The Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs was held on Wednesday. Chaired by Senator Farooq H. Naek, the meeting was attended by Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Senator Mohsin Aziz, Senator Dilawar Khan, Senator Khanzada Khan, Senator Muhammad Akram, Senator Musadik Masood Malik and senior officers from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Law and Justice. Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi and Senator Shammim Afridi were specially invited for their valuable input regarding issues that came under discussion with regards to the FATA PATA and Malakand Region Merger Bill/25th Constitutional Amendment.
The meeting commenced with consideration of a point of public importance raised by Senator Talha Mahmood regarding depreciation of the Pakistani rupee against the dollar. The matter was deferred due to the absence of both the Minister of Finance and Governor State Bank. The Committee showed displeasure on the absence and opined that an issue as important as this could not be discussed without them being present. Chairman Committee, Senator Farooq H. Naek stressed that the Minister be present in the next meeting.
While discussing the case of tax issues being faced by the Sino-Hydro Corporation Limited it was revealed that the issue had been submitted to the Appellate Court and once a decision is taken on it, if in favour, an exemption certificate would be issued within a week.
Discussing the status of the progress report on the action taken by the FBR against its corrupt officers as recommended by the Standing Committee, in February, 2018, the Committee showed displeasure towards the FBR for not completing its inquiry within the prescribed period of three months. The Committee further granted the FBR another three month term to complete its inquiry with the direction to that the report in that regards should be submitted by Chairperson FBR personally to the Committee.
While considering further, the issue of modalities for the implementation of Tax Relief Regimes announced by the government as promised during the passage of the FATA PATA and Malakand Region Merger Bill/ 25th Constitutional Amendment the Committee recommended that the FBR give a detailed briefing regarding tax exemptions granted through SRO 887(1)2018 i.e. prior to the merger.
Assessing sudden changes in the customs tariffs especially that of Copper, Cotton and some other items after immediate passage of the Federal Budget 2018-19, it was resolved that in future any such immediate change in tariff by the Cabinet should be presented to the Parliament.