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PETROLEUM LEVY: FIA RECOVERS RS 440 MN FROM OMCS

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has made significant progress in investigation into embezzlement, worth billions of rupees, allegedly committed by oil marketing companies (OMCs) in collection of petroleum levy and recovered Rs 440 million. According to an official, the OMCs have deposited Rs 440 million in the national exchequer. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on December 28 last directed the FIA to investigate the embezzlement allegedly committed by the OMCs in collection of petroleum levy. He further directed the agency to expedite the pace of investigation in this regard, he added. He said the OMCs have collected billions of rupees from the public under head of petroleum levy, but they did not deposit the amount in the national exchequer.

PKR: STEADIER TREND

The rupee stayed put against the dollar for the second day on Friday in the process of trading, Kamal Hayder, Research Analyst-PAGE said. The rupee retained its levels in relation to the dollar for buying and selling at Rs 104.80 and Rs 104.82 respectively. Inter-Bank Market Rates: In the final Asian trade, dollar crawled as the dust settled from its tumble overnight to a three-week low, although gains were limited ahead of the US non-farm payrolls due out later in the session. The dollar index against a basket of major currencies was up 0.1 percent at 101.610 after dropping overnight to as low as 101.300, its lowest since December 14. It was on track to lose about 0.8 percent on the week, he added.

FBR WOULD SUBMIT COMMENTS ON PUNJAB’S PROFESSIONAL TAX PROPOSAL

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would submit its comments on the proposal of Punjab government to raise maximum limit of professional tax from Rs 100,000 to Rs 500,000, reflecting an increase of Rs 400,000. Source told to Research Analyst-PAGE on Friday that the professional tax is administered under the provisions of the ”Punjab Finance Act, 1977” and the ”Punjab Professions and Trade Tax Rules, 1977.” This tax is levied and collected on/from the persons or class of persons engaged in a profession, trade, calling or employment in the province of the Punjab.

COTTON RATES FIRMER ON RESTRICTED BUYING

Rates were firm on the cotton market on Friday in the process of restricted buying by mills and spinners, Kamal Hayder, Research Analyst-PAGE said. The official spot rate was unchanged at Rs 6300. In Sindh, seed cotton prices were unmoved at Rs 2800-3350. In Punjab, phutti rates held the overnight levels at Rs 2800 and Rs 3550, as per 40 kg. In the ready session, around 10,000 bales of cotton changed hands between Rs 6100-6700. Kamal further said that rates of cotton were up amid tight supply of best quality.

FBR CONCERNED OVER MASSIVE MISUSE OF EXEMPTION CERTIFICATES

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has expressed serious concern over massive misuse of exemption certificates at import stage and negligible impact of taxation measures taken in last budget (2016-17). Source told to Research Analyst-PAGE that the critical tax-related issues came under discussion during the day-long Chief Commissioners conference held at the FBR House on Saturday. Tax authorities noted with concern that misuse of withholding exemption certificates has considerably increased at import stage during 2016-17. Tax authorities also expressed concern that how field formations have issued inadmissible tax exemption certificates at import stage without following due process of law. It has been decided to immediately take measures to cancel inadmissible certificates through verification exercise and ensure preventive measures to avoid such issuance of certificates in future.

KE IRKED BY GOVT’S AUDIT OF SUBSIDY MOVE

The management of Karachi Electric (KE) has reportedly expressed it serious reservations against the federal government for sending a team to conduct an audit of subsidy worth billions of rupees given by the federal government from 2003-04 to 2012-13, well-informed sources told to Research Analyst-PAGE. K-E was resisting the federal government’s move to conduct an audit of the subsidy for the last several years. The source said, Ministry of Water and Power recently provided invoices of subsidy and wrote a letter to the government audit to start an audit of KE.

QUANTITATIVE EXPORT OF FINISHED LEATHER FALLS 32.72 PC

The quantitative export of finished leather has been declined by 32.72 percent during last five years from 24.985 million square meters in 2011-12 to 16,810 million square meters in 2015-16 whereas in term of value, it went down from $1.049 billion to $0.981 billion during the same period. Pakistan Tanners Association former Chairman Agha Saiddain while talking to Kamal Hayder, Research Analyst-PAGE further revealed that the finished leather fell down by 25.98 percent from 5.939 million square meters in July-October 2015 to 4.396 million square meters in July-October 2015-16. In term of value, it showed a decline of 10.08 percent from $126.209 million to $113.487 million during the same period.

 

WEAVING SECTOR’S PLEA TO GOVT

The weaving sector, particularly parties which supply goods to exporters for being shipped abroad, are almost on the verge of collapse due to government policies, a leading business said on Friday. Addressing an extraordinary general meeting of the Pakistan Weaving Mills Association, Asif Siddiq, a founding member of the PWMA, said exporters have been allowed to import yarn without duty or income tax and sales tax. On the other hand, he added, indirect exporters have to pay a 15 percent customs duty and one percent income tax on import of yarn. Due to the shortage of cotton in Pakistan and the high input cost, the weaving industry is relying mostly on imported yarn from India, China, Indonesia and Turkey, he added. “With this kind of policy, the government has taken the indirect exporters out of the market.

DG-EPA HAS DIRECTED CRUSH PLANTS OF ABBOTTABAD FOR IMMEDIATE STOPPAGE OF ACTIVITIES

Director General (DG) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has directed crush plants of Abbottabad for immediate stoppage of activities to attend proceedings in this connection at the office of the agency in the district on January 9, 2017. The crush plants asked for stoppage of activities are included Yasir Khan and Munir Khan Crush Plant, Ghumawan Abbottabad, Wali Dad and Aftab Khan Crush Plant, Siraj-ul-Islam and Aftab Khan Crush Plant, Qazi Waki-Ur-Rehman and Munir Khan Crush Plant, Qazi Saeed Gul and Qazi Usman Khan Crush Plant, Ahmed Ali Khan and Munir Khan Crush Plant, Naeem Khan and Aftab Khan Crush Plant, Ibrahim and Munir Khan Crush Plant, Azhar Khan and Aftab Khan Crush Plant, Amjid Khan and Munir Crush Plant, Hamad Khan and Usman Khan Crush Plant.

FISHERIES DEPARTMENT DIRECTED TO OFFER QUALITY SEED TO FARMERS

Punjab Minister for Forests, Wildlife and Fisheries Mian Yawar Zaman has directed the provincial fisheries department officials to provide quality seed to fish farmers besides introducing new varieties which could ensure higher meat production. The Minister issued these directives while visiting the Fisheries Research and Training Center Manawan and Fish Quality Control Lab Manawan on Friday. He said the government was committed to development and progress of fisheries to meet the white meat requirement of the masses. Mian Yawar Zaman also directed the officers to put fish varieties in ponds and lakes of recreational parks in nine towns of the provincial metropolis which eat dengue mosquito larvae. He also called for arranging maximum number of training workshops for intending fish farmers.

PBIF CHIEF URGES GOVERNMENT TO ASSIST REVIVE TEXTILE INDUSTRY

President of Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) Mian Zahid Hussain has said Pakistan is losing yarn market to Vietnam. Pakistan has already lost a big share in international clothing market to rivals such as Bangladesh and now cheaper yarn form Vietnam has emerged as another threat to the spinning industry, he said, adding that Vietnam’s yarn industry had grown threefold in the last four years while its yarn exports were growing by 40 percent per annum. Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan’s textile sector was the largest urban employment provider and largest foreign exchange earner but that has come under threat due to dominant position of Vietnam in yarn sector. Industrialists in many countries are relocating their units to Vietnam while China continues to invest heavily in the textile sector of that country which is expanding their capacity at a fast pace, he said, comparing that Pakistani textile exports continued to fall since 2009-10 gaining momentum in the last three years.

144 IMPOSED TO HALT COTTON SOWING BEFORE TIME

The Punjab government has imposed section 144 throughout the province to stop before-time sowing of the cotton. The government has warned a stern legal action against those found involved in before-time sowing of cotton besides destroying their crop. Disclosing this, a spokesman of the provincial agriculture department said on Friday that growers should not sow cotton crop before April 15, otherwise their crop will be destroyed and legal action will be taken against them under section 144.

IRREGULARITIES IN PROMOTION OF OLIVE CULTIVATION: FIA RECORDS CASE AGAINST SEVEN ACCUSED

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has completed its probe into the irregularities in promotion of olive cultivation on commercial scale project and registered a case against seven accused for committing gross illegalities and criminal misconduct while awarding the contract to firms for the supply of olive plants. According to the PAGE-source, the management of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) including members of the bidding opening and evaluation committee, inspection committee and former project director have committed gross illegalities and criminal misconduct while awarding the work to the firm for the supply of olive plants.

PCMEA CONCERNED OVER $ CONVERSION RATE

The Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association has urged the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Director General to take up the huge difference of dollar’s conversion rate for export and open market with the authorities concerned. Association’s Senior Vice Chairman Riaz Ahmad in a statement on Friday said the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) occasionally intervenes to smooth out the market which is now a day indicating main problems as the open market US dollar conversion rate is around Rs 109 while export dollar conversion rate is Rs 104. The difference of Rs 5, besides taxes, reaches up to Rs 7 which is creating a lot of hurdles for exporters in Pakistan, he said.

PCA DIRECTORATE KARACHI REPORTS 202.47 MN TAX BENEFITS BY IMPORTERS

Directorate of Post Clearance Audit (PCA) Karachi has established 22 contravention reports involving revenue to the tune of Rs 202.47 million in December 2016. According to statistics, revealed that the Directorate has established 22 contravention reports in December 2016. The importers were involved in providing a financial shock of Rs 202.47 million to the national kitty by misusing SRO 1125(I)/2011, mis-declaration of goods and by taking inadmissible tax benefits.

PEDO TO INTRODUCE 7 HYDROPOWER PROJECTS

Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) would launch seven hydropower projects of 668 Megawatt capacities with active participation of private sector during the current year. The projects would not only add 2 billion dollars investment in province but, also provide employment opportunities. These decisions were taken during a meeting of the Board of Directors (BoD) of Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) in its 16th meeting held under the chairmanship of Sahibzada Saeed Ahmed. BoD meeting was attended by Secretary Energy & Power Engr. Naeem Khan, Secretary Finance Ali Raza Bhutta, Additional Secretary Home Ata ur Rehman, PESCO Chief Anwar Yousafzai, Senator Nauman Wazir, CEO PEDO Akbar Ayub Khan, Fuad Ishaq, Latif Khan, Abdullah Shah and other high level officials.

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