APP20-18 ISLAMABAD: July 18 - Caretaker Federal Minister for IBNH & LH Syed Ali Zafar addressing a press conference at PID Media Centre. APP photo by Javed Qureshi


ISLAMABAD, Jul 18 (APP):Minister for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Barrister Syed Ali Zafar said the federal cabinet in its meeting Wednesday decided that sales tax on electricity and manufacturing, and income tax on profits would not be collected in FATA and PATA.
Addressing a press conference here, he said tax exemptions announced for FATA in the tenure of previous government would be implemented as part of plan of merger of tribal areas into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said the federal cabinet which met on Tuesday took different decisions to facilitate merger of FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The Prime Minister had constituted a committee headed by him to facilitate the merger of FATA and the committee had held many meetings with different stakeholders, he added.
He said neither sales nor income tax would be levied for five years in FATA. Sales tax on electricity bills of domestic, commercial and industrial consumers in FATA would not be collected either. The provincial governor would issue an ordinance for taxation matters in FATA, he added.
People of FATA would get their constitutional rights and other facilities, while jurisdiction of Supreme Court and High Court as per constitution and law would be extended to former tribal areas, he added.
The minister said FATA merger law was passed by Parliament on May 31 and as all the infrastructure and offices could not be built all of a sudden, so the caretaker government had to take measures.
He said billions of rupees would be spent on development of FATA in the next 10 years. Donor agencies had also expressed interest to fund development projects in FATA, he added.
The minister said the cabinet discussed law and order in the country, adding political parties should follow the procedures for ensuring security at public meetings and keep the administration informed about their activities.
It was decided in the cabinet meeting that political parties would be taken on board about the security situation in the country, he informed.
Ali Zafar said the cabinet discussed the issue of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and reviewed the steps for implementation of policy decisions.
He said the policy directions of the cabinet would help the next government in meeting requirements of FATF.
The minister said after transfer of Nawaz Sharif to Adiala Jail, as a one off measure, Accountability Court held proceedings for a day due to security situation.
He said it was decided by the cabinet that Accountability Court would hold trial of Nawaz Sharif in an open court. Nawaz Sharif should get the right of fair trial under Article 10 of the Constitution.
Ali Zafar said Nawaz Sharif should get facilities in jail according to the jail manual.
He said Pakistan Television would hold grand debate and invite leaders of political parties to present their viewpoint on different issues before the public.
The minister said after changes in law, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) could issue direction to the media about coverage.
He said people had objected that media covered the arrival of Nawaz Sharif in Lahore last Friday, but did not cover the terrorism incident in Balochistan. Every media house had its own policy and the government could not interfere in their decisions as to how they cover different issues, he added.
To a question, he said dollar was artificially regulated in the previous years, but now it had increased in value against the rupee according to market forces.
He said the caretaker government could not sign an agreement with International Monetary Fund (IMF), but it could hold discussions and it was upto the next government to take decision about the matter.