State Bank of Pakistan rates for conversion of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special United States Dollar Bonds and profit thereon April 30, 2015

Karachi, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): The following rates will be applicable for conversion into rupees of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, and Special U.S Dollar Bonds and profit thereon by all banks and for providing Forward Cover on Foreign Currency Deposits (excluding F.E-25 deposits) by the State Bank on May …

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Karachi, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): The following rates will be applicable for conversion into rupees of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, and Special U.S Dollar Bonds and profit thereon by all banks and for providing Forward Cover on Foreign Currency Deposits (excluding F.E-25 deposits) by the State Bank on May 4, 2015.

Currency         Rate in Pak Rupee

U.S. Dollar         101.7043

Japanese Yen          0.8550

Pound Sterling      157.1840

Euro                113.7461

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Tel: +9221 3921 2562
Fax: +9221 3921 2563
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk

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Samsung delights fans with “Avengers” Merchandise

Lahore, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): Samsung Pakistan Ltd. has launched an exciting campaign in collaboration with ‘MARVEL’, whereby every buyer of Samsung Galaxy A, Galaxy Note-Edge, Galaxy S6 and S6-Edge devices, will get a FREE T-Shirt, highlighting the thrilling characters of the ‘Avengers’ series. Samsung fans who purchase Galaxy A3 or A5 smart-phones will receive …

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Lahore, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): Samsung Pakistan Ltd. has launched an exciting campaign in collaboration with ‘MARVEL’, whereby every buyer of Samsung Galaxy A, Galaxy Note-Edge, Galaxy S6 and S6-Edge devices, will get a FREE T-Shirt, highlighting the thrilling characters of the ‘Avengers’ series. Samsung fans who purchase Galaxy A3 or A5 smart-phones will receive a Free Avengers phone-cover, along with thematic Avengers T-Shirt.

Head of Mobile Business Samsung Pakistan and Afghanistan – Mr. Farid Ullah Jan said: Samsung has always been at the forefront of introducing the world’s most advanced devices and fascinating new ideas to win the hearts of the technology enthusiasts.

The ‘Avengers’ series has always inspired great scientific advancements for a thrilling and Action-packed lifestyle, thus, it enjoys tremendous popularity in Pakistan and around the globe. These thematic T-Shirts and fabulous Phone-covers from Samsung are very desirable gifts, especially for the younger generation. Samsung Galaxy customers can visit the Samsung Facebook page to locate the nearest participating store in major cities of Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Samsung Electronics
Technology Park,
2nd Floor Tower A,
Shahrah-e-Faisal
Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-32790281-3
Fax: +92-21-32790284
Web: http://www.samsung.com

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SMEDA-UNIDO workshop on credit guarantee scheme for SMEs

Lahore, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): Formal lending for SMEs in Pakistan is much less than the actual requirement, which is hindering rapid growth of SMEs in the country. It was stated by Mr. Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry, Chief Executive Officer of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) while addressing a consultative workshop jointly organized …

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Lahore, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): Formal lending for SMEs in Pakistan is much less than the actual requirement, which is hindering rapid growth of SMEs in the country. It was stated by Mr. Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry, Chief Executive Officer of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) while addressing a consultative workshop jointly organized by UNIDO and SMEDA on “Need of a Credit Guarantee Scheme for SMEs”. The workshop was also addressed by Mr. Imran, Additional Director State Bank of Pakistan and Mr. Mukesh Kumar, Project Coordinator of UNIDO.

CEO SMEDA said, currently only 6% of total formal lending by financial institutions is being made by the banks in Pakistan. Whereas, SME lending in our neighbouring countries is around 30% of the total lending of their banking industry, he added and emphasized that credit guarantee would be very helpful for easy access to finance for those SMEs which face difficulty in getting loans because of strict requirement of collateral to be demanded by the banks.

He assured that SMEDA would make all efforts with the support of UNIDO to take this initiative to appropriate forums to get the scheme launched at the earliest possible. Mr. Imran, Additional Director SBP shared their experience of having one Credit Guarantee Scheme, which is being managed by SBP. He said, there is need of many such schemes in Pakistan.

However, the workshop developed a common consensus about the need of Credit Guarantee Schemes in Pakistan despite difference of opinions on the framework and structures the proposed scheme. Participants appreciated the role of UNIDO for this comprehensive study and requested UNIDO and SMEDA to take this initiative one step ahead by involving international donors to launch this fund.

Earlier, Mr. Mukesh, National Project Coordinator, UNIDO, welcomed the participants and briefed on different initiatives of UNIDO in Pakistan and particularly explained current activities of “Investment Promotion Unit” set up at SMEDA head office.

This is notable that the workshop was held as a follow-up of the “Feasibility Study for Setting up A Pilot Guarantee Fund for SME Sector in Pakistan” which was conducted through private sector consultant under the UNIDO project “Investment Promotion Unit”. The objectives of the workshop were to share the findings of the study and to get the feedback from commercial banks, public sector as well private sector organizations before taking this study to development donors and Government of Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Liaqat Ali Gohar
DGM (Admin. and PR)
Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA)
4th Floor, Building No. 3, Aiwan-e-Iqbal Complex,
Egerton Road, Lahore
Tel: +92-42-111-111-456
Fax: +92-42-36304926-7
Email: aligohar@smeda.org.pk, helpdesk@smeda.org.pk
Website: www.smeda.org.pk

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Continued closure bring CNG industry to knees in Punjab

Rawalpindi, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): Leader of the CNG sector Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha on Thursday said Punjab CNG stations have been kept closed since six months bankrupting many operators and bringing industry to its knees. Government has promised to resume supply of natural gas to CNG industry on March 15 but it proved to be …

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Rawalpindi, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): Leader of the CNG sector Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha on Thursday said Punjab CNG stations have been kept closed since six months bankrupting many operators and bringing industry to its knees. Government has promised to resume supply of natural gas to CNG industry on March 15 but it proved to be another broken promise, he said.

Speaking to a press conference here, he said that discontinued supply of natural gas to the CNG station sin Punjab has been contributing to increased oil import bill, pollution, unemployment and hurting investment climate. Ghiyas Paracha said that massive corruption is going undetected in the garb of suspension of supplies to CNG sector which is going unnoticed.

He said that Prime Minister has assured masses that no one will have to take to streets to get their issues resolved which was not materialised. The leader of the CNG sector said that a powerful lobby wants to frustrate plans of the government to take energy crisis through importing LNG by fixing high prices which are discouraging for the private sector.

The conspiracy has been aimed at giving undue benefit to some influential on the cost of country, he said, adding that absence of transparency has resulted in fears of failure of the import project. He said that private sector is ready to import and use LNG to overcome problems associated with their businesses.

Ghiyas Paracha said that gas shortfall stands at 200 mmcfd, pipelines have capacity for additional gas and re-gasification unit is Karachi is operational but things are being delayed. He asked the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to take note of numbness of gas companies and take corrective measures.

For more information, contact:
All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA)
1056-D, First Floor, Satellite Town, Hyderi Chowk,
Said Pur Road, Rawalpindi
Tel: +92-51-4429441, +92-51-4317174
Fax: +92-51-4429461
Web: www.apcnga.org
E-Mail: info@apcnga.org

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Online loan calculator now available for house-hunters – Lamudi.pk partners with Dubai Islamic Bank to launch loan calculator

Lahore, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): Pakistan’s best real estate website Lamudi Pakistan is now offering a loan calculator to help property-seekers with home financing. Lamudi has collaborated with Dubai Islamic Bank Private Limited (DIBPL) to help customers calculate the cost of a mortgage. Homebuyers can access the calculator by visiting the Lamudi.pk website and choosing …

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Lahore, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): Pakistan’s best real estate website Lamudi Pakistan is now offering a loan calculator to help property-seekers with home financing. Lamudi has collaborated with Dubai Islamic Bank Private Limited (DIBPL) to help customers calculate the cost of a mortgage.

Homebuyers can access the calculator by visiting the Lamudi.pk website and choosing a property they would like to buy. The loan calculator button is located on the top right-hand corner of each property listing. The calculator’s user-friendly design gives customers a breakdown of how much the monthly loan repayment would be, along with the total loan amount and its terms and conditions.

Customers can choose the size of their down payment – between 30 and 70 percent of the property’s asking price – which is used to calculate their monthly repayments. They can then choose the duration of the loan from between 3 and 20 years.

Once customers have selected their preferences, the monthly instalment amount will be displayed on screen. If they decide to go ahead with the loan, they can submit a request through the page by clicking the ‘Apply’ button. They will then be redirected to DIBPL who will respond directly to their query.

Saad Arshed, Country Director of Lamudi.pk, said: “It is every Pakistanis dream to have their own home but due to lack of funds at the time of buying the property, they are not always able to do so. Many people end up spending their entire savings on rent which ultimately shatters their dream of owning a house.

This online loan calculator has been launched to rebuild the hope of such Pakistanis and to help them to finance the property of their dreams.” Lamudi Pakistan’s online loan calculator aims to assist homebuyers who depend on mortgages to finance their property purchase, Arshed said.

For more information, contact:
Lamudi.pk
Arfa Software Technology Park
346-B, Ferozpur Road,
Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-LAMUDI (111-526834)
Cell: +92-345-8404207
Email: wecare@lamudi.pk
Website: www.lamudi.pk

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PHD Pakistan wins Unilever’s Digital Business

Karachi, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): PHD Pakistan has successfully taken on the digital marketing duties for Unilever Pakistan after a highly fought pitch process spanning from November 2014. PHD Pakistan was awarded the Digital contract for their Home Care and Personal Care segments which consists of 10 brands including Surf Excel, Fair and Lovely, Ponds …

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Karachi, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): PHD Pakistan has successfully taken on the digital marketing duties for Unilever Pakistan after a highly fought pitch process spanning from November 2014. PHD Pakistan was awarded the Digital contract for their Home Care and Personal Care segments which consists of 10 brands including Surf Excel, Fair and Lovely, Ponds and Vaseline.

Speaking at the news break on the win, Susana Tsui, the CEO for PHD Asia Pacific said “It’s always wonderful news to hear of our partners gaining fresh ground with our global clients. UL is at the core centre of our focus and we are extremely excited to add PHD Pakistan to the UL partner network. UL is the most prestigious of our businesses and we fully support the Pakistan operations with knowledge, technical skills training and sharing of global UL practices.”

PHD Pakistan is a part of the Omnicom Media Group, one of the largest media companies of the world with a strong Pakistan operation. This win adds Unilever Pakistan to PHD’s global family which currently handles Unilever in the USA, Europe, Asia and the Pacific belts.

For more information, contact:
Sadia Dada
Corporate Relations Manager
Unilever Pakistan Ltd
Avari Plaza Fatima Jinnah Road
PO Box 220
Karachi 75530
T: +92-21-3 566 0062
F: +92-21-3 568 0918
Email: sadia.dada@unilever.com

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Adam Securities Limited – Market Wrap

Karachi, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): Market Summary Bulls back at local bourse after two back to back bearish sessions. Investors raised their eyebrows after consistent foreign buying as they have bought $15.98 worth of stocks during the week so far. Fundamentally strong companies of Fertilizer, Automobile Assembler and Cement sector remained in the limelight. At …

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Karachi, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): Market Summary

Bulls back at local bourse after two back to back bearish sessions. Investors raised their eyebrows after consistent foreign buying as they have bought $15.98 worth of stocks during the week so far. Fundamentally strong companies of Fertilizer, Automobile Assembler and Cement sector remained in the limelight.

At close, the Karachi Stock Exchange’s (KSE) benchmark 100-index up by 0.8% or 269.95 points to end at 33,730. Volumes at KSE-100 index clocked in at 143.9 million shares, down by 9.4%. Trading value at local bourse increased to Rs 12 billion against Rs 7.8 billion. The advance to decline ratio in the broader market remained in the favor of bears. Out of 343 scrips, 141 scrips advanced, 171 scrips declined while the value of 25 scrips remained unchanged.

Bullish sentiments witnessed at Karachi Stock Exchange. In Fertilizer sector ENGRO, FATIMA, EFERT and FFBL surged by 3.90%, 1.50%, 2.93% and 1.36% respectively. In Commercial Banks sector HBL, BAFL and BIPL increased by 1.88%, 0.78% and 2.20% accordingly, while MCB and NBP plunged by 2.20% and 2.70%. In Cement sector DGKC, CHCC and LUCK inched up by 0.99%, 1.83% and 1.30% respectively. In Technology and Communication sector HUMNL, TRG and NETSOL shed by 2.08%, 2.96% and 0.82% respectively.

In volume chart, FCCL remained the volume leader with 16.79 million shares, closed at Rs 33.69 surged by Rs 0.78 followed by BYCO with 15.19 million shares closed at Rs 13.02 by losing Rs 0.42. TRG remained 3 rd in the volume chart with 11.35 million shares and closed at Rs 18.39 by decreasing Rs 0.56.

Major trading activities witnessed in Fertilizer sector as traded above 32.36 million shares followed by Commercial Banks sector with 31.48 million shares. Cement sector parked at 3 rd place by trading above 29.71 million shares. Top gainers of the day were Indus Motor Co and Pak Tobacco with price change of Rs +57.84 and Rs +40.90 respectively. While top losers of the day were Island Textile and Archroma Pak with the price change of Rs -37.45 and Rs -21.94 respectively.

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Short-term and Adhoc measures have damaged trust of tax payers: Naeem Akhtar Sheikh

Lahore, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): Taxation policy is the fundamental part of the overall economic policy and planning of the country. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) has always advocated for development of tax culture, documentation of the economic activities, strengthening of Tax Revenue Authority and Medium to long term tax planning. Recourse …

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Lahore, April 30, 2015 (PPI-OT): Taxation policy is the fundamental part of the overall economic policy and planning of the country. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) has always advocated for development of tax culture, documentation of the economic activities, strengthening of Tax Revenue Authority and Medium to long term tax planning.

Recourse to short term and Ad-hoc measure has shattered the confidence of good tax payers and coercive measures taken due to the budgetary pressures has adversely affected the economy resulting in fall in productivity, slowness in growth, increase in unemployment and higher budget deficit.

With these opening remarks Mr. Naeem Akhtar Sheikh, ICAP Council member and Chairman Committee on Taxation explained to the representatives of leading news media, the taxation issues affecting the Pakistan’s economy.

He said that most of the problems are stemming from the weakness in Federal Board of Revenue in their failure to effectively implement the fiscal laws and ensure compliance to taxation laws. There is an urgent need to upgrade the quality Human Resource of the FBR and the governance structure of the Board.

The Tax-to-GDP ratio in Pakistan has remained the lowest in the region, and is not sufficient for sustainable economic growth. The Service, Wholesale/Retail, Transport and the Agriculture business sectors are still not fully documented hence their contribution to the national exchequer is extremely low. He emphasized introducing structural reforms to get out of the economic vicious cycle. Such process could not be undertaken meaningfully in Pakistan on account of lack of democratic structure.

He proposed that’s cope and structure of the Policy Board, which was formed under section 6 of the Federal Board of Revenue Act, 2007 (as amended by Finance Act 2011) should be reviewed. It should act as a forum to debate national tax policy in consultation with all the stakeholders. Unfortunately, under the existing section the role of the Board is limited and is more for providing guidance in framing fiscal policy. Moreover it is also non-functional due to its heavy composition.

ICAP’s view is that the Policy Board should be entrusted with formulation of fiscal policy making as a support to legislative function. The Board should be headed by Minister of Finance and should include the Minister for Planning and the chairman of the respective committee of both houses of the Parliament, along with the Chairman FBR, Secretary Finance and members from cross section of civil society.

He explained that the primary goal of a revenue authority is to collect the taxes and duties payable in accordance with the law and to do this in such a manner that will sustain confidence in the tax system and its administration. The action of tax payers-whether due to ignorance, carelessness, recklessness, or deliberate evasion- as well as weakness in a tax administration means that failure to comply with the laws are inevitable? Therefore the tax administration should have in place strategies and structures to ensure that non-compliance with the tax law is kept to the minimum.

The tax system is marred by menace of tax evasion, under reporting, tax fraud, corruption, smuggling, and under invoicing to name the few. This inequity in the system is also hitting hard to compliant tax payers, as there are no level playing fields and they have to compete with tax dodger’s\evaders, which is making their businesses unfeasible.

The honest tax payer has to bear the brunt of excesses by department and the burden of those who connives and gets away in the system. The examples of the same are stoppage of tax refunds due including VAT refunds, raising of arbitrary demands, collection of advance and undue taxes etc.

He said that the solution lies in drawing a comprehensive risk based strategy and an effective Revenue authority to ensure implementation of the strategy and an effective monitoring of the same. The FBR Head Quarter needs to be reorganized with functional specialization clear flowing all the way down to the level of field formations at LTU and RTO levels. Four functional divisions need to be created in IR namely Operations/Enforcements, Tax payer’s audit, Registrations (broadening of tax base) and litigation support/legal at FBR with clear demarcated staff at field formation level.

Tax Audit is yet another weak side of the FBR. There is urgent need of capacity building of the field formation officers with specialised training to undertake the challenges of tax audit. An effective audit acts as a deterrent against misreporting, frauds and tax evasion.

The existing structure of Audit Wing and its field formation, he said are not geared to undertake the required task. Tax audit if properly planned and executed can act as the most effective deterrent towards under reporting. There should be proper documentation of the audit process and the same should be carried out in a structured manner including a review by the supervisor before drawing any final conclusion.

An effective revenue organization must comprise trained and dedicated persons with integrity, transparent processes, a comprehensive information system, and taxpayer education. He also commented that the tax on services by provincial laws without attending to any intra provincial and federal issues has created further complications for the genuine tax payers in particular and for the economy in general.

Complete harmony is required among the federal and provincial sales tax laws to relieve the tax payers from undue hassles and unwarranted litigation with tax authorities. Appellate process which has a vital role in facilitating the tax payers, need to be revamped and make it more independent and objective. Currently the tax payers are compelled to recourse to the higher courts for obtaining stay against the decision of the tax authorities.

He said that detail proposals have been made for administrative reforms, direct and indirect taxes to improve the tax system in the country. The Budget Proposals 2015-16 can be accessed from ICAP website at http://www.icap.net.pk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Budget-Proposals-2015-16.pdf He assured the media representatives’ full support of the Institute to the national cause of revamping and overhauling the taxation system. He urged the media to create awareness on socio-economic and national issues and said that media can play an important role in bringing the country out of the crisis.

For more information, contact:
Muhammad Rafiq
Media Coordinator
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP)
Chartered Accountants Avenue, Clifton
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-111-000-422
Fax: +92-21-99251626
Cell: +92-300-2128185

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