The meeting commenced with deliberations over the current economic condition of the country. Senator Mohsin Aziz was of opinion that owing to unprecedented rise of dollar value, pharmaceutical companies are not able to provide basic medicines to the Public. State Minister for Finance, Aisha Ghaus Pasha apprised the committee that inflation rate in United states is at 28 year high and the extraordinary rise in dollar is mainly becuase of increase in U.S. discount rate. She stated that in short span of time major currencies around the globe have depreciated against the dollar. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla questioned that "How will the dollar be stabilized?". In reply to that, Aisha Ghaus Pasha informed that international factors are beyond our control and as far as local factors are concerned, we are aiming to increase remittances which currently stands at 3.12 Billion USD (April 2022) and to reduce the import-export deficit of approximately 8 Billion USD. Moreover,on the matter of IMF Bailout, State Minister for Finance commented that the staff level agreement has been finalized and the current IMF bailout will materilaised by 25th ofAugust 2022. However, on the speculations regarding the country heading towards default, Aisha Ghaus Pasha categorically stated that "We are not anywhere near the situation of Srilanka".
Furthermore, Senator Anwar ul Haq Kakar raised the matter of discrimination facing by politicians in opening of bank accounts. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla commented that six months ago the matter was raised in committee but no substantial anwer has been provided. He further added that committee is deliberating upon an idea to issuing an advertisement in the newspaper that any politician facing any sort of difficulty in opening a bank account can approach this forum with his/her grievances.State Minister for Finance maintained that any sort of discrimination against politicians cannot be tolerated and the ministry will inform the committee about the progress of matter in the next fifteen days.
However, the committee unanimously passed the "Public Finance Management Amendment Bill,2022 moved by Senator Danesh Kumar. The bill seeks to insert the word"Senate" after the word"National Assembly" in section 34&35 of the Act. Senator Danesh Kumar was of opinion that Parliament comprises both "The National Assembly and the Senate" and any report on budget development and on government performance shall be presented before the Senate as well.
Moreover, the committee deferred the "Limited Liability Partnership Amendment Bill,2022 till next meeting for further deliberations.
Furthermore, on the matter regarding year wise income tax collected from industrial sector in Sindh province and the year wise duty collected on imports of goods through Karachi Port during the last three years respectively raised by Senator Mohsin Aziz in the House. Senator Mohsin Aziz was of view that income tax collected from any industry or organisation, headquartered in karachi but operates throughout the country shall not be considered as a provincial matter in terms of taxation,revenue and custom duties. Aisha Ghaus Pasha apprised the committee that this problem is called "headquarter problem" and FBR as tax collector of the country currently does not have any mechanism to differentiate between these two.
Additionally, on the issue of placement of jaggery and refined Sugar in same category in Customs list raised by Senator Fida Muhammad. Chairman FBR, Asim Ahmad informed the committee that Ministry of Commerce determines the import and export policy of the country and the matter does not come under the ambit of FBR.
However, Aisha Ghaus Pasha informed the committee that almost 50 p.c. of the Budget recommendations of the Standing Committee have been accepted and implemented.
Moreover, on the matter regarding the details of officials working in State Bank of Pakistan. Senator Muhammad Shafiq Tareen told the committee that total strength of employees are working in State Bank is 1183 and among them only 42 belong to Balochistan which is less than the allocated quota of 6 p.c.. State Minister for Finance apprised the committee that allocated quota for Balochistan will be filled in future recruitment processes.
Secondly, the committee discussed the issues faced by marbel industry raised by Senator Fida Muhammad in the House. Aisha Ghaus Pasha told the Committee that growth of industry is our primary importance and the ministry is making strides to resolve the issues of marble industry.
The meeting was attended by Senator Saadia Abbasi,Senator Mohsin Aziz,Senator Faisal Saleem Rehman,Senator Anwar ul Haq Kakar,Senator Danesh Kumar,Senator Mushtaq Ahmed,Senator Muhammad Shafiq Tareen,Senator Fida Muhammad,Senator Zeeshan Khanzada,Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman,State Minister for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha,Chairman FBR Asim Ahmad and other senior officers of ministry and State Bank of Pakistan as well.