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June 24, 2022: Mr. Shabbir Mansha, Acting President FPCCI has categorically denounced the imposition of a 10 percent super tax on large industries; which already pay hefty corporate tax of 29 percent and generate millions of jobs in the country as well.
No country in the world can charge 39 percent tax to corporations and still keep the economy afloat, he added. Additionally, new private-sector and foreign investments dry up completely in an uncompetitive market.
Mr. Shabbir Mansha explained that industries affected will include all major industries; namely, cement, steel, sugar, oil & gas, fertilizers, LNG terminals, textiles, banking, automobiles, cigarettes, beverages, chemicals, and airlines – and, these are 13 industries in total. Furthermore, all the remaining industries will be subjected to a 4 percent additional tax.
Acting FPCCI Chief also expressed his shock that the federal budget 2022 – 23 was announced just two weeks back and it mentioned no super tax on industries. It is a highly abrupt, unfortunate, and anti-industry measure.
Mr. Shabbir Mansha has reiterated FPCCI’s stance that the government should not squeeze the existing taxpayers further and look for the avenues to broaden the tax net; as that is the only practical and sustainable way to generate more taxes without hurting the industries, exports, employment, and the economic growth.
Mr. Shabbir Mansha noted with profound concern that Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) was unnerved by the decision and the trading had to be suspended on Friday after the KSE-100 index lost 2,055 points or 4.81 percent in a quick span of merely 20 minutes.
Mr. Shabbir Mansha emphasized that the cost of doing business is already at an all-time high in the country and the interest rate of 13.75 percent will not let the economy grow at any meaningful rate; and, the prices of electricity & gas have already made us uncompetitive as far as the exports are concerned.
Additionally, there are rumors that interest rates may be further raised. He added that the government should also consult with the stakeholders in business, industry, and trade on how and when interest rates can be brought down; so that, businesses can plan their year ahead accordingly.
Mr. Shabbir Mansha emphasized that imposition of PDL – though in a phased manner – will totally destroy the cost of doing business competitiveness and will fuel the inflation like never before through its multiplier effect. He demanded that the government should take the business community on board with its commitment to IMF on PDL.
Acting FPCCI Chief has also stressed the need to start a consultative process with the stakeholders on the implementation status of hike in electricity base tariff; impending PDL imposition and new or additional taxes as these costs will cumulatively destroy the business sentiment and industry will come to a halt.
June 24, 2022: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday directed that the ongoing development projects of water, electricity, and infrastructure in Gwadar should be completed in the stipulated time.
He was presiding over a high-level meeting to review the progress of development projects in Gwadar.
He warned that no further interruption in the projects of water and electricity would be tolerated.
The 1.2 million gallons of the desalination plant in Gwadar should be completed, he ordered.
He said the network of pipelines for the provision of water in houses should be immediately improved and an inquiry should be held for identifying those who were negligent and were delaying the projects.
The PM said a report should be presented in the next three weeks regarding the solar projects of 62 megawatts.
He said the production of solar panels should be ensured in Pakistan for the solar projects and for giving solar panels to the local population.
He instructed that besides supplying a base load of electricity to Gwadar, a plan should be presented for additional demand and supply of electricity in the coming years.
He said the completion of Gwadar international airport should be ensured till July 2023 and international flights at the airports of Gwadar and Quetta should be restored and fares should be reduced.
For the off-grid electricity projects across Balochistan, a comprehensive strategy should be formulated and steps should be taken to improve the facilities of internet, he
Shehbaz said dredging should be begun at the Gwadar port and practical steps should be started for the breakwater.
He further directed that the construction of Gwadar hospital should be completed in September instead of December. All 16523 poor families of Gwadar should be included in Benazir Income Support Programme.
He said a detailed report about the progress of development projects should be presented after a week.
The PM was informed about the progress on the desalination plant and was given a detailed briefing on the demand and supply of water and the present situation of dams.
The present per day water demand of Gwadar was 3.4 million gallons and the capacity to supply to the city was nine million gallons.
He said Gwadar Port Authority would get a 1.2 million gallon per day water plant which
would increase its capacity to supply to 1.5 million gallons per day. Besides that nine mobile plants would be installed which would help in providing an uninterrupted water supply.
The meeting was told that after the supply of 100 megawatts of electricity from Iran, the total supply of electricity to Gwadar would reach 170 megawatts whereas at present the demand for power was 70 megawatts.
The provision of solar panels and off-grid projects at the local level would ensure uninterrupted supply to the local population.
The transmission line from Iran to Makran would be completed in six months while the transmission line for adding 100 megawatts to the national grid would be completed by December 2022.
The prime minister was also given a detailed briefing about the construction work at the new Gwadar International Airport.
The federal ministers, ministers of state, special assistants, Chief Minister Balochistan, and relevant officials attended the meeting.
June 24, 2022: Federal Minister for Finance, Miftah Ismail on Friday said that the coalition government was working hard to enhance the production of electricity and would install 4,000-6,000 megawatts of solar energy in the national grid within a year.
The government would sell electricity to the industrial sector at cheap rates to enhance their productivity and reduce the production cost, he said while talking to a private news channel on Friday.
The minister said that the PTI government depleted Rs1500 billion on the subsidy in the power sector in the last year.
He lamented over the provision of subsidies on fuel and electricity and termed it an extra burden on the national exchequer.
Miftah said the challenges in inflation and unemployment would be overcome in three to four months and would also achieve the growth target fixed by the government.
Rs3,000 to Rs10,000 fixed tax would be charged from retail shop owners to bring them into the tax net.
The government would expand its tax network and make arrangements to bring the affluent class in the tax base in order to enhance revenue and increase spending on social sector.
“There are more than 30,000 shops in the gold business and only 22 are registered. The government would impose fixed income and sales tax worth Rs. 40,000 on every shop have the area of 300-square feet.”
"The government is providing Rs. 2000 to eight million households as relief in addition with the Benazir Income Support Programme in the month of June to protect the poor from the impact of inflation.”
He said in the last tenure of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), the country was exporting wheat but now it is dependent on importing the commodity from the international market instead of being an agricultural country.
The minister said that the value of the rupee would be stabled and stronger soon in the near future as the country’s reserves are increasing.
June 24, 2022 (MLN): To facilitate taxpayers in payment of duties and taxes, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Friday directed the all Large Tax Offices (LTOs), Medium Tax Office (MTO), Corporate Tax Offices (CTOs) and Regional Tax offices (RTOs) to observe extended working hours till 10:00 PM on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 and till 12:00 AM on Thursday, June 30, 2022.
The FBR has further instructed the Chief Commissioners (IR) to establish liaison with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), and authorized branches of the National Bank of Pakistan to ensure the transfer of tax collected by these branches on the same date to account for the same towards collection for the month of June, 2022.
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June 24, 2022 (MLN): The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mr Miftah Ismail on Friday welcomed the prospect of the revival of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSMC), entailing commercial leasing of 1229 acres of land and jetty.
The committee also directed the ministries of Industries & Production, Energy and Maritime to work with the Privatisation Commission (PC) to remove all bottlenecks expeditiously.
Chairman PC Saleem Ahmad presented the roadmap for the current privatisation programme for reaffirmation by the newly constituted CCoP. He presented the government’s plans for the revival of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSMC). The plan focuses on revival through significant foreign direct investment and technology transfer generating significant employment opportunities for qualified workers.
The committee was apprised of a recent successful due diligence visit by a team of BaoSteel, the world’s largest steel producer. BaoSteel manufacturers 180 million tons of steel per annum and is one of four interested parties and plans to increase the capacity of PSMC to 3 mtpa.
CCoP was apprised of the ongoing effort to recapitalize NPPMCL, the owner of two RLNG power plants in Balloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah. Earlier, PC arranged bids of Rs. 102 billion from a local syndicate of banks for NPPMCL which will release GOP funding and is currently working actively with relevant ministries to fulfil conditions precedent necessary for financial close.
CCoP decided to form a sub-committee comprising of Minister of Power, Chairman PC, Secretaries of Power, Petroleum and Privatisation, Additional Secretary Finance Division and CEO NPPMCL for immediate resolution of bottlenecks.
Furthermore, Chairman PC tabled a summary on private sector participation in the management of DISCOs. CCoP agreed that this is a critical area of focus and directed PC to take one DISCO at a time to pursue a concessional arrangement focused on enhancing their financial viability and service quality. Additionally, the transfer of DISCOs to provinces was also deliberated.
Minister of Finance apprised the CCoP of foreign government interest in investing in Pakistan. CCoP deliberated the modalities for negotiated Government to Government (G2G) commercial transactions and decided that it is not the domain of the Privatisation Commission.
CCoP directed the Ministry of Finance to formulate the proposal for structured transactions in coordination with relevant ministries for consideration of the Cabinet.
CCoP decided to reconvene and conduct a further review of the privatisation programme which is a high priority under the current economic situation.
The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Privatization Mr Abid Hussain Bhayo, Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister of Interior Rana Sanaullah Khan, Mr Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Industries and Production Syed Murtaza Mahmud, Advisor to the PM on Establishment Mr Ahad Cheema, Chairman Privatisation Commission Saleem Ahmad, Federal Secretaries, and senior officials of relevant ministries.