May 04, 2016
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said that offshore accounts are popular due to low cost and better security.
Stringent regulations have failed to control flight of capital therefore policymakers should try providing enabling environment to discourage the practice which poses a threat to the Forex reserves and local currency, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that capital, earned through legitimate sources or otherwise, will always look for security which is offered elsewhere but not in the country which is unfortunate.
He said that Dubai is another Panama where Pakistanis have invested around four billion dollars in the real estate market during the last few years due to zero income and wealth tax.
Similarly, he said, around two and a half billion dollars have been invested in Malaysia by Pakistanis which is not against patriotism but according to human nature of ensuring maximum safety for assets.
He said that our policymakers should reconsider the situation of economic freedom in the country, curbs on foreign investment by Pakistani companies and continuity in the policies which discourages business community.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that as per the laws Pakistanis are not allowed to maintain an account in any country exceeding one thousand dollars without permission while operating a bank account in India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Israel is illegal.
It is amazing that we have trade worth billions with India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan but opening a bank account is not allowed, he noted.
He said that Pakistan and other countries should offer same level of low cost security to the assets of people that offshore investment offer otherwise flight of capital will never stop.
Local banks should stop giving negative profit to account holders, and authorities should avoid strict measures to increase revenue otherwise people will continue to prefer other countries for investment and deposits, he warned.