Important Business News 15th May, 2018

Important Business News

15th May, 2018


 Sr # Description Pg # Source
1. Rs352.3bn Balochistan budget unveiled

The Balochistan Assembly on Monday presented province’s budget for fiscal year 2018-19 with a total outlay of Rs352.3 billion, Radio Pakistan reported.
Advisor to the Chief Minister on Financial Affairs Ruqayya Saeed Hashmi presented the budget. In her budget speech, she said that a deficit of over Rs61.7 billion has been shown in the budget. She said the province would meet the deficit through its own resources.

1 Business Recorder
2. Nisab fixed at Rs 39,198

The federal government has fixed Rs39,198 Nisab for deduction of Zakat from the specific banks accounts.
The Administrator General Zakat has notified the Nisab of Zakat for the Zakat year 1438-39 A.H. According to Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, no deduction of Zakat at sources will be made, in case the amount standing to the credit of an account (in respect of assets mentioned in column 2 of serial No. 1 of the first schedule of Zakat and Ushr Ordinance 1980) is less than Rs 39,198 (Thirty nine thousand one hundred ninety eight rupees only) on the first day of Ramazan-ul-Mubarak 1439 A.H.



Business Recorder
3. FPCCI demands to restore FTR option to commercial importers

Senior Vice President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has urged Federal Finance Minister Dr Miftah Ismail, and Chairman federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Tariq Mahmood Pasha to restore the Final Tax Regime (FTR) option to the commercial importers and the income tax paid @6% at custom stage be considered as full and final discharge of their tax liability instead of considering it as minimum tax.
He said that in pursuance to an amendment in section 148 (8) in I.T.O. 2001 as proposed by Finance Bill 2018 such commercial importers would now be required to file income tax return instead of filing of Statement under section 115 and as such would be subject to audit under section 177 of the I.T.O 2001. “The proposed amendment has created unrest among the Importers and they are very much disturbed” he added.

3 Business Recorder
4. Punjab Cabinet approves supplementary budget for FY 2017-18

The Punjab Cabinet, which met here Monday with chief minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif in the chair, accorded approval to supplementary budget and revised estimates for the financial year 2017-18.
The meeting also approved revised annual development programme (ADP) 2017-18 along with approving the minutes of 31st meeting of the cabinet and approval of decisions taken in the 55th meeting of Cabinet’s Standing Committee on Finance and Development.
Addressing the meeting, Shahbaz said that the Punjab government is presenting the supplementary budget for the financial year 2017-18 and the next government will present the new budget.

7 Business Recorder
5. China approves $1bn loan for Sri Lanka expressway

China has approved a $1 billion loan to revive a long-delayed expressway in central Sri Lanka, the island’s government said Monday.
Construction of the first phase of the road linking the capital Colombo with the hill resort of Kandy had been delayed for more than two years due to a lack of foreign funding, according to local media reports.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office said he met the Chinese ambassador on Monday, who told him Beijing had decided to approve the loan that will be provided through the Export-Import Bank of China.
China has emerged as the largest single lender to Sri Lanka in recent years, securing contracts to build roads, railways and ports under the former government of Mahinda Rajapakse.

9 Business Recorder
6. Name of caretaker PM may be announced today

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah have reached a consensus on the name of the caretaker prime minister and are likely to announce the name today (Tuesday).
According to sources, the two leaders agreed that they would make the name public on May 15 (today) after a formal meeting.

13 Business Recorder
7. Receivables of power sector cross Rs828.5bn

The country’s power sector receivables have crossed Rs828.5 billion as of March 31, 2018 compared to Rs730 billion on June 30, 2017, showing an increase of over 13 per cent in nine months of the current fiscal year.
The poor collections from Discos’ consumers have led to piling up of circular debt, which according to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has put the country’s financial viability at risk.
An official stated that the power sector machinery (Disco’s administration) is either collaborative with the private sector consumers or unable to recover the receivables.

21 Business Recorder
8. Capital flows, exchange rate: Strain to erode reserves, worsen external vulnerability: Moody’s

Pressure on capital flows and exchange rate would erode foreign exchange reserves and exacerbate external vulnerability for Pakistan, says Moody’s Investors Service.
Moody’s in its latest report ‘sovereigns — global, weakest MENA and APAC sovereigns would be most sensitive to an interest rate shock’ states that “pressure on capital flows and the exchange rate would erode foreign exchange reserves and exacerbate external vulnerability. This is particularly relevant for Lebanon, Pakistan, Bahrain, Jordan and Sri Lanka (although the latter is moving toward a more flexible exchange rate). For Lebanon, and to some extent Pakistan and Jordan, relatively low external debt as a share of total government debt would mitigate liquidity pressures should a shock materialize”.

22 Business Recorder
9. FBR will impose sales tax on 12 services

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will impose sales tax on 12 services including corporate law consultants, public relation services and auction services within the jurisdiction of Islamabad Capital Territory from next fiscal year.
Sources told Business Recorder here on Monday that under Finance Bill 2018, the scope of services under Islamabad Capital Territory (Tax on Services) Ordinance, 2001 has been increased owing to the fact that services which are chargeable to sales tax in provinces are not chargeable to sales tax under Islamabad Capital Territory (Tax on Services) Ordinance, 2001.

22 Business Recorder
10. Yawning gaps in the budget 2018-19

According to a Business Recorder exclusive, the Miftah Ismail-led Finance Ministry has gone one step further than during the tenure of the Ishaq Dar-led Finance Ministry by projecting revenue sources that are not only baffling senior Finance Ministry officials but are also being challenged by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). The BR report was based on a footnote in the budget documents indicating that while 800 billion rupees was the total federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) another 250 billion rupees – not a small amount as this is comparable to the 265 billion rupees projected from the federal excise duty and 300 billion rupees from petroleum levy for the entire 2918-19 – would be generated from self-financing by corporations/authorities. Perhaps Ismail felt this was the only way to appease the Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal who had reportedly insisted that the PSDP be close to the one trillion rupee mark.

20 Business Recorder

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