Important Business News 29th January, 2019


 Important Business News

29th January, 2019

S.# Description Pg # Source
1. Budget FY 2019-20

All taxes to be clubbed into one tax: Umar
With a view to further improving the ease of doing business, the federal government is taking steps to club all taxes into one tax in the next federal budget following which there will be a single tax collector and businessmen will have to pay a single tax and file only a single tax return.

1 Business Recorder

Pakistan, Iran to hold talks on FTA next month

Iran and Pakistan will hold further talks on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) during second week of February 2019 focusing on finding out ways to resolve banking channel issues that are the main hurdle in bilateral trade, well informed sources told Business Recorder.
In November 2017, Trade Negotiation Committee (NTC) comprising officials from both countries met in Tehran for two days to finalise the draft Pakistan-Iran FTA as Iran showed extraordinary interest in trade tries after the visit of Army Chief, Qamar Javed Bajwa.

1 Business



CPEC debt concerns to recede: Fitch Solutions

Debt concerns relating to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects will begin to recede on the back of improving transparency while political risks have been diminished, says Fitch Solutions.
Fitch in its latest report “Industry Trend Analysis – CPEC to Remain a Primary Driver of Pakistan’s Construction Industry” states: “We expect debt concerns surrounding CPEC projects to ease after financial details are released. In addition, we believe political risks associated with CPEC projects have diminished since the 2018 Pakistani general election. These factors will reduce overall risk profile of CPEC projects.”

1 Business Recorder

Legal framework’s overhaul sought

CCP recommends setting up of real estate regulatory body

The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) Monday recommended the establishment of a ‘Real Estate Regulatory Body’ and a complete overhaul of the existing legal framework covering the real estate sector to protect the interests of all stakeholders, particularly the investors and general public.
This opinion has been given by the CCP here on Monday to provide a detailed insight into the issues raised by the different stakeholders and the recommendation that the Commission has proposed for the real estate sector in Pakistan.

1 Business Recorder

Development loan, advances for 2017-18

Rates of mark-up chargeable notified
The finance minister has notified rates of mark-up chargeable on development loan and advances by the federal government for the fiscal year 2017-18.
A notification issued by Budget Wing of Finance Division stated that final rates of mark-up chargeable have been fixed by the federal government on; (i) cash development loans to the provincial governments; (ii) loans to local bodies, financial and non-financial institutions and other corporations; (iii) and capital outlays of the federal government in the commercial departments.

1 Business Recorder

New visa policy

Business leaders see growing tourism, trade
Business community hailed the PTI-led government for granting visa on arrival, business visa and e-visa under new visa policy.
The veteran business leader said that easing the visa policy with the facility of on arrival visa for 50 countries, business visa for 68 countries and e-visa for 175 countries in addition to abolishing the NOC condition for tourists would attract more tourists, trade, investment, employment. The hotel industry would also flourish with tourism. More hotels would be required to be built in order to facilitate the increased number of tourists.

5 Business Recorder

22 Pakistani exhibitors to participate in Paris fair

Some 22 Pakistani exhibitors will take part in Texworld, Apparel Sourcing and Leatherworld fair to be held in Paris.
Some exhibitors from Pakistan are directly participating in the fair, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) is setting up Pakistan Pavilion at Texworld/Apparel Sourcing/Leatherworld exhibition to be held from 11 to 14 February 2019 in Paris.
The upcoming fair will display a global range of fashion products from the major manufacturing countries of Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Korea, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Pakistan.

5 Business Recorder


Pakistan-Uzbekistan Removes Basic Hurdles To Promote Bilateral Trade: Envoy

Uzbekistan Ambassador Mr. Furqat A. Siddiqov said on Monday that direct and basic hurdles had been removed to promote bilateral trade between Pakistan and Uzbekistan Steps are underway to promote banking and air services in addition to ensuring safe transit of trade consignments through Afghanistan.

Addressing the members of the business community at Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, he said that Uzbekistan was an historic centre of Islamic heritage and culture.

“I have come here from the land of ‘Imam Bokhari’ with a message of peace and love for Pakistanibrethren,” he said.

5 Urdupoint

6,000 housing units to be constructed in three cities: minister

The Punjab Minister for Housing Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed has said that the present government will fulfill all the commitments made with the nation in accordance with vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The initiative of construction of inexpensive housing project in three cities of the province is one of the steps towards fulfillment of commitment.
The Punjab Minister for Housing was addressing the press conference held at DGPR, today in connection with housing projects being initiated in Renala Khurd (Okara), Chishtian and Lodhran. He was accompanied by Chairman Punjab Housing Taskforce Yaqoob Tahir Izhar and General Secretary Atif Ayub.

5 Business Recorder

National Tax Conference to be held in March

Finance Minister Asad Umer would inaugurate National Tax Conference in March 2019 for bringing federal and provincial tax authorities on one page and proposing tax measures in consultation with the tax experts and business community/investors.
Due to its role as the national leader of the accountancy profession, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) has shared a close relationship with the government of Pakistan. The Institute with its commitment to serve public interest has always supported efforts to secure country’s prosperity by advising the government on public policy that simultaneously serves all the stakeholders.


19 Business



Pakistan receives $2.313bn foreign assistance in 1HFY 2018-19

The country provisionally received $2.313 billion of budget estimates of foreign assistance in the first half (July-December) of current financial year 2018-19 against $5.895 billion during the same period of last year (2017-18), showing a reduction of about 60 percent.
The latest data of Economic Affairs Division (EAD) shows that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government borrowed $25 million from foreign commercial banks in December, bringing the total to $499.44 million under this head in the current fiscal year (July-Dec) compared to $1.163 billion during the same period of last year. The PML-N government had estimated foreign assistance of $9.69 billion for 2018-19 including $394.34 million grants and $9.297 billion loans, as shown in the EAD data.

19 Business



FY20 Budget

FBR seeks taxation proposals from taxmen, traders
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has sought taxation proposals from chief commissioners/ collectors and business community for the next fiscal budget (2019-20), covering broadening the tax base, increase in revenue, removing anomalies and eliminating tax fraud.
The FBR has issued instructions for the field formations and business community Monday on the federal budget (2019-20).

20 Business



Exports will hit all-time high in 2019, claims Dawood

Adviser to Prime Minister to Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production and Investment Abdul Razzaq Dawood said on Monday that this year the country’s exports will reach an all-time high.
Talking to the media here at Expo Centre after inaugurating the 5th Pakistan Mega Leather Show 2019 (PMLS 2019) at Expo Centre, Dawood said: “Despite difficulties, the country’s economy is heading towards improvement.”
Vowing to “increase exports rapidly”, Razak Dawood said: “We are working on a strategy to increase exports. The business community and the government can work together to overcome challenges.”

19 Business



PML-N demands creation of Bahawalpur, south Punjab provinces

After keeping the issue of new provinces’ creation in cold storage during its five-year rule in the country, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has now submitted a constitutional amendment bill to the National Assembly, seeking creation of Bahawalpur and south Punjab provinces.

This was announced by PML-N leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal and Marriyum Aurang­zeb during a news conference at the National Press Club here on Monday.


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to get Rs40bn hydel profit next month

The federal government is set to pay the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government Rs40 billion from the province’s Rs65 billion share in net profit and its arrears projected for the current fiscal, officials said.

A senior official of the finance department told Dawn that the payment was likely to reach the province next month.

He said the department had projected the net profit for hydel power generation in financial year 2018-19 at Rs39.98 billion and the relevant arrears at Rs25.29 billion totaling over Rs65 billion.



Govt imposes moratorium on new oil marketing companies

In a sudden move, the government has imposed a moratorium on the establishment of new oil marketing companies (OMCs) until it increases the minimum investment requirement for future investors.

The Ministry of Energy Petroleum Division “has imposed a moratorium on applications for establishment of new OMCs by local investors with effect from Jan 9, 2019, till the new criteria are approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet,” announced the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) on Monday.



FTA with United States difficult, says Dawood

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, and Industry Abdul Razak Dawood said on Monday that though Pakistan is helping America in restoring peace in Afghanistan, a free trade agreement (FTA) with the US is very difficult.

“Pakistan is doing a great job in this regard. But when we talk about the FTA with the United States it is very difficult as it will take five to seven years,” Dawood said when asked by the media to comment over the reported statement by US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham that Pakistan may be offered an FTA if it renders full support and cooperation over restoring peace and bringing Taliban together for a dialogue.



CM for implementation of kite-flying ban

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Monday sought reports from the police of the districts on kite flying and directed strict implementation of law prohibiting the sport.

He expressed strong indignation over the incidents of kite flying in Lahore and other districts of the province. He said the violators of the ban should be prosecuted under the law and the injured be provided with best treatment facilities.



Prospects for bruised economy are dim

The latest United Nations report on world economic situation and prospects for 2019 released by its Department of Economic and Social Affairs presents a very unfavourable view of Pakistan’s economy. It says the country’s economy is facing severe Balance of Payments (BoP) difficulties amid large fiscal and current account deficits, a visible decline in foreign exchange reserves and mounting pressures on the domestic currency. Macro-economic imbalances and financial fragilities pose significant risks of a future slowdown. In order to promote sustainable medium-term growth, policymakers need to encourage infrastructure investment to alleviate chronic energy shortages while addressing imbalances, particularly by promoting export growth.

18 Business Recorder


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