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Pakistan and the European Union have agreed on cooperation in energy conservation and energy efficiency.

In this regard, the power division will send a high-level delegation comprising government officials and private-sector experts to the EU for participation in a workshop with European experts and professionals.

The understanding was reached in a meeting between Federal Minister for Power Division Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari and EU Ambassador Jean-Francois Cautain on Wednesday. 

They also agreed that the European Investment Bank would be invited to the workshop in order to explore different options relating to financing energy projects in Pakistan. The envoy said the investment bank was keenly examining the fast expanding power sector in Pakistan and it would be considering assisting the country in running tube wells on solar power in Balochistan.

He highlighted that the EU was already working closely with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government on a number of renewable energy projects, most of which were hydroelectric power plants.

He assured the minister that the EU would continue to provide assistance to Pakistan in the energy sector.

Referring to the planned workshop in the EU, Leghari said after bridging the demand and supply gap, now it was highly important that Pakistani consumers should be educated about the consumption of electricity.

“The awareness will not only save money for the consumers, but will also help in efficient utilisation of the existing generation capacity as the saving of one megawatt is far better than the generation of one megawatt,” he said.

He invited the European Investment Bank and other potential assistance partners in the EU for assisting in the establishment of Pakistan’s first renewable energy institute.

The minister revealed that he was meeting the Higher Education Commission chairman later in the day for picking a suitable university in Pakistan for setting up the institute. He suggested that both the Power Division and the EU embassy should appoint focal persons to frequently interact on matters relating to energy cooperation between the two sides. The envoy agreed to the proposal.

Highlighting salient features of the government’s plan to run about 30,000 tube wells on solar energy in Balochistan, the minister invited the EU to take part in the process.




Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has started conducting ground surveys in a bid to increase the tax base of Pakistan. The initiative by FBR comes in after Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan issued directives of doing something effective to increase the tax base.

FBR has started mapping the plazas and high-rise residential buildings to identify the non-filers and non-tax payers of Pakistan. FBR will map all such buildings that have been built in the past 10 years. After the mapping target is achieved, FBR will start surveys in the housing societies as well.

The process of mapping is already underway as 450 plazas have been mapped so far. FBR collects information about buyers from the plaza’s owners and uses the information to send tax notices to defaulters.

The commissioner of Broadening of Tax Base has already issued notices to over 33,000 individuals after the first exercise.

FBR further collected the data of buildings from the property website as well.

According to this data, there are over 550 plazas in Islamabad and each of them is valued around Rs 500 million. Furthermore, there are 70 malls in the federal capital with a net worth between Rs 1 billion and Rs 2 billion each.

97 people bought apartments in Islamabad Heights alone. 40 of these are not registered as tax filers. FBR says that the board will send tax return filing notices to these 40 people as well.

According to the law, anyone who earns more than Rs 400,000 annually must file income tax returns. Statistics say that 60% of corporate employees do not file the returns despite paying the taxes.

Overall, the number of filers decreased for the year 2017 from fiscal year 2016. In 2016, 1.4 million people filed tax returns while that number reduced to 1.22 million in tax year 2017.



The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has recorded provisional net revenue collection of over Rs 2 trillion during first seven months of the current financial year against Rs 1,699 billion collected during the same period of the previous fiscal year, recording an increase of more than Rs 300 billion. During January 2018, the FBR yet again replicates its robust performance by surpassing 2 trillion mark in the first seven months of the current fiscal year. When the government took over in 2013, the net revenue collection for the entire year was less than Rs 1.95 trillion. The provisional collection for January 2018 stood at Rs 272 billion excluding collection on account of book adjustments which may range between Rs 2 to 3 billion, said a press release.

The figure of monthly collection is extremely encouraging as Rs 228 billion was collected during January 2017 showing an increase by more than 19 percent. The increase is despite issuing Rs 3 billion more tax refunds in January 2018 as compared to refunds issued during the corresponding period of previous fiscal year. Moreover, figures of collection received in the treasuries of the remote areas may further swell the revenue figures. The target for the year has been fixed with an annual increase of around 19 percent over the previous year.

During first seven months of the current financial year, the FBR has recorded provisional net revenue collection of over Rs 2 trillion against Rs 1,699 billion collected during the same period of the previous fiscal year, recording an increase of more than Rs 300 billion.-PR