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ISLAMABAD: The federal government has reportedly asked all provinces to provide complete tax data to NADRA (National Database and Registration Authority) to facilitate digitization for enhancing tax base, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

These directions were issued during a high level meeting presided over by the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wherein different issues also came under discussion including Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).

The meeting took following decisions on PSM: (i) the existing loss bearing steel mill be scrapped; (ii) Government of Sindh to allow usage of PSM land for general industrial purposes; (iii) Government of Sindh to ensure mutation of remaining un-mutated land (1683 acres) in the name of PSM; (iv) MoI&P to ensure clearance of encroached PSM land and resume possession.

FBR-Nadra body tasked to broaden tax base

A Committee be notified to oversee the matter and; (ii) MoI&P to present a comprehensive plan to include establishment of EPZ/SEZ on entire PSM land, allocation/earmarking of land for establishment of new steel mill in conjunction with GoS and way forward on already alienated PSM land.

According to sources, the meeting also decided that the Ministry of Railways to accept Government of Sindh proposal for equity partnership. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to be established to materialize the project.

While discussing proposal of investment of Port Qasim dredging, Ministry of Maritime Affairs (MoMA) recommended self-dredging and revealed that the Finance Division has agreed to allow Port Qasim Authority (PQA) to purchase FE from the market in instalments.

The meeting approved PQA dredging project on self-finance basis. Project Director will be appointed through a competitive process by June 30, 2024 whereas dredging company will be hired through competitive bidding by August 20, 2024.

The meeting also discussed the issue of illegal fish trawling in coastal areas of Balochistan and Sindh and decided that Ministry of Defence to take lead for curbing illegal trawling in collaboration with stakeholders, including Ministry of Maritime, Ministry of Interior, Government of Sindh Balochistan.

A milestone based plan be presented in the next Executive Committee of SIFC for permanent solution of the issue. Governments of Balochistan and Sindh to ensure installation of vessel management system for effective surveillance and monitoring.

All provinces have also been directed to develop effective mechanism for ensuring desired wheat production and establishing optimum storage facilities. Milestones based plan will be provided to the upcoming Executive Committee of EC regarding effective surveillance and monitoring.

The World Bank and Asian Development Bank will be approached for development of storage facilities including options of outsourcing/private sector investment and long-term lease.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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