[Business Recorder 23 April, 2019]

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has said that non-resident Pakistanis are allowed to open and maintain foreign currency accounts despite being not appeared in the Federal Board of Revenue’s Active Taxpayers List (ATL). The SBP, through a circular, has invited attention of Authorized Dealers to the second proviso of sub-section (4) of the Section (5) of the Protection of Economic Reforms Act (PERA), 1992 which, inter alia, says “provided that no cash shall be deposited in an account of a citizen of Pakistan resident in Pakistan, unless the account holder is a filer as defined in the income Tax Ordinance, 2001 (XLIX of 2001).”

The circular said that it has come to the SBP notice that some Authorized Dealers are not allowing non-residents to open and maintain foreign currency accounts on the pretext that they are not appearing as “filer” in the Active Taxpayer’s List of the FBR. However, it is evident from the Proviso of sub-section (4) of the Section (5) of the Protection of Economic Reforms Act (PERA), 1992, that the instructions, contained therein, are not applicable to non-residents, it added.