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Rising food costs seen ending Pakistan’s rate-cut streak: Bloomberg

August 13, 2020: A sharp spike in food prices may snap the Pakistan central bank’s longest policy easing streak in nearly two decades, say some economists. 

Headline inflation accelerated to 9.3% in July -- above the State Bank of Pakistan’s 7%-9% range forecast for this year -- fuelled by a 17.8% increase in food prices. The South Asian nation resorted to importing of staples such as wheat and sugar after their costs increased.

Pakistan Plans Biggest Wheat Import in a Decade to Fill Shortage

“It’s a combination of supply shortage and hoarding by the middlemen that has resulted in this disruption,” said Suleman Maniya, head of the advisory at Karachi-based Vector Securities Pvt. “Pakistan is facing serious issues in its food security regime that includes availability at affordable prices. If the government can’t keep this under control, they will see protests.”

It isn’t just wheat and sugar, but the cost of vegetables such as tomato has also surged. With food and beverage items making up a third of the consumer price basket, the price increase has prompted some economists to revise their interest-rate forecast.

Pearl Securities Ltd., which as of last month had penciled in one more rate cut, doesn’t expect any further easing for now. The central bank cut interest rates by a cumulative 625 basis points in five back-to-back moves this year -- the most easing in a row since at least 2003 -- as inflation dropped from a high of 14.6% in January to 8.2% in May.

Pakistan Unexpectedly Cuts Key Rate to Boost Economic Growth

But inflation quickened as a result of a rally in food prices due to reasons including locust attacks on crops, and smuggling and hoarding amid a nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic. “Inflation is expected to stay a bit high,” said Yawar Uz Zaman, head of research at Pearl, which this month revised its average inflation estimate to 7% from 5.5%-6% this month.

Bloomberg

 

 

Abdul Razak Dawood to take up issue of energy...

August 13, 2020 (MLN): Abdul Razak Dawood has informed five export sectors that the issue of energy price case will be taken up before the ECC meeting next week.

The aforesaid announcement was made by Adviser to PM for Commerce and Investment on its official twitter handle. 

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Askari Bank’s net profits grow by 59% YoY on...

August 13, 2020 (MLN): Askari Bank Limited has unveiled its financial results for the 1HCY20 ended June 30, 2020.  As per results, the bank has posted its net profits of Rs 4.97 billion (EPS: Rs 3.94), showing an increase of 58.75 % against net profits of Rs 3.13 billion (EPS: Rs 2.48) of the same period last year.

The increase in profitability of the bank was mainly attributable to increased Net interest income (NII).

The bank’s net interest income went up by 33% YoY to stand at Rs 14.41 billion in 1HCY20 on a back of repricing of deposits to lower rate with policy rate decline, as per the research of Darson.

During the period under review, increased gains on securities by 37 times YoY pushed up the bank’s non-funded income (NFI) by 28.47% YoY.

The bank’s operating expenses increased by 13.63% YoY to Rs 9.95 billion, along with a 54% increase in tax expense restricted the bank’s profits.

Financial Results for the half-year ended June 30, 2020 ('000 Rupees)

 

Jun-20

Jun-19

% Change

Mark-up/return/interest earned

 42,457,549

 30,206,700

40.56%

Mark-up/return/interest expensed

 28,041,243

 19,350,386

44.91%

Net mark-up/interest income

 14,416,306

 10,856,314

32.79%

NON-MARK-UP/INTEREST INCOME

 

 

 

Fee and commission income

 1,508,826

 1,813,091

-16.78%

Dividend income

 122,347

 146,286

-16.36%

Foreign exchange income

 1,184,196

 1,242,423

-4.69%

Income / (loss) from derivatives

 -  

 -  

-

Gain on securities

 1,391,749

 37,310

3630.23%

Other income

 146,539

 149,766

-2.15%

Total non-mark-up/interest income

 4,353,657

 3,388,876

28.47%

Total Income

 18,769,963

 14,245,190

31.76%

NON-MARK-UP/INTEREST EXPENSES

 

 

 

Operating expenses

 9,950,703

 8,757,364

13.63%

Workers' Welfare Fund

 26,602

 31,042

-14.30%

Other charges

 11,854

 32,908

-63.98%

Total non-mark-up/interest expenses

 9,989,159

 8,821,314

13.24%

Profit before provisions

 8,780,804

 5,423,876

61.89%

Provisions and write offs - net

 644,312

 238,736

169.88%

Extraordinary items/unusual items

 -  

 -   

 

Profit before taxation

 8,136,492

 5,185,140

56.92%

Taxation

 (3,181,613)

 (2,063,027)

54.22%

Profit after taxation - continued operations

 4,954,879

 3,122,113

58.70%

Profit after taxation - discontinued operations

 16,932

 9,730

 

Total profit after taxation

 4,971,811

 3,131,843

58.75%

Basic and diluted earnings per share

 3.94

 2.48

58.87%

 

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Supreme Court declares GIDC Payable

August 13, 2020 (MLN): The Supreme court verdict went against the Companies as GIDC was declared payable.

 

Copyright Mettis Link News

 

Govt working to generate affordable electricity: Omar Ayub

August 13, 2020: Minister for Power Omar Ayub has said the government is working to generate indigenous, affordable electricity to reduce dependency on foreign sources by 2030.

Addressing a media briefing along with Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhary, he said under the new Renewable Energy Policy, the government has planned to increase the share of renewable energy in power generation to 30 percent by 2030.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhary said the new Renewable Energy Policy will help reduce electricity prices in the country.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Division Nadeem Babar said a committee consisting of provincial members will decide the renewable energy resources of producing electricity in each province.

Radio Pakistan

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