Senate Panel Recommends 20 Percent Hike In Pay And Pension;

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance Tuesday finalized recommendations for doubling pay and pension of public sector employees from 10 to 20 percent in the budget and upgrading the western rout of CPEC with latest specifications.

The senators also passed a recommendation to convert Pakistan into welfare state as it was increasingly becoming a security state.

The committee kick started its deliberations to finalize recommendations for budget under the chairmanship of Senator Saleem Mandviwalla here at the parliament house and took up proposals of PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar.

The committee recommended jacking up pay and pension of public sector employees from 10 to 20 percent in the budget 2016-17.

Special secretary finance Dr. Shujaat told the committee that the government had provided 10 percent ad hoc relief after merging two allowances into basic pay keeping in view the available resources.

Mandviwalla said the government had borrowed money for providing salaries and pensions so it should provide more money to the public sector employees.

Senator Farhatullah Babar demanded that the government should upgrade specification and western route. He said deliberate efforts were underway to make a political decision on it in order to undermine the federation.

Senator Fateh Muhammad Hassni said he had recently visited Gwadar and could easily state that nothing was happening on the ground.

Senator Mohsin Aziz of PTI said it was not technical but political delay in allocation of funds.

Senator Azam Swati of PTI said the FBR should reduce the GST rate and bring down rate on agriculture inputs.

Chairman FBR Nisar Muhammad Khan replied that one percent reduction in GST would cause revenue loss of Rs 70 billion.

When Senator Saud Majeed inquired about effective rate of GST, the chairman conceded that its effective rate was much less than 17 percent but he did not share any figure with the parliamentarians.

It is relevant to mention here that the effective rate of GST collection stood at 4.7 percent as the remaining went toward clearing input adjustments and other loop holes.

The committee also recommended curtailing resources on advertisement by adopting an austerity drive and simplifying income tax return forms.

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