Business Pakistan

Pakistan seeks details of its citizens holding UAE Iqama


ISLAMABAD: Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) has sought details from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities of thousands of Pakistani nationals who have acquired “iqama” (residential/work permit).

In a letter to the UAE Ministry of Finance, the FBR said it was seeking data of those “who may have siphoned off funds illegally from Pakistan, parked them in the UAE, and are now hiding behind iqama-based residential status”.

In the letter, the FBR’s directorate of internal taxes said information already received from the UAE was “not very substantial” as details of only 3,620 accounts were reported and “the number of material accounts with substantial balance is negligible”.

“This is not only contrary to our expectations but also insignificant in comparison with Pakistan’s other exchange partners,” the FBR wrote in the letter.

Addressing the under-secretary at the UAE Ministry of Finance, Younis Haji Alkhoori, the FBR requested the UAE ministry to guide and assist it in the matter; “Article 26 and 27 of Pakistan-UAE DTA support formal and structured deliberations on a matter of mutual or a unilateral concern.”

The move is a part of special drive launched by the FBR in light of a Supreme Court’s order, soon after a startling revelation that 7,000 super-rich Pakistanis had acquired properties in UAE by violating national laws in the past eight years.

The development comes weeks after Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his desire that the people who had iqamas despite holding important positions would be held accountable through a high-powered commission.