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Friday April 12, 2024

Shehbaz forms implementation committee on FBR restructuring plan

PM directed (NDMA) for the submission of a report regarding quick and transparent provision of relief to the people affected by recent torrential rains

By Our Correspondent
March 20, 2024
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif chairs a meeting regarding Economic Roadmap for next five years in Islamabad on March 14, 2024. — APP
 Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif chairs a meeting regarding Economic Roadmap for next five years in Islamabad on March 14, 2024. — APP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has constituted an Implementation Committee for FBR reforms under Chairmanship of Minister for Finance Muhammad Aurangzeb.

According to the directive issued by Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday, the PM has been pleased to constitute the Implementation Committee with an immediate effect to oversee implementation of the FBR reforms and regularly monitor the progress on “approved restructuring of FBR” on technological as well as administrative transformation in a structured timeframe.

It is relevant to mention here that the Election Commission of Pakistan had directed to stop implementation on FBR restructuring plan during the tenure of the last caretaker regime. Then this case landed before the Islamabad High Court on a petition filed by the respective officer after which the court allowed withdrawal of the case with the observation that if the decision is taken which adversely affects the terms and conditions of his service, he would agitate his grievance before the appropriate fora.

Now the Implementation Committee will be chaired by Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb and comprise Dr Shamshad Akhtar as member, Ehsan Malik CEO Pakistan Business Council, Waqas Ul Hassan CEO Karandaaz, Ikram Ul Haq Tax consultant, Naveed Andrabi, Asif Peer, Dr Manzoor Ahmed and Secretary Revenue Division.

The committee may co-opt any additional member(s) for their relevant process or in case particular expertise are required. The committee will approve time-bound roadmap for implement forms plan. Minister for finance shall monitor the progress on implement per approved roadmap through regular meetings.

The prime minister will periodically and will ensure whole of government approach for successful implementation on reforms plan as per approved timeline. Revenue Division shall provide secretarial support to the committee necessary action for notification of the subject committee, accordingly.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for the submission of a report regarding quick and transparent provision of relief to the people affected by recent torrential rains.

The PM Office Media Wing in its press release quoted the prime minister directing the NDMA to formulate a joint survey report in collaboration with the provinces, besides enhancing cooperation with them to face future calamities. He also sought an implementation report over his directive in the previous tenure regarding the technical improvement of NDMA. Shehbaz also directed completing the relief process immediately, besides ensuring transparency in its distribution.

Aid should be provided to the affected people only, he stressed, adding that affected people from the recent rains could not be left in despair and it was the government’s top priority to support them. The prime minister was given a detailed briefing by the NDMA about the relief and rehabilitation activities in the wake of recent torrential rains as well as weather forecast and preparedness.

The meeting was apprised of the recent damages, rescue efforts and distribution of assistance amount.

The NDMA with the assistance of provinces especially Balochistan would soon complete a collective verification survey over the number of complete and partially damaged houses. Under the PM’s directive, 766,000 kg dry ration would be distributed in Gwadar till March 24, out of which about 388,000 kg ration had been distributed so far till March 16. Moreover, 97,000 kg ration had been distributed in Quetta and Dalbadin.

The meeting was further informed about the weather forecast from April to June and July to September and NDMA’s preparedness. He was also apprised of the relief assistance sent to the affectees of Gaza by the NDMA, including 320 tons of relief goods sent since October.

In another development, the prime minister called for concerted efforts to ensure the early implementation of seven agreements worth US$10 billion signed between Pakistan and Kuwait in November last year. The bilateral ties were discussed in a meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Pakistan Nassar Abdulrahman Jasser Almutairi who called on him here.

The prime minister noted with satisfaction that both countries had signed seven agreements for cooperation in food security, technology, hydel power, mining and minerals, water supply and mangrove rehabilitation, a PM Office press release said.

In this context, he emphasized the role of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) which provided a robust and efficient mechanism to attract foreign investment into Pakistan. Shehbaz also extended an invitation to the Amir of Kuwait to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience. The Kuwaiti ambassador thanked Pakistan for its support to Kuwait in difficult times. He thanked former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for his strong public support for Kuwait’s independence and sovereignty during the 1990-91 crisis. The ambassador reaffirmed Kuwait’s strong commitment to build closer ties with Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif praised Pakistan’s ace javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem for winning a silver medal in the World Athletics Championship 2023. During a meeting with him, Shehbaz announced an award worth Rs2.5 million for Arshad Nadeem. The prime minister said that there was immense talent in the country in sports which required to be groomed. He also underlined the need to promote sports in rural areas.