Abolish Rs5,000 notes, investment body tells govt

Suggestion comes with a set of recommendations by the investors' body ahead of budget 2024-25

Zarmeen Zehra
Abolish Rs5,000 notes, investment body tells govt
A currency dealer is counting Rs5,000 notes. — AFP/File
  • Budget 2024-25 likely to be announced in first 10 days of June.
  • Body of 200 multinational firms, OICCI represents foreign investors.
  • OICCI suggests making NTN mandatory for bank account holders.

As the budget announcement for fiscal year 2024-25 nears, the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce (OICCI) has suggested abolition of Rs5,000 banknote in order to discourage cash transactions.

This was one of the recommendations given by the body to the government ahead of the upcoming budget. The government intends to present the budget for fiscal year 2024-25 on June 7, but an official date is yet to be issued.

The body, comprising of 200 multinational companies that represents foreign investors, also suggested making the national tax number (NTN) mandatory for bank accounts, sale and purchase of the cars, sale of expensive properties, those undertaking foreign travels or acquiring memberships in different clubs.

Moreover, OICCI suggested setting up a Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) wing for investigation of assets and sources of income that do not fall in line with the requirements of non-filers, and abolition of exemption given to the pensioners.

The OICCI also suggested collection of income tax on all air tickets and imposition of withholding taxes on hoteling travel expenses.

It may be noted that calls for discontinuing the Rs5,000 banknote have been made in the past as a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senator, Mohsin Aziz had tabled a resolution in the Upper House of Parliament seeking ban on the highest denomination of Pakistani currency to end the “corruption and rein in inflation”, last year.

Earlier in September 2023, former FBR chief Shabbar Zaidi insisted that the discontinuation of Rs5,000 notes and curbs on the physical movement of dollars was key to curbing the cash economy in the country.

Zaidi was of the view that currency circulation was very high in Pakistan and the Rs5,000 note provides convenience in the cash economy, adding that people have kept wealth in their lockers in dollars and Rs5,000 notes, which should be banned.