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Carrying forex: NTN likely to be made mandatory

Carrying forex: NTN likely to be made mandatory

ISLAMABAD: The National Tax Number (NTN) is likely to be declared mandatory for carrying foreign exchange during foreign tours in a bid to discourage money laundering and flight of foreign exchange.

It is to be noted that Section 4 of Protect of Economic Reforms Act, 1992 and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) rules allow all citizens to carry up to 10,000 dollars during foreign tours without any declaration at any stage irrespective of the fact that the money is white to this extent or not.

This provision ‘apparently’ encourages money laundering and outflow of foreign exchange which is detrimental to the economy. According to the law, income, generated in the country and converted into foreign exchange without paying taxes is a criminal act because such foreign exchange without explainable source was against the provisions of Anti Money Laundering Act, 2010.

Therefore, the government is contemplating amendments to the relevant laws to allow carrying foreign exchange up to 10,000 dollars to a person having valid NTN and file return of income annually. This step is expected to reduce flight of forex and arrest of rapid currency depreciation.