Director General of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Karachi has told that the Bureau has the authority to commence inquiry against anyone who has availed tax amnesty.
The DG Altaf Bawany told that NAB has the authority to investigate any illegal money that has been legalized through amnesty schemes. However, it all still depends on whether NAB is willing to start an investigation against such strong figures.
He further added that amnesty schemes have been initiated to bring back the money to Pakistan. However, if NAB suspects that this money was earned through illegal means then the bureau holds complete authority to initiate a probe against the matter. He said;
Previously, amnesties have been announced to give immunity from tax evasions. However, the law allows the bureau to probe into funds obtained through criminal activities.
Altaf presented his views in a conference “Role of Business Community in Curbing the Menace of Corruption” which was attended by several members of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) officials as well.
The Conference and Point of Views
Director General told that the purpose of amnesty schemes is to accumulate taxes. Under amnesty schemes, Pakistanis who have their assets abroad can disclose them under a plea bargain. Government is set to announce another amnesty scheme next week as well.
According to this scheme, foreign asset holders will have an option of declaring their assets against a 2% payment if they bring back their money to Pakistan. In case they decide to keep it abroad then they will have to pay an amount of 4%. The director general added that;
The plea bargain offers a return of actual money with the additional amount of gains. People accept this offer in order to avoid jail-term.
DG told that those availing this scheme cannot hold any government office for at least 10 years and are not eligible to receive any financing from banks.
Talking about the achievements of the bureau, Bawany told that since its inception in 1990, NAB Karachi has recovered over Rs 30 billion that was lost in corruption.
Overall, NAB recovered Rs 280 billion across the country. Bawany told the attendees of the meeting that NAB probes its own officials as well. In such cases, 35 officers have been expelled from their jobs at the bureau while most of them are in jail.
He further added that it is everyone’s responsibility to discourage bribe and corruption. Corruption harms the economy of a country and the damage is sometimes irreversible. He told that, cost of doing business increase by 10% due to corrupt practices across the world. However, in Pakistan, this cost touches 20% and people hesitate to invest in the country because of this.
Via Pk Revenue