Last week, news of Malik Riaz handing over 190 Million Pounds circulated all over our feeds and was the hottest topic for days.
The National Crime Agency secured the largest settlement of its kind after the business tycoon from Pakistan decided to hand over 190m held in the UK. The assets involved in the settlement included a central London property at 1 Hyde Park Place, valued at 50m as well as 140m in nine frozen UK bank accounts. The NCA said that the agreement was in relation to a civil, rather than a criminal matter and “does not represent a finding of guilt.”
This saga inspired Pakistan’s very own economist from Princeton, Atif Mian to post his thoughts on Twitter about how business tycoons like Malik Riaz destroy the economy of a country.
Atif Mian, who was removed from the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC) last year solely due to his religious beliefs, has served as a professor of economics, public policy and finance at Princeton University and as director of The Julis-Rabinowitz Centre for Public Policy and Finance at Woodrow Wilson School.
After the Hyde Park settlement, he educated the public about the dirty game played by the real estate billionaire and other like him.
Today, Malik Riaz is the largest property developer in Asia but this has not always the case.
He used to work as an ordinary clerk and made his way from up from there. Hold on to your inspired horses, there is not a single grain of inspiration or motivation to be derived from his story, unless you aspire to cheat and deceit almost every single human being in this country.
But this piece is not about how Malik Riaz established his empire but about how his empire has damaged Pakistan and what Atif Mian writes in the thread is the simplest way to say this.
Atif Mian explained how having a monopolistic hold over all the real estate projects in the country by people like Malik Riaz plays a major role in decreasing the productivity.
Turning agricultural land into commercial property puts countries like Pakistan at a huge disadvantage and that’s precisely what these tycoons have been doing for several decades.
The productivity in real estate is decreasing all over the globe, with an increase of only 1% in the past two years but that doesn’t seem to deter Bahria Town from popping out of every corner in the country.
And then there is the undetected amount which is laundered into foreign countries outside of Pakistan by our local billionaires.
Money laundering has always been a major issue in Pakistan, these business tycoons take their stolen money outside of the country to evade taxes and surcharges which further increases the trade and current deficit of the country.