Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act 2017 has overnight effect on other laws, including Banking Companies Ordinance, for seeking information of benami banking transactions from banks. This was stated by Dr Hamid Ateeq Sarwar, FBR Member Inland Revenue Policy, while briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance on benami law.
Dr Hamid said the FBR wants banking business to flourish in the country. However, it also wants to create deterrence that people should start declaring correct figures and their identity during purchase of properties and maintaining bank accounts. Through the benami law, the FBR will change the habit of maintaining benami properties and accounts. If there is a need to reduce taxes in budget to encourage documentation and declarations by the owners of properties, the FBR is ready to do it.
The FBR Member Inland Revenue Policy said that the benami law is not a revenue measure and it would create deterrence in society. The FBR will not use the benami law for increasing revenue collection. "It is not a revenue raising law but it is a deterrence law," he added.
From Monday, the FBR will start implementation of the law as a prosecution agency, he said. MNA Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, however, stated, "I do not agree that it is not a revenue generation measure. The benami law would ultimately result in revenue generation," she added.