Rs69b laundered by 63 companies with aid of 5 reputed banks, Senate body told

ISLAMABAD-A parliamentary committee was informed on Wednesday that the investigation revealed that approximately Rs69 billion had been laundered by 63 companies with the aid of five reputed banks in the country.
While discussing the money laundering of solar panel importers, FBR officials apprised that the investigation revealed that approximately 69 billion rupees have been laundered by 63 companies with the aid of five reputed banks in the country. FBR has registered FIRs against the alleged individuals under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, and the cases are pending before the court. The Committee directed the SBP to provide details of the punishment sentenced by the SBP on the banks involved in money laundering. Meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue was held here at Parliament House on Wednesday with Senator Saleem Mandviwalla in the chair. The Senate Committee unanimously passed the “Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2023” with an amendment, extending the grace period for filing statements of accounts from 30 to 90 days. Senator Shahadat Awan, the bill’s mover, emphasized that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the future of the country and the primary objective of the bill is to boost these enterprises by providing them a reasonable grace period for filing statements of accounts after establishment.
Furthermore, the Committee deliberated on the non-payment of salary to daily-wage teachers working in the Islamabad Territory. Mrs Rabia Waheed, one of the affected individuals, apprised that AGPR has not been paying salaries to teachers and working staff despite having an allocated budget. AGPR officials maintained that wages have been delayed due to non issuance of the ‘New Payment Wages’ notification which has been issued to AGPR on the 2nd of this month. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla lamented the AGPR for delaying the pays and directed that the wages should be paid at the earliest. Moreover, the Senate Committee was briefed by HBFC on the complaint of Mrs Saima Nazir, demanding to exempt the amount charged by HBFC in lieu of late payment and litigation charges. Mrs Saima Nazir apprised that she obtained a loan of Rs. 15 lac from HBFC in 2014; however, due to the tragic death of her mother, she failed to deposit installments on time and somehow succeeded in paying the principal. Still, HBFC is demanding a payment of 2.7 million rupees in lieu of interest and litigation charges. The CEO of HBFC maintained that the matter is pending before the court, and the said amount is being decreed by the court in favor of HBFC. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla directed HBFC to resolve the matter on humanitarian grounds and inquired about the rules position from SBP.
Additionally, the committee discussed the appeal for compensation by the family of ex-Vice President ZTBL, late Rab Nawaz. President ZTBL apprised that late Rab Nawaz’s family demands 4.9 million rupees in benefits. However, late Rab Nawaz was involved in fraud and forgery cases, and the bank had claims of 5.9 million rupees against him. He further added that late Rab Nawaz filed an appeal in his lifetime and was concluded before his death. The Committee directed the ZTBL to submit details of the matter in the next meeting.
In addition, chairman FBR refuted the purported news of the abolishment of D.C and FBR rates for the sale and purchase of property and maintained that D.C and FBR rates have been followed for the sale and purchase of properties. The Committee was also briefed by the FBR on the tax structure and the total number of taxpayers in the country. Chairman FBR informed that there are approximately 11,763,546 taxpayers in the country, which includes 11,408,166 sales tax payers and 355,380 income tax payers. Moreover, direct taxes and indirect taxes have contributed 46 percent and 54 percent to the total tax during the financial year 2022-23. Additionally, domestic revenue has been generated at 60 percent, against approximately 50 percent in the last year. The Committee directed the FBR to draft an effective mechanism to extend the tax net of the country. The Senate body deliberated on the alleged discrepancies in the data of imports and exports. Officials stated that Pakistan Business Council has misreported the facts and has nothing to do with reality. The Committee directed the FBR to provide a detailed report on the matter in the next meeting. The meeting was attended by Senator Saadia Abbasi, Senator Zeeshan Khanzada, Senator Mohsin Aziz, Senator Kamil Ali Agha, Senator Manzoor Ahmed Kakar, Senator Musadik Masood Malik, Senator Shahadat Awan, chairman FBR, CEO HBFC, president ZTBL and other senior officials of Finance Division and relevant departments.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt