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Business

Web Desk
March 9, 2021

Hafeez Shaikh says govt mulling unified law for state enterprises, companies

Business

Web Desk
Tue, Mar 09, 2021
 
Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh addressing a joint press conference with Federal Minister of Industries and Production and Advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan for Institutional Reforms and Austerity Ishrat Hussain (both cannot be seen in the photo), in Islamabad, on March 09, 2021. — YouTube

The government is trying to bring about a unified law that would regulate both companies and state institutions, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said Tuesday.

Shaikh's comment came during a joint press conference with Federal Minister of Industries and Production Hammad Azhar and Advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan for Institutional Reforms and Austerity Ishrat Hussain.

The finance minister said public listed companies and state institutions are currently functioning under separate laws.

He said three "big laws" had been approved that would strengthen Pakistan's economy.

A law has been introduced to strengthen the State Bank of Pakistan by giving it more autonomy, the minister said, adding the central bank's main purpose is to control inflation — and through this change, it will be able to do so.

"In the tax system, there are several exemptions for the special sector [...] Br reducing tax exemptions or ending them, evasion can be stopped — and that will benefit the common man."

The finance minister said amendments have been made in tax laws to reduce the burden on the middle-class.

Speaking on privatisation, Shaikh said it was a tough nut to crack as it requires investors to step up. "Due to coronavirus, privatisation has been delayed by 6-9 months," he said,

The minister, vowing the country would soon see results of privatisation, said the program would be expanded. "There are some companies that had to be privatised, however, it was delayed due to coronavirus."

Meanwhile, taking over the presser, Dr Hussain said the government was working on bringing reforms in the state institutions. "Before [our government came into power] no one knew how many institutions we had."

Now, after the government conducted a survey, we got to know that we have 1,441 institutions, he said.

The advisor said as many as 56 chief executives, who were working abroad, had approached the government to work and collaborate with them.

"We have 85 SOEs (state-owned enterprises) — and the government will decide on which to keep and which to sell," he said, adding the government had invested Rs19 trillion in SOEs.