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After Sehat Card, govt plans to launch Ehsaas petrol cards

ISLAMABAD: The PTI-led federal government plans to launch Ehsaas Petrol Cards for motorcyclists to enable them to buy petrol at a subsidised rate.

The government also intends to raise the pay of public sector employees in the upcoming fiscal year 2022-23 budget.

However, there is no consideration for monetising bureaucratic perks and privileges, despite a report from the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) revealing that top bureaucrats in Pakistan are more paid and privileged than United Nations employees.

In a recent statement, Prime Minister Imran Khan hinted at granting market-based salaries, but only to raise the question as to why luxury houses, cars, gasoline, and number of other allowances — that count in perks and privileges — were being abolished and made part of take-home salary.

According to an official announcement made here on Thursday, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin chaired the meeting of the Macro-Economic Advisory Group (MEAG) at the Finance Division.

One participant of the meeting told The News that basically three points came under discussion, including ideas to support middle-class (safaid posh) against high inflation.

The meeting considered proposals like subsidised fuel, tax reliefs, rise in income/minimum wages, internships (for educated unemployed), economic reforms especially in the energy sector, and finally build further on the growth momentum with 5.6% GDP growth, 15% rise in exports, over 10% increase in remittances and record tax collection by building up further business confidence and remove bureaucratic hurdles, and ensure maintenance of consistent policies.

The meeting hashed out the core macroeconomic indicators of Pakistan’s economy. MEAG members expressed satisfaction over the progress of the economy.

As sustainable macro-economic stabilisation is imperative, therefore consideration to challenges and respective measures for dealing with rising global prices were discussed.

Moreover, various effective measures for providing relief to the public especially the urban middle class came under discussion during the meeting. Pragmatic solutions were also analysed for dealing with these issues along with maintaining the growth momentum in the economy.

Meanwhile, Tarin also presided over the meeting of the Steering Committee of Kamyab Pakistan Programme (KPP).

Chairman NPHDA, President Bank of Punjab, Chairman SECP, Founder of Akhuwat Foundation, Dr Amjad Saqib, and senior officers attended the meeting.

A detailed presentation was given to the Finance Minister on the progress of Kamyab Pakistan Programme.

The meeting was informed the first phase of the programme was going successfully and applications for the award of loans were being received through SMS from all over the country.

The loans are being disbursed after fulfilment of requirements to the deserving applicants for the uplift of living standards of the underprivileged people of the country. Small loans for businesses, farmers and construction of houses are also a part of the programme.

Tarin appreciated all the stakeholders for their contributions to the success of the Kamyab Pakistan Progarmme and further directed them to expand it all over Pakistan.

Dr Amjad Saqib, Founder of Akhwat Foundation, briefed the meeting about the disbursement of loans and highlighted some issues faced by the targeted population in some remote areas of Pakistan for accessing the information about availing Kamyab Pakistan Progarmme benefits.

Finance minister ordered the concerned authorities to resolve the issues in the way of information accessibility and underscored that Kamyab Pakistan Programme would prove to be a milestone in uplifting the lower strata of the society.

The participants of the meeting assured the finance minister of their full cooperation and participation in making the programme successful.

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