Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has dismissed speculation that the national air carrier, PIA, would be privatised, as he claimed that all opposition parties had now understood the PIA issue following several government briefings.
The minister also brushed aside claims that plans were afoot to sell PIA hotels. The Pakistan Peoples Party, according to the minister, has requested some time on the PIA issue.
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Dar said that the government would table a bill about PIA in the joint session of parliament on April 11.
Referring to the issue of LNG import, he said it was being bought at cheaper prices and the matter of fixing its price would be settled soon with the PSO.
Talking to media men at MoU signing ceremony between Sheikh Zayed Hospital Complex and University of Health Science (UHS) at the university, Dar called for formulation and implementation of a ‘Charter of Economy’ to develop speedily Pakistan at all levels.
The minister said that the national economy should be kept separate from politics and there should be a continuation of economic policies. He said the government would announce the identity of the new Ogra chairman soon. On a question about the Tax Amnesty Scheme, he said it was for traders and only a “handful of associations of traders” had reservations about it. The scheme was not aimed in any way to allow people to whiten their black money/wealth, assets or jewellery, but to facilitate the non-filers and working capital of the businessmen.
PIA’s management to remain with govt: Ishaq Dar
By the end of this month, he said, a kidney hospital named after the prime minister will become functional in Swat. The hospital will be equipped with all modern facilities and built with the expenditure of Rs1.75 billion. He said people living in Swat and elsewhere in the province would soon receive standardised medical treatment.
Separately, chairing a meeting of the Religious Affairs Committee for Data Darbar, the minister ordered officials concerned to remove encroachments around the shrine to facilitate visitors.
To a question, Dar said that National Price Monitoring Committee was set up to monitor prices in various bazaars of the country.
He said the rates of commodities could not be lowered in line with reduction of fuel prices.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2016.
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