LAHORE, Pakistan: Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Saturday called for formulation and implementation of a ‘Charter of Economy’ to develop speedily Pakistan at all levels.
Talking to media men at MoU signing ceremony between Sheikh Zayed Hospital Complex and University of Health Science (UHS) here at the UHS, he also underscored the need to separate politics from economic affairs and every one, in his domain, must focus and contribute towards economic well-being of the country.
Ishaq Dar made it clear that Voluntary Tax Compliance Scheme (VTCS-commonly known as tax amnesty scheme) was not aimed in any way to allow people to whiten their black money/wealth, assets or jewellery, but to facilitate the non-filers and working capital of the businessmen.
He mentioned that so far only 10,000 new filers had used this facility, and called for more efforts to remove fears/apprehensions of the new filers. One-month extension in the deadline of the VTCS would prove very beneficial for non-filers and business doing people, and tax revenue generation, he remarked.
To a question, the Federal Minister said that National Price Monitoring Committee was entrusted to assess the impact on prices of overall commodities in the wake of fluctuation in the prices of POL (petroleum, oil and lubricants).
The committee, he added, monitored the implementation of prices in the country, while the government had also set up model/special and Sunday bazaars in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh, which ensured a great relief to the common man in terms of reduced prices of commodities.
However, the overall prices in the country could not be lowered in line with reduction ratio of POL prices, he maintained.
Responding to a Reporter’s query, Ishaq Dar said that government had succeeded to convince the Opposition parties and remove their reservations over the issue of PIA, asserting that PIA amendment bill would be passed in joint session of Senate and National Assembly to be held on April 11th. None of the PIA’s hotels or assets was being sold out but the government wanted to correct the core business of the PIA to turn it into a profitable entity, he clarified.
The Federal Minister said that Pakistan had made the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) import deal with Qatar at a very low price, and it would be contributing a lot in catering to the country’s energy needs.
About the appointment of OGRA Chairman, Ishaq Dar said that an 11-member committee headed by him (Ishaq Dar) had been constituted and it also included Federal Petroleum Minister and Cabinet Secretary.
The committee was short-listing the candidates for the slot; he said and added that Chairman of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority would be appointed during the current month.
The Finance Minister said that the MoU between Sheikh Zayed Hospital Complex and University of Health Science (UHS) would prove beneficial for both the institutions in improving their working.