Connect with us

Economy

EU slashes eurozone growth forecast on US trade war tensions

Published

on

Italy threatens EU funding in migrant row

BRUSSELS: The EU on Thursday slashed its growth forecast for the eurozone in 2018, warning that the rising trade tensions with the United States were hitting the economy.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said the 19-country single currency bloc would expand by 2.1 percent in 2018, lower than the 2.3 percent forecast just weeks ago in early May. “Our forecast is for a continued expansion in 2018 and 2019, although a further escalation of protectionist measures is a clear downside risk,” said EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici in a statement. “Trade wars produce no winners, only casualties,” he added.

The commission added that the economy in the eurozone would expand by 2.0 percent in 2019, the same forecast as in May. The worry about the European economy stems from the ongoing trade dispute with the administration of US President Donald Trump, which has now threatened to impose tariffs on European auto imports, with German auto giants the intended target.

If confirmed, the policy would be one of the most aggressive transatlantic blows since the Great Depression and risks bitterly splitting the allies amid divisions over the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord. The threat by Trump comes after the mercurial leader already slapped 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum on imports from Europe and other key allies.

“First and foremost, if trade tensions with the US were to escalate further, this could dampen confidence more permanently, … likely disrupting the current global (economic recovery),” the commission said in its forecast report. The commission also pointed to “political and policy uncertainty in a number of EU countries” as an important downside risk to the forecast, which included the fallout of stalled Brexit talks.

This also included heavily-indebted Italy, after a far-right/populist coalition formed a government on the promise to break EU budget and spending rules. The commission said higher oil prices, which have spiked partly due to growing tensions over Iran, were also a negative factor.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Asia

China set up power projects under PPA: Ahsan Iqbal

Published

on

ISLAMABAD: Member National Assembly Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said that 35 billion dollar energy projects had been set up under China Pakistan Economic Corridor’s (CPEC) Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Speaking in the National Assembly he said, “We have not taken even a single penny loan to set up power projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor as all the projects had been established by the private sector of China in line with the PPA.”
Under the agreement, he said, the generated electricity will be added to the national grid as per rate determined by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA).
“We should be grateful to China for making such a huge investment in Pakistan when other countries and local investors are shying to invest ten dollars”.
He appreciated the Chinese government for helping Pakistan in difficult times to end load-shedding from the country.

 

Continue Reading

Economy

Improvement in mini-budget demands tax net expansion

Published

on

ISLAMABAD: The experts here at a seminar expressed that amendments made in the finance bill 2018-19 lacked direction and vision.
Overall the mini-budget did not meet the expectations as taxpayers were further burdened, said the speakers representing business community and civil society during a discussion on ‘Amendments in Finance Bill 2018-19’, organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Senator Nouman Wazir Khattak said when PTI came to power, the economy was in shambles. The PTI government raised the tax rates on imports of only luxury items to cut the import bill.
He said that the government would take concrete measures in consultation with stakeholders to bring the non-taxpayers into the tax net. He said that the government required at least the next four months to analyze economic crisis and to find ways for coming out of the crisis. For future taxation measures, we need stakeholders’ consultations and also need to take the business community on board, he added. Wazir said the country’s foreign policy had to be aligned with economy and trade.
Former Senator, Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPP-P) Farhatullah Babar claimed that the mini-budget presented by the government had disappointed, as it supports the corrupt mafia of the country.
He alleged that by allowing non-taxpayers and non-filers to purchase land and motor cars, the government had legitimized corruption. He said that the government had failed to provide a comprehensive roadmap to revamp and streamline economy and regional trade. No economy of the world had a sign of improvement without trade with its neighbor, he added.
Joint Executive Director, SDPI Dr. Vaqar Ahmed said that the government had tried to keep the income tax structure progressive through maintaining the low rate of tax on lower income groups.
The advanced tax on transaction through the banking system by non-filers was increased. He said that measure should be accompanied by a reduction in time and cost of becoming a filer, where all scheduled banks should be allowed the powers to facilitate a willing person to become a filer.
He said that the government may revisit its decision to allow non-filers to purchase property and motor vehicles. The exemptions and reduced rates allowed by the government in sale tax and customs duty should be time-bound and not for an indefinite period, he added.
Dr. Vaqar said that to curtail non-essential imports, the government has increased duties on imported vehicles. This increase may not be enough in light of past experience to reduce non-essential imports. Instead of slashing the size of the development budget, the government should focus on reducing the number of ministries merging the attached departments, he proposed.
The government should also aim to remove the current distortions in the tax code such as consolidation of over 60 withholding taxes provisions, over 50 indirect taxes and over a dozen taxes have to overlap with provincial revenue jurisdictions, he added.

Continue Reading

Economy

Companies need to be accredited by ECAC

Published

on

ISLAMABAD: Electronic Certification Accreditation Council (ECAC) was fully committed to making electronic transactions more sure, reliable and worldwide acceptable for that all companies and individuals engaged in electronic transaction and encryption services are required to get themselves accredited by ECAC.
Electronic Certification Accreditation Council (ECAC) is providing more reliable and secured digital system to the public through the Digital Signature Certificate system under the vision of `Digital Pakistan.’  The Digital Signature Certificate authenticates identity electronically and provides people with a high level of security for online transactions by ensuring absolute privacy of information exchanged using a digital certificate.
Highlighting the role and benefits of Digital Signature Certificate System, Deputy Director of ECAC, Wajahat Khan on Wednesday. He said Pakistan has been experiencing a challenge to make electronic transactions on a national and international level more secure, more reliable and worldwide acceptable.
He said digital transformation is need of the hour, demand for digital transformation is forcing companies, departments and people to change their business/working models and adapt to new market reality.
Wajahat Khan said any organization providing e-services to the public comes under the regulatory framework of ECAC, therefore, an organization providing such services are directed to get themselves accredited by Electronic Certification and Accreditation Council (ECAC).
The certificates issued by service providers are the only digital one (certificates) accepted by courts of law, he added.
The ECAC official said, the Council, being fully functional regulatory body has enforcement powers to regulate electronic transactions in public and private sectors and mandated to grant accreditation to approved crypto apparatus and accreditation to any Certificate Service Providers who intends to work as an Accredited Service Provider.
ECAC has accredited National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (NIFT) and NIFT has been issuing certificates to various banks for purpose of confirming authenticity or integrity or both, of information contained therein, of an electronic document or of an electronic signature in respect of which it is issued. Replying to a question, he said ECAC has enforcement powers to regulate Electronic transactions in public and private sectors and to provide accreditation of certification service providers.

Continue Reading

News Pakistan Trending