Pakistanis whiten Rs. ‘ONE’ trillion assets in foreign countries, UAE tops list


Most of the foreign assets are being whitened in the UAE, Singapore, the UK and Canada.

Pakistanis made most of the amnesty and whitened their assets worth Rs1 trillion (Dh23.35 billion) in foreign jurisdiction including Rs 346 billion (Dh8 billion) in the UAE, accounting for nearly one-third – 34.5 per cent – of the total whitened foreign assets.

This was the highest declaration among foreign countries during the tax amnesty scheme launched last year.

The UAE was followed by Switzerland (Rs114.8 billion), the UK (Rs89.7 billion), Singapore (Rs87.3 billion) and British Virgin Islands (Rs48.9 billion).

The tax amnesty scheme for this year is ongoing and will end on June 30, 2019.

“Most of the foreign money by the Pakistanis is parked here and that’s why we chose this place to send the message across to Pakistanis worldwide that they have less than one week to benefit from tax amnesty and declare all their undeclared assets,” said Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed, director general for international tax at Federal Board of Revenues.

Even this year, most of foreign assets are being whitened in the UAE, Singapore, the UK and Canada.

“On a bilateral arrangement, the UAE and Pakistan share full details of the property. As far as bank details are concerned, they are shared automatically,” Ahmed said.

The purpose of the amnesty scheme, which will end on June 30, 2019, is to allow the non-documented economy’s inclusion in the taxation system to trigger economic revival and growth by encouraging a tax compliance in the economy, Ahmed said while addressing the community and media personnel in Dubai on Monday.

He revealed that some reports predicted that a massive underground economy, estimated to be around 80-90 per cent of the formal GDP.

“Hence, the government decided to give a new lease of life to economy and introduced amnesty. Our forex regulations are not up to mark. We just decided to launch another amnesty. All the overseas Pakistanis have to declare their earnings being generated in Pakistan and file tax returns,” he said.

He warned that it is era of international transparency and developed countries have ended secrecy jurisdictions and developed a framework for exchange of information of their residents’ assets in those countries.

“Last year, Pakistan received information from 28 countries and UAE was one of them. This year, we are going to receive from 71 countries. The numbers is going to increase ever year. In the next two to three years, the number go could beyond 100 countries with whom Pakistan will exchange information,” he said.


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