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Oct 25, 1999

  1. International
  2. Finance
  3. Industry
  4. Policy
  5. Trade
  6. Gulf

Builders in fix over fate of housing scheme

Contractors of Mera Ghar scheme of the previous government, after spending over Rs l billion in the initial work, are now in a quandary in the absence of any directives from the government.

"After exhausting our own funds arranged from different sources we are left with no choice but to stop construction work at our site in Landhi," lamented Managing Director of Shamsi Builders Yousuf Shamsi.

The previous government issued letters of acceptance for 49 projects of the Mera Ghar scheme but the actual work could only start on 42 sites all over the country.

FCAP for new farm policy

The Federation Chambers of Agriculture Pakistan (FCAP) has submitted proposals for new farm policy urging government to create a positive trade and investment climate for agriculture like industrial sector.

In a representation, president FCAP, Choudhry Mohammad Azam Cheema said: 'objective of the arm policy should be to develop an effective system which must ensure similar benefits to farmers as exist for industrialists'. The FCAP said, the government must seriously consider making terms of trade for agriculture favourable, otherwise farm production would continue to stagnate.

Major tax evasion cases to be re-examined

The military authorities have directed the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) to undertake fresh tax assessment of the big evaders, particularly belonging to textiles, sugar and cement industries.

Informed sources said here on Thursday that the authorities of the CBR were asked to re-examine cases of large tax evasion with a view to "reassess" them. Sources said that the services of the specialists in accounts, penal and legal side have been acquired to reassess the cases of big tax evasion.

The CBR officials were also told that there would not be any interference in their work to bring to book tax dodgers and collect record amount of taxes within next six weeks period.

"Our drive against tax evaders is going to pick a big momentum in the days ahead and I do not rule out the possibility of recovering Rs10 to Rs15 billion very shortly", claimed the chairman of the CBR, Mian Iqbal Farid.

He told that the issue of smuggling has been a big problem which was now being seriously looked into. He said that he was happy to have all the support of the military authorities to undertake some effective anti-smuggling campaign. He said that network in the NWFP was being strengthened to discourage the smuggling. "This menace is not only creating problems to collect required taxes, but was also hurting the local industry", the chairman CBR said.

Mian Iqbal Farid pointed out that his department could now deliver because of having all the support of the military authorities. "We are quite confidently not only to meet the current year's collection targets but also to go beyond that", he added.

Minimum margin fixed at 50pc

The State Bank of Pakistan on Thursday allowed financing against the shares of listed companies, which will be subject to minimum margin of 50 percent of its average market value of the preceding 12 months.

The State Bank took this measure to support the stock markets which have been continuously under pressure for the last two years. After the takeover by the Army, the stocks showed steep decline. The Governor of the State Bank, Dr Mohammad Yaqub, held meetings with the representatives of the stock exchanges and bankers to develop a supply line from banks to stocks. "The banks are, however, free to set higher margin requirement keeping in view other factors," said a circular issued on Thursday by the State Bank.

Zakat declarations

Karachi Stock Exchange has asked its shareholders/ investors to file 'zakat declarations' 30 days prior to the valuation date — Ist of Ramzan.

SECP directs leasing co

Ghandara Leasing Company Limited has been directed by the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan to deposit within 30 days an amount of Rs 4.698 million illegally paid to the chief executive as separation benefit for relinquishing the position.

Sources in the SECP told Dawn here on Tuesday that the examination of the annual accounts for the year ended June 30, 1998, of Ghandhara Leasing Company Limited (GLC) revealed that an amount of Rs 4.698 million was paid to the ex-chairman and chief executive of the company as separation benefits.

Redco agrees to repay liabilities to UBL

The speed at which a change in government was reflected was visible in the LHC on Monday when the counsel for suspended Senator Saif-ur-Rehman's company, Redco, offered to retire those very liabilities which it had admitted in August 1998. The offer was made by the Hubco counsel, Salman Butt, while appearing before the court of Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum of the LHC. Suspended Senator Saif-ur-Rehman's company, Redco Textile, had acquired a loan from the United Bank Limited (UBL), which was never repaid. When the case for the recovery from the company, with a capacity of 17,000 spindles and 70 shuttleless looms, was filed in 1998, the total amount had accumulated to Rs 920 million till the filing of the case.

US Consul General visits KSE

US Consul General John Earnest Bennett accompanied by Ms. Lisa Mount, Economic and Commercial Officer and Syed Hamiduddin, Economic Specialist of the American Counsulate General visited the Karachi Stock Exchange.

A press release of the KSE said that in a meeting with the Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Lakhani, Vice Chairman, Salim Chamdia, Managing Director Shahid Ghaffar and General Manager, Mohammad Yacoob Memon, the Chairman, KSE, briefed them about the present market conditions and various operational developments made at the KSE recently.