Rs 276.64m received for new dams

ISLAMABAD (APP): The fund dedicated for the construction of Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dams has so far received over Rs 276m from various individuals and groups. According to the latest update issued by the SBP, the "Supreme Court of Pakistan's Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dams Fund" received Rs 17.5 million on July 20, Rs 33.263 million on July 19 and Rs 40.1 million on July 18. Similarly, total donations received in the fund through various public and commercial banks on July 17 was Rs 60.43 million,  on July 16 Rs 34.3m, on July 13 Rs 26.14m and on July 12 Rs 30.2m. The Fund has been established by the SBP on the directions of the Supreme Court. All the commercial and microfinance banks, and field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation have opened the Fund account to receive donations in cash, and through cheques, pay orders and demand drafts at all their branches across the country. The donors can also make online donations to the Fund through internet banking, automatic teller machines (ATM) and other alternate delivery channels (ADC) using IBAN of their respective bank.

The banks have sent the IBANs of the Fund account to their clients through SMS alerts, while the bank-wise list of IBANs is also available at the SBP's web page.

The general public can also make donations in cash at over 400,000 branchless banking agents of commercial and microfinance banks across the country against proper receipt in electronic or paper form duly confirmed by the SMS alert.

The donations can also be made through credit / debit cards from anywhere in the world by clicking the "Online collections for Supreme Court Diamer Bhasha & Mohamand Dams Fund" on the SBP's web page.

The overseas Pakistanis may deposit their contributions to the Fund in cash, cheques, pay orders, demand drafts etc at the Pakistani missions in the relevant country. They can also make the contributions through credit / debit cards from anywhere in the world.

The overseas Pakistanis having Pak rupee accounts in Pakistan can also make donations in the Fund through the internet banking facility of their respective banks.

Traders for cutting taxes on real estate sector

ISLAMABAD (APP): Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has called upon the government to reduce taxes on real estate sector so that this important sector could play effective role in the economic development of the country.  Talking to a delegation of Islamabad Estate Agents Association, Sheikh Amir Waheed, President ICCI said  that the role of real estate sector was vital in promoting commerce, industry, growth, employment and poverty reduction but imposition of taxes on it has badly affected its growth. He said that the growth of about 250 ancillary industries including cement, steel, brick, timber and building material was linked with real estate sector, but high taxes and new method of determination of property prices have slumped business of real estate and its allied industries. He said due to this situation, many investors were leaving this sector which was not good for the economy. He called upon the government for resolving the key issues of real estate sector and rationalize taxes on it as its growth would yield multiple benefits.

For the economy including jobs creation, increase in tax revenue, growth of trade & industrial activities and the overall economy.

Speaking on the occasion, Sardar Tahir, President, Islamabad Estate Agents Association highlighted the key issues of real estate sector. He said that Budget 2018-19 has barred non-filers from purchasing property of Rs.5 million and above which has affected business activities in this important sector of the economy.

He stressed the government for removing ban on non-filers and allow them to purchase property of Rs.5 million and above by charging some additional tax on them. 

He said that CDA was not resolving issues of real estate sector and urged that the civic body for adopting  a proactive approach to address the key issues of this sector.

He said Federal Board of Revenue should also reduce heavy taxes on property business so that this sector could play enhanced role in the economic growth of the country.

Mobile phone imports increase by 20pc

ISLAMABAD (APP): Mobile phones import has witnessed a phenomenal growth of 19.44 per cent in the fiscal year 2017-18 as it remained US $ 847.654 million as compared to $709.690 million during same period of 2016-17. Mobile phone imports in June 2018 which were US $ 87.717 million increased by 20.91 per cent than US $ 72.55 million imports in June 2017, and increased by 7.81 per cent as compared to $81.362 million in May 2018, revealed latest data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Overall telecom imports saw increase of over 13.48 per cent during fiscal year 2017-18 as compared to the same period of last year. Total imports were recorded at $1.534 billion during this period as compared to $1.351 billion in 2016-17. Telecom import remained $127.908 million in June 2018 and registered 34.15 per cent growths, as compared to $102.798 million during June 2017. Other telecom apparatus import also witnessed growth of over 6.9 percent in 2017-18 as it stood at $686.432 million against $642.119 million during same period of last year.

Dangerous disease attacks kinnow orchards

SARGODHA (APP): Kinnow orchards have been attacked by unknown disease in the district. Growers told APP on Monday that kinnow farms had been damaged due to disease and no action had been advised by the citrus research centre. Officials have termed the disease viral, caused by excessive use of pesticides at orchards. Muneeb, a farmer said kinnow yield was also being affected due to the disease. He said overall kinnow yield had gone down compared to the previous year, due to low rains and non-supportive weather condition. Director Citrus Research Institute Sargodha (CRIS) Muhammad Nawaz Maken said growers should consult the CRIS experts for taking care of the farms. He also urged farmers to ensure proper irrigation of orchards and maintain water flow to the farms, adding that CRIS experts were counseling farmers regarding diseases. He confirmed that 30 per cent low kinnow yield was expected during current season and farmers should pay maximum attention to their orchards for avoiding low yield.