The decision to restore the power of the Directorate General Intelligence & Investigation of Inland Revenue to initiate proceedings against the people who had possibly laundered tax-evaded money under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) 2010 by the federal government should be commended. This decision will allow the body to re-open pending cases against the 270 individuals whose names have cropped up in the investigation regarding money laundering and tax evasion. Both, money laundering and tax evasion, are crimes which the country cannot afford at the time because of the ever-increasing debt. The lawmakers need to ensure the widening of the tax net along with laws which ensure severe punishment in cases of money laundering.

If such bodies are empowered, results will be evident soon. In the last 18 months, the GD I&I has been able to recover around Rs10 billion under the AMLA 2010. This is a result of the powers which have been extended to the body - these include proceedings in case an individual denies the criminal record and confiscation of property and lodging of an FIR in case a person refuses to pay his taxes. This will allow the body to regulate the money in the system. One of the key factors which create hindrances is the lack of authority, however, that problem has also been resolved.

The only aspect which should be kept in mind at this point is that the general elections are nearby. Opening new cases at this point means more controversy for the system. Once the new government is in power, the process would be a lot more smooth than what it might be at the moment. The focus right now is the shift to the new government and all institutions are trying their best to ensure that the general elections take place in time.