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Korean firm moves arbitration court against Pakistan

In the wake of no required action by the PTI government to resolve the issue of inclusion of escalated cost in true-up tariff, Korean investors have moved the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) against the government of Pakistan seeking $94 million (Rs19.6 billion) as compensation. The Korean investors pleaded National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) failed to evacuate electricity from 147MW Patrind Hydropower Project for at least six months from the COD of the project and also the cost incurred on construction of a point from where the electricity was to be delivered to the national grid, one of the top men of Power Division confirmed to The News. According to the officials, Power Division under Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir smelt a rate and decided to fix the racket of unscrupulous officials of NTDC, CPPA, and Power Division responsible for not evacuating electricity from the project on time and raising no objection to a Korean company which set

Pakistan logs over 400 COVID-19 cases, two deaths in 24 hours

Alarm bells are ringing as the country continues to see an uptick in new COVID-19 cases, with experts saying Pakistan may suffer another wave of the deadly pandemic. According to the latest statistics issued by the National Institute of Health, Islamabad (NIH), the country reported 406 new coronavirus cases in a single day. The new infections were detected after 14,437 diagnostic tests were conducted across the county over the past 24 hours, taking the positivity rate to 2.81%. Meanwhile, two more patients succumbed to the virus during the same period. As per the NIH stats, the condition of 94 more patients with the virus is critical. Rapid transmission Cases and positivity rates have more than doubled over the previous week, indicating rapid transmission. The rise is more marked in Karachi — with 21.71% COVID-19 positivity, and Islamabad — with 3.45% positivity, due to better testing and reporting but the risk is likely to be widespread. The rise in several hospitalizations and admiss

12.5pc tax rate for those earning Rs100,000-300,000 a month

To fetch an additional Rs466 billion for jacking up the FBR’s tax collection target of Rs7,470 billion, the government took some drastic measures by increasing the tax rate on high-income earners to fetch Rs120 billion for poverty alleviation and Rs35 billion through raising tax rates for salaried class. The government slapped a 10 percent super tax on 13 high-earning sectors with a revenue impact of Rs80 billion for the next financial year 2022-23. The exchange rate depreciation will also help the FBR to collect more taxes at the import stage in the budget for 2022-23, so with help of all these taxation measures, the tax collection target will be increased up to Rs7,470 billion. The government revised tax rates for the salaried class to fetch a net additional amount of Rs35 billion into the national kitty. On Personal Income Tax (PIT), the government raised a tax amount of Rs80 billion as first the government abolished tax relief of Rs47 billion and then raised a tax amount of Rs35 bi

PM Shahbaz Sharif announces 10% super tax on big industries

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Friday said that the government has decided to impose a 10% super tax on large-scale manufacturers including oil, fertilizer, steel, sugar, automobile, and textile. The premier made the announcement after chairing a meeting of his economic team during which important decisions were taken related to budget 2022-23. In a televised address, the prime minister said that he wants to take the nation into confidence over the government's measures to stabilize the economy. The PM said that the decisions, taken by the government, aimed at providing relief to the people due to record inflation and reviving the dwindling economy which was shattered due to the "incompetency and corruption" of the PTI government. The premier said that he is using the word corruption because he knows that the previous government was "involved in corruption". “The economy, which was at the brink of bankruptcy due to delaying tactics of the PTI government, has n

More tough times ahead, warns PM Shahbaz as country battles economic crisis

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday said that the country may have to see more difficult times as it is facing an economic crisis. Addressing PML-N senators in Islamabad, PM Shahbaz said that some of his "companions" suggested making election reforms and announcing elections but the government plans to complete its constitutional term. "We faced many challenges when I took oath as the prime minister," the premier said. He said that the PTI-led government had struck the deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to pass on the impact of international prices of oil and gas to the masses. PM Shahbaz said that the terms with the IMF have been finalized and the deal with the Fund will close soon, barring any other conditions set by the global lender. Criticizing the PTI government further, he said that the previous government "never felt strongly about doing anything for widows and the poor". "They saw their defeat in March and so they lowered o

Rupee breaks losing streak against dollar on IMF breakthrough

Following a “broad agreement” with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, the Pakistani rupee broke its losing streak against the dollar and gained nearly Re1 in early morning interbank trade. According to Trustmark, the rupee reversed some of the gains but still appreciated to Rs211 (as of 10:42am) against the dollar from Tuesday's close of Rs211.48. Yesterday, the greenback was at an all-time high, appreciating by a sharp Rs2. The development comes after weeks of persistent declines in the rupee's value, which has been largely attributed to the country's rising import bill, depleting foreign exchange reserves, and uncertainty regarding the IMF program. Last night Pakistan announced a "broad agreement" with the Fund on next year’s budget. “We have locked the budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 in consultation with the IMF and now the Fund will consult with the State Bank of Pakistan on monetary targets,” Finance Minister Miftah Ismail told a group of journ

Miftah Ismail hopeful of IMF accord ‘in a day or two’

Federal Revenue and Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said Monday that the stalled International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Extended Fund Facility (EFF) would be revived within a day or two. “I am very hopeful that the IMF program will be revived,” the finance minister said while speaking to journalists. The finance minister told the journalists that the government aimed at taxing the wealthy and providing relief to the poor through the budget for the fiscal year 2022-23. “IMF has no relation with the increase in salaries. Also, the tax exemption to the people earning below 1.2 million [annually] would remain in place,” the finance minister said. Annually, he said, around 15kg of gold is brought legally while 80 tons are smuggled into the country. He said there was a plan to reduce import duty on gold. Miftah, talking about the proposed taxes on property in the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, said that once construction begins on an empty plot, it would be exempted from taxes. “Lay one b