PPP, PML-N set timeline for reform agenda implementation

Islamabad, Jan 21(ANI): The ruling Pakistan People's Party and the major opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-N, have registered progress in their joint effort to face the economic challenges and resolve conflicting political issues, as both parties' committees have set directions and timelines for key points ranging from energy outages to the accountability bill.

The PML-N asserted that the 45-day deadline to implement its ten-point agenda was intact, and that the two committees were interacting on it.

"The Prime Minister himself has endorsed the 45-day deadline," The Nation quoted Senator Ishaq Dar, leader of the PML-N committee, as saying.

"The media misread the finance minister's statement after previous meeting that timeline was irreverent," he added.

At the end of the second meeting of the two parties' committees, they agreed to take concrete decisions on the implementation of the 10-point programme in the next meeting on January 26.

The key agreements between the PPP and the PML-N were on the review of petroleum prices, a formula towards transparency and public interest.

Another significant agreement between the parties ruling in centre and Punjab was establishing a mechanism at the federal and provincial level to keep a vigil on prices. A meeting will be held on January 24 to evolve a mechanism for effective price control.

Responding to a question on the Reform General Sales Tax (RGST), Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Shaikh said: "Resource mobilisation through different options is the key issue that has also been included in talks as without resource mobilisation country cannot overcome present difficulties".

On the political side, the two committees agreed to make headway on the appointment of the chief election commissioner and the accountability bill.

According to Senator Dar, the meeting underlined the need for a transparent mechanism for the appointment of the CEC as well as other top officials at the ECP. "The first step will be formation of the parliamentary committee by the speaker that will then take up the issue," he said. (ANI)

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