Dubai Land Department to share details of Pakistani property owners: Zaidi

Published October 11, 2019
Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi gestures as he speaks during a press conference. Photo: File
Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi gestures as he speaks during a press conference. Photo: File

Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi announced on Friday via Twitter that the country's top tax authority has held "a very productive meeting" over October 9 and 10 with UAE officials on the exchange of information regarding property owners.

"Dubai Land Department will instantly provide details of Pakistani owners of Dubai properties," Zaidi wrote on Twitter. "Iqama abuse is also being handled."

Addressing a discussion forum on October 5, Zaidi had said that in the last 20 years, around $6 billion had been siphoned off on an annual basis from the country.

Noting that this figure had been reported in the Supreme Court of Pakistan as well, he had described the flight of capital from the country was a serious matter.

Zaidi is currently burdened with the difficult task of ensuring Pakistan meets a highly ambitious tax target for the ongoing fiscal year, and has vowed to go after tax cheats and evaders using all means at his disposal.

Earlier his month, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman retired justice Javed Iqbal had expressed frustration over what he called ‘cold response’ from other countries with regard to providing legal assistance required to proceed against the suspects having off-shore holdings.

“White-collar crime begins from Lahore and reaches Islamabad from where it goes to Dubai and other states and one fine morning we come to know that properties and farm houses have been made (by suspects) in Europe, the USA and Australia. When we approach these countries [they do not bother] because we have a begging bowl in our hand, how come we [could] talk to them on equal footing,” he had said.

He had said even a small country did not listen to Pakistan when it sought evidence against a suspect.

Citing example of a suspect from Lahore, the chairman said that he (suspect) in 1980s and 1990s was on a bike and now he had plazas and towers in Dubai.

“We tried to bring him (the suspect) back from the country he was presently living in, but a court there granted him a stay and we failed to bring him back,” he said apparently referring to former fiance minister Ishaq Dar who was in London. Dar has been declared a proclaimed offender by a Pakistani court in a corruption reference.

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