Accord with OECD likely to become operative by 2018, Senate body informed

Over 40 modern hospitals to be constructed in country’s deprived areas

ISLAMABAD, Oct 18 (APP): The Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization was informed Tuesday that the multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in tax matters with the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) would likely to become operative by 2018.

Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar signed the agreement on September 14 and resultantly Pakistan became 104th country to ink the treaty.

Briefing the committee which met here with Saleem Mandviwala in the chair, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Nisar Muhammad Khan said the federal cabinet would ratify the agreement soon.

According to the agreement, three types of exchanges, including exchange of information on request, spontaneous exchange of information and automatic exchange of information on annual basis, could be made.

Nisar Khan said Pakistan had already launched a pilot project with HM Reveneu and Customs (HMRC), the United Kingdom’s tax authority, for exchange of tax information.

He said that the OECD had been monitoring this transfer of information, as it was prerequisite for making the OECD convention functional.

Meanwhile, officials of State Bank of Pakistan’s Banking Services Corporation (SBP-BSC) informed the committee that none of its offices was being shifted from their original locations.

According to the law, he said the head office of the corporation should stay in Karachi and none of its 16 offices was being relocated anywhere.

He said the SBP-BSC was installing machines for currency management in central and northern regions and for their management and operationalization it would have to depute some staff there. There was nothing to do with shifting of any offices to those regions, he added.

Earlier, the senate body deferred consideration on the private members bill titled the Partnership (Amendment Bill 2016) introduced on September 26

The body also deferred consideration of another private members bill titled the Protection of Economic Reforms (Amendment) Bill 2016 introduced on October 3 by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla.

The committee was also informed about the proposed amnesty scheme for real estate sector.

On the follow-up of the issue of 386 imported vehicles held at Peshaawr Dry Port, the FBR Chairman informed the committee that the matter was sub-judice.

He assured the committee that FBR would act in accordance with the decision of the high court regarding the matter.

The committee appreciated that on its notice, a payment was made to one Abdul Razzaq by the government under the Qarz Utaro Mulk Sanwaro Scheme.

The meeting was attended by senators Ilyas Ahmed Bilour, Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari, Ms Ayesha Raza Farooq, Muhammad Talha Mehmood, Nasreen Jalil, Kamil Ali Agha, Mushahid ullah Khan, Sardar Fateh Muhammad Hussani, Mohsin Aziz and Muhammad Azam Khan Swati.