzaima Bukhari many books that include Tax Reforms in Pakistan: Historic & Critical Review, Towards Flat, Low-rate, Broad and Predictable Taxes (revised & Expanded Edition, Pakistan: Enigma of Taxation, Towards Flat, Low-rate, Broad and Predictable Taxes, Law & Practice of Income Tax, Law , Practice of Sales Tax, Law and Practice of Corporate Law, Law & Practice of Federal Excise, Law & Practice of Sales Tax on Services, Federal Tax Laws of Pakistan, Provincial Tax Laws, Practical Handbook of Income Tax, Tax Laws of Pakistan, Principles of Income Tax with Glossary andMaster Tax Guide, Income Tax Digest 1886-2011 (with judicial analysis).
The recent publication, coauthored with Abdul Rauf Shakoori and Huzaima Bukhari is Pakistan Tackling FATF: Challenges & Solutions
available at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RXH8W46
He is author of Commentary on Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements signed by Pakistan, Pakistan: From Hash to Heroin, its sequelPakistan: Drug-trap to Debt-trap and Practical Handbook of Income Tax. He regularly writes columns for many Pakistani newspapers and international journals and has contributed over 2500 articles on a variety of issues of public interest, printed in various journals, magazines and newspapers at home and abroad.