Imran Khan orders crackdown on benami assets

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered all deputy commissioners and heads of development authorities to launch a nationwide crackdown against Benami assets.

According to a circular issued by Khan on Friday to provincial chief secretaries, all deputy commissioners have been tasked with identifying Benami assets in their areas and present a report, The Express Tribune reported on Saturday.

In case any other Benami asset is found after the report, the deputy commissioner or the head of development authority would be considered responsible and action would be taken against the concerned official under the Benami law.

The circular added that all officers were directed to submit a report to the Federal Board of Revenue chairman by September 30 and a copy to the Prime Minister’s Office.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, in a meeting held on Tuesday regarding Benami assets, Khan had stressed on steps to identify Benami assets immediately and for the provincial governments to play an active role, reports The Express Tribune.

Earlier during the month, the FBR set up an Anti-Benami Initiative Directorate General to step up its crackdown on white-collar crime.

The FBR noted that Benami transactions, the entailing phenomenon of Benami moveable and immoveable properties, bank accounts, luxury vehicles, off-shore investments and stocks, and shares, were one of the biggest threats to the country’s taxation system compromising its economic viability.

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