Published Date: Apr 5, 2018
Upcoming budget, proposed tax amnesty scheme to be discussed in EAC meeting today
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has convened maiden meeting of high-profile Economic Advisory Council (EAC) today (Thursday) for seeking advice on upcoming budget 2018-19 and proposed tax amnesty scheme for declaration of offshore assets to bring them into tax net.
“Yes, the EAC is scheduled to meet on Thursday (today) as two different sessions will be held in which first session will be chaired by convener EAC Shaukat Tareen while in the afternoon PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will chair EAC meeting at PM Office” official sources confirmed to The News here on Wednesday. According to the agenda of the scheduled meeting, the EAC will hold discussions on upcoming budget 2018-19 and pros and cons of proposed tax amnesty scheme under Foreign Asset Declaration Scheme (FADS) in order to bring offshore assets into tax net.
After excluding many renowned personalities from the fold of high-profile EAC such as Dr Ishrat Hussain, former governor State Bank of Pakistan and strong contender for the slot of premier in upcoming caretaker setup, Dr Ashfaque Hassan Khan former economic adviser, Dr Farrukh Saleem renowned analysts and economist as well as some others, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had reconstituted EAC recently and appointed 13 member council headed by former finance minister Shaukat Tareen as convener of EAC. The government excluded Dr Ishrat Hussain from the EAC because he was considered among the top in contenders for the slot of premier into caretaker setup. All other critics of economic policies of PML-N led regime were also excluded from the EAC.
The newly constituted EAC will be comprised of largely banking, financial and corporate sector experts. The name of former governor Shahid Kardar has been included into reconstituted EAC as he is known for possessing independent views on key policy issues. Shahid Karadar had even tendered resignation from Governor SBP during the tenure of PPP led regime because of policy differences with top man of that regime. Now the reconstituted EAC will be comprised of members including Dr Ali Cheema Professor LUMS and non-official member of NFC representing Punjab, Shahid Kardar former governor State Bank of Pakistan, Atif Bajwa banking and financial sector expert, Ms Sima Kamil CEO united Bank Limited, Abid Hassan former country director World Bank, Sultan Ali Allana Chairman, Board of Directors Habib Bank Limited, Arif Habib corporate sector, Fawad Anwar corporate sector, Asif Riaz Tata corporate sector, Abid Qaiyum Suleri Managing Director Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Salman Akram Raja Advocate and Muhammad E Tasneem Agriculture Specialist. The ex-officio members of the EAC included Adviser to PM on Finance, Special Assistant to PM on Revenues, Minister of State for Finance and Governor State Bank of Pakistan.
The name of former governor SBP Dr Ishrat Hussain has been excluded from the EAC amid increasing possibility that he was among the top contenders for the future caretaker setup.
When contacted him on Wednesday, Dr Ishrat Hussain said that he had served in the EAC for several years so it was good move to rotate for bringing new people into fold of the EAC. “No one had discussed with him prior to reconstitution of the EAC,” he said and added that it was welcome move for getting input from different experts on policy formulation. Source: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/300645-upcoming-budget-proposed-tax-amnesty-scheme-to-be-discussed-in-eac-meeting-today