Mari Petroleum Gets Double Gas Flow Rate at Bannu

MPCL has announced that its Bannu gas field would provide gas at a doubled gas flow rate. This was possible as a result of extra technical and exploratory efforts. The gas flows at the well have doubled to 50 MMSCFD from initially reported flow rate of 25 MmsCFD.

MPCL is the operator of Bannu West Block, with 55 percent working interest along with the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and Zaver Petroleum Corporation (Pvt) Limited (ZPCL). The well was spud-in on 6 June 2021.

This is a promising development for Pakistan as other areas recorded in history have not offered much in major discoveries and overall gas production. Currently, there is little infrastructure available to transport gas, and it may take years to connect the new exploits to the national grid.

PSX Bleeds Over 2,000 Points After Govt Imposes ‘Super Tax’ on Large-Scale Industries

KSE-100 lost over 1,000 points after opening trade at 42,716.97. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced a 10 percent “super tax” on large-scale industries. Fertilizer, oil & gas, and cement were the top negative contributors to the bourse.

The KSE-100 index fell 4.83 percent after Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s speech. PM imposed a super tax on top industrial arms, including cement, steel, sugar, oil and gas, fertilizers, textile, banking, automobile, cigarettes, beverages, and chemicals.

Ghee and Cooking Oil Crisis Looms as Manufacturers Cut Production

Production of ghee and cooking oil halted or retarded in Pakistan due to the non-availability of raw materials. The industry has shared this alarming situation with the Ministry of Industries and Production. The meeting was held with Industry Secretary Imdad Ullah Bosal on Monday.

The Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA) held an exclusive meeting with the Minister for Industries and Production. The association sought information on the costing of vegetable ghee and cooking oil in compliance with price control and prevention of profiteering order 2021.

On the sidelines of meetings, factors such as low domestic stocks of edible oil, depreciation in the value of the Pakistani Rupee, and other compulsions adversely affecting the price movement of end products (ghee/cooking oil) were also discussed by Pakistan’s top officials.

The arrival of cargoes is of those contracts executed in March/April at a price range of $1,750 – 1,850 per ton. At the time of the opening of L/Cs, the US Dollar was at a parity of Pakistan Rupee 182; today, it is Rs 210.

Industry players have now started placing orders for Chinese goods, despite the noticeable uncertainties and substantial financial risk factors. However, under the above-stated unprecedented and highly unpredictable state of affairs, many importers and manufacturers had been reluctant to execute further orders due to political and economic uncertainty.

PVMA said that almost half of the manufacturing units have halted or retarded their production and thus may not be able to comply with the latest costing requirement. Therefore, it requested that the notice be withheld till such a time when domestic stocks are normalized, the budget is formalized, and market forces are stabilized.

Court Summons Habib Metropolitan Bank Officials for Dodging FBR

The Special Judge Customs, Taxation, and Anti-smuggling Rawalpindi/Islamabad has issued summons to Habib Metropolitan Bank officials for dodging the tax authorities. The accused, including the Manager of Operations Metropolitan Bank, appeared before the court on June 21, 2022.

The five accused were holding money on behalf of a taxpayer company-in-default, M/s Tahir Builders (Private) Limited. Income tax demand of Rs. 267.9 million was outstanding and recoverable against the taxpayer because of default u/s 122(5A) of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

The recovery notice u/s 140 read with rule 69 of Income Tax Rules, 2022, was served to Manager Operations Habib Metropolitan Bank, on 6 June 2022, for the recovery of tax dues. However, the bank officials did not debit block the taxpayer’s bank account maintained at their branch.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has said that the bank officials, in connivance with the taxpayer, transferred an amount of Rs. 20.05 million from their account on the same day, i.e., 6 June 2022. This violated notice u/s 140 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001.

Habib Metropolitan Bank Limited and Chief Compliance Officer were fully aware of the fact and willfully and knowingly aided and abetted the accused officials in committing the offenses. They are liable to be prosecuted under sections 196 and 199 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has withdrawn the notice under section 140 of the income tax ordinance 2001 against M/s Tahir Builders. The information sought to recover Rs. 267.9 million from Mr. Tahir’s bank account, which was granted a stay by an appellate tribunal.

Rs. 750 Billion Petroleum Levy Target Could Make Petrol and Diesel Costlier

The federal government has set a target to collect Rs. 750 billion on the petroleum development levy in the next fiscal year 2022-23. The previous government had set a levy collection target of Rs. 610 billion. However, in the revised estimates, it was brought down to Rs. 135 billion.

Minister for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha said the government has no plan to immediately impose the petroleum development levy. She added that the focus is to remove the subsidies on petroleum products. The minister said the target is to achieve by the end of the year.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the government may impose a levy on petroleum products, including petrol and diesel, from next year. The levy could also be imposed if oil prices decline in the international market, she said during her maiden speech at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

The government is projected to collect Rs. 750 billion on account of petroleum development levy in the next fiscal year 2022-23, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said. However, the minister did not confirm whether a commitment had been made with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Pakistan Completes 26 CPEC Projects Worth $17 Billion

CPEC is a flagship project of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), where Pakistan and China have successfully launched 56 projects on the ground. Twenty-six projects worth approximately US$17 billion have been completed, and 30 projects worth US$ 8.5 billion are under construction.

36 projects having an estimated cost of US$ 28.4 billion are also under different stages of negotiations for inclusion in the framework.

CPEC is being expanded in the following areas:

  • Trade & Market Access
  • Industrial Development & Global Value Chains
  • Socio-Economic Development & Poverty Alleviation
  • Agriculture Modernization & Marketing
  • Sciences & Technology Cooperation
  • Blue Economy
  • Regional Connectivity & Third Country Participation

The Government of Pakistan considers CPEC as a long-term development project as it has the potential to serve as a corridor with multiple doors connecting China with Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Therefore, the government is expanding the scope of CPEC so that it becomes a “Gateway of Prosperity” for both countries and the region at large.

These include the Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway, Peshawar-D.I.Khan Motorway (M-14), KKH Alternative Route (Gilgit-Shandor-Chitral) and Dir Expressway.

FBR Issues List of Big Retailers Still Not Integrated with PoS System

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued a list of 113 unregistered retailers (Tier-1) who are required to be integrated with its Point of Sale (PoS) system. In addition, the FBR issued sales tax general order (STGO) 18 of 2022 here on Saturday.

The number of big retailers (Tier-1) required to be integrated with the PoS system has drastically decreased from 297 to 113. Therefore, the board has decided to raise sales tax demand against these retailers, who are still not integrated by June 10, 2022.

According to the FBR, a system-based approach has been adopted to operationalize this vital provision of law.

The exclusion procedure from this list of 113 identified Tier-I should apply as laid down in STGO 17 of 2022 dated May 13, 2022, FBR added.

PSX Gains Over 980 Points After Govt Withdraws Fuel Subsidies

The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) rallied in the week’s last trading session. The benchmark KSE-100 index gained as much as 983 points or 2.3 percent after rising to 43,524 points within the first two hours of the opening bell.

After the first trading session on Friday, the market was at a 43,484 level, up by 943 points. The market will resume trading at 2:30 pm after the Jummah Break following the weekend’s break for the Christmas celebrations in Abu Dhabi.

Analysts believe that the coalition government’s withdrawal of subsidies on petroleum products worked as a positive precursor for investors. Moreover, the decision was urgently made after the government and the International Monetary Fund disagreed on a financial bailout due to the former’s reluctance to take tough economic decisions.

Countrywide Protests Costing Rs. 100-150 Billion per Day: Economists

The countrywide road blockades and supply chain disruptions amid the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Azadi March have caused an estimated loss of around Rs. 100-150 billion a day to the national economy. Economists and industrialists stated this in a conversation with ProPakistani.

Pakistan’s GDP is $383 billion, which means over one billion dollars per day. The country suffers a loss of around Rs. 200 billion per day if there is a nationwide standstill. 50-70 per cent of the country came to a standstill on Wednesday due to the road blockade.

The President of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) said that the closure of main roads had suspended economic activity in the country. He said the blockade had disrupted the supply chain, which ultimately increased the misery of the masses.

The RCCI has repeatedly demanded that all political parties must sign a charter of the economy, he said.

Marks and Spencer pulls out of Russia following 17 years

Marks and Spencer say it will ultimately leave the Russian market following the intrusion of Ukraine.

Marks and Spencer have said it will fully exit its Russian franchise. The news comes as the firm reported a pre-tax profit of £392m for 2 April – up from a loss of £209m the previous year.

However, the company warned that it expects sales growth to slow due to rising costs and increased customer pressure.

Family spending plans are being just barely gotten by rising food, energy and fuel bills, with expansion, the rate at which costs a cost, hitting 9% in April – the most elevated level for a very long time.

M&S cautions online deals duty will harm High Street
The Western brands unfit to leave Russia
M&S, reprimanded for not pulling out of Russia toward the beginning of the conflict, said it would confront £31m hits from its exit.

Its Russian arm is run by Turkish company FiBA, which operates 48 shops under the M&S banner in the country with 1,200 employees. Hundreds of international brands have left Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in February.

Marks and Spencer posted revenue of £10.8bn in the 12 months to April – up almost 7% on pre-pandemic levels. It said it had seen strong performance in its clothing and home operation, driven by a 55.6% surge in online sales.