Apr 16 - 22, 2001
Textile Industry: Sales tax refunds
Mr. Abid Farooq, Chairman Aptma has urged the Central Board
of Revenue to release pending Sales Tax Refunds to tax claimants immediately and
save the Textile Industry from severe liquidity crisis. He referred to the
recent meeting held with CBR wherein it was assured that refunds would be
released to Tax Claimants in the first week of April 2001. So far cheques are
not being issued. Apparently no reasons have been assigned to this inordinate
delay. Major sufferers are the Manufacturers-Cum-Exporters who have borrowed
funds from Banks at high rate of markup. The present situation is that the mills
are not in a position to pay further tax due on 10th of April. If refunds are
not released immediately possibility exists that the concerned mills would not
be able to service their installments to the Banks.
He further added that the CBR has issued clarification C. No.
3(36)STP/99(Pt.1) on 28.02.2001 regarding requirement of payment proof within
the tax period. The issue has further complicated the refunds process to tax
claimants. As a result, Collectorates have stopped further processing these
refunds since January 2001. Implications of the said clarifications are wide
ranged. Aptma has urged the Government to withdraw the clarification and process
refund applications in the light of the Refund Rules under SRO 417(1)/2000.
Actions required to get best desired results from
forthcoming "Shipping Policy"
As you are well aware that shipping industry has been remain
neglected by the previous governments and no concrete and meaningful steps were
taken for the promotion or even for revival of this industry. Different
committees and task forces were formed, but no response was given to their
recommendations and no progress was made for promotion of this industry.
Pakistan has captive cargo market of millions of tons being
shipping/transported to or from Pakistan every year which includes Iron Ore
& Coal, Wheat, Fertilizers, Steel products, Iron scrap, sugar, oil seeds,
cotton, rice, textile made-up, crude oil, petroleum & edible oil, & lot
of other general cargo movement in containers. In addition, if right shipping
policies are adopted, we have the markets of Afghanistan and other neighbouring
states of Central Asia.
In the past, the decisions made on 24th April, 1993 for
promotion of shipping industry on the highest economic forum in Pakistan i.e.
E.C.C. were not implemented. This has lost the confidence of prospective
investors. The credibility of the government was compromised and with the result
presently no shipping company in private sector is in operation. All the
companies of this sector had to close down their operations due to non friendly
fiscal policies of Central Board of Revenue imposed on shipping companies.
Pak-Gulf Leasing Company Limited extra ordinary
An Extra Ordinary General Meeting of the company was convened
on April 07, 2001 at 11:30 a.m. at the Registered Office of the Company situated
at 114, Unibro House, 9th East Street, Phase-I, Defence Housing Authority,
Pak-Gulf Leasing Company Ltd. commenced operation on
September 15, 1996. The foreign shareholding comprises of 26% of the share
capital and 74% comprises of local sponsors and general public.
As the present tenure of the Directors of the Company is due
to expire on April 08, 2001, new Directors were inducted for a term of three
years commencing from April 09, 2001.
The following are the newly appointed Directors:-
1. Mr. Azfar Bin Shahid
2. Mr. Fawad S. Malik
3. Mr. Habib Inam
4. Mr. Inam Ellahi Shaikh
5. Mr. Shaheed H. Gaylani
6. Sheikh Muhammad Jawed
7. Mr. Sohail Inam Ellahi
8. Mr. Yousuf Jan Mohmmad
The new Directors have a rich experience in the business
sector and as such are seasoned businessmen, who are well known in the Business
While speaking on the occasion the Chairman, Mr. Sohail Inam
Ellahi congratulated all the individual for being Elected as Directors of
Pak-Gulf Leasing Company Ltd. for a tenure of 3 years. He thanked the out-going
Directors Messrs. Farouq H. Rahimtoola and Shoaib S. Malik for their invaluable
support in keeping the tradition of PGL alive and contributing their level best
in maintenance of good leasing portfolio.
He welcomed the new Directors Messrs. Azfar Bin Shahid who
was the founder Director of PGL and Shaheed H. Gaylani, both these gentlemen
have tremendous experience in Banking and Finance and would prove to be a
valuable asset to PGL.
The Chairman Mr. Sohail Inam Ellahi also said that the future
outlook of PGL is good and would continue to improve in the years to come.
Home improvement scheme
In order to provide comfortable living environment for which
a woman aspires First Women Bank Ltd. has taken an initiative and has come up
with a House improvement financing scheme with major focus on women from low and
middle income group who usually have limited budgets having no provision for
this vital family need that is for renovating and making additions to their
Women who are having their own businesses or employed are
eligible to avail loan against mortgage of their properties. All 38 branches of
the Bank throughout the country may be contacted for finding out details of the
Arena Multimedia - Golden Web Award
Arena Multimedia - Pakistan, has recently launched its web
site and has the URL http://www.arena-pakistan.com. This site has been reviewed
and chosen to bear the 2001-2002 Golden Web Award by International Association
of Webmasters and Designers. This site is simple and user-friendly. All the
details regarding Arena's Mission, International Recognition and International
Alliances can be retrieved from its "About Us" link. This link on
"Courses" provides the reader with in-depth information on the various
courses offered at Arena Multimedia. The interested can also acquire information
online by filling up the application form. "Careers" section is sort
of an online Career Counseling, which tells the interested Netter about the
available career options, Arena Placements and Future Technologies. In addition
to this, different Arena contact addresses can be accessed from the
"Locations" link. The surfer can find info on Arena Multimedia's
"Facilities" too. Moreover, there is a section dedicated to
"Students". You can find a Students' Gallery, their vision about Arena
and Students Club details from this section.
Debt reduction through exports-UBL President
"Pakistan can reduce its international debt by exporting
to the world," this was stated by Amar Zafar Khan, President United Bank
Limited, at a Seminar entitled, "Converting Global Companies from Net
Importers to Exporters" organized by Institute of Business Administration
(IBA) recently. The Chief Guest on the occasion was Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh,
Finance Minister, Government of Sindh.
"Pakistan has all the potential to become a leading
exporting country of the world. By exporting value added products we would be
able to reduce our foreign exchange debt and in turn provide an avenue for
creating employment in the country. It is mandatory today that we create and
develop the capacity of our economy so that our youth which would be entering
the job market in the days to come would not be beholden to any contact to avail
employment opportunities. Our youngsters have all the talent in the world. This
is very evident by the fact that in all major international examinations
Pakistani boys and girls have been gaining top marks. What we need to do is
enable an environment that can best utilize this talent and that means
developing our economy to a point that it provides opportunity to everyone on
merit alone", said Amar Zafar Khan.
He further elaborated, "Pakistan has to allocate a
sizable portion of foreign exchange earnings towards servicing its debt. One
approach of meeting this obligation would be to convince the creditor nations
that Pakistan can more effectively service its debt if it is given the
opportunity to export its product and services to them and pay back what it owes
from the increasing foreign exchange earnings."
The seminar, sponsored by United Bank Limited entailed
presentations from prominent corporate sector leaders Hassan Ali Khan
(Continental Biscuits Pakistan), Naeem Khokhar (Lever Brothers Pakistan), Sohail
W. Siddiqui (Siemens); Masood Jaffery (Glaxo Smith Kline Pakistan) Mazhar Valji
(Thal Jute) and Sabir Imtiaz (Lakson Group of Companies).
A jury panel, presided by Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, comprised
prominent personalities like Javed Jabbar, Former Federal Minister; Amar Zafar
Khan, UBL President; Dr. Mahnaz Fatima, Economist, Iqbal Ismail, Chairman Ace
Securities and Irfan Hussein, Columnist & Head of Textile Institute of
Pakistan, cross examined the speakers during the presentations.
In his closing remarks Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said, "It
is indeed heartening to see UBL supporting the activities of educational
institutions like IBA, as the success of present economically advanced nations
is primarily based upon the fact that they developed the capacity of their human
resources. You cannot have developed countries comprising underdeveloped
MCB pyara ghar money for your home
Muslim Commercial Bank, the largest privatized commercial
bank of Pakistan launched its House Financing Product under the brand MCB Pyara
Ghar. The product aims at catering to three different needs namely Home
Purchase, Home Renovation and Home Construction. The differentiation features of
MCB Pyara Ghar from competition is much better pricing and the large MCB network
making it very convenient for customers to approach. Initially, the product is
available only in Karachi but would be extended to other cities in phases.
Plans are in the pipeline to further extend the bank's
umbrella of financing products, in order to provide a diverse product menu to
existing and prospective customers.
MCB with a network of over 1,000 branches nationwide, a
market leader in Rupee Traveller Cheques business and ATM services is striving
to provide innovative and value based propositions to its customers.
PAS elects new Council in the 4th AGM
The Pakistan Advertisers Society held its fourth Annual
General Meeting on 6th April 2001. The meeting was well attended by leading
luminaries of the marketing/communications industry. Chaired by Minister of
State Mr. Tariq Ikram, Chairman Export Promotions Bureau, and the founder
Chairman of the Pakistan Advertisers Society, the meeting lasted the better part
of an hour. In addition to the formalities of approving the minutes of the last
AGM, the audited accounts and the Council's report for the year 2000, the
members also agreed to take major steps towards the common good of the marketing
communications industry. The AGM undertook to play a more active role by
conducting interactive seminars and training sessions on marketing research and
other intriguing issues.
The members were also briefed on the progress on projects of
Establishment/Media Habits/SEC survey of Rural Pakistan and the Television
Audience Measurement Service. The evaluation to select the most appropriate
bidder for rural survey is underway and the contract would be awarded in the
next few days. This would be the second major research project initiated by PAS
after the Establishment/Media Habits/SEC Survey of Urban Pakistan.
The Pakistan Advertisers Society also elected its new, 10
member Council, for the year 2001/2. In a brief Council Meeting, following the
AGM, the new Council elected Mr. Haroon Basheer, the consumer bank head of
Citibank as its new Chairman. Mr. Naeem Khokhar, who looks after the beverage
business of Lever Brothers and Mr. Tariq Kirmani, Deputy Managing Director-PSO,
were elected as the two Vice Chairmen of the Society. Mr. Ayaz Bokhari who has a
regional responsibility of retail marketing and public relations for Shell would
be the new Secretary, while Mr. Tahir Hussain, Marketing Director at English
Biscuits would serve as the Treasurer. The PAS Council also includes Mr. Sabir
Sami, Managing Director of Reckitt Benckiser, Mr. Mohd Amin CEO Gillette
Pakistan, Mr. Ali Aamir, Senior Marketing Manager Tapal Tea, Mr. Hanspeter
Heissen General Manager Procter & Gamble and Mr. Amer Pasha, Marketing
Earlier, Mr. Tariq Kirmani received an exquisite crystal
globe awarded by Mr. Tariq Ikram, to commemorate PSO's membership as PAS' newest
and first public sector member.
Askari MasterCard makes market impact
Askari Commercial Bank Ltd recently joined an elite group of
leading banking institutions when it launched the prestigious Askari MasterCard.
The market response to the launch has been tremendous from
day one and, according to industry insiders, has gone way beyond the bank's
expectations. This, they say, is a very encouraging sign and creates a lot of
confidence for the product's future.
While the Pakistan credit card market is described by
industry-watchers as having achieved a good part of its potential, they say
there is still room for products that offer added value. Askari MasterCard fits
the bill and this is perhaps the key to the manner in which it has been
It is obvious that Askari Bank did not jump into the fray in
a hurry. It did its homework well, its confidence riding on the fact that there
was still room for a new credit card to enter the market backed by a solid name
and an equally strong facilities package.
Askari Bank has established for itself a solid reputation
among the country's banks and is today one of the largest private sector banks
in Pakistan. Combined with MasterCard, again a globally reputed credit card
brand, the combination of Askari and MasterCard offered the sort of perfect
recipe that is difficult to match.
As an Askari MasterCard holder, one has access to a whole
host of benefits and conveniences. To start with, there is no joining fee so it
is almost as if you get the card for free. Besides, the services charges on the
card are also very low. This offers the card holder greater flexibility of use.
There are many other invaluable benefits and perks that the
customer gets as an Askari MasterCard holder. The card is accepted globally at
over 14 million establishments in 160 countries worldwide, including over 10,000
merchants across Pakistan, and provides one the opportunity to shop, travel or
dine — Internationally or locally — as and when one wishes.
The success of Askari MasterCard is of course powered by its
vision to be the best bank in Pakistan.
No wonder then, that despite the continuing downturn that the
country's economic sector is taking, Askari Commercial Bank Ltd has managed to
out-perform its competitors and maintain a forward growth momentum.
While the Askari MasterCard is one of the Bank's latest
consumer-oriented products, it has already built a solid reputation for itself
as a bank that is continuously adding value by offering innovative products and
services to its customers.
Askari Bank has also been quick to introduce ATMs (Automated
Teller machines) for its customers. Electronic cash dispensing facilities are
now available in major cities such as Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi and will
soon be introduced in other cities. All the Bank's ATMs are linked through a
state-of-the-art satellite based communications system offering real-time
The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (Pvt.) Ltd. (PACRA) and
affiliate of FITCH IBCA Ltd., UK. has upgraded the Banks long term entity rating
from A+ to AA-, while maintaining the short term rating at A1+, which is the
highest possible in this category.