Imran Khan seeks UK support in bringing looted money back


ISLAMABAD: On the issue of hidden assets and looted money, overseas Pakistanis will be facing hanging sword as Prime Minister in-waiting Imran Khan has declared and formally informed Britain that his government will bring back money stolen by corrupt Pakistani politicians and taken to the UK.
He told the British High Commissioner Thomas Drew at a meeting in Islamabad that he planned to retrieve laundered funds taken from Pakistan and sheltered in Britain. Pakistan’s BoP deficit widened by 43 percent in the last fiscal year, while the country’s foreign reserves have fallen to $10 billion.
The British envoy and his delegation congratulated Khan over his party’s victory in the 2018 general elections, a statement issued by the party said.”The PTI chairman’s address to the nation has left a very positive impact in Britain,” the British High Commissioner was quoted as saying by the PTI statement.
“The British government is ready to extend complete cooperation to PTI’s government in Pakistan,” he said. He promised that the Department for International Development (DFID) would provide assistance to the Pakistani government for the schooling of 2.2 million children who are deprived of education. The ambassador also expressed his desire to work with the PTI government for the uplifting of other sectors.
FBR in action: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Monday said an investigation has been initiated against Pakistanis who own immovable property in the United Kingdom. “The investigation is being conducted againstthose individuals who did not avail the government’s tax amnesty scheme,” FBR ChairpersonRukhsanaYasmin said. “We have received information of those Pakistanis who illegally own property in the United Kingdom. The data was received from UK Tax Authorities,” she said. Last month, the FBR chairperson had said that the response to the amnesty scheme announced at the start ofthe year was disappointing.
Addressing FBR employees at the Tax House, Yasmin had said that mostly Karachi and Lahore residents availed the scheme and the response from Central and SouthPunjabwas not encouraging. The tax amnesty scheme, announced by the PML-N government earlier this year, came into effect on April 10, 2018, and ran till June 30, 2018. Economic challenges: The economic experts say that the biggest economic challenge for the forthcoming Pakistan government isto avert a looming Balance of Payments (BoP) crisis, which threatens the country’s ability to repay debts and stability of its currency,senior economists have said. “Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are falling fast and repayment for debts is increasing.
The biggest challenge forthe forthcoming government is to protect the balance of payments,” Dr. Ashfaque Hasan Khan, senior economist and Dean at the National University of Science and Technology Business School, told Arab News. He said the BoP deficit has widened by 43 percent in the last fiscal year and this needs to be addressed urgently to avert further crisis. Khan suggested the forthcoming government of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) focuses on resource mobilization through effective tax collection and rationalizes the expenditures to deal with the economic challenges.
“The government will have to set its economic priorities in the first three months,” he said, adding that structural reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue could help to increase revenue collection. He said the forthcoming government will also have to open up the economy to create more investment opportunities, besidesreviewing its options not to knock at the International Monetary Fund’s door for a bailout package.
“The IMF program has already suffocated our economy and businessmen are notready to invest their capital in the current circumstances,” he said. In the July 25 polls, PTI has emerged as the single largest party and is ready to form its government in the center, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. The election promises on which the party swung into power include creating millions of jobs, accelerating the country’s potential growth through massive reforms and depoliticizing economic institutions.
According to the United Nations Development Programme’s National Human Development Report launched in May this year, Pakistan is required to generate 1.3 million more jobs annually for the next five years to meet the demand.