ISLAMABAD -  Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar would attend the 4th biennial Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit to be held on December 6, 2016 in Paris.

The minister on Saturday reviewed the preparations for his visit to Paris. He earlier accepted the invitation of the Governments of the United Kingdom and France to join the OGP initiative. The letter of intent signed by the finance minister has already been sent to OGP Secretariat, expressing the intention of the government to join OGP and commitment to respect the open government principles articulated in the Open Government Declaration of the OGP.

On the instructions of the finance minister, the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) had earlier arranged the first interactive session with the members of the civil society to formulate a road map for open government action plan. The next meeting with the members of the civil society shall be held in the month of January.

Dar said that the country’s participation in OGP will be another step towards increased government transparency and stronger accountability leading to greater prosperity and wellbeing of the citizens. He said that measures such as accession to the OECD Convention on Tax Matters and move to join the OGP will project a positive image of the country around the world and demonstrate Pakistan's strong commitment to transparency, good governance and accountability.

He directed the EAD secretary and his team to take all necessary steps that could help in reaping the maximum benefits from the country’s participation in the OGP Summit.

The finance minister also chaired the first meeting of the committee for implementation of the recommendations of Steering Committee for Promotion of Islamic Banking on Saturday. The minister, while chairing the meeting commented, "Our government has always been committed to the development and promotion of Islamic finance". He said that the issuance of Sukuks by the present government during the last three years, including the recent issuance of $1 billion international Sukuk, is proof of the government's commitment to Islamic finance.

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Deputy Governor Saeed Ahmad briefed the meeting on the recommendations of the steering committee, formation of task force to undertake amendments in legal and regulatory framework, fast track adoption of AAOIFI & IFSB standards for Islamic Financial Institutions, develop a policy to raise new international financing through Islamic modes, harmonisation by SECP of terms and conditions of Shariah compliant instruments issued by NBFC, notified entities and modarabas, promotion of Islamic finance research and development, training and capacity building of focal persons in the government departments and formation of implementation committee to deliver above recommendations.

After detailed deliberations with the committee, the finance minister directed that four sub-committees will ensure effective and timely implementation of recommendations. The four sub-committees include sub-committee on legal & regulatory framework, sub-committee on taxation, sub-committee on capital market and sub-committee on awareness, training & capacity building.

The committee was also briefed on the salient features of the Wakalah Sukuk. The minister appreciated the efforts of the committee members and assured them of his full support for promotion of Islamic finance in the country.

The finance secretary, SECP chairman, FBR chairman, PBA chairman, ICAP president, Bank Alfalah president, Shariah Finance experts and other senior officials of the Ministry of Finance and SBP also attended the meeting.