Elements involved in corruption, criminal negligence be held accountable: PM

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ISLAMABAD, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday said that the elements involved in the deep-rooted menace of corruption and criminal negligence for denting the national economy would be held accountable.

Referring to the track and trace system agreement made in 2019, the prime minister said this system was nothing but a cruel joke to the nation as no improvement was seen in the sectors of tobacco, cement, sugar and fertilizer.

He said the agreement was totally a fraud as even no penalty clause was included in it.

Chairing a meeting of the Cabinet at the PM House, he said that he had ordered to form an inquiry committee in this regard that will present its report within 72 hours.

As regards the macroeconomic indicators, the prime minister expressed satisfaction over the collective performance of both incumbent and the interim governments. He said according to a recently published report on Pakistan economy, many indicators including IT export, remittances, capital market were showing positive results due to the prudent policies of the government.

However, he maintained that lot of work needed to be done. The government will perform ‘major surgical operation’ to get rid of the deep-rooted flaws in the country’s economy, he added.

PM Shehbaz Sharif informed that he completed the power sector review in four phases in which important decisions were taken to minimize power theft and line losses, and to reduce prices of the electricity. Besides, he said the government had also decided in principle to divest the Distribution Companies (DISCOs).

He said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had old and obsolete systems which needed to be replaced to increase the tax to GDP ratio. He pointed out that the FBR had the potential to earn extra revenues worth hundreds of billions of rupees by implementing reforms in its system.

“We have to take tough decision in larger interest of the country and we will fully monitor the implementation phase,” the prime minister remarked.

As regards, privatization of the State Owned Entities (SOEs), the prime minister assured that the process would be done without delay and in a transparent manner.