Punjab ex-CM Usman Buzdar evaded tax by under reporting income

He did not pay a single penny in tax despite owning 57 acres of agricultural land
<p>Punjab former chief minister Usman Buzdar. Photo: File</p>

Punjab former chief minister Usman Buzdar. Photo: File

Punjab former chief minister Usman Buzdar evaded tax on his income from 57 acres of agricultural land as he showed little income from it, documents available with SAMAA TV revealed on Wednesday.

The documents obtained by SAMAA TV’s reporter Zulfiqar Mehto contain records of the Punjab Assembly, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), finance ministry, and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

As per documents, Buzdar only paid Rs166.67 under annual income tax against the salary he received as the chief minister. During his tenure, he withdrew his full salary of Rs66,800 per month.

He also owns 57 acres of agricultural land, but he evaded tax. For this purpose, he showed the earnings from this land to be only Rs80,000.

As per documents, the ex-CM registered himself as a construction contractor for government departments with FBR, and his annual income from other sources was only shown as Rs245,800.

Sources said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government did not allow FBR to publish tax directories of Parliamentarians in 2020 and 2021. However, in the tax diary of 2022, the revenue board was allowed to publish returns for 2019.

Sources in FBR also said that in prima facie, Buzdar paid less tax and hid his actual income. They said that all evidence were sufficient to launch a probe against the ex-chief minister.

Notably, Buzdar showed his collective income from monthly salary, business, and agriculture as only Rs84,904 per month which is less than a Grade-18 civil servant.

On the contrary, the value of his declared assets amounted to a whopping Rs30.5 million.

Usman Buzdar

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