ISLAMABAD - A parliamentary committee on Thursday decided to summon officials of Ministry of Communications in next meeting for granting tax exemptions to China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited on imported construction material which will be used for the Karachi-Peshawar Motorway.

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, which met under the chair of Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, has discussed the calling-attention notice submitted by senators for giving tax exemptions to a Chinese company, which is constructing Karachi-Peshawar Motorway (Sukkur-Multan section).

Senator Mandviwalla said that Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has given an exemption to the tune of Rs10.98 billion to the Chinese firm .

Similarly, Senator Murtaza Wahab, a mover of the notice, asked why FBR has given tax exemption to a Chinese company. "An exemption could only be given across the board, not to a single company," he added. "I wonder why Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has given an exemption to the tune of Rs10.98 billion to the Chinese firm ". Meanwhile, committee member, Awami National Party (ANP) Senator Ilyas Bilour said that the issuance of a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) to grant the exemption on import duty after completion of 37 per cent work on the project was incomprehensible. There was no need to FBR to grant tax exemption to the Chinese company, he added.

The officials of the Ministry of Finance and FBR said that the Ministry of Communications had moved a summary to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), which considered and approved it.

Later, the parliamentary committee decided to summon the officials of Ministry of Communications in next meeting for granting tax exemptions to China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited.

Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan Jameel Ahmed informed the committee that the bank is not discriminating against any company regarding rescheduling of loans. The central bank has not dictated the commercial banks to discriminate with anyone. "It is the matter between banks and borrowers. However, the banks are strictly fallowing rules and regulations set by the SBP regarding rescheduling of loans," he added.

Representative of Omni Group accused that SBP is giving special favour to 26 companies. On it, Jameel assured the committee said that he would look into the matter, and if any such extra favour was found he would take action.

The chairman of the committee expressed concerns over the matter and said the companies would close their business in the country if government's department is indiscriminating with them.

Senator Hidayatullah presented a report before the committee regarding appointments against the vacant posts in Federally Administered Tribal Area (Fata).

According to report as many as 9000 posts are lying vacant in all agencies of Fata out of which approval for appointment on 2300 posts has been made.