ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Wednesday hinted at introducing a bill to devise a mechanism for issuing new currency notes to ordinary people after consulting banks representatives. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, while chairing the committee meeting, said that State Bank of Pakistan should evolve an effective mechanism for issuing new currency notes from the banks instead of open market.

He further said there was a strong mafia in the market, which sold fresh notes to the people at exorbitant rates.

Adopting almost the same stance, Senator Kamil Ali Agha said that currency notes were sold at 12 percent interest rate, which showed that it was a profitable business. He blamed banks for giving certain amount of quota of fresh notes to the dealers.

The committee members noted that ordinary people did not get new notes from the banks on the occasion of Eid despite the fact that these were found in abundance in the open market at higher rates.

They said that SBP had failed to facilitate people in this regard.

SBP Deputy Governor on the occasion informed the committee that demand for fresh notes had increased this year as compared to the previous years.

“SBP had issued new notes worth Rs68 billion in Ramadan,” he said, and added, “SBP has also introduced a SMS service for issuance of fresh notes to general public.”

Earlier, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Nisar Khan informed the committee that government had surpassed the revenue collection target of Rs3104 billion set for the last financial year by collecting Rs3130 billion.

He further said that tax collection had shown an increase of 20 percent in the fiscal year 2015-16 as against collection of Rs2589.9 billion in the preceding year, 2014-15.

Giving further details, he said that direct taxes had recorded growth of 15.3 percent, General Sales Tax 21.7 percent, Federal Excise Duty 17.4 percent and custom duties 32.6 percent in the previous financial year.

Khan expressed the hope to meet the tax collection target of Rs3621 billion set for the ongoing financial year.

He informed that the FBR had issued 212 SROs in the last two financial years, out of which 97 were related to the income tax, 53 to General Sales Tax, 11 to FED and 51 to customs duty.

He informed the Senate committee that the FBR was recruiting around 700 officials through Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC).