ISLAMABAD - A delegation of International Monetary Fund (IMF) would visit Pakistan in next few days to finalise the loan package.

Secretary Finance Younus Dagha said that a delegation of IMF would visit Islamabad between April 27 to April 30 to finalize the loan package with Pakistan. The government is planning to present the annual budget for next fiscal year by the end of next month (May), Secretary Finance said while talking to the media on Wednesday after attending meeting of National  Assembly standing committee on finance and revenue. He also informed that tax amnesty scheme would be announced by next week.

The meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs of the National Assembly was held in Committee Room of Federal Board of Revenue, (FBR) House, Islamabad, under the chairmanship of Faiz Ullah, MNA. An in-camera session of the Committee was held on Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The Committee was briefed by the Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Executive Officers SBP, Commissioner SECP and representatives of foreign affairs and NACTA.

Later, Committee chairman informed the media that they are satisfied with the briefing of officials on the FATF. He said that government is working to implement the conditions of the FATF, which would result in resolving the issue. The opposition parties should exhibit responsibility of delivering statements regarding FATF. He further said that Committee would take action against government’s officials if they involve in harassing the people on the name of FATF conditions.  The National Assembly’s standing committee on Finance and Revenue would soon take up the amendments in Anti Money Laundering Bill, he added.

The committee discussed the work plan assigned by the Special Committee on Agriculture products for uplifting the agriculture development. The Committee was briefed by the Chairman, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC). He said that PARC has already proposed three Research and Development projects in the budget of next financial year 2019-20 in this regard. The Additional Secretary, Ministry of National Food Security & Research apprised the Committee that Asian Development Bank (ADB) conducted a knowledge creation exercise for the purpose of report publication in 2018 for “Punjab Basmati Rice Value Chain Analysis” and currently ADB was working on “Punjab Sustained Agriculture Growth through Enhanced Agriculture Management” by means of a Technical Assistance (TA); the TA would result in a loan in the coming years amounting to USD 100 million. He further stated that World Bank was funding on various agriculture projects in Punjab, Sindh and KP.

The Committee recommended to Ministry of National Food Security & Research and PARC for preparing a comprehensive presentation along with their recommendations for improvement of research and development in agriculture sector. The Committee further recommended to Ministry of National Food Security & Research that working papers should be prepared in line with the given agenda by the Special Committee on Agriculture Products.

The Committee considered “The Microfinance Institutions (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (moved by Ms Sajida Begum)”. The Executive Director, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) informed the Committee that necessary measures have been taken by the SBP for addressing the salient features of said Bill. The Mover withdraws the subject Bill.

The Committee expressed its grave concern on the crop insurance policy of ZTBL. Syed Naveed Qamar, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Commerce assured the Committee that he will take up said matter in the Standing Committee on Commerce for further deliberations and report on the matter would be presented to this Committee.

The Committee deferred remaining agenda pertaining to tariff reforms with regard to import in Pakistan due to short of time. The meeting was attended by MNAs Raza Nasrullah, Jamil Ahmed Khan, Faheem Khan, Aftab Hussain Siddique, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Ali Pervaiz, Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Syed Naveed Qamar, Hina Rabbani Khar and Ms Sajida Begum (mover) besides the senior officers of Ministry of Finance, Revenue & Economic Affairs, Ministry of National Food Security & Research, FBR, SBP, SECP, ZTBL, NARC and National Tariff Commission.