ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting on Monday to review the preparations for upcoming international commitments including CAREC Ministerial Conference, which will be held here in October 2016, as well as visits by MD IMF Christine Lagarde and President ADB Takehiko Nakao.

Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Tariq Bajwa gave a detailed briefing to the finance minister on the preparations being made for the events. The finance minister said that the aim of the government is to make Pakistan a regional trade hub, adding that contacts with the friendly neighboring countries would be established and made stronger and in this regard the CAREC Conference will play a positive role.

Transport, energy, trade facilitation, and trade policy will be the priority areas to be discussed at the ten-member CAREC forum. Six multilateral institutions (Asian Development Bank (ADB), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will also be participating at the event. The upcoming World Bank/IMF annual meetings that are due in early October 2016 in Washington D.C were also discussed. The Minister directed that comprehensive preparations be made for participation in the annual meetings.

INP adds: Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar has lauded the efforts of team of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to meet the set targets for revenue collection.

The Finance Minister stated this while chairing a meeting here on Monday to review the revenue collection targets and the preparations for the sales tax refunds in cases where RPOs have been issued up till 30th June 2016.

Chairman FBR Nisar Mohammad Khan briefed the Finance Minister about the latest revenue collection figures. He briefed that in the first quarter of the FY 16-17, the revenue collection targets have been satisfactory and will pick up further after Eid holidays.

The Finance Minister while appreciating the commitment of the FBR team directed to redouble efforts to meet the revenue targets.

The meeting also discussed the Tax related steps required to be taken by FBR under the Doing Business Reforms Strategy 2016.

Finance Minister directed that every effort should be made to improve Pakistan’s ranking in Doing Business Index.

The Finance Minister shared with the FBR team the outcome of his recent visit to Paris for signing the OECD Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.”The French team and the world at large termed the signing of this convention a big step forward” said the Minister.

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