ISLAMABAD: The senate was informed on Wednesday that ninety-eight Industrial Units have been privatized during last fifteen years out of these nineteen units are functional resulting in a revenue collection of sixty-one billion rupees.

The senate resumed its session in Islamabad on Wednesday afternoon.  Replying to a question during question hour, Law Minister Zahid Hamid told the House that the privatized units include seven in automobile sector, fifteen cement, thirteen chemical, seven engineering, six fertilizer, twenty-three ghee, eight rice, fifteen roti plants and four in textile sector.

He said the privatization policy is smoothly underway but there is a shift towards public-private-partnership. He said that Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) is a regulator organization which is working to educate the Engineers apart from their registration in the country adding that according to clause eight of PEC Act, PEC duty is to register the competent people as registered Engineers, Professional Engineers, Consultants Engineers and operators.

Zahid Hamid said that PEC has no right to appoint Engineers however three month internships opportunities for new graduate have been given in different offices. Replying to a question regarding whistleblower protection law Zahid Hamid said that under the Inland Revenue Awards Rules who provides information about tax evaders and black economy a specified share of the non- taxed money recovered is given to him.

He added that this law has been enforced in the country however a report has been registered in RTA Bahawalpur in this regard. He said that the federal government collects directly customs, sales tax and federal excise duty.

He added that the ratio of sales tax was 17percent on goods till June 30, 2011 which had been kept 16 percent for two years and now the ratio of this has been increased by 17 percent again.

Zahid Hamid said that sales tax on service in Islamabad is 16 percent adding that standard rate of federal excise duty is 15percent however different rates have been fixed in first schedule of federal excise duty Act 2005 till 8 to 65percent on different goods while custom duty tax is applied on the import of good in the country.

He said that during the 2015-16 more than four trillion rupees has been recovered in the bid of custom duty.

To a question regarding Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority Zahid Hamid said that the proposal about reform of PSQCA in National Quality Policy has been given to meet the International standards adding that a summery in this regard has been sent to Cabinet. He said that in the budget of 2016-17 the number of Tarif Syllabus has been reduces from five to four.

He said that comprehensive strategy has been evolved to make Pakistan Development Funds active.

The opposition members staged a walkout from the House as a protest over the issue of farmers rally in Lahore.

Earlier, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmed speaking on the occasion said farmers rally was not stopped rather they were asked to change the venue and now their rally is underway at the new venue.