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The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has given a deadline of March 10, 2021 to the business community for submission of budget proposals pertaining to the sales tax and federal excise duty for 2021-22.
In this connection, the FBR Friday issued instructions to the business community on budget proposals for next fiscal year.
The FBR’s letters to the business community revealed that the Board has invited the proposals for the coming budget for fiscal year (2021-22) relating to Sales Tax & Federal Excise, on the following broad parameters:
The proposals should focus on broadening the tax base and increase in revenue;
Amendments may be suggested in any of the following laws/rules etc: Sales Tax Act, 1990 Federal Excise Act, 2005 Sales Tax Rules, 2006 Federal Excise Rules, 2005 ICT (Sales Tax on Services) Ordinance, 2001.
The FBR stated that the amendments may be suggested with a view to achieve simplification, remove difficulties and anomalies, and abolish any outdated/obsolete provisions.
The FBR would especially welcome proposals for eliminating tax fraud, fake & flying invoices, plugging loopholes if any, facilitating genuine taxpayers, and making the procedures transparent; and The proposals should be made keeping in view the consequences for the other related trade groups which might be adversely affected by the proposed measure.
It is requested that the requisite proposals may kindly be sent to the Board by March 10, 2021, FBR’s instructions added.
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An agreement on cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters has been signed in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Mr. Imran Haider, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Tajikistan and Mr. Karimzoda K. Chairman, Customs Service, Republic of Tajikistan signed the said agreement on behalf of their respective governments.
The provisions of this Agreement were finalized after an exchange of detailed information/comments between Pakistan Customs and Tajikistan Customs and getting approvals by both governments.
In order to ensure prompt implementation of the said provisions, Pakistan Customs authorized (through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Pakistan’s Ambassador to Tajikistan to sign this Agreement on behalf of the Federal Board of Revenue, Government of Pakistan.
The said agreement would promote co-operation between the Customs authorities of the two countries through the exchange of customs-related information. Important information – that would be exchanged between both countries – pertains to
Goods and passengers;
Prevention and investigation of offenses against Customs legislation;
Illicit traffic of narcotic drugs;
Enforcement of customs laws;
Research and development;
Enhanced/mutual foreign direct investments;
Promotion of exports between both countries.
This would go a long way in ensuring optimum trade facilitation/security for the bilateral / transit trade between both countries and would tangibly reduce the cost of doing business for the importers/exporters from both countries. It is yet another milestone in the growing bilateral relations between Tajikistan and Pakistan. The agreement also reflects the will of the leadership in both countries to further re-enforce friendly relations.
This agreement will ensure requisite international cooperation for the achievement of stated/ strategic objectives for greater economic integration with the regional/international countries and diversification of Pakistan’s international trade. To this effect, Pakistan Customs, Federal Board of Revenue has already signed Customs Mutual Cooperation Agreements with, inter-alia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, United Arab Emirates and the USA.
Pakistan Customs is actively pursuing the finalization of such Agreements with South Korea, ASEAN Countries, Saudi Arabia, Russia and European Union as well.
Before the signing ceremony, the Chairman of the Customs Service under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan welcomed the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan H.E. Mr. Imran Hayder and the latter expressed his gratitude for the close cooperation of Tajikistan in customs matters and noted that the Government of Pakistan and Pakistan Customs are always ready to enhance the economic and trade cooperation with Tajikistan.
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The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has directed all listed companies to facilitate virtual attendance of shareholders through electronic means, as a regular feature in annual general meetings (AGMs), through Circular No. 4 of 2021.
The decision has been taken with the objective of ensuring the protection of minority shareholder’s interests, as well as safeguarding their wellbeing.
Last year, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the SECP had allowed companies to arrange electronic facilities to ensure maximum participation of shareholders at AGMs, to deter large gatherings.
This ease of participation in attending shareholders’ meetings, led to increased participation of members in the AGMs, which is a very positive development for the corporate sector.
Considering its beneficial impact, electronic participation has now been made a permanent feature, in addition to the existing requirement of holding AGMs physically, at specified venues.
In physical AGMs, companies are required to comply with the SOPs of the federal and provincial governments relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic, as notified from time to time.
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The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, chaired the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet here today.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has approved a phase-wise reduction in taxes on telecom services.
The Secretary of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication presented a summary of the taxation issues of the telecommunication sector.
A participant of the ECC meeting told Propakistani that all these tax relief measures for the telecom sector would be made part of the next Finance Bill 2020-21 and would be applicable from July 1, 2021 including abolition of the Regulatory Duty on Import of different kinds of telecom equipment.
Sources said that the said approved tax relief measures and reduction in taxes for the telecom sector would not be implemented during the current fiscal year. There are many qualifications to each of tax relief measures which were approved by the ECC. The government would include these reductions in taxes and other relief in the coming federal budget.
The sub-committee presented its recommendations to the ECC, and they were approved as endorsed by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
The following recommendations have been approved by the Economic Coordination Committee:
Advance Income tax/WHT has been reduced from 12.5 to 10% w-e-f July 2021 and to be further reduced to 8% in July 2022. The phased-wise reduction will continue.
FED reduced from 17% to 16% in the federal capital. Harmonization in provinces to be included in the harmonization framework currently being concluded.
Government to accept Lahore High Court’s Judgment in favor of Ufone & Zong, implement it for all the mobile operators, and withdraw Rs. 250 issuance tax on the sale of new SIM cards.
Telecom Sector (All PTA Licensees) should be included in Division II of PART III of Income-tax Ordinance to grant relief of 3% minimum tax instead of 8%.
Pakistan Telecom Companies are dependent to import various equipment under HS Code 8517 and HS Code 8544. It was proposed that the Regulatory Duty on were equipment should be abolished. ECC approved that this will be actuated through a decision of the National Tariff Commission
When asked whether the abolition of the Regulatory Duty on Import of different kinds of telecom equipment would be made applicable through amendment in the RD related SRO, top officials added that the RD would also be abolished from the next fiscal year.
Previously, the ECC had constituted a sub-committee dated 20 October 2020, under the Chairmanship of the Adviser to the PM, Dr. Ishrat Hussain, for due deliberation.
The federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, the federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, the Adviser to the PM on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain, the SAPM on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, the SAPM on Power Tabish Gauhar, the SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, and the Chairman Board of Investment (BOI) Atif Bokhari also attended the meeting.
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Pakistan’s number one 4G operator, Jazz, has initiated the rollout of 4G in South Waziristan to empower the region with high-speed mobile broadband.
The 4G rollout has been initiated in record time following Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent promise to the people of South Waziristan to provide high-speed internet services in the tribal region. It is pertinent to note that Jazz is the only operator providing 4G services in this region and the rollout will continue at a fast pace.
Aamir Ibrahim, CEO, Jazz said, “The rollout of 4G services in South Waziristan is in line with our commitment to bridge the digital divide and connect our fellow countrymen with fast and reliable mobile broadband. Our ambition to digitally empower Pakistan is fueled through enhanced connectivity and by creating equal opportunities for all. We will continue to empower the people in remote areas to ensure that every Pakistani has access to high-speed internet, and no one is left behind.”
During the last quarter of 2020, Jazz has invested PKR 12.3 billion, 4G network investment being the principal focus, enabling the company to take its 4G population coverage to 59% and 4G customer base to 25 million.
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Is it even pertinent to call Bitcoin (BTC) the “digital gold” when the real thing is becoming less valuable?
The gold-BTC ratio is at a historic low, with the price of gold relative to Bitcoin at its lowest point since the crypto space was created.
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Why is Gold Slipping?
Gold is hitting symbolic lows mostly due to Bitcoin’s relentless rally, simply put. Making it even simpler: It now takes 72 tolas of gold to buy a single Bitcoin. It’s worth mentioning that at the height of the previous BTC bull run in 2017, that number was 34 tolas.
The downfall of gold can be attributed to a lot of things, but considering Bitcoin, people have to understand the concept of “store of value”.
A store of value is something that an investor can own or hold on to, and its value doesn’t fall. For example, cars.
Cars depreciate as soon as you drive them off the lot, which means they are bad stores of value. In contrast, gold is a precious metal that doesn’t decay, but is a classic store of value.
Investors want currencies, precious metal or other resources to serve as “stores of value”, particularly when inflation is high or other markets—such as stocks—are getting pummeled.
The Dollar is subject to inflation, but it remains strong if preserved in large quantities.
The arguments exist for the dollar to remain steadfast in the face of economic obscurity, but Bitcoin is boasting more attractive and safe returns than a US$ that promises to depreciate only a little each year.
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According to Decrypt, the BTC has increased in value by a mammoth 80% since the beginning of the year. It’s quadrupled in price—up 419%—since February 2020 to its current market price of $52,240, which is an all-time high.
For more clarity on the gold-BTC comparison, have a look at the following trends when overlapped:
Bitcoin is eating up gold after recurring rallies up north? Experts suggest that,
Though both assets have their unique advantages and disadvantages, at this time it’s clear that the market is far more willing to hedge the upcoming period of inflation with bitcoin over gold
Whatever the case, a new Bitcoin standard sounds a lot more fun, other than just interrelating blockchain data that confuses even the best of us.
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Quetta Gladiators were disappointing last year as they failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in their history. Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said that he is confident that Quetta has covered all the bases and will have a successful tournament.
Quetta recruited smartly this season, adding the flamboyant English batsman, Tom Banton, and the Universe Boss, Chris Gayle, to their ranks.
Chris Gayle however will not be available for most of the tournament, hence, Quetta opted to recruit former South African captain, Faf du Plessis, who will come in once Gayle returns to join his international squad. Quetta also brought in South African legend, Dale Steyn. Although he’s not at his prime, Steyn will provide them with crucial experience and will lead the pack of young and exciting fast bowlers.
Quetta Gladiators Suffer Another Major Blow Before PSL 2021
Captain: Sarfaraz Ahmed
Coach: Moin Khan
Bowling coach: Umar Gul
Best finish: Champions (PSL 4)
Last year finish: 5th
Quetta has exciting talent available to them in the spin department. Mohammad Nawaz has been at the franchise since the inaugural tournament and has been one of the consistent performers throughout the PSL. He made a comeback to the national side in the recent T20I series against South Africa and will be determined to keep his place in the national team.
Zahid Mehmood also made his first appearance for the national side in the series against South Africa and he impressed everyone with his leg-spin. Zahid has been a consistent performer in Pakistan’s domestic circuit and has honed his craft on the pitches in the country.
Qais Ahmed is a young Afghani leg-spinner who can be deadly on his day as well. This provides Quetta with a host of options within their ranks.
Quetta’s fast bowling quartet is exceptional as well. It has a perfect blend of experience and youth and provides them with a number of options. Mohammad Hasnain was magnificent in PSL 5 and his pace could trouble the batsmen.
Similarly, Naseem Shah is an exciting young prospect and he will be determined to silence his critics and catch the attention of national selectors to make it back to the national team. Usman Shinwari provides them with a left-arm option. Although he may have faltered recently, he possesses the skill to dismantle the opposition batting line-up on any day.
Finally, South African legend, Dale Steyn, although not as deadly as he used to be, will be perfect to aid the young fast bowlers in the squad.
Quetta possesses a strong batting unit that can take the opposition bowlers to the cleaners, but their batting line-up does not look balanced. They will have Gayle for only two matches and his opening partnership with Tom Banton will be sorely missed.
Gladiators do not have a recognized opener apart from Gayle and Banton in their squad. They will have to promote either Cameron Delport or Sarfaraz Ahmed up the order. That would lead to a vulnerable middle-order. They have Faf du Plessis, Azam Khan, and one of either Sarfaraz or Delport available in the middle-order. On their day they have the ability to post scores in excess of 200, but it can lead to a collapse as well.
Quetta will have to play their cards right if they want to move onto the playoffs.
Another worrisome area for Quetta is the lack of quality all-rounders. Ben Cutting was exceptional last year and Quetta will be hoping that he provides the fireworks at the backend of the innings and his bowling will be crucial as well.
Mohammad Nawaz is a great opening bowler and an exceptional fielder but his skills with the bat are limited and his bowling in the middle-overs can cost a few.
Anwar Ali had the potential to be Pakistan’s permanent all-rounder but those days are long gone. He may well be a better batsman than a bowler now. Gladiators don’t have a lot of options in the all-rounders category.
Peshawar Zalmi Squad, Strengths, Weaknesses, and Trump Card [Predictions]
Tom Banton will be crucial for Quetta this season. They will be delighted to have him for the whole tournament. Banton is an unorthodox explosive opener that can take away the game from the opposition in an instant.
He did not perform to the best of his abilities last year and was released by Peshawar Zalmi. Banton has since gone on to lose his place in England’s T20I side as well. This might prove to be the perfect catalyst for Banton to regain his form back and perform in the sub-continent to catch the eye of the English selectors. Banton will be required to provide explosive starts to Quetta and he may be the best option available in the tournament.
Zahid Mehmood may not be a hidden gem in the domestic circuit, he certainly is one in the PSL. Zahid has only played one match since the inception of PSL and he will be looking to make himself a household name after the tournament.
Zahid is expected to gain a lot of game time this season and that too with good reason. We have been stressing on the spinning tracks in Pakistan and Zahid demonstrated his skills in the third T20I against South Africa at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
Zahid is a clever customer and he has perfected the art of leg-spin bowling on the pitches in the country. He will be a threat in the tournament and we won’t be surprised to see his name somewhere near the top of the wicket-taking charts at the conclusion of the tournament.
Quetta has been one of the most successful franchises in the tournament’s history, having played three finals. They have revamped their squad this year and they possess enough quality to make it to the play-offs.
Sarfaraz Ahmed is a proven world-class captain and he will be looking to inspire his troops to go deep in the tournament. They possess a potent batting unit and have a strong bowling unit as well. They have a few gaps in the team but the individual quality might be able to pull them through.
Our predicted finish for Quetta Gladiators is fourth!
Quetta Gladiators Squad
Sarfaraz Ahmed (c) (wk)
Azam Khan (wk)
Aarish Ali Khan
Faf Du Plessis*(Replacement for Gayle)
Hassan Khan**(Replacement for Steyn)
Quetta Gladiators Schedule
Saturday, 20 February
Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators
National Stadium Karachi
Monday, 22 February
Lahore Qalandars v Quetta Gladiators
National Stadium Karachi
Friday, 26 February
Peshawar Zalmi v Quetta Gladiators
National Stadium Karachi
Monday, 1 March
Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators
National Stadium Karachi
Wednesday, 3 March
Quetta Gladiators v Multan Sultans
National Stadium Karachi
Saturday, 6 March
Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators
National Stadium Karachi
Sunday, 7 March
Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators
National Stadium Karachi
Thursday, 11 March
Quetta Gladiators v Lahore Qalandars
Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
Saturday, 13 March
Quetta Gladiators v Karachi Kings
Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
Sunday, 14 March
Quetta Gladiators v Peshawar Zalmi
Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
Check out the full PSL 2021 schedule here.
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The US e-commerce giant Amazon has decided to delve into the world of crowdfunding. The company recently announced its crowdfunding platform dubbed ‘Build It’, which will feature Amazon products only. The company will mass manufacture these devices only if the crowdfunding goal is achieved.
It is not a new idea though. The platform will function similarly to Xiaomi’s Youpin crowdfunding, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and a couple of others.
The platform already has its first set of products for funding up and about. These include:
A cuckoo clock with a feature to program alarms. It carried a crowdfunding price of $79.99 but will retail for $99.99 after the exercise. Unlike traditional cuckoo clocks, this one features a sleek minimalist design with an actual pop-out cuckoo bird, 60 LED bulbs, and a built-in speaker. It also comes with a removable pendulum.
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As the name suggests, this tiny printer prints on sticky notes. It is the size of a Rubik’s Cube and carried a crowdfunding price of $89.99.
According to the description on the page, this can be used to print out shopping lists, reminders, calendar events, and more via spoken words. The device will need to be paired with an Echo device to use the speech-to-text function. Moreover, it uses thermal technology instead of ink and can be connected to Amazon’s Alexa.
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Smart Nutrition Scale
This works in combination with Alexa to give you nutrition info in an instant. It uses 2xAAA batteries and comes with tempered glass construction. It also has an LCD to display weight information and a touch button for selecting measurement mode.
The crowdfunding will run for 30 days in all cases. In this case, all three products will be open for pre-orders until March 19. To check out more details, visit the crowdfunding page on Amazon’s website.
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Wildlife experts have advised citizens to avoid feeding monkeys while strolling along the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP)’s hiking trails and its vicinity to avoid being attacked.
The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday that in a very rare incident, a female monkey attacked an IWMB official at Trail-4.
“Monkeys have their food or prey readily available in their natural habitat and do not require an artificial diet to survive,” he said, adding that when citizens offer food to monkeys makes the animal dependent on them and as a consequence, it retaliates if someone does not offer food.
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He said that the IWMB has been creating awareness on the matter through social media portals and media briefs.
The spokesperson said that the masses need to shun the practice of feeding wildlife species in the national park.
There are enough species available to the monkeys and they can survive much better by feeding on them.
He added that a few days back, a female Asian common leopard nicknamed ‘Shezadi’ was also spotted at Trails IV and VI.
Due to enough preys such as wild boars, green pheasants, and barking deer, the leopard has been spotted using camera traps installed in the national park.
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The statement emphasized masses to avoid venturing into the national park after sunset and to leave the trails half an hour before the stipulated time as a safety measure.
The official noted that they have installed 18 camera traps at various locations of the park, but only eight of them are fully functional. Eight more cameras have been installed at different places for effective monitoring.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Wildlife Foundation Vice-President, Safwan Ahmed, informed that people strolling in the trails should refrain from offering food to monkeys and wear some perfume or deodorant to prevent monkey attacks.
“A fragrance is an unperceived odor for monkeys, which they consider a threat and, therefore, flee in fear,” he advised.
He also suggested that people who are irked by monkeys breaking into their houses in the sectors adjoining the National Park should apply air freshener on their walls to keep the monkeys away.
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