ISLAMABAD (Ahmed Mughal):- The Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Shabbar Zaidi said on Thursday that Pakistani citizens have up to $8 billion in foreign bank accounts.

He was presenting data in the meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance of National Assembly in Parliament.

The chairman said that the Board got CRS-data through OECD about the foreign bank accounts. He also said that the 57450 Pakistanis have foreign bank accounts in different countries, according to the data. The 378 account holders have one million dollar and above in their bank accounts. They owned 78.11 percent of total amount in their bank accounts.

The chairman said that that these people are main target in investigation.

According to the data, 123 persons have $0.75m to one million dollar in each of their accounts. The data also showed that 154 persons have $0.50m to $0.75m and 1325 have $0.1m to $0.50m each have. It also showed 1,1201 have $1000 to $10,0000, 7403 have $100 to $1000 and 36859 have up to $100 in their bank account.

The FBR officials also told that the board has sent 453 cases to the commissioners for investigation. According to the information, 115 out of 453 persons have availed the tax amnesty 2018 while 72 had availed the amnesty 2019. They said that 19 cases have been disposed of. The FBR told the committee that the board is proceeding the cases against 247 persons among them. The commissioners of FBR have to finalize the cases up to 30 Oct 2019, they further said.

Price in wheat flour and sugar

Chairperson Competition Commission has also briefed the Committee about the reasons behind increase of price in wheat flour and sugar sector in the country. She said that Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) was engaged in fixing the prices of flour. The association provided its members a platform to exchange commercially sensitive information and strategic data on flour prices. It was was prima facie violation of Section.

She further informed the reasons for increase in wheat prices. The chairperson further said that increasing in fertilizer prices by 16.7 percent was also one reason. She maintained that unavailability of canal water and irrigation flows was also a reason.

While talking about the sugar situation in Pakistan, she said that after factoring in the sales tax and impact of paying farmer the government fixed price during the period of glut as submitted by sugar mill representatives, the sudden sky rocketing of the price of sugar in the current year still appears to be an anomaly given that the supply of sugar still appears to be in excess of its demand. Committee recommended that CCOP will deliver comprehensive briefing on the working and functioning of the Commission. The Committee Members expressed their concern on the PFMA cartel and sugar sector.