Tag Archives: Ministry of Finance

Budget Preparation Starts, Abolishing Pension and Increase in Pay Suggested

Budget Preparation Starts, Abolishing Pension and Increase in Pay Suggested


Shahid | January 10, 2018 | category: News

Budget preparation starts, abolishing pension and increase in pay suggested.The government has started budget preparations and commenced the consultation process with the concerned stakeholders including representatives of various chambers of commerce and industries and different business organizations.

In this regard Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has reconstituted his own team for preparing the budget for year 2018-19 as government is in hurry and interested to complete the work before the completion of the term of the assemblies.

The Prime Minister has appointed Haroon Akhtar Khan as his Advisor, with the status of Federal Minister, who will be responsible for the affairs of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), and consult with the business community to prepare the recommendations for improving the collection of taxes.

The Prime Minister has also appointed Miftah Ismail as his advisor who will be responsible for dealing with the international monetary organizations for seeking loans and other financial assistance from them. To deal with political elements, the Prime Minister has appointed Rana Afzal Khan as Minister of State for Finance, who will deal with the politicians and other local organizations to seek their proposals for the next budget.

According to sources of Ministry of Finance, the government has been working on a plan to abolish the system of pension and the salaries of the government servants will be increased accordingly to the level of private sector so that the financial burden on the government for the payment of pension could be abolished. In this proposal, which will be very difficult to be adopted by the government in its last year of the tenure, the government has received suggestions that instead of giving pension, the government officials will be given handsome salaries so that they can save sufficient money at the time of retirement.

The government has also discussed this proposal with the International Monitory Fund (IMF), the main lender of loans to Pakistan but still there is no progress on this proposal and it will be further discussed at various levels in the Ministry of Finance before the finalization of the next budget.
Meanwhile, the government has also discussing the proposals to increase the funds for improving the basic needs of life including power, provision of water, gas, health facilities, education and other such basic facilities and huge amount will be allocated in the next budget so that they can seek the support of the people on the occasion of the next elections.

The sources in the Ministry of Finance said that during the recent meetings of officials of Finance Department with the representatives of IMF, Pakistan has been advised by the IMF to prepare a three year frame work which include reduction on the foreign loans, prepare a comprehensive strategy for improving the debt payment in the next three years, as Pakistan has to pay back nine billion dollars during 2018 against the loans secured by the country.

The IMF also advised the officials of the Ministry of Finance to chalk out comprehensive strategy and take adequate and effective measures to reduce the trade deficit which has increased to US dollars 36 billion. In this regard the financial team of the Prime Minister has also been asked to prepare recommendations for increase in the revenues by the FBR, give incentives to increase foreign remittances and other such options.

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Fertilizer-Subsidy-notification

Fertilizer Subsidy-notification Still Awaited Despite Government’s Assurance


Sumera Saeed | July 24, 2017 | category: Business

The federal budget was passed on 13 June and was supposed to be followed up by issue of various SROs by FBR and notifications by relevant ministries. However, performance of some of the ministries has been deplorable in this regard. Disbursement mechanism for fertilizer subsidy announced by the Government has not been notified so far, thus adding to the anxiety of the industry, which is already running from pillar to post for release of subsidy pledged in past budget.

The industry however has started passing subsidy impact to the farmers, instead of hiking the prices or stopping the sales. The industry had initially stopped the sales, however, with an assurance from Ministry of Finance that; a fertilizer subsidy-notification will be issued very soon, the sales were resumed being peak period for the crops. Unfortunately, till date, this notification has not been issued, due to some unknown reasons or procedural-delays.

The previous notification envisaged payments on the basis of GST returns submitted by the companies. However, the Ministry of Food Security had added verification of sales by the provinces, against the spirit of their own notification. While the capacity of provinces was highly questionable, KPK and Sindh did not display the will to support initiative of the federal government. This led to highly sluggish processing of claims by Food Security Ministry, which itself was not equipped with wherewithal to handle the subsidy disbursement in this complex manner. Earlier in 2005 and 2008, this Ministry had been making payments on the basis of audited financial statements of the Companies.

This time in spite of submitting indemnity bonds by the companies, the official are not feeling confident to make payments because of unknown fears, notwithstanding their decision making capacity. This crisis has escalated because an unnecessarily complex verification procedure has been adopted for the payment of the fertilizer subsidy. Hence, the backlog of unpaid and overdue subsidy amounts has now risen to over 20 billion Rupees. The ‘Ministry of Finance’ and the ‘Ministry of Food Security’ both seem to disown the subsidy program announced by the government.

This Fertilizer industry is the biggest contributor to the national exchequer and it always cooperates with the government to support the agricultural sector. But, this apathy shown by the government may, once again, force the industry to stop the sale of urea, to put some pressure on the government. The crisis may even force the companies to refuse further participation in this important subsidy-programme.

The authorities must urgently resolve this matter, by relying primarily on GST returns submitted by these prudent companies. Thus, the process of claims-verification can be simplified and expedited. But if the government continues to delay the promised notification, the country may face a bigger agricultural crisis. The ministries must act fast for a timely resolution of this matter, to help the farmers get good crop-yields and enrich the national economy.

“The provincial governments also need to be sympathetic to their farming community and must realise that there can not be two prices of fertilisers, hence they have to cooperate with the federal government for the subsidy disbursement mechanism.”

 

Petroleum-Prices

OGRA Likely to Decrease Petroleum Prices


Sumera Saeed | May 29, 2017 | category: News

The Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has a plan to decrease the petroleum prices. In this regard they has outlined a summary and sent the recommendation to Petroleum Ministry.

The outlined summery by regulatory authority has suggested that the petrol price should be decreased by Rs 2.10 per liter, Rs 1.80 per liter reduction in high speed diesel, Rs 1.50 per liter in light speed diesel while the price of Kerosene oil is also likely to drop by Rs 3 per liter.

According to sources the new petroleum prices will be applied from 1st June 2017, after the approval of Ministry of Finance.