Home Newspaper Country may remain on FATF list beyond February: minister – Newspaper

Country may remain on FATF list beyond February: minister – Newspaper

Country may remain on FATF list beyond February: minister - Newspaper

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan may remain on the gray list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) beyond February 2020, mainly due to its risk profile and in view of two simultaneous assessments.

Senior officials provided this information to a parliamentary panel on Thursday. They also revealed that the government recovered only Rs5.6 billion in taxes on foreign assets worth approximately $ 7.4 billion (Rs1.15 trillion) from Pakistanis reported by the international community under information exchange agreements.

"Pakistan faces greater challenges than many other countries because of its risk profile," said the minister responsible for the economic affairs division, Hammad Azhar, while speaking at a meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue of the National Assembly, chaired by MNA Asad Umar. .

He said some countries had been removed from the gray list after only 80 percent compliance, while Pakistan was under pressure to ensure 100{7be40b84a6a43fc4fae13304fce9a2695859798abfc41afd127b9f8b21c5f9c5} compliance with the action plan.

Only taxes of Rs 5.6 billion were recovered from people who own assets worth Rs 15.15 million abroad

“Pakistan is being seen from a very high threshold; there is a political element in this, ”he said, adding that Afghanistan was not on the FATF gray list.

The minister said Pakistan was taking timely steps to meet the FATF objectives, as it partially met 22 of the 27 points in the action plan and did not meet five objectives of the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG).

Pakistan will present its next report on its action plan to the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) before December 7. The APG will return the report with your questions and comments before December 17. Islamabad must respond to these comments before January 7.

The Pakistan technical team will attend a joint APG working group meeting in the third week of January to address any other questions or concerns. The joint working group will then submit its report to the FATF in late January and the FATF plenary to be held in mid-February will finally decide whether Pakistan should be removed from the gray list or not.

Azhar said the government was optimistic that it would make enough progress for the country to be removed from the gray list, but that it was also being reviewed simultaneously for an APG 40-point action plan for which the deadline was October of 2020.

He said it was not clear what the FATF would decide on the intervention period, between February under the ICRG and October 2020 under the APG. He said there is a possibility that Pakistan will remain on the gray list until October of next year, even if it complies with the action plan for February.

Meanwhile, the president of the Federal Revenue Board, Shabbar Zaidi, said at the meeting that the government had received 325 cases involving foreign assets worth $ 1 million or more from Pakistanis from 27 countries as of October 31. After an examination, it was discovered that 135 people had taken advantage of the 2018 amnesty scheme and declared assets worth Rs62.33bn paying Rs2.89bn. Another 56 people declared assets of Rs31.78bn under the 2019 amnesty scheme paying Rs1.69bn.

Of the remaining 115 cases, the FBR imposed taxes amounting to Rs4.06bn and recovered around Rs1bn. The remaining tax claims were trapped in court when their owners obtained suspension orders.

Published on Dawn, November 8, 2019

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1515579/country-may-remain-on-fatf-list-beyond-february-minister



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