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Economy

Karachiites throng markets for Eid shopping!

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KARACHI: Makeshift stalls raised on footpaths and many of the open spaces scattered across the metropolis could bewitnessed increasingly gushed by those finalizing their preparations for the fast approaching festival of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Though this in no way is to undermine the growing popularity of the fully air conditioned shopping malls among many of the brand conscious consumers yet the “cost factor” has compelled most of the families to frequent the make-shift “Eid Bazaars. We have visited different malls where great discounts are being offered by different companies yet find these stalls to be largely affordable,” said a shopper.

Acknowledging that there is marked difference in the atmosphere and ambiance, the gentleman said the variety at these shops, often an extension of stores in traditional markets as Bohri Bazar, Hyderi Market, Water Pump, Machi Miani is unbelievable.

Many of the citizens pointed ut that China made products rights from shoes to jeans and scarves to artificial jewelery have simply flooded our shops be the trendy outlets in hi-fi malls or our traditional markets and makeshift stalls.

“I have to put a little effort is searching and at times even sifting goods of my choice and my standard without any compromise to quality from these stalls at amazingly low rates,” said another karachiite.

Shoppers acknowledge that there is no dearth of variety at these makeshift eid bazaars where shoes from China, Taiwan and Korea along with clothes from Thailand offer a diversity of options that too at reasonable prices.

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Crime

Pakistan improves mechanism to handle AML/CFT issues

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ISLAMABAD: The Finance Minister, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar said Friday that the Finance Ministry has improved institutional mechanisms for handling Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) issues.
Chairing a meeting here Friday in the wake of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary meeting in Paris, the Minister expressed Pakistan’s strong resolve to keep up efforts on the counter financing of terrorism.
Foreign Minister, Abdullah Hussain Haroon and National Security Advisor Lt. General (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua, were also present on the occasion.
She added that the coordination between Central Bank, banking institutions, and law enforcement agencies have also been strengthened to curb money laundering and terror financing.
She invited participants to share their views and suggestions to further strengthen measures and put in place a strong implementation mechanism in this regard.
The participants while underscoring Pakistan’s resolve to further strengthen the AML/CFT regime emphasized and agreed on the formation of a high-level implementation committee to regularly oversee progress made by different agencies and departments engaged in the drive to counter financing of terrorism.
The meeting stressed inter-governmental cooperation as well as inter-agencies coordination for better results. The meeting was also briefed on the preparations by Pakistan’s delegation scheduled to attend FATF meeting at Paris.

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Economy

Tax Amnesty Scheme receives good response

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Senate body discusses tax relief in FATA

ISLAMABAD: Tax Amnesty Scheme was receiving encouraging results and its success would help to resolve the current account deficit and balance of payment issues.

This was stated by a spokesman of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Dr. Muhammad Iqbal on Friday while addressing a press conference here at FBR House. Muhammad Iqbal said the number of beneficiaries under tax amnesty scheme was increasing everyday.

He said under the scheme, the people could benefit by declaring their domestic and foreign assets as they would have to pay only a nominal tax under the scheme. To a question, the spokesman said the last date of the scheme was June 30 and he did not have any authority to extend the last date of the scheme.

Iqbal said keeping in view the benefits of tax amnesty scheme, the caretaker set up was also fully committed to ensuring the success of the scheme. He said government, as well as public representatives, were not eligible to take benefit from the scheme while people involved in different crimes were also not allowed to benefit from it.

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Economy

Senate body discusses tax relief in FATA, Malakand

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Senate body discusses tax relief in FATA

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs on Friday discussed tax exemption for commercial enterprises in Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), Provincially Administered Area (PATA) and Malakand Division.

The meeting of the committee was held here today under the chairmanship of Senator Farooq H. Naek and was attended by Senators Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Muhammad Akram, Mohsin Aziz, Dilawar Khan, Khanzada Khan, Aurangzeb Khan, senior officers from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Ministry of Finance.

Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Senator Fida Muhammad, and Senator Shamim Afridi were specially invited for their valuable input regarding issues that came under discussion with regards to the people of FATA, PATA and Malakand Division.

The meeting commenced with consideration of a point of public importance raised by Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi regarding utilization of Zakat Funds in the education and health sectors and details that revealed disbursement of those funds to FATA. However, the matter was deferred since secretary ministry of Finance was not present. The Committee took strict notice of this matter.

While discussing the issue of exemption to pensioners from filing tax returns on the public petition of Major (R) Ghulam Abbas, the Committee questioned Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Member IR Policy FBR of the circumstances under which pensioners are taxed. He revealed that under FBR rules, pensioners are not taxed unless they possess taxable movable or immovable property; or if they accept other employment after retirement.

He further stated that the petitioner was not included in the tax list. Chairman Committee, expressed satisfaction and disposed off the petition; issuing directions for the petitioner to be informed of the decision.

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