NA: (NA body on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs meets)

ISLAMABAD:The 5th meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs of the National Assembly was held here at Parliament House on Wednesday under the Chairmanship of Faiz Ullah, MNA.

The Committee discussed the “Microfinance Institution (Amendment) Bill, 2019”, moved by Ms. Sajida Begum. It was proposed by the Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs that a meeting may be arranged by the Ministry of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs with Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) for the mover to discuss the measures already being taken by the PPAF in this respect.

The Committee decided with the consultation of the mover that the subject Bill may be pended, till the meeting with PPAF for any further action. The Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs briefed the Committee on the current situation of the economy.

He informed the Committee that our Foreign Reserves have been enhanced and economy situation was stabilized. He said a draft frame work will be presented to this Standing Committee for preparing the budgetary proposals for upcoming budget 2019-20.

He directed the Ministry to provide a detail of Foreign Currency Loans alongwith its terms and regulations to the Committee and also directed the Special Secretary Finance and Revenue to provide details of the Foreign Currency Loans on regular basis to this forum.

The Committee members expressed their concern for not being invited to the members of the Committee at the ceremony of low cost housing schemes by the Government. Asad Umer, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue ensured the Committee that he will pass on the concern of the Committee to the Prime Minister.

The Committee unanimously recommended that Standing Committee should be taken on board in future for such kind of events. The Federal Minister informed the Committee about the measures taken by the Government with regard to Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

He apprised the Committee about the anti-Pakistan lobbying by India on the issues of FATF, and counter steps taken by the Government of Pakistan in this regard.

The Committee Members also expressed their concern on the overall fiscal deficit and debt servicing issues. The Members were of the view that current expenditures were increasing, which will create hurdles for balance of payments.

The Committee discussed the problems being faced to the filers for filing of tax return. The Committee unanimously recommended to FBR that filing of tax return date may be extended till March 31, 2019.

While, discussing the problems being faced by the processing units of Textile, he Committee directed the Federal Board of Revenue to constitute a Committee under its supervision for further deliberation with stakeholders in this regards and maintainable solution may be submitted to this Committee by 1st week of April, 2019.

The Committee discussed the problems being faced to real estate sector regarding FBR valuation Table, DC valuation, upper cap imposed by the FBR. The Committee members agreed with the view point of the stakeholders, however, it was decided that other stakeholders i.e. provinces may be taken on board and directed the FBR to make friendly policies for the said sector.

The Chairman of the Committee was of the opinion that agriculture sector and real estate sector have huge potential for revenue collection.