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Offshore wealth: FBR to launch amnesty scheme

Offshore wealth: FBR to launch amnesty scheme

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue is going to launch an amnesty scheme for bringing back billion of rupees to the country of ‘Iqama’/work permit holder Pakistanis.

Pakistan has already signed an agreement with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in September 2016 to get the details about the offshore accounts of Pakistanis. And, the banks of OCED member countries will start sharing information from July 2018.

However, sources said that acquiring information about the offshore accounts of Pakistanis from foreign banks and brining back their money is not possible before July 2018.

The sources further said that though Pakistan and Switzerland had entered into an exchange of information agreement, however, those Pakistanis who are account holders in Switzerland and have a UAE Iqama registered with the bank as their place of residence will not be reported to any country. They will remain out of the Pakistan probe radar as far as the bank account is concerned. The banks will not disclose details of bank accounts of the ousted PM Nawaz Sharif as he holds a UAE Iqama.

At present large number of MNAs, Senators, and members of provincial assemblies (MPAs) are allegedly holding Iqama/foreign work permits but they have not submitted its details with Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Even, some of them have allegedly not submitted their complete tax returns with Federal Board of Revenue.

Sources said that FBR is working hard to launch an amnesty scheme to bring back the offshore wealth of Pakistanis deposited with foreign banks. They said the FBR would soon brief Prime Minister Shahaid Khaqan Abbasi about the amnesty scheme which, will be launched hopefully by December this year. Moreover, FBR is set to issue notices to the parliamentarians over absence of complete details of their tax returns.