| Updated at: 2126 PST, Wednesday, September 22, 2010|
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance, Revenue and Planning and Development Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh Wednesday told the Senate that hurdles are being faced in making businessmen pay taxes, however, the situation is not such where salaries could not be paid to government employees for two months.
Reiterating government commitment for the promotion of higher education in the country, the Finance Minister informed the Senate that despite freezing the budget of all other departments, the budget for Higher Education Commission (HEC) was increased by eight per cent.
Replying to various supplementary questions during questions hour, he said that the requirements of all those students who had been sent abroad by HEC would be fulfilled at any cost so they could easily compete their education.
The minister also assured the house that all HEC projects at advanced stage would be completed according to schedule.
He said the government has already accepted genuine demands of the university teachers and committee has also been constituted to sort out the issue of 50 per cent raise in the salaries of university employees.
In response to a supplementary question, the minister said it was not true that the government would be unable to pay salary to employees after two months. I was misquoted regarding the non payment of salaries to the employees, he added.
He said that the government was taking pragmatic steps for the development of economic sector and all resources would be mobilized for the purpose.
Hafeez Shaikh said inflation remained 11.7 per cent during the last years.
Inflation has been influenced mainly by food prices, increase in support price of agricultural crops like wheat, and sugar cane. Increase in freight and transportation costs are also causes of surging inflation, he added.
The minister confessed that foreign loans were also a reason for increasing inflation rate. However, these loans were borrowed by past government, he added.
He said the government has already imposed capital gain tax on strong and influential groups adding that reformed general sales tax was being implemented.
He said dream of self reliance could not be materialized without mobilization of resources.