Senate body rejects SBP concerns on amendment in Protection of Economic Reforms Act, 1992

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Finance Revenue and Economic Affairs here on Thursday rejected the concerns of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on a Private Member Bill to amend the ‘Protection of Economic Reforms Act, 1992’.

The Committee which met here with Senator Saleem Mandviwalla in the chair discussed the Protection of Economic Reforms Amendment Bill, 2016.

Speaking in the meeting, Chairman of the Committee asked the SBP that if all the things were covered in State Bank Act, then why this bill was introduced in 1992.

He observed that the committee was not satisfied with the arguments being presented in the meeting by the SBP and their fear about capital outflow after the amendment in the bill was not appropriate.

However, he said that all the concerns would be addressed before making any amendment and legislation for the uplift and development of the national economy.

Meanwhile, the officials of the Ministry of Finance informed the committee that decision for revising the currency carrying limit was enhanced with mutual consensus of SBP to facilitate the people travelling abroad.

Secretary Finance apprised the committee that in 2013-14, government had provided funds to Pakistan Development Fund Limited for infrastructure and energy related projects.

The amount was showed as expenses in the federal budget and it was not used to understate the budget deficit as it was an expenditure on the social sector development projects, he added.

Discussing an other agenda item, regarding the re-appropriation made during last financial year, the officials of the Finance Ministry informed the committee that re-appropriation was made after the approval of principal accounting officers of the relevant ministries.

It was informed that these re-appropriations were mainly made to meet with the employees related expenses after fulfilling the other formalities required in this regard.

Speaking on the occasion, Senator Mohsin Khan Leghari was of the view that due to shortcomings and the poor planning, the cost of development projects always increased.

He asked for taking the Parliament onboard before making such re-appropriations in order to keep its over-sight on the developmental expenditures on the projects.

The committee was also informed that the government has allocated Rs. 500 million for the write-off of the outstanding loans against 5,000 widows.

They informed the committee that House Building Finance Corporation was also asked to update the list and submit it to the Ministry of Finance in this regard.

Senators, Mohisn Khan leghari, Ilyas Ahmad Bilour and Mohsin Aziz attended the meeting.Among others, senior officials of Ministry of Finance and SBP also attended the meeting.