The federal government decided to extend the Asset Declaration Scheme till July 3, 2019, on late Sunday evening. The announcement was much awaited by the business community and expats Pakistani which demanded likewise. Finance Adviser Abdul Hafeez Sheikh announced the decision at a press conference held in Islamabad. “In view of the overwhelming response to the asset declaration scheme, the decision has been taken to extend the amnesty offer by three more days to facilitate the masses,” he said. He suggested the potential individuals who seek to avail the amnesty to avail the most out the opportunity. Further, the Adviser added that after the expiry of the terms, a commission will actively investigate the assets which have not been declared under the scheme.
Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda claimed the extension of the scheme via a tweet which was later denied the Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi. Although the extension was expected due to the immensely positive response and pressure Vawda’s claim was half baked. Prime Minster Khan also had hinted to extend the scheme earlier.
The decision has come against the International Monetary Fund’s suggestion to not to extend the scheme. IMF had commented that it could damage the country’s case at the board meeting for the processing of the 6 billion USD bailout package. However, the extension period is quite trivial as compared to the requested extension of up to two months.
The first amnesty scheme by the PTI’s government was announced by the Presidential Orders in May 2019. Under the scheme, assets within the country and abroad (except for real estate) could be whitened at a rate of four 4%. The whitened cash would have to be kept in Pakistani bank accounts. For those wanting to keep their whitened money abroad, a rate of 6% was announced.