Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said lamented elite capture in Pakistan and said that all of the country’s resources had been overtaken by a a ‘certain section’.
Speaking in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Asif said that it was unbelievable that the interest payments on Pakistan’s loans had become greater than the country’s income.
“A continuous haemorrhage has not been addressed for multiple decades,” Asif said.
He said that two institutions in Pakistan alone had a debt of over Rs1000 billion. He said that for one of these institutions with debt over Rs700 billion, Rs86 billion was being paid just as interest.
“These organisations are sick and it is best to dispose them off,” he said, but added that the country was carrying them anyway.
“Keeping these organistaions alive is a crime against the state,” he said.
He said that organisations built for poverty alleviation were paying CEOs and COOs millions of rupees and clung to their jobs through stay orders.
He then read out an IPSOS survey highlighting which industries evade taxes in Pakistan.
He said that the real estate sector alone was responsible for Rs500 billion in evaded taxes through under invoicing and land evaluation scams. He added that there were people in the real estate sector whose name cannout be uttered on TV.
He then said that Rs240 billion worth of tax was being evaded in the tobacco industry, with two companies paying 99% of the taxes. He added that people affiliated with the tobacco industry had made it into the parliament as well.
Asif said Rs50 billion and Rs56 billion in taxes were being stolen in the auto-mobile industry and autho lubricant industry. He added that Rs45 billion were being stolen in the garb of tea imports.
He added that there was tax theft worth Rs2,880 in the retail sector alone.
“We will have to find out a permanent solution for this,” he said.
“All of this is happening in a country that is neck deep in debt,” he said. “People are not even sparing university funds.”
“We have tried to dismantle this elite capture, but to very little success,” he said. “I hope there is stable government in this country that can take them on.”