ISLAMABAD: Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar Informed the Senate Standing Committee on Finance that revenue collection in the country during current financial year was decreased by Rs70 billion due to depreciation of Dollar and appreciation of Rupee.
He said that revenue collection target had been set at Rs2,387 billion which was revised to Rs2,050 billion, adding that unfortunately government could to realize Rs1,946 billion of revenues during the period under review.
The minister said that revenue collection short fall in the country during current financial year was recorded at Rs104 billion where as the government had allocated Rs525 billion for different development projects under Public Sector Development Programme 2014-15.
He informed the Committee which met here with its Chairperson, Senator Nasreen Jalil in the chair that the government could not afford over 10 percent increase in the salaries and pension of the government employees, adding that further increase in salaries and pensions would deepen the fiscal deficit.
He informed that the government has allocated funds for four mega mass development projects of Karachi besides allocating funds for 300-bed Benazir Hospital to provide better healthcare to the masses.
Ishaq Dar said that tax exemption were provided on petroleum products under SROs, adding that if these exemption were eliminated the prices of petroleum would increase.
He informed the committee that due to stabilization in rupee against dollar, 14 different industries had reduced the prices of their products by 8-14 percent. He said that different foreign companies had showed their interest in the construction of Diamir Basha Dam, for which no NoC was required from India.
The finance minister claimed that the revised revenue collection targets would be met, adding that the government was striving hard to provide modern facilities of the masses and raise their living standards.
He said that the establishment of national price control committee was also under consideration which would be constituted after the budget.
Ishaq Dar said that out of 2.5 million retailers, only 500,000 to 700,000 retailers would be registered, adding that he had directed for the refunds payment to 21,000 out of 30,000 businessmen.
On the occasion, Senators, Kalsoom Parveen and Hamayun Mandokhel and Sardar Fateh Muhammad Muhammad Hasni expressed their concern over less fund allocation for the developmental projects and suggested increase in development funds for Balochistan province.
Senator Talha Mahmood suggested expediting refunds payment to traders and sought relaxation in law of refund.
Senators – Ilyas Bilour, Islamuddin Shaikh, Muhammad Talha Mehmood, Sardar Fateh Muhammad Muhammad Hasni, Humayun Mandokhel, Saleem H Mandviwala, Seyda Sughra Imam, Nuzhat Sadiq, Kalsoom Parveen and Syed Muzaffar Shah attend the meeting.