Access to corruption money

IN a landmark development, Pakistan and Switzerland, on Tuesday, inked the much-talked-about and much-needed avoidance of double taxation agreement, which would give access to tax-evaded money stashed in Swiss banks. Pakistan had approached Switzerland for signing of such a treaty in the backdrop of widespread reports that Pakistanis have evaded taxes and a huge amount in billions was stored in Swiss banks.
There have been demands that the tax-evaded and looted money must be brought back to the country but absence of agreement relating to exchange of information hindered access to relevant information in Swiss banks that are considered to be one of the major destinations for such money. The two countries took a lot of time in negotiating the agreement and it would take about one and a half year more to come into effect after its ratification by the two governments. Already, clever plunderers might have shifted their money somewhere else and others could do so in the interim period. However, the positive aspect of the entire episode is that the corrupt have been denied of at least one destination for stashing looted money. We hope that steps would also be initiated to get access to information about the ill-gotten money that people have invested in offshore companies.

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