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Op-Ed section will have latest editorial and analysis…

The issue of valuation guidelines

FBR has placed valuation guidelines for selected 136 imported items for all over the country with the objective to discourage mis-declaration throughout the country. But the business community has been continuously expressing its concerns that these valuation guidelines would promote smuggling and increasing trade in the guise of Afghan Transit Trade and smuggling back of goods into Pakistan. The tax ... Read More »

A historic return to int’l bond market

ISLAMABAD: After pause of seven years, Pakistan has again appeared on the radar screen of global investors by launching $2 billion bonds for next five and ten year period. Initially, the government intended to float a Euro bond worth $500 million but keeping in view highest subscription up to $6 billion, the country’s economic managers took a decision in consultation ... Read More »

Revision of tax collection target needs economic managers’ attention

LAHORE: Downward revision in the tax collection target should be a concern for the economic managers who are already sacrificing expenditures towards poverty reduction, education and health due to increased spending on law and order, a survey released by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) said. The survey highlights that two immediate reforms needed to kick-start economic growth and create jobs. ... Read More »

Increased reliance on foreign debt termed country’s mortgage

ISLAMABAD: Economists and former in office politicians have warned that the future of Pakistan’s economy is being mortgaged the way government is increasing its reliance on foreign debt. While exclusively talking to Customs Today, former commerce minister Jehangir Tareen, former finance minister Salman Shah and Chairman Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad Professor Khurshid Ahmed expressed their deep concerns on this ... Read More »

More challenges ahead

ISLAMABAD: The FBR will have to collect Rs 772 billion in last quarter (April-June) period in order to achieve revised tax collection target of Rs 2,345 billion on June 30, 2014 which will be in line with the IMF’s envisaged target. Although, the government has not yet officially revised downward the tax collection target of Rs 2,475 which was approved ... Read More »

Well done Finance Minister, but what next?

In the aftermath of generous foreign inflows from multilateral creditors such as release of third IMF tranche and bilateral donor Saudi Arabia, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has successfully fulfilled his promise to cross foreign currency reserves a psychological barrier of $10 billion mark on March 31, 2014. Now the next target of the incumbent regime is to further build ... Read More »

Granting NDMA status to India

Islamabad is seriously considering granting Non Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) status to New Delhi in the aftermath of a lucrative offer made by India by offering to remove 514 items from sensitive list in next six months out of total 614 items. The abolishing of sensitive list of 614 items comprises all such products such as textile, leather, surgical products ... Read More »

Auctioning next generation technologies

ISLAMABAD: The government is all set to fetch at least $1.6 billion into national kitty by auctioning next generation technologies (3G and 4G) by next month. The government has set the stage for this important transaction by releasing Information Memorandum (IM) with consent of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif which illustrates exact mode of selling scarce and important asset of the ... Read More »

Flying rupee

With foreign injection of dollars to the tune of $1.5 billion into the country’s forex reserves, the rupee has appreciated against dollar by almost 10 percent in recent days. This one step has decreased the country’s public debt by Rs700 to 800 billion in one go. Total foreign debt stood at $68 billion and ten percent depreciation of dollar against ... Read More »

Resolving problems of exporters

ISLAMABAD: As truly democratic regime, the PML (N) led government has come forward for resolving the problems of exporters who are facing difficulties in obtaining stuck up refunds in the current fiscal year. This issue was raised in this media outlet last week by highlighting the issue of refunds that had choked the ability of the businessmen in gravest manner. ... Read More »

Slow processing of refunds

ISLAMABAD: The stuck up of refunds on both sales tax and income tax has again surfaced as major issue confronting taxpayers of the country in the second half (Jan-June) of the current fiscal year. The major difficulty for taxpayers emerged where manual refund claims were made and Large Taxpayers Units (LTUs) and Regional Taxpayers Offices (RTOs) preferred to meet their ... Read More »

An uphill task

The government has revised downward its overall fiscal framework in view of expected revenue shortfall faced by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) during the current fiscal year. In a crystal clear objective under the stringent IMF conditionalities, the main focus of the government is maintaining the budget deficit within the agreed limit with the Fund as both sides are ... Read More »

Granting of NDMA status

ISLAMABAD: With increased demand for boosting trade between Pakistan and India on both sides, the PML (N) government is considering granting of Non Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) for reciprocating on New Delhi’s demand to match with Most Favored Nation (MFN) status which India granted to Pakistan during the decade of 90s. As a step in the right direction, the government ... Read More »

Access to bank accounts

Pakistan’s business tycoons are frightened in the wake of unbridled powers given to FBR in shape of access to bank accounts which could result into increasing hole of black economy in this country. The business community has termed this provision of law as draconian which will be used by the tax machinery for arm twisting methods. In view of deteriorated ... Read More »

Without skilled workforce, broadening of tax net seems a distant dream

ISLAMABAD: In the wake of slapping ban by the government on recruitment of fresh jobs, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been facing severe constraints of human resource and this difficulty will aggravate with passage of time if remedial measures are not taken well on time. Total numerical strength of the tax collection machinery is 23,000 and mid carrier ... Read More »

A step towards promotion of tax culture

Pakistan has become fourth country in the comity of nations where the tax directory has been launched. The publishing of tax directory is a welcoming step as it will give an opportunity to voters to ascertain that how much their representatives are paying their due taxes and discharging their national duty. On the basis of performance, they will give their ... Read More »

Ambitious plan of increasing foreign reserves

ISLAMABAD: In the wake of high optimism shown by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to increase foreign currency reserves up to $10 billion by end March 2014 seems highly ambitious one keeping in view more outflow for repaying the previous IMF loans than inflows pouring in through installments under existing Extended Fund Facility (EFF). At the moment, the foreign exchange reserves ... Read More »

Time is running out

After passing first seven and a half month, the FBR has been left with no other option but to take corrective measures without wasting any time for making last ditch efforts for achieving highly challenging tax collection target of Rs 2475 billion on June 30, 2014. Chairman FBR Tariq Bajwa has jolted the bureaucracy of tax collection machinery in recent ... Read More »

More economic challenges ahead

ISLAMABAD: As a result of ongoing review talks between Pakistani authorities and the IMF, Islamabad will be able to draw third tranche worth $545 million under 36 months Extended Fund Facility (EFF) after approval of Fund’s executive board by early next month. This smooth sailing possesses many challenges for the government in months ahead as the PML (N) led government ... Read More »

Prudent fiscal policy & accountability essential for stability

ISLAMABAD: By tabling debt and fiscal policy statements before the Parliament, the government has fulfilled legal requirement under Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act 2005 prepared and approved during the era of former military ruler Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf. The government has accepted that the last fiscal year ended on June 30, 2013 witnessed violation of different provisions of Fiscal ... Read More »