ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar on Tuesday said that with the advent of winter demand for gas was on the rise. He asked the Petroleum Minister to give due priority to the export sector in gas supply.

The federal finance minister expressed these views in a meeting with Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources. The meeting reviewed the progress of different initiatives relating to Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources.

The finance minister shared with the petroleum minister that in comparison to the rest of South Asia, particularly India and Bangladesh, Pakistan has maintained the lowest prices of petroleum products in the country.

The finance minister also said that under the advice of the prime minister, the finance ministry is providing as much relief as possible to the end consumers.

He urged the Petroleum Ministry to focus on discovery of new fields so that the burden on national exchequer might be reduced.

The petroleum minister appreciated the stability maintained in oil prices for the benefit of the end consumers. He also discussed with the finance minister the overall gas supply situation. He said that during winters the usage of natural gas went up and his ministry would make every effort to maintain the gas supply pressure.

He also informed the finance minister that the Petroleum Ministry was encouraging investment for new discoveries of oil and gas to ease the supply situation in the country and priority would be accorded to export sectors.

The meeting was attended by senior officials of the ministries of finance and petroleum and natural resources.

APP: Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting here on Tuesday with officials of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) and Finance Division on the matters related to Anti-Money Laundering/Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.

On the occasion, the minister was briefed about the reforms introduced so far in various laws to counter money laundering and financing of terrorism. Dar remarked that the government has taken a number of initiatives to promote transparency and good governance. The Companies Ordinance 2016, promulgated recently, empowers the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to investigate and also conduct joint investigation against fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing, he added. He also mentioned the ‘Benami Law’, recently passed by the National Assembly to curb the use of benami transactions for criminal proceeds and black money.

He further said that the government has also undertaken measures for valuation of property and tax related matters. Pakistan has also become a signatory to the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, he added.

He said that new measures, such as the Companies’ Global Register of Beneficial Ownership, will curb corruption, help address challenges related to off-shore investments, and ensure transparency in governance. He emphasized that the Zarb-e-Azb military operation against terrorists coupled with the reforms and measures undertaken have resulted in effective curbing of the menace of terrorism and terrorist financing.

The minister urged the officials present in the meeting to ensure effective and expeditious implementation of these laws and measures to achieve the desired outcomes. He further directed that continued efforts should be made for further strengthening the regime and improvements should be suggested to plug any possible loopholes related to money laundering and terrorist financing.

 The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, FBR and FMU.