Tue, Jan 14, 2014 - Page 10 News List

Half Pakistani lawmakers do not pay tax
半數巴基斯坦國會議員不納稅

Pakistani lawmakers march towards US Consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan on Nov. 25 last year.
巴基斯坦國會議員去年十一月二十五日遊行前往位於巴基斯坦白沙瓦的美國大使館。

Photo: EPA
照片:歐新社

Nearly half Pakistan’s lawmakers do not pay taxes, according to a study, findings that may endanger billions of dollars in IMF and other loans and aid that shore up a faltering economy.

Cracking down on rampant tax evasion is a main condition of a US$6.7 billion IMF program aimed at stabilizing the nuclear-armed US ally of 180 million people.

Big donors like Britain, which has committed more than US$1 billion to Pakistani education, are considering slashing aid unless more rich Pakistanis pay tax.

The report, which identifies some ministers among the legislators who pay no tax, was drawn up by the Center for Investigative Reporting in Pakistan, an independent research group.

Pakistan has a 9 percent tax to gross domestic product ratio, one of the world’s lowest. Fewer than 1 percent of citizens file income taxes.

“If politicians don’t pay taxes themselves, they have lost the moral authority to impose taxes on others,” said Umar Cheema, the author of the report.

The Finance Ministry said December tax collection last year was up by about a quarter compared with the year before. Cheema said nearly 80 percent of that was through indirect taxes on items like fuel.

“Whenever there is pressure from the donor agencies, they just increase indirect taxes, which shifts the burden on the poor and lets the rich off again,” Cheema said.

(Reuters)

一份研究指出,近半數巴基斯坦國會議員不繳稅。這項發現或將危及「國際貨幣基金」數十億美元的捐輸,以及支撐衰退經濟的其他貸款與援助。

打擊猖獗的逃漏稅是「國際貨幣基金」一項六十七億美元計畫的主要條件,該計畫旨在穩定這個人口一億八千萬的美國核武盟邦。

諸如已撥款逾十億美元用於巴國教育的英國等捐款大國,正考慮削減援助,除非更多巴國富人納稅。

這份報告是由獨立研究團體「巴基斯坦調查報告中心」所寫,該報告在沒有納稅的國會議員當中,指認出一些內閣首長。

巴國的稅收占國內生產毛額比為百分之九,是全球最低國家之一。不到百分之一的公民申報所得稅。

報告作者烏瑪.契馬說:「如果政治人物自己不納稅,他們就喪失了對他人課稅的道德權威。」

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. shore up v. phr.

支撐;穩住 (zhi1 cheng1; wen3 zhu4)

例: The unpopular president has tried hard to shore up his own political position.

(這名不受歡迎的總統努力穩住自己的政治地位。)

2. draw up v. phr.

寫出;起草;制定 (xie3 chu1; qi2 cao3; zhi4 ding4)

例: I haven’t drawn up anything for the proposal yet.

(我尚未起草計劃。)

3. let off v. phr.

放過;寬恕 (fang4 guo4; kuan1 shu4)

例: I’ll let you off this time, but never again.

(這次我饒了你,但絕不能再犯。)


巴國財政部指出,相較於前年,去年十二月的稅收增加約四分之一。契馬指出,當中近百分之八十是從燃料等項目的間接稅而來。

「每當相關捐助機構施壓,他們就只是增加間接稅,這些稅轉嫁到窮人,再度放過富人,」契馬說。

(路透/翻譯:魏國金)

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