Soft Drink Makers Suggest FED Adjustment to Support Industry’s Growth

A delegation of representatives from the Aerated Beverage Industry led by President of Lotte Akhtar Beverages Ghazi Akhtar called on Federal Minister for Finance Muhammad Aurangzeb at the Finance Division today. Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Mehm…


A delegation of representatives from the Aerated Beverage Industry led by President of Lotte Akhtar Beverages Ghazi Akhtar called on Federal Minister for Finance Muhammad Aurangzeb at the Finance Division today. Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Mehmet Pacaci also joined the meeting.

The delegation expressed their appreciation for the government’s economic initiatives and conveyed that they are encouraged by the supportive policies of the government.

They presented several tax proposals for the upcoming fiscal year, suggesting adjustments to the Federal Excise Duty (FED) that could support their industry growth and contribute to the government’s tax collection efforts.

Aurangzeb highlighted the government’s commitment to support the private sector. He emphasized the prime minister’s vision for private sector-led economic growth as reflected in the ongoing privatization efforts. He assured the delegation that the government would proceed with strategic intent and within the available fiscal space.

The del
egation thanked the minister and expressed optimism for continued collaboration and support.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Govt Likely to Further Increase Gas Prices For Fertilizer, Cement Manufacturers Next Fiscal Year

The federal government has shared with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) a plan to substantially increase gas prices next fiscal year for various sectors including domestic users, fertilizer plants, CNG stations, and cement factories, prominent s…


The federal government has shared with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) a plan to substantially increase gas prices next fiscal year for various sectors including domestic users, fertilizer plants, CNG stations, and cement factories, prominent sources told ProPakistani.

The economic team has shared a comprehensive circular debt management plan with the IMF. Sources said the initial proposal suggests raising the gas rate by Rs. 100-400 for both protected and non-protected consumers, besides proposals for tariff adjustments to manage the circular debt in the gas sector.

The government has informed the IMF that plans not to increase gas rates for commercial tandoors. The IMF’s economic team has been in talks with the government about tariffs, revolving credit, and reforms for the gas sector.

A dividend scheme was discussed as part of the debt reduction strategy, sources added.

Both sides have agreed to promptly share data on recovery, reforms, and tariffs with the IMF to ensure the smooth implementatio
n of the proposed changes.

The federal government last week informed the lending agency that it expects circular debt to increase by Rs. 150 billion to reach Rs. 2.5 trillion by the end of the current fiscal year. This massive jump in power sector debt violates the pre-determined targets set by the lender last year to keep it controlled at Rs. 2.31 trillion.

IMF had requested a detailed plan from the Power Division to prevent further increases in the debt. This plan, which was also supposed to include proposals for tariff adjustments to manage the gas sector circular debt, has been shared with the lender today.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Innovative Pvt Ltd (IPL) Clinches ‘Best Performance Award’ At Diebold Nixdorf Partner Summit 2024

Innovative Pvt Ltd (IPL) has once again proven its market leadership by securing the prestigious ‘Best Performance Award’, recognized as the top award of the region, at the Diebold Nixdorf Partner Summit 2024. This marks the fourth consecutive year t…


Innovative Pvt Ltd (IPL) has once again proven its market leadership by securing the prestigious ‘Best Performance Award’, recognized as the top award of the region, at the Diebold Nixdorf Partner Summit 2024. This marks the fourth consecutive year that IPL has been honored at the summit, solidifying its status as a dominant force in the field of Self-Service Banking Solutions. With this latest accolade, IPL has now won a total of seven Diebold Nixdorf Awards, highlighting its consistent excellence and industry leadership.

Over the past three years, IPL has consistently demonstrated exceptional performance and innovation, earning accolades such as the Best Market Penetration Award 2022-23, the Best Market Share Growth Partner Award 2021-22, and the Strategic Win Award 2020-21. This year’s recognition further underscores IPL’s steadfast commitment to excellence and its pivotal role in driving industry standards.

Reflecting on this milestone, Naveed Ali Baig, CEO Innovative Pvt Ltd (IPL) said: ‘We are incred
ibly honored to receive the Best Performance Award at the DN Partner Summit 2024. This achievement is a reflection of our team’s hard work, dedication, and our continuous pursuit of excellence. We are proud to be recognized by Diebold Nixdorf, a global leader in banking and retail technology, and we remain committed to advancing innovation and excellence in our services.’

The Best Performance Award is a testament to IPL’s outstanding achievements in market coverage, customer satisfaction, and technological innovation. It reflects the company’s dedication to delivering cutting-edge solutions and unparalleled service in Pakistan and Afghanistan, representing industry giants.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Euronet Focuses on Card Processing, & Withdraws its Bulk Transfers and Instant Credits PSO/PSP License

Euronet Pakistan, the largest card processor in Pakistan and a global leader in payment processing and transaction services is realigning its strategic focus and will no longer pursue its PSO/PSP license for Bulk Transfers and Instant Credits.

This …


Euronet Pakistan, the largest card processor in Pakistan and a global leader in payment processing and transaction services is realigning its strategic focus and will no longer pursue its PSO/PSP license for Bulk Transfers and Instant Credits.

This decision and strategic realignment reflect Euronet’s commitment and dedicated focus on expanding its card processing market footprint in Pakistan, increased focus on collaborations with banks and partners, and enhancing the accessibility and efficiency of banking and payment services, in line with the SBP financial inclusion strategy, by integrating its advanced global technologies and solutions to ensure superior and regulatory compliant services for clients and partners.

While Euronet remains dedicated to delivering innovative financial solutions and adding value in the local payments landscape, it is the second company to re-strategize its plan to establish itself as a PSO/PSP entity for the designated services without affecting the current business services.

Earlier, MobiDirect Pvt Ltd also changed its plan for setting up an E-commerce Gateway in Pakistan.

Euronet Pakistan is the division of Euronet Worldwide, a US-based NASDAQ listed company that has been operating in Pakistan since 2010. It is driving over 70% of the POS volume and running debit and credit card programs and driving ATMs for the leading banks and financial institutions through its data center facilities in Pakistan.

Source: Pro Pakistani

SNGPL Urges Petroleum Division to Help Settle Rs. 84 Billion Payment to PSO

Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has urgently asked the Petroleum Division to help settle outstanding dues of Rs. 84 billion owed to Pakistan State Oil (PSO) by May 31, 2024.

This payment is crucial for clearing RLNG supplies and equalizin…


Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has urgently asked the Petroleum Division to help settle outstanding dues of Rs. 84 billion owed to Pakistan State Oil (PSO) by May 31, 2024.

This payment is crucial for clearing RLNG supplies and equalizing gas rates with SSGC, reported a national daily.

SNGPL faces financial strain in meeting RLNG and indigenous gas supply targets, having paid Rs. 41.5 billion to PSO but still owes Rs. 84 billion.

The plan for PSO payments relies on payment of outstanding dues from the power sector, SSGC, RLNG diversion subsidy, fertilizer sector subsidy, and normal collections. All of these receivables amount to roughly Rs. 84 billion.

SNGPL has appealed to all stakeholders to fulfill their commitments promptly to avoid disrupting the RLNG supply chain and defaulting on PSO payments. The gas supplier has urged the Petroleum Division to facilitate the payment of the outstanding amount in order to clear all payments owed to PSO.

Source: Pro Pakistani

SECP Commissioner Launches NBFI, Modaraba Year Book 2023

The Commissioner, Specialized Companies Division, SECP, Mujtaba Ahmed Lodhi, has launched the NBFI and Modaraba Association of Pakistan’s Year Book 2023, which contains vital information regarding the NBFI and Modaraba sector.

The launch ceremon…


The Commissioner, Specialized Companies Division, SECP, Mujtaba Ahmed Lodhi, has launched the NBFI and Modaraba Association of Pakistan’s Year Book 2023, which contains vital information regarding the NBFI and Modaraba sector.

The launch ceremony, held at the Association’s office was attended by a large number of industry representatives. The Year Book indicates that despite its challenges, the NBFIs and Modaraba sector has shown significant improvement, particularly in terms of assets, profitability, dividend distribution and tax payments.

The assets of the sector increased to Rs. 158,404 million in FY 2023 as compared to Rs. 142,918 million in FY 2022. However, the total equity of the sector decreased to Rs. 51,518 million in FY 2023 from Rs. 55,358 million in FY 2022/ the decline in equity was attributed to the departure of a few of the Modaraba members owing to the transformation in their business models. However, despite the reduction in equity, the sector’s overall profitability reached Rs. 3,431
million in FY 2023 compared to Rs. 2,445 million in FY 2022 reflecting an increase of Rs. 986 million.

Lodhi emphasized the need for NBFI and Modarabas to expand their role in order to effectively promote financial inclusion in Pakistan. He also urged market participants to focus on technological advancement, innovation, product diversification, capacity building, and high governance standards to ensure their role in the financial sector is further enhanced.

Furthermore, he highlighted that there is a renewed interest in fintech-based business models, evident from the growing number of licensed activities. Citing the high demand for tech-enabled platforms and Islamic financial services in Pakistan, he encouraged NBFIs and Modarabas to embrace technology for delivery of financial services and access to underserved segments of the population.

Earlier, Muhammad Shoaib Ibrahim, Chairman, NBFI and Modaraba Association of Pakistan welcomed the participants and presented key highlights of the industry.

As the
ceremony came to a close, awards for the best performance were distributed amongst members who exhibited extraordinary performances during the year. The SECP and the Association reiterated their commitment to working together to advance the growth and development of this important sector.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Govt Order to Block Non-Filer SIMs Still in Effect: Islamabad High Court

The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday held a hearing on the case of the federal government’s decision to block mobile phone SIMs of non-filers.

The session focused on an application to dismiss the stay order on taking action against telecom companie…


The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday held a hearing on the case of the federal government’s decision to block mobile phone SIMs of non-filers.

The session focused on an application to dismiss the stay order on taking action against telecom companies who refused to block non-filer SIMs.

Chief Justice Amir Farooq, who presided over the hearing, clarified that the injunction does not prevent the blocking of SIMs but was issued to protect the petitioners.

The government’s order to block SIMs remains in effect, he stated.

The Chief Justice acknowledged that the government’s action might be part of broader economic reforms and indicated that the court would aim to resolve the case swiftly. The next hearing is scheduled for June. Both parties have been asked to agree on a specific date and inform the court. The hearing was adjourned until then.

It should be mentioned that a leading telecom company on Monday conveyed to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) that it has blocked over 3,000 SIMS of non-filers under
protest with apprehension of litigation with the tax department.

FBR last month issued an Income Tax General Order (ITGO) to disable the mobile phone SIMs of over 0.5 million persons who do not appear on the active taxpayer list but are liable to file the Income Tax Return for Tax Year 2023.

After a few delays, telecom operators on May 10 agreed to initiate the manual blocking process of SIMs in small batches.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Govt Seeks Rs. 20 Billion in Upcoming Budget to Control Social Media

The federal government wants Rs. 20 billion next fiscal year to not just enhance cybersecurity but also to regulate and better control social media across the country.

With this, only social media companies with local offices in Pakistan will be all…


The federal government wants Rs. 20 billion next fiscal year to not just enhance cybersecurity but also to regulate and better control social media across the country.

With this, only social media companies with local offices in Pakistan will be allowed to operate, reported Express Tribune.

The Ministry of IT and Telecom requested Rs. 20 billion for the Digital Information Infrastructure Initiative (DIII) in the 2024-25 budget. This request was submitted to the finance division for inclusion in the next fiscal year’s expenditure.

The IT Ministry has already received Rs. 15 billion for DIII in the current fiscal year through a technical supplementary grant.

The DIII project has a total estimated cost of around $135 million (Rs. 38 billion). Most of this amount is being used this year, with the remaining funds requested for the next fiscal year.

The government is of the view that the new technology will help regulate social media, curb its misuse, and thwart malicious campaigns. The government has alrea
dy banned X (formerly Twitter) in Pakistan, although many, including government officials, access it with a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

From what looks like almost a certainty next fiscal year, social media platforms will likely be instructed to establish physical offices in Pakistan. A legislative framework is being considered to formalize these regulations under the Pakistan Electronic Crime Act (PECA) 2016.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Telcos Have so Far Blocked SIMs of 9,000 Non-Filers

Telecom operators have so far blocked mobile SIMs of 9,000 non-filers under directives of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

A spokesperson of the FBR said on Wednesday that telecom operators have sped up the process of blocking SIMs. The spokesper…


Telecom operators have so far blocked mobile SIMs of 9,000 non-filers under directives of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

A spokesperson of the FBR said on Wednesday that telecom operators have sped up the process of blocking SIMs. The spokesperson said that FBR is providing new data to telecom companies every day for blocking SIMs.

The spokesperson further pointed out that so far FBR has shared data of 30,000 individuals whose SIMs are supposed to be blocked. However, he admitted that it would take some time to block SIMs of all 506,671 persons who do not appear on the active taxpayer list but are liable to file the Income Tax Return for Tax Year 2023.

It is pertinent to mention here that initially, telecom operators were reluctant to block SIMs, citing various legal reasons. However, later they agreed to manually block SIMs in small batches.

FBR had issued an Income Tax General Order (ITGO) towards the end of April to disable the mobile phone SIMs of over 0.5 million persons who do not appear on th
e active taxpayer list. At the time, FBR directed telecom companies to submit a compliance report in this regard by May 15.

Source: Pro Pakistani