ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar has said that the ‘historic’ bill for the establishment of the Pakistan Sovereign Wealth Fund was passed by the Senate today, ARY News reported on Wednesday.
Ishaq Dar, while addressing an event at the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) headquarters today, welcomed the Senate for unanimously passing the Pakistan Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill.
Dar said that seven state assets worth Rs2,300 billion were initially included in the fund including three assets of the finance ministry. It also included three state assets of oil and gas reserves and an energy ministry asset.
The finance minister said that the practice of parking state assets to showcase them to the world was also adopted by Indonesia and Egypt to gain the confidence of investors. He added that the fund containing the national assets acts as a sovereign guarantee of the government.
He praised FBR’s performance in the first month of the current fiscal year and revenue collections more than its assigned target in July. Dar said that the government set a big target for tax collections this fiscal year.
The finance minister said that Pakistan’s reserves reached $14 billion amid dangerous predictions but the government arranged the external payments.
He said that the current account deficit range was brought to positive from March 2023 and those who are willing to see Pakistan default have failed. The country bore a financial burden and made timely payments.
He said that the economic team paved the way for Pakistan’s economic stability. He added that the tax officials need encouragement, as well as, there is a need to adopt friendly behaviour with the taxpayers.
The finance minister said that Pakistan will never default. Dar said that the government wants to make FBR a friendly board of revenue.
Regarding the Pakistan Sovereign Wealth Fund, Dar said that the fund based on national assets acts as a sovereign guarantee of the government.
The bill was moved by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar which was unanimously passed by the Senate today.
On July 31, the National Assembly had approved legislation to establish the Pakistan Sovereign Wealth Fund which aims to ensure sustainable economic development through the efficient management of funds and assets, adhering to the highest international standards.
Minister for Law and Justice, Azam Nazeer Tarar, announced the introduction of the Pakistan Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill, 2023 in the National Assembly, which was later successfully passed by the House.
The Pakistan Sovereign Wealth Fund aims to consolidate the scattered investments of the Pakistani government into a single entity and assess their face value. The fund will be regulated with financial policies, considering the segregated accounts of the government in the form of shares and state-owned companies.
The minister highlighted successful examples from Egypt and Indonesia, where similar funds have contributed significantly to their economic growth. By establishing this fund, the Pakistani government aims to dispel any apprehensions about the country’s economy and showcase its financial health, while also contributing positively to overall economic development.
The establishment of the Pakistan Sovereign Wealth Fund represents a significant step towards enhancing economic growth and stability in the country. Through prudent financial management and adherence to global best practices, the fund aims to pave the way for a prosperous and sustainable economic future for Pakistan, the state news agency reported.