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Global

ISLAMABAD: President Dr. Arif Alvi on Friday said Pakistan’s armed forces were well prepared to give a befitting response to any misadventure by India. He said the Pulwama attack was being used as a pretext by India to escalate tension. The president said this while addressing army officers undergoing training at the Command and Staff College, Quetta, at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

The president stated that Pakistan would not tolerate any violation of its territorial integrity and reserves the right to self-defence. He underlined that Pakistan was a peaceful and sovereign country, desirous of having good relations with all its neighbours, including India.

The president lauded the role and sacrifices of armed forces, law enforcement agencies and civil administration in addressing the challenges of lawlessness and terrorism. He stated that despite facing many challenges, Pakistan was now heading in right direction, adding that the country was now more stable and stronger than before and many opportunities are knocking at its door.

President Dr. Arif Alvi said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has the potential to change the fate of the region for better. He further said Balochistan would gain specifically from the CPEC project and immense opportunities of employment would be created for its youth.

The president commended the role of Command and Staff College, Quetta, in imparting quality and strategic training to officers of Pak Army and those from the allied countries. He hoped that training received at this premier military institution would prove to be an asset for the trainee officers with the help of which they would be able to utilise their abilities and full potential in the service of the motherland.

 
 
 
 
 
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Taxation

A detailed briefing was given by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), headed by its Chairman, Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan, to the Ambassador of China to Pakistan, Yao Jing, and a team of Chinese investors regarding the tax exemption policies for foreign investors in Pakistan. They were also briefed on the tax exemptions available while investing under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Finally, the FBR also briefed on the custom tariff concessions present under the Pakistan-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA).


The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Tuesday briefed Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing and Chinese investors about the available tax concessions and exemptions to foreign investors under Pakistani tax laws. Sources told Business Recorder that the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing and a delegation of Chinese investors met FBR team of tax managers headed by FBR Chairman Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan here at the FBR House on Tuesday.

The FBR side included FBR chairman, member operations and member policy of Inland Revenue and Customs.Both the sides discussed the importance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor – a long-term and systematic project to promote economic cooperation through collaboration on Gwadar port, energy, transportation infrastructure and industrial cooperation. Tax exemptions available under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects were also discussed.

Tax authorities briefed Chinese team about the facility of advance ruling available to foreign investors. Through this facility non-residents can obtain, in advance, a binding ruling on the issues that could arise in determining their tax liabilities at a later stage.

The FBR also informed the Chinese investors about the customs tariff concessions available under Pakistan Customs Tariff and imports under Pak-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The issues relating to the imports and applicability of duties and taxes on imports were also highlighted.

The FBR also informed the investors about the agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income signed between Pakistan and China. Tax authorities assured maximum facilitation to the new investors in Pakistan, sources added.



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Global

NEW YORK: Boeing announced Friday it would cut the production schedule of its 737 aircraft line following the two recent crashes that have seen the 737 MAX grounded worldwide.

The aerospace giant plans to trim production to 42 planes per month, down from 52 per month, starting in mid-April. Boeing shares tumbled after the disclosure, which was released just after the closing bell on Wall Street.

Boeing also announced it was establishing an advisory panel to review its company-wide policies for designing and developing planes.

The Federal Aviation Administration earlier this week said more work was needed before the aerospace giant could even submit a proposed fix that is believed to be a factor in the disasters.

Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg described the production cut as temporary and said it would not affect current employment levels for the 737 and related programs.

“We are coordinating closely with our customers as we work through plans to mitigate the impact of this adjustment,” Muilenburg said in a statement.

“We will also work directly with our suppliers on their production plans to minimize operational disruption and financial impact of the production rate change.”

Boeing has continued to manufacture 737s since the March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash killed 157 people, the second deadly crash in five months after an October 2018 Lion Air crash killed 189 people.

However, Boeing has been unable to make deliveries of the planes to customers, a key stoppage that will dent revenues. Boeing is scheduled to report first-quarter results on April 24.

On Thursday, an initial report by the Ethiopia Transport Ministry found that the crew of the doomed plane repeatedly followed procedures recommended by Boeing, confirming concerns about the flight control system on the plane.

Scrutiny has centered on the plane’s anti-stall system, Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, which is believed to be at least partly at fault.

The Washington Post on Thursday that US regulators had ordered Boeing to fix a second flight-control problem, not related to MCAS, but which officials nevertheless deemed critical to flight safety.

The head of the FAA faced tough questioning from a Senate panel last month. Top Boeing officials are expected at a follow-up hearing that could also be contentious.

Boeing said the new advisory panel will be led by retired US Navy Admiral Edmund Giambastiani, former vice chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The committee will confirm the effectiveness of our policies and processes for assuring the highest level of safety on the 737 MAX program, as well as our other airplane programs, and recommend improvements to our policies and procedures,” Muilenburg said.

“Safety is our responsibility and we own it.”

Shares of Boeing fell 2.3 percent to $382.92 in after-hours trading.

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Audit
The Audit Policy 2018 pertaining to Tax Year 2017 has been approved by the Federal Board of Revenue and a computer ballot was held at FBR (HQ). State Minister for Revenue Muhammad Hammad Azhar and Chairman FBR Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan announced the Audit Policy-2018 and inaugurated the balloting process, says a press release issued here on Friday.

The selection of cases this year has been done on parametric basis. Advanced data analytics have been used to design parameters to make sure that only non-compliant tax payers are selected. As a result, this year only 2.3% of total cases available for audit for Income Tax, Sales Tax, and FED have been selected compared with 7.5% cases selected in last year’s ballot.

For facilitation of taxpayers, this year the Tax Periods for Sales Tax and FED audit would be the corresponding accounting period adopted for the purpose of return of income under the Income Tax Ordinance 2001. In previous years, financial year was selected as Tax Period for all taxpayers, which caused undue hardship to those who had opted Special Tax Year for accounting purposes. Furthermore, the FBR has decided that taxpayers who have been audited in Income Tax in any of the preceding three Tax Years i.e. 2016, 15, and 14 and salaried individuals have been excluded from this year’s ballot. The Audit Policy 2018 and National Tax Numbers/CNIC of cases selected for audit have been placed on FBR’s website at www.fbr.gov.pk-PR

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