FBR probing 247 people owning foreign bank accounts

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SOURCEThe News
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ISLAMABAD: The FBR on Thursday informed the National Assembly panel that after availing the last two amnesty schemes by 187 individuals for owning foreign bank accounts possessing major foreign currency amounts, the investigation against 247 persons is underway who did not avail themselves of these schemes offered by PML-N and PTI in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

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Instead of $200 billion perceived to be stashed into foreign banks by Pakistanis, the FBR stated that they obtained data of 152,000 individuals from 28 jurisdictions owning just $7 to $8 billion. However, this obtained data does not possess any details about Pakistanis who invested in the UAE. “We are holding discussions with the UAE to get details about Pakistanis,” FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue which met under chairmanship of PTI MNA Asad Umar here at the Parliament House on Thursday.

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The FBR’s chief told the NA Panel that they received data about 152,000 Pakistanis after becoming member of OECD from 28 countries out of which they scrutinised data of about 57,450 and found that 378 individuals who owned more than $1 million, 123 individuals owning in the range of $750,000 to $1 million, 154 owning $0.5 million to $0.75 million, 1,325 persons owning $0.1 million to $0.5 million and 11,201 persons who owned $1,000 to $0.1 million in their foreign bank accounts. There are total 378 persons who owned $5 billion. The FBR, he said, was conducting probe against 1,980 individuals out of which the investigation was completed against 453 persons. The FBR high-ups stated that out of 453 persons, there were 115 persons who availed themselves of amnesty scheme in 2018 and 72 availed themselves of amnesty scheme in 2019. A total 187 had availed themselves of the last two amnesty schemes on foreign assets or income.

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The chairperson Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) also briefed the committee about the reasons behind increase of price in wheat flour and sugar sector in the country. The CCP chairperson stated that internationally the prices of sugar are decreasing, but domestically its price is increasing. The CCP has started cost audit of sugar sector, she maintained. The chairman of NA panel, Asad Umer, said the government had taken the initiative of taking up competition related issues of the sugar sector after a long gap of 10 years. “I talked about the issue before the budget and members should also take up the issue before the National Assembly” he added.

MNA Nafeesa Shah said every political party leadership is involved in the sugar sector business. The investigation of the sugar mills may not be possible and alleged their own ATMs are sitting right and left of the prime minister.

(This news/article originally appeared in The News on August 8th, 2019)

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