All political parties being consulted for RGST implementation: PM

ON BOARD PM’s SPECIAL AIRCRAFT: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Thursday reiterating the government’s efforts to introduce a tax-paying culture in the country said all political parties were being consulted and taken into confidence to implement the Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST).Talking to reporters on board his Islamabad-bound aircraft after returning from Turkey, the Prime Minister said the timing to introduce RGST Bill in the parliament had not been decided and would be done after taking all political parties into confidence.He said it was the job of the finance minister to convince the stakeholders and remove their apprehensions in this regard.

About levying tax on agrarian income, the Prime Minister said it was the prerogative of the provincial governments to decide on the issue.Whether new political alliances were in the offing, the Prime Minister said the government continued the policy of reconciliation, adding, that he did not expect that opposition would go this way.Gilani said in the parliament of 340 members he did not see the absolute majority to bring change.He said a paradigm shift has been introduced by his government for not victimizing anyone politically, and they were taking along all political parties.“We have done justice to even PML(Q) and gave them their share in standing committees so that they could become part of the system”, he said.

About the claims of DG Hajj Rao Shakeel for being his friend, the Prime Minister said he (Rao Shakeel) was Deputy Commissioner in Multan while he was in prison.To a question about reports in media that the Prime Minister had asked the British Prime Minister not to visit Pakistan directly from Afghanistan, Gilani said Pakistan enjoyed good relations with the United Kingdom, however nothing was above the country’s self-respect and sovereignty.He said the British Prime Minister had been requested to undergo a separate visit to Pakistan and not relate it with Afghanistan’s visit.About Wikileaks, the Prime Minister said he has already viewed that these were not authentic reports. He said these were “one-sided opinions” just like someone gives a statement casually about somebody in his absence – App