KARACHI: Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar has recommended to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) to work diligently for maximising the amount of assets for submission under the Amnesty Scheme announced by the government. The minister was on a visit to the PSX on Monday.
In a meeting with representatives of PSX Board, management and senior market participants, she discussed various issues related to capital market development and dealt at length with the amnesty scheme for declaration of assets.
Dr Shamshad said that the scheme cannot be extended beyond the June 30 deadline. Some operational issues were raised by the participants of the meeting to which the minister assured that those would be sorted out with the relevant departments. No extension in the June 30 deadline
The minister clarified some issues relating to nominee accounts held at Central Depository Company (CDC) and proposed that a committee comprising representatives of the Ministry of Finance, State Bank of Pakistan, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the private sector forward recommendations by June 21 to eliminate possible ambiguities and remove hurdles in implementing the scheme.
A participant at the meeting between the finance minister and the PSX Board said that one of such hurdle was the condition of inflows through the declarer’s overseas foreign currency account. That condition was likely to be removed with the participant given permission to remit the amount through third party and/or foreign exchange companies. SBP was likely to release a circular in a day or two after discussing the issue with members of FBR and finance ministry. Secondly, the bonds issued under the Scheme would be provided return of 3 per cent and they could be redeemed at the interbank market rate. Those who avail the scheme were offered comfort by the passage of the Scheme through the Parliament and a nod by the Supreme Court.
A press statement issued by the PSX said that Chairman PSX Board Husain Lawai welcomed the minister and thanked her for taking time to visit PSX on a holiday.
CEO PSX Richard Morin briefed the participants about PSX and apprised about the ambitious Strategic Plan to modernise Pakistan’s capital market.
Some of the plans highlighted by him included launching new products like exchange traded funds and Sharia compliant products targeted at middle class Pakistanis as well as derivatives to broaden the offerings.
Other ideas included developing the retail bond market, a national investor awareness and education programme, acquiring world class trading and market surveillance systems, streamlining the account opening and documentation process and improving investor protection.
The finance minister directed PSX to form a committee to propose a 5-year road map for the development of Pakistan’s capital market.