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China will provide $1b grant, says Khusro

By Our Staff Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning and Development Khusro Bakhtyar says China will provide one billion dollar grant for socio economic development in Pakistan.
Addressing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor forum in Islamabad on Friday, he said cooperation in education, health, water, poverty alleviation and other sectors has been included in socio-economic development.
The Minister said industrial and agricultural development will be focused in the next phase of CPEC. He urged the private sector to take lead in industrial development. He said cooperation in industrial sector will further strengthen relationship between Pakistan and China. Khusro Bakhtyar said China has offered free access for export of 313 Pakistani items.
He said the PTI government wants to increase business opportunities under CPEC; and for the purpose, Pakistan-China Business Forum is being set up. He said memorandum of understanding has been signed with China for establishing foot and mouth disease free zones. Khusro Bakhtyar said huge investment was made in energy sector under CPEC in Pakistan during the last six years.
He said in infrastructure sector, railway network and development of coastal areas, including Gwadar Port, are being given special importance. He said Gwadar Master Plan will give impetus to economic activity in Gwadar.
He said Pakistan desires to benefit from Chinese experience in different sectors, including livestock, fishing and research. The Minister said structural reforms are being introduced in the country. The government is committed to strengthening of institutions. He said tax net will have to be expanded to increase economic growth. He said measures are being taken to enhance exports.
Businessmen asked to avail
Assets Declaration Scheme
Muhammad Shaukat Hayat Cheema, Commissioner Inland Revenue (East Zone), Regional Tax Office, Islamabad along with his team visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry and gave a detailed briefing to the business community on the Assets Declaration Scheme 2019. He urged that business community should take benefit of this scheme to bring their undeclared assets into documented economy.
He said that revenue collection was not the main agenda of Assets Declaration Scheme 2019, rather it was meant for allowing undocumented economy into taxation system. He said that the scheme focused on economic revival and growth by encouraging a tax compliant economy.
Muhammad Shaukat Hayat Cheema said that any undisclosed assets acquired up to June 30, 2018 could be declared through this scheme on payment of nominal taxes. However, any proceeds or assets that were involved in or derived from the commission of a criminal offence, gold and precious stones, bearer price bonds, bearer securities, certificates, bonds or any other bearer assets, any undisclosed assets/undisclosed expenditures on which proceedings were pending in high court or supreme court and cash in hand (local or foreign) were not covered by the scheme except that which was deposited in the bank account in the manner laid down in the scheme. He said that scheme was opened by 30th June 2019 and would not be further extended. At the occasion, business community was also briefed about online filing of declarations through FBR web portal.
In a drive against defaulters, Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat on Friday announced that legal notices will be served to the defaulters of the Punjab House in Islamabad. Talking to media outside the Punjab Assembly, Basharat said the government has decided to launch action against those who used government resources and defaulted on their payment.
“Various political leaders and government functionaries owe the Punjab House a cumulative sum of Rs58 million,” he said. “We are serving notices to them in two days or so. According to the list, PML-N leader Pervaiz Rasheed owes a hefty sum of Rs7.05 million of which Rs0.69 million is owed for his stay in 2011 from January to August and Rs6.4 million is owed for his stay between June 2013 and May 2018. His daughter Poonam Rasheed owes Rs2.7 million.

Basharat said the country suffered losses because of soaring foreign debt and delay in completion of projects during previous governments’ tenures.
The minister said a high-powered commission will soon be set up as announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“The people who looted the province will be brought to book,” he said.

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