Govt to provide protection where required: Dar

ISLAMABAD – Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Senator Ishaq Dar has said that the government will provide protection where required and will not impose any burden where it is not sustainable or impacts the common man.

He said that the Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs) aimed at providing relief to charitable institutions will be given protection. He said that the whole process will take few years to be completed. He was chairing a meeting of the committee constituted by the prime minister to review the concessionary regime (SROs) at the Ministry of Finance Affairs on Saturday.

In his opening remarks, the finance minister who is the convener of the committee said that the committee in its eight meetings held in the last three months, has reviewed the SROs with an independent and open mind and conducted an exercise in keeping with the national interest.

He said that the prime minister’s decision to constitute the committee and include in it, representatives of relevant ministries as well as stakeholders including business persons was aimed at taking all stakeholders on board so that the decisions were made with collective wisdom.

The FBR chairman gave a detailed presentation on the plan for phasing out of the SROs in three years timeframe. He informed the meeting that the plan encompasses principles to remove contradictions and distortions. He said that after consultations with the stakeholders the recommendations have been prepared for the committee to consider and take appropriate decision.

He added that there was a general consensus that local manufacturing and exports should be encouraged and we should save money where possible on imports. In this connection, the finance minister said that the committee and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has worked hard to rationalize and streamline SROs and he has been himself holding several meetings. The purpose of carrying out this exercise is to remove distortions and disparities created due to the issuance of arbitrary SROs, he added.

The meeting was attended by the Textile Industry minister, Finance secretary Dr Waqar Masood, secretaries of Industries, Commerce and Textile, Adviser to Finance Ministry Rana Assad Amin, FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa and senior officials of FBR and Ministry of Commerce, representatives of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce, chambers of Karachi, Lahore and Pakhtunkhwa, Board of Investment secretary and senior officials of the federal government.

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