Rawalpindi division of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has discovered 77,513 Kanal of Benami properties worth Rs. 7.384 billion. FBR has registered cases and initiated an investigation into the matter under the Benami Act 2017.
According to Additional Deputy Commissioner Revenue Rizwan Qadeer, Rawalpindi is the first district that has taken action against Benami properties. Rawalpindi division of FBR has already forwarded 49 cases and six references related to these properties to the board. Some of the unearthed properties belong to PML-N Senator Chaudhry Tanveer and other private companies.
Commissioner Capt. (R) Mohammad Mehmood said that district administrations of Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Jhelum, and Attock discovered 49 Benami properties in 2019. Other than that, 22 Benami properties were pointed out by citizens.
Another 14 Benami properties measuring 16,009 Kanal worth Rs. 2.98 million are in rural Rawalpindi, 22 properties measuring 42,490 Kanal worth Rs. 3.736 million in Attock, 3 properties measuring 17,447 Kanal worth Rs. 0.591 million in Jhelum, and 10 properties measuring 1,567 Kanal worth Rs. 67,219 million were discovered in Chakwal.
Benami properties measuring 7000 Kanal discovered in Sangraal, Pind Malu, Ghangar, Dhodian and Ladian villages of Rawalpindi belong to Senator Chaudhry Tanveer. The PML-N senator had registered these properties under the names of his driver, gunmen, and servants.
Last year, while addressing a group of bureaucrats, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the FBR to unearth and confiscate Benami properties all over the country.
After the Benami Act 2017, three zones of FBR were assigned to handle cases of Benami properties in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi. Islamabad zone deals with cases registered in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Rawalpindi division. Lahore zone is responsible for Punjab and Balochistan while Karachi zone oversees cases registered in Sindh.
Once a Benami property is discovered, a senior officer from the concerned zone prepares a reference after consulting the revenue record, registered deeds, and wealth statements. The reference must be sent to the FBR within 90 days of discovering a Benami property.