ISLAMABAD: The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN), which is supported by the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability (TDEA), released a report on the digitized details of the assets and liabilities of the former Members of the 14th National Assembly.
The declaration of the assets and liabilities was obligatory for all lawmakers at the time of nomination as well as annually after their election under Sections 12(2)(f) and 42-A of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 (which has now been replaced with the Elections Act, 2017). The statements, submitted by the end of September each year, contained details of the assets owned by the lawmakers, their spouses and their dependents. The statements are then published in the official gazette for public information.
This report contains the details of lawmakers’ assets and liabilities for five financial years (FY) starting from FY 2011-12 to FY 2015-16. However, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has not yet published the details of the assets and liabilities for FY 2016-17. FAFEN acquired details of the FY 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 from the ECP’s website and those of FY 2014-15 and 2015-16 from the Gazette of Pakistan.
Besides reproducing the information provided by the lawmakers in their annual statements, the report also shows the net worth of the assets owned by the lawmakers, their spouses and their dependents. For the purpose of this report, the assets of the lawmakers’ spouses and declared dependents (including children and parents) have been treated cumulatively as the assets of the dependents.
FAFEN made every effort to report the description and values of the lawmakers’ declared assets exactly as it was mentioned in the annual statements, however, some of the information could not be reproduced due to illegible writing and misprinting on the copies available with the Network.
In several statements, the lawmakers mentioned the values of their assets in foreign currencies. These values were converted to Pakistani rupees using the online currency converter OANDA, which enables backdated conversion of the value of foreign currency to Pakistani rupees.
In case of jointly-owned assets, the net worth of the lawmakers’ assets included only the value of such part of the asset which they claimed would come into their share. However, where information about the exact amount of the share was not given, the net value of that asset has been assumed to be owned by the lawmaker.
Moreover, the form prescribed by the ECP for declaration of assets and liabilities required the lawmakers to separately mention the original cost and the current value of their assets.
Wherever both pieces of information were available, FAFEN calculated the net worth of lawmakers’ assets on the basis of the current value. However, where the current value was missing, the original cost was used to calculate the same.