Real estate still attractive place to park grey money: FBR chief.


Byline: Mubarak Zeb Khan

ISLAMABAD -- In his first public appearance since returning from a leave over health issues, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi laid emphasis on documentation measures, saying money whitening channels continued to flourish despite the government's efforts to shut them down.

Mr Zaidi, who was one of the speakers at the All Pakistan Chambers Presidents' Conclave 2020 on Tuesday, said the present government had taken several measures to curb the menace of undocumented flow of tax-evaded wealth, but he believed that real estate was still the preferred avenue for whitening 'grey money', along with bearer prize bonds and dollars remitted outside to purchase properties. However, he said, the government had taken some measures to curb these practices.

The event was also addressed by President Dr Arif Alvi, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain.

Shabbar Zaidi says demand for tax exemption on local sales of export-oriented sector not justifiable

On the issue of reforms, the FBR chairman told the traders present that demand for reforms should come from their side. He stressed the need for documentation of the economy. 'I will advise you as an accountant to pressurise the government over reforms and documentation,' he said, adding that only the documented business would thrive for three to four generations.

He said that documentation is a must for those who have a working capital of more than Rs1 billion, adding that lack of documentation is one of the reasons for discontinuation of family business mostly after one generation. Documentation is also necessary for industrialisation, he added.

On the issue of tax exemption on local sales of the export-oriented sector, Mr Zaidi said he was not in favour of it and the demand for it was also not justifiable. He urged the traders to come up with a workable solution on how to collect local taxes from the export-oriented sector in the next budget.

The FBR chairman said he had identified several factories in Lahore's Sundar Industrial Estate which were not registered with the sales tax department. 'Can we afford this...

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