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November 24, 2021 (PR No. 648)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue chaired the meeting of ECNEC

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin, chaired the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) meeting today.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Mr. Asad Umer, Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Makhdoom Khusroo Bakhtiar, Federal Secretaries and other senior officers from Federal as well as Provincial Government participated in the meeting.

ECNEC approved Pakistan Optical Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-02) project of SUPARCO worth of Rs. 27,913.567 Million. The project will help building of an indigenous capacity in the fields of space /satellite technology and its applications, institutional capacity building of SUPARCO and promote high-tech R & D activities in the country. This project will contribute in acquisition of self-reliance in satellite technologies in Pakistan.

ECNEC approved Sialkot (Sambrial) – Kharian Motorway project submitted by Ministry of Communication with total project cost Rs.43,382.552 Million, along with directions to NHA to present progress on development of business model to ECC. The project envisages construction of 69-km long, 04-lane wide Sambrial- Kharian Motorway with structures to be constructed for 06 lanes. Forum especially lauded the efforts of Planning Commission and M/o Communication for finalizing this project on PPP basis.

ECNEC also gave approval to the New Gwadar International Airport(NGIA) 2nd revised project worth of 51,298.175 Million rupees. The 2nd revised project envisages construction of New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) along with allied facilities over a piece of land already acquired. NGIA will replace the existing airport at Gwadar which has small terminal building with limited capacity. The new airport will be suitable for bigger aircrafts like Airbus A-380 and Boeing -747 & 777 etc for international and domestic services.

ECNEC also approved the project of Ministry of Energy on ADB Funded Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) in IESCO at a cost of $455.5 million, with directives to start the project without any delay as a pilot project and include other electric supplying companies. The project envisages enhancing load control and loading management up to the interface of the electricity distribution system operated by the distribution companies (DISCOs). The AMI project is designed as a least cost solution to reduce losses and efficiently balancing supply in the specific areas of IESCO.

ECNEC also approved the position paper for amendments in the ECNEC decision, 2004 and for approval of Self-Finance Development Schemes of distribution companies/entities, submitted by Ministry of Energy.

ECNEC also approved Remodelling of Warsak Canal System in Peshawar and Nowshera districts worth o Rs. 16,695.81 Million. The 2nd revised PC-1 was considered on 50:50 cost sharing basis between Federal and Provincial Government. Any variation in the cost of the project will be borne by the provincial government.

ECNEC approved Higher Education Development in Pakistan (HEDP- revised) project by HEC worth of Rs. 12,782 Million financed by World Bank.  The project activities will be executed throughout Pakistan. The ECNEC Also considered a project Pak University of Engineering & Emerging Technologies (PUEET) Phase-I (Knowledge Economy Initiative) of HEC with a cost of Rs. 23.54 Billion. PUEET would be a research and commercialization university, which would house various centres of excellence in the cutting-edge fields of science and technology and a state-of-the-art- technology park.

ECNEC gave approval to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cities Improvement Project (KPCIP) at a cost of Rs. 97,146 Million. KPCIP will improve the quality of life of the residents of five KP cities including Abbottabad, Kohat, Mardan, Mingora and Peshawar directly benefitting about 6 Million of urban population. 

Forum also approved the construction of 10th Avenue from IJP road to Srinagar Highway Islamabad at a total cost of Rs. 12.139 billion. Project would be executed in two phases and would be completed in two year’s time.

Forum deferred the decision on Greater Thar Canal Project with directions to relevant stakeholders, both at Federal and Provincial level, to reach a consensus amongst themselves prior to its resubmission to ECNEC.

 
November 24, 2021 (PR No. 648)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue chaired the meeting of NPCM

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, presided over the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting held at the Finance Division.

Secretary Finance, Secretary Industries & Production, MD Utility Stores Corporation, Provincial Chief Secretaries, Chief Statistician PBS and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

National Price Monitoring Committee reviewed the prices of daily use commodities and essential food items in the country.

The Secretary Finance briefed the NPMC about the weekly SPI situation which has been increased by 1.07% during the week under review. While reviewing the price trend of essential commodities, the Secretary Finance apprised that prices of 10 essential commodities registered decline prices of 14 items remained stable during the last week. The prices of essential commodities Onion, Potatoes, Cooking Oil registered significant decline as compared to same period last year, he added.

The Secretary Finance further updated NPMC that the prices of the wheat flour bags remained consistent at Rs. 1100 per 20 kg due to the proactive measures of the Punjab, KP Governments and ICT administration. The daily release of wheat by all the provincial governments will further ease out prices.

While reviewing the price of sugar in the country, the Secretary Finance informed that prices are easing out in Punjab and KP due to proactive measures of the government. The new stocks of sugar are arriving in the market which will further lower the prices.

The Advisor expressed satisfaction over the stability in the sugar prices and stressed Ministry of Industries and Production to take appropriate measures for creating strategic reserves of the sugar in the country for smooth supply of sugar in coming months.

While reviewing the prices of edible oil, the NMPC observed that the increase in prices of edible oil in the global market has affected the local prices, however, it was informed that international prices of palm oil/soyabean would start declining from January onward. The Adviser stressed to ensure that the lower international prices be passed on to the domestic consumers.

On the stock position of Fertilizers, it was informed that Punjab and Sindh governments have taken actions against the hoarders. Punjab government has established control rooms in the districts to monitor the stock position of fertilizers and appropriate actions are being taken on complaints against high prices.

The Adviser directed the provincial governments to take punitive actions against Fertilizer’s hoarders, prevent shortage and make availability of fertilizers at controlled rates in all the provinces.

The Adviser further directed Ministry of Industry and Production to initiate whistle blower law against hoarders and enforce it at the priority.

While observing stock position of Kerosene oil in the country, the Adviser directed Petroleum Division to take measures for availability of sufficient stocks of Kerosene oil in market to support the lower segment of the society.  

The NPMC observed that Sastaa & Sahulat Bazaars in Punjab, KP are offering essential goods at subsidized prices. The Adviser to the PM on Finance & Revenue commended the efforts of the Government of the Punjab, KP and Islamabad administration in providing key items at discounted prices through arranging Sastaa Bazaars.

The Adviser expressed satisfaction on prices of commodities in Sastaa Bazars in Baluchistan and Sindh and further directed to establish such bazaars in more cities to provide maximum relief to the people. 

 
November 23, 2021 (PR No. 647)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue chaired the meeting of Steering Committee (Kamyab Pakistan Program)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin presided over the Steering Committee meeting of Kamyab Pakistan Program (KPP) at Finance Division, today. Chairman NPHDA, Chairman NTC, President Bank of Punjab, Secretary Finance and senior officers attended the meeting.

A detailed presentation was given to the Adviser on the progress of Kamyab Pakistan Program. It was informed that the program has been launched successfully and applications for the award of loan are being received through SMS from all over the country. The loans will be disbursed after fulfillment of requirements to the deserving applicants for the uplift of living standards of the underprivileged people of the country. Small loans for business, farmers and construction of houses are included under the program.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin stressed that all stakeholders should rise to the occasion, gear themselves up for the task and take part in a new nation building activity under umbrella of Kamyab Pakistan Programme.

In his concluding remarks, the Adviser stated that the Kamyab Pakistan Program will prove to be a milestone in uplifting the lower strata of the society.

The participants of the meeting assured the Adviser of their full cooperation and participation in making the program successful.

 
November 18, 2021 (PR No. 646)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue held a meeting with renowned International Economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin held a meeting with renowned International Economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer at Finance Division today. Members of American Business Council, Secretary Finance and senior officers participated in the meeting.

Welcoming Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, the Adviser highlighted the current economic situation of Pakistan and briefed on the steps taken by the present government to address the challenges faced by the economy of Pakistan and put it on the path of progress and growth.

The Adviser stressed that priority sectors such as modernization of agriculture, IT and industry as vital for increase in exports and economic growth. Government has taken pragmatic steps to tackle the inflation, stabilize foreign exchange and increase productivity, he added.

Dr. Arthur B. Laffer appreciated the efforts taken by the present government in various sectors for economic progress and development. Citing examples from USA, Turkey and China in achieving economic stability, he suggested key economic reforms to boost prosperity and economic growth in Pakistan. He cited great potential in accelerated privatization, simplification of taxes and strengthing of exchange rate to push economy forward.   

The Adviser applauded Dr. Arthur’s suggestions in the realm of economy and valuable support for bringing economic progress in Pakistan.

 
November 17, 2021 (PR No. 645)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue held a meeting with US Alternate ED/ Executive Director – Asian Development Bank

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin held a meeting with Mr. John Hurley, the US Alternate ED/ Executive Director – Asian Development Bank at Finance Division today. Country Director ADB, Mr. Yong Ye, Secretary Finance and senior officers participated in the meeting.

Welcoming Mr. John Hurley, the Adviser emphasized that the ADB has always been a source of support in pursuing reform agenda and implementing various development projects for the country. He acknowledged the longstanding partnership and firm commitment of Asian Development Bank as a major partner for bringing essential reforms in priority areas including energy, fiscal & debt management and socio-economic development.

The Adviser gave an overview of the current economic situation and emphasized that the Government is committed to introduce reform in various sectors, in the face of various challenges, to address the long outstanding structural issues and to attain sustainable and inclusive growth.

The Adviser informed that the Government has taken steps to improve the revenue collection through broadening of tax base, capturing retail sales, single window operations as well as track and trace system. Efforts are being made to complete the remaining prior actions under the capital markets development programme to disburse it within time, he added.

Mr. John Hurley appreciated and supported the efforts taken by the present government in social and economic sectors for improvement in the economy of Pakistan. He re-affirmed Bank’s commitment to continue support for the implementation of structural reforms in future.

The Adviser thanked Mr. John Hurley and his team for their continuous support and facilitation.

 
November 17, 2021 (PR No. 644)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue chaired a meeting to review the establishment of Federal Government Properties Management Authority

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin held a meeting to review the establishment of Federal Government Properties Management Authority in Finance Division today. Senator Aun Abass Buppi, Secretary Finance and senior officers attended the meeting.

Secretary Finance apprised the Adviser on the progress being made on the establishment of Federal Government Property Management Authority (FGPMA).  He informed that official notification for the establishment of Authority has been issued.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue stressed the need to make the Federal Government Properties Management Authority (FGPMA) fully functional at the earliest for best utilization of government’s assets and for getting best value for money for the government assets.

Senator Aun Abass appreciated the role of Finance Division in this regard. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue directed to complete the codal modalities for the establishment of Authority as soon as possible.

 
November 17, 2021 (PR No. 644)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue chaired a meeting of NPMC

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, presided over the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting held at the Finance Division. Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Secretaries, Chairperson CCP, MD Utility Stores Corporation, Chairman TCP, Provincial Chief Secretaries, Chief Statistician PBS and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

National Price Monitoring Committee reviewed the prices of wheat, sugar, pulses, chicken and other essential food items in the country.

The Secretary Finance briefed the NPMC about the weekly SPI situation which has been increased by 1.81% during the week under review. While reviewing the price trend of essential commodities, the Secretary Finance apprised that prices of 06 essential commodities registered decline whereas prices of 15 items remained stable during the last week, he added.

The Secretary Finance also apprised the meeting that prices of essential commodities registered decline as compared to same period last year.  The prices of Moog Pulse and Onion have registered decline in the week. The NPMC also emphasized on building strategic reserves of Moong and providing incentives to farmers to produce Maash pulse domestically to lessen the import dependence. 

The Secretary Finance further updated NPMC that the prices of wheat flour bags remained consistent at Rs. 1100 per 20 kg due to the proactive measures of the Punjab, KP Governments and ICT administration.

The Adviser Finance commended the efforts of the Government of the Punjab, KP and Islamabad administration and expressed concern over the significant price difference of wheat flour in Sindh and Baluchistan Provinces as compared to other Provinces. He advised the Provincial Chief Secretaries of Sindh and Baluchistan to increase the daily releases of wheat to improve the supply situation in the markets and make efforts to bring the prices of wheat at lower level.

Chief Secretary, Government of Sindh briefed the NPMC that Sindh Government is taking possible measures to control the price of wheat in the province by timely releasing the stocks.

The Secretary M/o NFS&R briefed the NPMC about sufficient availability of stock of wheat with the Provinces and PASSCO.

While reviewing the price of sugar in the country, the Secretary Finance informed that prices are easing out in Punjab, KP and Islamabad due to start of crushing of crop of sugar and proactive measures of the government. The Advisor expressed concern on the high prices of sugar at retail level in Sindh and Baluchistan despite start of crushing.

The Secretary M/o Industries and Production informed the meeting that sugar mills in Sindh and Punjab have started production, hence with arrival of new stocks of sugar in the market the prices will be lower in the coming days.

While reviewing the prices of edible oil, the NMPC observed that the increase in prices of edible oil in the global market has affected the local prices. Similarly, seasonal factor has affected the prices of chicken and eggs. The meeting took notice of higher price of vegetable ghee in Sasta Bazaar of KP and directed the Chief Secretary KP to take necessary corrective measures to ease out prices. The Adviser emphasized FBR to accelerate the monitoring of supply side of edible oil effectively to keep the prices stable.

Observing the stock position of Fertilizers, the Adviser directed the provincial governments to take strict actions against Fertilizer’s hoarders and prevent shortage.

The NPMC observed that Sastaa & Sahulat Bazaars in Punjab are offering essential goods at subsidized prices. The Adviser to the PM on Finance & Revenue commended the efforts of the Government of the Punjab and Islamabad administration in providing key items at discounted prices through arranging Sastaa Bazaars.

The Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue also informed that government has firm commitment to prevent hoarding, therefore, a whistle blower against hoarders law shall be introduced and enforced soon.

 
November 15, 2021 (PR No. 643)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue held a meeting with Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Establishment

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin held a meeting with Mr. Arbab Shahzad Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Establishment at the Finance Division today.    

Deputy Chairman Planning and senior officers participated the meeting.

Members of a team led by Shahzad Arbab presented a detailed presentation on Concept of Reward to the best performing Federal Ministries and Divisions, in achieving the targets given and the Performance Agreement signed by the Minister Incharge with Prime Minister.

SAPM on the Establishment apprised that the concept of performance evaluation will promote sense of ownership amongst the Ministries and Division and it will ensure smooth service delivery in the respective Divisions /Ministries and Organizations.

The Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue appreciated the efforts of the SAPM and his team and urged to apply concept of incentives for high performers in the Performance Agreement of all the Ministries and Divisions across the board.  He also urged to choose high performers on the Bell Curve Model among Divisions and Ministries and stressed the importance of conducting quarterly reviews and requisite follow-ups to gauge the performance on regular basis.

 
November 10, 2021 (PR No. 641)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue held a meeting with delegation of Markazi Tanzeem-e-Tajaran Pakistan

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin held a meeting with delegation of Markazi Tanzeem-e-Tajaran Pakistan  headed by President Muhammad Kashif Chaudhry at  Finance Division.

President Markazi Tanzeem-e-Tajaran Pakistan highlighted the problems being faced by the business community especially small traders and sought support of the government to resolve their issues.

In his remarks, the Adviser lauded the contribution of business community for the betterment of the economy of Pakistan and assured them that Government is fully committed to providing all out support to the business community.

The Adviser further added that Government is keen to take initiatives to bridge the communication gap between both the sides and concrete steps will be taken for the solution of business community’s concerns.

The delegation thanked the Adviser for cooperation and addressing the issues positively.
 
November 10, 2021 (PR No. 640)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue chaired a meeting of NPMC

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, presided over the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting held at the Finance Division. Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for Industries & Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce & Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, Federal Secretaries, Provincial Chief Secretaries, Chief Statistician PBS, Chairman FBR, MD Utility Stores and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

The Secretary Finance briefed the NPMC about the weekly SPI situation which has been increased by 0.67% during the week under review. While reviewing the price trend of essential commodities, the Secretary Finance apprised that prices of 03 essential commodities registered decline whereas prices of 20 items remained stable during the last week, he added.

The Secretary also apprised the meeting that prices of essential commodities registered decline in prices as compared to same month of last year.

The Secretary Finance further updated the NPMC that the prices of the wheat flour bags remained consistent at Rs. 1100 per 20 kg due to the proactive measures of the Punjab Government and ICT administration.

The Adviser Finance commended the efforts of the representatives of the Punjab Government and Islamabad administration and expressed concern over the significant price differential in the wheat flour prices in Sindh and Baluchistan Province as compared to other Provinces. He advised the Provincial Chief Secretaries of Sindh and Baluchistan to increase the daily releases of wheat to improve the supply situation in the markets. The Adviser reiterated the firm commitment of the Government to ensure smooth supply of wheat flour across the country at government specified rate.

While reviewing the price of sugar in the country, the Secretary Finance informed that prices are easing out in Punjab due to proactive measures of the government. The Advisor directed all the provinces to meet their stocks by immediately lifting the imported sugar and inject into the market to bring down the prices.

While reviewing the price trend of basic commodities, the Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin stated that the Government has taken a range of administrative and policy measures and by managing supply and demand chain, the prices of daily commodities are controlled as compared to the last year.

The NPMC observed that Sastaa Sahulat Bazars in Punjab are offering essential goods at subsidized prices. The Adviser to the PM on Finance & Revenue commended the efforts of the representatives of the Punjab and Islamabad administration in providing key items at discounted prices through arranging Sastaa Bazars.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, in his concluding remarks, stated that the Government will continue to take all possible measures to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the country.
 
November 09, 2021 (PR No. 639)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue held a meeting with Director General Central and West Asia Asian Development Bank

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin held a meeting with Director General Central and West Asia Asian Development Bank ADB, Mr. Eugenue Zhukov at Finance Division today. Country Director ADB, Mr. Yong Ye, and senior officers also participated the meeting.

Mr. Eugenue Zhukov apprised the Adviser that 80 per cent of the funds allocated for procurement of vaccines have been disbursed and ready to provide additional funds if required.  The Director General further informed that a $ 600 million program for social protection is expected to be approved by ADB board in the first week of December. ADB has also planned a programme on domestic resource mobilization and is currently providing technical assistance for the purpose, he added.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin appreciated the role of ADB in extending support to Pakistan in procurement of vaccines and gave an overview of the current economic situation.

The Adviser emphasized that the Government is committed to introduce reform in various sectors, in the face of various challenges, to address the long outstanding structural issues and to attain sustainable and inclusive growth.

The Adviser informed that the Government has taken steps to improve the revenue collection through broadening of tax base, capturing retail sales, single window operations as well as track and trace system. Efforts are being made to complete the remaining prior actions under the capital markets development programme to disburse it within time, he added.

 The Advisor commended the support extended by the ADB during testing times and assured of all assistance to fast track slow moving projects and make NDRMF fully functional.

 
November 09, 2021 (PR No. 638)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue held a meeting with delegation of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin held a meeting with delegation of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association headed by Chairman Chaudhry Zaka Ashraf at Finance Division today.

Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for Power and Energy Mr. Hammad Azhar, Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, Minister for Water Resources, Chairmen PSMA Punjab, Sindh and KP Zone, Secretary NFS&R, Secretary Industries & Production, and senior officers attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the PSMA delegation apprised that the sugar industry is facing many challenges and sought help from the Government to address these issues. PSMA delegation further requested government’s intervention for providing relief and creating friendly environment for the sugar industry.    

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue highlighted that the Government is mindful of challenges faced by the sugar industry and will fulfil its due role in this regard.

The Advisor further assured the delegation that all their legitimate issues will be addressed by regular coordination and mutual cooperation between both the sides. He however, emphasized that providing essential items to the common man at the reasonable price is the focus of present government and all out efforts are being made in this regard. The Advisor urged PSMA members to start the production at the earliest to keep the demand and supply in balance.

PSMA members posed their full confidence on the leadership of Mr. Shaukat Tarin and assured their full support to ensure availability of sugar at affordable price to the common man.

 
November 08, 2021 (PR No. 637)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue held a meeting with Finance Minister of Punjab

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin held a meeting with Finance Minister of Punjab Mr. Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht at Finance Division. Secretary Finance Division, Finance Secretary Punjab and senior officers participated in the meeting.

Adviser to the Prime Minister and Punjab Finance Minister discussed various aspects of promoting progress and prosperity in ex-FATA districts and allocation of 3% provincial share to divisible pool for carrying out development initiatives in ex-FATA districts.

Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht apprised that Punjab government is ready to play its role and contribute in the development of ex-FATA districts with clear perspective of actual amount of share for Punjab province.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin emphasized that meeting of the sub group of NFC may be convened to discuss and settle the issue of allocation of 3% provincial share at the priority.

Later, Punjab Finance Minister Mr. Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht gave a detailed presentation on various reforms and initiatives being carried out in province for the welfare of people and good governance.

Mr. Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht appreciated Federal Government for providing all out support and requested the federal government to play its role in solution of various financial issues being faced by the Punjab government.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue said Federal Government is determined to uplift the living standards of people and ready to provide necessary support and resources to the Punjab Government as the welfare and progress of people is the top priority of the present government.
 
November 05, 2021 (PR No. 636)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue held a virtual meeting with Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin, held a virtual meeting with Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Mr. Khalid Khursheed here at the Finance Division.

The Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan apprised the Advisor on the financial constraints of the GB administration during the current financial year for the timely completion of public welfare projects and to ensure good governance.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin expressed government’s resolve for the development and progress of the Gilgit-Baltistan and reemphasized that the development of GB is the top priority of the present government. The Federal Government is ready to support GB Government for the provision of funds, he added.

The Chief Minister thanked the adviser Mr. Shaukat Tarin for his support and encouragement.
 
November 04, 2021 (PR No. 635)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue held a meeting with the delegation of FINCA Microfinance Bank

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin held a meeting with the delegation of FINCA Microfinance Bank led by its Global Chief Executive Officer Ms. Andree Simon, in Finance Division today. Secretary Finance Division and senior officers of Finance Division also participated in the meeting.

Ms. Andree Simon briefed about operation of FINCA Micro Finance Bank Pakistan and apprised that the Bank is working to provide micro finance services to the under-privileged segments of this society. She further added that FINCA micro-finance Bank is operating in 20 developing countries in the world including Pakistan with 130 branches across the country and is very keen to expand its operation in Pakistan. FINCA Global considers Pakistan as a very promising market for its operation.

Advisor to the PM on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin welcomed the FINCA microfinance Bank in Pakistan and said that present government is determined to uplift the living standards of the under privileged especially in the rural areas. Therefore, government is encouraging the foreign investment and focusing on increasing the footprints of micro-finance banking in Pakistan for the stimulating the economic activity in the country.

Mr. Shaukat Tarin appreciated FINCA for reaching out to the remote areas of Pakistan where formal banking sector is not available. The government is ready to provide all out support and cooperation to the microfinance banking sector in Pakistan, he added.

The delegation thanked the Adviser Finance for unstinting support to the micro-finance Sector in general and to FINCA micro-finance Bank in Pakistan.
 
November 03, 2021 (PR No. 634)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue chaired the meeting NPMC

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, presided over the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) held at the Finance Division today.

Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Secretaries, Economic Adviser Finance, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, Provincial Chief Secretaries, Managing Director USCs, Chief Statistician, and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

Economic Adviser Finance Division briefed the NPMC about Year-on-year and Month-on-Month inflation indicators. There is a slight increase in Year-on-year CPI equal to 9.2% as compared to 8.9% last year. The increase in CPI is due to rise in international prices of food commodities and crude oil. The Government made an all-out effort to absorb the bulk of the hike in international prices by providing direct food subsidy on wheat flour, sugar and pulses.

The NPMC noted a significant differential in Year-on-year prices of seasonal vegetables. Price of Onions is Rs.47 per kg as compared to Rs.74 per kg last year. Similarly, price of tomatoes is Rs.104 per kilo whereas it was Rs.198 per kilo last year.

However, week-on-week increase in price of seasonal vegetables namely potatoes, tomatoes in Punjab Province due to supply side disruptions caused by the Dharna by TLP.

The Economic Adviser further updated the NPMC about the stability in prices of pulses during the week under review.

The Secretary M/o NFS&R updated the NPMC about sufficient availability of wheat flour across the country. The stock of wheat will last longer before the arrival of the fresh crop, he added.

The NPMC expressed deep concern over the significant price differential in the key commodities namely wheat flour, sugar etc. in Sindh Province as compared to the other Provinces. The Adviser to the PM on Finance & Revenue advised the Provincial representative of the Sindh Government to expedite the process of daily releases of wheat at the price determined by the Government to ease out pressure on prices. The Adviser also directed the Chief Secretary Punjab to provide sugar to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government in order to stabilize prices of sugar in the Province.

The NPMC urged the government of Sindh to finalize the indicative price of sugarcane at the earliest.

The NPMC observed that Sastaa Sahulat Bazars in Punjab are offering essential goods at subsidized prices. The Adviser to the PM on Finance & Revenue commended the efforts of the representatives of the Punjab Government and Islamabad administration in providing key items at discounted prices through a network of Sastaa Bazars and urged the respective Provincial Government to make similar requisite arrangements to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities at fair prices throughout the country.
 
October 29, 2021 (PR No. 633)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue chaired the meeting on Fertilizer

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin chaired a meeting on fertilizer at Finance Division today. Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production, Secretary Ministry of Petroleum Division, Additional Secretary Ministry of Finance and other senior officials participated in the meeting.

Secretary, Ministry of Industries and Production briefed the meeting about the demand and supply situation of fertilizer in the country. Supply of gas to SNGPL based Urea Plants will assure production of additional 300,000 MT till January 2022.  The Government is firmly committed to ensure maximum gas supply to all fertilizer units including Pak Arab and FFBL. He further stated that the tender for import of 100,000 MT of Urea has also been advertised.

Speaking on the occasion, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue expressed satisfaction on urea availability and directed the gas companies to streamline supply of gas to the fertilizer units for smooth production of fertilizer. He further directed all the stakeholders to evolve consensus on matters related to sales tax refund and GIDC payments on fast track basis.

 
October 27, 2021 (PR No. 632)

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue chaired the meeting of NPMC

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, presided over the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) meeting held at the Finance Division. Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister of State on Information Farrukh Habib, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile & Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, Federal Secretaries, MD Utility Stores, Provincial Chief Secretaries, Chief Statistician PBS, Chairperson CCP, Member FBR and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

The Secretary Finance briefed the NPMC about the weekly SPI situation which has been increased by 1.38% during the week under review. While reviewing the price trend of essential commodities, the Secretary Finance apprised that the rise in global food commodities and petroleum prices has affected the prices of essential food items worldwide. Prices of 07 essential commodities registered decline whereas prices of 15 items remained stable during the last week, he added.

The Secretary Finance further updated the NPMC that the prices of the wheat flour bags remained consistent at Rs. 1100 per 20 kg due to the proactive measures of the Punjab Government and ICT administration.

The Adviser Finance commended the efforts of the representatives of the Punjab Government and Islamabad administration and expressed deep concern over the significant price differential in the wheat flour prices in Sindh Province as compared to other Provinces. He directed the Provincial Chief Secretary of Sindh to expedite the process of daily releases of wheat at the price determined by the Government to ease out pressure on prices. The Adviser reiterated the firm commitment of the Government to ensure smooth supply of wheat flour across the country at government specified price.

While reviewing the price trend of basic commodities, the Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin stated that the Government is taking a range of administrative, policy and relief measures to absorb the upward pressure on prices of basic food commodities globally.

The Chief Secretary, Punjab apprised the NPMC that the crushing of sugarcane will begin by 15th November in Punjab. The Adviser on Finance and Revenue directed the Chief Secretary, Sindh to ensure the crushing of sugarcane to start as soon as possible to ensure stable price of sugar across the country. The Adviser further directed all Provincial governments to finalize the indicative price of sugarcane at the earliest.

The Adviser on Finance and Revenue directed Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to draw a province-wise comparison of weekly SPI. The decision has been taken to analyze the price differential in SPI among Provinces to differentiate the individual Province’s efforts.

The Chief Secretary Baluchistan also highlighted the need for expanding USC outlets and establishing cold storages facilities in the Province. Adviser to PM on Finance & Revenue directed the concerned Ministries to coordinate with the Baluchistan Government to expedite the matter.

Minister of State on Information highlighted the need to increase the footfall of Sasta Bazars, to make sure the benefit to reach maximum number of people, and the Adviser to the PM on Finance & Revenue directed the Provincial governments to devise the strategies for the same.

 In his concluding remarks, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue stated that the Government is taking all possible measures to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities throughout the country.

 
October 21, 2021 (PR No. 631)

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has reviewed Pakistan's progress on FATF Action Plans

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has reviewed Pakistan’s progress on FATF Action Plans in its plenary meeting held on 21st October 2021. The FATF has recognized considerable progress made by Pakistan on both the Action Plans.

With regard to the 2021 Action Plan, Pakistan has completed four of the seven Action Plan Items. Pakistan has completed these four Action Plan items much before the timelines prescribed by FATF. While progress on remaining three action items is well underway and it is aimed to complete three action items ahead of timelines set by the FATF. The Action items that have been completed include amendments in the Mutual Legal Assistance Act, 2020, AML/CFT supervision of Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs), transparency of beneficial ownership information and implementation of Targeted Financial Sanctions for Proliferation Finance by DNFBPs. The remaining action items in 2021 Action Plan include investigation & prosecution of ML cases, confiscation of assets and UN listings.

Regarding the 2018 Action Plan, Pakistan submitted a comprehensive progress report on the last remaining Action Plan item. The FATF acknowledged Pakistan’s continued political commitment, which led to significant progress across a comprehensive CFT Action Plan and encouraged Pakistan to report further progress on investigation and prosecution.

The Plenary meeting decided to maintain status quo with respect to Pakistan, for the time being. Considerable work has already been carried out on remaining items of both Action Plans. FATF will undertake next review of Pakistan’s Progress in February 2022.

The FATF Plenary meetings were held virtually from 19-21 October 2021, where its members discussed a variety of topics including Pakistan’s progress. The Pakistan delegation was led by Mr. Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister for Energy / Chairman National FATF Coordination Committee.

Pakistan is fully committed to completing its both Action Plans in cooperation with FATF and its international partners. The high-level political commitment, which is driving its revamped AML/CFT regime, is widely recognized by international community.

 
October 21, 2021 (PR No. 630)

Finance Division reply on "The Economist" report

A section of press carried news referring to the report by “The Economist” titled ‘Pakistan has been listed as the fourth highest in terms of inflation in the world’. The Economist magazine has reported in its latest edition set of countries (43) without mentioning the exact comparison of Pakistan with similar economies. As per the Economist sheet, the months mentioned in CPI are not the same (August & September). Base is different.

 The following table indicates the inflation numbers according to which Pakistan stands at the 30th place in the world.

S.No

Country

Sep/21

Aug/21

1.        

Venezuela

1946

2344

2.        

Sudan

366

388

3.        

Lebanon

138 (Aug/ 21)

123 (Jul /21)

4.        

Syria

71.51 (May/20)

61.18 (Apr/20)

5.        

Suriname

59.8 (Aug/21)

58.9 (Jul/21)

6.        

Argentina

52.5

51.4

7.        

Zimbabwe

51.55

50.24

8.        

Iran

43.7

43.2

9.        

Ethiopia

34.8

30.4

10.   

Angola

26.57

26.09

11.   

Zambia

22.1

24.4

12.   

Turkey

19.58

19.25

13.   

South Sudan

18.3 (Jun/21)

14 (May/21)

14.   

Nigeria

16.63

17.01

15.   

Kyrgyzstan

13.5

14

16.   

Guinea

13.48 (Aug/21)

12.28 (Jul/21)

17.   

Georgia

12.3

12.8

18.   

Haiti

12.2 (Jul/21)

12.7 (Jun/21)

19.   

Ukraine

11

10.2

20.   

Sierra Leone

10.9 (Aug/21)

10.5 (Jul/21)

21.   

Uzbekistan

10.8

11.1

22.   

Ghana

10.6

9.7

23.   

Burundi

10.47 (Aug/21)

9.7 (Jul/21)

24.   

Brazil

10.25

9.68

25.   

Belarus

10.2

9.8

26.   

Turkmenistan

10 (Dec/20)

13.4 (Nov/20)

27.   

Seychelles

9.8

10.51

28.   

Mongolia

9.6

8.9

29.   

Tajikistan

9.4 (Aug/21)

9.1(Jul/21)

30.   

Pakistan

8.98

8.35

31.   

Armenia

8.9

8.8

32.   

Kazakhstan

8.9

8.7

33.   

Malawi

8.9

8.4

34.   

Sao Tome and Principe

8.8 (Aug/21)

6.9 (Jul/21)

35.   

Botswana

8.4

8.8

36.   

Dominican Republic

7.74

7.9

37.   

Guyana

7.63 (Aug/21)

7.7 (Jul/21)

38.   

Uruguay

7.41

7.59

Source: www.tradingeconomics.com

It is pertinent to mention that the Government is taking a range of administrative, policy and relief measures to provide maximum relief to the general public.

Government has decided to release wheat at Rs. 1950 per 40 kg to ease out its price and ensure smooth supply across the country. The Provincial government of Punjab and Islamabad administration have ensured daily release of wheat at government notified price. This has reduced upward pressure on the prices of wheat flour bags. The other Provincial governments have started following the daily release of wheat to ensure Rs. 1100 per 20kg price across the country.

Similarly, the Government has set the price of sugar at Rs. 90/kg across the country. The government has absorbed the price differential of the imported sugar and making it available to the masses at government’s fixed price. The crushing of sugarcane crop by the end of October 2021 (in Sindh) and in November 2021 (in Punjab) will further reduce the pressure on prices of sugar in local markets throughout the country.

Under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program, the government has disbursed Rs.179.3 billion to 14.8 million beneficiaries to provide immediate cash relief of Rs.12,000 whose livelihood has been severely affected by the pandemic. The pro-poor allocation under BISP in 2018 amounting to Rs.121 billion has been enhanced to Rs. 260 billion in FY 2022 under the Ehsaas program.

            Furthermore, the Government has imported wheat and sugar to maintain strategic reserves of staple food commodities.

Strategy for reducing middleman’s higher profit margin of essential items by reviewing the entire value chain is being worked out in consultation with Provincial Chief Secretaries.

In order to reduce the inflationary pressure, the Government has discontinued borrowing from SBP. During 1st July to 24th September, FY2022, government has retired Rs 274.9 billion to SBP against the retirement of Rs 332.8 billion during the same period of last year.

            Government is implementing National Agriculture Emergency Program amounting to Rs. 277 billion to uplift agriculture and livestock sector on modern lines and to enhance the production level of major and minor crops. The outlook for crops of cotton, sugarcane, rice and maize is looking promising which will not only stimulate economic growth but also ensure higher income for the farmers.

            At present, pulses prices are witnessing a declining trend. Moreover, the Government is keeping strict control on export of onions and tomatoes which has stabilized the prices of vegetables in domestic markets.

            Government is also providing essentials items at subsidized prices through a network of Sasta Sahulat Bazars and chain of Utility Stores throughout the country.

            In summary, Government is trying to balance the increase in petroleum prices by providing maximum relief in food commodities in order to balance the budget of the marginalized segments of the society wherein the food items constitute the 34.58% of the overall household expenditure.

            If we look at the international scenario, the producer price inflation is at 26-year high in China. The costly food prices are the biggest challenge for the governments all over the globe amid COVID-19. According to Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the global food prices have risen by 33% in August, 2021 as compared to similar period last year. The Brent oil has crossed the $85 per barrel recently. This is the highest price since 2018. Similarly, the average coal prices in last quarter were $167.52 per ton as compared to $52 per ton last year. Therefore inflation is a global challenge and Pakistan is not an exception.

 

 
October 16, 2021 (PR No. 629)

Petroleum Prices

At present, oil prices have risen around $85 a barrel (Global Benchmark Brent) highest since October 2018.

Importantly, entire energy chain prices have witnessed a strong surge in the past couple of months due to higher demand for energy inputs and supply bottlenecks.

In the current scenario, the government has absorbed the pressure and provided maximum relief to the consumers by keeping Petroleum Levy and Sales Tax to minimum. Therefore, prices worked out by OGRA have been approved.

The prices of Petroleum products will be as follows w.e.f. 16 October, 2021.

Product

Existing prices w.e.f.
01-10-2021

News prices w.e.f
16-10-2021

Increase / (-)
Decrease

MS (Petrol)

127.30

137.79

+10.49

High Speed Diesel (HSD)

122.04

134.48

+12.44

Kerosene (SKO)

99.31

110.26

+10.95

Light diesel Oil

99.51

108.35

+8.84

 
October 15, 2021 (PR No. 628)

Seminar on Pakistan's Economy held at the Embassy of Pakistan Washington DC

A seminar on Pakistan’s Economy was organized today by the Embassy of Pakistan, Washington, D.C. in collaboration with Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi. Finance Minister, Mr. Shaukat Tarin was the key note speaker on the occasion.

The Finance Minister highlighted the economic priorities of the Government, emphasizing that Prime Minister Imran Khan is committed to inclusive and sustainable economic growth that benefits all segments of the society especially the poor. He shared that prudent fiscal reforms have helped to improve tax to GDP ratio, bring down current account deficit and fiscal deficit while improving revenue generation. Increasing tax collection and broadening the tax base were key targets of the Government’s fiscal agenda.

Mr. Tarin identified priority sectors such as modernization of agriculture, IT and industry as vital for increase in exports and said that 24 special economic zones have been created under CPEC to attract foreign investment. He thanked Overseas Pakistanis for sustaining the economy through high levels of remittances. The Minister also shared steps taken to help the underprivileged through Kamyab Pakistan program, which he said would help them to achieve self-sufficiency and to realize Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of Riyasat-e-Madina.

Earlier, Ambassador Dr. Asad M. Khan welcomed the guests and gave a brief overview of the state of bilateral ties between Pakistan and the U.S. He referred to recent ministerial level exchanges between the two countries, with engagement on energy, trade, climate change and security.

Other panelists including Executive Director IBA Dr. S. Akbar Zaidi, who shared an academic perspective on the state of Pakistan’s economy. He said academic institutions such as IBA have produced many high-quality economists and even today, IBA was grooming professionals and business executives who will play a vital role in Pakistan’s economic future. Deputy governor State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Murtaza Syed briefed the audience about steps taken by the Bank to stabilize the economy of Pakistan. He lauded the overwhelming response of the Pakistani diaspora to the Roshan Digital Pakistan initiative and said that there was tremendous potential for growth in remittances.

The seminar was followed by an interactive session in which the audience comprising prominent community members, professionals from IFIs, acedemics and students from DMV area asked questions which were answered by the Finance Minister.

 
October 14, 2021 (PR No. 627)

Minister for Finance and Revenue addressed a round table meeting organized by the United States Pakistan Business Council (USPBC) in Washington DC

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin addressed a round table meeting organized by the United States Pakistan Business Council (USPBC) in Washington DC. Representatives from the US Chamber of Commerce, leading business enterprises, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Finance Secretary and Ambassador of Pakistan to the US participated in the meeting.

In his remarks, the Finance Minister underlined that Government is firmly committed to all-inclusive and sustainable economic growth with key focus on “bottom-up” approach as envisaged by the Prime Minister. The present Government inherited a difficult economic situation.  As a consequence of prudent policies and fiscal consolidation efforts, FBR has exceeded the target of revenue collection by approx. Rs. 180 billion during the first quarter of FY 2021-22. Similarly our exports are likely to cross $30 billion by the end of financial year 2021-22. Moreover, the remittances have registered an increase of $2.7 billion during the month of September 2021 and reached $8 billion during the first quarter of FY-2022. These figures project continuity in momentum of GDP growth which is likely to be close to 5% during the current financial year. Pakistan is back on growth trajectory due to visionary pro-growth policies of the Government, he added.

The Finance Minister further apprised that the Government is taking a number of initiatives to attract foreign investment into the country. For the purpose, full facilitation is being extended and all hurdles are being removed. He quoted the example of MetLife whose longstanding issue had been recently resolved.

In his concluding remarks, the Finance Minister stated that the Government is firmly committed to provide an enabling environment for the foreign investors and businessmen. He invited American enterprises to take advantage of ample opportunities offered by the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and affirmed full support and facilitation on the occasion.

 
October 13, 2021 (PR No. 626)

Minister for National Food Security & Research chaired the meeting of NPMC

Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam presided over the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), held at the Finance Division.

Economic Adviser Finance Division briefed the NPMC about the increase in weekly SPI by 1.21% as compared to consecutive decline over last two weeks. Prices of 21 items remained stable whereas 08 items registered a decline during the week under review.

While taking stock of the situation, the NPMC observed that price of 20 kg bag of wheat flour was Rs.1100 in Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory due to daily release of wheat at Government specified price. However, the prices of wheat flour bag in Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar were in the range between 1300-1460 per bag. The NPMC took strict notice of the price differential and urged the Provincial governments of Sindh, KP and Baluchistan to initiate daily releases on top priority. The Secretary Food, Government of Sindh informed NPMC that Government of Sindh will start daily release of wheat at the Government notified price w.e.f. 16 October, 2021.

The NPMC commended the Provincial government of Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration for daily release of wheat which has stabilized the prices of wheat flour bag. The Federal Minister for Food Security stressed upon the need to start daily release of wheat at the Government notified price to ease pressure on prices of wheat flour throughout the country.

The Secretary M/o NFS&R briefed the NPMC about sufficient availability of stock of wheat with the Provinces and PASSCO.

 The Secretary, M/o Industries and Production briefed the NPMC about start of voluntary crushing of the sugarcane in some districts of Sindh by 25th October 2021. He also updated the Committee about the priority of the Government to begin sugarcane crushing by first week of November, 2021in the Punjab province. The sugarcane production is expected to be in greater quantity as compared to the last year. Moreover, the imported sugar is being provided to Sasta Sahulat Bazaars and Utility Stores Corporation at subsidized price of at Rs. 90 per kg in order to provide relief to the consumers. The early crushing of sugarcane will further reduce the prices of sugar in local markets, he added.

The Committee was briefed about the continuous fluctuations in the international prices of Palm and Soya bean oils. The FBR has worked out an arrangement with all relevant stakeholders and a firmed up proposal will be submitted before the Cabinet to reduce duty on import of edible oil which will reduce the prices of ghee in local markets.

The Secretary NFS&R informed about the increase in prices of chicken due to seasonal factor. The opening of Restaurants and Banquet Halls have pushed the demand for increased consumption of chicken and prices will be streamlined with improved supply in few weeks.

Among others, SAPM for Food Security Mr. Jamshed Cheema, Secretary M/o NFS&R, Economic Advisor Finance Division, Additional Secretary M/o Industries and Production, Additional Secretary Commerce, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Member PBS, representatives of Provincial Food Departments and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

 
October 11, 2021 (PR No. 625)

Minister for Finance and Revenue chaired a meeting of ECC

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, presided over the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, held at the Finance Division.

Federal Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar, Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib, Advisor to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Federal Secretaries and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

Secretary, Ministry of Industries and Production presented a summary regarding provision of gas to Pak Arab and Fauji Fertlizer Bin Qasim Limited (FFBQL) to review demand for urea fertilizer during the Rabi season 2021-22.

After detailed discussion, the ECC approved maximum provision of gas to Pak Arab (58MMCFD) and FFBQL (63MMCFD) to ensure that estimated demand for urea fertilizer is met through domestic production. The said decision will stabilize prices of urea fertilizer and ensure its smooth supply throughout the country during Rabi season 2021-22.

The ECC considered and approved a summary presented by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication regarding allocation of Rs. 2 billion as a single line budget for Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), an apex Government body, mandated to strengthen and promote the IT sector exports of Pakistan. Moreover, the ECC also approved the allocation of Rs. 4 billion to PSEB for disbursement of cash reward incentive in order to incentivize IT exports and to encourage documentation of exporters/exports. The cash reward incentive shall be provided for the IT and IT-enabled services exporters promoting export proceeds through banking channels via SBP allocated banking codes.

Lastly, Ministry of Commerce presented a Textile and Apparel Policy, FY 2020-25. After due deliberation, the ECC constituted a sub-committee comprising of representatives of Ministry of Commerce, Finance Division, Ministry of Industries and Production, Power and Petroleum Divisions, FBR and State Bank of Pakistan to review and present an updated policy before ECC in a couple of weeks.

 
October 11, 2021 (PR No. 624)

Ambassador of Saudi Arabia called on the Minister for Finance and Revenue

H.E. Mr. Nawaf Bin Said Al-Malki, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia called on the Federal Minister for Finance & Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin at Finance Division today.

Both sides discussed matters pertaining to mutual interest and agreed to further strengthen economic and business ties between the two countries.

While extending a warm welcome, the Finance Minister Mr. Shaukat Tarin highlighted that Saudi Arabia has always supported Pakistan and the bilateral ties are rooted in centuries old religious, cultural and commercial links between the people of both the countries. Moreover, a large number of Pakistani expatriates are working in different fields and are a great asset for the country. The overseas Pakistanis play pivotal role in our economy through remittances, he added. 

The Finance Minister further apprised the H.E. Ambassador about the potential for increased collaboration between the two countries in the areas of agriculture and food security.

The Saudi Ambassador stated that Saudi Arabia is opening up to foreign investments and stressed upon the need for increase in mutual investments in different fields.

 
October 08, 2021 (PR No. 624)

Finance Division Perspective on Economy

Read More

 
October 07, 2021 (PR No. 623)

Minister for Finance and Revenue chaired a meeting of ECC

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Mr Shaukat Tarin, presided over the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet today.

Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib, Advisor to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Governor SBP Dr. Reza Baqir, Secretary Power Division, Secretary M/o NFS&R, Secretary Commerce, Chairman FBR, Chairman SECP, MD USC and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

Finance Ministry tabled the summary regarding incentives /rewards to overseas Pakistanis remitters under National Remittance Loyalty Program (NRLP) which has been branded as Sohni Dharti Remittance Program. The remitters will be awarded points against remittances sent by them to Pakistan through legal channels. After due deliberations, the ECC recommended that the option of cash redemption may only be offered to those overseas Pakistani remitters who return to Pakistan permanently. However, Overseas Pakistanis shall be qualified to avail services (such as PIA ticket, Mobile phone duty payment etc) against redemption of the accumulated points awarded under NRLP.

Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) presented a summary to update the forum about the cotton seed prices during the months of August and September 2021. The domestic prices remained above the threshold set, barring for couple of days due to rains. The ECC expressed satisfaction that farmers are getting their due prices.

Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) tabled a summary regarding allocation/release of 280,000 MT of wheat to the Utility Stores Cooperation (USC) till December 2021. A quantity of 90,000 MT has already been provided as an interim arrangement whereas the remaining 190,000 MT will be provided from PASSCO’s stocks (local or imported as per stock availability with PASSCO). The ECC approved the allocation/release of remaining 190,000 MT to USC to ensure smooth supply of wheat through chain of USCs across the country.

On a summary moved by the Ministry for National Food Security and Research, the ECC recommended the allocation of total quantity of 300,000 MT of wheat to the AJ&K Government out of PASSCO stock during the current financial year. This includes 140,000 MT of wheat which has already been released to AJ&K by the Ministry of NFS&R as an interim arrangement. The ECC directed the referring division to provide wheat to AJ&K with a best possible combination of indigenous and imported wheat.

The ECC considered and approved the summary tabled by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and HRD regarding Annual Budget for the FY2021-22 & revised Budget for the FY 2019-20 of the Employees Old-age Benefits Institution (EOBI).

The ECC considered and approved a Technical Supplementary Grant (TSG) amounting to Rs. 6.4 billion in favour of Cabinet Division for Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) during the current FY-2021-22.

Lastly, on a summary tabled by the Ministry of Commerce regarding export of tomatoes and onions, the ECC after detailed discussion, constituted a sub-committee headed by the Finance Minister to consider monthly projections regarding export of perishable commodities on basis of estimated production, consumption and surplus to be presented by the M/o Commerce. It was decided that decision to export above mentioned vegetables will be taken by the sub-committee.

 
October 06, 2021 (PR No. 622)

Minister for Finance and Revenue chaired a meeting to review the methodology of price collection by PBS

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, chaired a meeting to review the methodology of price collection by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar, SAPM on Political Communication Dr. Shahbaz Gill, Chief Statistician Naeem-uz-Zafar, Secretary Planning, Member PBS, Assistant Commissioner Islamabad, Economic Adviser and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

Chief Statistician gave an overview about the price collection methodology by PBS. He explained in detail about the price indicators, periodicity and number of markets covered while calculating weekly and monthly price statistics i.e. SPI and CPI respectively.

In his remarks, the Finance Minister stressed upon the need to review the PBS’s methodology by incorporating the consumption patterns across different cities objectively. He further directed to give due weightage to the markets (both in urban and rural areas) rationally. There is a need to present a holistic picture of price trend of essential commodities for accurate planning. The calculation of SPI and CPI must be true barometers of inflation. Criteria for selection of baskets of goods and services along with cities for calculating SPI and CPI were also discussed during the meeting.

The Finance Minister recommended to conduct mystery shopping and collect prices from different markets randomly. He also suggested to widen the coverage by including Saasta Sahulat Bazars and Utility Stores to capture an accurate picture of prevailing market prices.

While speaking on the occasion, the Federal Minister for Planning stressed upon the need to follow best international practices and present a well-rounded proposal including diversity of approaches for price calculation in the next meeting for further deliberations.

 
October 05, 2021 (PR No. 621)

Minister for Finance and Revenue held a meeting with Board of Directors of Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL)

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, held a meeting with Board of Directors of Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), led by the President Muhammad Shahbaz Jameel at the Finance Division.

The President Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) briefed about the overall steps taken to restructure organization. The key focus is to improve operations by streamlining the existing procedures of the Bank.

The President Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) also underlined the Model Farm concept to educate and facilitate farmers for improving value-added products such as cheese-making, pasteurized milk, fish farming, hydroponics etc for enhancing farm income. It also included water conservation initiatives such as solar tube wells, drip irrigation for improved harvesting and farming practices.

In his remarks, the Finance Minister commended the idea for financial inclusion of the rural population and emphasized upon maximum participation of women in the farm to retail value chain. The Finance Minister underscored the advisory role of Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) in facilitating farmers for improved profitability. The Finance Minister also encouraged ZTBL to extend credit for building agri malls, commodity warehouses and cold storage facilities on public private partnership basis to eliminate the role of middleman. There is a need to transform the whole agriculture sector to ensure the farmer gets higher income for his produce. The ZTBL can play a pivotal role in this regard, he added.

In his concluding remarks, the Finance Minister acknowledged the financial turnaround of the ZTBL and urged to streamline the existing human resource, introduce innovative banking solutions, improve recoveries and use modern techniques to maximize its potential.

The Finance Minister affirmed full support and facilitation for the ZTBL on the occasion.

 
October 03, 2021 (PR No. 620)

Kamyab Pakistan Program (KPP)

Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate on 04 October, 2021 A flagship initiative of the present Government, Kamyab Pakistan Program (KPP), will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister on 04 October 2021.

In line with the vision of the Prime Minister to empower masses, the Government of Pakistan has taken multiple initiatives which are targeted towards poverty alleviation, employment generation and provision of affordable housing for masses.

Kamyab Pakistan Program has been designed to transform the lives of the marginalized segments of the society. The program shall disburse microcredit amounting to Rs.1400 billion for poorest of the poor, 3.7 million households, providing them with much needed financial support to improve their livelihood. Financing under KPP shall only be extended to families with a cumulative average monthly income of up to Rs.50,000 per month.

This is a first program of its kind in Pakistan’s history wherein the banks are being connected to the lowest income segment through Micro-finance Institutions.

KPP, a brainchild of the Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, is based on the concept of financial empowerment i.e. creating opportunities to improve the financial health of people with limited access to resources. The Finance Minister stated that the Government is firmly committed not to provide fish to the poor people but teach them how to catch one for sustainable living arrangement under the umbrella of KPP. The whole paradigm of KPP will change the lives of the under-privileged people in Pakistan over the years. The program is based on most innovative financing structure in recent times.

KPP has five component namely (i) Kamyab Kissan (ii) Kamyab Karobar (iii) Naya Pakistan low-cost housing (iv) Kamyab Hunarmand and (v) Sehatmand Pakistan. Under the first 03 components, micro-loans shall be disbursed amongst eligible persons registered with Ehsaas Data, scientifically collected through National Soci-economic Registry (NSER). The last two components of KPP will be integrated with the Government’s existing initiatives. Kamyab Hunarmand is designed to integrate with Government’s ongoing skill development program for imparting educational and vocational training to our talented youth. The KPP also includes a user-friendly portal called Kamyab Pakistan Information System (KPIS). The portal will be integrated with Ehsaas and NADRA data bases for verification of beneficiaries’ eligibility to facilitate the executing agencies (i.e., MfP’s) for finalizing the financing modalities in a most efficient and seamless manner. KPP will complement efforts of the Goverment to counter inflation by enabling masses to improve their livelihood. The KPP shall be rolled out gradually. During the first phase, Gilgit-Baltistan, AJK, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and poorest of the poor districts of Punjab and Sindh are included. KPP is a true dispensation of a responsible state to uplift its poor and vulnerable segments with key focus on “bottom-up approach” for achieving all-inclusive and sustainable economic growth as envisaged by the Prime Minister.

 
October 02, 2021 (PR No. 619)

Adjustment of Petroleum Products Prices to Effective from 1st October, 2021

 
 
 
 
 
 
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