Pakistan faces a setback from Switzerland over recovery of stolen and looted money

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Pakistan faces a setback from Switzerland over recovery of stolen and looted money

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan faces a setback from Switzerland over recovery of stolen and looted money.

Switzerland has turned down Pakistan’s request to share five-year-old tax information when it starts sharing the data in September 2021.

The refusal has minimized the chances of the Imran Khan-led PTI government for a significant financial recovery. Under the Automatic Exchange of Information, the Swiss government says it will only share the data as much as two years old when the treaty comes into effect in 2021. ------------------------------

As per the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials, Pakistan will get the details of bank accounts for 2020 and onwards.

This means that the country will lose its prospects to recover a large amount of black money stashed in Swiss accounts before 2018.

When the two countries began a discussion to sign a new tax treaty in 2018, Pakistan had demanded access to the information with effect from August 2014. Unfortunately, the request was turned down as it had no legal justification. ------------------------------

Last week, the Swiss parliament approved a list of 18 countries, including Pakistan, to be added to the Automatic Exchange List. Under this exchange, the country will share details of the bank accounts held by its citizens from January–December 2020.

The only benefit Pakistan will have from this revised treaty is that Switzerland will no longer be a safe haven for corruption money.