ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar on Friday said the country was out of the danger of default now as the success of Euro Bond and Auction of Spectrum had boosted the international confidence in economic policies of the government.
Meeting with traders’ delegation from Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi he gave a complete outlook of the state of economy.
At the outset, Dar suspended the implementation of the SRO-351 of 2014 and formed a committee comprising representatives of traders associations, chambers of commerce and industry and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)’s chairman to review the fairness of the SRO.
The said SRO came to the notice of Finance Minister last evening, which was issued without his approval.
He informed the delegation their genuine concerns would be considered in order to put Pakistan on path to progress and development.
Traders appreciated the suspension of discriminatory SRO, which was highly unfair as it planted the same official of FBR as investigator and arbiter in taxation matters.
The traders reposed their confidence in the overall direction of the economy set by Dar.
MPA Hamza Shahbaz Provincial Ministers Government of Punjab, chairman FBR and senior officials of the Finance Ministry were present in the meeting. Earlier a delegation comprising Zaigham Adil Rizvi Chief Operating Officer Tuwairqi Steel Mills Limited (TSML) and Young Ho Yoo President Pohong Steel Company (POSCO) discuss issues related to their plant at Port Qasim with Dar.
Young informed Dar TSML was a state of art direct reduction of iron (DRI) plant set up at Port Qasim Karachi in January 2013.
It is based on world’s most advanced technology and has a capacity of 1.28 million tonnes per day. The current investment in the plant was around $340 million. The future objective of the company is to enhance this investment to around $1.2 billion.
The Finance Minister was informed the plant was not in operation since September 2014 due to various reasons.
Dar assured the delegation the Ministry of Industries and FBR would consider their issues sympathetically in order to facilitate FDI in Pakistan.
Separately, a delegation of Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) led by its Chairman Dr Muhammad Aslam called on Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Friday and discussed proposals related to budget 2014-15.
The delegation informed Dar there was huge potential in poultry industry, if appropriate measures were taken to exempt sales tax on import of plant and machinery related to the industry.
Aslam informed currently there were no incentives for setting up the industry in rural and far-flung areas.
He requested the Finance Minister for considering an incentive package for rural areas so the poultry industry could be set up in far-flung areas, which woud provide jobs to the local population and develop the agriculture sector too. The Finance Minister was also informed in a neighboring country there was 100n percent import duty on finished and value added poultry products whereas there was no import duty of raw material.
Dar assured the Association their proposals would be considered by the Finance Ministry and in this regard directed the FBR officials to hold a meeting with the Poultry Association representatives on Tuesday to discuss issues being faced by them.
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