ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Tuesday endorsed the State Bank of Pakistan’s decision of shifting five key departments of the central bank from Karachi to Lahore.

The SBP has informed the Senate’s committee that a few functional departments of its subsidiary, responsible to undertake operational work, are being relocated to Lahore to meet the oversight and logistic requirements for operational efficiency. The selection of Lahore was purely based on availability of space as none of the other offices, particularly its Islamabad office, had enough space to accommodate the manpower, it further said.

Since the Sindh government as well business community had shown serious concerns over the SBP’s decision, therefore the Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue had taken notice of the issue and discussed it. The Committee members were satisfied with the briefing of the SBP’s officials.

The officials informed the committee that bulk of currency operations are handled in Central and North Regions, adding that the management of these operations from Lahore will lead to effective oversight, improve liaison with Pakistan Railways and allow SBP BSC to fulfil its statutory functions more effectively.

Committee member Senator Ilyas Bilour demanded the SBP to open its officers in Peshawar to facilitate the traders. Senator Fateh Muhammad Hassani asked for opening central bank’s branches in Balochistan.

On the other hand, the Committee deferred the bill Economic Reforms Protection, which provides blanket immunity to funds transferred via foreign currency accounts to and from Pakistan. Committee chairman Saleem Mandviwalla said that PML-N government in its previous tenure had allowed shifting capital to the other countries, which should be stopped.

The Committee members showed concerns over the new price determination formula of property in different cities. They were of the view that property business has faced a huge loss due to the new formula. Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Nisar Khan accepted that determination of property values is not 100 percent accurate.

Briefing sought over raise in tariff of Nandipur project

Staff Reporter: PPP has asked incumbent government to share reasons behind recent illegal raise in tariff of ‘Nandipur power project’.

“Minister for water and power Khwaja Asif should explain reasons behind illegal raise in tariff of ‘Nandipur power project’ on the floor of the house (National Assembly),” according to a call-attention notice submitted by PPP’s lawmakers in National Assembly secretariat.

PPP’s MNAs Dr Nafisa Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar, Ms Shazia Mari, Mr. Aijaz Jakhrani, Syed Ghulam Mustafa and Dr Azra Fazl have submitted a calling attention notice under Rule 88 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in National Assembly 2007.