ISLAMABAD – The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Monday demanded steps to bring back billions of dollars stashed by wealthy Pakistanis in the Swiss banks. All the political parties should play their role to bring back money to Pakistan which is a more important issue than the CPEC and nuclear tests as less than half of that money can help country clear entire foreign debt of eighty billion dollars, it said.
In 2014 our finance minister revealed that Pakistanis have 200 billion dollars in the Swiss Banks. If other foreign banks, offshore companies, investment in the property market of Dubai and Malaysia etc. is added, the amount can jump well over 300 billion dollars, said Atif Ikram Sheikh, chairman FPCCI Regional Committee on Industries.
He said that entire amount isn’t the stolen funds but many have transferred their money abroad due to fear of losing it to inconsistent policies and political uncertainty. For the same reason many industries have also been shifted abroad that can be convinced to come back, he added.
Those who have transferred their funds abroad are getting a negligible profit; if they are convinced and offered better returns, they may bring their money back and invest it into industry and SMEs.
He said that presently there is no scarcity of investment in Pakistan but the majority of the businessmen prefer unproductive sectors like real estate and stock exchange because investment in productive sectors is considered risky.
The government should try to change the direction of the investment to productive sectors which will boost GDP, generate jobs and revenue, he demanded.
He said that Pakistanis are one of the most gifted people on this planet while our country has matchless resources and potential but it frequently remains on the brink of bankruptcy which allows other countries to dictate their damaging policies. This situation can be changed if some of the money is brought back to Pakistan which will end our dependency on IMF.