Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday recognized the top 150 taxpayers of the country. All of the top 150 taxpayers were invited for a formal lunch to encourage the tax culture in the country. Nine of the taxpayers also received awards from the PM. He chose to give awards to only three from each of three categories namely, individuals, an association of persons (AOPs) and companies.
In the First category of the top five taxpaying companies, The Oil and Gas Development Company Limited was the top taxpayer, followed by United Bank Limited, Government Holding Private Limited, Pakistan Petroleum Limited and Pakistan State Oil.
The first and third appreciation certificates went to the two government-owned companies.
In the AOP category, the top five taxpaying joint ventures were CR20G-ZKB KLM Joint Venture, ZKB Reliable JV, Advance Telecom, Limak JV ZKB and Air Link Communication.
The appreciation certificates were given to three joint ventures.
In the third category of individual taxpayers, none of the known big names were among the top three (individual) taxpayers of Pakistan. Saima Shahbaz Malik and her father-in-law Muhammad Yasin Malik were Pakistan’s top two taxpayers. They were followed by Ahmed Ullah on third, Hassan Mansha, son of Mian Mansha, on fourth and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on fifth. The PML-N leader, however, didn’t attend the ceremony.
Pakistan’s noted billionaire Mian Mansha was not even in the top 30 tax paying individuals. Instead, his two sons featured on the list, with Hassan Mansha ranked fourth, while Mian Umer Mansha was the country’s 13th highest taxpayer.
Imran Khan said the true VIPs of Pakistan were those people who paid the most tax and such citizens should be facilitated and honoured.
Addressing the tax awards ceremony here, the premier stressed that there was a need for changing the mindset under which wealth creation was considered a “sin” so that people can be encouraged to invest in Pakistan.
“It is my mission … to tax those people in Pakistan whose luxurious lifestyles do not match with the amount of taxes they pay,” Imran said.
“Like Darwin’s theory of ‘Survival of Species’ that calls for adaptability, Pakistan will have to change itself. Around 1.7 million income tax filers cannot bear the burden of a 210 million population,” he said.
He noted that only 72,000 people from across the country declare an income of over Rs. 200,000, but added that it was “understandable” if people shied away from paying taxes because of their concern that their money would not be fully utilized for the uplift of the lower segments of society.