- Passes SBP Pakistan Banking Services Corporation Amendment Bill 2021, the Agricultural Commercial and Industrial Purposes Amendment Bill 2021, and the Financial Institutions (Secure Transactions) Amendment Bill 2021
Islamabad: A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance has unanimously passed the SBP Pakistan Banking Services Corporation Amendment Bill 2021, the Agricultural Commercial and Industrial Purposes Amendment Bill 2021, and the Financial Institutions (Secure Transactions) Amendment Bill 2021.
The meeting of the committee presided over by Senator Talha Mehmood, on Wednesday, sought details of all those institutions and companies that refused to be audited by the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP).
A representative of the Law Ministry stated that after the Public Finance Management Act (PFM), wherever exchequer money was involved, it required to be audited by the AGP.
On SBP Banking Services Corporation Amendment Bill 2021, the deputy governor SBP briefed the committee that amendments have been proposed to further strengthen the law.
After reviewing the bill, the Standing Committee reviewed the bill in detail, and passed it unanimously.
The committee also approved Amendment Bill 2021 with respect to loans for agricultural and industrial purposes and it was informed changes were necessitated by the technological advancement as a passbook being used to show the title of land for taking loans by showing in the bank would now being changed into e-passbooks.
There is no legal cover, so e-commerce pass book and amendment are being proposed to provide legal cover to the system easier for the farmers.
Amendments to the Financial Institutions (Secure Transactions) Amendment Bill 2021 proposed by the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan have also been approved unanimously by the committee
The committee chairmen also pointed out that the committee had sought some information from the auditor general regarding details of the institutions, which refused to be audited by the AGP.
He said that as per report, the Ministry of Finance, Religious Ministry, Labour Department KPK, Ministry of Defense Production (POF Welfare Trust Fund), Mari Gas Company etc have not allowed the AGP for audit of their accounts.
The meeting was also informed that Pakistan Railways Club has not allowed to be audited.
An official of the Finance Ministry said that its name was being included because a number of joint foreign shareholding companies such as Kuwait Investment Company have been operating with 50/50 percent shares of Pakistan and foreign government, whereas, any company with at least 51 percent local shares are considered as public limited company and is bound to get its expenses audited by the AGP.
Upon this, the committee directed that companies should sit together by taking on board Law Division to decide about their status whether these fall under the category of public company or not.
The committee also sought a report about its recommendations fully and partially made part of the finance bill and how many were rejected and on what basis.
The meeting also decided to take briefing from the IT department on hacking of the FBR data and politically exposed persons after noting with grave concern that politicians are unable to open their accounts as they are being seen suspected.
On the issue of recent fall of the rupee against the dollar, the SBP deputy governor said that balance of payment situation and overall Afghanistan situation have been affecting the exchange rate.
Later, the committee was given an in-camera briefing over the fall in rupee against the dollar.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021