PAK-TURKISH RELATIONS TURNING INTO SUSTAINED ECONOMIC COOPERATION: CHIEF
Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Friday said that Pakistan-Turkish relations were turning into sustainable economic cooperation during PML-N led government. The CM expressed these remarks during a meeting with Delegation of Turkish investors who called on him. The delegation expressed their keen interest for investing in different sectors of Punjab specifically drinking water, waste water treatment and housing sectors. Talking to the delegation, the CM praised that Turkey had made progress by leaps and bounds in the administration of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistan was enjoying good relations of brotherhood and unconditional support in different sectors. Shehbaz Sharif said that government was providing appropriate environment for investment and many Turkish companies were already investing in different areas of the country which was a welcoming step.
LTU ISLAMABAD ADOPTS UNLAWFUL WAY TO COLLECT TAX FROM STEEL SECTOR
Large Taxpayer Unit (LTU) Islamabad has adopted an illegal way to collect sales tax from steel sector resulting in double taxation on steel melters and re-rolling mills. PAGE-sources told on Friday that a full bench of Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue (ATIR) Islamabad has issued an order against the LTU Islamabad. The said remarks have been given by ATIR Islamabad which also dismissed the appeals filed by the LTU Islamabad. The appeal has been filed by LTU Islamabad before the ATIR against Sales Tax Order-in-Appeal No 101/2013, dated 21.03.2013, passed by Commissioner Inland Revenue (Appeals-I), Islamabad. The LTU Islamabad failed to respond to two basic queries of the ATIR Islamabad. The first question was about confirming from FBR records whether intention of FBR was to create extra tax payable in addition to earlier tax chargeable and the second query was whether the LTU Karachi and LTU Lahore have adopted the same methodology for collection of tax from the steel sector.
DUTIES, TAXES COLLECTION DROP BY 15 PC IN PUNJAB
Collection of duties and taxes by the Customs department during the first seven months of current fiscal year has dropped by 15 percent against the corresponding period. According to the data collected from dry ports in Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan, total collection stood at Rs 76.56 billion up to 31st January 2017 against Rs 78.24 billion during the corresponding period, thus a drop of 15 percent. It may be noted that the revenue target set for the period was Rs 90.37 billion. Recovery at the Model Customs Collectorate stood worst where revenue drop reached to 42 percent against 6 percent in Lahore and 5 percent in Faisalabad. On the count of Customs duty, total collection at all the three dry ports registered a drop of 2 percent up to 31st January 2017 to the tune of RsRs 23.72 billion against a target of Rs 24.11 billion, followed by 22 percent in sales tax to the tune of Rs 44.07 billion against a target of Rs 56.25 billion and 13 percent in withholding tax to the tune of Rs 8.43 billion against a target of Rs 9.71 billion.
GST, PETROLEUM LEVY ON KEROSENE, LDO ABOLISHED
The government has abolished General Sales Tax (GST) and Petroleum Levy (PL) on Kerosene Oil (KO) and Light Diesel Oil (LDO), while it has reduced PL on Motor Gasoline from Rs 4 per litre to Rs 2.25 per litre to pass on the lower international fuel price to domestic consumers. Source said to Kamal Hayder, Research Analyst-PAGE that the Ministry of Finance had revived the mechanism of Price Differential Claims (PDL) after eight years in a bid to subsidise some of the petroleum products. On PDL account the government from 2004-2008 paid an amount of Rs 29.8 billion to Oil Marketing Companies. Source further said the Ministry directed the regulator to workout High Speed Diesel (HSD) price on the basis of 31 percent GST, and the Authority commuted and forwarded recommendations to the government.
DRINKING WATER PROJECT TO BE ENLARGED TO 31 MORE DISTRICTS: CM
Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said on Friday that Clean Drinking Water project had been set up in six tehsils of the South Punjab and would be extended to additional 31 districts with rapidity. The CM expressed these remarks while presiding over a meeting to review the roadmap with regard to the supply of clean drinking water programme. The chief minister said access to clean drinking water was a basic right of every citizen and the government was trying provide their basic rights at their door step. “Learning lesson from the bitter reality of past we need to pace up this public welfare project and to avoid same older inconvenience it has to be executed professionally under formulated time line,” he added. The chief minister directed to official concerns to complete feasibility, design and planning work of project at the earliest and present a final roadmap at the earliest. Provincial Minister Housing Syed Haroon Sultan Bukhari, Chairman Water Company (North) MNA Major (Retd) Tahir Iqbal, Chairman planning & Development, Secretary Housing, German consultant, experts of water sector and concerned officials attended the meeting.
OVER 10M COTTON BALES REACH GINNERIES ACROSS PAK
Seed cotton (Phutti) 1,06,34000 bales reached ginneries across Pakistan till Feb 1, 2017, registering an increase of 10.63 per cent compared to the last year, Kamal Hayder, Research Analyst-PAGE said. He further said on Friday, out of total arrival, Phutti equivalent to over 10 million bales had undergone the ginning process till Feb 1. The exporters purchased 22,356 cotton bales while textile mills purchased 9,515,478 bales during the recent season. Exactly 916,793 bales were still lying with the ginneries as the unsold stock.
PAKISTAN HAS PHENOMENAL DEVELOPMENT IN ICT SECTOR: ANUSHA
Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecom Anusha Rahman on Friday said Pakistan had become a case study for international community due to its phenomenal development in ICT sector. The minister stated this while talking to a delegation led by Chairperson, Telenor Board Gunn Waersted, who called on the minister in her office. Federal Secretary IT Rizwan Bashir Khan, Member Telecom Mudassar Hussain and CEO Telenor, Irfan Wahab Khan were also present in the meeting. The minister Anusha Rehman congratulated Ms. Gunn Waersted on her appointment as Chairperson of Telenor Board. The minister apprised the delegates regarding phenomenal development in Pakistan’s ICT sector which was evolving magnificently day by day. Anusha Rehman said our country was passing through a phase of Digital revolution. Now it’s need of the time that public and private sectors work together through this technological paradigm shift. She further said we believe in open use of technology as a tool for socio economic uplift of our people.
MINISTER ANNOUNCES CONSTRUCTION OF 500 BEDDED GYNAE OBSTETRICS HOSPITAL
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak Friday announced construction of a state-of-the-art 500 bedded full-fledged Gynae Obstetrics hospital in Peshawar to cater to the need of the increasing load of patients. He made the announcement at an international Conference on Gynae obstetrics. Chairman PTI Imran Khan, Minister Health Shahram Khan Tarakai and other addressed the conference. The KP government, he said, introduced various reforms health sector, increased the salaries of doctors and others staff and brought them at par with the doctors in the developed countries. Our concerns was to ensure efficient healthcare to all areas of the province, he added. Pervez Khattak said we introduced Sehat Insaf Card providing free treatment up to 500,000 to almost 1,800,000 families that constituted 51 percent of the total population of the province.
TEA IMPORT DECLINES 5.45PC IN FIRST HALF
Tea import into the country during first half of current financial year decreased by 7.99 percent as compared the imports of the corresponding period of last year, Kamal Hayder-Research Analyst-PAGE said. During the period from July-December, 2016-17, about 107,408 metric tons of tea worth $257.584 million imported to fulfill the domestic requirements as compared to imports of 91,090 metric tons worth $279.953 million of same period of last year. During last two quarters, spices import into the country also reduced by 5.45 percent as 85,331 metric tons of spices valuing $64.852 million imported as compared to the imports of 77,155 metric tons worth $68.595 million of same period of last year. He further said that during the period under review about 6,115 metric tons of sugar valuing $2.558 million imported as compared to 7,671 million worth of $4.02 million of same period of last year. During the first half of current financial year, food group import increased by 9.04 percent as compared to same period of last year. Different food commodities worth $2.846 billion were imported into the country in last two-quarters as compared to the imports of 2.626 billion of same period of last year, he added.
OGRA ISSUED 21 PROVISIONAL LICENCES TO SET UP OMCS IN 6-MONTH
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has issued 21 provisional licences for establishing Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in a period of six months from July to December 2016. “With the establishment of these companies, a minimum investment of Rs 10.5 billion will pour into the oil sector during next three years,” official sources told on Friday. The authority, they said, granted the licences to M/s Best Petroleum (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Oil Industries Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Accel Petroleum (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Euro Oil (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Oleum Petroleum (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Al-Noor Petroleum (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Damam Petroleum (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Max Fuels (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Fast Oil (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Hi-Tech Lubricants (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Jinn Petroleum (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Vital Petroleum (Pvt.) Limited, M/s International Petrochemicals (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Allied Petroleum (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Only One Energy (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Pak Gasoline Services (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Shams Petroleum (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Berkeley Oil & Gas Development (Pvt.) Limited, M/s Taj Gasoline (Pvt.) Limited, M/s My Petroleum (Pvt.) Limited and M/s Terminal One (Pvt.) Limited.
6500 MW ELECTRICITY WILL BE ADDED TO NATIONAL GRID BY OCT- 2017
Secretary Water and Power Dr Muhammad Younis Dhaga on Thursday said that 6500 megawatts electricity will be added to the National grid by October this year. In an interview with Radio Pakistan, he said that the government will focus on generation of Thar coal and hydle electricity as the electricity generated from fuel is costly. He said the provision of cheap electricity to all is the vision of Prime Minister under whose leadership the government is taking all measures for generation of electricity through cheaper sources. Dr Younis Dhaga said in the second phase 9000 megawatts of electricity will be added in the National Grid by March next year after which load shedding will end forever. He said in these 9000 megawatts only two projects the Sahiwal and Port Qasim are included in CPEC. He said the work on Neelum Jhelum Projects was also going on expeditiously and the first turbine will begin working in June next year.
THREE LNG-BASED POWER PLANTS TO ADD 2400MW TO NATIONAL GRID BY SEPT THIS YEAR
Three LNG-based power plants in public sector would add 2400 MW to the national grid by September this year and would achieve full potential of 3600 MW by January next year, source said to Research Analyst-PAGE. According to Radio Pakistan, these include two funded by Government of Pakistan at Haveli Bahadur Shah and Balloki and one by Punjab Government at Bhikki, Three gas turbines have already reached site and three more would reach by April this year. Bhikki Plant has already been connected to national grid and expected to generate first 800 MW by March this year. Work on installation, testing and grid connection is going on in full speed on all the three sites.
FOREIGN FINANCIERS TAKING INTEREST IN PAKISTAN: MIFTAH L
Chairman Board of Investment (BoI), Dr Miftah Ismail Thursday said that foreign investors were keen to invest in various sectors of Pakistan. He said that World Bank (WB), and wall street journals (WSJ), had also given reports about declining poverty level in Pakistan. He said that purchasing power of people had been increasing which was a positive sign for progress of the country. He said that incidents of terrorism had been reduced. Miftah Ismail said that confidence of the foreign investors for exploring business opportunities in Pakistan had been increased. Chairman BoI said that foreign news papers were also praising Pakistan’s improving condition in every sector. He appreciated the efforts of the prime minister for announcing trade package due to which, exports would be improved. He said that target set by the government regarding strengthening economy would also be achieved in next few years.