Wednesday, March 18, 2009

PFA, MAP sign MoU

Press Release

KARACHI: The Pakistan Food Association (PFA) and Marketing Association of Pakistan (MAP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Karachi recently.
The direction and vision this MoU hopes to create a deep bond of relationship with the great traditions and professional values and standards which the two bodies have promoted and fostered over the years.
Mr. Rafiq Rangoonwala - President PFA and Mr. Farukh Mazhar - President MAP emphasized that both the Association will work together to strengthen professional expertise and values, enhance cooperation, exchange information and experience and provide assistance to each other in achieving their respective objectives.
This would help professional marketers to explore new learning and experience opportunities and would contribute immensely to their academic and professional development.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hubco Narowal plant to be operational by March 2010

KARACHI: The Hubco Narowal Plant will start commercial operation by March 2010, company announced on Thursday.

Hubco, one of the largest independent power producer in Pakistan is setting up this combined cycle power plant based on reciprocating engines technology with an investment of about $300 million and having an ISO installed capacity of 225MW at District Narowal, Punjab. Tariff structure for the plant has recently been agreed with the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority and the letter of support has also been received from the Private Power Infrastructure Board, Government of Pakistan and all equipment supply and construction contracts have also been finalised. The plant will start supplying electricity to national grid from end of March 2010, thereby helping in reducing the acute power shortage in the country. staff report

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Businessmen to file petition against NEPRA & KESC

KARACHI: The businessmen community will file a petition in Sindh High Court against National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) and Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) for their unjust tariff.

The petition will be moved by small traders, industrialist, SME’s and citizens of Karachi, this was decided in a meeting at Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), a statement said on Tuesday.

On this occasion, Helpline Trust, Karachi arranged a presentation at FPCCI on the traders anxiety regarding acute shortage of electricity and long hours load-shedding, which has not only left the small industry gasping for breath, but also created a sense of uncertainty in the job market and has badly hurt the businesses of small traders, industrialist, SME’s and citizens of Karachi.

Zakaria Usman, Vice President FPCCI chaired the meeting and has showed great agony over the severe shortage of electricity and withdrawal of subsidy on GST on electric charges, which have spiked the cost of production and resulted in widespread closures of small businesses and job losses.

He emphasised that lack of direction among policy makers is making things worse. He urged the government to reduce power tariffs to pass on the impact to consumers and to instruct KESC to cut down load shedding. He strongly drew the attention of the Government to this important area, which needs immediate review and urgent solution, before it is too late and the small traders loose their patience and come to street and create law and order problem.

He made it clear that the FPCCI cannot be a petitioner, but would provide all assistance if the above petition is filed, and we will continue dialogue with the government and KESC, for removing miseries of consumers of KESC.

Asghar Morawala gave details of steps taken by their committee members in regard to increase in KESC tariff, since October 2008. Zakaria Usman announced a committee who will take technicalities and then recommend with in week, and then Justice (R) Shaiq Usmani will prepare draft of petition, which will be again discussed in the FPCCI, and decision would be implemented.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

FBR plans to stop tax evasion from wholesale, retail stores

By Muhammad Yasir

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has planned to initiate measures to curb tax evasion from various wholesale and retail stores in major cities of the country, official sources said on Monday.

Sources said that the revenue department has intended to install its own electronic registration system at the counter machines of wholesale and retail outlets of different international and local stores aimed at creating direct taxes from the sector.

The revenue authority, in the beginning of this fiscal year, asked all such stores including groceries and departmental, medicine and healthcare, cosmetics and toiletries, shoes and clothing to set up electronic registration system to sum up their sales so that their income tax could be measured according to the record of digitals machines. However, a significant number of wholesale and retail outlets have not installed electronic price counters or information systems so far and continued to maintain their sales record manually.

Besides, tax official said, the federal revenue collection authority is not satisfied with the collection of income taxes from these wholesale and retail outlets made through existing electronic machines.

Taxmen added that the board would also plan to check sales records of their suspended machines on weekly and daily basis in order to monitor the records of the wholesale and retail shops.

Tax officials were of the view that the revenue collection authorities would take every possible measure to generate taxes from its potential taxpayers’ sectors, and the wholesalers and retailers’ sector is one of them where a handsome tax could be generated by minimising or stopping tax evasion.

The tax department has to achieve tax-to-GDP ratio at 10.2 percent as per International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions by the end of fiscal year 2008-09, which were recorded at 9.5 percent in 2007-08.

FBR has met a shortfall of Rs 53.48 billion in federal tax collection during the first seven months of the current fiscal year 2008-09. In line with the upward revised tax collection target of Rs 1.360 trillion, FBR is chasing a target of Rs 681.7 billion, however, provisional collection has amounted to Rs 628.22 billion only.

IMF has expressed concern over the revenue collection growth of the country that was predicted to miss the annual financial year’s target, besides other macro-economic targets of the country including GDP growth rate, inflation, tax collection, foreign direct investment, privatisation proceeds and export and import targets. (DT)