FBR chairman Bajwa

Pakistanis’ foreign bank accounts to be accessible by 2017

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Tariq Bajwa on Wednesday informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that Pakistan would be able to get access to Swiss and foreign bank accounts operated by its citizens after becoming a member of Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in July 2017.

FBR has also requested the United Arab Emirates to provide details of Pakistani citizens’ assets in their country, the FBR chairman said in his briefing to the PAC. Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah chaired a meeting of the committee on Wednesday. FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa informed the committee about the status of court cases and said that in about 20 percent of cases, the decisions were against the department. To a question of the PAC chairman, Bajwa said currently around 700 lawyers are on FBR panel, down from 1,900. He said selection was made on minimum experience of three years of law practice.

The PAC chairman directed FBR to appoint those lawyers as counsels in court cases who had at least 10 years of experience and more than 50 quoted judgements in the All Pakistan Legal Decisions. He said FBR was the main source of financial support to the country revenue and should establish its own legal department for expeditious disposal of the court cases and supplementing its income. “The FBR is backbone of the country and it should collect more revenue because good revenue is the base of better defence,” said Sheikh Rashid.

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