Parliamentary panel dissatisfied with govt’s decision to establish border markets | Pakistan Today

Parliamentary panel dissatisfied with govt’s decision to establish border markets

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel on Tuesday showed dissatisfaction over the government’s decision of establishing border markets in Balochistan.

The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Division was held under the chair of Senator Farooq H Naik, and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Javed Ghani briefed the committee about the new markets.

He stated that the government is not charging sales tax and federal excise duty on exports in Gwadar and that it is only taking one per cent income tax for the development and prosperity of the area. Furthermore, he said that the government has provided tax-free facilities in Gwadar to improve exports.

The committee was also informed that the government is establishing border markets in Balochistan to curb smuggling and provide job opportunities to the local people. Prime Minister Imran Khan has recently approved the establishment of two border markets in Balochistan and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). These markets are to be completed by February of next year.

FBR officials also remarked the committed that the government could not control the smuggling completely due to limited resources. The committee chairman replied that black marketing and smuggling would increase if border markets were established.

The committee has also discussed the question raised by Senator Kalsoom Parveen in the Senate session held on February 4, 2020, regarding complaints in Silk Bank. The official of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had informed the committee that a total of 42 complaints have been received in the last five months.

They added that SBP forwards the complaints to the particular bank to resolve them, and if the bank fails to respond to the issues properly, the complaints are forwarded to the banking ombudsman.

The committee members were dissatisfied with this reply and the chairman directed the SBP to submit a detailed report to the committee in this regard.

The committee also discussed the resolution regarding the introduction of uniform pay scales for all government employees. This resolution had been previously moved by Senator Zeeshan Khanzada in the Senate on July 13. The committee was informed that pay scales in all government’s office are the same. However, some of the institutions are providing additional allowances due to the nature of their jobs.