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    Sunday, 24 June 2018

    Pakistanis transferred $ 15.2 billion abroad ,caused depreciation of rupee

    A startling report, compiled by 12-member committee of experts, reveals that Pakistani citizens have transferred a sum of $ 15 billion abroad during the financial year 2016-17 which caused the depreciation of rupee and foreign debt.
    Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had ordered the court on March 26 to constitute a committee of 12 experts having insight into the process of accumulation of undeclared foreign assets by Pakistani citizens and prepare a report in this regard.
    The committee consisted of Governer State Bank Tariq Bajwa, Chairman FBR Tariq Pasha, Additional Attorney General Mohammad Waqar Rana, senior lawyer Khalid Anwar, Advocate Ikramul Haq, Finance Secretary Arif Ahmed Khan, Shabbar Zaidi, Mehmood Mandiwala, Bashir Ali Muhammad, Tariq Paracha, Nisar Muhammad Khan.
    The committee was assigned the task to propose legislative and executive measures for tracing and retrieving such assets held abroad.
    The report highlights that during the financial year 2016-17 a staggering amount, US$15.253 billion, was transferred abroad by Pakistani citizens through normal banking channels.  The committee also suggested that during the said period a substantial amount of transfers took place from Pakistan under unauthorised and undocumented Hundi and Hawala mechanisms.
    The CJP had taken suo motu notice related to retrieving the alleged ill-gotten money from foreign accounts.
    The order given by the chief justice said that the apex court was not an ‘expert in economic, fiscal or financial matters’, adding that it was persuaded to initiate these suo motu proceedings for the grave public interest concerns.
    CABINET
    The caretaker government has endorsed the amnesty scheme introduced by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, and has approved the rules issued in the plan.
    The decision was taken by the federal cabinet at a meeting held at the PM Office with Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk in the chair.
    “Government of Pak­istan’s US Dollars Denom­inated Amnesty Bonds Rules, 2018 were approved by the cabinet,” said an official press release issued by the PMO.
    Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had announced the amnesty scheme in January this year, encouraging Pakistanis to declare their foreign assets. The government had also offered reduced rates to broaden the tax base and address the challenges to the economy.
    The scheme — a one-time allowance — was approved by both the Senate and the National Assembly. The PML-N government believed that to widen the tax net, and get the wealthy to pay their due share, tax rates must be lowered and reforms made to the system.
    The opposition — both the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) — have rejected the scheme and termed it a move that allows legalising black money.
    PPP information secretary Nafisa Shah had at a press conference said that the PML-N announced the amnesty scheme to lure the business community as part of its election campaign, just as it had done in the past. “Once again, an all-too-similar scheme is being launched to benefit specific people from the ruling elite,” she said.
    Similarly, the PTI anno­unced that it would challenge the amnesty scheme in a court of law. The party rejected the five-point scheme of the government and claimed that it was designed to legalise black money.
    In a separate decision, the federal cabinet approved the signing of a memorandum of under­standing between Pakistan and Sudan for cooperation in human resource deve­lopment.
    The cabinet also offered condolences over the demise of veteran diplomat Jamsheed Marker.

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