ISLAMABAD: The government is at present not considering any proposal to increase the pay and pension of government employees in the federal budget 2014-15, the National Assembly was told on Wednesday.
The Lower House of parliament was informed on Wednesday that no new sales tax or other taxes have been imposed by the present Government on Petroleum products. However, in the budget sales tax on lubricating oil was made chargeable on retail price, subsequently converted to 2% extra tax. Sales tax on goods is purely subject matter of the Federation. Petroleum specific taxes are levied by Federal Government under Entry-51 in the Federal Legislative List Part-I (Fourth Schedule).
Recommendations and proposals from all quarters, including those from provinces, are given careful consideration. However, the final decisions are made by the Federal Government keeping in view the balance between interest of revenue, taxpayers’ facilitation, growth and inter-provincial harmony. Pakistan Railways (PR): Pakistan Railways (PR) is a corporate body having its own revenue receipts. Rs.33.500 billion has been allocated to PR for the CFY 2013-14. During the period July 2013-February, 2014, Rs. 21.626 billion has been released on account of subsidy on monthly basis for payment of Pay and Pension.
Due to depleting revenue receipts of Pakistan Railways (PR) its reliance on financial assistance by the GoP has increased manifold. Main factors include, inter alia, poor business practices, loss-making operations including its overaged infrastructure and flawed governance. In the CFY revenues from July-December, 2013 have been communicated at Rs.27,711.260 million and expected revenues for period January-June, 2014 are equal to Rs.28,374.375 million which are over and above the targets.
Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM): In the wake of acute financial crisis since FY 2008-09, GoP considering the PSM as a national asset, has been extending due support to keep the organization afloat. Since January, 2010 various bailout packages comprising both budgetary as well as non-budgetary support have been provided to PSM.
With high level of GoP financial support in preceding three years, the financial hemorrhage persists and no tangible improvement in the operational and financial profile of PSM has been noted, rather continuous deterioration in respect of capacity utilization (presently reported at 1.36%) has impaired the going concern assumption. Resultantly, GoP in the CFY allocated an amount of Rs. 3.62 billion attributable primarily to employee related expenditure and certain urgent liabilities, which in the present circumstances is likely to continue.
Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIAC): Due to low revenue collection, high cost of fuel, competitive strategies of Gulf Airlines, PIAC has been facing continuous financial constraints. To support the national carrier GoP has been providing financial support to the airline. The GoP has been providing financial support to the PIA in order to keep the airline afloat. Although the airline managed to avoid complete shutdown of its operations, no tangible improvements were witnessed in the performance of the company. However, the recent support of Rs.16 billion being provided by the present government is intended to turn around the company and achieve break even through a well designed restructuring plan. Several cost cutting and revenue enhancement measures are underway and fuel efficient planes are being acquired on lease basis to once again achieve acceptable operational levels of the airline. The government is also committed to restructuring, revival, and strategic divestment of PIA.
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