The State Bank governor has told a panel of the National Assembly the other day that the central bank has never allowed citizens to transfer money abroad through legal or illegal means and buy offshore properties. He also clarified that the state agencies are responsible for the investigation of illegal financial transactions and the central bank has no mandate to act as an investigator. According to experts, the governor’s statement throws light on the inner weaknesses of the financial system which is exploited by the wiz kids in the affluent segment of society as well as the corrupt individuals in the country. The pathetic part of the situation is that the policymakers have failed to plug lacunae in the laws governing the financial transactions. It is the dilemma of the bureaucracy that they fix one thing to spoil another and that has been going on in the country since independence. Pakistanis are emerging as the leading investors in Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia and even in the countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, but no one in the country has bothered to stop money laundering or made strict laws to stop this trend. A very prestigious family of Karachi is facing money laundering charges which was once a leading investor in the country.
As a matter of fact, the wealthy people always want to find attractive destinations to invest their money. Pakistanis have reportedly invested $6.6 billion in Dubai from 2013 to 2015, but how the money was transferred under the nose of the government agencies can be anybody’s guess. Keeping in view the dynamics of international business and trade, it is difficult if not impossible for the law enforcement agencies to stop capital flight. But why does the country lack vision to launch investment opportunities in the country to utilize black money is such an academic question which has no easy solution. Again, the policymakers always come with solutions which create more troubles than any good. The corrupt elements find thousands ways to send money abroad, but the governments seems to have only one option to legalize their assets and that is amnesty scheme. It off and on uses this method to whiten the black money ignoring the plight and sensitivities of regular taxpayers. The State Bank governor dispelled the impression that the central bank is responsible for stopping illegal transactions. According to him, it is outside the domain of the financial system and that bank is also not involved in money laundering by itself. He says that laws are blatantly violated and the state institutions should have to act against the criminals.