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Pakistani PM threatens legal action against tax evaders

June 10, 2019
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, right, listens to Iraq's President Barham Salih during a group picture ahead of Islamic Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, early Saturday, June 1, 2019. Muslim leaders from some 57 nations gathered in Islam's holiest city of Mecca late Friday to discuss a breadth of critical issues ranging from a spike in tensions in the Persian Gulf, to Palestinian statehood, the plight of Rohingya refugees and the growing threat of Islamophobia. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, right, listens to Iraq's President Barham Salih during a group picture ahead of Islamic Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, early Saturday, June 1, 2019. Muslim leaders from some 57 nations gathered in Islam's holiest city of Mecca late Friday to discuss a breadth of critical issues ranging from a spike in tensions in the Persian Gulf, to Palestinian statehood, the plight of Rohingya refugees and the growing threat of Islamophobia. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s prime minister says tax evaders who fail to declare their wealth and pay taxes will face legal action.

Imran Khan delivered his message in a televised speech on Monday, vowing punitive measures for Pakistanis who won’t disclose the property they own or the amount of money they keep in banks at home and abroad.

Khan’s actions are part of a recently announced program to get tax evaders to mend their ways by June 30. The government is allowing them to legalize their wealth by paying 4% taxes on previously undisclosed assets.

Most high-income earners in Pakistan avoid paying taxes altogether.

Since coming to power in 2018, Khan’s government has faced significant economic challenges. Pakistan recently reached a preliminary agreement with the IMF for a $6 billion bailout.

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