Friday October 15, 2021

PAC directs BOI to finalise rules and regulations within 90 days

September 21, 2021
PAC directs BOI to finalise rules and regulations within 90 days

ISLAMABAD: The sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday, while taking a strong notice of the Board of Investment (BOI) for not formulating its statutory rules for the last two decades, directed it to finalise rules and regulations within 90 days.

The meeting of PAC’s sub-committee was held under the chair of its Convener Senator Sherry Rehman, in which the audit paras relating to the Board of Investment (BOI) were examined. The audit officials told the sub-committee of the PAC that the ordinance of Board of Investment (BOI) came into force in 2001, but the BOI’s service rules have not been formulated yet.

The officials of BOI told the committee that there was no need to amend the existing law to make rules, adding the BOI rules will be drafted and submitted to the PAC in two months. Convener of the sub-committee of the PAC Senator Sherry Rehman said that the BOI stated the same thing three months ago that the rules would be presented in three months but they were not presented yet. The sub-committee’s convener gave them 90 days to finalise their rules and regulations and said they cannot afford any more delays.

Later, talking to the media after the meeting of the sub-committee, Senator Sherry Rehman said it was appalling that the Board of Investment (BOI) had not made its statutory rules and regulations for the last 20 years, and was locked in a stalemate over pay packages among other things. It is shocking that the premier federal agency is paralysed by so much mismanagement. “It is no surprise that the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has slipped around 35pc in 2020-21,” she said.

She said it was surprising that over the past 20 years, the BOI has only had eight board meetings. Despite having the responsibility of piloting the CPEC projects, including the Special Economic Zones (SEZs), they have failed to present the annual reports for the last three years and resolve internal anomalies, which are preventing their progress. “This must be immediately rectified as transparency is the currency of investors’ confidence,” she added.

She said the annual reports should be shared with the committee but in this case only discussions related to the draft of FY16-17 has been mentioned. “This is creating a backlog of reports that should be the last thing expected from the body that deals with the financial matters of macroeconomic significance,” she said.

She said the reports need to be finalised and released and if the PTI government aims to increase the investment, it must do away with such inefficiencies and lack of transparency. The convener of the sub-committee said Pakistan needs foreign investment and employment opportunities, so it is important for the BOI to play its part effectively. “We have given them 90 days to finalise their rules and regulations as we cannot afford any more delays,” she said.