ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar offered his political opponents charter of economy to ensure sustainable development and economic growth.

He was addressing the cheque distribution ceremony to the deposit-holders of the defunct Innovative Investment Bank Limited (IIBL) at the SECP head office on Sunday.

In the cheque distribution ceremony, Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar handed over cheques to the depositors of up to Rs10 million of the IIBL, which amounts to about Rs1.1 billion. In this way, 92 individual depositors out of a total of 109 (84%) and 26 charitable institutions/trust out of a total of 44 (59%) shall stand fully repaid. In addition, 17 individuals and 18 trustsand charitable institutions have been partially paid.

It is pertinent to mention here that, on a petition by the SECP, the Lahore High Court ordered the winding up of IIBL in May 2013 because of serious financial irregularities and violations by the bank’s administration.

Khawaja Waheed Raza and Mr. Amar Sana were the official liquidators of the IIBL, appointed by the court. The liquidators under the supervision of the SECP have already paid an amount of approximately Rs75 million to the individual depositors, and trusts and charitable institutions.

Addressing the participants, the federal finance minister, Senator Ishaq Dar highly appreciated official liquidators, the SECP team and said the court decision and its successful implementation is a strong signal to rebuild investors’ confidence in state institutions.

He appreciated liquidators initiative of recovery of written off loans and stated that this should be done nation wide. He stated that those who have good financial standing and have benefited from loan write offs must pay this back to nation.

Ishaq Dar was of the view that to bring transparency and rebuild investors’ confidence, we would have to strengthen institutions. The investors should have the confidence that the state institutions would come to their rescue, if they would be cheated in market.

Dar said that with the joint efforts of all stakeholders  Pakistan is now an economically stable country.

He said that with economic stability, no one can stop Pakistan’s inclusion in the MSCI Emerging Market Index and hoped that in its upcoming assessment of MSCI Emerging Market Index, Pakistan will be included in the emerging market index, which will boost country’s image, build investors’ confidence and increase foreign investments. It will be a milestone achievement and another feather to the SECP’s cap.

The finance minister said that Pakistan’s economic indicators are continually improving and showing economic stability. According to minister, in last three years the cumulative growth in tax collection was 56 percent, the fiscal deficit will close on 4.3 percent of GDP on June 30, which was 8.8 in 2013 whereas the SBP possess highest ever foreign reserves of$16.5 billion.

The SECP has achieved the position and integrity, which he had envisioned in 1999 at the time of its establishment said the finance minister. However, the regulatory body still needs to go long way to ensure complete transparency and confidence on Pakistani markets, he added.

He said that he has appointed a competent team at the SECP without considering their political affiliations and now critics accept that his selection of Zafar Hijazi as the SECP Chairman and other commissioner was correct and the team is performing very well.

He said that the most of the laws related to market and corporate sector have been revamped and that the Draft Companies Bill 2016 will be introduced in the Parliament in the next session following the upcoming budget session.

The Finance minister stated  that he had directed the FBR, SECP and State Bank to prepare a comprehensive plan and legislation to plug holes to stop illegal foreign outflows in future from Pakistan and all to ensure that all law full businesses must be regulated properly.  He was of the view that we will have to strengthen the system and institutions to settle this issue once and all.

He said that the ToRs of government and opposition’s joint committee on Panama papers would be announced soon. He stated  that recovery of written off loans should  be part of these joint TORs. He said that the return of depositors money through recovery of IIBL’s written off loans indicates that the written off loans can be recovered.

According to a report of international body, Pakistan’s will become world’s eighteenth largest economy by 2050, he said. If the nation works hard and with dedication, Pakistan can archive this target by 2030, he added and offered his political opponents a chartered of economy to ensure sustainable development and economic growth of the country and to achieve this target. Currently, Pakistan is 44th largest economy of the world.

The SECP Chairman Zafar Hijazi said that system of corporate burials needs to be strengthened in Pakistan.  He said that the SECP is making efforts and introducing reforms to further systemize the companies’ winding up and liquidation procedure. He also announced that in view of provisions in proposed Companies Bill, SECP would maintain the panel of authorised liquidators to ensure transparency and their remuneration will also be fixed to ensure efficiency. At present, 37 companies are in the process of winding up, he disclosed. 

Chairman Hijazi said that the SECP had revamped all relevant laws in shortest possible time, adding that the SECP would finalize the most important law Draft Companies Bill 2016 by the end of May. He hoped thatPakistan will be included in the emerging market’s index in upcoming assessment by MSCI on June 15.