Tag Archives: challenge

The real challenge for the government is inflation, not opposition, said Sarwar | Instant News

LAHORE: Punjab governor Chaudhry Sarwar said that the PDM is not on one page and never will be. The opposition must abandon its policy of protest inside and outside parliament and play a positive role in strengthening democracy and nation-building. He spoke with a delegation led by PTI MNA Riaz Fatiana at the Lahore Governor’s Building, Tuesday.

The governor of Punjab said Prime Minister Imran Khan would not back down from his principled stance on service and transparency in the country. Addressing the problem of inflation and unemployment is the PTI government’s top priority.

The governor said that the real challenge for the government is inflation and not opposition, adding he said that the government is using all possible measures to tackle the problem. All government organizations are working to overcome these challenges.

The governor of Punjab said that the government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan is not pursuing political or personal interests but national interests and is taking practical steps for national development and stability, where all resources are used, and elements that seek to keep the country from stable will be used. thwarted and Pakistan will be turned into a welfare state.

Sarwar said, 43 deaths from the corona virus were evidence of the increasing severity of the corona and the increasing number of corona sufferers in hospitals. He said the masses were unable to carry out a total lockdown so the public had to strictly follow the SOP. People who violate SOPs risk not only their own lives but also the lives of others.

MNA Riaz Fatiana said that the public has rejected opposition on every front including the 2018 general election and the opposition should also wait for the next general election rather than creating instability in the country. “It is our constitutional and democratic right to rule the country until 2023 and we are making all-out efforts to tackle and solve the problems of inflation and unemployment,” he added.


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CEC, the members show defiance after demands to resign the government | Instant News

ISLAMABAD: The head of the General Elections Commission (CEC) and members of the polling bodies have issued a defiant tone in response to the government’s request to step down, saying they can only be removed through constitutional mechanisms.

Backlash came at a on-camera meeting chaired by CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja days after the three top federal ministers demanded their resignation after some controversy over a Senate poll.

“The top management of the ECP (its head and members) will not resign at the request of the government,” the CEC was quoted as saying at the meeting by a reliable source with knowledge of developments on Thursday.

The meeting was called on Wednesday (17 March 2021) to review the situation that developed after the federal government accused the General Elections Commission of Pakistan (ECP) of “failing miserably” in holding fair and transparent Senate elections. The government and the ECP appeared to be at loggerheads after Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted an open vote and President Arif Alvi issued regulations for open voting for senatorial elections. But the top polling body told the top court that Senate elections under the current law can only be held by secret ballot.

Anxiety and environmental tensions have been brewing in the ECP since President Arif Alvi introduced presidential regulations for open elections, the source said.

Two out of a total of four members, during the meeting, were of the view that the ECP should retaliate against the federal government via media statements, the source added. But the chief election commissioner is of the view that the commission should wait and see the situation for a few more days, according to the source.

A reliable source told this correspondent that the meeting participants were of the view that “if the government has problems with the management of the ECP, it can initiate a process of insulting them in the relevant forum or it can move to the Supreme Judicial Council.”

The ECP will also respond to senior ministers’ requests for resignation in a few days, said the source who also attended the on-camera meeting.

Regarding corrupt practices, the meeting participants were of the view that the ECP should coordinate with relevant agencies on a regular basis in the coming months in an effort to create a stronger response to those purportedly polluting the elections through corrupt practices, the source said.

Every federal government statement is being monitored and as an institution to which polling agencies will respond to the given mandate mentioned in the 2017 Election Law and in the Constitution, it is reportedly decided at the meeting. The meeting also decided that the polling body could also respond to the PM’s letter written to the Chair of the National Assembly this week, said the source who added that the meeting was of the view that the ECP would await the recommendation of the parliamentary committee to establish a vote process. be more thorough with changing existing laws.

Regarding modern technology and open ballots, the ECP which was decided at the meeting needed government cooperation and was ready to provide input, according to the source. ECP top management also sat back today [Friday] on this development to prepare for its future responses to such problems, according to other sources. The meeting will also discuss the prevailing situation regarding the outcome of the Senate chair vote controversy in which the opposition announced it is going to court challenging the chief official’s decision on the rejected vote in which voters branded the face of Yousaf Raza Gilani, the source added.


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The precariousness of SBP’s autonomy brings new challenges | Instant News

KARACHI: Pakistan is ready to give its central bank freedom from government influence to implement the structural reforms agreed with the IMF under a $ 6 billion rescue package that will send a good signal to international markets, experts say.

They added that it would also help create opportunities to deepen local debt capital markets, reducing the need to rely on the central bank to finance the budget deficit.

Cabinet on Tuesday approved amendments to the law allowing the State Bank of Pakistan to operate without government control. The amendments to the SBP 2021 Law are expected to be approved by parliament as soon as the approval of this law is intended to meet the requirements for the completion of the sixth review of the Fund Extension Fund Facility.

Experts say granting more autonomy to SBPs will increase foreign investors’ confidence in the country’s economy. They must be influenced by the ability of the central bank to be considered an independent institution, but also pose some challenges for the government and the central bank as well.

The government is needed to develop a weak capital market in Pakistan in an effort to diversify sources of funding and cover the budget deficit, said Dr Salman Shah, a former finance minister, referring to the independence of the central bank.

“The government must improve its finances and reduce borrowing costs to narrow the budget deficit. Cut [the government] must take steps to deepen the capital market. This will help reduce the burden of deficit financing on banks, “said Shah.

“Large government loans from the banking system push credit out to the private sector. SBP also needs to increase its capacity to handle the problem itself. “Dr Shah said the market-based exchange rate regime, positive real interest rates, and no loans from the central bank, being the main features of the economic reforms supported by the IMF, have been implemented.

The current IMF loan program, the 22nd, which Pakistan entered into in 2019, was on hold for more than a year.

Experts are concerned about the implementation of the provisions of the Amendments to the SBP Law, 2021 when the current program ends. The law is good, but it becomes meaningless without the enforcement of the law.

Dr Muhammad Yaqub, the former governor of the SBP said in Pakistan a change of law means nothing if the government breaks it at will and the head of the institution is submissive and weak. “There are fiscal laws that limit government debt that is violated left and right,” added Yaqub.

“Look at the amendments made in the SBP 1997 Law and glimpse of Article 9A which was originally approved by the parliament at that time. This was also done because the IMF wanted it as a condition for the loan, “he said.

“This gives more power to the SBP to refuse the government to borrow from him and to undertake an independent monetary policy. Its provisions were never respected by any government after 1999 and were later withdrawn or abolished. Likewise the fate of the current provisions regarding government loans and autonomous monetary policy once the IMF’s grip is gone, “said Yaqub.

“The government must believe in itself that the national interest is best served by giving up its authority to use the printing of banknotes as a source of budget financing … and not doing so to meet the conditions imposed by the IMF … to become part of the basic reality. “

He said the proposed amendments set out the central bank’s main goal of targeting inflation, rather than maintaining growth. “How inflation targeting works in Pakistan stems from supply-side constraints. In developed countries, the increase in inflation is caused more by excessive demand. However, in our country, the government itself creates inflation by raising prices regulated by the government such as electricity and gas prices, ”said Dr Ashfaque Hasan Khan, a former finance ministry advisor and a well-known economist.

The proposed draft says the SBP will take decisions on monetary and exchange rate policy independently and environmentally without intervention from a government whose policies are always subject to political control.

The law will remove the central bank’s monetary and fiscal policy coordinating board, and central bank governors will report to parliament. The government will not borrow in the form of loans and guarantees from SBP.

The proposed draft gives central bank governors a five-year term to ensure policy continuity.

It is yet to be seen whether the SBP transformed itself into a modern, Western-style institution after gaining more autonomy. But the fact that they are doing a decent job of keeping the economy afloat in the coronavirus crisis.

SBP’s move to support the economy during COVID-19 injected around 4.8 percent of gross domestic product in business and household cash flows.


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National Bank is challenging a tax recovery of Rs36 billion | Instant News

KARACHI: The National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) has challenged the tax recovery of more than Rs36 billion by the Federal Revenue Council (FBR) against alleged bank compensation claims, sources said on Monday.

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has granted a suspension of tax recovery measures by the authorities. The bank has appealed to the SHC, said a source at FBR. NBP is registered with the Karachi Large Taxpayer Office (LTO) for assessment and audit.

Sources said LTO has selected several years for bank audits. They further said that the tax office found a discrepancy of around Rs57 billion. After adjusting for the bank refund claim, an order was issued for a recovery of Rs36 billion. Officials at LTO Karachi said unverified claims were rejected because the tax withholding statements did not match. Officials say the receipt of cash payments provided by banks is also inappropriate. However, the NBP said that during the year tax officers issued cause-and-effect notices under article 221 of the 2001 Income Tax Ordinance to banks to withdraw compensation for pending refunds already given to banks, and questioned the issuance of refund orders that had been issued to banks in recent years. last transaction which has been a past transaction and is closed and thus legally outside the scope of the rectification.

“The amounts are Rs14.8 billion and Rs21.25 billion, respectively. This wholly illegal notification was challenged by the bank before the SHC instructed tax officials not to take any adverse action, ”the bank said in a statement.

SHC has been holding back on recovering tax charges, the bank said. The bank, being very careful, also filed an appeal before CIR (A) and a hearing could take place after the SHC decided on the results of the petition filed in support of the bank, he added.

The bank further said in another case the SHC canceled the cause notification issued in the previous round in 2013 for passing orders for the 2006 and 2007 tax years under article 161 of the Ordinance on the grounds that this was time-limited in the case of article 174 (3) of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001. The Supreme Court on the tax office’s appeal then allowed the tax official to initiate the process by means of a new notification, subject to certain directives.

“The orders recently passed by the tax authorities for the 2006 and 2007 tax years on June 30, 2020, treat banks as taxpayers-in-default and raise tax claims by Rs1,032 million and Rs1,395 million, respectively,” he said. . The bank had appealed prior to CIR (A) primarily on the grounds that the Supreme Court instruction had been blatantly ignored because convincing reasons for the delay in trial were not granted and no tax default amount or names of parties were disclosed in the show-cause notification or command. “The order was also attacked because it was arbitrarily passed and various legal and factual errors were made in it,” the bank said.


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Future political challenges for PM | Instant News

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan, who on Saturday won a vote of confidence from the National Assembly three days after losing the main Senate election on the same political battlefield, faces serious challenges from the PDM in the coming weeks and months. The Senate Chair’s office is the direct focus of the government and opposition parties. What might happen next will make Chaudhrys of Gujrat very important to both parties. Yousaf Raza Gillani, who defeated government candidate Dr Hafeez Shaikh in great disappointment in the Senate election, is now expected to become the PDM candidate for the chair of the Senate. The Senate, even after the recent elections, still has a majority of the opposition with 53 senators in its ranks compared to 47 backing the government and its allies. The Senate chair’s office appears to be a target that the PDM can achieve not only because the opposition has more senators than the government and its allies, but also because the vote for the chair of the Upper House will be conducted by secret ballot and not by raising hands. However, if some hidden power plays their part as they did in the past for the same election, Sadiq Sanjrani will probably succeed.

Sadiq Sanjrani was fortunate in the past to have the support of those who were important. But this time, the opposition is more vocal and more wary and some PDM leaders have warned powerful parties to remain neutral otherwise the opposition will not stand still.

Sanjrani’s behavior over the past few years has generally been viewed as balanced and impartial. He also won the sympathy of the opposition for being polite and respectful to each member. He might now benefit from this attitude. Like the PDM, which is accused of using money to buy votes in recent Senate elections, the PTI government can also use its resources to capitalize on secret ballots in Sanjrani’s favor. For some in government, this is the best chance to take revenge for Dr Hafeez Shaikh’s defeat; using illegal means in the Senate chairmanship contest would be a case of “all fair in love and war”.

Meanwhile, MQM has expressed its desire to assume the post of vice chairman of the Senate. Muttahida expects the PM to offer this slot to the party, which the PDM could otherwise lure to side with it in the chairmanship election and earn a deputy slot in exchange.

The dates for the opposition’s long march have been announced but the PDM has also marked the main minister of Punjab and the chairman of the National Assembly as targets, where the role of PML-Q will be very important. Although PDM sources say they have not contacted the Chaudhry of Gujrats, there is now a high probability that Ch Pervez Elahi will replace Buzdar as CM Punjab.

It has been speculated that Prime Minister Imran Khan is considering replacing Buzdar with Elahi to prevent the PDM from engaging with PML-Q for acts of distrust against Buzdar. Q-league support not only serves as life support for the PTI government in Punjab Imran Khan also cannot lose his allies in the Center. In this situation, Pervez Elahi becomes very important for the government and the PDM.

National Assembly chairman Asad Qaiser was also vulnerable because in order to overthrow him, the opposition needed to carry out a motion in which the vote would be kept secret. The PDM has already said that the NA speaker is on its target list. How the PM will prevent this move, only time will tell. All of this and more could have been avoided if the state witnessed some political engagement between the government and the opposition. However, Prime Minister Imran Khan remains adamant about not engaging with the opposition, making the political scenario for the country’s future unpredictable and uncertain.


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