ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet has decided to maintain the petroleum products prices at existing level during the next month and introduce Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Bill 2016 in the National Assembly in the coming session.
Later, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while briefing newsman said the meeting has approved a system for any change in petroleum prices, under which Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) will move a summary to Ministry of Petroleum which will be sent to Ministry of Finance for review, which will later be sent to the Prime Minister for final approval.
Dar said that the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Bill 2016 will be introduced in the upcoming session of the National Assembly, under which the inquiry commission will be empowered in the light of the letter by Supreme Court.
In May earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had refused to establish a ‘toothless’ judicial commission for inquiry in light of Panama Papers. The government had requested the Chief Justice to investigate the veracity of the allegations against the Prime Minister and his family.
However, the Supreme Court had said that formation of a commission under the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act 1956 will serve no useful purpose as the terms of reference (ToR) of the proposed commission are so “wide and open” that “it may take years” for the commission to conclude proceedings. It asked the government to form the commission under proper legislation.
The cabinet approved the introduction of ten rupee coin and change in the metal composition of the five rupee coin.
Dar said the meeting ratified decisions taken by Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in its latest meeting. It included that 0.4 percent withholding tax on non-filers will continue from 1st to 31st December.
It approved publication of tax directories and extension of reduced withholding tax rate for non-filers up to 31st of December this year.
He said the meeting approved signing of initial draft for revision of Convention between Pakistan and Swiss Confederation for avoidance of double taxation. It accorded to third protocol to agreement with China for avoidance of double taxation.
He said Pakistan is going to sign multilateral convention of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on 14th September, under which Pakistan will be able to exchange information about bank accounts.
It also approved Prime Minister’s Sustainable Development Goals Programme, and ratified decisions of Cabinet Committee on Restructuring and Cabinet Committee on Privatization.
Ishaq Dar said it has approved a scheme for medical treatment of poor and deserving citizens suffering from fatal diseases including kidney, liver, bone-marrow and cancer.