All the non-filers in Pakistan are in for a huge surprise as the new Budget 2018-19 bars the non-filers from purchasing new vehicles manufactured in Pakistan or imported in the country.

The government of Pakistan will not allow the people to buy a car if their name is not present in the active taxpayers’ list (ATL) of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).  According to the Finance Bill 2018, “Non-filers shall not be permitted to purchase new motor vehicles manufactured in Pakistan or new imported vehicles.”

It is no secret that tax collection is not the strongest suits of our government. In a country which has 2017.7 million people, only 1.26 million filed for tax return which is around 0.6% of the total population.

This proposition seems to be another measure by the government to penalize the non-filers in the country. In the budget 2018-19, the government also proposed to bar the non-filers from purchasing a property whose value is more than Rs. 4 million.

The Pakistani auto industry is unsurprisingly not happy with the proposition presented in budget 2018-19 as an industry official while talking to The Express Tribune revealed that this move by the government will motivate the investors to buy the cars and sell them to non-filers while charging a hefty premium which will undo their efforts to get rid of this menace.

He suggested that the government should consider increasing the tax applicable on non-filers on the purchase of vehicles as compared to the filers which may encourage people to file for tax.

Pakistan’s auto industry is finally in a good place where many big names in the global automotive industry including, Nissan, Volkswagen, Renault, Hyundai, KIA etc. have entered into partnerships to manufacture cars in the country. Thus, taking out non-filers from the equation will do more harm for the country and its economy.