Category Archives: Corporate

Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry recommends broadening tax base

KARACHI: Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry OICCI once again stressed need to document and tax all sectors of Pakistan economy to broaden tax base and eradicate tax evasion. To ensure documentation of all segments of economy OICCI recommended that all legal entities including individuals, association of persons, corporate, NGOs, NPOs should file annual tax returns, wealth statements, irrespective of their source of income, if total income for year is in excess of Government approved threshold which currently is Rs 350,000. In case earned income falls under exempt category then exemption may be claimed separately.

Furthermore all such individuals and legal entities should get themselves registered and obtain their NTN National Tax Number and tax authorities should ensure all NTN holders file tax returns. Some of measures suggested by OICCI to increase documentation, reduce tax evasion, avoidance are: Subject to legal provisions, FBR should obtain details of all customers of financial institutions whose investments exceed a certain threshold during the year. Art exhibition halls, hospitals, hotels holding large receptions for catwalks & sale of branded, designer dresses, airlines, travel agencies be asked to provide names, addresses of their customers beyond minimum threshold to FBR. FBR to regularly interact with leading tax, administrative experts to determine additional measures required for enlarging number of tax payers and taxable entities.

“OICCI budget proposals are balanced and aim at broadening tax base, providing incentive to honest tax payers and above all enhancing documentation of economy. These also recommend certain structural and procedural changes to improve overall taxation framework in the country,” said Humayun Bashir, President OICCI.

He said to build confidence, result of FBR’s efforts on 700,000 affluent people who were identified in 2011 as potential tax evaders, assessees should also be shared with public. He suggested people declaring income above Rs 10 million annually or paying taxes in excess of Rs two million annually be given special privileges and recognition cards and special counters at immigration etc.

OICCI proposals for fiscal year 2012-13 are: Rationalizing, broadening tax base. Concrete measures on part of the government are needed to enhance revenue collected via tax receipts. OICCI recommends doing so by increasing number of taxpayers as opposed to taxing already taxed. This can be done by effective use of NADRA database and several other databases available with FBR to identify potential taxpayers. All income earning individuals, AOPs, commercial business should get registered and obtain their NTN, irrespective of their exemption status.

All sectors of income, including agriculture, be subject to taxation to provide equitable treatment to all segments of economy. Cash registers to be maintained by all retailers. All venues where economic business activity takes place should be registered with FBR. All names, addresses of individuals, organizations, holding offices or events at such venues should be provided to FBR, who should ensure income tax returns and wealth statements are filed by such persons, entities.

To contribute to growth of economy and provide jobs to youth, government must attract foreign direct investment FDI, particularly in manufacturing sector. A new duty slab of zero percent be created for all industry raw materials and machinery imported, by newly set-up plants, for period of five years, for which local equivalent are not available.

Bashir said apart from providing FDI, employment generation, corporate social spending, other benefits, OICCI members represents perhaps single largest group of taxpayers. The proposals represent collective view of 189 foreign investors who are OICCI members and are some of world’s leading multinational companies belonging to 33 countries and operating in 14 sectors of Pakistan economy.

ICI Pakistan posted Rs40.11 billion net sales income in year 2011

KARACHI: Board of Directors of ICI Pakistan Limited announcing financial results for year ended December 31, 2011, Thursday said the company posted net sales income of Rs 40.11 billion which is 14% higher than last year.

However, operating results were dragged down by 23% almost entirely due to unavailability of gas to Soda Ash and Polyester plants and the resultant incremental expenditure on expensive alternate fuel amounting to over Rs 825 million, press release said.

Profit after tax at Rs 1.93 billion is 20% less than last year and earning per share at PKR 13.95 was 20% lower than last year. The company’s Paints, Chemicals & Life Sciences Businesses recorded strong growth in margins and operating results.

Pakistan-India Economic Cooperation: Business Leaders Discuss Roadmap

KARACHI: The recent political development between India and Pakistan has encouraged businesses leaders to evolve a strategy for further deepening of economic cooperation between two countries to the extent of their true potential.

Renowned business leaders from Pakistan, Tariq Sayeed, Vice President CACCI, Former & Founder President SAARC CCI & Former President FPCCI, S. M. Muneer, President India-Pakistan CCI & Former President FPCCI and Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President SAARC CCI & Former President FPCCI, recently met R.V. Kinoria the President and Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Secretary General FICCI to exchange views and to discuss possible roadmap to promote economic cooperation. Zubair Ahmed Malik, Zubair F. Tufail, former Vice Presidents of FPCCI and Malik Sohail Hussain were also present during the discussion.

S. M. Muneer in a statement said that a number of meetings of India-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IPCCI) have taken place during last three years. In view of the importance of IPCCI, both the sides expressed strong determination for reactivation of IPCCI, through restructuring and induction of active members, promotion of B2B meetings and frequent exchange of trade delegations on reciprocal basis. They regarded recent visit of Indian Commerce Minister to Pakistan as a milestone achievement and emphasized for seizing this opportunity to explore the untapped economic potential.

Tariq Sayeed and Iftikhar Ali Malik impressed upon the leadership of FICCI to play its role towards the restoration of SAARC Visa Exemption Stickers scheme on previous terms i.e. one year multiple entry Visa instead of the newly introduced policy, which was a serious obstacle in promotion of business in South Asia. They demanded for a flexible and pro- business Visa regime in South Asia, while asserting the need for withdrawal of city restrictions and improving the immigration process at ports of entry and exit.

In respect of SAARC CCI, they requested the FICCI to organize Executive Committee Meetings in cities like Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai and such commercial hubs other than Delhi and Mumbai.

The Secretary General FICCI Dr. Rajiv Kumar assured that his organization will take immediate appropriate action to tackle the SAARC Visa issue and bilateral Visas with the relevant authorities in India.

Business Community invited to participate in Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan in Dushanbe

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s business community must participate actively in the fifth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA), being held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on March 26-27, in order to better articulate the interests of the country’s private sector and to explore opportunities for regional trade and investment.

This was stated by Mr. Zubaydullo N. Zubaydov, the Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan to Pakistan, while paying a visit to the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Head Office on other day.

Mr. Zubaydov was greeted at the Federation House by Syed Masood Alam Rizvi, Secretary General-FPCCI. Also present on the occasion were Mr. Mansha Churra, Mr. Nasiruddin Sheikh, Sardar Shakat Popalzai and other members of the business community.

In his welcome remarks, the Secretary General thanked Mr. Zubaydov for playing a very active role in furthering Pak-Tajik commercial ties. In particular, he lauded Mr. Zubaydov’s services in facilitating the FPCCI delegation’s visit to Tajikistan in 2011. He reminded Mr. Zubaydov that FPCCI’s delegation to Tajikistan, whereby more than 100 high ranking businessmen flew to Dushanbe on a specially chartered jet, was Pakistan’s largest delegation ever to any country. The visit was extremely useful in networking with the Tajik business community, and exploring further avenues for cooperation and trade.

Mr. Zubaydov thanked the business community for their hospitality and said that they were always welcome in Tajikistan. He pointed out that Pakistan would be represented at the RECCA by the highest level of government and therefore, it would be very useful for the private sector to have a say as well. He assured FPCCI of maximum facilitation with regard to the visit from the Embassy of Tajikistan, including free visa issuance and local hospitality.

Other issues discussed during the meeting were import of cotton and aluminium from Tajikistan. The possibility of a workable transit trade route to Tajikistan through Afghanistan in the future was also deliberated. The meeting concluded with presentation of the FPCCI crest to Mr. Zubaydov.

Belarus keen to cooperate with Pakistan in tractor industry

ISLAMABAD: On the invitation of Republic of Belarus, Minister of State/Chairman Board of Investment, Saleem H. Mandviwala paid an official visit to Belarus.

During the visit, the Chairman Board of Investment held a range of meetings with Belarusian Minister for Industry Mr. Dmitry Katsiarynich, Minister for Economy Mr. Nikolai Snopkov, Chairperson of the National Bank of Belarus Ms. Nadezhda Ermakova, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Director General of Belarusian Meat and Milk Company.

In addition to these meetings, the Chairman BoI visited Belarus Tractor Manufacturing Plant where he had useful interaction with the Director General of Minsk Tractor Manufacturing Plant.
Belarus Minsk Tractor Works has played a key role in supplying tractor to Pakistan and establishing the tractor assembly plant in Pakistan.

Belarus and Pakistan have also signed agreements on trade-economic cooperation and investments protection. The two sides agreed to reach a MoU for this purpose in the near future.

The Chairman also reviewed progress on the draft Bilateral Investment Treaty between the two countries which was signed in 1997. Moreover, the two sides agreed to establish further mechanisms for mutual investments. Reaching a Free Trade Agreement or a Preferential Trade Agreement also came up for discussion.

Both the sides showed interest in this respect. Further, understanding was reached to establish a Pakistan-Belarus Joint Business Council to identify areas of cooperation. The possibility of currency swap arrangement between Pakistan and Belarus was explored and establishment of bank branches in each other’s countries was discussed as well.

Emphasizing the importance of the Inter-Governmental Commission for giving a boost to bilateral economic relations, the two sides looked forward to the meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission to be held in Islamabad in the near future.

The two sides also reiterated their commitment to enhance business and expert level exchanges. In this regard, the Belarusian Minister for Economy extended invitation to Chairman Board of Investment and Pakistani business delegation to attend Investment Conference in Minsk which is to be held in November this year. The Chairman thankfully accepted the invitation.

SECP organizes seminar on corporate compliance, eServices

ISLAMABAD: The SECP organized a seminar in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP at the ICAP House. The purpose of the seminar was to make practicing members of the ICAP more aware of the corporate compliance requirements in the wake of the modernization in corporate compliance culture for companies operating in the eServices regime.

The keynote address regarding ‘Corporate Compliance & its importance’ was given by Nazir Ahmed Shaheen, Executive Director (Corporatization & Compliance Department, SECP, who touched on the governing statute for the companies and the SECP’s role as an apex regulator of corporate sector and capital market.

He highlighted the benefits of corporate compliance followed by a detailed briefing regarding various corporate compliance requirements. He also shared with the participants’ important measures taken by the SECP for the purpose of increasing corporate compliance and encouraging feedback from the members to make the SECP’s existing services more efficient.

Sidra Mansur, Deputy Registrar of Companies, Company Registration Office (CRO, Lahore, SECP, introduced the participants to eServices project, sharing recent features introduced in eServices to make it more user-friendly for the companies and certain other facilitation measures taken by the SECP for smooth transition from physical system of corporate compliance to compliance through eServices, followed by future plans regarding introduction of new modules in the present e-filing system.

This was followed by a detailed technical demonstration of eServices by Muhammad Shahzad Sarwar, Senior System Engineer, Information Systems & Technology Department, SECP, who explained the e-processes in detail from creation of eServices account to management of user accounts in eServices; explained the requirements of electronically incorporating a company and filing different statutory returns. Ahmad Muzammil, the in charge of the CRO in Lahore, was also present.

The members actively participated in the seminar, asked various technical questions and gave some useful suggestions for further improvement in eServices system. Mr. Shaheen and Muzammil answered the questions.

The SECP has always collaborated with the professional bodies in the past, and plans to conduct more seminars and workshops in collaboration with other professional and trade bodies as well, in near future to seek their feedback and to create an environment of mutual trust between the business community and regulator, for enhancing corporate compliance of companies through improvement in its services and by creating awareness in this regard among the stakeholders.