Tax return filing date extended to Nov 30

Quaid-e-Azam tax return

                                                                       Tax Return Courtesy: TaxPakistan

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq dar while talking to media here Saturday evening announced one month extension in the date for filing tax returns for the tax year 2015. The new date for filing returns has been fixed at 30th November 2015; the previous date was 31st October 2015.

The Minister added the decision has been taken in view of large number of requests received from different quarters including traders, members of business community and other relevant spheres.

Glimpses of Dastkar International Fair in Delhi, India

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CorporateAmbassador/KARACHI: SEVERAL WOMEN FROM PAKISTAN, BANGLADESH, ETHOPIA, SRILANKA  AFGHANISTAN, VIETNAM, INDIA ALONG WITH SOME INDIAN PROVINCES PARTICIPATED IN WELL-ATTENDED DASTKAR INTERNATIONAL FAIR, HELD IN NEW DELHI, INDIA. In the above picture, CEO Majmua Art Gallery Ms Mehreen Ilahi is seen at a beautifully decorated Pakistani stall.
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FOUR PAKISTANI COMPANIES PARTICIPATED IN THIS EXHIBITION AND GOT ORDERS AS WELL AS SOLD THEIR HANDICRAFT PRODUCTS. THE COMPANIES ARE INVITED FOR THE NEXT EXHIBITION IN DECEMBER. THE TARIFF DUTY BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN OF 30% NEEDS TO BE REDUCED SO AS TO ENCOURAGE EXPORTS AS WELL AS GET INDIA S MARKET FOR HANDICRAFTS.
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THE PRODUCTS THAT WERETAKEN WERE HAND MADE TRUCK ART SHOES BY MAJMUA ALONG WITH APPLIQUE  DESIGNS HANDMADE ON PURE COTTON SHIRTS, EMBROIDERED GARMENTS BY RABES COLLECTION. HOME TEXTILE BY KUANDKAI AND LACHKA WORK SAREES BY ASMAS. ALL IN ALL THE PRODUCTS WERE GREATLY APPRECIATED.
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Pak trade with India _ cut the hands that hurt you

Minorities for Modi and Canadian PM

J. Choudhry/ISLAMABAD: Recent threats and attacks of Shiv Sena’s extremists on Pakistani artists, programmes and killing of Muslim man merely on the suspicion of eating beef (though he ate mutton that was confirmed by Indian police) along with intensified shelling on people of Pakistan residing in areas that are close to border with India have once again soured the relations of the two neighbouring nations. In recent weeks Indian shelling has killed several Pakistanis and injured many that were shown on the electronic and print media each time the Indian guns fired bombs on Pakistanis while Indian extremists have killed a Muslim blaming that he ate beef, but police reports show the deceased had ate mutton while a Muslim truck-driver was killed by Hindu extremists merely for transporting beef show the ugly face of secular India and the height of extremism prevailing in Hindus.

Extremist Hindus also attacked Sikhs, Christians and Dalit, the low-cost Hindus while an Australian couple was manhandled for having tattoos of cows on their body. All these incidents make it clear that the Hindu extremism is the most dangerous thing in India that nuclear bombs. A nuclear bomb can destroyed a city and can kill a few thousand people, but extremism can destroy whole the nation and future generations.

Modi mass murderer

Indian government is showing least interest in ending ceasefire violations on the Working Boundary and in Kashmir although Pakistan has issued statements of maintaining peace. Modi Sardar is also least interested in taming the Hindu extremists who are coming into the limelight again and again for their vulture behaviour with minorities in India.

How much non-serious India is in promoting peace in this region can be imagined from the fact that India is not willing to discuss Kashmir issue. India preferred to suspend proposed talks of the National Security Advisers of the two countries that were to be held on Aug 24 and 25, but showed no flexibility in including Kashmir in agenda of bilateral talks.

In recent earthquake of Oct 26, 2015, that killed over 260 people in Pakistan, mostly in the Khyber Pakhtukhwa province, located near the epicenter of the earthquake, Afghanistan, Indian Prime Minister offered his government’s assistance to support rehabilitation and relief work in areas hit by the earthquake, but Modi government could not silence guns on the borde and Indian shelling continued during earthquake days. It is enough to show how much sincere and serious is the Modi Sardar in promoting peace with Pakistan.

Soon after the suspension of talks, Indian forces have augmented shelling in Pakistani border areas on Working Boundary in Sialkot and Lone of Control in Kashmir, leading to killings of several people and injuries to many others.

There are reports that India has intensified border shelling just to put pressure on Pakistan to give up the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the current visit of the National Security Adviser of the United States is also being linked to this issue.

Important to note is that the United States and India have openly opposed the China-Pak Economic Corridor and now they can use any kinds of tactics to sabotage this mega project that can reshape future of Pakistan and ties between the two time-tested friends _ Pakistan and China.

As Indian government is pursuing the agenda of giving a tough time to Pakistan, our government should also reciprocate in the same manner. In the first phase Pakistan government should stop trade with India immediately that I am sure would enhance the headache of the Modi Sardar. Because in last financial year for the first time Pakistan’s imports from India crossed $2 billion (over Rs200 billion).

It is believed that the country is importing vegetables and fruit worth 100 billion rupees from India. In other words Pakistan is feeding the Indian farmers by importing a huge quantity of vegetables and fruit. If Pakistani farmers are encouraged to grow more vegetables and fruit, the government would not improve the income of our own farmers but would empower them to meet the domestic demand of vegetables and fruit.

So in the first phase, Pakistan government should set a deadline to motivate to India to end ceasefire violations and if this does not happen, the government should immediately suspend trade. Suspension of trade can end a good source of income of Indian farmers and traders and they would certainly put pressure on their government to stop cross-border shelling/firing.

In 2002, when India deployed its armed forces along border with Pakistan after the Mumbai attacks, the Indian farmers, traders and businessmen forced their government to end this hostile policy that lasted over six months as the farmers and business community lost billions of dollars in just six months stand-off between armed forces of the two countries on the border.

Indians can face any loss, but they are not accustomed to losing money in business. Their business is their lifeline and it keeps their pulse and life normal. Our rulers must take advantage of this weakness of Indians. Why are we feeding the hands that harm us?

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Saudi officials seize militants favourite 18 million pills _ Captagon

Jihadi pills

CorporateAmbassador Monitoring/JEDDAH: A whopping 18 million Captagon pills were seized by customs officials at Dhuba port over the past two years. This is according to Ali Al-Atwi, director general of Dhuba’s customs department, who said that 11 million Captagon tablets were hidden in an item of mechanical parts in 2014.

Captagon is a famous drug being used by the militants in Syria and other Arab countries. Militants also smuggle it to Arab countries to earn money.

Customs officials also recently discovered 2.4 million Captagon tablets hidden in a consignment of spices, Al-Atwi was quoted as saying by an online publication recently. He said the officials at the port were making sure that no prohibited items enter the Kingdom reports Arab News.

There are 180 men and women working in various sections including security, and are well equipped with advanced technology.  There are three x-ray machines to scan trucks, containers and passenger cars, without obstructing traffic.
There is also continuous monitoring of cars and people with surveillance cameras.

He said Dhuba officials have managed to bust several smuggling syndicates, which have tried to bring prohibited goods into the country hidden in shipments of clothes and vehicle spare parts
Al-Atwi said that the port is strategically located, which allows for shipments from Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon and European countries.

Italy deports a wrong man as suspect of terrorist attacks in Pakistan

Wrong Usmanghani

CorporateAmbassador/ISLAMABAD: Italy has deported a wrong man who was suspected to be one of the attackers of Army Public School in Peshawar in Dec 2014 and a couple of other attacks. Usman Ghani, a Pakistani residing in Italy was deported to Islamabad by the Italian authorities on Thursday after he was detained on the suspicion that he had sympathies for extremist elements.

Usman Ghani, a resident of Swabi, had settled in Italy and used to visit websites related to Islamic teachings and that was his only fault that landed him into serious trouble.

According to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Islamabad, Usman Ghani was from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and had been deported to Islamabad from Italy after he was picked up by the Italian authorities for alleged links with religious extremists.

The Pakistani expat was brought to Islamabad on the Etihad Airways flight EY-231 in the custody of Italian law-enforcement officials was handed over to the FIA and the suspect was released after brief interrogation. Usman Ghani was also presented to the attackers of APS in custody who said that he was not that Usman who was their accomplice. As a result of which the FIA released Usman Ghani.

Usman Ghani was arrested with the help of Interpol and was repatriated to Islamabad on a private airline early on Thursday. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) took custody of the accused upon his arrival.

According to an FIA official, a suspect who was caught earlier for his involvement in the attack disclosed that Usman Ghani fled to Italy a few days after the school attack on December 16 last year.

Many moods of artist Usman Raaj

Educationist, writer and anchor Muttahir Ahmed Khan talks to artist, for his famous column (An Evening with Muttahir/KARACHI: 

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Usman Raaj, an artist of multidimensional talents, talks to Muttahir Ahmed Khan in a candid and friendly chat session. Born in Lahore, on 2nd February, 1988, Raaj, went to school in Lahore and, later on, completed his F.Sc. from Government Islamia College Civil Lines and B.Sc. Honours from Shalamar College of Medical Sciences. His natural tilt towards Fine Arts and Performing Arts and itching desire to demonstrate his God-gifted talent in acting, compering and singing led him to step into the world of entertainment and literature. His exclusive performance as Manto, Dara, Bullah and Kaami, at stage, made him famous, popular and loved not only in Pakistan, but in other countries also.

Muttahir: Are you from a family related to the realm of literature, entertainment and showbiz?

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Raaj: Not at all, instead, I am from a religious and teachers’ family. There wasn’t any family member who had any even remote link to these fields. It was my natural inclination towards these delicate arts that drove me here. I have not been trained in singing, acting or compering, but, with the grace of the Almighty, I made my way to these arenas with direct auditions on the basis of my strong desire, dedication and conviction.

 

Muttahir: How did you start your journey of performing arts? Were you interested in acting right from your school days?

Raaj: I recited my first Naatt (Divine Poem) at the age of one year and 11 months and got 100 rupees as a prize. Later on, I stood first and was honoured with prizes and awards in Naat Competitions, Patriotic Songs, Declamation Contests and other such activities, many times during schooling. Keeping in view my success in these stage-oriented activities, I decided to participate in school’s plays and received applauses in this field too. Then, I won Naat and debate competitions at provincial and national levels and also at Radio Pakistan.

Muttahir: Did these activities exercise any negative impact on your studies?

Raaj: Alhamdulillah, I always performed well in my studies too and received distinctions in different classes.

Muttahir: Did you join stage and acting first or try your muscles as a host and Jockey at Radio?

Raaj: I joined Radio FM-95 in March 2011 as a radio Jockey and Host and, thus, my recognition started blooming. Later on, I joined FM-93 also, in December 2013. Even before all this, I participated, several times, in “Angan Angan Taray” and “Sajray Phool”, the famous programs of Pakistan Television, as a talented child during 1994.

Muttahir: When did you join Ajoka Theatre Group that led you to real fame?

Raaj: I became a member of Ajoka theatre in September 2012, and got leading role in the play “Daikh Tamasha Chalta Ban”. My performance was extraordinarily lauded and acknowledged by the senior thespians as well as the theatregoers. Since then, I have done so many plays for Ajoka with leading roles including “Bullah”, “King Aurangzeb”, “Manto” and “Kaami” in the highly appreciated plays like  “Kon Hay Ye Gustakh” , “Lo Phir Basant Aai”, “Dara Shako”, “Bullah” etc. Besides, I did justice to my leading characters in many other plays

Muttahir: You have visited and performed in India also. How was that experience?

Raaj: It was really a great experience every time to perform in India. Our group is always loved by the audience there. Nearly all the leading Indian and Pakistani television channels telecasted live the plays I performed in, in connection to NSD Festival held in Delhi, India. I performed there as a singer also and received admiration, in this regard. Besides, many visits to India, I have performed in the USA also.

Muttahir: When and how did you enter the planet of TV and Films?

Raaj: I entered the TV world when I did my first play “Bhati Chowk” in 2012. In 2013 I got the leading role in the tele-film “Umeed”. I have also so many short films for different film festivals like “Ak Aur Talib”, “Shades of life”, “Epilepsy”. I performed in a play “Junjalpura-2”, in 2014.  My first cinemascope film was “Aitbar” and I was the hero in this venture released in May 2014.  My 2nd film is “Kharedar” (2015).

Muttahir:  Have you worked as a model also?

Raaj: Yes, I have been working as model, actor, and broadcaster n singer in the fields of showbiz, theatre and entertainment. I have been a model for different magazines’ title pages.

Muttahir: Do you believe in destiny or your personal efforts and hard work to achieve your goals in life?

Raaj: I believe in destiny, but lays a great stress upon personal efforts and hard work in making careers and acquiring one’s goals in life. I think both your hard work and luck work side by side for your achievements and accomplishment in the journey of life. The Heaven helps those who help themselves. In Pakistan people have a great potential and talent for singing and performing arts, but they lack proper opportunities and supporting organizations. If a little focus is given to this field, you will find a huge difference.

Muttahir: What do you like to eat? Are you fastidious in taste?

Raaj: I enjoy eating everything she likes, but she is not fastidious in her choice for food.  I like all Pakistani and Continental dishes. I think food is a great blessing of the Almighty and I don’t dislike any dish. I like to enjoy the items I am in mood to taste but I am not very choosy. Like every woman she desires to clad impressively and attractively. “I like light colours, especially the combination of various hues. I believe that your dress must be comfortable and in harmony with the season and weather”

Muttahir: What message do you wish to convey to your fans?

Raaj: I wish to discern a durable peace and love amongst the people of the world, beyond the socio-cultural and geo-political boundaries. My message for the people is love and peace for all.

Pakistan participating in UN Moot on Climate Change in Paris

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Harris Javed/ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here on Friday chaired a meeting of senior officials of the Ministry of Climate Change, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Industries and Ministry of Planning, Development & Reforms to deliberate upon Pakistan’s stance on the issue of climate change at the forthcoming UN Conference on Climate Change being held at Paris fromNovember 30 to December 11.

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The meeting reviewed in detail inter-ministerial consultations done by the Ministry of Climate Change as well as the stance of various other stakeholders, including private sector, on the issue of climate change, environmental protection and global warming. Secretary Climate Change briefed the meeting about the various aspects of climate change as well as on the major contributors towards environmental pollution and global warming.

Various options to improve environmental conditions in the country were discussed. The meeting agreed to evolve a joint stance on the issue of climate change in the best interests of the country and to present it forcefully at the UN Conference.

It may be added it would be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Conference will aim at achieving a binding and universal agreement on climate.

“Jokes on Sardars may not be allowed in India”

Sardars

NEW DELHI: Jokes on sardars have always caused much amusement, but now the Supreme Court has agreed to examine whether they are derogatory and racial and if they need to be banned.

A bench headed by Justice T S Thakur on Friday agreed to hear a PIL filed by a woman lawyer who pleaded that there are more than 5000 websites on jokes on sardars projecting the members of the community in poor light. The lawyer wanted to know why only sardars were projected as foolish and low in intellect. She pleaded the court to intervene to ban such jokes, reports TOI on Oct 30.

Islamic banks assets, deposit show over 37% marvellous growth in FY15

Islamic products

By Javed Mahmood/KARACHI: Islamic Banking in Pakistan continued to show the momentum of growth during FY15. Both assets and deposits of Islamic Banking Institutions (IBIs) witnessed increase of more than 37 percent during the review year. As of end June 2015, the industry’s asset base reached Rs 1,495 billion and constituted market share of 11.3 percent in overall banking industry.

Similarly, deposits of Islamic banking industry increased to Rs 1,281 billion having a share of 12.8 percent in overall banking industry deposits. The outreach of IBIs also expanded and, as of June 2015, the branch network of IBIs consisted of 1,702 branches spread across 95 districts of the country, State Bank of Pakistan reports this growth in its annual report for FY15.

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SBP remained actively engaged in facilitating development of Islamic banking in the country through various promotional and regulatory initiatives. Some of the key measures and steps taken during FY15 are listed below:

The Steering Committee for Promotion of Islamic Banking The Government of Pakistan (GoP) has demonstrated strong commitment for supporting development of Islamic finance in the country. To this end, a high level Steering Committee for promotion of Islamic banking has been set up chaired by Deputy Governor SBP. The steering committee comprises renowned Shariah scholars, senior government officials, industry experts (local and international) and business leaders.

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The Committee was to carry out an objective review of the current paradigm of Islamic banking and to formulate a comprehensive policy framework for an Islamic financial system in conformity with Shariah principles.  To accomplish its mandate, the Committee has shown significant progress on various top priority areas including; review of legal, regulatory and taxation frameworks; developing liquidity management tools ; developing solutions for conversion of government debt into Shariah compliant financing; development of an Islamic capital market; reforms in Mudaraba sector; and several initiatives for capacity building and creating awareness among masses to have a better understanding about Islamic finance.

Shariah Compliant Open Market Operations OMOs – Bai Muajjal of Sukuk SBP is working on providing multiple liquidity management solutions for the industry. In this regard the Shariah compliant OMOs (Bai Muajjal of Sukuk) utilizing Sukuk issued by the GoP was introduced during FY15. This transaction is helping SBP in mopping up excess liquidity from the market and improving implementation of monetary policy stance of SBP.

Implementation of Shariah Governance Framework To strengthen the overall Shariah compliance environment in IBIs, a comprehensive Shariah Governance Framework was issued during FY14.  In view of the feedback received from various quarters and deliberations of SBP Shariah Board, the Framework has been further refined and issued for compliance to IBIs. The Framework has come into force with effect from July 1, 2015. It aims at institutionalizing Shariah compliance function in IBIs.

Rationalization of Minimum Capital Requirements (MCR) for Islamic Banking Subsidiaries In order to provide a level playing field to IBIs, SBP developed a proposal for rationalization of MCR for Islamic banking branches (IBBs) and Islamic banking subsidiaries of conventional banks. Accordingly, SBP has revised the MCR for Islamic banking subsidiary from Rs 10 billion to Rs 6 billion.  However, the intending Islamic banking subsidiary shall be required to raise its paid-up capital (net of losses) up to Rs 10 billion within a period of 5 years from the date of commencement of its operations.

Awareness Creation and Capacity Building Programmes for Islamic Banking Industry Islamic banking industry in collaboration with SBP has been running a mass media campaign for promotion of Islamic banking. After successful launch of the first phase in 2013, second phase was launched in December 2014 which focused more on education, awareness, and improving understanding of Islamic banking and finance. Second phase involved advertisements in newspapers, radio and distribution of brochures and placement of roll-up standees in IBIs’ branches.

SBP participated actively at various international forums on Islamic finance, such as IFSB meetings and events, Global Islamic Finance Forum (GIFF), meeting of Central Banks and Monetary Authorities of the OIC member countries, Board of Trustees meeting of Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). Moreover, SBP facilitated AAOIFI in arranging a meeting of its Shariah Board’s Shariah Standards Review and Translation Committee in Pakistan. SBP was awarded ‘IFN Deal of the Year’ by Islamic Finance News (IFN) for a deal of US$ 1 billion GoP Ijara Sukuk.

Pakistan entered the international Sukuk Market after nine years during FY15, through Dollar denominated Sukuk. The issue size of this Sukuk was US$ 1 billion having maturity of 5 years. The Sukuk was listed at the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and was received well in the international market.

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OPEC crude oil tumbles to $44/barrel _ Why further increase in petro prices?

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J. Choudhry/ISLAMABAD: Media reports of increase in petro prices from 1st of Nov seem joke as OPEC crude oil price has dropped to the lowest level and at this time making increase in domestic oil price appears unjustified. This time the govt is using excuse of increase in value of dollar against rupee to hike petro prices, but this logic too appears unjustified bcoz dollar-rupee exchange in the interbank just hit 104 rupees this week and throughout the month of Oct2015 the exchange rate remained the same.

Basically the PML(N) govt keeps on adventing ways and means to mint billions from the consumers. For example, the international crude oil prices have dropped by more than 50 percent in last one-and-a-half year.

Did the government reduced petrol prices by over 50 percent?

Did the government reduce electricity tariff by 50 percent (not at all/instead doubled the amount of bills)?

Did transporters reduced fares by 50 percent? (No)

Did the domestic airlines reduced fares on domestic routes by 50 percent? Again No

The PML(N) Govt got a golden opportunity to serve masses by passing on to consumers the impact of decline in international prices of crude oil, diesel, furance oil, LNG/LPG, but the pro-revenue generation strategy of Ishaq Dar largely deprived the consumers from reaping the full benefit of this natural positive development.