Official website for KFC Pakistan, a global fast food chain that specializes in fried chicken products, has been taken offline by its service provider for non-payment of its hosting dues.
Following message is being displayed when KFCPakistan.com is accessed:
The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.
This shows how irresponsible multi national companies can get.
It merits mentioning here that KFC remains hot seller during Ramadan and they happen to advertise their website over conventional and digital media during the month of Ramadan, which is now likely to get wasted due to missed hits.
While foreign banks are exiting from Pakistan, European and American investors in particular, Pakistan’s very own, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) has become the first ever bank of the country to cross the `One Trillion Rupee’ bench mark with more than 16500 employees and 1277 branch network across Pakistan and 23 overseas branches and representative offices in four countries.
“The bank is engaged in providing commercial banking and related services in Pakistan and overseas. The bank also handles treasury transactions for the Government of Pakistan as an agent to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)”, Syed Ibne Hassan Spokesman and Vice President of the Bank said in a statement issued last week.
Syed Ibne Hassan said that the bank also provides services as trustee to National Investment Trust (NIT), Long-Term Credit Fund (LTCF) and Endowment Fund for student loans scheme.
He said that National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) is leading in agriculture financing among other banks and financial institutions in the country by lending Rs 33.013 billion among nearly 176,372 farmers between July 2011 to March 2012, against a target of Rs 32.400 billion by SBP for nine months.
He further said that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has fixed an indicative lending target of Rs 280 billion for the financial year 2011-12, out of this NBP’s Share is highest after ZTBL.
Highest Credit Rating for any Bank
Thanks to these deposits, Credit Rating Company JCR-VIS has reaffirmed the entity ratings of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) at (Triple A/A-One Plus) with ‘Stable’ Outlook, highest for any bank in Pakistan.
These ratings also incorporate the sovereign ownership of the bank, the outstanding guarantee of the government of Pakistan as security against deposits and the bank’s status as treasury to the government.
Pakistan State Oil, country’s largest oil marketing company, which has been on a verge of destruction might get Rs 45 Billion from finance ministry, different news sources are quoting.
Just a week ago, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, in a letter to recently elected Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, has immediately sought grant of Rs 1,200 Crore on daily basis to save cash-starved Pakistan State Oil (PSO) from bankruptcy.
It was also learn that owing to the bankruptcy of the PSO, the supply of furnace oil to the power sector would witness a decrease by notable margin, which would also cause a decline in the power generation by 5,000MW.
According to different market sources, ministry of petroleum took up this issue with energy committee chaired by the prime minister himself.
Current Financials of PSO
Receivables of PSO, mainly from the power companies are standing at Rs 237 billion while the company has to pay back Rs179 billion to its international and local suppliers.
Its worth mentioning here that PSO needs immediate release of Rs23.5 billion to retire letters of credit on Friday to ensure supply of 28,000 tons of oil per day to the power sector as directed by the Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf.
Standard Chartered Pakistan successfully closed a ten year Rs 250 Crore of Unsecured Subordinated Term Finance Certificate (TFC) issue as a Sole Lead Arranger.
The issue represents the largest offering in Pakistan by any financial institution in 2012.
Standard Chartered remains well capitalised with a capital adequacy ratio of 12.9pc compared to requirement of 10pc as 31 December 2011. The issue proceeds shall contribute further towards the Bank’s Tier II supplementary capital.In light of the Bank’s strong brand and AAA rating in Pakistan, the issue was well received by investors and oversubscribed.
The issue size was inclusive of a green shoe option of Rs 50 Crore, enabling the issue to be upsized for the entire green shoe option amount and issued at Rs 250 Crore.
Commenting on the issue, Mohsin Nathani, Chief Executive, Standard Chartered Pakistan, said: “Standard Chartered, consistent with our brand promise of being Here for Good for our clients, offers banking solutions and products that greatly enhance our clients’ efficiency. This landmark transaction is a testament of how the Bank remains at the forefront of the debt capital markets industry in Pakistan.”
Cellular companies are under the hammer of National Accountability Bureau for allegedly evading tax payment that they earn through interconnection charges collected from mobile phone customers.
NAB has said that the tax evasion amounts to Rs. 47 billion and mobile companies must pay this tax to avoid consequences.
However, cellular companies are naturally trying to save this money by not paying the tax – though, at the same time, they have offered the government to waive the tax till now and get tax deducted on interconnection charges from July 1st, 2012. Request was turned down by the authorities, we have learned.
Cellular companies have now collectively written a letter to Prime Minister of Pakistan to explain their viewpoint and to seek his sympathy and probably support too, in getting rid of NAB enquiry.
Here is the letter (which reached to us through a source, while a copy of it was produced in The News today)
We want to draw your kind attention to the recent media reports that have given the inaccurate and unwarranted impression that the telecom operators have evaded tax on interconnect calls and that some exemption is being allowed to the operators under Section 65 of the Sales Tax Act, 1999.
We would like to apprise that all cellular mobile operators (CMOs) are multinational companies (MNCs) working under the direct control of their foreign parent companies/investors. Being multinational companies, the CMOs are therefore required to strictly follow the corporate governance procedures and under the guidelines of their shareholding groups as well as adhering to the governing legal framework of the countries they are operating in. These are also subject to group internal audit and statutory audit requirements which ensure transparency and legal compliance.
It is pertinent to mention that mobile telecommunication is THE LARGEST tax collecting and paying sector at the moment. The total contribution of the telecom sector to national exchequer for finance year 2011-12 was in excess of Rs. 120 billion. This is in addition to billions paid as other fees and levies to the federal and provincial governments and their concerned authorities.
Furthermore, this is noteworthy to be mentioned here that the telecom operators are making a significant contribution towards the overall economy of the country by making 5% contribution ($79m) in the total foreign direct investment made in the country in FY2011, Rs117b contribution towards the national exchequer in FY2011 and a total of around 1.4m direct and indirect jobs created by the telecom industry.
Over the past couple of years the telecom industry has shown slower growth as compared to earlier years due to the grave challenges faced by the industry. Despite all the grave challenges the telecom operators have provided their best services to the customers and are still expanding to serve the untouched areas with most modern infrastructure, which shows their commitment in terms of service provision and roll out obligations.
This is to inform that based on the caller party pays regime implemented by PTA; the calling party is required to pay FED for the entire charges of telephone call (calling party network + receiving party network) which is subjected to tax in sales tax mode @ 19.5%.
We believe that
- Department cannot collect tax beyond what is due on telephone calls;
- Total tax on the telephone call has already been deposited in retail mode;
- No tax is due on interconnect as it is mere after tax sharing of revenue on which tax has been collected/deposited on gross amount by each of the concerned telecom operator from whose network the call was initiated;
- Departmental contention that tax should be paid in two parts by the calling party network and receiving party network is a mere procedural matter with no additional tax revenue for the government;
- Arbitrary proceedings contrary to sales tax mode cannot survive the test of appeals.
Further, to avoid litigation the telecom operators offered to adopt the procedure proposed by the department who in turn provided waiver of past practice of industry under Section 65 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990 through notification issued by Revenue Division on June 30, 2012 which was proposed to be published in official gazette effective 30th June 2012. Please note that there was no loss to the government exchequer as alleged in the news media.
The notification issued was to ensure that CMOs may not be subjected to litigation on procedural matters. Needless to mention that in the past Revenue Division has issued numerous procedural waivers through notifications issued under Section 65 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990, being fully within its powers. Accordingly, the impression being created by some quarters as to tax evasion by telecom operators is incorrect and based on insufficient understanding of facts and related provisions of law.
We therefore request your august authority to please give us an opportunity to present correct state of affairs to your good self and your intervention and directions to the authorities including NAB to stop media trial and harassment of the telecom companies as there is no factor of corruption or loss to government exchequer involved therein even in terms of Section 9 of the NAB Ordinance, 1999. Simultaneously, directions may be given to FBR to withdraw the cases related to interconnect from all forums being baseless and against the interest of the economy of Pakistan.
Moreover, we would also request for the gazette notification of the above referred SRO issued by FBR on 30th June 2012 as well. However, if that SRO is not formally notified by the government, then since there is no loss of revenue to the national exchequer, the current practice of collecting and depositing FED in GST mode by he originating operator covering both the originating and terminating operators, which is based upon CPP (caller party pays) regime promulgated by government itself, should continue as it is. Accordingly, suitable amendments in relevant laws should be made, if deemed necessary and, as such, all proceedings by tax authorities against telecom operators in this regard should be dropped.
According to different news sources, National Accountability Bureau, also known as NAB, is planning to put the name of Haider Mumtaz Rizvi, former chairman of Federal Board of Revenue, on Exit Control List while there is an investigation in process for a tax evasion case of Rs 47 Billion.
According to the official order issued by NAB, the names of former FBR chairman Mumtaz Haider Rizvi, Inland Revenue Member Shahid Hussain Asad, and Chief of Sales Tax/Federal Excise Duty Abdul Sattar Aora, have been forwarded to the Ministry of Interior to be put on the ECL.
The tax evasion case of Rs 47 billion includes a principal amount of Rs 26 billion owed by five cellular service providers since 2007. Tax auditors at FBR had pointed out the discrepancy in 2010.
The cellular companies in question had approached the office of the Commissioner Inland Revenue on the matter, which had directed them to pay the tax. Following this, they went to the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue. The tribunal upheld the CIR’s decision and again directed the cellular service providers to deposit the tax.
Cellular Companies Determined Not to pay This Tax
While former chief and other senior officials are under investigation – Cellular companies, however, had remained adamant not to pay the amount, quoted a local newspaper.
They told the chief commissioner of the Large Tax Unit they were ready to pay interconnect charges applicable from July this year, provided the FBR waives off past liabilities worth Rs47 billion.
In order to facilitate pensioners, State Bank of Pakistan introduced a new mechanism to transfer ‘pension proceeds’ directly into bank account of pensioners.
Interested customers can now open their account in any bank of their choice. State Bank issued instructions to all the banks in Pakistan to immediately facilitate pensioners and let them open their bank accounts ‘without service charge’.
Following is the public order of this announcement:
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services today affirmed its ‘B-’ long-term sovereign credit rating on the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The outlook on the long-term rating remains stable. Standard & Poor’s also affirmed its ‘B-’ issue rating on Pakistan’s senior unsecured foreign- and local-currency debt and its ‘B-’ transfer and convertibility assessment.
At the same time, it raised the short-term sovereign credit rating to ‘B’ from ‘C’, following a change in criteria that links long-term ratings with short-term ones. Earlier Moody downgraded the rating of Pakistan’s sovereign credit rating from B3 to Caa1.
The sovereign ratings on Pakistan take into account the country’s weak fiscal profile and associated high public and external leverage, low income level, as well as the underlying weak political and policy setting. These constraints are balanced against strong remittance inflows that help sustain a still-adequate external liquidity position.
Pakistan’s high public and external indebtedness is a main rating constraint. Net general government debt stands at an estimated 52% of GDP in 2012, 40% of which is external debt.
“The interest burden on this debt poses a great constraint on discretionary spending, given already sparse fiscal resources,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Agost Benard. “The large interest bill and other expenditure-side rigidities against a narrow revenue base of about 12.5% of GDP result in ongoing fiscal slippages.”
The country’s political and security environments also constitute a rating constraint. A volatile, fragmented, and adversarial domestic political setting detracts from policymaking and implementation. The resulting weak macroeconomic conditions, together with regional insurgencies, sectarian strife, and weak governance standards are a significant deterrent for private sector investment.
The government’s recent failure to make timely payments on unrated government-guaranteed commercial obligations by the Central Power Purchasing Agency to independent power producers was attributable to bureaucratic delays and does not constitute a default according to our criteria.
“Our ‘B’ rating category considers the potential of administrative weaknesses to result in payment delays from ministries to agencies,” Mr. Benard said.
The ratings on Pakistan are supported by the country’s adequate foreign currency liquidity. Buoyant remittance inflows from a geographically well-diversified off-shore labor force and large Pakistani diaspora amount to 5.6% of GDP, having risen more than threefold in nominal terms over the past seven years.
The raising of the short-term rating reflects our criteria revision regarding the link between long-term and short-term sovereign credit ratings. According to our revised criteria, the short-term rating on a sovereign government is derived directly and solely from the long-term rating. As a result, the raising of the short-term rating does not reflect an improvement in Pakistan’s short-term creditworthiness.
The stable rating outlook balances still-adequate external liquidity against vulnerabilities posed by structural fiscal weaknesses and significant political and security risks.
We may lower the ratings if major slippages in policy occur, resulting in rising public debt, or if the balance-of-payments position deteriorates and external liquidity comes under greater stress.
Conversely, we may raise the ratings if Pakistan shows progress in its fiscal consolidation efforts, manifested in moderating deficits and a steady reduction in the public debt burden.
Whatever conspiratorial theorists thinks about year 2012 – this is sure one hell of an year for Hub Power Company, Pakistan’s Largest independent Power Producer.
Ever after a stiff tussle with Federal Board of Revenue, apex tax authority, with bank accounts freezes and with major international shareholder wanted to get rid of their stake – Hub Power Company manages to post a record profit of Rs 819 Crore in fiscal year 2012.
While Hub Power was in tax fiasco and major shareholders Xenel Industries of Saudi Arabia and National Power International Holdings BV wanted to stake out - Dawood Group, also parent company of Engro Corporation, made another successful bet and acquired shares from major shareholders.
Along with the successful results, Hub Power has also announced a cash dividend of Rs3 per share and this will take the total dividend to Rs6 per share. According to analysts, this improved earnings are primarily attributable to revised Narowal Project. The plant is a 214MW-fuel fired project setup in district Narowal, Punjab.
Hub Power was also benefited because of the weak Ruppe – Given that Hub Power’s tariff payments are made in dollars and this year witnessed a massive decline in Rupee against dollar.
Dawood Group might (yes might) be worried about few operations of Engro Corporation but inclusion of Hub Power in their portfolio proved to be a huge success.
Mobilink house has decided to reshuffle its top management, by shifting portfolios of at least three vice presidents and introducing Chief Commercial Office’s slot in the company, we have confirmed with sources.
According to information we have got, Mr. Bilal Munir Sheikh has been elevated to Chief Commercial Office’s position.
Bilal was Previously serving as Vice President of Sales, prior to which he was VP Marketing at Mobilink.
Mr. Jehanzeb Taj, who had been heading Mobilink’s marketing department is now given the headship of Mobile Financial Service. Mr. Taj will serve as Vice President and will report directly to Mr. Rashid Khan, CEO and President, Mobilink.
Farid Ahmed has been appointed Vice President for Marketing. Mr. Farid was previously heading Business Analysis and Planning, which is now given to Mr. Wasif Mustafa who had been shifted to Mobilink from Vimpelcom Laos. Wasif Mustafa has previously worked with Mobilink at Distribution & Sales Planning and Analysis department.
As per information we have got, Vice President Marketing, regional sales directors and Director BAP (Business Analysis and Planning) will report to Bilal Munir Sheikh.
Sales division will remain without any VP for now. During this, as mentioned above, regional directors will report directly to CCO.
Mr. Irfan Akram will keep heading Customers Care department for now.