FBR conducts workshop on

filing of returns

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): Facilitation and Taxpayer Education (FATE) Wing of the FBR and Fauji Fertiliser Company (FCC) have teamed up to hold an extensive training-cum-facilitation workshop for the FCC employees keen to file their Income Tax returns. A two-member FBR team, led by Large Taxpayer Unit (LTU) Commissioner Shakeel Ahmad Kasana, visited the FCC Headquarters in Rawalpindi and conducted the workshop aimed at explaining the advantages and procedures of filing Income Tax return and becoming part of the Active Taxpayer Lists (ATL). Over 100 senior officers of the company attended the session. The training workshop was conducted following a meeting held earlier between FBR FATE Member Nausheen Javaid Amjad and FCC's Managing Director and Chief Executive Lt-Gen (R) Shafqaat Ahmed as part of FBR's outreach programme for creating awareness and understanding of tax obligations about filing of Income Tax returns.

As part of the programme, FBR has contacted over 50 large corporations, financial institutions and companies during the last few weeks to explain to the management of these companies the advantages of filing Income Tax returns by their employees.

In a detailed presentation, Shakeel - who was assisted by Sharique Tanveer, Deputy Commissioner Regional Tax Office (RTO) Islamabad - explained in depth the tax obligations for the salaried persons drawing taxable income, advantages of filing tax returns and the method and procedure of e-filing. Later, an extensive question and answer session was followed during which keen questions were asked regarding different aspects of filing of Income Tax returns. Shakeel addressed all the questions in a professional manner, dispelling the fears and misgivings of the participants about filing their returns and becoming part of the tax system.

Towards the end, Brig (R) Abid Mehmood of the FCC thanked the FATE Wing of FBR for conducting the workshop and extending technical support and facilitation in e-filing for his company's employees. He also lauded the outreach and awareness programme initiated by FBR for the taxpayers and assured full cooperation in ensuring maximum compliance and filing of tax returns by their employees.

LCCI worried over unscheduled

power outages

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) Executive Committee, in its first meeting on Tuesday, expressed concern over the issues of unscheduled loadshedding and encroachments and urged the Punjab government to find out a sustainable solution. LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid presided over the meeting while Vice President Zeshan Khalil and Executive Committee members also spoke on the occasion. The LCCI president said that unscheduled power outages are hitting the industrial production hard. He said that how industrialists can plan production schedule when they are blank about the availability of electricity. He said that since electricity is a major raw material for the industries; therefore, its availability in bits and pieces is of no use to the industries. He said that all industrial processes need continuous power supply and a little break in it spoils the entire process.

Malik said that Pakistan had already lost a number of international markets and exports are stagnant while new longer power cuts are further aggravating the situation. He said that uninterrupted power supply is only way to achieve economic targets for the current financial year.

The Executive Committee members said that encroachment is another area that should be focused seriously. They urged the Punjab government to launch campaign against encroachments in consultation with the stakeholders as it is not only creating hurdles for smooth flow of traffic but is also adding to the cost of doing business.

They said that a hurdle-free movement of vehicle is a must for timely delivery of goods. They also stressed the need for construction of parking plazas in and around the city markets so that the shoppers and the businessmen could conduct their respective activities with a peace of mind. They said that parking plazas are direly needed in the city to avoid haphazard parking of vehicles that often causes accidents.

Unisame urges PM to take

remedial measures promptly

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME), being badly affected by fall in business, has urged Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to take short-term and long-term remedial measures to promote exports and domestic value-addition units of SMEs. UNISAME President Zulfikar Thaver said many SME units have been forced to close down due to substantial decline in business and many others are suffering losses, adding that this is indeed an alarming situation and calls for immediate steps to boost business both domestic and overseas. He urged the prime minister to facilitate exports to third world countries to open new markets for textiles, rice and light engineering goods. The SME exporters need bank discounting facilities and the banks need export credit guarantee insurance for their risk management. It is very important that the premium for the insurance is made affordable to enable the SME exporters to avail the facility, he added.

He said the insurance companies are demanding high rate of premium which is more than the profit. The insurance cover needs to be made affordable. Thaver said the other important factor is the SME exporters need to be competitive and for this UNISAME has urged the PM to offer a 10 percent bonus voucher to exporters which could be sold in the market as a prize bond.

He said of course for long-term measures the government needs to offer incentives such as tax holiday for new industries and land at concession on installment payment. Reduction of duties on raw and packing material, commercial property leasing facility should be granted, he added. Arranging for technology transfer and collaboration and joint ventures through the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) also needed, he added.

UNISAME also stressed the need for enhanced support for agriculture and modernisation of cultivation, irrigation, harvesting, storing and logistics and last but not the least marketing support for the farmers.

Karachi-Lahore gas pipeline’s

BOOT agreement being negotiated

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistani and Russian experts are holding negotiations on Build-Operate-Own-Transfer (BOOT) agreement to lay an 1100 kilometer gas pipeline from Karachi to Lahore, for which the two countries had signed an intergovernmental accord two years back. The project, costing around $ 2 billion, is facing delay due to some international sanctions on Russian company RT-Global Resources. “The actual construction on the pipeline will start after finalization of the contractual arrangement. Currently, the parties are negotiating the BOOT agreement. Pakistan has already communicated that any structure/arrangement needs to be sanctions free,” official sources in the Petroleum and Natural Resources Division told APP. Answering a question, they also informed that the matter of US sanctions on the company was discussed with the Russian authorities, while the proposed solution by the Russian side was under evaluation by the Ministries of Energy and Law.

The sources said the agreement was signed on government-to-government level and not with any individual, adding "If any Russian company had been blacklisted under any international sanction, Pakistan has nothing to do with it as Russia can assign the task to someone else."