‘SROs affecting Sialkot export industry’

SIALKOT: Chairmen of trade unions representing all five zero-rated export-oriented sectors and Sialkot Tax Bar Association have discussed the negative effects of SROs 505(I)/2013 and 98(I)/2013 on export industry with Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Sheikh Abdul Majid in a meeting.

The SCCI President told the chairmen that he had pointed out the problems regarding the said SROs in meetings with Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar, FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa, RTO Sialkot Chief Commissioner and other high-ups of the Board. It was told the meeting that the finance minister and FBR chairman were also requested in writing to give relief to Sialkot export industry but in vain.

Sheikh Abdul Majid, expressing concern on the government’s non-responsive attitude, said that implementation of SRO 505 and 98 had increased the cost of production by five to 10 per cent. He feared that declaring exporters as Sales Tax Withholding Agent would leave the businesses uncompetitive in the global market.

Pakistan Sports Goods Association Chairman Muhammad Iqbal Saleemi, Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Association Chairman Bilal Tanveer, Pakistan Leather Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (North Zone) Chairman Tassawar Hussain, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (North Zone) Chairman Mir Muhammad Farooq Meyer, Pakistan Gloves Manufacturers and Exporters Association Chairman Khurram Azeem Khan, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association VC Muhammad Rafi Sony were present in the meeting. Aftab Hussain Nagra, President; Zulfiqar Ahmed Nasir, Arshad Nawaz Mann and Waseem Arshad also attended the meeting on behalf of Sialkot Tax Bar Association.

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Trade deficit reduces 11.45pc in August

LAHORE: Pakistan’s trade deficit narrowed by 3.07 per cent during the first two months of the current fiscal year as exports expanded by 3.66 per cent while imports witnessed nominal increase of 0.54 per cent as compared to the same period of last year.

On year-on-year basis, the trade deficit decreased by 11.45 per cent in August 2013 when compared to the deficit of the same month of last year, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The figures show the exports during July-August 2013-14 were recorded at $4.091 billion against $3.946 billion recorded during the corresponding period in 2012-13.

On the other hand, the imports during the first two months of the current fiscal year were recorded at $7.386 billion against $7.346 billion during July-August last year, showing nominal growth of 0.54 per cent.

Based on the figures, the trade deficit during July-August 2013-14 was recorded at $3.295 billion against the deficit of $3.400 billion in the two months of 2012-13, showing negative growth of 3.07 per cent.

Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the exports from the country in August 2013 increased by 4.75 per cent to $1.996 per cent when compare to the exports of $1.905 billion in August 2012.

The imports into the country decreased by 3.07 per cent by falling from $3.685 billion in August 2012 to $3.572 in August 2013, the PBS data revealed. Based on the figures, the trade deficit in August 2013 was recorded at $1.576 billion against the deficit of $1.780 in August 2013, showing negative growth of 11.45 per cent.

On the other hand, exports in August 2013 decreased by 4.75 per cent when compared to the exports of $2.095 billion in August 2012. The imports into the country also decreased by 6.35 per cent in August 2013 when compared to the imports of $3.814 in August 2012, according to the data.

The deficit in August 2013 stood at $1.576 billion against the deficit of $1.719 billion in August 2012, showing negative growth of 8.31 per cent.

Customs intelligence detains 5 busses full of illegal goods

LAHORE: Customs Intelligence and Investigation has detained five buses loaded with illegal goods worth millions of rupees.

Sources said that the busses were en route from Peshawar to Lahore when a team of Customs Intelligence nabbed the drivers of the busses and confiscated illegal foreign-made cloth, antibiotic medicines, auto parts, shampoos and miscellaneous goods worth Rs 15 million.

Sources said that the information of the illegal consignment was transmitted five days ago, however, the culprits changed the schedule for delivery of the goods. The Customs officials are further investigating the case.

Mobile imports drop in June-July

LAHORE: The mobile phone imports into the country decreased by 15.16 per cent and 34.87 per cent during the months of June and July as compared to the imports during the same period last year respectively.

According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data, the imports of mobile phones into the country during July 2013 were recorded at $44.678 million against the imports of $52.66 million during July 2012 and $68.594 million in June 2013.

Meanwhile, the overall imports of telecom group also decreased by 9.53 per cent and 19.21 per cent during the month of July this year when compared to the imports of July 2012 and June 2013 respectively.

The telecom group imports during July 2013 stood at $102.045 million against the imports of $112.792 million in July 2012 and $$126.304 million in June this year, the data revealed.

Similarly, other apparatus of telecom group during the period under review also decreased by 4.6 per cent and 0.59 per cent as compared to the imports of July 2012 and June 2013 respectively.

The imports of other apparatus during July 2013 stood at $ 57.367 million whereas the imports during July 2012 and June 2013 were recorded at $60.133 million and $57.71 million respectively.

Exports from the country increased by 2.65 per cent during the first months of the current fiscal year (2013-14) against the exports of the same months of the last fiscal year.

It may be mentioned here that the trade deficit during the first month of the current fiscal year was recorded at Rs 1.719 billion, showing an increase of 6.07pc over the deficit of $1.621 billion recorded during the same month of the last year.

Similarly, the trade deficit during July stood at $1.719 billion against the deficit of $1.743 billion in June 2013, showing negative growth of 1.35 per cent.

PRA serves notice to KFC, OCS for ST on service recovery

LAHORE: Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) has served notice to KFC and OCS courier service for the recovery of sales tax on services.

Official sources said that both KFC and OCS have been served notices for recovery of Rs 10 million and Rs 5.0 million respectively.

Sources said that KFC and OCS have been evading tax for the last three months. However, both the business concerns have been paying taxes to the authority since it came into being.

Smuggled goods worth Rs 3.5 seized

LAHORE: Anti-smuggling scout number 1 seized miscellaneous goods worth Rs 3.5 million.

Customs Anti-smuggling scout number 1 on a tip-off raided a truck full of various smuggled items including Aluminum Foil Paper 680 kgs, 2200 boxes of Indian bangles, auto parts and miscellaneous goods worth Rs 3.5 millions.

Official sources said the scout raided the truck at Faizpur Interchange and seized it after getting sufficient evidences.

The scout, consisting eleven constables and three inspectors following thorough examination confiscated the vehicle under Customs Act and registered a case against the culprits.

Sources said that the truck was smuggling the goods and articles from Peshawar to Lahore’s Misri Shah market.

FBR seizes PESS bank accounts, recovers Rs55m unpaid tax liability

LAHORE: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has seized 10 accounts of Punjab Employees Social Security (PESS) and recovered Rs55 million tax liabilities.

According to details, PESS owed Rs75 million as tax liabilities from 2003 to 2006 and did not pay taxes. During this period, the Board had been corresponding with PESS to recover the payable tax amount, a source revealed.

An official said, “Despite repeated attempts, PESS was not ready to pay off its tax liabilities. The Board has now recovered Rs55 million confiscating the accounts of the organisation”.

Source said if PESS does not clear its tax liability, the Board would seize its other accounts to recover the arrears.