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Tax structure makeover afoot: Gilani

PM says Pakistan faces a new phase of challenges
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Monday said that government is reshaping the existing tax structure with a view to widen tax net not only to increase tax-to-GDP ratio but also to mobilise local resources to help out millions of affected people in the country.
Premier expressed these views while addressing representatives of NGOs during an interaction here. Prime Minister Gilani said that the country has entered a new phase of fundamental challenges following floods but our resolve stands solid to rebuild a better Pakistan.
He was Prime Minister said Ministry of Finance is already reviewing the budget so that maximum resources can be made available to meet the needs of rehabilitation. Expenditure of the government has been frozen to last year’s level besides cutting down nondevelopment expenditure and promoting the culture of austerity in government departments.
Prime Minister said 40 billion rupees have already been earmarked for distribution among affected people as compensation for damaged houses. Besides this, Benazir Income Support Programme, Pakistan Bait-ul Maal and other agencies are busy in providing relief and assistance.
Prime Minister said the crisis triggered by floods was so comprehensive and damaging that it impacted about 20 million people and transformed fundamental aspects of the entire country’s development and progress.
Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said according to an estimate of the ILO, about 5.3 million jobs have been lost. Damage to communication and energy sector has also been phenomenal.
He said we are facing serious challenges in economic, energy, environment, education, food security, livelihood, physical infrastructure and regeneration of economic opportunities.
Prime Minister said it is national duty of all citizens of the country to rise above all differences and divisions and work together to face this unprecedented crisis.
He again held out an assurance that the money received for reconstruction and rehabilitation would be spent in a transparent manner.
A National Oversight Management Council is in place and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee as well as Auditor General of Pakistan has been asked to monitor the entire process. He lauded the role of the hundreds of NGO during relief and rescue phase and hoped that they would continue to do so during rehabilitation phase. He said the Government is fully committed to complete transparency and accountability in the receipt, management and use of funds and resources and hoped that the NGO sector too would ensure transparency and accountability. -Agencies


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