ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Tuesday recommended 145 proposals to National Assembly for incorporation in the budget seeking to curtail government borrowing, reduce expenditure and observe austerity, train uneducated youth and link BISP assistance with compulsory education.
However, the House recommended to double the travels vouchers for the members from present 150,000 to 300,000 and allow them daily allowance even in case when they attend a meeting for three days instead of seven days and pay them for traveling against the claims they will submit to the Secretariat.
The opposition had objected on these three recommendations as Leader of the Opposition Ishaq Dar contested that these recommendations to enhance perks of the Senators will not send a positive message to the nation.
Moreover, the Senate has recommended take immediate measures to plug leakages and corruption in Public Sector enterprises to eliminate current annual losses of around Rs 400 billion and restructure PIA, WAPDA, PEPCO, Pakistan Steel, Pakistan Railways and other SOEs and
operate them under public private partnership through professionals
and on merit.
The government should stop forthwith load shedding of gas and electricity for industrial units, subsidy of Rs 26 billion for fertilizers may be increased to Rs 50 billion and instead of traditional approach of funding all projects on its own Balance Sheet, it should place increasing reliance on alternative modes of finance like PPP, BOO/BOT schemes.
The Senate also recommended that in view of recent record of huge gaps between targets set and results achieved in revenue collection, the government should set realistic targets and then hold the FBR responsible for under performance.
The House further proposed that a broad categorization of taxes collected from agriculture, whole sale and retail and manufacturing sectors may be provided in the revenues of the government to help the public as well as parliamentarians better understand the relative contribution of these sectors in national tax collection and development. Sub targets for revenue collection from these sectors may be set separately and relevant agencies and sections be held responsible if these are not achieved.
It was recommended to implement monetization car facility for civil servants in letter and spirit; further reduce non development expenditures; handle circular debt issue on priority; reduce steel
taxes in all shapes to save construction and steel industry; enhance subsidies for the tubewells in Balochistan; implement Balochistan
package with great zeal; reduce trade deficit by increasing exports and reducing imports of luxury items; effectively utilize funds allocated in PSDP for projects in Balochistan and all ministries, their allied departments and autonomous bodies of the government should guarantee representation of all provinces particularly Balochistan.
The Senate recommended to announce Gwadar connectivity projects like road, rail links, water supply, extension of electricity, oil city, industrial estate and free zone to attract the investors. For strengthening rail line from Spanzand to Taftan Border, assistance may be obtained from Asian Bank.
Furthermore, special area development package for Kharan and Washuk may be announced on the pattern of Chaghi Development project like projects for water supply, primary schools, primary healthcare, tubewells, independent units of solar stations for electrification, small dams and small and medium range roads for the connectivity purposes.
The Senate recommended to adopt austerity to control non-development expenditure to increase allocated amount to the energy sector; release funds for completion of ongoing project of Makhi Farash Link Canal (Chotiari); ensure to pass subsidies to farmers; introduce incentives for installation of solar and wind energy projects on self finance basis and provide gas facility to those areas of Balochistan where it is not available.
The House recommended to further increase salaries than 20 percent for the less paid employees; double allocations for resolution of power crisis and incentives for construction of smaller dams and made special allocations for mega schemes on hold in Karachi due to non availability of funds like Liari Expressway, Karachi Circular Railway, Karachi Mass Transit, S 3 and K 4 and other approved schemes in the form of a "Karachi Package".
It has been recommended to consider construction of a dam at Mir Ali Khel on river Zhob; subsidy on agriculture for land owners of Balochistan and revival of subsidy for farmers in the province; construct Bolan Dam in District Kachhi; immediately approve agreements of Pakistan-Iran on Natural Gas and Electricity; funds be allocated for social welfare of all minorities; announce attractive support package for investment in Balochistan and further extend Special PM Package for industrial and commercial activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to war on terror. (APP)