I refer to the deliberations on the Economic Reforms Act 1992 by the Standing Committee on Finance reported in your newspaper’s business page dated 25/8/2016. After an official of State Bank of Pakistan informed the committee that a total amount of $7.9bn was moved out of Pakistan through forex accounts during the last five years, an honourable member from PTI, Mr Asad Umar responded by saying that data from Dubai Land Records show that Pakistanis hold property worth $6.6bn in the city. The State Bank of Pakistan did not reveal in this data ($7.9bn) as to how much of it went to Dubai and how much of it went to other countries and for what purposes. Therefore, an important question arises in the readers’ mind as to how Mr Asad Umar established that there is a clear link between $7.9bn moved out of Pakistan during the last five years and property worth $6.6bn owned by Pakistanis in Dubai? The data from Dubai Land Records showing that Pakistanis own property worth $6.6bn in Dubai does not necessarily mean that purchase of property in Dubai is financed from the money sent out of Pakistan in the past five years. There are a lot of Pakistanis working in the Middle East who have bought properties in Dubai from the money they earned and saved abroad.

Another honourable member of the committee Mr. Abdul Rashid Godil termed the Economic Reform Act 1992 as a “flawed” law. I would like to ask the respectable member of the finance committee, Mr Abdul Rashid Godil that if the law is “flawed” then why it has been in force during the last 24 years? What are the flaws in this law? What are the lawmaker’s suggestions to remove the flaws, if any? I am wondering as to what is the take away for an ordinary citizen of Pakistan from the above reported deliberations of the Standing Committee on Finance of the National Assembly?


Lahore, August 26.