LAHORE - Federal Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh has said that the government is focusing on expanding tax net.

“We are pondering over introducing tax amnesty scheme. For the past two years, we are working to put sales tax system in the right direction. The people living in posh localities were not in the tax net. We were trying to add two million people in the tax net,” he said.

He was talking to reporters after addressing the 7th annual convocation of Beaconhouse National University Lahore on Saturday. BNU Chairman Board of Governors Nasreen Kasuri, Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri, Vice-Chancellor Sartaj Aziz were present on the occasion.

The minister said that trade ties with the US were under discussion following the resumption of strategic dialogue between the two countries. He said that US assured Pakistan of all-out help to meet energy crisis and in this regard it had decided to extend financial support for the construction of Bhasha Dam.

To a question, he said that because of their economic policies, the Pakistani stock markets were considered best for investment in the world despite global economic crisis.

Talking about the achievements of PPP-led government, he said that they had enhanced tax collection from Rs 1000 billion to Rs 2000 billion during their regime. He said when their government came into power, the inflation rate was 25 per cent but now it was at 8.5 per cent.

Earlier, BNU VC Sartaj Aziz addressed the convocation. A total of 315 students received their degrees this year. These included 170 graduates of M.Phil, MS and Masters Degrees programs and 145 of Bachelor degree programs.