PM Imran announces increase in reward for whistleblowers

July 05, 2019

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Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing a ceremony in Islamabad on July 5. — APP
Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing a ceremony in Islamabad on July 5. — APP

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the reward money for whistleblowers helping the government in detection and confiscation of benami properties would be increased from three per cent to 10pc.

Addressing a ceremony for the distribution of interest-free loans under the Ehsas programme in Islamabad, the prime minister said that rules would be amended to increase incentives for whistleblowers.

He further announced that the money recovered from the sale of benami properties would be diverted to the Ehsas programme.

Talking about his political opponents, he said he often listens to Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif saying that Imran Khan should pressurise the opposition parties to the extent he [Imran Khan] himself can bear.

"My message for him is that I can bear even death. But I know that you can't bear death because you want to enjoy your looted money [before you die]."

The prime minister's decision on whistle-blowers came in the backdrop of the recently expired Asset Declaration Scheme.

Under the scheme, assets within the country and abroad [except for real estate] could be whitened after paying a rate of 4 per cent. The whitened cash assets would have to be kept in Pakistani bank accounts. For people wanting to keep their whitened money abroad, a rate of 6pc was charged.

For the declaration of real estate, its value was considered 1.5 times more than the FBR-assigned value to bring it at par with the market rate. The amnesty scheme also had the facility for citizens to whiten their benami accounts and properties.

Now the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will seize the assets of any citizen who failed to declare them under the government's Assets Declaration Scheme.