3rd meeting of EAC concludes with remarks to emphasize upon economic growth

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(Khalid Sibtain)
Islamabad: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, chaired the third meeting of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) held at Finance Division today. In his remarks, the Finance Minister stressed the importance of longterm planning for achieving sustainable and all-inclusive economic growth. Prime Minister has re-constituted EAC, after decades, with an objective to draw up concrete proposals for sustainable economic growth through comprehensive and seamless planning across major sectors by taking all stakeholders on board. The underlying rationale is to secure the future of coming generations in the country, the Finance Minister added. The Third meeting of Economic Advisory Council, chaired by the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, was attended by Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar, Federal Minister for Privatization Muhammad Mian Soomro and Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imaam. Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, SAPM on Finance & Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, Secretary Finance, Secretary Privatization and Deputy Governor SBP also attended the meeting. Private members Mr. Sultan Ali Allana, Mr. Farooq Rehmatullah and Mr. Zaid Bashir also participated in the meeting and shared valuable input. During the third meeting of Economic Advisory Council (EAC), four sub-groups made respective presentations. The sub-groups gave their presentations on topics namely SOEs & Privatization, Energy, Domestic Commerce and Price Stability. SAPM on Finance & Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood Khan gave a detailed presentation on Price Stability which included short term, medium term and long term proposals for bringing price stability in the country. The SAPM on F&R drew a comparative analysis between prices prevailing in Pakistan and also in the entire region both in current and historical perspectives. Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam and Federal Minister for Industries for Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar also gave their valuable input on the topic. Mr. Farooq Rehmatullah gave presentation on Energy (Power) sector. The Presentation highlighted global, regional and local trends in the refining sectors. The presentation also included recommendations for bringing in sustainable solutions to streamline operations from oil downstream to marketing sectors. Mr. Farooq Rehmatullah, during his presentation, gave suggestions to deal with the challenges faced by LPG, exploration & production sectors and to explore renewable energy resources in Pakistan. Mr. Sultan Ali Allana made a presentation on State Owned Enterprises ( SOEs). The Secretary Privatization updated the EAC on Privatization. The presentation emphasized the importance of continued review of SOEs portfolio and also highlighted steps for better management of SOEs. The presentation included short term, medium term and long term strategies for better management of the State Owned enterprises (in phases). The presentation further included measures to speed up the privatization process in a smooth and timely manner. Mr. Zaid Bashir made a presentation on Domestic Commerce Sector. The presentation underlined to enrich and revive the documented/integrated sectors and fully realize the true potential of e-commerce during the short term by bringing retailers into a more organized environment ultimately increasing contribution to the National exchequer. Tax credit on enlistment of companies and to incentivize the induction of women in workforce were suggested as part of medium term plans whereas financing facility for growth of the retailers and tax adjustability were suggested as part of a long term strategy for promoting domestic commerce sector in the country. All the participants held an in-depth discussion on proposals presented during the meeting and shared their valuable input. A follow-up session would be held soon.