LAHORE - The JIT has accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of mis-declaration in wealth statement and concealment of Rs 45 million for the tax year 2013.

The JIT report states that Mr Sharif’s wealth statement for the said year showed an amount of Rs l00 million as donation given to PML-N. During analysis of account statement, it was also observed that an amount of Rs 45 million was transferred back by the PML-N on June 10, 2013 to Sharif .

This inflow of Rs 45 million, although reflected in the account statement, was not disclosed in the wealth statement.

Hence, it appears that Mr Sharif not only concealed his assets to the tune of Rs 45 million but also misreported in the wealth statement for the tax year 2013. The JIT has also disputed Mr Sharif’s claim about the assets of his father.

In his address to the nation and speech on the floor of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister claimed that his father owned multimillion rupees assets in the 1970’s before the industry was nationalised; “a claim that cannot be ascertained through his personal tax returns as well as of the parents.”

The JIT concludes that “The facts provided by Sharif family show that Respondent No 1 (Mr Sharif), ostensibly, has confined his role to that of an equity holder only in the family owned businesses, who does not hold any formal position or role in running the businesses and is not a Director on any Board. Apparently the objective of such stance is to distance himself from a formal role in running of the businesses in strictest regulatory and legal sense. However, on the other hand, it is also evident that he is enjoying pecuniary benefits, other than dividends from these businesses in the shape of unexplained inflows in his personal bank accounts, on a fairly regular basis, from the business profits of his son and businesses run by him purportedly as gifts”.

The JIT report also states that the evidence collected reveals that Mr Sharif, infact, was the Chairman of the Board, drawing salary from Capital FZE; a company owned by his son. This fact was not disclosed in any statutory returns/declarations before the authorities in Pakistan; be it the Income Tax returns or the Filings before the Election Commission of Pakistan.

“The above facts depict that (Mr Sharif) Respondent No. 1 was enjoying monetary benefits from the family businesses, other than dividends in his declared capacity of equity holder. Moreover, he was maintaining an active operational link with his family owned businesses, contrary to his publically held position, that he is not actively involved in the family business and is devoting his entire life to his occupation as a politician.”

The JIT has also disputed another claim made by the PM.

As per claims of Mian Nawaz Sharif, his business empire/ assets is based on his inherited money from his father who owned millions of rupees in the 70s.

“The financial analysis of Mian Muhammad Sharif does not substantiate this claim. An exorbitant hike in buildup of his assets is observed during his first tenure of Premiership, however, inflows mentioned in his tax returns is not commensurate with his growth which leads to the presumption that this empire was not based on legal monetary sources.”

An anomaly of opening benami accounts in the names of Qazi family, Saeed Ahmed etc., and source of inflow in these accounts was not clarified by the respondents. These benami accounts were used as collateral for acquisition of loans and also for moving funds abroad to build Sharif family’s assets in Pakistan as well as in UK.

Also, the JIT in its voluminous report has refuted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s claim that he has nothing to do with the family business.

According to the report, Mr Sharif declared himself “self-employed” while opening accounts as CEO of Chaudhry Sugar Mills.

During evaluation of evidences and record collected from different banks by the JIT, it was noted that he opened five accounts in Pak rupee and three in foreign currency in four different banks during the period from July 1, 2009 till date.

In the bank account opening forms submitted to the bank, he mentioned his occupation as “self employed” and name of the employer/ business as ‘Chaudhry Sugar Mills Limited’ (CSML).

In two of the accounts opened at Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited, he showed himself as CEO of the Chaudhry Sugar Mills Limited while in an account opened at ABL, he had showed his designation as a “shareholder”.

On December 31, 2008, Mr Sharif held 1.6 million shares of CSML, which increased to 2.01 million January 31-1-2013 and 12 million on January 31, 2016.

During 2010 to 2013, he received regular salary from CSML on a monthly basis (Rs.24.372 million in aggregate).

During 2010-11, an amount of Rs. 560,000 per month was received by him for nine months while the amount was increased to Rs 800,000 per month during 2011-12.

Similarly, Rs 820,417 per month was received during the first 11 months of 2012-13. “Contrary to his publicly held stance that he had no role or involvement with the family business; he was drawing monthly salary from CSML. The drawing of salary from CSML is also disclosed in the Income Tax returns filed by him”.

The JIT report says that in addition to this, a couple of financial transactions of of Mr Sharif with CSML were also observed.

For example, the JIT report said, on June 28, 2010, CSML transferred Rs 5.670 million in his account. Similarly, on September 23,2015, Rs 18.019 million was transferred by Mr Sharif to CSML.

Ashraf Mumtaz