Women support vital for sustainable tax culture, says FBR member

ISLAMABAD : Member Facilitation and Taxpayer Education (FATE) FBR Ms Nausheen Javaid Amjad has described the women’s support as vital for creating a sustainable tax culture and ensuring maximum tax compliance in the society. “Women can lay the foundation of a better tomorrow by leading positive behavioural change in the society,” she said in a keynote address to a two-day ‘All Pakistan Women Chambers Presidents Conference’ arranged by RCCI in Rawalpindi. Nausheen Amjad said there was a need to inculcate tax education in all stages of formal or informal learning. “FBR is currently engaged in an extensive taxpayer outreach programme to create basic knowledge about tax affairs, awareness about the rights and responsibilities of taxpayers, promote tax literacy and highlight payment of taxes as a national duty,” she said. Highlighting the features of FBR’s outreach programme, the Member FATE FBR said her wing had been engaged in a host of activities.

, including the running of a dedicated FBR helpline, setting up of a Customer Relationship Management System, publication of taxpayer facilitation brochures and manuals as well as running tax awareness campaign through the media.

Nausheen Javaid said creating a tax culture and promoting tax literacy was essential to making informed decisions about tax affairs, effectively manage financial resources, increase incidence of tax compliance, raise awareness about filing of Income Tax returns and emphasize the social value of taxes as contributor to socio-economic development of the society. 

She said women in Pakistan were also contributing significantly to the vibrancy of socio-economic life as corroborated by the figures of Income Tax filers for the Tax Year 2016 when FBR received 1.32 million returns with the share of salaried women standing at 4.9% with 65,225 filers and the share of non-salaried women filers standing at 6.4 per cent with 85,278 filers.

Earlier, Rawalpindi Chamber President Zahid Latif Khan welcomed the participants of the conference and briefed them about various initiatives of the Chamber, including the recent establishment of Women Business Incubation Centre at RCCI and providing the business women developmental forums to help the women entrepreneurs get into the mainstream activities of national economy.



Impact of readjusted exchange rate devastating for economy: PBIF president

ISLAMABAD (NNI): President PBIF, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said impact of the readjusted exchange rate can be devastating for the economy and the common man. Despite the devaluation of the rupee, the soaring trade and current-account deficits will keep our currency under pressure with or without intervention of the central bank, the former minister said. Mian Zahid Hussain said that exports stood at nine billion dollars while imports were recorded at twenty four billion dollar in the first five months of this fiscal year pushing trade deficit to fifteen billion dollars. On the other hand, he said, the fiscal deficit for the first four months was recorded at five billion dollars which was $2.26b a year ago during the same period, he added. The veteran business leader said that the adjusted exchange rate will provide some support to the falling exports but steps should also be taken to slowdown the imports otherwise the effort will remain counterproductive as imposition of regulatory duties has not produced the desired results.

Exporters should not depend on the government but also try to improve their manufacturing, quality, branding and marketing abilities to become more competitive in the global market, he observed.

While IMF and some circles are demanding more depreciation, the decline of local currency will increase inflation, cost of raw material and compel the government to increase price of fuel and electricity to avoid the fiscal impact.


Banking sector investments increase by 1.8 percent in Q3CY17

ISLAMABAD (APP): The overall net investments of the banking sector surged by 1.8 percent during the third quarter (Q3) of calendar year 2017 against decline of 2.5 percent in the same period of last year. Investment in government securities have remained the prime driver behind investments growth, officials data revealed. Following the recent trend, banks have continued to invest in short-term Market Treasury Bills (MTBs) and have divested from Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) and Sukuks (PKR 11.7 billion) during Q3CY17, according to Quarterly Performance Review of the Banking Sector issued by the State Bank of Pakistan. Consequently, the share of MTBs (in total net investments) has increased to 52.6 percent in Q3CY17 compared to 42.0 percent in Q3CY16 while the share of PIBs in total investments has declined to 35.3 percent, the data revealed. The offer-to-target ratio (for PIBs auctions) has declined to 0.36 in Q3CY17 from 3.32 in Q3CY16, which reflects reduced banking sector interest in long-term government securities.

There is a change in government’s maturity preferences for budgetary borrowings. The target amount for PIBs auction of PKR 300 billion in Q3CY17 was significantly lower than the PIBs maturity of PKR 772.6 billion, representing abated interest of government in long-term borrowings.

According to the report, Higher investments in MTBs could also be seen as a market risk management strategy by banks, owing to expectations of a possible change in direction of interest rates in the future.

Banks’ investment in corporate securities (TFCs, Bonds, debentures, fully paid up shares etc.) has decreased by 2.6 percent during Q3CY17.

Particularly, banks’ investment in corporate debt instruments has declined by 1.3 percent (PKR 3.2 billion) while investments in shares/listed equity has declined by 0.9 percent (PKR 2.4 billion), the report said adding this may be a manifestation of the ongoing volatility in the capital market.

Based on the above discussion, it can be inferred that the changing composition of banks’ earning assets (towards short-term investments and long-term loans) points towards repositioning by banks to remain profitable in the wake of evolving macroeconomic environment.




Railways set to re-launch Kohat Express


RAWALPINDI (APP): Pakistan Railways will re-launch Kohat-Rawalpindi Express within few days as all arrangements in this regard have been finalized. A Railways official informed APP that the Kohat-Rawalpindi rail track had been rehabilitated besides renovating and rehabilitating four Railway Stations, two each in Rawalpindi and Peshawar divisions to facilitate the passengers of  Kohat Express. After a closure of few years, Pakistan Railways would re-launch the train service between Rawalpindi and Kohat to provide cheaper traveling facilities to the people of Kohat, he said adding, the train would have around 400 passengers capacity. The train service was suspended between the two cities due to financial crunch in the Pakistan Railways, he said. Now, the PR’s financial position was improving gradually and it had re-launched some other trains, he added. The Kohat Express is being re-started as former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had announced operation of the train last year during a public meeting held in Kohat.

To a question he said, final date for the launching would be announced later.

The train would reach its destination from Rawalpindi to Kohat within three hours and 30 minutes covering Golra Sharif, Fateh Jhang, Basal and Jand stations.



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