The Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs was held on Thursday. Chaired by Senator Farooq H. Naek, the meeting was attended by Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Senator Dilawar Khan, Senator Sherry Rehman, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, Senator M. Talha Mehmood, Senator Imamuddin Shouqeen, Senator M. Akram, State Minister for Revenue and senior officers from the Ministry of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs with all concerned.
The meeting commenced with consideration of a point of public importance raised by Senator Muhammad Talha Mehmood regarding the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar.
Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq said that he agreed with the issue of appreciation and depreciation, but would like to know what ‘administrative’ measures are being implemented by the government despite which even today cash dollars are being flown out of three major airports in Pakistan.
Senator Sherry Rehman was of the view that the gap between the dollar rate and the Pakistani rupee is increasing as a result of which Pakistan is hurting on its imports. The profits that were expected from imports are not coming in due to which there is an increase in deficit.
Senator Talha Mehmood showed displeasure on rising prices and said that he is doubtful, whether the economy could be revived. He said that in Pakistan in addition to export, all industry raw materials is import based. The depreciation has caused a huge gap which is critical.
The Committee showed dissension and displeasure on the briefing given by Ministry concerned.
While deliberating over the Public Petition submitted by Mr. Muhammad Usman Rafiq, regarding provision of M. Phil allowance in accordance with HEC criteria, the Committee was of the view that this was a policy matter that has to taken up by the Ministry of Finance.
Regarding issues of hacking of bank accounts, it was revealed that no individual account holder suffered. The Committee was also informed that in order to protect account holders from such cases a ceiling on transactions has been enforced.
Discussing issues being faced by the Rice Industry, the Committee recommended that FBR, while imposing taxes must realise that the middleman is not hurt but the grower. While reviewing the work and performance of the Central Directorate of National Savings, the Committee was happy to see that in future it planned to introduce Shariah compliant products.