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Albert Einstein outlined madness as doing the identical factor over and over, and anticipating totally different outcomes. He would most likely be rolling in his grave if he noticed Pakistan’s innumerable makes an attempt at making an attempt to domestically construct inner combustion engines for automobiles. Nonetheless, while the automotive business persists in its continued makes an attempt to take action, two attention-grabbing issues have occurred this month.
Firstly, the China-Pakistan Joint Analysis Centre on Earth Sciences has signed an settlement with China’s Tianqi Lithium to discover Pakistan for lithium deposits this Friday. What’s the significance of this? There’s possible lithium abound. Why is that essential? Lithium is likely one of the key substances within the manufacturing of electrical automobile batteries. What does this imply? Nothing actually, as a result of we’re most certainly not going to utilise it in any significant capability. Why do we are saying this? Due to the second attention-grabbing factor that has occurred within the business this month.
Haval has unveiled Pakistan’s first hybrid-electric automobile. A full 24 years after Toyota unveiled the world’s first hybrid, the Prius, in 1997. Now, kudos to Haval for reaching what no different firm may in Pakistan however we’ve an issue. If we’re simply not producing hybrids, then we’re not going to provide electrical automobiles anytime quickly. This subsequently means we’re not going to provide electrical batteries and are going to overlook out on the subsequent large factor globally, just like how we missed out on the interior combustion engine solely.
In an try and avert taking pictures ourselves within the foot, Revenue goes to go forward and recommend we really attempt to export them by utilising the export processing zones. Keep in mind these, anybody? Doing so would enable us to get on the bandwagon for the subsequent large factor within the business globally while our native sector continues to dwell out its hybrid escapades.
Why does the JS Group wish to purchase BankIslami?
As soon as poised to turn out to be one of many largest Islamic Banks in Pakistan, BankIslami is now at a crossroads. On the fifteenth of November, one of many financial institution’s main shareholders, the JS Group, introduced its intention to amass 51% shareholding within the financial institution and consolidate its management.
So why is the JS Group now seeking to purchase BankIslami and take over its administration? For starters, there may be the very actual wave of Islamic Banking that has overrun the business in Pakistan. The rise of Meezan Financial institution and pivots in direction of offering Shariah compliant companies by others equivalent to Faysal Financial institution have all pointed in direction of an enormous market that’s rising and gaining extra floor yearly. On prime of that, for almost twenty years now, BankIslami has been run by a number of giant shareholders and the ensuing inefficiencies have cripple its decision-making and stunted its development.
With the incumbent authorities additionally saying its intention of transferring in direction of an interest-free banking system, the sector is altering quickly. A day after the public announcement of intention (PAI) was submitted by Subsequent Capital Restricted, each BIPL and JSBL confirmed the acquisition announcement. Nevertheless, the ultimate sale shall be made after approval from the state financial institution.
4 ticking time-bombs threatening Pakistan’s meals safety
Pakistan has an issue. In a global rating of the World Starvation Index (GHI) this 12 months, the nation ranked 92 out of 116 nations, with its starvation categorised as ‘critical.’ Pakistan presently faces a situation through which it’s largely meals ample however not meals safe.
Regardless of Pakistan being ranked at eighth in producing wheat, tenth in rice, fifth in sugarcane, and 4th in milk manufacturing, a 2019 report of the State Financial institution of Pakistan (SBP) confirmed that just about 37% of households in Pakistan are meals insecure. Within the three years for the reason that SBP’s report, issues have solely worsened. Meals value inflation in Pakistan has been in double digits since August 2019. The price of meals has been 10.4-19.5% larger than the earlier 12 months in city areas and 12.6-23.8% in rural areas, in response to figures revealed by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
So how does a rustic with one of many largest agrarian economies on this planet discover itself unable to sufficiently present meals for almost 40% of its inhabitants? For many years, agriculture has been uncared for and other people’s earnings have been hit by one financial disaster after one other. On prime of this, notably previously decade or so, local weather change associated disasters and adjustments within the setting have resulted in our already uncared for agriculture changing into much less aggressive.
One other blow to native governance
On the fifteenth of November this 12 months, a writ-petition was filed within the Lahore Excessive Court docket difficult a newly inserted part to the Revenue Tax Ordinance of 2001. The brand new part, title 7E, was a seemingly innocent inclusion to the tax ordinance that allowed the Federal Board of Income (FBR) to gather earnings taxes on immovable property.
However in response to the writ petition, and different related circumstances which can be at the moment being contested within the excessive court docket, the inclusion of part 7E is a extra sinister transfer which will partly go towards the 18th modification to the structure.
The brand new legislation mandates that each property which isn’t in using the proprietor, can be “deemed” by the FBR as bearing a hire equal to five% of the entire market worth to the property. This “deemed rental earnings” can be taxed at a fee of 20%. In easy phrases, each property proprietor must pay a tax equal to 1% of the market worth of his property to the federal authorities.
The concept to tax unused immovable property in itself isn’t a nasty one. Property is mostly an excellent technique of storing wealth in Pakistan and largely stays undocumented and untaxed. The problem right here is that with the FBR imposing and amassing this tax, the federal authorities is in essence amassing property tax. Whereas the FBR has claimed and is arguing in court docket that that is an earnings tax and never a tax on property, the traces are blurry.
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