The News journalists, FBR chief to brief Senate panel on Pandora Papers


ISLAMABAD: The News journalists, Umar Cheema and Fakhar Durrani, who were the part of the investigative team of Pandora Papers and the Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed will brief the Senate Standing Committee on Finance over the revelations made in the papers on October 22

According to the details, Senate Standing Committee on Finance Tuesday met under the chairmanship of Senator Talha Mehmood here at the Parliament House, who expressed his anger over the absence of the FBR chairman and finance secretary from the meeting.

The Senate committee Tuesday took notice of names of over 700 Pakistanis appearing in the Pandora Papers and expressed its concerns over the flight of capital from the country at a time when the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was set to scrutinise Pakistan’s position during the ongoing month.

During the meeting, PPP’s Senator Sherry Rehman raised the issue of offshore accounts and the unprecedented upward adjustments in the exchange rate. The panel chairman declared it a matter of great importance and said that the name of Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin was also included in the Pandora Papers. The FBR was asked to come up with full preparation and give a detailed briefing on Pandora Papers.

The panel was informed that the finance secretary was busy in meetings with the Ineternational Monetary Fund (IMF). The committee chairman said the IMF had destroyed Pakistan’s economy.

The standing committee decided to include the issue of Pandora Papers in the agenda of the next meeting, to be held on Oct 22 by summoning the FBR chairman and The News journalists Umar Cheema and Fakhar Durrani, who conducted investigation for the leak.

An FBR senior officer told the panel that if assets were declared, then it was legitimate to have offshore assets.

Sherry Rehman said the Pakistani rupee crossed Rs171 mark against the US dollar, which may reach 180 according to Fitch, current account deficit reached 81%, the FDI declined by 20% during the last months, the trade deficit widened, while petroleum products reached an all-time high in the country, which were resulting in inflation, impacting businesses and causing unemployment.

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