Prize bonds, bearer instruments to be registered

KARACHI: Pakistani authorities have assured International Monetary Fund (IMF) of registering prize bonds and other bearer instruments to eliminate the use of these instruments in potential illegal activities and tax avoidance.

The IMF issued Pakistan country report on Monday following successful $6 billion loan program.

In order to make the program successful the Pakistani authorities had assured the fund of strengthening governance and the control of corruption.

The priorities include:

Strengthening the effectiveness of anticorruption institutions. A national committee has been established to implement the recommendations from the UNCAC 2017 report.

A task force will review the institutional framework of the anticorruption institutions to enhance their independence and effectiveness in investigating and prosecuting corruption cases.

A study will be conducted on establishing a dedicated AML unit in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Upgrading the financial investigation capacities of law enforcement agencies will be also prioritized.

Moreover, the authorities are pursuing agreements on information exchange with foreign countries to complement efforts to recover unlawful assets.

An Asset Recovery Unit in the Prime Minister’s Office is cooperating with the FBR’s International Taxation Unit in identifying assets abroad owned by Pakistani residents, in line with the OECD Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance on Tax Matters.

Advancing anti-corruption efforts through the enhanced used of AML tools, including by (i) ensuring that banks and other reporting institutions improve their capacities to identify politically exposed persons and apply enhanced due diligence measures and (ii) providing adequate resources to the Financial Monitoring Unit to improve the dissemination of financial intelligence that can be used to support corruption investigations.

Moreover, asset declarations of high-level public officials will be comprehensive in scope (i.e., assets beneficial owned or located abroad), filed with a central federal agency, electronically searchable, and appropriately verified.

“Registering prize bonds and other bearer instruments to eliminate their use in potential illegal activities/tax avoidance,” the report said.

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