On the directive of Chairman Shaukat Hussain, Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has ordered the companies to list their real owners. Circular No 16 of 2018 has been issued with an aim to highlight and fight money laundering cases.
All companies have been issued the circular making it compulsory for them to follow the Section 453 of the Companies Act.
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All the companies who have legal persons as their shareholders or members have been directed to maintain latest, up-to-date information regarding the beneficial owners. The beneficial owners include all the people who directly or indirectly own more than 10% shares, ownership, voting rights.
The beneficial ownership information will be obtained by the companies from their members and it will be updated & maintained.
Dr. Ikramul Haq, an expert in international tax issues said, “The SECP’s circular is part of a larger agenda of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that requires all beneficial ownership structures to be disclosed to the authorities concerned.”
He informed that soon all foreign jurisdictions will reveal their beneficial ownership registers which would ultimately make it impossible for firms to hide their ownership.
The information that is required by the beneficial owner is their full name, father or husband’s name, NIC/NICOP/passport number, their nationality, if dual or foreign national their country of origin, email address, permanent residential address, data on which their name was entered in the register and date when the person ended to the beneficial owner.
The companies have been asked to provide this information to any relevant government authority that asks for it.