Govt launched various development projects in tribal districts; Qadri

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Dr. Noor-ul-Haq Qadri says the government has launched various development projects across the tribal districts to remove the sense of deprivation of tribal people.

Inaugurating a newly constructed road in Landi Kotal area of district Khyber on Saturday, he said hectic efforts are underway to provide basic facilities to the public at their doorstep.

Dr. Noor-ul-Haq Qadri said completion of under-construction roads in the area will minimize the problems of public and transporters, besides starting a new era of development and prosperity in the tribal areas.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Governance Issues Should be Timely Addressed in Punjab: World Bank

The regulatory and institutional challenges for the government of Punjab in the adoption of the Eco-Industrial Park (EIP) framework are more related to implementation issues (enforcement of the regulations, monitoring of the performances, and financing and financial arrangement—PPP) than to policy and regulation gaps.

This was stated in a World Bank report “Toward an Eco-Industrial Park Framework in Panjab: Regulatory and Institutional Strengthening for Industrial Estates”.

The report noted that most of these challenges can be addressed with a structured reform that strengthens measures and tools for the private sector to implement investments to increase sustainability and reduce environmental and social impacts, all the while increasing enforcement and monitoring of the industrial estates’ (IEs) environmental and resource efficiency performances.

In Pakistan, many industrial processes are resource-intensive. Employing resource efficiency methods as part of the implementation of the EIP Framework in IEs will save considerable resources and resource-related costs. Even though it seems costly to implement, investment payback on most resource efficiency techniques/technologies can be relatively short (for example, generally from a few months to three to four years depending on the technology considered). When several inter-firm collaborations are created, significant resource savings are often achieved through spontaneously developed circular economy strategies, the report noted.

In addition to resource efficiency and circular economy measures taken within and between the tenant firms, the realization of green infrastructure opportunities creates a considerable impact on the resource utilization and environmental performance of EIs. Some examples of green infrastructure opportunities that can enable IEs to save a tremendous amount of energy, water, and raw materials are rainwater harvesting, efficient street lighting, water distribution system renovations, electricity generation from biogas, and reuse of treated wastewater.

The EIP Framework in Punjab will constitute an important policy tool that assists to create and facilitate increased productivity and competitiveness of the Punjab IE ecosystem as a whole. In addition to fostering industrial development, the EIP Framework implementation will help balance regional development gaps and form collaborative relationships between stakeholders. The EIP Framework strategies reduce the IEs’ dependency on non-renewable resources and thus increase their resilience to supply shortages.

The report further stated that international or multinational companies seeking new plant locations will consider the possible advantages of EIPs. Benefiting from the state-of-the-art green infrastructures (for example, steam supply), ability to develop/maintain by-product exchange, access to resource efficiency consultancy, and proactive marketing opportunities for their supply chains will attract them, which will lead to increased foreign direct investment (FDI) to Pakistan.

Obviously, planning and establishing an EIP Framework in Pakistan as well as rehabilitating/rebranding the existing IEs will need more time and resources when compared to ‘business as usual’ practices in conventional IEs. For instance, setting up an industrial symbiosis network between tenant firms requires matching tenant firms based on their outputs and material/feedstock needs. The green infrastructure to connect facilities (through pipeline, conveyor, or road) may also demand additional resources. Moreover, management of an EIP will need funds to market, recruit potential tenants, and facilitate feasible material exchanges, the report added.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Port Qasim Authority is Set to Halve Port Charges to Boost Exports

The Port Qasim Authority (PQA) will slash port charges by 50 percent to boost exports, the Cabinet Committee on Transportation and Logistics (CCoTL) decided in a meeting.

This measure would benefit exporters facing high production and shipping costs amid high oil prices and local currency devaluation.

The committee made the decision during a meeting on 1st September. It also asked the PQA to inquire into the possibility of granting exclusivity rights over coal handling to the Pakistan International Bulk Terminal.

This inquiry is meant to address the congestion crisis at the only coal-handling berth at PIBT, which results in delays and high demurrage costs.

The officials at the meeting agreed to form a committee that would research the legality of such a contract and submit a proposal to the CCoTL within two weeks.

Source: Pro Pakistani

FBR to Charge Point of Sale Fee From Retailers

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has directed big retailers that the point of sale (POS) service fee of Re 1 per invoice will be collected by the T-1 retailers from their customers.

The FBR has issued instructions regarding the operationalization of SRO 1006(1)/2021 dated 9th August 2021. The FBR stated that a standardized format of the Sales Tax invoice has been issued detailing the “minimum requirements” of the Sales Tax Invoice.

It is informed that the “Invoice No” at the top of the standardized invoice is the “Unique sequential invoice number” as per Sub Rule (5) of Rule 150 ZEB of the Sales Tax Rules 2006 and will portray the Tier-1 retailer’s own sequential invoice number. The FBR invoice number shall be the 18 digits FBR’s fiscal invoice number as per Sub Rule (6) of Rule 150 ZEB of the Sales Tax Rules, 2006.

The FBR had issued an SRO 1006(I)/2021 to issue a standardized format for invoices for the retailers/integrated suppliers.

According to the SRO 1006(I)/2021, the name is required to be recorded when the customer is liable for the tax or credit or invoice value is above Rs. 100,000. The POS Service Fee of Re 1 per invoice shall be collected by the T-1 Retailer from the Customer and shall be deposited along with the monthly Sales Tax return, which is being amended to include a row for “POS Service Fee”.

Taxmen deputed at big retail outlets to monitor sales

This row shall be auto-populated by the system based on the invoices generated and recorded at the Board’s computerized System. The POS service fee collected each month shall be deposited by the T-1 Retailer in a separate Head of Account, the FBR said.

Under rule 150ZEB of the Sales Tax Rules, 2006, the registered persons (integrated suppliers) shall install such fiscal electronic device and software, as approved by the Board, available on its website with complete technical instructions for installation, configuration, and integration.

The integrated suppliers shall notify the board, through the computerized system, of all their outlets and the integrated supplier shall register each point of sale (POS) to activate the integration.

Under the standardized format for invoices, the following information inter alia is required to be clearly printed on every invoice issued through all Point of Sale (PoS) systems integrated with the FBR, namely:

Business information;

Invoice details;

Transaction details;

FBR details

Source: Pro Pakistani