The governor of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Mr Yaseen Anwar made an unprecedented startling disclosure on October 1, 2013 before the Senate’ Standing Committee on Finance that a hefty US $ 25 million is being smuggled out of the country daily through country's four major airports -- Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Quetta. This works out to be a staggering amount of US $ 9 billion annually There is no reason to question the reliability of this estimated amount of US $ 25 million leaving the country daily because the information has come from none other than the honourable governor of SBP and I am absolutely sure that he must have done his home work before making this important disclosure.

It is entirely understandable that due to his professional limitations and sensitivity of the subject the governor cannot share with the public further details of this information. I believe the governor's professional efforts to work out this amount and his courage to share this information with the nation should be lauded. I salute the governor of SBP, Mr.Yaseen Anwar for this great work. The honorable governor of SBP is our Allen Greenspan or Ben Bernanke and he is undoubtedly the country's chief economist, therefore , who knows better than him as to what is happening to county's economy and why?

The governor has done his duty by working out and sharing this valuable information with us and now it is up to the rulers and the public to make use of this information because it is extremely important for the country's economy. The question is how do we stop capital flight? It is not easy but not impossible too. Stepping up law enforcement at the airports and reviewing and changing the existing foreign exchange laws which are confusing and sometimes contradictory will help but not bring any sizeable reduction in capital flight. What will result in substantial reduction in capital flight is gaining of investors' confidence in Pakistan.

For this our government must demonstrate to investors, both local and foreign, that their capital is safe in Pakistan and will not depreciate in value. Clearly there is a silver lining in the information given by SBP for the government to take up this challenge of capital flight boldly and convert it into an opportunity for revival of country's economy by adopting effective economic policies to restore investors confidence which will help stop capital flight from Pakistan.


Lahore, October 6.