NA body forms committee to investigate investment in UAE real estate

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance Tuesday constituted a sub-committee to investigate legal or illegal transfer of investment in real estate sector of United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Pakistani Nationals.

The three-member committee, comprising MNAs Asad Umar, Isphanyar M. Bhandara and Dr. Shezra Mansab Ali Khan Kharral, had been tasked to prepare a comprehensive report on the issue.

MNA Assad Umar while discussing the issue said that at a time when the State Bank’s Reserves were touching

$14 billion exchange reserves, investment of $8 billion in UAE real state was really matter of concern.

Briefing the committee on the actions it has taken on the matter, the Federal Board of Revenue said that by law board was

mandated to investigate only those cases that come under its domain and in this case if it is related to double taxation.FBR informed the committee that it did not have mandate to write to the Real Sector Directorate of UAE to provide details of transactions made by Pakistan in the real sector of UAE.

On the issue, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) informed the committee that it had mandate to

investigate case that involve federal employees or money of national exchequer, however added that if the committee directed the agency, it would consults it law department and do accordingly as suggested by it.

On property valuation issue, the FBR informed the committee that it was conducting fresh survey

for property evaluation and would consult all stakeholders once the survey is completed

and thereby formulate valuation tables with regard to the property tax by removing all the anomalies.

Meanwhile, President National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) informed the committee that it was going to

file a review petition with the Supreme Court against its decision in favour of pensioners, which would cost the bank Rs 47.7 billion immediately and have an impact of Rs5 billion on annual basis.

NBP President informed the committee that the bank would fall short the requirements of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in terms of capital advocacy ratio and leverage ratio if it had to pay the pensioners.The committee also considered “An Eradication of Riba Bill 2015” and decided to write to Finance Minister to attend meeting of the committee and brief it about the bill. It also considered The Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Private Money Lending Bill 2017.

The Finance Ministry informed the committee that since the matter was already taken by the Senate Committee on Finance, so the Finance Ministry was consulting with Ministry of Law and Ministry of Interior to provide its feedback on the matter.

On the occasion, representatives of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)

informed the committee that 12 case of manipulation in Stock Exchange were detected by the commission since July 2016, involving Banks, Brokerage house.