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Print Print 2023-08-22

Power sector grabs finance minister’s immediate attention

  • Caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar visits Federal Board of Revenue to review progress so far on implementation of $3 billion Stand-by-Arrangement of the International Monetary Fund
Published August 22, 2023
Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar has held her first meeting on power sector after assuming the charge and visited Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to review progress so far on implementation of $3 billion Stand-by-Arrangement (SBA) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to the staff report prepared by the IMF staff mission on the SBA for the Fund Executive Board’s, the first of review of the SBA is scheduled for end September 2023 and the visit of the caretaker finance minister to FBR and the meeting on the power sector is being seen in this context.

On condition of anonymity the official added that power sector is a major challenge for the caretaker government, as for all previous governments, due to power theft and non-recovery of billed amount.

Shamshad for innovative approach to documenting untaxed sectors

The official added that this was the precise reason that former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif set up a committee with the direction to finalise an action plan with regard to handing over power distribution companies (Discos), operating under their jurisdictions, to the provinces.

The federal government is optimistic that handing over Discos to the provinces will help reduce power theft and improve recovery of billed amount, the official added.

Shamshad Akhtar during her visit to the FBR is said to have underlined the importance to increase the tax-to-GDP ratio. She reportedly expressed the desire to bring new tax payers into the tax net instead of putting further burden or squeezing existing tax payers, an exhortation made by all previous finance ministers but to no avail.

According to the official, she stated that out-of-the-box methods should be taken to bring the untaxed sectors into the net.

When contacted, sources in the finance ministry said that the caretaker finance minister has given explicit instructions that she does not want to interact with the media at this point in time.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

Comments

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MaXPowerArmy Aug 22, 2023 12:11pm
Finance minister of Pakistan is just a glorified supervisor who looks after implementation of imf policies. To avoid corruption and unnecessary jingoism, imf should appoint someone to take care of financial matters of Pakistan.
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test Aug 22, 2023 12:48pm
They imported oil and gas because there are always kickbacks and backdoor comissions which the elite class of Pakistan enjoys. Whenever a foreign country setup a power company in Pakistan the Pakistani elite class will ask how much will go into their personal/private pockets. Oil, Gas, Foreign Energy Companies operating in Pakistan is all about elite commissions. Foreign Company's Assembling plants are all about elite commissions. You ordinary people will never understand how things work at the upper level of state. It is It was and It will always be about the elite class and their political, financial and foreign western interests. Have you ever wondered why Pakistan always go to IMF ? Have you ever wondered why nothing is manufactured in Pakistan ? Have you ever wondered why we import almost everything ? Have you ever wonder why we are not as developed like Japan or Korea ? The answer is very disappointing "Elite Republic of Pakistan". Every thing in Pakistan is controlled by them.
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Noorsat khan Aug 22, 2023 01:01pm
Joke of the month.really they are don't known about businesses and future planes
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Johnny Walker Aug 22, 2023 02:47pm
She can make as many soundbites as possible but there will not be any increase in tax, or for that matter bringing the untaxed into the tax net. Save your energy madam, you are now a pawn of the mafia's (boots included) governing the country.
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Awami Aug 23, 2023 05:55am
@test, we have traders and businessmen but no industry tycoons or manufacturers. As any thing is needed can be imported from China, USA, Europe no one want to deal with industrial plant putting on ground and dealing with workers. At personal level it is far easier to jack up little price of imported stuff and make relatively easy money.
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