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Jun 12 - 18, 2000

IMF links funds to levy of taxes

The IMF review mission headed by Sena Eken left Islamabad on Monday linking possibility of putting Pakistan on its programme with the GST implementation on services sector, agricultural tax, revival of sick units, and curbing corruption.

The IMF mission would again visit Ishamabad next month "to see the implementation of the government measures for structural reforms programme, sources said.

The IMF during the policy level talks with Pakistan discussed broad budgetary measures being taken by the government. The government told the mission the documentation of economy would help in collecting an additional Rs100 billion in the next financial year and within two years the collection of Rs600 billion would not be a difficult task.

The discussion was also focused on the government's efforts to improve the industrial growth with emphasis on reviving 800 sick units out of a total 4,000. Pakistan had been separately seeking about $400 million for this purpose.

A final decision of including Pakistan in the Fund's Poverty Reduction and Development Programme is expected at the annual meeting of the Fund, to be held on Sept 26 and 28.

During the current year the Fund did not disburse a single SDR (Special Drawing Right) from any of the existing arrangements it has at present with Pakistan. On the other hand, Pakistan has repaid a total of SDR572 million to the Fund this year.

Pakistan first received IMF credit in 1988 and has a quota of SDR1.03 billion and its present outstanding purchases from the quota. The loans include SDR170.7 million under standby arrangement approved in December 1995 expired in September 1997.

In October 1997, SDR206.54 million under extended arrangement approved and expiring in October 2000. SDR352.7 million under contingency and compensatory arrangement; SDR43.7 million under SAF arrangements, and SDR410.24 million under ESAF/PRFG arrangements approved in October 1997 and expiring in October this year.

ARL gets one-time CED waiver

Central Board of Revenue has decided to allow a one-time exemption from payment of central excise duty on asphalt and bituminous materials belonging to the Atock Refinery Limited.

The exemption has been granted at a meeting of board-in-council of the CBR, convened by chairman Riaz Hussain Naqvi. The exemption involves waiving of Rs 47.9 million requested by the ARL and recommended by the ministry of commerce.

UK to restore technical assistance

Britain has announced that it will restore technical assistance to Pakistan for its some of the key reforms announced by the government.

The announcement to restore the technical assistance was made by Britain's Secretary of State for International Development Clare Short while answering a question in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening when MP Browne had asked her during the question hour to make a statement on her plans for provision of bilateral development assistance to Pakistan.

Another MP Streeter (correct name) also took this opportunity to ask the International Development Secretary about the progress so far made towards restoring the bilateral aid programme to Pakistan.

Collateral for software exports

The State Bank on Monday instructed all banks to set up separate units in their offices to ensure proper credit flow towards software exporters.

The SBP also asked all the banks to provide export finance facility to them after making it sure that they possessed a valid firm export order or irrevocable letter of credit and were committed to repatriating their export proceeds.

"This export order or LC should be accepted as a collateral for bank borrowing under Export Finance Scheme," the SBP said in its circular (BPRD no 13).

Airlines chief

Khursheed Anwar has joined Aero Asia as its new managing director. He served PIA for 36 years, says a press release.


Muslim Commercial Bank will spend $15m to computerize its over 1,300 branches around the country.

Provincial revenue up by 14pc

The Balochistan government has achieved the target of increasing provincial receipts by 14 per cent, as such, it has qualified itself for a matching grant from the federal government as laid down in the National Finance Commission (NFC) award 97.

Company name

Reckitt & Colman of Pakistan Limited has called an Extra-ordinary General Meeting of the shareholders on July 6, to approve the change of company's name to "Reckitt Benckiser Pakistan Limited".

Tax revenue revised

The final federal tax revenue estimates for 1999-2000 have been revised downward from Rs362 to Rs356 billion by the Central Board of Revenue, sources said.

This is the third revision in current fiscal. The revenue estimates were budgeted at Rs356bn, were revised upward to Rs379bn in September 1999 (after GST levy on gas and etectricity), but were revised downward in March 2000 to Rs 362bn.

Budget speech

The budget speech of the finance minister and Customs tariff for the next financial year would be out on the web site of CBR.

Wealth tax non-filers offered immunity

All citizens of Pakistan, who have never before filed wealth tax (WT) return, have been offered a blanket immunity from past penalties and additional, if they clear their WT dues by June 30.

An official press release issued here on Wednesday says that the wealth tax non-filers of the past would be enjoying this facility if they file their returns along with depositing the tax amount due for the past years.