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PAKISTAN

Finance Minister Asad Umar presents mini-budget in National Assembly

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SLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar presented mini-budget focusing on enhancing ease of doing business, simplifying procedures for setting up businesses and undertaking investment.

Complete Text Of Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019

The government has proposed reduction of taxes from 39 percent to 20 percent on small and medium enterprises, agricultural, and housing loans.

He said withholding tax for filers is being withdrawn, while non-filers can purchase cars upto 1300 CC.

Asad Umar said tax on marriage halls of 500 square feet will be reduced from 20,000 to 5,000 rupees.

Finance Minister presented the Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 approved by the Federal Cabinet earlier today.

He said it was not a mini-budget but rather a set of economic reforms. 

The Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment Bill), 2019 has been laid before the National Assembly by Finance Minister Asad Umar.

It envisages measures to boost manufacturing and exports, encourage low-cost housing and facilitate agricultural financing to promote economic activities, Radio Pakistan reported.

He said a revolving fund of Rs 5 billion will be allocated to provide interest free loans for the construction of small houses.

Import duty on newsprint has also been abolished.

Withholding tax on banking transactions ( deposits/withdrawals) for income tax filers has been abolished

Exemption on withholding tax on shares transactions.

Withholding tax on banking transactions ( deposits/withdrawals) for income tax filers has been abolished

Exemption on withholding tax on shares transactions.

He said special economic zones will be formed keeping in mind the interest of CPEC.

He also announced increase in tax for vehicles over 1800CC, while tax for low priced phones will be cut however, it will remain the same for expensive phones.   

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PAKISTAN

Tribals seek permission to bring vehicles back from Afghanistan

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MIRAMSHAH: The militancy-affected people of North Waziristan tribal district, who took refuge in Afghanistan, have demanded of the government to permit them to bring their vehicles back to their native areas.

Residents of Datakhel tehsil gathered in front of the press club in Miramshah on Friday and staged a protest demonstration, carrying placards and banners.

Malik Nazar Din, an elder of Datakhel, told mediapersons on the occasion that thousands of people had taken refuge in Afghanistan when security forces launched operation Zarb-i-Azb in June 2014.

He said that displaced people fled to Afghanistan in vehicles loaded with their belongings. He said that thousands of people returned to their homes after completion of military operation, but local authorities had placed ban on bringing their vehicles back from Afghanistan.

The elder said that after negotiations the local authorities had promised that the returnees would be allowed to bring their non-custom paid vehicles back to their regions.

But, he complained that the senior officials of the district administration had backed out of their commitment.

Malik Nazar said that authorities were using delaying tactics and their vehicles stranded in Khost province of Afghanistan were being rusted. He said that the affected people would block Miramshah-Ghulam Khan route if their demands were not materialised.

He urged Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to take notice of the issue and direct local authorities to allow owners to bring their vehicles back from Afghanistan.

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PAKISTAN

Ex-militant commander shot dead in Khyber

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LANDI KOTAL: Unidentified gunmen killed a former militant commander in Akkakhel area of Bara tehsil late on Friday.

Police officials said that two gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire on Noor Rehman, who was a member of a proscribed group, killing him on the spot.

They said that the assailants managed to escape from the scene after the incident leaving behind their motorcycle which was later seized by the local police.

Officials said that Noor Rehman had surrendered to security forces sometimes ago and had also undergone special treatment in a de-radicalisation centre and was only recently released.

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PAKISTAN

Students take Islamia College to court over fee increase

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PESHAWAR: Two students of the Islamia College University Peshawar have moved the Peshawar High Court against the administration’s decision to increase fee of different classes by 10 per cent insisting the move violates its agreement made with students in 2017.

Mohammad Nauman and Mohammad Ijaz filed a joint petition requesting the court to stop the university’s administration, syndicate and academic council from increasing fee.

They also sought orders for the government to keep the seats for open merit and self-finance categories in equal proportion claiming that currently, seats on a self-finance basis are more than those of open merit.

Petition also seeks order for equal seats in open merit, self-finance categories

The respondents in the petition are the Islamia College University Peshawar through its registrar, vice-chancellor of the university, its academic council and syndicate.

The petition filed through senior lawyer Abdul Lateef Afridi said the students of the university had begun a protest and staged a sit-in on Dec 12, 2017, against increase in the fee of the university and college.

It said the protest forced the administration to hold negotiations with students, while a committee consisting of professors and chairmen of different departments was formed for the purpose on Dec 8, 2017.

The petitioners claimed that the deliberations led to an agreement on the matter as the committee accepted all genuine demands of the students on Dec 18, 2017.

They added that the committee agreed that the fee won’t be increased for three years, while the administration would be free to increase fee thereafter.

The petitioners contended that the treasurer of the university had made a request earlier in the year for 10 per cent annual increase in tuition fee for FA/FSc, BS, MA/MSc, MA, MPhil and PhD programmes, which was made part of agenda to be taken up by the academic council.

They said the council, which held its ninth meeting on Apr 24, 2019, with the vice-chancellor in the chair, accepted that proposal and sent it to the syndicate for final approval.

The petitioners said prior to approval by the syndicate, the university included and printed the proposed fee structure in the 2019-20 prospectus in a clear violation of that agreement.

They also said at the time of the said sit-in, the university had an unequal number of students enrolled in the pre-medical and pre-engineering programmes on open merit and self-finance scheme.

The petitioners said pre-medical and pre-engineering programmes had three sections each with 50 students, while there were 250 students each in both categories of classes.

They added that the students wanted the number of students enrolled on the open merit and self–finance basis to be equal but the 2019-20 prospectus had showed the unequal number of seats in the two categories.

The petitioners contended that the agreement between the representatives of students and administration was meant to provide opportunities of education to students belonging to middle class but it had been violated by the administration.

They feared that the breach of that agreement could force students to agitate yet again.

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