Tuesday Nov 22, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar shared on Tuesday that he has received the interim report related to the leak of Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s income tax records, adding that they have traced some people involved in the act.
In an interview during Geo News programme 'Capital Talk', Dar repeated that leaking army chief's income tax returns was "illegal".
A day earlier, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar took notice of the "illegal and unwarranted" leakage of tax information of Gen Bajwa's family members.
"This is clearly a violation of the complete confidentiality of tax information that the law provides," a statement from the Finance Division had read.
In view of this serious lapse on the part of to-date unknown functionaries, Dar had directed Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha to personally lead the probe, affix responsibility, and submit a report within 24 hours.
“I have seen the interim report. I hope to receive the final report today,” Dar told the host during today's show. He added that the government has found a few people behind the leak and the issue will reach its logical conclusion.
The finance czar shared that one person involved in the leak is from Lahore and another from Rawalpindi.
However, he added that there is a possibility that some of the individuals involved may have the authorisation to look at the income tax records as there a "circle" in Rawalpindi where assessments take place.
“These people are authorised to access [data] for their assessment,” said Dar.
The finance minister was of the view that if “illegal work” is allowed or a blind eye is turned towards it then a person will not be fulfilling their duty.
“The law does not allow the release of army chief or anyone else’s income tax returns without a court order,” said the finance minister.
Reacting to Imran Khan’s claim that Pakistan’s default risk soared from 5% to 80% during the tenure of the incumbent coalition government, the finance minister said that the PTI leaders should think that whether they were working in or against the interests of the country.
The finance czar berated the former PTI government for borrowing historic loans and ruining the economy ahead of the COVID-19 outbreak. He reiterated that Pakistan will not default and would repay loans on time.
“They must stop the dirty politics,” he added.
The coalition government was taking measures to repay the loans, he said, adding that they were engaged with friendly countries besides multilateral donors such as World Bank, IMF, Asian Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Dar maintained that due to Imran Khan and other PTI leaders' speeches, the multilateral donors seek queries from the government.
Ishaq Dar claimed that the real value of US dollar should be around Rs190. Long march, political instability, negative statements and lack of confidence were the major reason behind the high rates of the US dollar.
He maintained that the opposition should not make point-scoring on the economy. Responding to a question on petroleum prices, the minister said that the government would pass on the benefit of reduced fuel prices to the masses.