Press Releases/Media
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February 28 , 2014 (PR No. 504)

Price of Petrol reduced by Rs.2.73; Prices of HOBC, Kerosene oil, HSD and LDO to remain unchanged

The Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, this afternoon, to discuss the prices of petroleum products for the month of March, in light of the recommendations made by OGRA.

OGRA had determined that the prices, with effect from 1st March 2014, of HOBC be increased by Rs.1.31, Kerosene by Rs.0.49, High Speed Diesel by Rs.1.08 and Light Diesel Oil by Rs.0.31. It was also determined to decrease the price of petrol by Rs.2.73 as per the chart given below:


Present price

New proposed Prices w.e.f.1-3-2014

Change in Price




-2.73 Reduction




+1.31 Increase




+0.49 Increase

High Speed Diesel (HSD)



+1.08 Increase

Light Diesel Oil (LDO)



+0.31 Increase

Finance Minister briefed the Prime Minister that if the petroleum prices are maintained at the level of 1st February, 2014 except petrol price, the subsidy to be picked up by Ministry of Finance will be less than a billion rupees for the month of March 2014.

In order to maintain price stability in the country, the Prime Minister decided to maintain the existing prices except petrol where the benefit of decrease of Rs.2.73 per litre is passed on to the consumers with effect from 1st March 2014.

February 28 , 2014 (PR No. 503)

Press Release

The Prime Minister of Pakistan had announced on November 28, 2013 a package for promoting tax culture, investment in industry and revival of economy. The package included immunity from audit, default surcharge and penalty for NTN holders who did not file some or all income tax returns for the last five years provided they file their missing income tax returns and pay a minimum of Rs.20,000 tax per year. Similar immunity from audit, default surcharge and penalty was extended to non-NTN holders as on 28-11-2013, having taxable incomes, provided they pay tax at a minimum of Rs.25,000 per year, and file returns for the last five years. Such Return filers will enjoy immunity from audit also for equal number of subsequent tax years for which they have filed returns for past years.

The last date for filing returns under this package is 28th February, 2014. However, considering the encouraging response to the Prime Minister’s Package and the request of the tax bar associations, trade bodies and business community that a substantial number of persons still wish to avail the benefits of the package, the Federal Government has decided to extend the last date for filing of returns under the scheme from 28th February, 2014 to 30th April, 2014.

February 28 , 2014 (PR No. 502)

Meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet was held under the chairmanship of the Finance Minister

The meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet was held under the chairmanship of the Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at Prime Minister’s Office today to discuss the summary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for approval of the fast track LNG Services Project.

Secretary Law informed the ECC that in the light of 18th Amendment, the Article 90(1) of the constitution lays down that the Executive Authority of the Federation shall be exercised in the name of President by the Federal Government, consisting of the Prime Minister and the Federal Ministers, which shall act through the Prime Minister, who shall be the Chief Executive of the Federation. The Sub-article 90(2) says that in the performance of his function under the Constitution, the Prime Minister may act either directly or through the Federal Minister.

Moreover, regarding approval of LSA as agreed by SSGCL & ETPL, the Law Division opined that the LSA is a commercial contract between the two commercial entities and their respective Board of Directors are fully competent to grant approval in respect of LNG Service Agreement.

The Petroleum Secretary was of the opinion that it has been the practice followed in the past that this issue has been brought to the ECC and the nature of the project is such that it is of paramount importance to meet the urgent energy needs of the country. He added that it was after due diligence and confirming to all reasonableness on international and regional parameters the Petroleum Ministry is satisfied that the project is a good deal and worth putting on fast track in order to meet the existing shortfall of gas in the country.

In the light of the detailed discussion, the ECC decided, to approve the proposal in principle, subject to completion of all formalities as indicated by the Law Division and thereafter approval of the Prime Minister.

The meeting was also attended by Mr. Zahid Hamid, Minister for Science and Technology, Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Mr. Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Minister for National Food Security, Mr. Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi, Minister for Industries and Production, Chairman BOI, Mr. Miftah Ismail, Chairman Privatization Commission, Mr. Muhammad Zubair and senior officials of the government.

February 27 , 2014 (PR No. 501)

Finance Minister chairs meeting of committee to examine trade with India

Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting of Committee to examine trade with India at the Finance Ministry today.

Secretary Commerce, Mr. Qasim Muhammad Niaz gave a detailed presentation on the broader framework of the roadmap to move ahead on non-discriminatory market access for Pakistan’s exports to India. He briefed the Committee on the pros and cons of normalization of trade relations with India and the benefits Pakistan will accrue in export of textile and manufacture goods. He also informed the Committee that all stakeholders have been taken into confidence and concerns of our industry will be addressed in the process. Commerce Minister, Mr. Khurram Dastagir Khan briefed the Committee on the progress made on addressing Pakistan’s genuine concerns during his last visit to India.  

Finance Minister said that it should be ensured that all the concessions are on reciprocal basis and concerns of our industry should be taken care in the future arrangement. He said that import from India should substitute our import from other countries which will save valuable foreign exchange. He emphasized that there should be meaningful market access and level playing field for Pakistan’s exports to India. The Committee will present its detailed report to the Cabinet for consideration.

SAPM on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tariq Fatmi, Chairman FBR, Tariq Bajwa, Mr. Zafar Mehmood former Secretary Commerce, Chairman Nestle Pakistan, Syed Yawar Ali, Advisor to Finance Ministry, Rana Asad Amin and senior officials of the concerned ministries also attended the Committee meeting.

February 27 , 2014 (PR No. 500)

Pakistan provides immense business potential for International Investors: Finance Minister

“The economy of Pakistan is showing positive signs due to structural reforms introduced by the present Government and we have a very clear roadmap to facilitate Foreign Direct Investment in the Country” said Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar in a meeting with delegation of international businessmen and investors accompanied by Special Envoy to PM for Overseas Investment, Ambassador Javed Malik at the Ministry of Finance today.

The Finance Minister briefed the investors about the business opportunities available in the multiple sectors. He said that Pakistan is the most attractive place for investment and the business potential is immense for international investors. He said that the positive economic indicators in the last seven months of the current fiscal year and expected growth rate of over 4% will lay down an economic outlook, attractive for investors.

The Finance Minister mentioned that with the 17% increase in the revenue collection in the last seven months the space for the Federal Government and Provinces will be increased considerably for investment in the development sector. He underlined that the growth rate in industrial sector is phenomenal and we are looking for 6-7% growth rate in the next three years.

He said that the energy sector and hydro carbon exploration are the priority areas as the country needs to meet its energy requirements. He said that the international investors will be facilitated on the fast track to do businesses in the country. He added that it will be win-win for both Pakistan which needs FDI and the international investors who are looking for reasonable returns to their investments.    

Ambassador Javed Malik informed the Finance Minister that the Group had very useful meetings in Pakistan and the idea is to bring together a group of investors for investment in development of energy sector as an engine of growth.

Mr. Richard Quessnal, Chairman, Colt Resources Inc. said that they have the intention to invest over $4 billion in mining sector of Pakistan. Moreover, they have the capacity to invest $1 billion per annum for the next fifty years in Pakistan. He added that Colt Resources will built on the partnership from generation to generation and focus on transfer of technology to Pakistan.  

The Investors, in their comments, said that the general message they received in Pakistan is positive and they are impressed by the investment opportunities in the country. They added that they want to be true partners with Corporate Social Responsibility are looking forward to harness the opportunities available in the Country.

Mr. Alun Richards, Chief Investment Office, Mr. Shahal Khan, Royal Partners Energy, Mr. Nicolas Perrault Director Calvalley Petroleum, Mr. Pedro Costa, Managing Director, Mr. Yazit yusuff, Head of Capital Markets, RHB Islamic Bank, Haji Malik Shah, Colt Resources, Mr. Waleed Mushtaq, Pakisan International Business & Investment Council and Economic Advisor Finance Ministry Rana Asad Amin were also present in the meeting.

February 26 , 2014 (PR No. 499)

Ambassador of Norway calls on Finance Minister

Ambassador of Kingdom of Norway Ms. Cecilie Landsverk called on the Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at the Ministry of Finance this evening.

Ms. Landsverk congratulated the PML-N Government for taking the positive steps for the growth and development of the economy of Pakistan. She appreciated the transparent and prudent policies of the government for taking the economy in the right direction.

Ms. Landsverk appreciated the government’s resolve  to introduce new technology in the country through the auction of spectrum  license. She further said that she expects that the Norwegian Telecom Company operating in Pakistan will take keen interest in this bid to acquire the licenses.

The Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar said that government is committed to ensure transparency at every step of the auction process. Government has tried to accommodate the concerns of all parties in the final policy directive. The Information Memorandum has already been uploaded on the PTA website.

          The meeting was also attended by senior officials of the Finance Ministry.

February 26 , 2014 (PR No. 498)

ECC expresses satisfaction over positive trends in Key Economic Indicators

The meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet was held under the chairmanship of the Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at the Prime Minister’s Office today.

The Finance Secretary presented a review of the key economic indicators. The ECC was informed that there are positive trend in the key economic indicators. The large scale manufacturing sector has witnessed a growth of 6.8% as compared to 2.3% of corresponding period of the last fiscal year. Fertilizer sector has shown a growth of 28.5%, food beverages 18%, paper and board 17%, electronic 12% and leather products 9.61%.

The ECC was informed that year-on-year inflation rate based on Consumer Price Index (CPI), Whole Price Index (WPI) and Sensitive Price Index (SPI) for the month of January 2014 remained at 7.9%, 8.1% and 7.7% respectively. He informed ECC that the reported stock of wheat as on February 2014 is 2.7 million tons showing sufficient quantity of local wheat is available for daily releases to mills. The total reported stock of sugar stood at 2.3 million tons and the stock of various POL products average 20 days supply on February 24, 2014.

ECC was further informed that workers’ remittances have reached to $9,033 million in July 2013-January 2014 against $8,206 million during corresponding period in 2012-13 showing an increase of 10.1%.

The ECC was also informed that during July-January 2013-14, FBR tax  collection stood at Rs.1,197 billion as compared to Rs.1,022 billion in the same period last year, thereby posting an increase of 17.2%. During this period inflow of Foreign Direct Investment stood at $1,116 million.

ECC was informed that on 24th February 2014 foreign exchange reserves stood at $8.6 billion. Finance Minister observed that the foreign exchange reserves are stable and improving gradually, which is a healthy sign for the economy. He said that, by the Grace of God, we would be able to achieve a target of foreign exchange reserves in double figures by the end of March this year. He said that in his last meeting with IMF, they also observed that GDP growth rate is getting better even more than their expected target. He said that with the significant increase in FBR collection, he expects that the provinces would get Rs.219 billion more than the last year.  He hoped that the provinces would be able to invest more in agriculture sector. He also directed the Secretary, Ministry of Food Security to expedite National Agriculture Policy so that Pakistan would be able to utilize huge potential in this sector.

The ECC also approved summary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for resumption of POL supplies at six Non-Internal Freight Equalization Mechanism (IFEM) Oil Depots subject to the following:

i)                   Government of Pakistan will not take any financial impact.

ii)                OGRA will put in place an appropriate mechanism to ensure the prevention of dumping and misuse of IFEM.

The location of oil depots where POL supplies will be resumed include Daulatpur, Khuzdar, Sangi, Habibabad, Kundian and Serai Naurang. It may be mentioned that due to reduced availability of gas to CNG stations and use of MOGAS in generators, the demand of POL products has increased up to 21% during the last two years necessitating for the opening of abundant depots to overcome the shortage. By opening of the above depots, 26000MT storage capacity will be available in the system. OGRA will monitor the movement of products as per their rules/policies.

The ECC also extended temporary suspension on import of gold under SRO 760 till 20th March, 2014. The Finance Minister directed Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, FBR and SBP to hold a meeting with all the stakeholders and bring proposals and recommendations to ensure export of gold jewelry to the extent of the gold imported for value addition.

The meeting was also attended by the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Commerce, Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan,  Minister for Science and Technology, Mr. Zahid Hamid, Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Industries and Production, Mr. Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi, Minister for National Food Security, Mr. Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Secretaries of the concerned ministries and senior officials of the government.

February 26 , 2014 (PR No. 497)

FATA Parliamentarians call on Finance Minister

The Senators and MNAs from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) met with the Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at the Finance Ministry.

The Finance Minister shared with them the details of his recent visit to Afghanistan for attending the 9th session of Pak-Afghan Joint Economic Commission. He informed the Parliamentarians that he had a very useful visit to Afghanistan where he met with the political leadership and shared Pakistan’s vision for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

The Finance Minister also briefed the Parliamentarians on his visits to the major under construction developmental projects, undertaken by Pakistan in Afghanistan under its bilateral assistance program including recommencement of works on Torkham-Jalalabad additional carriage way, Nishtar Kidney Center in Jalalabad and the Liaqat Ali khan Engineering Faculty of Bulkh University in Mazar-i-Sharif. The Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar informed the Parliamentarians that Nishtar Kidney Center will soon be equipped with the relevant apparatus on priority basis.

The Senators and MNAs from FATA said that with the Finance Minister’s visit to Afghanistan will generate a lot of good will for Pakistan and it will help improve relations between the two countries. The Parliamentarians requested the Finance Minister for the early release of the third quarter of the development fund for FATA region. The Finance Minister said that the development of FATA and other backward areas is the priority of the government and all steps will be taken to ensure smooth release of fund for projects in their agencies. He assured them of his full cooperation in the matter.

The meeting was also attended by senior officials of the Finance Ministry.

February 25 , 2014 (PR No. 496)

Finance Minister urges early completion of Developmental Projects undertaken by Pakistan in Afghanistan

Director General, Frontier Works Organization (FWO), Maj. Gen. M. Afzal called on Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here today.

The Director General informed the Finance Minister that FWO has capacity, competence and human resource available to successfully undertake construction related projects in foreign countries. He informed the Finance Minister that there are opportunities for FWO to undertake projects in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Yemen in order to earn valuable foreign exchange for the country. He said that FWO has huge potential to work even in hard areas where other international companies are reluctant to go. He added that to undertake foreign projects FWO would need sovereign guarantees and opening of foreign exchange accounts in terms of US dollars. He requested the support of the SBP and the Finance Ministry in this regard.

The Finance Minister appreciated the developmental projects undertaken by the FWO and said that recently he has visited various FWO projects including construction of Torkham-Jalalabad Highway in Afghanistan. He said that he has urged all the concerned departments to expedite the projects undertaken by Pakistan Government in Afghanistan which will demonstrate Pakistan’s political commitment to peace and stability in our neighbouring country. The Finance Minister added that we must put Nishtar Kidney Centre Jalalabad on fast track.

The Finance Minister assured the Director General that all issues related to their foreign undertakings will be reviewed sympathetically after submission and study of formal case accompanied by feasibility studies of the proposed projects by the FWO. He also assured the Director General that the government will facilitate FWO after consultation with all stakeholders and examining legal and constitutional requirements in this regard.

The meeting was also attended by Finance Secretary, Advisor on Finance and senior officials of the Finance Ministry. 

February 25 , 2014 (PR No. 495)

Federal Government to take additional measures to improve gas supplies for Fertilizer Sector: Finance Minister

Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive of Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC) Limited Lt. Gen. (Retd) Naeem Khalid Lodhi called on the Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar today at the Finance Ministry.

The Managing Director apprised the Finance Minister of the critical role being played by the Fauji Fertilizer Company in meeting country’s fertilizer requirements domestically. He underlined that the significant growth of 28% in production during the first six months of the current fiscal year, was possible only because of the improved availability of gas to the fertilizer plants. The MD requested the Finance Minister that there is still considerable capacity available in the industry which could be brought on stream by further improvement in the gas supply.  

The MD Fauji Fertilizer also underlined that in accordance with the decision taken in the meeting chaired by Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, the Federal Minister for Finance on January 10, 2014,  it was decided that the price of fertilizer will be set at Rs.1786 per bag by the company and this has been strictly observed ever since. He said that with the addition of Rs.40 for dealers’ margin, the market price should be 1826 and FFC has undertaken an awareness campaign for farmers not to pay anything beyond Rs.1826 per bag.

The Finance Minister appreciated the contribution of the FFC in this regard and assured that the government is taking additional measures to improve gas supplies for the fertilizer sector. He acknowledged the positive role played by FFC in stabilizing the price of Rs.1826 per bag during a meeting with industry representatives.  The Finance Minister said that the PML-N government would ensure that the prices of agricultural inputs for the farmers remain stable in line with the manifesto of the PML-N. He emphasized that the farmers should get benefit of their hard work. The Finance Minister expressed his concern on the reports that fertilizer, at some places, is being sold at prices higher than those fixed by the companies as per the decision of the meeting on January 10, 2014. He remarked that he will soon write to all the Chief Ministers of the provinces urging them to alert provincial authorities to ensure that dealers will not charge anything beyond the company fixed price.  

The Finance Minister thanked the MD FFC and other fertilizer companies for their understanding and cooperation. He assured them of all the support as part of government’s policy to support business, trade and industry in the country.

The meeting was also attended by Federal Secretaries of Finance, Petroleum and Natural Resources, Advisor on Finance and senior government officials. 

February 24 , 2014 (PR No. 494)

Senator Ishaq Dar meets Governor Balkh - Afghanistan

The Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar,  who is currently leading a delegation to Afghanistan to attend the 9th Session of Pak-Afghan Joint Economic Commission, visited Mazare Sharif today and met with the political leadership of North Afghanistan.  In his meeting with the Governor Balkh, Atta Mohammad Noor, the Minister reiterated Pakistan's desire to further promote and strengthen cordial and brotherly relationship with Afghanistan.  He said that Pakistan wanted good relationship with the people from all parts of Afghanistan without having any favourite. Governor Atta Mohammad Noor said that Pakistan was a major regional power and Afghanistan wanted it to play its role in the promotion of peace and development of Afghanistan.  He thanked the Finance Minister for undertaking various projects by Pakistan at a cost of US$ 500 million for the socio-economic development of Afghanistan. 

The Finance Minister, Senator Ishaq Dar also visited Liaquat Ali Khan Engineering University built by Pakistan at a cost of US$10 million.  The engineering university was handed to the Afghan government over last year and currently 5000 students were studying in the university.  The Governor Balkh, the Finance Minister of Afghanistan, Dr. Omar Zakhilwal, leaders of Provincial Council and heads of various government departments were present during the visit of the Finance Minister to the University. Chancellor of the University gave a detailed briefing to the Minister about the University, saying it would contribute a lot to the educational development of Afghanistan.  The Governor of Balkh also hosted a lunch in the honour of Pakistani delegation which was attended by a large number of dignitaries of the Balkh Province.

February 24 , 2014 (PR No. 493)

Joint Statement Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint - Economic Commission Kabul 22-24 February 2014

The 9th Session of Pakistan- Afghanistan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) was hosted by the Afghan Ministry of Finance in Kabul from 22-24 February 2014. The Inaugural Session was co-chaired by Dr. Omar Zakhilwal, Minister for Finance, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization, Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Addressing the inaugural session, Minister Zakhilwal said: "I firmly believe that improved economic cooperation and interdependency between Afghanistan and Pakistan not only helps bringing prosperity to our two nations but it can also promote mutual trust between the two countries. Joint projects such as CASA can play an important role in bringing peace and stability into the region and beyond."

Pakistan's Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar called for enhancing bilateral trade, extending the transit trade to Tajikistan, early completion of ongoing projects funded by Pakistan, visa facilitation for Pakistani businessmen and labour.

During his stay in Afghanistan, Senator Mohammad lshaq Dar, Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization accompanied by Minister Zakhilwal also called on Hamid Karzai, President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

During the two-day JEC session, detailed meetings were held between the experts of the two sides on a number of issues, especially focusing on Trade, Commerce & Industry cooperation in Communication &Connectivity, Energy, Agriculture& Livestock and Education. The status of various development projects being undertaken in Afghanistan with the financial assistance of Pakistan was also reviewed in detail. Despite financial constraints faced by Pakistan, Prime Minister of Pakistan generously enhanced the overall size of portfolio of development projects in Afghanistan from US$ 385 million to US$ 500 million as a gesture of goodwill to the people of Afghanistan during his last visit to Kabul in November 2013.

          Both the Co-Chairs addressed the concluding ceremony, signed the agreed minutes of the session and addressed a Joint Press Conference.

         The 9th J EC Session took several important decisions including the following:-

i)                   Acknowledging the progress made on the CASA 1000 and TAPI projects, both countries keenly look forward to the implementation of these projects.

ii)                Realizing the importance of Kunar Hydro Power project, both countries agreed to work together to further expand cooperation in this project.

iii)              Acknowledging the importance of trade facilitation between the two countries, the meeting agreed to undertake appropriate measures to enhance bilateral trade.

iv)               The meeting agreed that all issues raised by the Afghan side on the implementation of APTTA would be considered by Pakistan and the results will be reviewed in the relevant customs experts meeting scheduled by end of March 2014.

v)                 Pakistan side agreed to speed up the pace of work on various development projects being undertaken in Afghanistan through its financial assistance. The Afghan Government, on its part, agreed to expedite provision of electricity to the projects.

vi)               Pakistan side shared a new draft for the Avoidance of Double Taxation treaty. Both sides agreed to further discuss issues involving "Avoidance of Double Taxation" treaty at the earliest.

vii)            The Afghan side welcomed the extension of scholarship scheme for students from 2000 scholarships to 3000.

A number of proposals for possible cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the areas of Petroleum & Natural Resources, Industries & Production, and Agriculture & Livestock were also discussed during the meeting.

In addition to attending the JEC Session at Kabul, both the Ministers also visited major projects constructed by Pakistan under its bilateral assistance program including recommencement of works on Torkham - Jalalabad additional carriage way, Nishtar Kidney Centre in Jalalabad and the Liaqat Ali Khan Engineering Faculty of Balkh University in Mazar-i-Sharif.

Finance Minister Dar also visited the under construction Rehman Baba School and Hostel in Kabul which would accommodate up to 1500 students. Minister of Border and Tribal Affairs Dr. Akram Khpalwak welcomed the Minister during the visit to the School.

Both the Finance Ministers also met the Governors of Nangarhar and Mazar-i- Sharif and attended official luncheons hosted in their honour during visit to the two provincial capitals.

February 21 , 2014 (PR No. 492)

Finance Minister chairs meeting in FBR to review revenue collection targets

Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting at the Federal Board of Revenue here today to review the progress of Revenue Collection and implementation of Prime Minister’s Tax Incentive Package.

The Chairman FBR Tariq Bajwa briefed the Minister about the details of the recently launched Taxpayer Privileges and Honor Card Scheme as well as the Prime Minister’s Tax Incentive Scheme to expand the tax base. He also briefed the Minister about the progress on revenue collection and said that FBR is working towards achievement of the assigned targets.

Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization Mohammad Ishaq Dar expressed satisfaction over the revenue collection performance of FBR for the month of January 2014. He urged FBR to keep up the momentum, so that the revenue collection target of Feb 2014 is also met.

The Minister appreciated FBR’s initiative of launching Prime Minister’s Taxpayer Privileges and Honor Cards for the highest tax payers in different categories.  Chairman FBR informed that these cards would be handed over to the highest tax payers in March 2014.

February 20 , 2014 (PR No. 491)

Finance Minister chairs 5th meeting of Committee for Development and Management of Bari Imam Shrine/Complex Islamabad

Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired 5th meeting of Committee for Development and Management of Bari Imam Shrine/Complex Islamabad to review progress of the construction, development and uplift work.

The Minister directed that development and construction work, other than the shrine minaret, be completed by 7th March 2014. The ICT and CDA management earlier briefed the Minister  on latest progress of the construction and development work of  the Bari Imam Shrine Project in terms of issues relating to designing, embellishment and finishing work besides focusing  on the calligraphic details of the shrine.

 It was agreed that the development facets of the Shrine Complex may be segmentized to speed up its completion as directed.  CDA management, during the course of briefing, informed the meeting participants on structural upgradation and beautification of the internal and external dimensions of the Bari Imam complex. It was explained that marble flooring work has already been completed and final finishing is underway.

Finance Minister directed the ICT and CDA management to ensure that entire structure, after completion, should have durability since it is a public place and merits attention to all structural and beautification details. 

February 20 , 2014 (PR No. 490)

Finance Minister chairs meeting to review 8th Session Of Pak-Afghanistan Joint Economic Commission's decisions

Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar today chaired a meeting composed of all relevant federal government organizations’ representatives to review latest implementation status over 49 decisions taken during Pak-Afghanistan 8th Session of Joint Economic Commissions’ deliberations.

The Minister noted that release of additional funding for Pakistan’s  on-going projects in Afghanistan has already been announced by the Prime Minister and all GOP organizations needed to expedite implementation of ongoing projects in consideration of commitments earlier agreed between the Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Minister further directed all the stakeholders to clearly draw a road map and time line agreed between the relevant counterparts of two governments, adding that all federal government organizations should ensure implementation of bilaterally agreed projects in Afghanistan expeditiously.

During the course of discussion, Secretary Economic Affairs Divisions briefed the Minister over the status of 49 decisions taken during 8th Pak-Afghanistan Joint Economic Commission held in 2012. Secretary EAD intimated that so far 15 decision items have been implemented and implementation on the remaining items stands sped up. The Minister was briefed that the decisions taken during Pak-Afghanistan 8th Session JEC related to power and petroleum sector, highways and communications, planning and development, economy and reconstruction activities in Afghanistan.

The meeting reviewed latest update made available by various federal government ministries on the subjects pivoting around completion of Thorkham-Jalalabad Carriageway, Chaman, Spin-Boldak railway line, enhancement in number of educational scholarships supporting Afghan students studies in various Pakistani Universities and Professional Colleges, besides CASA-1000MW power import transmission lines passing through Afghanistan and visa facilitation for both countries’ citizens/workers employed on development projects implementation in two countries.

February 20 , 2014 (PR No. 489)

CEOs of the mobile companies met the Advisory Committee for Spectrum Auction

CEOs of the mobile companies operating in Pakistan met the Spectrum Auction Committee under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at the Finance Ministry today.

The operators shared their views and gave valuable feedback regarding introduction of latest technologies in relation to forthcoming spectrum auction.

The committee informed the operators that Information Memorandum (IM) will be issued shortly. The IM is being prepared by international professional consultants keeping in view the objectives of promoting technological growth, fostering competition in the sector and getting the best value of the scarce national resource of spectrum.

The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Science and Technology Mr. Zahid Hamid, Minister of State for Information Technology Ms. Anusha Rehman Khan and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of IT and PTA.

February 19 , 2014 (PR No. 487)

Finance Minister directs restoration of Gas Supply to Export-Oriented Industry from next Friday (21.2.2014)

Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar today chaired a meeting to review restoration of gas to export-oriented industry on urgent basis in Ministry of Finance here today. The meeting was attended by Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, MD SNGPL and senior officials from Ministry of Petroleum and Ministry of Finance.

          The meeting participants reviewed existing provision of gas to export-oriented industry and noted that with improved weather conditions a revised gas load management plan was possible which enabled the SNGPL to restore gas supply to industry from next Friday (21.2.2014) to be continued for next fifteen days. The decision was taken to readdress the national economic growth related issues which did have sizeable contribution from export-oriented industry in the country. The SNGPL management briefed the Minister that with improved weather conditions and availability of demand driven savings, it was possible for the company to ensure restoration of gas supply to the export-oriented industry from next Friday.

February 18 , 2014 (PR No. 488)

Finance Minister chairs meeting of Spectrum Auction Advisory Committee

A meeting of the Spectrum Auction Advisory Supervisory Committee was held under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at the Finance Ministry, this evening.

The meeting was also attended by Mr. Shahid Hamid, Minister for Science and Technology, Ms. Anusha Rehman, Minister of State for Information Technology, Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Mr. Ikhlaq Tarrar, Secretazry I.T. and senior officials of the government.

The consultants hired by PTA for the purpose of auction briefed the meeting about their analysis of paksitani markets and draft information memorandum which is to be issued soon.

February 18 , 2014 (PR No. 486)

Finance Minister directs finalization Of Youth Business Loan Applications by end February, 2014

Federal Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar today held a review meeting regarding Youth Business Loan Scheme at State Bank of Pakistan Office Karachi.

The Finance Minister was briefed about the statistics of application forms which have been completely evaluated as per laid down procedure, followed by the rejected ones and the reasons thereof. Senator Ishaq Dar urged the concerned officials to finalize the processing of application forms by end of this month. During the meeting the statistics of female applicants were highlighted, which the Minister described as under-represented. The Minister directed the concerned officials that the current number of forms did not fulfill the allotted women quota of 50 per cent and needed to be reviewed to address quota requirement.

The Finance Minister advised that loan be disbursed as per provincial quota and  vacant positions of any province be carried forward to the next quarter. These should not be re-allotted to other provinces, he directed.

February 18 , 2014 (PR No. 485)

Finance Minister Launches Secondary Market Trading Of Government Debt Securities through KSE In Karachi

The Finance Minister, Mr. Mohammad Ishaq Dar, today launched the secondary market trading of Government debt securities through Karachi Stock Exchange’s Bond Automated Trading System (BATS) at an impressive ceremony at a local hotel.

In his speech at the launching ceremony the Finance Minister stated that this is the first time in the history of Pakistan that investing and trading in Government securities through the capital market has been initiated. This is the first step towards developing a thriving and deep debt capital market which plays a pivotal role in sourcing long term finance for both public and private sectors of Pakistan.

Elaborating on the need for a deep capital market, he said that Pakistan’s economic growth has remained below potential for more than a decade because the focus of policies has been on consumption-led growth while sustainable high economic growth can only be achieved when it is investment-led growth. That is the focus of his Government. Mr. Ishaq Dar said that even when he was in the opposition he always voiced his concern that consumption led growth was unsustainable and it put even more burden on the economy.

The Finance Minister pointed out that investment-led growth entailed building up the basic infrastructure of the country, which was in dire need of improvement. Investment was essential for the development of the energy sector (from upstream oil, gas and coal exploration & production, hydel-power, alternative energy development to power generation & distribution), transport sector, (land, air & sea), mineral resource development, information and telecommunications infrastructure, agri & rural development, urban renewal and industrial infrastructure.

Mr. Ishaq Dar said that these are mega-scale, core development initiatives that required large, long term financing to the tune of US dollars 6-7billion per annum for the next ten years or so. It is therefore important to develop a broad spectrum of long-term funding sources. He noted that while the public equity market in Pakistan is reasonably well developed, the debt capital market is not.

The Finance Minister highlighted that the equity market in Pakistan has shown consistent superior performance in recent years. From May 2013 till now, the KSE-100 Index has increased by 30% while the market capitalization has risen from US$50.33bn on May 11, 2013 to US$61.32bn on February 14, 2014. The equity market performance is reflective of how the listed companies are doing in terms of financial health and their future outlook. On both counts the major listed companies’ performance underpins the stock market’s overall behavior.

Pointing out that several international agencies have noted Pakistan as the next most attractive investment destination despite the current problems actually reflected that the world viewed Pakistan’s potential positively.

Looking forward, he said, that trading of Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIB’s) and Ijara Sukuks would be initiated soon and in the very future, the Government intended to issue infrastructure bonds – both in the conventional and Shariah compliance mode – through the capital market so that investors can participate in building up of Pakistan’s infrastructure backbone. In this regard he revealed that the Government is planning to set up a Pakistan Infrastructure Fund as a central point for future long term infrastructure funding.

Mr. Ishaq Dar stated that for individual savers and investors, this new venue to deploy savings is an excellent opportunity to invest in Government of Pakistan debt securities which provide both superior return as well as high liquidity than many comparable maturity financial instruments. Inclusion of Government securities in the individual saver’s investment portfolio also reduces volatility in portfolio value.

The Finance Minister congratulated everyone who worked so hard to make this project a reality. He greatly appreciated the role of the State Bank of Pakistan and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan who supported the regulatory framework approval in a timely manner and especially noted with thanks the support and efforts that Bank Al-Falah provided to the implementation team in terms of technical aspects of the project. The Finance Minister thanked the Chairmen and Board of Directors of the Karachi Stock Exchange and the Central Depository Company as well as their respective managements for undertaking and successfully implementing this project.

Mr. Muneer Kamal, Chairman KSE, giving the welcome speech, thanked the Finance Minister for his continued support in making wider trading of Government securities a reality and stated that guidance and support from the SECP and SBP were greatly appreciated in the timely completion of this project.

Mr. Nadeem Naqvi, Managing Director, KSE earlier provided a brief presentation about the benefits of investing in Government securities for the individual investor and highlighted the procedure for investing in Government securities.

February 18 , 2014 (PR No. 484)

Federal Finance Minister Meets HSBC Bank's Delegation at Karachi

Federal Minster for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar had a meeting with a delegation of HSBC Bank Management at State Bank of Pakistan Office in Karachi.

The Senior Advisor to HSBC Group Chairman and Chief Executive, Mr. Shrard Couper Coles appreciated the steps of the federal government for recovery of economy and attaining stability in forex market. The Finance Minster informed the delegation that financial indicators in the country along with GDP growth have  spiraled up and inflation is declining compared with earlier financial forecasts. These financial indictors now have  been endorsed by the IMF during the second review held recently. The Finance Minister shared with HSBC Bank Management that  the economic development trends in Pakistan are registering upwards surge and the country now is heading towards attaining a stable place in the world investment market, offering tremendous investment potential to the intending investors in the region as well as globally.

Senator Ishaq Dar lauded the decision of HSBC to consider Pakistan as projected investment market in multiple development sectors and assured GOP’s full support over the sale of Hong Kong HSBC Bank Limited. The State Bank of Pakistan will expedite necessary regulatory permission after due process of law as and when needed.

The HSBC Bank delegation thanked the Finance Minister for affording an opportunity to have a mutually beneficial meeting that could lead to expanding the areas of financial interaction between the financial sector interest domains of Pakistan and HSBC Bank.

February 18 , 2014 (PR No. 483)

Federal Minister for Finance announces Rs. 20 million grant on behalf of PM for Pakistan Center for Philanthropy

Pakistan Center for Philanthropy organized its Corporate Philanthropy Awards today at Governor House, Karachi with the Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar as Chief Guest.

The Federal Minister for Finance said that he was pleased to be a part of this ceremony. “Pakistan Philanthropy Centre and institutions like UNDP also deserved appreciation for having promoted philanthropy and persuading people for this noble cause”, he added.

Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar said that it was a matter of great pride for him that Pakistanis were regarded as the most generous and philanthropic people the world over. “This should open the eyes of those who only criticized the Pakistani society”, the Minister added.

The Finance Minister said that the PML-N Government initiated various plans that are making the poor of the country self reliant. “We have launched the Youth Loan Scheme and expanded the portfolio of Income Support Programme from Rs. 40 billion to Rs.75 billion”.

The Minister added that the Government has spent the last 7 months in giving a new direction to the economy. This has been acknowledged domestically as well as internationally. We have identified the following medium-term targets which we hope to achieve in 3 years.

Ø GDP growth to gradually rise to around 6 to 7%

Ø Investment/GDP to rise from 12.6% to 20%

Ø Tax/GDP ratio to rise from 8.5% to 13 %

Ø Fiscal deficit to be brought down from 8.8% to 4% of GDP

Ø Foreign exchange reserves to be increased to around US$ 20 billion

Ø Public debt to be reduced to below 60% of GDP as per statutory requirement

The Government welcomes and deeply appreciates the philanthropic activities of the corporate sector, targeting social development and poverty alleviation throughout the country. “The increase in corporate Philanthropy of Listed Companies from Rs. 228 million in the year 2000 to Rs. 4.1 billion in 2012, a phenomenal 18 fold increase, is heartening”, said the Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar.

The Federal Minister for Finance announced a grant of Rs.20 million on behalf of the Prime Minister to Pakistan Center for Philanthropy as a sign of government’s support for all efforts aimed at poverty eradication, social development and the promotion of philanthropy in Pakistan.

The ceremony was also attended by Governor Sindh Dr. Ishrat-ul Ibad, CM Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Dr. Shams Kasim Lakha, Chairman Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy, Board of Directors and Federal and Provincial Ministers.

February 17 , 2014 (PR No. 482)

Infrastructure Project Development Facility (Company) Management briefs Finance Minister on professional development work

The management team of Infrastructure Project Development Facility (IPDF: Company) today briefed Finance Minister on its mandate, professional functioning and operations viz-a-viz assisting various GOP organizations in developing their infrastructure-based development projects under public-private partnership model (PPP).

The Minister was briefed that IPDF was launched more than 6-7 years back to act as a bridge between public and private sector by facilitating technical support to their sector-specific development facilities. It was added that IPDF is charged with the responsibility to prepare PPP transactions, undertake feasibility studies for the projects through in-house technical support. Moreover, it develops financial models and prepares tender documents which include concession agreements. The IPDF management elaborated that it additionally attracts investors solicitation through investor  conference and road shows, besides undertaking detailed contract negotiations.  

The Minister appreciated the professional development work of IPDF and directed that in future all IPDF professional development activities offering services to other GOP organizations be routed through Ministry of Finance under specially designed standard operating procedures (SOPs).  

The IPDF management briefed the Minister on its recent initiatives on BOT-based projects which included rehabilitation and modernization of M-2, M-9 and widening of carriage way at Tarnol. Minister directed IPDF management to separately brief him on execution details of M-9 project.

The IPDF management further briefed the Minister that it is assisting KPK’s

Provincial Hydro Development Organization (PHYDO) in executing hydel power projects on PPP model. Moreover, it is assisting AEDB in execution of small alternate energy projects – again on PPP model.

The IPDF concluded its briefing to the Finance Minister by stating that it also is assisting Ministry of Water and Power in technically evaluating the investment proposals relating to Gaddani Power Park which included building of 1200KM of transmission lines from Gaddani to Lahore and developing deep sea jetty.

February 17 , 2014 (PR No. 481)

Pak-China Investment Company to invest in renewable energy and infrastructure Development in Pakistan

With the Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar in chair a meeting of Pak-China Investment Company Limited (PCICL) took place at the Ministry of Finance this morning.

Mr. Cao Wenjian, Managing Director PCICL briefed the Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar that the company has the total assets worth Rs. 16 billion in Pakistan and has been investing in sectors like fuel and energy, ports and shipping, sugar and fruits, Cement and construction, engineering, telecommunication and IT, finance and insurance and fertilizers, of which the first three constitute 46% of the total investment.

PCICL is focusing on promoting Chinese investment and trade between the two countries. The management of PCICL would like to make equity investments in joint ventures of Chinese and Pakistani companies, said Mr. Wenjian.

 In future Pak-China Investment Company has one of its core strategy to invest in the power sector as it has been the priority of the present government to solve the energy crisis.

Pak-China Investment Company Limited has also made it a part of its core strategy to promote joint ventures of local and Chinese investors/companies said the MD.

Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar appreciated the resolve of PCICL that it plans to promote close cooperation between China Development Bank (CDB) and Government of Pakistan and that it wants to work as an advisory on privatization and foreign direct investment to Chinese investors who have plans to invest in Pakistan.

Finance Minister further appreciated that PCICL wanted to promote government’s public private partnership initiatives with a focus on infrastructure development and development of Special Economic Zones.

PCICL told the Finance Minister that it is looking forward to invest in commercially viable projects especially all infrastructure related projects (including rail and road network), agriculture/chemical/engineering sectors, renewable energy (solar, wind, bagasse, hydro etc.) and oil and gas development sectors.

The meeting also decided to issue bonus shares to meet the minimum capital requirement of the company as required by the State Bank of Pakistan. No fresh injection of funds would be required.

Mr. Cao Wenjian told the Finance Minister that Vice Governor China Development Bank plans to visit Pakistan in the last week of March and would like to meet the Finance Minister.

The Finance Minister welcomed the proposed visit of Vice Governor CDB and said that the leadership of China and Pakistan wanted to take their existing relationship to a new height in future.

The meeting was also attended by Mr. Shahnawaz Mehmood, Dy. Managing Director Mr. Zhang Yanzhi, Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Tariq Mehmood, Head of corporate Finance Ms. Liu Haining, Head of China Advisory and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance.

February 15 , 2014 (PR No. 480)

Finance Minister holds meeting with Vice President European Investment Bank, Ms. Magdalena Alverez Arza

Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, accompanied by Secretaries Finance Division, Economic Affairs Division and Water and Power Division had a meeting with Vice President European Investment Bank Ms. Magdalena Alverez Arza and her team alongwith EU Ambassador here today.

Welcoming the Vice President EIB Finance Minister said that present democratic government in Pakistan has developed a policy whereby local and overseas investors are fully protected, sovereign guarantees through well designed financial instruments are available and offer attractive returns to the overseas energy sector investors that can secure their investment related economic interests.

Finance Minister acknowledged the assistance of EIB on different projects especially Kheyal Khawar Project.

Finance Minister presented a snapshot of Pakistan’s economy to the Vice President EIB stating that Pakistan has inherited a complex economic situation with macro-economic imbalances. The present government has focused its attention to the issues of economy, energy and extremism. Besides, it is fully geared towards increasing the existing 14000MW power potential upto 22,000MW in next four years in order to address country’s growing commercial and industrial sectors’ needs. In medium terms, the government believes in increasing country’s power generation potential upto 40,000MW in consideration of future energy-based needs in all sectors of development.

The Finance Minister further briefed the Vice President EIB on Pakistan’s recently having undergone a successful review with IMF by completing all significant procedures, entitling release of third tranche to Pakistan under Extended Fund Facility.

Pakistan actually has inherited a wrong energy mix which heavily is tilted in favour of expensive thermal power generation that needs to be reversed, Finance Minister emphasized.

Ms. Magdalena Alverez Arza, during the course of discussion, stated that her bank would support renewable energy projects in Pakistan since Pakistan has been blessed with tremendous opportunities in renewable power generation sector which needs to be fully tapped as it remains unexplored and underutilized. EIB is looking forward to Pakistan’s working on wind power projects to meet its enhanced energy needs. Moreover, EIB has a structured mandate to support power projects through capacity building of Pakistan’s relevant stakeholders, she assured the Finance Minister and his team.

The Vice President EIB shared her bank’s views as to whether GOP would prefer to use same mode of financing as EIB currently is engaged in offering during the course of its energy related investment in Central Asian Republics. The Finance Minister stated that Pakistan has 90,000MW power generation capacity on Indus River cascading down to the plains of the country from its place of origin and this power generation potential can attract overseas investment. The Finance Minister took this opportunity to explain to Vice President EIB the salient features of proposed Diamer Bhasha Hydropower Project which has a predesigned feature of building a water reservoir that can support Pakistan’s power and water related needs if overseas investment also is packaged in it.

The Finance Minister explained to the Vice President that the global commercial market and multilateral donors have expressed interest in offering structured investments in Pakistan. The Vice President EIB assured that her bank would analyze Pakistan’s overall renewable and hydro energy generation potential for possible future investment in the country.

February 15 , 2014 (PR No. 479)

Second Meeting of Economic Advisory Council held under the chair of Finance Minister

The second meeting of Economic Advisory Council (EAC) was held at the Finance Ministry today with Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar in the chair.

Finance Minister welcomed the members of the Economic Advisory Council and expressed the hope that the second meeting shall mark re-activation of EAC, enabling the forum to provide an opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with prominent professionals associated with the economic development issues of Pakistan. Ministry of Finance wanted to benefit from their collective wisdom and was open to any suggestion which could add value. If we all put our heads together we can turn around Pakistan’s economy, he added. Ministry of Finance was ready to provide EAC members access and arrange meetings so that the latter can play a productive role in reshaping Pakistan’s economy.

Finance Minister briefed the members of EAC regarding Pakistan’s economic indicators which have been positively registered by IMF in terms of upward surge in development sectors. GDP now is going up and inflation is declining because of proactive measures undertaken by the present government during its less than one years’ incumbency. Stability in the forex market is another factor, besides POL prices in international market getting favourably settled. The Minister added that overall financial forecast/projection speaks of food and POL prices registering stability to the benefit of country’s economy.

The Minister informed the meeting participants that 10% increase in overseas remittances has been registered upto the current month and revenue collection targets have registered 17.5% growth in 7 months and 21% in January 2014 as compared to same period last year. The government intends to positively enhance the reserves upto 16 billion US dollars by end of December 2014. The meeting participants were further briefed that multilateral donors visiting Pakistan are keen to invest and contribute to strengthening of Pakistan’s economy through various negotiated financial instruments. By end of March 2014 a sizeable increase in forex reserves is anticipated with a projected figure more than 10 billion dollars since forex inflows are adding up steadily.

The FBR management informed the EAC participants regarding rationalization of its taxation-based concessionary regime , with a projected revenue collection target during 2013-14 touching Rs.2471 billion as against the previous year’s (2012-13) revenue collection of Rs.1946 billion.

Presentation on oil and gas reserves in Pakistan was given to the participants, which evoked stimulating discussion and way forward.

EAC participants expressed their satisfaction over the policy statement of the Finance Minister. The 30% austerity measures adopted by the present democratic government are likely to generate enough financial cushion to meet its fiscal deficit target . The EAC members also suggested that MOF should upgrade Debt Management Office to streamline the national debt-related issues through an exhaustive consolidation of financial figures/tabulation. The Debt Limitation Act 2005 should also be implemented to streamline all debt related financial instruments, EAC members stressed.

February 14 , 2014 (PR No. 478)

Finance Minister chairs meeting of Grey Traffic and Spectrum Auction Advisory Committee

Meetings of the Grey Traffic and Spectrum Auction Advisory Supervisory Committee were held under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at the Finance Ministry, this evening.

The meeting was also attended by Mr. Shahid Hamid, Minister for Science and Technology, Ms. Anusha Rehman, Minister of State for Information Technology, Secretary I.T Dr. Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Mr. Ikhlaq Tarrar and senior officials of the government.

Chairman PTA briefed the meeting on the measures taken to curb the grey traffic and informed that 14% increase in white traffic has been witnessed in the month of January, 2014 as compared to December, 2013. During this period 40,000 suspected IPs were blocked.

It was emphasized that PTA shall continue its efforts and take all necessary steps to eliminate grey traffic.

In the meeting of Spectrum Auction Advisory Supervisory Committee the progress regarding the auction process was hightlighted by the Chairman PTA. The committee was also informed regarding the discussion which Ministry of IT and PTAs delegation had during roadshows/meetings in Saudi Araiba and Qatar early this week.

February 14 , 2014 (PR No. 477)

Beverage industry reaffirmed its commitment to increase net tax payment by 25%

A meeting  between FBR authorities and representative of the Beverage Companies was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar today to discuss the revenue collection under the Capacity Tax rules.

The Finance Minister observed that the capacity system had been introduced in the last budget in order to allow the industry to work freely, without unnecessary interventions from the department, and at the same time, contribute to the national exchequer.

Chairman FBR presented the revenue performance of the aerated water industry during the first six months of the financial year, and suggested various options to meet the projected targets.

The industry representatives re-affirmed their commitment to increase their net tax payment by 25%, re-iterated their desire to continue with the capacity system. However, there was some difference of opinion on the modalities for meeting the said targets. Accordingly, it was decided to hold the next meeting on Wednesday, the 19th of February, 2014. In conclusion, the Finance Minister expressed his confidence on the business community and his expectation that the industry would fulfill its commitments.

February 14 , 2014 (PR No. 476)

Chairman United States House Appropriation Committee meets Finance Minister

The USA House Appropriation Committee (US-HAC) delegation led by the Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Defence, Mr. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen had a meeting in Ministry of Finance on issues of bilateral political and economic concerns on Friday. The Pakistani side was led by Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar and his team which had representation from Ministry of Defence.

The Minister for Finance briefed the US-HAC delegation about the role, mandate and functioning of Ministry of Finance under the federal government. He underscored Government of Pakistan’s special emphasis on three specific areas of development focus : “Economy, Energy and Security” in the wider context of regional and international situation as well as sharing an update on bilateral relations. The Minister reiterated that clearance of Coalition Support Funds (CSF) from USA needed to be streamlined and quickened to meet regional political exigencies. It was placed on record that Pakistan’s ongoing financial stringencies in the wake of instant security situation in the Af-Pak Region needed special attention by both the countries in post-allied forces withdrawal in 2014 onwards.

 It was impressed upon the visiting USA-HAC delegation that Pakistan did have noticeable concerns in the context of ongoing complex regional security situation which primarily constituted Pakistan’s current democratic government’s political focus for peace to be given a fair chance. The Minister for Finance brought home to the visiting USA-HAC delegation the enormity of Pakistan’s human and economic loss in the wake of ongoing war on terror. The Finance Minister underlined that the political government and the armed forces in Pakistan are on one page in prioritizing strategic options to curb terrorism and attain the mutually-shared goals of peace in the region.

The USA delegation expressed its fullest possible understanding of untold sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in terms of loss of human life and persistent set backs to national economy. It assured the Pakistani side to continue to work for supportive efforts to scale down all procedural impediments in order to streamline CSF processing.

Pakistani side led by Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar also presented a political review of Af-Pak situation in post-Nato and USA forces withdrawal that did merit strategically worked out prudent handling, taking stock of historical political factors relating to a difficult geographical terrain in the region. It was stressed that Pakistan and USA needed to join their efforts leading to a compact strategic deliberations process which did have a positive political forecast resulting in political and economic stabilization in Af-Pak Region.

The Minister emphasized that both the countries needed to re-focus their  strategic considerations in the region and mutually work for political and economic rehabilitation of a war-torn part of South West Asia. The present democratic government in Pakistan shared its commonality of views with its USA counterparts beyond 2014 in terms of bilaterally useful alliances which also took into account all political, economic and military dimensions of a complex situation in the region, the Minister added.

The Pakistani side further impressed upon its USA counterparts the significance the people of Pakistan attached with cherished moderate value system that did merit deeper understanding by USA Government and the people both.

Mr. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen appreciated Pakistani citizens social diaspora in USA, describing it entrepreneurial, dynamic and energetic which usefully is contributing to USA’s political economy in all sectors of development. He assured Pakistan’s Finance Minister USA’s continued support that would focus mutually beneficial work for peace and stability in the Af-Pak region through a package of political and economic support that is bilaterally identified.

The Ambassador of USA to Pakistan Mr. Richard Olson also attended the meeting.

February 13 , 2014 (PR No. 475)

FOREX Reserves to hit double digit by end of March, 2014

A meeting to review the overall economy with the focus on external financing was held at the Ministry of Finance under the chairmanship of the Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar today.

The Finance Minister gave detailed instructions to accelerate the pace of efforts already being made by the Finance Division.

Senator Dar reiterated that with the grace of Allah and with our sincere efforts we will take the foreign exchange reserves to more than $ 10 billion by the end of March, 2014 and Insha-Allah around $ 16 billion by the end of December, 2014.

International Financial Institutions (IFIs) have reposed their confidence in the policies of the present government and expressed that the economy was now moving in the right direction.

IMF has reviewed downwards its figures for inflation it projected earlier and raised the projection of the GDP growth from earlier 2.8% to 3.1% said the Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar.

The meeting was attended by the senior officials of the Finance Ministry.

February 13 , 2014 (PR No. 474)

ECC Reviews implementation status of earlier 968 decisions and expresses satisfaction

A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet was held under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at Prime Minister’s Office today. ECC considered five agenda items submitted by various Ministries/Divisions.

ECC of the Cabinet considered Cabinet Division’s report on implementation status of  968 decisionspertaining to the period from 25.3.2008 to 16.3.2013 and 6.6.2013 to 12.2.2014. The ECC was informed that so far 865 decisions have been complied which come to 89% implementation status. The Cabinet Division submitted the Implementation Report to ECC of the Cabinet in terms of Rule-24(5) of Rules of Business-1973. The ECC, while reviewing the implementation status, expressed satisfaction over 89% compliance report and directed Cabinet Division to seek implementation report for the remaining 103 decisions which related to various Federal Government Ministries/Divisions.

 While considering the satisfactory implementation status of its previous decisions during the period under report, ECC of the Cabinet directed Aviation Division to submit its viable business and fleet expansion plan on fast track basis -- while completing necessary consultative process with relevant GOP stakeholders. It further directed Commerce and Textile Industry Division to fast track implementation of its earlier decisions taken during January 2014 and submit compliance report in the next ECC meeting.

The meeting was informed that CPI for the month of January 2014 declined to 7.9% as compared to 9.5% o f the same month last year. Further, in view of the fact GDP has grown prominently to 5.2% in first quarter of this financial year as against 2.9% of same quarter last year, IMF has revised upward its projection of GDP growth from 2.8% to 3.1%. IMF has expressed satisfaction as growth is picking up and economy is moving in the right direction.  

The forum further considered Ministry of Water and Power’s summary and approved in principle one year extension in FBR’s SRO of 21 February 2008 on the ground that NEPRA has directly determined tariff for the current year and, secondly, the burden should not be passed on to the consumers. ECC further decided to constitute a committee comprising Secretaries Ministry of Finance, Water and Power and Chairman FBR to work out modalities for the said extension.   

ECC considered Cabinet Division’s summary for proposed amendments in OGRA Ordinance to monitor prices of all refined oil products and decided to constitute a committee led by Minister for Science and Technology, with Secretaries’ representation from Law and Justice, Finance and OGRA to consider afresh proposed amendments and other amendments, if any, in OGRA Ordinance before its referral to ECC for consideration of approval and subsequent placement in CCI for final decision.

 It considered Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms report on import and distribution of fertilizer but deferred consideration for want of necessary homework. It constituted a sub-committee of  ECC under Minister for Planning and Development to review jurisdictional placement of different federal government organizations after devolution (post-18th Amendment) for review on professional lines, focusing synergy, improved governance and coordination. The said sub-committee shall comprise Ministers and Secretaries from renamed and recreated Federal Ministries/Divisions in post- devolution governance scene. ECC further directed the said sub-committee to complete its due deliberations and submit recommendations for improved governance and streamlined functioning of federal government organizations within three weeks.

ECC directed Ministry of Commerce to exhaust its earlier sugar export bracket of permission (four lac tons) and revert to ECC for any additionality on need basis.

 The ECC meeting was attended by Minister for I&B, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Minister for Planning and Development, Minister for Science and Technology and other federal government secretaries/senior officers.

February 12 , 2014 (PR No. 473)

ECNEC approves nine projects costing Rs.324.506 Billion

A meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) was held at Prime Minister’s Office with the Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar in chair.

ECNEC in its meeting today considered nine projects which sectorally included agriculture, education and training, health and nutrition, energy and water having different costing details.

ECNEC approved “Sindh Agricultural Growth Project” at a total cost of Rs.8,867.463 million. The project is closely related with sectoral issues and would improve the productivity of agriculture, horticulture and livestock sector in Sindh Province.

The Forum also approved “Capacity Building of Teachers Training Institutions and Training of Elementary School Teachers project in Punjab” at a total cost of Rs.3137.752 million that would extend provision of quality education as one of the objectives of the MTDF 2005-10, besides providing quality teacher education in the Punjab Province. The ECNEC directed that other provinces, most specifically Balochistan, may also bring similar projects for consideration of the competent forum on need basis.

It also approved “KPK Government’s Project titled Integration of Health Services Delivery with special focus on EPI and Lady Health Workers Programme” and other allied sectors relating to nutrition, advising a committee comprising Secretaries Finance, Planning, IPC and Chief Secretary KPK to work out consensus on period of financing during or beyond currency of 7th NFC Award. ECNEC directed the Planning and Development Division to seek guidance of CCI in case any modification is needed.

“Nutrition Support Programme Project” in Sindh (NSP) was also approved at a total cost of Rs.4117.90 million including a prospective IDA loan component. The project focuses improvement of health facilities, capacity building and strengthening of mother and child nutrition and health status as part of national MDGs.

ECNEC approved in principle “Jamshoro Supercritical Units using blends of sub-Bituminous Coal and Domestic Lignite coal fired Power Project”, advising that CDWP observations on technical and financial details be worked out in consultation with all federal government stakeholders followed by necessary modifications where needed.

ECNEC approved “PESCO’s Distribution of Power (DOP) and Distribution Rehabilitation plus Energy Loss Reduction Projects” at a total cost of Rs.25062.56 million, dilating hundred percent financing by the originating and executing agency. ECNEC directed Ministry of Water and Power to raise partial loan for PESCO support in consultation with Ministry of Finance where needed. Both the projects shall focus better power provision facilities to new consumers by putting in place low transmission and heavy transmission lines in PESCO system. This would further upgrade technical infrastructure to be arranged at proposed new sites and would help in providing the basic minimum service to the end users. Both the projects would also improve the existing distribution network and reduce the overburdened power distribution system with proper planning and management within the PESCO jurisdiction.

It also approved Ministry of Water and Power’s project titled “Evacuation of Power from 1000MW Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park at Lal Suhanra”, District Bahawalpur at a total cost of Rs.4066.73 million. The project will reduce the power shortage in the country with the help of solar power generating plants through NTDC power transmission network.

ECNEC also approved “PAEC’s Acquisition of Land, Development of some basic facilities for Nuclear Power Plant Project” at Muzaffargarh at a total cost of Rs.1679.504 million, directing Ministry of Water and Power to consult NEPRA about future determination of civil-nuclear energy’s upfront tariff

taking into consideration all technical and financial details relating local and foreign component.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Planning Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Mr. Pervez Rashid, Provincial Finance Ministers and senior officials of the Federal and Provincial Governments.

February 12 , 2014 (PR No. 472)

Asian Development Bank to provide US$ 900 million for Jamshoro Power Generation Project (JPGP)

Government of Pakistan and Asian Development Bank have signed the Loan Agreement for 900 million US$ for Jamshoro Power Generation Project today at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat in the presence of Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar.

The loan agreement was signed by the Secretary, Economic Affairs Division Ms. Nargis Sethi and Country Director, Asian Development Bank, Mr. Werner E. Liepach. The Project Agreement was signed between Project Executing Agency through Mohammad Anwar Brohi, Chief Executive Officer, Jamshoro Power Company Ltd. and Mr. Aftab Ahmed Nadeem, Joint Secretary/Chief Executive Officer GENCO Holding Co. and Country Director, ADB.

 Through Jamshoro Power Generation Project two new supercritical coal-fired power generation units with the capacity of 2x600 MW will be constructed in Sindh province. The objectives of the proposed project is to increase affordable, reliable power generation and reduce power shortages in Pakistan. The project will be executed by GENCO Holding Company Limited and implemented by Jamshoro Power Company Limited in Sindh. This will both create employment in Sindh and help solve our energy crisis.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Finance thanked ADB for providing vital support to Pakistan specially to address the power shortage. He assured Pakistan’s commitment to mobilize all out efforts and scale up practices for reducing power shortages.

The Vice President, ADB thanked the Government of Pakistan and appreciated Government’s efforts to energize the Power Sector of Pakistan.

February 11 , 2014 (PR No. 471)

Asian Development Bank supportive of Pakistan's development initiatives

Mr. Wencai Zhang, Vice President (Operations) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), called on the Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at the Finance Ministry this morning and discussed Pakistan’s development goals and initiatives.

Mr. Zhang said that he was pleased to visit Pakistan and highly appreciated the sincere efforts being made by the present Government for the macro-economic development of the country.

He said that ADB has a long-standing and trustworthy relationship with Pakistan since 1966. ADB supports the present government in its reform efforts and development initiatives and that multilateral donors now have more confidence in the country’s economic management. He stated that “we are happy to see how the present Government has managed GDP growth, foreign exchange reserves, budget deficit and development of mega projects in the energy sector in a difficult period.”

Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar thanked the ADB Vice President for the approval of $ 900 million loan for Jamshoro power project stating that “we are highly committed to the development and macro-economic uplift of the country. We have taken certain unpopular decisions but these have been in larger interest of the country”.

Referring to economic indicators, the Finance Minister stated that government’s efforts were bearing fruit. He referred to the quarterly national accounts according to which GDP had grown by 5% in first quarter 2013-14 with strong growth in large scale manufacturing. He apprised the ADB team that IMF had revised upwards estimates of Pakistan’s GDP growth from 2.8% to 3.1% for the current financial year. He stated that the Government had a fiscal deficit target at 6.3% during the current fiscal year while foreign exchange reserves were expected to increase to $16 billion by end of 2014.

Speaking about Pakistan’s development initiatives, the ADB Vice President said that the Bank was finalizing the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) 2014-18 in consultation with its counterparts in Pakistan. He stated that it was up to Pakistan to prioritize its needs and that ADB would work with Pakistan as per the country’s priorities.

The Finance Minister stated that the Government was giving top priority to the energy sector and, with the clearing of circular debt, 1700 MW of energy had been added to the national grid. He stressed that Pakistan would undertake construction of both Diamer-Bhasha Dam and Dasu Hydropower Project. Both would add to Pakistan’s power generation capacity while the water reservoir of Diamer-Bhasha Dam would also address possible water shortage in the future. He urged the Bank to assist Pakistan as per its development priorities.

Mr. Wencai Zhang assured the Finance Minister that Asian Development Bank will participate in the Diamer-Bhasha project and is looking forward to be a partner in many other regional projects as well.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Finance, Secretary Planning, Secretary Water and Power and other senior officials.

February 11 , 2014 (PR No. 470)

US$ 352 million CSF released to Pakistan

US Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Richard G. Olson called on the Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar this afternoon at the Finance Ministry and discussed matters of bilateral economic interest.

The Finance Minister briefed the US Ambassador about the recently concluded review meetings with the IMF as well as his meetings with UAE leadership and Etisalat management.

Regarding the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), the Finance Minister thanked the US Government for disbursing the tranche of $352 million for the January-March 2013 quarter and requested early processing and disbursement of remaining tranches.

Mr. Olson assured the Finance Minister that the US wants to further improve its friendly relations with Pakistan and assured that the US will expedite the process of payment of the remaining amount of the CSF.

The two also discussed the upcoming meeting of the Economic Working Group scheduled to be held in Washington in the second week of April.

Mr. Olson informed the Finance Minister that a four member delegation of Congress Defence Committee are visiting Pakistan later during the week and would like to meet the Finance Minister.

The Finance Minister said he would welcome the Congressmen.

February 11 , 2014 (PR No. 469)

Implementation of decisions on Foreign Missions reviewed

Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting of the Committee to review the performance of different officers posted in foreign missions as the Finance Ministry this evening. The Committee reviewed in detail the implementation status of the decisions of the Committee regarding austerity measures in foreign missions.

The Committee stressed that the decisions on austerity measures in foreign missions had to be implemented and that issues being faced in certain cases had to be addressed urgently to make the exercise successful.

February 11 , 2014 (PR No. 468)

Netherlands wants to be Pakistan's partner in development process

Mr. Marcel De Vink, Dutch Ambassador to Pakistan called on the Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar in his office at the Finance Ministry this evening.

The two discussed the friendly bilateral relations between Pakistan and Netherlands. Mr. De Vink congratulated the Finance Minister on his recently concluded visit to Dubai for review meetings with the IMF and praised him for adopting policies that are steering economy to the path of recovery.

Mr. De Vink informed the Finance Minister that the Netherlands has been a supporter of Pakistan in grant of GSP Plus status to Pakistan He said that the Dutch Vice Minister of Trade and Commerce plans to visit Pakistan in the middle of March. Netherlands is interested in improving trade relations with Pakistan and increasing bilateral trade volume from the present $800 million to $ 1 billion in the near future. With Pakistan supporting export-led growth, Netherlands wants to be its partner in the development process.

He stated that Netherlands was arranging round table conferences to discuss the areas of trade co-operation with Pakistan and further intended to arrange workshops to guide Pakistani exporters. Pakistan was emerging as a favourite destination of the foreign investors and had the potential to double its growth rate in the coming years.

The Finance Minister welcomed the planned visit of Dutch Vice Minister for Trade and Commerce and assured Mr. De Vink that he is looking forward to build trust worthy and long standing trade relations with Netherlands. He also thanked the Dutch Ambassador for supporting Pakistan in attaining the GSP Plus status

February 07 , 2014 (PR No. 467)

Finance Minister meets Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak

The Federal Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Revenue and Statistics Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar met Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development of the United Arab Emirates at Abu Dhabi and discussed matters of mutual interests.

The Finance Minister enquired about the health of the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and conveyed good wishes and prayers of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his good health and long life.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan said that the United Arab Emirates leadership and its people enjoy close historical and cultural relations with the people and leadership of Pakistan. He expressed the confidence that these relations would strengthen further with the passage of time.

Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar said that Pakistan and UAE enjoy close fraternal relations which were deep rooted in shared history, culture, and heritage. Pakistani leadership and its people value its bond of fraternity and look forward to expand cooperation with UAE in all fields, he added. The Minister said the Pakistani leadership and its people acknowledge UAE’s contributions and cooperation for the development of Pakistan. He said that we eulogize UAE progress and achievements.

Sheikh Nahyan expressed his confidence that the present government in Pakistan would soon overcome the economic challenges confronting the country.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyansaid Pakistan is his second home and assured that his government would extend all possible cooperation for economic development of Pakistan.

The Finance Minister said that the government had taken a number of bold initiatives to bring financial discipline and turnaround the economy of Pakistan. He stated that the government was incentivizing foreign investment in all fields including oil and gas sector to accelerate pace of economic development in the country. The Finance Minister while talking to Sheikh Nahyan said that Pakistan could provide skilled manpower for the growing UAE economy. Alluding to the forthcoming spectrum license auction in Pakistan, the Finance Minister expressed the hope that telecom companies from the Middle East countries would participate in it

The Finance Minister thanked Sheikh Nahyan for his leadership’s continued support to Pakistan.

The Finance Minister was accompanied by Ambassador of Pakistan to United Arab Emirates Mr. Asif Durrani and officials of the Embassy.

February 06 , 2014 (PR No. 466)

CEO Dubai Islamic Bank meets Finance Minister

A delegation of Dubai Islamic Bank led by its   CEO  Dr Adnan Chilwan  met the Finance Minister  Senator Mohammad Ishaq  Dar today  in Dubai, on the  sidelines of his meetings with IMF.

During the meeting  they discussed various  avenues of co-opertaion  between DIB and government of Pakistan.The meeting was a follow up of an earlier meeting  held in Islamabad on January 29,2014.  

The Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar while talking to   Dr Adnan Chilwan said that the government is committed to increase the Foreign Exchange Reserves of the country to double digits by March and US $16 billion by the end of the current year. In this connection several International Financial Institutions and International Banks were now approaching the government which is a testimony of the confidence they have in its economic policies..

The Finance Minister said that the government is keen to promote Islamic Banking in the country and has recently constituted a Steering Committee to fast track the work on its promotion.

The Finance Minister expressed the hope that the Government of Pakistan and DIB would work closely to achieve the fundamental objective of promoting Islamic Banking besides increasing cooperation to facilitate trade and investment in Pakistan.

During the meeting Dr Adnaan  Chilwan expressed the desire that DIB is keen to work closely with the Government of Pakistan particularly in the promotion of Islamic Banking in the country  and was ready to assist in floating of Sukuk Bonds by Pakistan. DIB   was one of the pioneers of Islamic Banking and has worked with various countries in advisory capacity to help them carry out transactions in Islamic mode, he added.

Dr Adnan Chilwan said that  Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB)  was also  eager  to participate  in the upcoming  disinvestment of Public Sector Entities(PSE’s)  in Pakistan and was ready to offer its financial and technical support to assist the Government of Pakistan .

 Secretary Finance Dr. Waqar Masood and Mr Shahid Mahmood, Additional Secretary,External Finance were also present during the meeting.

February 04 , 2014 (PR No. 465)

Finance Minister Calls on UAE Prime Minister

The Federal Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Revenue and Statistics Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar delivered a letter from Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates in Dubai today when he called on him at the Royal Palace.

The Finance Minister discussed matters of bilateral interests with Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum and lauded the excellent fraternal relations and special bonds of friendship existing between the two countries. Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar said that the government and people of Pakistan look forward to the early visit of Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid to Pakistan.

Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that the UAE and Pakistan have always supported each other. He appreciated the invaluable contribution and role of Pakistanis in the development of UAE and expressed the hope that the fraternal bilateral relations would be further strengthened in the months and years ahead. 

The Finance Minister also conveyed the best wishes and prayers of the people of Pakistan for the good health and long life of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

February 04 , 2014 (PR No. 464)

The Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar holding meeting with IMF delegation in Dubai on February 4, 2014.

February 04 , 2014 (PR No. 463)

Finance Minister meets UAE Minister

The Federal Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Revenue and Statistics Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar held a meetings with Dr. Anwar Mohammad Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in UAE Parliament   in Abu Dhabi. The meeting was held on the sidelines of meeting with IMF in Dubai which are still continuing.

Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar conveyed good wishes and prayers of the Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for the health and long life of the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Congratulating the United Arab Emirates on hosting Expo 2020, the Finance Minister said that Pakistan cherished its close brotherly relations with the United Arab Emirates. and praised its economic development as a manifestation of sound economic policies and wise leadership. Pakistan and UAE had always supported each other in multilateral forums, besides enjoying close and cordial relations, said the Finance Minister.    

Reciprocating the greetings of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Minister of State said that Pakistan had always been a closed friend of the United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Anwar Mohammad Gargash appreciated the pro-business policies of the present government of Pakistan. He expressed his optimism that Pakistan would soon come out of its economic problems as an experienced leadership was at the helm of its affairs. Pakistan needs to increase business outreach not only to public sector but also the private sector of UAE, he suggested. He said that a number of UAE nationals intend to go to Pakistan for investment because they were familiar with the country and its people. He assured that UAE government would extend support to Pakistan to attract foreign investment.

During the meeting the Finance Minister also discussed the out standing payment of US$ 800 million by Etisalat. The Finance Minister said that though only a few properties remained to be transferred in the name of PTCL, Etisalat only held 26% of its shares.

 During the meeting the Finance Minister also discussed the possibilities of favorable terms of payment of oil purchase by Pakistan from UAE.

The Minister of State said that the current year was a good year for UAE economy. He said that economy had again started picking up with increase activity in the tourism industry, banking and construction sectors.  

The Finance Minister said that the present government believes in market economy and facilitation of businesses to enhance production, address unemployment and provide long term economic relief to the common man. In this connection, he said the government had taken a number of difficult decisions to bring in financial discipline.

Senator Ishaq Dar stated that the government was incentivizing oil and gas exploration to overcome energy shortages. He further said the said that Pakistan’s industry had shown a positive growth of 5.2 percent in the first quarter of FY-14 while revenue’s collection in January2014 was Rs 167 Billion indicating an increase of 26 percent over the collection of January last year which was a positive indicator that the revenue target would be achieved, he added.

The Finance Minister invited the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs to visit Pakistan.


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