Tuesday May 08, 2018
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has ordered an inquiry against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and others for allegedly laundering $4.9 billion to India.
According to a NAB statement, the chairman of the bureau has taken notice of media report which made the claims.
According to the media report, this incident is mentioned in the World Bank’s Migration and Remittance Book 2016.
However, details of the media report in question have not been mentioned in the statement.
The statement claims that the amount was laundered to the Indian finance ministry after which Indian foreign exchange reserves witnessed an increase and Pakistan suffered as a result.
Nawaz is not only undergoing three corruption cases at the accountability court in light of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Panama Papers case, but a NAB inquiry is also under way against him for alleged illegal expansion of a road leading to his estate in Lahore’s Jati Umra locality.
In a press release issued on September 21, 2016, the State Bank of Pakistan had rejected the estimates of $4.9 billion remittances from Pakistan to India.
“This number is given in Migration and Remittances Factbook 2016 prepared by the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD).”
The State Bank press release added that the Factbook data on bilateral remittance flows were estimates and not the actual flows which are based on a number of assumptions about the migrant stock, per worker income, etc.
“The methodology used to estimate these numbers is based on a World Bank’s Working Paper by Ratha, Dilip, and William Shaw ( South-South migration and remittances. No. 102. World Bank Publications, 2007). This methodology has serious issues, particularly in case of Pakistan, as also acknowledged by the authors themselves stating that “Interpreting the meaning of migrant stocks also presents some difficulties. Pakistanis in India and Russians in Ukraine became migrants following partition of the original country.”
The State Bank thus concluded that the study was clearly flawed as the migrants at the time of Indo-Pak partition in 1947 had become Pakistani citizens. The State Bank categorically rejected such estimates as there were contrary to facts and did not make sense.
According to the State Bank, the actual Balance of Payments data showed that outflow of workers’ remittances from Pakistan to India was $116 thousands in FY16 and the inflows from India to Pakistan were $329 thousands. The value of Pakistan’s exports to India was $425 million, while imports from India amounted to $1,415 million during FY16.