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Diamer-Bhasha dam and black money

Published Jun 08, 2012 08:05pm

THIS is apropos of the news report (April 24) that the government would launch an amnesty scheme through an ordinance to allow people to launder their black money by safely investing in the stock market. Surprisingly, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, the corporate regulatory body, seemed to support the scheme.

The government should take administrative measures to convert black money into its treasury. According to Social Development Planning Initiative (SDPI) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report, the size of the informal economy was $34bn in 2010-2011, which was three times the projected cost of the Diamer Bhasha dam ($12.6bn).

If economists working for the government could suggest measures to bring in all black money into the government treasury, we could build three Bhasha dams, which could lead us to power generation of about 13,500 MW. Instead of making loopholes in the financial system to invite people to indulge in corruption without any fear, the government should work on reducing the existing disparity in society to alleviate differences and stabilise the economy.

M. AZEEMUL ARFEEN KHAN Islamabad