Business leader dubs WHT as irrational, fiscal terrorism

ISLAMABAD (INP): Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt on Sunday said withholding tax (WHT) on bank transactions will never be acceptable to majority of the businessmen who are dubbing it as illogical and fiscal terrorism. WHT is inconsistent with the ground realities therefore it must be reviewed and made acceptable as it is not being practiced anywhere in the world in the current rough form, he said. Traders would be left with no option but to accept bank tax if it is slightly modified and influential tax evaders as well as major defaulters are taken to task before squeezing commoners and middle-class businessmen, said Shahid Rasheed But.

He said that tax compliance in Pakistan will remain one of the lowest in the world unless the ratio of direct taxes in increased from the current 25 percent while reliance on withholding agents is reduced.

Flawed taxation has benefitted nobility and continues to punish poor which has pushed million below the poverty line fanning social problems and militancy.

He said that SRO culture which is against the clause 77 of the constitution is blocking development while absence of any major political party which can raise voice against tax thefts, merciless wastage of national resources, promotion of state aristocracy and social justice which is unfortunate. Pakistan will never prosper unless just justification of wealth is ensured through a justified tax system and elite start paying their share in the national development.

Banking sector deposits clock in at Rs9,020 billion

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Total deposits of banking sector in 8 month of 2015 clocked in 8 percent higher at Rs 9,020 billion, where in line with its historic trend, 2 months FY16 deposits depict a declining trend of 1 percent. Meanwhile, advances too picked up by 2% in 8M20Y15 to clock in at Rs4,566b while Investments improved to Rs6,293b, up 23%. According to figures of SBP, ADR trimmed by 3ppts YTD to 51% as at Aug 2015, while IDR marked an all-time high at 70%, +9ppts higher compared to Dec 2014. On MoM basis, Advances remained almost flat, while Investments registered 4% growth. Banks have once again reverted to Reverse-Repo (injection by SBP) for further borrowing to fund their assets.

as Repo borrowing has remained above Rs1 trn level since Jul 2015, from Rs625b in Jun 2015.

This has been led by a seasonal decline in Deposits, while banks have parked investment in government papers on attractive yields as govt. continues to increase its borrowings for budgetary support. Experts believe minimal impact of 0.3%/0.6% WHT on banking transactions for nonfilers has been visible as yet, however as per the management of big banks, a decline in transaction volume has been noticed.

Foreign investment increasing in country: Dar

ISLAMABAD (INP): Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar has said that foreign investment in the country is increasing due to growing confidence of the international community. In an interview, he said that economic reforms have resulted in increased tax net and tax collections. Ishaq Dar said middle class is flourishing in the country due to prudent economic policies of the government. He said the government is intensifying micro finance investment for easy loans. The Minister was confident that the government will be successful in ending load shedding by the end of its constitutional tenure. Ishaq Dar said work on electricity projects of 7000 megawatt is underway.

He vowed to make Pakistan 18th largest economy of the world. He said end to load shedding, creation of job opportunities and development of basic infrastructure are top priorities of the government.

He said efforts are being made to develop far-flung and backward areas of the country. Ishaq Dar said equal importance is being given to all sectors, including industry and agriculture.

Promotion of agri mechanisation programme launched

SIALKOT (APP): The Punjab government has launched Promotion of Agriculture Mechanization programme costing Rs 1184 million across the province. The programme will be implemented in 2486 rural union councils of Punjab to put agriculture sector on modern lines for enhancing productivity and profitability. The Agriculture department had finalized necessary arrangements for the implementation of the programme in a transparent manner in the province. Official sources told APP on Sunday that under the programme a set of agriculture machines and implements consists of Disc Harrow, Rotavator, Seed Drill, Chisel Plough, Sugarcane Ridger will be provided to farmers on 50 percent subsidy.

The set would be given through draw in rural union councils and in this regard, committees had been constituted to supervise the allotment of machines and implements in each district of the Punjab.

While, the agriculture department has finalized necessary arrangements for undertaking the Promotion of Agriculture Mechanization programme in 92 Rural Union Councils of Sialkot and to monitor the implementation of the plan.

The process of draw will be transparent for handing over the set of agricultural machines and implements to farmers of Sialkot district. Sugarcane Ridger machine and implements will be provided only in Sugarcane growing districts of the Punjab, sources added.

Timely harvesting of paddy good for growers

LAHORE (APP): Timely harvesting of rice helps growers to get good amount of profit of their commodity. Punjab Agriculture Information Director M Rafique Akhtar told APP here on Sunday. He said improper harvesting and handling of rice caused 5 to 10 percent loss in its production. He suggested paddy growers to timely harvest the thick variety of rice. The harvested crop should not be kept in field for long time because it would put negative impact on grains. Rice grains should be put in sunlight for four to five days so they get properly dry before storage and moisture in grains should not be more than 13 percent, he added. Rafique said farmers must select those combined harvester with which rice grains break down in less quantity.