SMEDA starts meetings between Italian and Pak entrepreneurs

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), through Investment Promotion Unit (IPU), opened a series of business- to- business meetings between Italian and Pakistani entrepreneurs at Pakistan-Italian Trade & Investment Business Forum held today in SMEDA head office with a key note by Mr. Alamgir Chaudhry, Acting Chief Executive Officer, SMEDA. Mr. Dino Fortunato, from UNIDO ITPO, Rome, Mr. Brian Portelli, from UNIDO Head Office Vienna, Austria and Mr. Imran Chaudhry, National Project Coordinator, IPU were also present on this occasion.

The Acting CEO SMEDA, while welcoming the members of Italian Trade Delegation, appreciated United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO) for activating the IPU with Italian Investment. He also applauded the Italian government for allocating funds to promote bilateral trade and joint ventures between business communities of Pakistan and Italy. He assured of the fullest cooperation on behalf of SMEDA in facilitating the business match making of the two nations through IPU.

Mr. Imran Chaudhry, National Project Coordinator, IPU while highlighting the mandate and role of IPU in SME development of Pakistan informed that the Italian trade delegation’s current visit is a part of the IPU’s endeavors for promoting Italian investments in Pakistan under umbrella of SMEDA.

Hearing of petition challenging urban property tax

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The LHC Wednesday adjourned till May 22 (today) a petition challenging urban property tax being recovered under local government ordinance.  Justice Mansoor Ali Shah was hearing the case. The Judge took serious notice of the contradictory statements of local govt and Excise Dept over the matter of property tax in both urban and rural areas under the said ordinance.  The Judge observed that the ordinance did not differentiate urban and rural areas for the recovery of property tax.  At the outset of the proceedings, local govt secretary argued in the favour of property tax’s recovery while the official of excise dept said that the recovery was the subject of his dept.

A number of petitioners had filed petitions and challenged the ordinance of local government under which the property tax was being recovered.

Govt releases Rs4.2b for PSM employees’ salaries

Karachi (Staff Reporter): Ministry of Finance has released a sum of Rs 4.2 billion to Pakistan Steel Mills. The amount is the first tranche of the approved restructuring package of Rs 18.5 billion from the Government of Pakistan. Pay slips for two months salaries (February and March 2014) of all the employees have been issued.  Moreover, two L/C’s for procurement of coking coal each of 55,000 metric tonnes amounting to Rs1.5 billion have been opened. The remaining amount will be utilised for payment of utility bills, capital repairs and disbursement of payment to suppliers.

Pakistan Steel management is confident that with the release of the first tranche of the approved package, production of the mill would start improving to achieve the targets set by Government of Pakistan.

ICCI pre-budget seminar held

ISLAMABAD (nni):  Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in collaboration with ACCA Pakistan organised a pre-budget discussion in Chamber House to advocate for healthy fiscal measures in the country. The event commenced with welcome remarks from Malik Mirza, CFO, U Microfinance Bank and Chairman, Members Network Panel, ACCA Pakistan, who set the tone for a fair taxation system in the country.  He highlighted the essentials required for growth namely transparency, certainty and sharing of the tax burden. ACCA Budget proposals were shared by Munir Malik, Member Fair Taxation Subcommittee, Members Network Panel, ACCA Pakistan and financial controller, Premier Oil.

FED on cement likely to be raised

ISLAMABAD (Online): Federal Excise Duty (FED) on cement is likely to be jacked up by Rs 100 per metric tone by federal government in upcoming budget for the financial year 2014-15.Government had curtailed the FED on cement from Rs 750 to Rs 500 in the fiscal 2011-12 and from Rs 500 to Rs 400 per metric tone in the financial year 2012-13.  Government had promised with cement manufacturers that FED will be gradually slashed and phased out within 3 years. However FBR sources said FED is likely to be increased by Rs 100 per metric tone to bring it back to the level of Rs 500 per metric tone again in the budget for the year 2014-15 in the wake of shortfall registered   in collection of tax revenue.

However no final decision has been taken on this count so far.