Dar for making deliberations before finalising Draft Companies Bill-2016

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Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday directed the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to finalise ‘Draft Companies Bill-2016′ within two months by taking all stakeholder on board and making further deliberations to improve corporate culture in the country.

Addressing a seminar on “Draft Companies Bill-2016” organisd by the SECP, the minister said that main objective of the event was to get expert opinion before the finalisation of draft bill in order to make it more vibrant and effective. The government, he said, was acting upon its reforms agenda from the day first and it had introduced several economic and constitutional reforms to ensure innovation and transparency in political and economic sectors.

During the last two years, the government had made lot of legislation with consultation of all the stakeholders in order to bring economic and political reforms in the country and to give a better Pakistan for future generations, he added.

He said the government was also working on electoral reforms by taking all political forces on board for ensuring integrity and transparency in election process.

Ishaq Dar called upon the SECP for taking the members of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan and other legal experts from civil society into confidence before finalising the draft law. He said the draft bill would mobilise the foreign direct investment into the country besides restoring investors’ confidence and their facilitation.

Highlighting the salient feature of local economy, he said overwhelming economic progress was witnessed during the last 32 months as budget deficit came down from 8.2 per cent to 4.3 per cent besides remarkable increase in GDP growth of 4.4 per cent which was higher during the last seven years.

He informed that a significant decrease in inflation from 12 per cent to two per cent was also witnessed besides encouraging growth in forex exchange reserves, coupled with increasing revenue collection which had recorded 18 per cent growth during the last eight months of current financial year.

The economic performance, he said, was also recognised by leading international credit rating agencies and institutions including Moodi, Standard and Poors and JETRO, he added.

Ishaq Dar said the overseas remittances had also recorded remarkable growth and reached US$ 18.5 billion during the period under review as compared to the US$ 13.9 billion of same period last year.

He said the government was embarking upon a robust economic growth agenda to accelerate GDP growth to 6-7 per cent per annum and had initiated mega energy production projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

He said the Chinese companies would invest about US$ 36 billion on different energy generation projects which would not only bridge the energy supply-demand gap but also produce surplus power to meet future energy needs of the country.

Speaking on the occasion, SECP Chairman Zafar Hijazi highlighted the salient feature of the Draft Companies Bill-2016 and said the prime objective of the bill was to ease business doing, besides recognising the need of digital age and reducing the cost of doing business. He said the bill would also help in expediting the dispute resolution mechanism and create softer regime for companies and safeguarding the interest of general public.