Three-day Mango Festival begins in Karachi

A three-day 'Family Mango Festival and Exhibition' began at the Pakistan Maritime Museum in Karachi today. The event is being organized by Sindh Agriculture University TandoJam in collaboration with the Pakistan Maritime Museum, TCN Executive Forum and various institutions and farms. The exhibition features a poster presentation on mangoes, panel discussion, and a comprehensive technical session will also be held to cover the sustainable mango farming practices. The festival features a variety of stalls related to mangoes especially those showcasing mango by-products, experimental and demonstration stalls for mango grafting, organic products and cultural items from Sindh particularly Thar. Source: Radio Pakistan

Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee to meet in Quetta on Saturday

The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will meet in Quetta tomorrow for sighting the Crescent of Muharram-ul-Haram 1446 Hijri. Chairman of the Committee Moulana Abdul Khabir Azad will preside over the meeting. The meetings of Zonal and District Ruet-e-Hilal Committees will also be simultaneously held at their respective headquarters. Source: Radio Pakistan

Interior Minister inaugurates first electric bus fleet in Islamabad

Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi has formally inaugurated the first ever environment friendly e-buses for the citizens of Islamabad. At the inaugural ceremony today, the Minister inspected the busses and praised Chairman Capital Development Authority Muhammad Ali Randhawa and his team's work for this initiative. On this occasion, the Interior Minister travelled through an electric buss after getting a token from electronic machine. Talking to media, he said 33 busses will be started in the initial phase of this service while a total of 166 busses will be part of this entire scheme. He thanked Turkish Ambassador, Chinese Embassy in Pakistan and National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation for supporting this initiative. Around sixteen thousand people will travel through these E-Busses in Islamabad while the timing of these vehicles will be from 6 am to 10 pm. A charging station has also been set up for these busses. Source: Radio Pakistan

Federal govt to start School Meal Programme for Balochistan

Federal Government is working on a plan to provide nutritious meals in 500 public sector schools in Balochistan's lagging districts. The programme has been conceived in line with the directives of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to provide nutritious meals to students in the province. Benazir Income Support Programme, Ministry of Federal Education and World Food Programme are engaged on the development of this initiative. A meeting in this connection was held in Islamabad to review the progress made on the School Meal Programme and decided on a follow-up meeting next week to delineate roles and responsibilities in the implementation of plan. Source: Radio Pakistan

Apostille legalization process to be opened for walk-ins from Monday

From Monday, the Apostille legalization process will be opened for walk-ins at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad and its liaison offices in Lahore and Karachi. According to the Foreign Office, no appointments are required in this regard. The new fee structure for Apostille certification is as follows: Personal and Educational Documents - three thousand rupees per document. Legal Documents - four thousand and five hundred rupees per document. Commercial Documents - twelve thousand rupees per document. Source: Radio Pakistan

Digitization of tax system Govt’s top priority: PM

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed the immediate inclusion of those non-filers, who have the ability to pay taxes but do not submit returns, to the tax net. Chairing a review meeting on Digitization and Reforms of FBR in Islamabad today, he also instructed to immediately abolish the discretionary powers of Customs appraisers. Shehbaz Sharif advised the Chairman FBR to implement these instructions and submit a compliance report in this regard in 24 hours. He said tax evaders as well as officers and officials will be punished for facilitating the tax evasion. He said those who embezzle the wealth of Pakistani people as well as their facilitators will not be forgiven. However, taxpayers, who fulfill their responsibilities well in time, will be appreciated for their commitment. The Prime Minister further advised the installation of modern scanners of international standards at the seaports, which will ensure transparency in the system and help eliminate corruption. He also sought a comprehensive repo rt regarding the estimation of tax evasion and measures to prevent it. Shehbaz Sharif said digitization of the tax system is the top priority of the government to prevent tax evasion of billions of rupees. He said a dashboard should be set up to have oversight on the progress regarding the digitization of the tax system and reforms. He emphasized the enforcement of the best international system of taxation in Pakistan. He said officers and experts of excellent professional repute should be appointed for the formulation of the tax policy. The Prime Minister also sought a comprehensive action plan with specific goals regarding the digitization and reforms of the Federal Board of Revenue in the next meeting. On the occasion, the Prime Minister was apprised that over 300,000 new taxpayers have submitted their returns in the last few weeks as a result of the government's measures. It was said four thousand companies, involved in under-invoicing and fake sales tax refunds, have been identified and their refunds have been stopped. It was briefed that 4.5 million potential taxpayers have been identified. Source: Radio Pakistan