NA body approves PSDP allocations for Finance, Revenue and PBS Division

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 21 (APP): The National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization Tuesday approved project proposals under Public Sector Development Project (PSDP) 2017-18, for Ministry of Finance, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The committee which met under the chairmanship of Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, however differed approval of Rs31 billion PSDP allocations for Higher Education Commission (HEC) projects, directing the authorities concerned to come up with proper presentation during next meeting scheduled on February 22 (Wednesday).
The committee gave approval to seven projects of the Finance Ministry worth Rs6194 million, including Rs4862 million foreign component.
These funds would be utilized for four ongoing and three new projects initiated by the ministry.
The committee also approved proposals of Rs14,298 million for 41 projects of Revenue Division, which include six ongoing projects and 35 new projects. The approved budget include Rs11.703 as foreign component.
In addition, the committee also approved allocations for two projects of PBS, including Change of Base of National Accounts 2005-06 to 2015-16 project and upgradation of Rural Areas Frame for Conduct of Census and Surveys.
Meanwhile, the sub-committee that was constituted to resolve the anomalies of FBR valuation table on property tax with consultation of the stakeholders presented its report to the committee.
After thorough discussion, the committee advised the real-estate stakeholders to approach FBR in case of anomalies regarding tax evaluation.
Meanwhile, Chairman FBR briefed the committee on the selection of parties for audit as per the policy of the board. He said that 7.5 percent filers are selected for audit.
He said that the selections are not made at random basis rather, the FBR has developed six parameters that help it in selections.
Some of the members of the committee were of the view that due to the conflict of interests, FBR should not conduct this audit itself.
However the FBR representatives informed the committee that when audit and tax collection was separated in Turkey, it failed there.
Meanwhile, the committee was also briefed about the upcoming census exercise by the Chief Census Commissioner, Asif Bajwa.
The committee members expressed reservations on various procedures of the exercise and asked PBS authorities to make improvements.
In his detailed presentation, MQM leader Farooq Sattar advised the PBS to conduct the whole exercise in one go.
However, the PBS officials informed the committee that it was not possible due to security and other arrangements.
Regarding the inclusion of PDPs and TDPs in the census form, Bajwa informed the committee that a meeting was scheduled with FATA Secretariat on February 28 and all the issues related IDPs would be discussed there.
Bajwa informed the committee that the census was being held in accordance with the international practices and the forms have also been developed accordingly.