FBR collects data of 96,000 foreign account holders

Pakistan, China sign MoU to cooperate in agriculture sector, NA told



Minister of State for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar Friday informed the National Assembly that Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had collected data of 96,000 Pakistanis having bank accounts abroad.During Question Hour, he said, “We have collected the data of 96,000 account holders from abroad and the government is determined to take action on this.”Opposition member Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali had asked the minister to tell the assembly the “reasons for not taking any action” against the Pakistani citizens who were named in the Panama Papers, he revealed that 444 Pakistanis had been named in the Panama Papers for allegedly owning offshore assets.He said that the field offices had so far issued notices to 294 people under “relevant section” of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

About 150 people could not be traced due to “incomplete particulars”, while 12 people were no longer alive, the minister disclosed.He further said that audit proceedings had been finalized in 15 cases and the remaining 36 cases were being heard.Meanwhile, 242 cases were being “pursued for initiating proceedings”. He said that a demand of Rs10.9 billion had been created in 15 cases out of which Rs6.2 billion have been recovered.In a written reply the Finance Ministry said government was committed to the reform and institutional development of FBR.  The government is taking measures to enhance the capacity of FBR to collect revenue and make it an agency which provides fair and justice treatment to the taxpayers.Ministry for Planning, Development and Reform Friday informed the National Assembly that Pakistan and China have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate in agriculture sector.

The ministry in a written reply said the government attached great importance to cooperation in agriculture sector with China under China Pakistan Economic Corridor.According to the MoU, both the countries will conduct joint research on conventional and genetically modified varieties of seed breeding, precision agriculture, biotechnology and biological application for disease and pest control. Both countries will collaborate in technology of pre and post harvest storage and processing.Pakistan and China will cooperate in field of water conservation and management through use of water efficient technologies. Both countries will encourage investment in agriculture infrastructure for sustainable food systems.