Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has revealed to National Assembly Standing sub-committee on Finance that one hundred Pakistanis own properties in Dubai. However, the authorities have failed to determine whether the land was bought legally or illegally.
It was also brought to light that neither Economic Coordination Board (ECC) nor State Bank granted anyone permission to make foreign investments in property.
FIA told the committee that the agency didn’t have jurisdiction to gather details about these investments. Zaheer Ahmed, Director FIA, further said that neither State Bank nor Federal Board of Revenue were empowered to carry out investigations involving foreign investments with other countries. He said that only National Accountability Bureau has the authority to contact other countries about money laundering.
Asad Umar of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh of Pakistan Muslim League N (PML N) and the committee’s head Dr Shezra Mansab Ali are the members of NA finance sub-committee. However, absence of NAB from this meeting is of serious concern.
The committee was also informed about certain loopholes in anti-corruption laws that need improvements particularly referring to Foreign Assets Declaration Regulations 1972.
Pakistan has an agreement of double taxation with UAE. FBR contacted them to seek help but the Emirates didn’t respond at all, FBR Chairperson Tariq Pasha told.
On this Asad Umar inquired,
Why is that they did not respond [to questions regarding] details of ordinary Pakistanis but could answer questions about a sitting prime minister?
The sub-committee recommended inclusion of NAB in the case, however, the main committee decided against it and left NAB out of the proceedings.
The NA Committee on Finance also raised concerns on domestic investment issues and demanded FBR to present what they have done about it so far. The committee demanded FBR to allow domestic real estate sector to divulge actual land prices.