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Event Title: Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue Presiding over a meeting of the committee at Parliament House Islamabad

Event Date: 2023-08-30

Meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue was held here at Parliament House on Wednesday with Senator Saleem Mandviwalla in Chair.
The Senate Committee expressed concerns over the growing dollar instability, unprecedented elelctricity cost and a 22% interest rate that are making it challenging for current businesses to survive and thrive. Senator Mohsin Aziz highlighted the issue of'Capacity Payment' currently stands at Rs.1.2 Trillion, being paid to IPP's, and advised that the government should reconsider its agreement with them.Caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar stated that Country's economy need a lot of fixing and ministry is tirelessly working on multilateral fronts to deliver the task. She stressed that mobilisation of local resources and structural reforms in State Owned Enterprises is the need of the hour and it will bears fruit for the struggling economy. Caretaker Finance Minister decided to provide a comprehensive briefing on Country's Economy to Standing Committee in the upcoming week.

The Committee deliberated on the Private Member Bill titled "The State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill,2023". Senator Mushtaq Ahmed,mover of the bill, apprised that purpose of the bill is to curtail the unbridled powers of the State Bank of Pakistan and enable the government to borrow money from the SBP. However, Dr. Inayat Hussain, Deputy Governor SBP, argued that the amendment made in the previous year was aligned with the ongoing IMF program and aimed to instill fiscal responsibility in government operations. The Committee deferred the deliberations on the bill till the next meeting.

Furthermore, the senate body was briefed on Azad Jammu and Kashmir Budget.Chuadhry Anwarul Haq, the Prime Minister of AJK, highlighted that AJK produces approximately 2600 MW of electricity each year, with a consumption of 350 MW. He appealed to the government to provide electricity to the people of AJK at production costs and requested the allocation of the share mentioned in the Federal Divisible Share Pool.The Committee recommended the government to addressed the reservations expressed by AJK Prime Minister.

In addition to that, the committee discussed the Point of Public Importance raised by Senator Hilal ur Rehman regarding the non payment of compensation to the affectees of Mohmand dam. Senator Hilal ur Rehman informed that Affectees have not been paid according to the rates specified in the project's PC-I (project cost estimation).District Administration Mohmand stated that rates have been finalised through negotiations with affectees. The Committee deferred the deliberations on the matter till the next meeting.

The meeting was attended by Senator Sherry Rehman, Senator Saadia Abbasi, Senator Zeeshan Khanzada, Senator Mohsin Aziz, Senator Kamil Ali Agha, Senator Dilawar Khan, Senator Manzoor Ahmed, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, Senator Hilal ur Rehman, Caretaker Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shamshad Akhtar, Secretary Finance Division Imdad Ullah Bosal,Deputy Governor SBP Dr. Inayat Hussain and other senior officers of relevant departments were also in attendance.