Over a period of one and a half years, Pakistani nationals have made 5,398 real estate transactions. However, as it recently came to light in the National Assembly, no administrative or governmental body or office has had any information or data about these transactions.
From January 2016 to June 2017, Pakistanis have invested 7 billion Dirhams in UAE’s real estate sector. This development has turned them into the third biggest real estate investors in Dubai. Altogether, Pakistanis have contributed a total of $8 billion there from 2013 till mid-2017.
After numerous governmental organizations ignored the outflows of $8 billion for four years to Dubai, the Pakistani parliament has, at long last, decided to look into the matter itself and see if any preventive measures need to be taken to curb this trend.
The parliament has stepped in, after the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), all proved incapable of monitoring this development.
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance on Tuesday took upon itself to prevent unrestricted outflow of cash from the nation. For this purpose it has set up a three-part board of trustees that will comprehensively survey the entire issue.
PMLN’s Dr. Shezra Mansab Ali will head the board that will also include MNAs Isphanyar Bhandara and Asad Umer from PTI, who had been raising this issue for a year.
The three-member board’s terms of reference will be to investigate how the $8 billion cash flew abroad, whether the money can be brought back and how to stop such huge outflows overseas by Pakistanis.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is also uninformed regarding how the cash really flew outside Pakistan. Prior to this year, former SBP Governor Ashraf Wathra had said the bank never enabled any person to purchase offshore properties.
“Everybody knows how individuals exchange cash abroad, and these channels are Hawala, Hundi and the Protection of Economic Reforms Act (PERA) of 1992,” Wathra had told individuals from the NA Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue.
FBR has no clue about who owned properties in Dubai or whether people who own them have declared them in their annual wealth statements and income tax returns.
FBR’s Member Policy Dr Mohammad Iqbal was asked if he did write to the Dubai tax authorities about getting these tax records. However, he did not disclose the dates when he wrote to them, only mentioning that his letter was not responded to.
The Public Accounts Committee of parliament is now considering writing a letter to the Dubai Land Development to look for data about the Pakistanis that have invested significant sums of money into the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Via Express Tribune