ISLAMABAD (Online) Federal Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh has said reformed general sales tax will be levied from October 1, adding that specific lobbies are opposing withdrawal of concessions from the privileged class. He said this while addressing inaugural session of workshop organised by Transparency International on transparency in rehabilitation of the flood affectees and reconstruction of flood ravaged areas here Thursday. He said Pakistan has the lowest tax to GDP ratio of 9 percent among world countries in the perspective of tax paying culture. Provision of education, potable water and health facilities to the common man was the top priority of the government, he pointed out. Over 20 million people have been marooned in flooding water and most of them are from poor segments of society. Loans in large sum should not be disbursed among the affectees as they would have to face difficulties in paying them back, he stressed. Responding to a question, he said the government was passing through difficult economic situation. He ruled out possibility of any mini budget but added it would be approved from the parliament if need be. Transparency International is monitoring utilisation of funds released under Kerry-Lugar Bill, he indicated. He went on to say that government was taking steps to ensure transparent utilisation of funds in all the three phases of rehabilitation, reconstruction and settlement of flood affectees. The Prime Minister has set up National Disaster Management Council for transparent use of relief aid. People of good repute had been taken in the council from all the four provinces, he added. People of Pakistan also wanted transparency and government would soon launch website in this respect and any one would be able to get information about the amount of relief aid and its utilisation, he informed. When flood hit the country the economic indicators were improving and inflation was dipping, he said, adding floods had multiplied the economic woes of the country. But the nation would emerge strong in the testing hours, he hoped. The US aid country director said government of Pakistan would have to adopt such policies under which the possibility of corruption is diluted.