Lahore -  The Companies Ordinance 2016 will help the government in effectively addressing challenges related to offshore investments, curbing corruption and ensuring transparency in corporate governance.

This was stated by Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, who hailed the government for taking action in controlling corruption by regulating offshore investments in view of promoting transparency and good governance.

Sheikh said the government took a number of measures to counter money laundering. He said that the Companies Ordinance 2016 empowers the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to conduct a joint investigation against fraud, money laundering and terror financing. He said that the Benami Law aims to curb the use of benami transactions for criminal proceeds and black money.

He said that the ordinance emphasizes maximum disclosures by Pakistanis to the local regulatory authorities in respect of investment in foreign companies. Under the new ordinance, the SECP will maintain Companies Global Register of Beneficial Ownership, which will have complete record of the beneficial ownership of the substantial shareholders and officers in local and foreign companies doing business in the country, he added.

He said it will bond the foreign company, operating in Pakistan, to provide complete information of its directors, officers and beneficial owners. However, he urged the government to re-evaluate property rates and related tax matters in consultation with the industry stakeholders. He said Pakistan has become a signatory to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s multilateral convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters. He urged the government to ensure effective and expeditious implementation of these laws and measures to achieve the desired outcomes.