Center seeks provincial tax data for digitization

The Center has asked all provinces to provide complete tax data to the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to facilitate digitization of tax data and improve the tax base.

According to a news report, these instructions were issued at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, where various issues including Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) were also discussed.

Key decisions regarding PSM included:

  1. Demolition of the existing loss-bearing steel factory.
  2. Allowing the use of PSM land for general industrial purposes by the Government of Sindh.
  3. To ensure the mutation of the remaining non-mutated land (1,683 acres) in the name of PSM.
  4. Clearing encroached PSM land and resuming ownership.

A committee will be set up to monitor these matters, and the Ministry of Industries and Production (MoI&P) will present a comprehensive plan, including the establishment of an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) or Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at PSM country, and a strategy for a new steel plant in collaboration with the government of Sindh.

The meeting also decided that the Ministry of Railways would accept the Sindh government’s proposal for an equity partnership under which a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) would be set up to facilitate the project.

Regarding dredging in Port Qasim, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs (MoMA) recommended self-dredging, and the Finance Department agreed to let the Port Qasim Authority (PQA) purchase foreign exchange from the market in installments.

The meeting approved the PQA dredging project on a self-financing basis. A project director will be appointed through a competitive process by June 30, 2024, and a dredging company will be hired through competitive bidding by August 20, 2024.

In addition, all provinces have been mandated to develop mechanisms to ensure desired wheat production and create optimal storage facilities.

The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank will be approached for the development of storage facilities, including outsourcing options, private sector investment and long-term leasing.