Pakistan

Efforts afoot to gradually adopt Islamic financing: Senate informed

ISLAMABAD: The Senate was Tuesday informed that efforts are underway to gradually adopt Islamic mode of financing in the country.

Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid told the House during question hour that State Bank of Pakistan has allowed three types of Islamic Banking, whereas, every bank operating in the country has its own Shariah Board to seek guidance for Islamic banking.

“11.4 percent of total assets, whereas 13.2 percent of total deposits by June, 2016, are under Islamic banking,” he said.

Zahid Hamid said over 2,000 branches of 21 banks are operating across Pakistan to provide Islamic Banking to customers in addition to other services.


Read More: Islamic finance sets sights on centralised sharia boards


To a question, the minister said that GST on gas and industrial sector has not been increased. He said standard rate of sales tax on supply of gas to industrial sector remains the same that is 17 percent.

Answering a query, Zahid Hamid said that government has nothing to do with writing off loans. He said over Rs4 billion has been written off by banks since March, 2010, under the laid down guidelines of SBP.

To another query, Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanvir Hussain told the House that packaged liquid milk has now been included in the mandatory list of Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority to ensure quality of the milk.

He said after evaluation of the laboratory results and conformity assessment compliance, licenses will be issued to the units to process milk for packaging. He said open market sampling has also been conducted to check quality of the milk through testing from laboratories.

Replying to a query, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said that 75 percent of the total amount under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is investment.

He said bulk of CPEC projects are related to energy to make Pakistan self-reliance in this sector. He said all the investments under CPEC do not came through Pakistan’s national exchequer and investors are directly investing in energy sector whereas the government is to buy power from them.

“Similarly, Chinese Government award infrastructure project to the lowest bidder and Pakistan has nothing to do with this procedure,” he said.

Rana Tanvir Hussain said that several steps have been taken to address the issue of monopolistic environment, especially in small car segment, by attracting new investors to create competition and enhance of new models.

He said proper checking and certification of finished products of two wheelers and three wheelers auto-vehicles has been made mandatory.

Responding to a question, the minister for planning and development said that nine economic zones, one each, will be established in all the four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir, FATA, Federal Capital and Karachi.

He said all these zones are being established with the complete recommendation of the concerned provincial government.

The government is constructing infrastructure projects of worth about Rs200 billion in Balochistan on priority basis which will connect the province with rest of the country and open up new avenues of economic growth, development and progress.

The House offered Fateha for those who embraced martyrdom in yesterday’s blast in Lahore.

Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada presented before the House the Annual Report of the Council of Common Interests for the Financial Year 2015-16.

Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Muhammad Azam Khan Swati regarding the problems being faced by thousands of domestic, commercial and industrial consumers across Hazara Division due to closing down of 120 CNG stations in the area, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad told the House that CNG stations were closed for some period due to low gas pressure in wake of intense cold.

He said now situation has turned normal and there is no shortage of gas either for domestic or commercial consumers in the area.

Responding to another calling attention notice moved by Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi regarding the sale of unhygienic milk mixed with chemicals, both in open and packed form in Islamabad, Minister of State for Interior Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman told the House that stringent measures are being taken against adulterated milk. He said hundreds of cases have been registered and over 22,000 liters of adulterated milk has been confiscated. He said action is also being taken against toxic and unhygienic milk.

Four bills were introduced before the House today.

These are “The Limited Liability Partnership Bill, 2017″, The Pakistan Climate Change Bill, 2017”, “The Explosive Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2017” and “The Costs of Litigation Bill, 2017”.

These bills were moved by Law Minister Zahid Hamid.

The chair referred these bills to the Standing Committees concerned for further deliberations.

The House will now meet tomorrow afternoon at three.

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