Amnesty scheme to promote business: Dr Hafeez Shaikh

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ISLAMABAD: The main purpose of the amnesty scheme is not to threaten or coerce people but to promote business, said Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, on Tuesday.

The advisor to the prime minister on finance was flanked by FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi and Minister of Sate for Finance, Hammad Azhar.

“Some people have concerns regarding the amnesty scheme,” he said. “The aim of the scheme is to promote business, not to threaten or coerce anyone,” he added.

Dr Hafeez Shaikh said that people who disclosed their assets could have them whitened. He said that benami bank accounts and properties disclosed could also be whitened. Dr Hafeez Shaikh said that those who do not disclose benami bank accounts could go to jail.

“With the help of this scheme, assets can be disclosed till June 30,” he said.

He said that in order to whiten real estate property, the rate was 1.5 percent.

“Money stashed abroad can be whitened at a rate of four percent,” he said.

“All assets in Pakistan and abroad can be disclosed,” he said. “Disclosed assets can be kept in bank accounts as well.”

Dr Hafeez Shaikh said that the cost per unit of electricity had been increased by the government. However, those consuming less than 300 units of electricity will not be affected by the pricec hike, he said.

The advisor to the finance minister said that the goverenment had checked details of 150,000 bank accounts in 28 different countries.