Govt in contact with Qatar for investment in Pak, says Pasha

Islamabad: State Minister for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha on Wednesday told senate body that flood has added to the voes of already devasted economy and government is in negotiations with Qatar and Saudia Arabia for investment in key sectors in order to provide strength to the dwindling economy.

These investments would improve the foreign exchange reserves of the country and would help in stabilizing rupee against the US dollar. The minister expressed these views while briefing the the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, which held today in parliament house while Senator Saleem Mandviwalla was on Chair.

TheState Minister for Finance and Revenue maintained that unfortunately Pakistan share in global emissions is around one percent but Pakistan is among the most affected countries due to climate change. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla stated that “Bangladesh has more reserves than Pakistan but they have taken more stringent measures than us”. He suggested that restrictions should be put on use of fuel for cars and bikes as large sum of country is being spent on the payment for fuel imports. Senator Shaukat Fayaz Ahmed Tarin inquiresd as to why dollar value is rising even after the IMF bailout.

The senate body rejected the Bill titled “The State-Owned Enterprises (Governance and Operations)” by majority vote, while Senator Shaukat Fayaz Ahmed Tarin abstain from voting.

Senator Saadia Abbasi stated that Government should not endorse previous govt bill and make new bills in the light of their own policies. She further added that government did not require any bill for good governance.

The committee discussed the matter of overcharge on issuance of LCs by banks.

Senator Shaukat Fayaz Ahmed Tarin apprised that owing to this incurring problem, traders have been making payments from dubai accounts for goods imported from Shanghai. He further added that the banks have issued LCs on Rs 240 or above when dollar values at Rs.230 in interbank and profit of banks increased around 100 p.c. Officials of UBL and Bank Al Habib told that in August, they have suffered the loss around Rs.700 Million and Rs.500 Million respectively.

Dr. Inayat Hussain, Deputy Governor SBP said that the state bank has initiated the inquiry into matter and report will be presented before committee.

Senator Faisal Saleem Rehman highlighted the issue of Tobacco farmers of KPK who are forced to leave this business due to heavy taxation.

He said that around 5 lac farmers have been affected by these hefty taxes.