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Pakistan

Contribution for dams construction not liable to tax: SC

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Wednesday maintained that the contributions made to the Diamer Bhasha & Mohmand Dams Fund would not be liable to any tax/duty whatsoever.
A four-member bench passed the written orders while hearing the case regarding construction of the two dams and contribution in a fund being established for the purpose.
The top court had emphasized the urgent need for construction of Dams and appealed to the nation to make its contribution in an account titled, “Supreme Court of Pakistan – Diamer Bhasha & Mohmand Dams – Fund”.
The account has been set up to receive donations from the nation for the sole purpose of construction of the aforenoted Dams (Diamer Bhasha & Mohmand Dams).
The judgment stated that the donations could be made at all the branches of the State Bank of Pakistan, all treasury offices and branches of National Bank of Pakistan as well as other banks, including micro-finance banks.
The orders said,”Branches of all banks (15000 approximately) across the country receiving such deposits shall prominently display banners on their entry points stating that donations/contributions are being received in these branches for the construction of Diamer Bhasha & Mohmand Dams as ordered by the ‘Supreme Court of Pakistan’.
“The State Bank of Pakistan has set up a toll-free helpline No.021-111-723-273 for answering queries as well as receiving complaints from anyone interested in making a donation. Other banks shall also set up their separate helplines, which will be notified through their advertisements in the print and electronic media.”
The apex court maintained that branchless banking i.e. Omni/Easy Paisa, etc operated by their approximately 400,000 agents across the country, would be made functional within 48 hours from today (Wednesday).
The Pakistani missions, as well as all branches of Pakistani banks abroad, would receive donations/contributions, it added.
The court directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue appropriate directions to the Pakistani missions abroad in consultation with the State Bank of Pakistan for receiving donations/contributions and transmission of the amounts received by them to the designated account of the Fund with the State Bank of Pakistan.
It added,”Subscribers of cellular mobile phone companies namely Mobilink (Jazz), Telenor, Zong and Ufone wishing to make donations/contributions may dial short code i.e. 8000 which will result in an automatic deduction of Rs.10/-.
“Aforesaid cellular mobile phone companies have voluntarily undertaken to run a media campaign of 5-8 seconds on the print and electronic media publicizing this initiative. These companies shall advertise the mode and manner through which contributions/donations through Jazz Cash and Easy Paisa can be made.”
The order noted that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had in consultation with the State Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Print & Electronic Media Regulatory Authority prepared an advertisement campaign for the media to increase public awareness through the print as well as electronic media which would be run by all the print and electronic media houses/channels/FM radio stations free of cost as public service messages.
The Supreme Court also directed the Ministry of Law & Justice in consultation with Federal Board of Revenue to promulgate an ordinance for inter alia making appropriate amendments in different laws, including the Income Tax Ordinance to ensure that donations/contributions made to the Fund are not subjected to any taxes or deductions.
“The contributions made to the Fund shall be treated as contributions towards charitable purposes and shall not be liable to any tax/duty,” it added.
The apex court said any person making donations /contributions to the Fund would not be subjected to any inquiry or probe as to the sources of the funds utilized for making contributions/ donations by any department, authority or person.
The court also said it had not authorized any individual or group, etc to collect donations. The matter was relisted for hearing July 30.

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Asia

CPEC: Tribal belt people learning Chinese!

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Belt and Road Initiative vital for development

ISLAMABAD: The effects of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can be seen in each and every corner of the country, including the tribal belt, where many local people have been learning Chinese at a language center.
The people of Jamrud have started taking classes of Chinese to enjoy the benefits of CPEC at the first Chinese language center of Khyber Agency, now called Khyber district, situated in Jamrud Bazaar area.
While talking to a private news channel, one of the students said the Chinese language is difficult to learn but they were determined to complete the course.
They want to be a part of CPEC projects as they believe the corridor would bring about an economic revolution in the region by providing job opportunities and introducing the latest technology.

 

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Pakistan

NACTA: PM constitutes committee for reviewing functioning!

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan while appreciating LEAs contributions towards containing law and order situation in the country acknowledged amelioration in the situation.

He was presiding the first-ever meeting of National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA)’s BoG here today. Observing that Pakistan had come a long way in its fight against terrorism and extremism Prime Minister said new ground realities call for revisiting the role of NACTA to make this body truly a proactive and sophisticated organization with a well-defined mandate.

The meeting, therefore, decided to constitute a committee for reviewing the role and functioning of the organization, which will submit its recommendations to the Prime Minister in a weeks’ time.

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Education

Countrywide uniform higher education system!

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ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interests (CCI), which met here Monday with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to finalize its recommendations within a month for a countrywide uniform higher education system in coordination with federal and provincial governments.
The HEC was further directed to formulate a strategy for the uplift of educational institutions as well as better coordination between the Center and provinces.
The CCI directed the Planning Commission to review the projects of power distribution and transmission network in Balochistan, besides calling for the launch of work on the projects of crucial nature.
It referred the request of Sindh province seeking additional water supply for Karachi to the National Water Council, which would present its recommendations to the CCI keeping in view the situation of existing water reservoirs, water sharing formula among provinces and the ground realities. Besides, the National Water Council would also suggest measures to stop wastage of water and ensure its judicious use.
Deliberating over the less availability of water in Pat Feeder and Kirthar canals, the CCI asked the chief ministers of Sindh and Balochistan to sort out the matter mutually.
The Center and the provinces agreed over the true implementation of AGN Qazi formula for the distribution of net hydel profits.
The CCI constituted a committee under the Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination to formulate recommendations on devolution of Employees Old Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) and the Workers Welfare Fund (WWF) to the provinces.
The Council decided to refer the Sindh government’s proposed amendments in Petroleum Policy 2012 to the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC), which would formulate recommendations considering the proposed amendments.
The CCI reached a consensus to hand over to Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority the responsibility of uniform standards and the provision of one-window facility to the relevant companies.
In that regard, a committee comprising representatives from all the provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan was also constituted to look into the legal and constitutional aspects.
The Council also formed a task force to propose measures for effective implementation of regulatory authorities and the establishment of government’s writ in the provinces.
It decided to launch a nationwide “Pakistan Cleanliness Movement” that would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan on October 7. The provinces also assured their full participation in the campaign.
The prime minister, in his remarks on the occasion, stressed on the need for improvement of educational standard in Balochistan and directed the HEC to take measures in coordination with the provincial government.
He told the meeting that the services of Shaukat Khanam Hospital would be extended to Balochistan for the provision of healthcare facilities, particularly, the diagnosis of cancer.
The prime minister directed to establish a comprehensive and transparent mechanism for water distribution among the provinces and the provision of timely updates to the provinces. He viewed that as the non-provision of correct information caused misunderstandings, immediate measures must be taken in that regard.
He assured all-out cooperation of the Federal Government to the provinces in all matters. He said the Federal Government was committed to make the CCI an effective platform and to play a positive role in the resolution of issues among the provinces and strengthen the federation.

 

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