islamabad - Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Saturday directed for establishment of high powered task force to undertake detailed review of a large number of social safety-net programmes scattered across different ministries and departments, so as to gauge their performance and avoid overlapping.

Finance Minister made these remarks while chairing a meeting to review the implementation status of the initiatives announced in the federal budget 2014-15.

Dr Waqar Masood, Finance Secretary gave a detailed presentation on the status of the initiatives and the progress made so far on the implementation. He informed that blue print to establish/incorporate Exim Bank of Pakistan will be completed by September 2014 and a legal framework through the act of Parliament will be initiated thereafter. On establishment of Pakistan Land Port Authority, he said that the integrated transit trade committee would present its initial understanding to the Finance Minister by 15 July, 2014.

The finance minister was informed that necessary notifications related to reduction in mark up rates of Exports Refinance Facility and Long Term Finance Facility have already been issued. It was also informed that Finance Division is following up on the decisions for disposal of all pending sales tax refunds by 30th September and in future disposal of sales tax refunds will be ensured within three months by the FBR.

The finance minister said that mechanism for credit guarantee scheme for small and marginalized farmers must be devised at the earliest and in this regard Ministry of National Food Security and Internal Finance Wing should coordinate with State Bank of Pakistan. Dar also reviewed the progress made on crop loan insurance scheme, livestock insurance scheme, increased agriculture credit availability, establishment of commodities warehouses, low cost housing guarantee scheme, mortgage refinance company and PM’s low cost housing scheme.

The finance minister was informed that necessary notifications/circulars for provision of incentives for processing industries in Makran, Gilgit Baltistan, Swat Valley and FATA, air freight subsidy circular on horticulture produce from GB are being issued shortly. It was also informed that notification with regard to enhancement of monthly stipend through BISP to increase from Rs.1200 to Rs.1500 has already been issued. The finance minister was also informed that the divestment of government shares in PSEs is going on as per plans with both local and international investors’ interests. Promotion of Islamic banking and financial system in the country is being worked out by the SBP and the Finance Division and an interim report will be presented to the Finance Minister at the earliest.