PM Shehbaz vehemently dispels default speculations
PM Shehbaz vehemently rebuffs default speculations
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday, while rejecting opposition’s repeated claims about country’s default, said those who wanted to see Sri Lanka-like crisis in Pakistan would face disappointment.
The premier said so while presiding over the economic team meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Earlier, the federal cabinet formally accorded its approval to the signing of a final deal over the Reko Diq project on Dec 15. After the approval given to the ministry of petroleum and other relevant ministries and with its final signing, the agreement over Reko Diq project would be implemented.
The federal cabinet meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The meeting comprehensively discussed the reconstitution of the Reko Diq project agreement, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release. Addressing the participants, the prime minister said the government of Pakistan would ensure protection of the rights of investors and fulfill its commitment.
The federal cabinet endorsed a decision of the Economic Coordination Committee taken on Dec 11 regarding the Reko Diq project funding plan. The meeting was apprised that for the settlement of the agreement of Reko Diq project, a legal opinion was solicited from the Supreme Court through filing of a presidential reference under Article 186 of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court on Dec 9 had given an opinion, observing that the reconstitution process of the Reko Diq project was transparent and the agreements signed in this regard were legal. The Supreme Court’s advice was already sought over the Foreign Investment (Promotion and Protection) Bill, 2022 (Amendment Act) under discussion in parliament, it was added.
The meeting accorded approval to the inking of final agreements over the settlement of Reko Diq project upon the recommendation of Petroleum Division. In this regard, under Rules of Business 1973, the secretary/additional secretary petroleum division were given a nod to sign the said deal on behalf of the government of Pakistan.
The cabinet approved the regulatory framework for the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and its special purposes vehicles (SPVs), the government of Balochistan SPVs and Reko Diq project company.
The meeting was apprised that with the consensus of allied parties, it was agreed that the legislation was related to the extent of Reko Diq project only.
To remove certain legal issues, a five-member cabinet committee comprising Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Minister for Trade Syed Naveed Qamar and Minister for Economic Division Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was formed.
The committee would hold discussions with the leaders of the allied parties and would remove their apprehensions by taking them on board. It was further agreed that in consultations with the relevant parties, the amendment would be made.
Dar stresses need to broaden tax base, depoliticise economy
Earlier today, Ishaq Dar underlines the need to enhance the tax base of the country, saying economy needs to be detached from politics.
“Many countries in the world enhanced the ratio of taxes after the Covid pandemic so we also have no other option except to enhance tax-to-GDP ratio,” he said while addressing a ceremony in the federal capital.
Backing the track and trace system of the Federal Board of Revenue, Mr Dar said some reporting issues had developed regarding some industrial sectors. He said the country’s economic management failed to deliver in the last four years, adding Pakistan’s loans increased from Rs30 trillion to Rs54 trillion.
Mr Dar said debt-to-GDP ratio of several countries was much more than Pakistan s, adding that he had been advocating for a Charter of Economy for a long time. He said if some countries including Bangladesh were interfering in the currency market, Pakistan was no exception and there was nothing wrong about it. The minister said the smugglers and hundi mafia had taken the country s economy hostage as urea and huge quantity of US dollars were being smuggled at the Chaman border.
“The government has launched an anti-smuggling operation to curb the crime,” he maintained.