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Event Title: Meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue was held here at Parliament House on Wednesday with Senator Saleem Mandviwalla in Chair.

Event Date: 2022-12-07

The Senate body congraluted the Khawaja Masood Akhtar owner of 'FORWARD Sports' for being the Pakistan sole company, whose footballs were used in FIFA 2022 Qatar World Cup. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla stated that Mr. Khawaja is an another success story of Pakistan, whose footsteps shall be followed by the other industrialists of Pakistan. He further added that Mr. Khawaja played a pivotal role in displaying the postive image of Pakistan worldwide. The committee also endorsed Mr. Khawaja named for the Highest Civilian Award for his contributions in manufacturing industry.

Furthermore, the committee was apprised on withdrawal of appeals by Federal government against the verdict of Federal Shariat Court on Interest/Riba. Officials of State Bank Of Pakistan (SBP) informed the committee that, Federal Shariat Court in his judgement pronounced that Riba shall be eliminated from country till June 2022. However, the appeal was filed to extend the time period and for the guidance of Federal Shariat court in this matter. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, State Minister for Finance and Revenue, told that every political party has expressed inclination toward the elimination of interest/Riba and SBP is working on transformational plan, which will be implemented in the coming years. The Plan doesn't aim at the transition of whole finace system, however it is limited to certain windows and products, she added. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla informed that, Bank of China and other Foreign Banks wrote a letter about this pertinent matter and advised the ministry to address their reservations in this regard.

Moreover, the senate committee also discussed the matter relating to notices sent to business persons by FBR under Anti-Money Laundering Act. Asim Ahmad, Chairman FBR, informed the committee that Finacial Monitoring Unit (FMU) sent reports of suspicious transactions and before serving notice to other party these reports are also being verified by the third party. He further added only transactions worth Rs.10 Million or above are proceeded under Anti-Money Laundering Act. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla was of opinion that the matters of suspicious transactions should be investigated under Tax evasion instead of anti money laundering act. The Committee directed the FBR to take referred matter as test case and advised to be extra careful in scrutiny of all cases pointed out by FMU.

Additionally, the senate body also deliberated on property tax notice to 'Hayat Khimya Pvt. Ltd' by Punjab Excise and Taxation department. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla maintained that the company is located in Special Economic Zones and Government of Pakistan has clear policy, which states that factories located in Special Economic Zones are exempted from all sorts of taxes. The Chairman directed the BOI to sit with all provincial Special Economic Zones (SeZs) to avoid any mismanagement in the provision of all promised facilities and exemptions at the time of foreign investment in these zones. He also directed the Excise and Taxation department to not sent any notice further until the matter resolved.

Secondly, the issues confronted by 'Dawlance' were also taken up. Representative of Dawlance told the committee that due to non issuance of LCs the company is losing Rs.500 Million montly and around two thousand workes have been laid off so far. They further added that, if it continues then they are forced to shut down their factories. The Chair directed the ministry to address the issues at earliest and assured the company of full support. He also directed the ministry to submit progress on matter in the next fifteem days.

While discussing the matter of google payments stopped by SBP. Officials of SBP told that the cellular companies were directed to submit their contract documents to establish the misues and violation outside of their mandate by the 31st of December. The Chair directed the officials to provide progress on the matter once the deadline passed.

The senate committee was also briefed by ministry on vacant positions of board members of Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP). Ms. Rahat Kunain Hassan, Chairperson CCP, apprised the committee that advertisement for three vacant positions has been advertised yesterday and process will be completed soon enough. The Chair directed the ministry to submit details on the matter once the process is completed.

The meeting was attended by Senator Saadia Abbasi,Senator Shaukat Fayaz Ahmed Tarin,Senator Faisal Saleem Rehman,Senator Dilawar Khan,Senator Kamil Ali Agha,Senator Anwar ul Haq Kakar,Federal Minister of Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman, Senator Mohsin Aziz,State Minister for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha,Special Secretary Finance Awais Manzur Sumra, Chairman FBR Asim Ahmad and other concerned officers were also in attendance.