RCCI welcomes Voluntary Tax Compliance Scheme

RAWALPINDI (Staff Reporter): The President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Mian Humayun Parvez yesterday welcomed the “Voluntary Tax Compliance Scheme” for registration of filer and non-filer traders, announced by the government. President RCCI appreciated government efforts particularly ministry of finance for creating a separate system for non-filers and bringing them in the mainstream of tax filers. He said that the scheme would benefit the traders who have not filed their returns for the last ten years. As per scheme those filed their return of worth one million rupees have not required to file wealth tax under the scheme, he added.

He said traders were playing a vital role in boosting business activities in the country.

APWC demands judicial probe of Sundar estate tragedy

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The All Pakistan Workers Confederation has demanded the establishment of a judicial commission to investigate the collapse of a factory in the Sundar Industrial Estate, as a result of which some 50 workers were killed. At a meeting at the Bakhtiar Labour Hall, the participants urged the government to pay a compensation of Rs 2.5 million to the family of every worker who lost his life in the tragedy. APWC General Secretary Khursheed Ahmed presided over the meeting which was also addressed by Rubina Jamil, Niaz Khan, Akbar Ali Khan, Rana Hasan Muhammad, Osama Tariq, Muhammad Anwar Gujjar, Yousaf Baloch, Khushi Muhammad Khokhar and Hasan Munir Bhatti.

The meeting also demanded that industrial workers be provided with safety equipment in line with the ILO conventions. The meeting also paid glowing tributes to Allama Iqbal for conceiving a separate homeland for the Muslims of subcontinent.

PSEB so far trains around 1,500 professionals in emerging techs

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) has so far trained around 1,500 professionals in emerging technologies and around 5,000 students in open source technologies. Over the last decade, PSEB has been supporting IT industry by offering IT training courses. Official sources on Friday said keeping in view demand of IT Companies, PSEB launched trainings at Air University, Islamabad, National University Fast, Lahore and Pakistan Navy Engineering College (PNEC), Karachi in 2015 and trained 200 plus graduates in iPhone programming, Android Application Development, Agile based mobile application development, .Net programming, J2EE & J2ME and Game Development.

Hundred percent of the training cost for these courses was borne by ICT R&D fund.

Many graduates appreciated these trainings sponsored by PSEB and ICT R&D Fund because it helped them in enhancing their Information Technology (IT) skill set for both job activities and freelancing.

Research studies have indicated that there is a shortage of highly skilled professionals with expertise in specific IT tools and technologies needed by IT companies.

The IT companies in Pakistan are unwilling to make big investments in trainings of their employees due to low volumes of local business and uncertainty in the global market.

However, the availability of skilled manpower at substantial cost savings in Pakistan is a major motivation for outsourcing IT work.

PSEB conducted an online survey of member IT companies and these companies supported the trainings of fresh graduates in Java,Net, mobile apps, and game development.

National Savings fell Rs20b short of target

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) has collected Rs 131 billion as against the proportionate target of Rs 151 billion till December 28, during the current fiscal year (2015-16). An official of the CDNS told APP yeterday, the estimated target of the national savings for the year 2015-16 has been set for Rs302b. Likewise, he said, during the first quarter of current fiscal year, the CDNC collected Rs82b as against the proportionate target of Rs66b. The official said that the federal government has also started making adjustments in the profit rates on new saving schemes from Dec 1, 2015. He said the instant revision was made in the backdrop of current market scenario.

and in accordance with the government's policy to provide market based competitive rate of return to the investors of National Savings.

As per notification issued by the federal government, the new rates for Special Savings Certificates, Regular Income Certificates, Defence Savings Certificates and Savings Accounts have been fixed at average 6.60 percent, 7.536 percent, 8.68 percent and 4.15 percent respectively.

The official said the profit rate of return for specialised Savings Schemes like Bahbood Savings Certificates and Pensioners' Benefit Account has also been revised and fixed at 10.56 percent in order to provide safety net to specialized segment of the society, the official said.

He said the proposal to launch registered prize bonds with offering coupon as well as prize is also under consideration.

Oman cuts 2016 spending in light of lower oil prices

MUSCAT (AFP): Oman will cut spending this year by 15.6 percent in the face of lower oil prices but still face a huge deficit after posting one in 2015, Finance Minister Darweesh al-Bloushi said. Spending is projected at 11.9 billion riyals ($30.9 billion/28.3 billion euros) in 2016 compared with $36.6 billion, a statement from Bloushi said Revenues are projected at 8.6 billion riyals ($22.3 billion), down a massive 26 percent from 2015, resulting in a deficit of $8.6 billion, said the statement cited by the official ONA news agency. Oman's deficit last year was $11.7 billion. Gulf states have been hit hard by a cash crunch due to a 65-percent drop in oil prices since June 2014.

Most of them have introduced austerity measures, and Oman said Wednesday it has decided a series of measures to boost non-oil revenues.