ISLAMABAD

Asian Development Bank (ADB) Executive Director Sami Saeed on Tuesday said that $400 million are ready to be disbursed to Pakistan after the Board approval under the Energy Sector Reforms Programme.

The ADB is planning to contribute towards “Disaster Management Fund” for Pakistan along with other donors, enhancing the country’s capacity to guard against natural calamities, Sami Saeed said while talking to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

He also referred to finance minister’s meetings in Baku where he had presented Pakistan’s case for financing requirements in an emphatic manner and said that ADB was considering enhancing funding for Pakistan. He informed the Minister that ADB had approved on 30th June the amount of $225 million for the flood affectees out of which 65% will be for retroactive financing.

Sami Saeed said that AIIB had an important role to play for infrastructure development in Asian countries, specifically Pakistan where the government was focused on the energy, infrastructure and communication projects. He said that the establishment of AIIB would help ADB in becoming more competitive and come up with better investment plans for its development partners. He added that Pakistan government’s positive measures for economic reforms had earned confidence of foreign investors who were eager to invest in mega projects in the country.

Finance minister welcomed the ADB Executive Director and shared with him details of his recent visit to Beijing for signing Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The minister also exchanged views with Sami Saeed on ADB’s development programmes in Pakistan.

The Finance minister appreciated the support of ADB for Pakistan and said, “ADB has been a great development partner for Pakistan. We appreciate its fair and independent working procedures. The Bank has always extended great support to Pakistan and we hope that it would continue to support Pakistan in future also”.

Govt has firm resolve to bring

non-filers into tax net: Dar

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Tuesday said that broadening tax net was an objective which the government wanted the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to pursue with sincerity of purpose and full dedication.

He made these remarks during a meeting with Chairman and other senior officials of FBR. The Minister had exchange of views with the officials on administrative and financial matters of FBR. There was also discussion on measures for broadening the tax net.

Minister Dar said while the government truly appreciated the contribution of filers to the national exchequer, it also had a firm resolve to bring non-filers in the tax net through a sustained policy of encouragement, persuasion as well as administrative measures. Without promoting tax culture in the country, the objective of overall economic progress could not be achieved, Dar added.

Chairman FBR, assured the Minister of full cooperation and dedication of his team to expand the tax net. He briefed the Minister about the key features of the proposed plan of action for broadening the tax base. He said the FBR in the current fiscal year would take further steps aimed at facilitating the tax payers.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi called on Finance Minister.

Dr. Maleeha Lodhi apprised the Finance Minister of her efforts to highlight Pakistan’s point of view on issues of national, regional and international significance at the UN. She informed the Minister about the General Assembly session that would be held in September. She also briefed the Minister about important Pakistan-related matters coming up at the UN.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar shared with Dr. Maleeha Lodhi details of his recent visit to Beijing for signing the AIIB Articles of Agreement and meetings with senior Chinese leadership.

Both of them agreed that establishment of AIIB would contribute significantly to infrastructure development in countries of the region.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar wished Dr. Maleeha Lodhi the best in her endeavours to watch for Pakistan’s interest at the prestigious international forum.