ISLAMABAD – Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Fayyaz Ahmed Tarin has directed the authorities to work out a well-rounded proposal for providing targeted subsidies with firm timelines for onward submission before the cabinet.
He convened a meeting to finalise modalities for disbursement of targeted subsidies at the finance division. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishter and SAPM on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood were also present during the meeting. SAPM on social protection alleviation briefed the finance minister about different proposals which are under consideration for replacing the untargeted subsidies with the targeted ones in compliance with the directives of the prime minister to facilitate the under-privileged with more focused and extended coverage.
PM adviser on institutional reforms and austerity and sapm on finance and revenue deliberated on modalities for disbursement of subsidies at the point of sale including local convenience stores / Kiryana shops. The finance minister directed the authorities to keep in view the convenience of beneficiaries, as points of sale are located at distant locations in far-flung areas. He directed sapm on finance and revenue and sapm on social protection and poverty alleviation to work out a well-rounded proposal for providing targeted subsidies with firm timelines for onward submission before the cabinet.
In his concluding remarks, the finance minister stated that government is firmly committed to pro-poor agenda and supports economic empowerment of the under-privilege women through Ehsaas safety net. The primary objective is poverty alleviation, socio-economic uplift and financial inclusion of women from marginalised sections of the society.
Earlier, federal minister for finance and revenue held a meeting with the minister for industries and production, Makhdoom Khusroo Bakhtiyar at the finance division to discuss the features of a new credit scheme for the SME Sector. SAPM on finance revenue Dr Waqar Masood was also present during the meeting. Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Reza Baqir joined the meeting through video link.
SBP governor briefed the finance minister on the proposal for the provision of funds for the small businesses (without collateral) for tenure up to 3 years through the network of commercial banks. The banks will design innovative products to reach out to the smaller businesses whereas the government will provide risk sharing facility to the banks, he added. Reza Baqir also shared that, at present, there are around a hundred thousand small businesses availing the SME credit facilities provided by the commercial banks. The new scheme will accelerate the credit uptake ratio of the smaller businesses up to 30 per cent approximately during three years.
The finance minister lauded the scheme and affirmed to provide the seed money for the scheme. The provision of microcredit would create employment opportunities at the local level and in turn, enhance GDP growth and will help in achieving sustainable and robust economic growth, he concluded.
Meanwhile, in other development, vice president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), Ashfaq Yousuf Tola called on the federal minister for finance and revenue at the finance division today to present proposals on “Model Federal Budget 2021-22.” SAPM on revenue Dr Waqar Masood Khan and ICAP vice president Ali Latif, were also present during the meeting.
The finance minister welcomed the vice president ICAP Ashfaq Tola and discussed the proposals by the ICAP team for the economic growth and development of the country. The minister lauded the professional insight of the members of the ICAP and their valuable contribution.
The vice president ICAP briefed the minister about the sector-wise budget proposals prepared by the advisory committee of the ICAP for the first time. The model budget paper included recommendations for widening the tax net, increasing per capita income, managing the non-tax income, measures on domestic and foreign debt management and rationalising the pension expenditure. The vice president also appreciated the housing initiative of the federal government to boost economic activity and suggested ways means to extend the outreach.
The finance minister commended the efforts made by ICAP’s advisory committee in working out the budget proposals and reiterated firm commitment for formulation of a growth-oriented budget by following a participatory approach. The underlying rationale is to take all stakeholders on board for evolving consensus and coming up with innovative ideas to overcome economic challenges.