Merchants unhappy, call meeting on July 9
Pakistani jewelers are unhappy as the country has decided to strictly monitor the purchase and sale of gold.
The State Bank’s Financial Monitoring Unit and the FBR’s Special Anti-Money Laundering Financing Unit have started to do this work. And the FIA has reportedly started inquiring about transactions from different centres.
Merchants are being asked about their investments and purchases. As a result, they have called a meeting in Lahore on July 9 to decide how to react.
Reports suggest that the step has been taken on the conditions set by the FATF. The body has placed Pakistan on its grey list and the only way out is for the country to curb money laundering and terror financing.
Earlier, Pakistan had restricted the buying and selling of prize bonds in unconventional ways and has now turned its eye towards gold. It has taken steps to regularize the industry.
Black money worth millions of rupees can be transferred to gold or bonds and kept anywhere. Many people keep gold at home. The ownership of bonds and gold jewellery cannot be determined. Prize bonds, gold, and jewellery can also be used to finance terrorism.
According to FBR sources, gold and jewellery worth millions are traded every day in domestic markets but no sales or income tax are paid. It is necessary for the country to bring the income of such a large sector into its tax net.
Goldsmiths and investors across the country are worried because of the steps taken by the government.
Mithadar Sarrafa Market and Saddar Sarafa Market held an emergency meeting. After online consultation, they decided to call a meeting in Lahore which would be attended by sarrafa leaders from all over the country.
Haroon Rasheed Chand, the president of All Sindh Sarrafa Jewellers Association, said that small gold shops are being asked to register for sales tax and that is not possible.
Jewelers are being forced to inform the government about transactions of gold and jewels worth Rs2 million or more. These measures are causing severe difficulties, he remarked.
We have called a meeting to discuss measures and chalk out a plan, Chand added.