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Sindh Revenue Board should review unjust 10 percent GST on Security Agencies: Muffasar Malik

Karachi, December 07, 2017 (PPI-OT):President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Muffasar Atta Malik, after thoroughly listening to the grievances being faced by Security Agencies in smoothly carrying out their businesses, assured that the Karachi Chamber, being the largest Chamber and actual representative of the business and industrial community, will approach Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) for holding a meeting at the earliest in order to discuss and review the unjust 10 percent General Sales Tax (GST) on Security Services.

Exchanging views with members of a delegation from All Pakistan Security Agencies Association (APSAA) who were led by Chairman APSAA Maj. (Retd.) Munir Ahmed during their visit to Karachi Chamber, Muffasar Malik said that SRB should review the unjust 10 percent GST on Security Services which had been raised earlier during the last visit of Chief Minister Sindh to KCCI who immediately directed Chairman Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) to discuss the same with relevant stakeholders but unfortunately, neither any meeting was held nor any follow up was carried out. KCCI will seriously take up this matter on priority basis in order to provide some relief to Security Agencies and their clients.

Senior Vice President KCCI Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, Vice President Rehan Hanif, Honorary General Secretary APSAA Tauqir ul Islam and others members of APSAA delegation and KCCI’s Managing Committee were also present at the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman APSAA Maj. (Retd.) Munir Ahmed said that it was the prime responsibility of the government to ensure security to the lives and property of citizens but as it was not being done effectively, the business community finds no other option but to hire private security guards, which results in additional expenses on security whereas the unjust GST on Security Agencies has further exacerbated the situation.

He said that it was highly unfair to levy GST on complete invoice value instead of only charging on Service Charges, which, if done, would substantially reduce the cost. He said that providing security services is a very difficult job yet they are trying to deliver the best services as per expectations but it was very unfortunate that this important Services Industry suffer badly due to lack of support from the government. “The situation has slightly improved as some recognition is now being given to APSAA but overall, we are largely being ignored and continue to face discrimination”, he added.

Seeking KCCI’s support in convincing the authorities to review the unjust GST on Security Services, he said that Security Agencies in Sindh are paying 10 percent GST whereas 16 percent GST is applicable in Punjab while the other two provinces were also levying double digit GST which has to be withdrawn or reduced to curtail the high cost of Security Services borne by clients who in first place should have been provided security by the State free of cost.

Maj. (Retd.) Munir Ahmed sought KCCI’s assistance in convincing the authorities to make APSAA’s membership mandatory for all Security Agencies operating in Pakistan which would certainly help in improving the quality of service. Earlier, while welcoming the delegation members, President KCCI Muffasar Malik said that the Karachi Chamber is ready to provide full support and cooperation to APSAA for resolving any issue being faced by them in smoothly carrying out their businesses.

President KCCI, while expressing deep concern over deteriorating quality of security services being provided by various agencies, informed that the quality of service has been descending due to rising cost. He was of the view that Security Agencies in Pakistan were already facing difficult time and such unjust imposition of taxes have worsened the situation. APSAA delegation members asked Karachi Chamber to support APSAA in raising awareness about legal and illegal Security Agencies particularly amongst members of the business community.

They said that Personal Guards, who are usually seen carrying private weapons and wearing blue uniform, simply cannot be considered as Private Security Guards from any Security Agency. It has been observed that majority of these private guards are hired individually and are not part of any Security Agency but they look alike and also give an impression of being a Guard from Security Agency which is not factual and creates a bad impression about all the Security Agencies, particularly when these private guards are involved in any mishap.

They stressed that these Private Guards and Private Security Guards have to be classified to avoid the confusion. In this regard, a unique uniform or any other identification has to be introduced and strictly implemented to differentiate between the two categories of guards.

For more information, contact:
Director Press/Electronic Media and Public Relations
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road, Off Shahrah-e-Liaquat,
Karachi-74000
Phone: +92-21-99218001-09
Fax: +92-21-99218040
Email: info@kcci.com.pk, secretary@kcci.com.pk
Website: www.kcci.com.pk

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Need to create strong liaison between KCCI, TPCC stressed

Karachi, November 17, 2017 (PPI-OT):President of Thai-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce (TPCC) Firdous Ali has underscored the need to initiate a strong liaison between the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and Thai-Pakistan Chamber to assist the business communities of both countries in finding the right and reliable partners for business.

Exchanging views with KCCI Office Bearers and Managing Committee members during his visit to Karachi Chamber, Firdous Ali added that Thai businessmen have been facing immense hardship in identifying the right partners for business in Pakistan and the same must also be happening when Pakistani business community will also be looking forward to enhance trade with Thai business community. “It has been observed in numerous cases that business deals remained unsuccessful and Thai businessmen were ‘robbed’ by some unscrupulous elements. Therefore, in order to effectively deal with this issue, close collaboration between TPCC and KCCI is a must”, he added.

President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik, Senior Vice President Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, Vice President Rehan Hanif and KCCI Managing Committee members attended the meeting. President TPCC stressed that KCCI should exchange information about reliable businessmen and the same will also be done by TPCC in response to KCCI’s inquiry about any Thai businessman, ensuring successful deals between business communities of the two countries, besides helping in building the confidence, reputation and the image of Pakistan.

While commenting on Free Trade Agreement (FTA), President TPCC said that Thai business community anxiously awaits signing of FTA between Pakistan and Thailand which was taking too long. He was fairly optimistic that the much-awaited FTA will be inked in the next four to five months which would prove beneficial for both sides.

He said that TPCC was formed in 2005 and comprises of business community members of Pakistani origin who have been living and success doing business in Thailand. As compared to KCCI, TPCC is a small chamber but it enjoys close liaison with all other Chambers in Thailand and efforts are being made to encourage Thai businessmen to become TPCC members which can be approached for any kind of assistance.

He informed that TPCC was also a member of Joint Foreign Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT) which comprises of representatives from Chambers of Commerce around the world including UK, India, Sri Lanka, Canada and Japan etc. He advised KCCI to become member of JFCCT where business community representatives from some of the important markets gather under JFCCT umbrella to discuss matters of mutual interest. Firdous Ali further requested Karachi Chamber to arrange a visit of KCCI’s delegation to Thailand which will be fully assisted by TPCC in order to make the delegation’s visit successful and result-oriented.

Speaking on the occasion, President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik assured that KCCI will look into the possibility of sharing information about credible businessmen and industrialists with TPCC in order to ensure prosperous businesses and growth in trade relations between the two countries. “In this regard, KCCI has inked many MoUs with Chambers of Commerce around the world and we will look into the possibility of having a similar MoU with TPCC as well which would help in finding the right business partners”, he added.

He said that Pakistan’s perception was terribly tarnished during the past so many years mainly due to negative reporting by the western media but now as the situation has radically improved, there is a dire need to project the improved security situation across Pakistan in order to clarify numerous misconceptions. He was of the opinion that this was the right time to invest in Pakistan, particularly Karachi as the country is going to witness substantial economic growth in the next five to ten years due to unlimited opportunities emerging out of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

CPEC’s first phase comprising construction of roads and electricity supply will be completed by June 2018 which will be followed by construction of 9 Special Economic Zones (Two in each province and one in Gilgit-Baltistan) as well. Two of these SEZs will be established in Karachi where Thai business and industrial community can set up their business either exclusively or through joint ventures with their counterparts in Pakistan, he added.

Muffasar Malik was of the opinion that great potential exists to enhance bilateral trade, investment and cooperation between Pakistan and Thailand. The signing of FTA would certainly yield good result by enhancing Pak-Thai trade volume from the existing $1 billion to $2 billion within the span of next five years.

“Furthermore, there exist potential to collaborate in the field of trade, culture, infrastructure development, science and technology, defense, education and tourism”, he opined adding that the Karachi Chamber was keen to strengthen trade ties and explore new bilateral trade prospects with Thailand as Pakistan’s improved relations and enhanced trade with countries like Thailand would surely help in dealing with numerous economic challenges being faced by the country and prove favourable in further strengthening the existing trade ties between the two countries.

President KCCI, while inviting Thai business community to participate in 15th My Karachi Exhibition, requested President TPCC to extend support and cooperation towards promoting KCCI’s Exhibition scheduled to be organized in the month of April next year which would provide a perfect platform to Thai businessmen and Industrialists to showcase their products and services in front of more than 1 million visitors of the exhibition.

For more information, contact:
Director Press/Electronic Media and Public Relations
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road, Off Shahrah-e-Liaquat,
Karachi-74000
Phone: +92-21-99218001-09
Fax: +92-21-99218040
Email: info@kcci.com.pk, secretary@kcci.com.pk
Website: www.kcci.com.pk

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State-of-the-art Display Center to be established in Malaysia: Nafees

Karachi, November 16, 2017 (PPI-OT):Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Muhammad Nafees Zakaria has informed that a state-of-the-art Display Center will be established at Pakistan’s High Commission in Malaysia which will be created with the support and cooperation of the business and industrial community.

“A Single Country Exhibition will also be organized in Malaysia in the month of April next year and we will ensure that this exhibition do not clashes with the dates of Karachi Chamber’s My Karachi Exhibition which is also set to be staged in April”, he informed while exchanging views during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Envoy requested Karachi Chamber to participate in the Single Country Exhibition in Malaysia and help in identifying numerous sectors which should be focused in this event. President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik, Senior Vice President Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, Vice President Rehan Hanif, Former President Majyd Aziz and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present at the meeting.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner assured that during his three years long tenure, he would make all-out efforts to rebuild the image of Pakistan and improve its perception by highlighting the true colours and actual potential of this country.

“I am fully committed but I cannot achieve the desired goals without the support and cooperation of business community. I will strive really hard to look for the right Malaysian businessmen and industrialists, particularly from the Pakistani diaspora who are keen to enhance trade with Pakistan”, Nafees Zakaria said, “I will not only be focusing on enhancing trade but will equally be concentrating on furthering the political relations which are essential to facilitate trade”, he added.

He was of the opinion that Pakistan’s exports have been shrinking as the industrialization has squeezed and the local production was narrowing, leaving no surplus for exports whereas the value addition is also being ignored by Pakistani manufacturers and raw material was largely being exported which was the basic reason behind the descending exports.

He advised the business and industrial community of Karachi to exports finest quality goods as these products represent Pakistan so they have to be completely flawless. Pakistani exporters usually remain engaged in exporting traditional items including textiles, rice, surgical and sports goods etc. whereas many other important products including fisheries, dairy products and basmati rice etc. have not been tapped which have to be introduced in different markets around the world including Malaysia.

In this regard, Nafees Zakaria advised KCCI to carry out a detailed study which must focus on identifying those Pakistani products and services which can be exported to Malaysian market. “Although it was a small market of 30 million population but other important markets within the proximity of Malaysia including Vietnam, Thailand and Brunei must also be taken into consideration while formulating this study which can be tapped by Pakistani exporters whereas the Malaysian business community could also explore opportunities available not only in Pakistan but also in its neighbouring countries”, he added.

Referring to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, he advised KCCI to fully involve in this project by constantly remaining in touch with the Planning Division as it has been observed that the business community is not much acquainted with the significance and developments of this project. The business community of Karachi must identify the areas of investment in CPEC project and accordingly devise strategies to fully benefit from this project.

Earlier, President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik, in his remarks, pointed out that Pakistan exported goods worth $138.53 million to Malaysia whereas its imports stood at $924.52 million, indicating the overall trade volume heavily in favour of Malaysia. “Pakistan’s High Commission must take serious steps to make trade volume between the two countries balanced and any initiative taken, in this regard by the High Commission will be fully supported by Karachi Chamber”, he added.

To improve Pakistan’s trade and investment ties with Malaysia, the paramount interest of Pakistan’s High Commission should be to rebuild the image of Pakistan, particularly Karachi where the security situation has substantially improved.

Referring to High Commissioner’s suggestions about CPEC, President KCCI said that the government has been facilitating the Chinese business community only whereas not much attention and acquaintance about this project was being provided to the business and industrial community of Karachi. “CPEC will not be successful if the government continues to pay attention to Chinese businessmen and investors only whereas the local business community is largely ignored”, he added.

He was of the view that the business community of Karachi, which deserves to be saluted, has continued to carry out their activities despite so many odds including widespread corruption, poor law and order, rigid taxation policies and massive discretionary powers. “We, the business community of Karachi, require a level playing field and one-window operations in order to enhance exports”, President KCCI stressed.

On the occasion, Muffasar Malik sought High Commissioner’s assistance in effectively promoting Karachi Chamber’s 15th My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony Exhibition amongst Malaysian business community. The three-day long exhibition scheduled to be organized on 20th, 21st and 22nd April 2018 will provide a perfect opportunity to Malaysian business community to showcase their products and services in front of more than 1 million visitors, he added.

For more information, contact:
Director Press/Electronic Media and Public Relations
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road, Off Shahrah-e-Liaquat,
Karachi-74000
Phone: +92-21-99218001-09
Fax: +92-21-99218040
Email: info@kcci.com.pk, secretary@kcci.com.pk
Website: www.kcci.com.pk

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Income/ Sales Tax Returns 2017: Muffasar Malik demands extension in last date up to December 31

Karachi, November 14, 2017 (PPI-OT):President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Muffasar Atta Malik has demanded that the last date for filing Income Tax/ Sales Tax Returns has to be extended by up to December 31, 2017, which would enable those taxpayers who had been facing problems in filing their returns due to numerous reasons, to submit their returns.

In a statement issued, Muffasar Malik said that many taxpayers may not be able to file returns by November 15, 2017 due to slow processing and constant congestions in the Online System, IRIS. He noted that IRIS servers were too busy due to excessive load as large number of taxpayers were simultaneously filing Income Tax/ Sales Tax Returns under section 147 and monthly statement under section 165 of the Income Tax Ordinance.

President KCCI said that the complications in online system were not something new to taxpayers as every year, submitting returns usually becomes an uphill task. He requested the FBR to seriously focus on enhancing the capacity of its online system which was not even capable of smoothly handling a meagre number of less than 1 percent registered taxpayers. “FBR must consider all these aspects and accordingly provide relief to loyal taxpayers by extending the last date for filing returns up to December 31, 2017”, he added.

For more information, contact:
Director Press/Electronic Media and Public Relations
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road, Off Shahrah-e-Liaquat,
Karachi-74000
Phone: +92-21-99218001-09
Fax: +92-21-99218040
Email: info@kcci.com.pk, secretary@kcci.com.pk
Website: www.kcci.com.pk

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BMG, KCCI strongly condemn arrest of Hameed Agar, urge Chairman NAB to take notice

Karachi, November 02, 2017 (PPI-OT):The leadership of Businessmen Group (BMG) and Office Bearers of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), while expressed deep concerns over the abrupt arrest of Abdul Hameed Agar by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Karachi, said that the bonafide and reputable businessman, who happens to be the brother of Former President KCCI Haroon Agar, has been arrested on charge of an alleged Sales Tax Refund of a meagre amount of just Rs. 150,000/- without serving any notice prior to the arrest which must be strongly deplored.

In a statement issued, Chairman Businessmen Group and Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, Vice Chairmen BMG and Former Presidents KCCI Tahir Khaliq, Zubair Motiwala, Haroon Farooki and Anjum Nisar, President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik, Senior Vice President KCCI Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak and Vice President KCCI M. Rehan Hanif stated that in this regard, a letter has been sent to Chairman NAB Justice (Retd.) Javed Iqbal in which the arrest of Abdul Hameed Agar has been strongly condemned as this unjust move by NAB Karachi has triggered a great deal of unrest amongst businessmen and industrialists.

They said that the entire business and industrial community of Karachi criticizes the way NAB Karachi has executed such a stern action against a reputable businessman Hameed Agar, who has been doing business since past many years and holds a spotless record. Karachi Chamber has never ever received any kind of complaint against him.

BMG Leadership and KCCI Office Bearers pointed out that it was highly unfair on part of NAB Karachi to arrest such reputable businessmen without fulfilling the basic requirements of serving notices and seeking explanation by summoning the accused at NAB Office prior to the arrest. The arrest should only be made, if the accused fails to respond to NAB’s notices or avoids to appear before the Bureau. Such a humiliating behaviour towards bonafide and reputable members of the Karachi Chamber has intensified anxiety amongst business and industrial community and is likely to trigger the trust-deficit which is neither in the interest of NAB nor in favour of the country, they added.

They further stated that instead of taking such an unjust action against Hameed Agar and issuing an official press release about the same which resulted in terribly defaming a reputable businessman, NAB officials should have brought this issue to KCCI’s knowledge and the Chamber should have been taken into confidence prior to the arrest, which would have certainly resolved this issue in an amicable manner without creating an embarrassing situation for the accused and his family members.

They categorically stated that the Karachi Chamber never supports any culprit or tax evader. If NAB shares the evidences and information against any businessman or industrialist with KCCI, which will strictly be kept confidential, the situation would not be as bad as seen in this particular case. “After reviewing all the evidences, if we also find the accused guilty of conducting any wrongdoing, the Karachi Chamber would personally hand him over to NAB, which would help in saving the dignity and self-respect of many reputable businessmen and industrialists who are playing an indispensable and commendable role in the economic development of the country by loyally and honestly paying their due taxes”, they added.

They stressed that Chairman NAB must take strict notice of the situation in order to restore the confidence of business and industrial community by directing his sub-ordinates to refrain from such tactics being used to harass the honest, bonafide and reputable members of the Business and Industrial community.

For more information, contact:
Director Press/Electronic Media and Public Relations
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road, Off Shahrah-e-Liaquat,
Karachi-74000
Phone: +92-21-99218001-09
Fax: +92-21-99218040
Email: info@kcci.com.pk, secretary@kcci.com.pk
Website: www.kcci.com.pk

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