ISLAMABAD - The World Bank on Tuesday rejected the media reports that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had laundered $4.9 billion to India.

“In the past day, there have been media reports citing the World Bank’s Remittances and Migration Report of 2016. These media reports were incorrect,” the World Bank stated in its statement.

The World Bank’s Remittances and Migration Report is an effort by the World Bank to estimate migration and remittances numbers across the world. The report does not include any mention of money laundering nor does it name any individuals.

In the report, the World Bank estimates bilateral remittances between countries using the methodology summarised in the World Bank Working Paper 102 South-South migration and remittances by the authors of the report. “We would also like to refer to a statement by the State Bank of Pakistan, which rejects estimates of $4.9 billion remittances from Pakistan to India on September 21, 2016, refuting the $4.9 billion remittances number and providing an explanation of the methodology used in the World Bank report and the official remittances numbers,” the World Bank concluded.

Earlier, the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal has taken the notice of the money laundering allegations against Nawaz Sharif. The NAB chairman ordered an investigation against former Prime Minister.

According to press statement, the NAB chairman took notice of reports making rounds on news channels claiming that Nawaz laundered $4.9 billion to India. The media reports claim that a record of this exists in the World Bank’s Migration and Remittances book of 2016. The reports claim that the injection of such an amount into India’s foreign reserves resulted in an increase in their resources for which Pakistan is still suffering.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has categorically rejected World Bank’s (WB) report regarding the alleged money laundering into India. According to SBP data, there was no such money laundering in 2016. The actual Balance of Payments data shows that outflow of workers’ remittances from Pakistan to India were $116 thousands in FY16 and the inflows from India to Pakistan were $329 thousands. The value of Pakistan’s exports to India was $425 million while imports from India amounted to $1,415 million, during FY16.

According to SBP statement issued on same issue two years back, it must be noted that the Facebook data on bilateral remittance flows are estimates (not the actual flows), which are based on a number of assumptions about migrant stock, per worker income, etc. The methodology used to estimate these numbers is based on a World Bank’s Working Paper by Ratha, Dilip, and William Shaw. This methodology has serious issues, particularly in case of Pakistan, as also acknowledged by the authors themselves stating that “Interpreting the meaning of migrant stocks also presents some difficulties. Pakistanis in India and Russians in Ukraine became migrants following partition of the original country.” Thus the study is clearly flawed as the migrants at the time of Indo-Pak partition in 1947 had become citizens of Pakistan. Therefore, SBP categorically rejects such estimates as these are contrary to facts and do not make sense.



WB denies reports Nawaz laundered money to India