Khan: Pakistan should raise more tax to receive less aid

20 Aug 18

Pakistan’s new prime minister has called for the rich to start paying taxes to cut public debt – and pledged to live a “simple life”.

In his first address as prime minister on Sunday, Imran Khan set out his new vision for a “New Pakistan”, which included the introduction of a welfare system, as well as reductions in poverty and high debt levels.

He said: “We have formed a bad habit of living on loans and aid from other countries.

No country can prosper like this. A country must stand on its own feet.”

Referring to the Scandinavian countries, Khan added that Pakistan should follow a system where the rich pay more taxes, which is used for the welfare of the poor and to provide basic services.

Fewer than 1% of the population pay income tax.

Khan said: “It is your responsibility to pay taxes. Think of this as a jihad [holy war] – that you need to pay tax for the betterment of your country.”

Additionally, the new prime minister, who pledged to fight corruption during his election campaign, criticised the lavish lifestyles of Pakistan’s rulers and said he would live in a small three-bedroom house instead of the prime minister’s residence.

He also said he would have just two servants instead of the 524 reserved for the country’s premier. Khan also said he would sell some of the government’s bullet-proof vehicles to help make up the Treasury’s shortfalls.

He said: “I want to tell my people, ‘I will live a simple life, I will save your money.’”

Khan was sworn in on Saturday after his party won the general election last month.

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