ISLAMABAD – Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Senator Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting to review the implementation status of the initiatives, announced in the federal budget 2014-15, at the Ministry of Finance Affairs on Saturday.
Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood gave a detailed presentation on the status of the initiatives and the progress made so far on the implementation. He informed the meeting that blue print to establish/incorporate Exim Bank of Pakistan will be completed by September 2014 and a legal framework through the act of the parliament will be initiated thereafter.
On the establishment of Pakistan Land Port Authority, he said that the integrated transit trade committee will present its initial understanding to the Finance Minister by July 15, 2014. The minister was informed that necessary notifications related to reduction in mark up rates of Exports Refinance Facility and Long Term Finance Facility have already been issued.
It was also informed that the Finance Division was following up on the decisions for disposal of all pending sales tax refunds by September 30 and in future disposal of sales tax refunds will be ensured within three months by the FBR. The minister said that mechanism for credit guarantee scheme for small and marginalized farmers must be devised at the earliest and in this regard Ministry of National Food Security and Internal Finance Wing should coordinate with the State Bank of Pakistan.
The finance minister also reviewed the progress made on crop loan insurance scheme, livestock insurance scheme, increased agriculture credit availability, establishment of commodities warehouses, mortgage refinance company and prime minister’s low cost housing scheme. The minister was informed that necessary notifications for provision of incentives for processing industries in Makran, Gilgit Baltistan, Swat and FATA, air freight subsidy circular on horticulture produce from Gilgit Baltistan are being issued shortly.
It was also informed that notification with regard to enhancement of monthly stipend through BISP to increase from Rs1200 to Rs1500 has already been issued. Senator Dar also directed for establishment of high powered task force to undertake detailed review of a large number of social safety-net programme, scattered across different ministries and departments, so as to gauge their performance and avoid overlapping.
The minister was also informed that the divestment of government shares in PSEs was going on as per plans with both local and international investors’ interests. Promotion of Islamic banking and financial system in Pakistan is being worked out by the State Bank and the Finance Division and an interim report will be presented to the minister at the earliest. The meeting was also attended by Adviser to Finance Ministry Rana Assad Amin and senior officials of the ministry.