AI and New Ways of Widening Tax Net Lead FBR to Collect Rs. 413 Billion in July 2021

The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin, chaired the meeting of the APEX Committee on broadening the tax base and integration of retail businesses held at the Finance Division.

SAPM on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Waqar Masood, Chairman FBR, and other senior officers participated in the meeting.

In his opening remarks, the Finance Minister commended FBR over record revenue collection during July 2021, equal to Rs. 413 billion, which is 21 percent above the set target for the month.

He further stated that the outstanding revenue collection is a reflection of the government’s prudent policies for sustained economic growth.

This indicates that fiscal consolidation efforts are on track with a key focus to broaden the tax base by using artificial intelligence and innovative ways for bringing more people into the tax net, he added.

In his concluding remarks, the Finance Minister directed FBR to continue its diligent efforts for enhancing the tax collection.

Source: Pro Pakistani

IHC Reserves Judgement On Case For Implementation Of Track & Trace System

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has reserved judgment in the matter of selection of the successful company for the implementation of the track and trace system for tobacco products, cement, sugar and fertilizer.

On Friday, all parties completed their arguments at the IHC. The court reserved the judgement. It should be noted that the Sindh High Court (SHC) has already reserved the judgement in the case.

So far, four aggrieved bidders had approached Sindh, Lahore and Islamabad High Courts after dismissal of their applications under Rule 48 of Public Procurement Rules 2004 by Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC) of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on the selection of M/s AJCL (Pvt.)

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has maintained the stay granted to a company against the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and restrained the tax department from implementing the track and trace system for tobacco products, cement, sugar, and fertilizer.


Source: Pro Pakistani

SECP Registered 1,949 New Companies in July

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) registered 1,949 new companies in July 2021, raising the total number of registered companies to 147,842.

Around 99% of companies registered online, 43% of the companies were registered the same day, while 175 foreign users were registered from overseas.

The July incorporation consists of 66% percent private limited companies, 31% single-member companies and three percent public unlisted companies, not-for-profit associations, and limited liability partnerships (LLP).

Total capitalization (paid-up-capital) with regard to newly incorporated for the current month has amounted to Rs. 2.7 billion.

The construction & real estate sector took the lead with the incorporation of 313, trading with 279, I.T with 243, services with 178, e-commerce with 117, food & beverages with 76, education with 63, textile with 57, corporate agricultural farming with 56, pharmaceutical with 52, engineering with 51, tourism with 40, healthcare with 39, mining & quarrying with 38, transport and, market & development with 27 each, logging, and power generation with 24 each, auto & allied, and fuel & energy with 23 each, chemical, and communications with 21 each, cables & electric goods with 18, broadcasting & telecasting, and cosmetics & toiletries with 14 each, paper & board, and steel & allied with 13 each, and 85 companies were registered in other sectors.

Foreign investment has been reported in 47 new companies. These companies have foreign investors from Australia, Bermuda, China Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Korea South, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE, UK, and the US.

The highest numbers of companies, i.e. 645 were registered in Islamabad, followed by 634 and 294 companies registered in Lahore and Karachi respectively.

The CROs in Peshawar, Multan, Faisalabad, Gilgit-Baltistan, Quetta and Sukkur registered 120, 96, 75, 57, 22, and 06 companies, respectively.


Source: Pro Pakistani

USF Approves 30 Projects Worth Rs.18 Billion for FY22

The Policy Committee of the Universal Service Fund (USF) – under the Ministry of Information Technology (IT) and Telecommunication – has approved a budget of over Rs. 18 billion for 30 projects for the financial year 2021-22.

The Policy Committee meeting was chaired by the federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque, who also called for the speedy release of funds.

It was attended by the federal Secretary for IT and Telecommunication, Dr. Sohail Rajput; the Senior Joint Secretary, Toaha Hussain Bugti; Member Telecom, Muhammad Omar Malik; and other representatives from the Cabinet and Finance Divisions.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the USF, Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, apprised the Policy Committee about its performance over the last three years and the proposed plans for the new financial year 2021-22.

While addressing the meeting, Minister Amin Ul Haque said that under the present government, the USF has shown a 100 percent increase in its productivity since its inception, with six projects in the first year, 12 projects in the second year, and 25 projects in the third year. This is a testament to the rapid and exceptional performance of the company, for which its team deserves compliments. The USF must maintain this positive momentum with transparency, quality, and the timely completion of projects.

As advised by the Prime Minister, Minister Amin Ul Haque directed it to immediately start projects for the provision of broadband services at key tourist destinations in the Northern Areas and to complete them on a priority basis. He expressed his satisfaction with the proposed plans to provide uninterrupted high-speed mobile broadband services on national highways and to deliver optical fiber cable to the level of Union Councils across the country to adapt Pakistan to the requirements of the future, including 5G.

The minister added that broadband services and optical fiber projects in the rural and remote areas of the four provinces are fundamental to the fulfillment of the vision of Digital Pakistan. At the same time, the USF should develop a system for the strict monitoring of these projects so that there are no shortcomings and unnecessary delays.

Based on the recommendation of the committee members, he directed the USF to submit a progress report on the status of the projects every three months.

The CEO of the USF apprised the members of the committee and said that the project in Kohistan has been delayed by extreme weather conditions and difficult routes, while another project in the former FATA province had been stalled due to the security situation in the area. These projects are only five percent of the total projects while 95 percent of the projects are progressing at their own pace, and almost 50 to 75 percent of the work has been completed.

He added that the USF has a transparent system of a technical and monitoring audit, based on which the funds are released in proportion to the work completed on the projects.


Source: Pro Pakistani

Pakistan Exports to Key Destinations Increased in July 2021: Razak

Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood, took to Twitter on Thursday to announce that Pakistan’s exports increased significantly to key destinations, including the US, UK, China, and Europe. He wrote, “Further to my tweet on exports in July 2021, we wish to inform that in terms of market, our exports increased to the U.S, the U.K, China, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Bangladesh compared to July 2020.”

“In terms of products, exports of Garments, Home Textiles, Jerseys, Fruits & Vegetables, Ethyl Alcohol, Stockings & socks, Maize and Plastics increased during July 2021 compared with July 2020,” the adviser informed.

On the other hand, the exports of Rice, Meat, Cement, Tents, decreased, he added.

During the first month of the current financial year FY21-22, July 2021, Pakistan’s exports have grown by 17.3 percent, to $2.35 billion. This figure is up from $2 billion exports recorded in July 2020 and are the highest ever exports in the month of July.


Source: Pro Pakistani

SBP Slams Penalties of Over Rs. 500 Million on 8 Banks

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has implemented its strict regulatory measures against banks that failed to comply with rules and regulations of the banking sector, as eight banks came under its penal actions of over Rs. 500 million fine in the second quarter of 2021.

According to the SBP, the banks were slapped penalties of Rs. 525.244 million separately, from April to July 2021.

MCB Bank received the highest fine of Rs. 289 million on the account of violation of regulatory instructions pertaining to AML/CFT, including general banking operations.

In addition to penal action, the bank has been advised to conduct an internal inquiry on breaches of regulatory instructions and take disciplinary action against the delinquent officials.

SBP also imposed a fine of over Rs. 75 million on Zarai Taraqiati Bank on the accounts of same violations as MCB. The bank was ordered to follow similar instructions of taking strict action against responsible officials.

Sindh Bank was penalized with a fine of Rs. 62 million for its violation to comply with foreign exchange operations, general banking, and regulatory instructions pertaining to AML/CFT.

Punjab Provincial Cooperative Bank was slapped with a penalty of Rs. 32 million by the SBP for its failure to enforce regulatory instructions pertaining to AML/CFT.

First Women Bank Limited was also fined to the tune of Rs. 31.5 million against the violation of regulatory instructions pertaining to Asset Quality, CDD/KYC, & General Banking Operations.

These two banks have been advised to strengthen their processes with respect to identified areas.

Soneri Bank and Bank Alfalah were also subjected to penalties of Rs. 12.5 million and Rs. 11.1 million, respectively, for the failure of following regulatory instructions pertaining to Asset Quality, FX, General Banking Operation.

Pak Brunai Investment Bank was slapped with a penalty of Rs. 10.4 million, on the account of violation of regulatory instructions pertaining to CDD/KYC, Asset Quality & General Banking Operations.

These banks were asked to strengthen their processes with respect to identified areas.

SBP should continue to penalize commercial banks against the violation of regulations. Banks who committed violations of rules repeatedly should be scrutinized strictly, including additional penalties. The banking regulator should also penalize banks for the failure of providing quality services to their customers through enforcement orders.


Source: Pro Pakistani