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Pak govt believes $11 billion stashed abroad by Pakistanis: Report

The information about the offshore bank accounts of Pakistani nationals was shared with the government by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

black money

Pakistani nationals having more than 152,500 accounts could have stashed away $11 billion, a "mind-boggling" amount half of which is undeclared, a top was quoted as saying in a media report Tuesday.

of State for Revenue told at the and Industry (LCCI) that the number of offshore accounts was "mind-boggling".

"So is the amount involved and the names of account holders," Azhar was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.

"All of these offshore account holders are resident Pakistanis and more than half of the hard currency stashed away by them is undeclared," he said.

The said many of these offshore account holders did not have legitimate, documented business.

"That should be enough to underscore the scale of tax evasion (in the country). We wouldn't have to beg if we could bring this back home," he said.

Azhar said the offshore account holders were under the watch of the (FBR).

The information about the accounts of Pakistani nationals was shared with the government by the (OECD).

Azhar said the government had "deployed technology" using database of the National Database and Registration Authority, Federal Investigation Agency, and the FBR to profile potential taxpayers in

"Almost half the work is already done and by the end of April the profiling of such tax evaders will be completed," he said.

Last week, of the FBR Jahanzeb Khan told a parliamentary panel the board had neither set any tax recovery target from the holders of these accounts nor seen any tax potential from the Panama Papers leaks.

The tax recovery target could not be given on the basis of information received about the offshore accounts because the account holders might have transferred through legal channels or have plausible justification, he was quoted to have told the panel.

Around 400 account holders are believed to have cash of $1 million or above in their accounts and the FBR has so far been able to recover $1.2 million from one individual as tax since the OECD shared the information with the country's top tax agency.

Several years ago, former minister had claimed that Pakistani nationals had parked a whopping $200 billion in Swiss accounts, but he never disclosed the source of his information.

Based on his claim, the ruling Tehreek-i-Insaf promised to recover this after coming to power.

The has also set up the for this purpose.

First Published: Tue, March 19 2019. 12:30 IST