ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umer Friday dispelled the impression that the government had failed to take action against all the Pakistanis named in the Panama Papers, and detailed legal steps taken against the accused.

Asad Umar, in a written reply to National Assembly, said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had identified 444 Pakistanis in Panama Leaks. He admitted that the FBR had not filed any petition in Supreme Court in Panama Leaks. But, he said, it was factually in-correct that no action had been taken in that respect.

He said that in 294 cases, notices under Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 had been issued to the Panama accused by the field offices. However, he added, notices in the remaining 150 cases could not be issued as these cases were untraceable due to incomplete particulars.

Umer said in 04 cases, proceedings were dropped when found that the accused were non residents, while 12 cases were closed as the accused were no longer alive. Around 150 people could not be traced due to incomplete particulars, he maintained. He said audit proceedings had been finalised in 15 cases and the remaining 36 cases were in the process.

Umer further said that demand of Rs10.9 billion had been created in 15 cases, out of which a sum of Rs6.2 billion had been recovered and in remaining cases, proceedings were underway.

The Federal Board of Revenue has also forwarded requests to the relevant jurisdictions under OECD’s Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters to purify the information and render it actionable, he explained.

Earlier, opposition member Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali had asked whether the names of 436 Pakistanis surfaced in panama leaks with reference to offshore companies, and petitions were filed in the Supreme Court against persons as mentioned above. He had also asked the time by which the present government intends to initiate inquiry against the Panama accused.

In April, 2016, the documents of Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca and Co Limited, were made public as a result of a leak. The 11.5 million documents made startling revelations about assets hidden through 214,488 offshore companies by wealthy people across the world including Pakistan.

It was Panama Papers that the Supreme Court after hearing the petition of PTI chief  Imran Khan and Shiekh Rashid disqualified then prime minister Nawaz Sharif from a public representative.

Minister In-charge of the Prime Minister’s Office replying to a question said that during the last government, then prime minister’s two camp offices were set up at a cost of Rs14.388 million.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had declared Jati Umrah his camp office while former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi declared his house in F-7/2 his camp office. From 2013 to 2017, Rs189.336 million was spent on Jati Umrah in Raiwind while from 2016- 2018, a sum of Rs5.1624 million was spent on the camp office in F-07/2 Islamabad.

Replying to another question, Asad Umer said Rs804 million donations had been received from international sources in the Supreme Court and Prime Minister Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dam Fund.

Minister for Narcotics Control Ali Muhammad Khan Mahar said according to a survey, approximately 6 percent of the total population or 6.7 million people between the age of 15-64 years were using illicit drug in 2013. He added that 16.5 percent or 1.1 million of youth between the age of 18-to 28 are using illicit drugs.