Can't connect right now! retry
Wednesday Dec 30 2020

Pakistanis own $150b lying in foreign bank accounts, says former FBR chairperson

Former FBR chairperson Shabbar Zaidi. Photo: file
  • $150 billion of Pakistanis stashed abroad, says former FBR chairperson
  • Shabbar Zaidi was speaking at a webinar organised by Positive Media Communication

ISLAMABAD: Pakistanis own $150 billion lying in foreign bank accounts and are earning peanuts in the wake of lower interest rates, says former FBR chairperson Shabbar Zaidi.

Zaidi made this startling disclosure during a webinar organised by Positive Media Communication on Tuesday. 

He said the time has come for these businessmen to think about bringing back this huge sum of money.

Zaidi recalled his meeting with a renowned Pakistani businessmen in which he named the Pakistanis who had stored money in dollars abroad in countries like Malta.

Read about Pakistan's economy and its growth policies

Zaidi claimed he knew individuals with addresses who owned the $150 billion.

A report published in The News quoted Zaidi as saying that he had written about this money stashed abroad in his book. 

These Pakistani businessmen, Zaidi, said, are earning 1 or 2% profit because of lower interest rates and are deprived of huge profit earning opportunities in Pakistan.

On illegal trade

The former FBR chairperson said the tobacco sector had a 30% share of illegal trade of cigarettes. 

There is taxation of 74% in the tobacco sector and where there is higher incidence, there will be a huge evasion, Zaidi said, adding that the sugar and cement industries are among the major sectors evading tax.

Read about the Sharif family's 'stashed money' abroad

He criticized the role of the media and argued that it created blocks in the way of introducing reforms and documentation of the economy. 

Zaidi said 90% officers belonging to the IRS and the Customs Group belonged to those families where their relatives are involved in illegal businesses so it was also in their vested interest to continue the practice of undocumented economy for a longer period.