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In distressful times with scarce fuel resources, a hybrid electric vehicle should be an ideal choice. It saves fuel expenditure through efficient consumption. Paying nearly two million for such a car, regardless, is considerably more than what a common man can afford. A 17 percent tax imposed on each hybrid car sold through official dealers is an additional burden on the pockets, especially when there are used HEVs available in the market for lesser prices.

In their tax proposals, Huzaima Bukhari and Dr Ikramul Haq have consistently argued that the existing tax system is highly unjust as it protects the rich and heavily taxes the poor. According to them, "this cruel taxation is meant to finance the luxuries of militro-judicial-civil complex and politicians. The mighty sections of society not only enjoy tax-free benefits but also amass more and more wealth. They get State lands at either throwaway price or free as awards. It is tragic that in a country where billions of rupees exchange hands daily in speculative transactions in real estate and shares, tax-to-GDP ratio is pathetically low at 9.6%. However, the Government is least bothered to tax undocumented economy and benami transactions. Since the mighty sections of society are engaged in these transactions, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), being their handmaid, has no will to tax them. It is evident from Tax Directory 2014 published on 10 April 2015 showing only 52,349 persons in whole of Pakistan admitting tax liability of more than Rs 500,000!"
We were surprised to see a news item regarding collection of data of transactions on the stock exchanges by NAB. It may be clarified that all transactions on stock exchanges are based on UIN (Unique Identification Number) of each investor, which is based on the CNIC of each investor. All transaction on stock exchanges invite transactions charges by the stock exchanges, National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited (NCCPL), withholding tax, CDC charges, SECP charges and CGT (Capital Gain Tax).
NAB's findings: "The tax machinery under the control of the executive side is an obvious impediment in providing fair and quick justice to the harassed and bona fide taxpayer," reported by Business Recorder of 22 April, is an apt finding. The honest and conscientious having ado with 'administration of tax law' should welcome that. The Ministry of Finance should also be happy because taking out Commissioners/Collectors (Appeals) from the jurisdiction of FBR is likely to appreciably cut time and cost of tax recoveries.
Monetary policy has now been reduced to merely interest rate regulation, closely tied to the discount rates offered on Treasury Bills. For the past many years, banks reduced their lending to the private sector and increased their investments in government papers.
How interesting it is that finance minister Ishaq Dar has also taken the responsibility of foreign policymaking. "Building a peaceful neighbourhood and a rebalancing between geo-strategic and geo-economic priorities constitute the main pillars of this policy. Our government has embarked on resolute efforts to create a peaceful external and internal environment so that the core national objectives of economic development are achieved," Dar reportedly said while addressing at reputed think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Washington on "Revival of Pakistan Economy and its Future Prospects.
This refers Business Recorder's editorial 'A deeply flawed draft bill' carried by the newspaper on Saturday. It had been plausibly argued that "the draft law gives the government arbitrary powers to block any website or punish any user of a social media platform. It is obvious that whosoever drafted the bill is aware of neither democratic imperatives nor knowledge of international laws concerning cyber crime."


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln