Cabinet thumbs up for 40pc tax on banks’ profit during 2021-22

  • Okays amends to Hajj Policy 2024 to allow return of unutilized sponsorship schemes quota to Saudi govt
  • Approves negotiations on Bilateral Investment Treaties with KSA, Qatar

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet in its meeting chaired by Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq on Wednesday accorded approval, upon the recommendation of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), to impose 40 percent tax on windfall profit earned by banks on the foreign exchange transactions during the calendar year of 2021-22.

The Finance Act, 2023 introduced a new section 99D in the Income Tax Ordinance 20121 which would enforce the imposition of tax on windfall income profits and gains of the banks.

The cabinet also approved amendments to Hajj Policy 2024 under which the government and private unutilized sponsorship schemes quota would be returned to the Saudi government, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

Besides, in accordance with the Saudi government’s laws, a foolproof monitoring system over the financial arrangements of Hajj groups organizers would be enforced whereas under the new Hajj policy, the children below the age of 10 years would be able to perform the religious obligation.

For the pilgrims above the age of 80 years, conditions for keeping an assistant/helper would be relaxed. However, Hajj group organizers would enter into agreements with the Hujjaj in this regard, enabling them to enlist services of local supporters during their stay in Saudi Arabia. This condition would be inserted in the agreement for provision of services and its violation would lead to imposition of fine and blacklisting of relevant Hajj group organizer, it was added.

The meeting also sanctioned reduction in the hardship Hajj quota. A total of 50 percent quota of hiring the local supporters would be dedicated to those Pakistani students who are studying in different universities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and their deployment would be made as welfare staff. The cabinet in its previous meeting had constituted a committee to bring improvement in the Hajj policy 2024 and under its recommendations the above mentioned amendments were made.

The meeting also approved holding of negotiations on Bilateral Investment Treaties with Saudi Arabia and Qatar on the recommendation of the Investment Board. Upon the proposal of Ministry of Trade, the cabinet sanctioned constitution of a committee with regard to hearing of appeals against orders of Trade Organizations Regulators, exemption and flexibility in the provisions of Import Policy Order 2022 and Export Policy Order 2022.

The minister for trade would act as convener of the committee whereas ministers for law and planning would be the other members. The federal cabinet, upon the recommendation of the interior ministry, also approved inclusion of Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Kyrgyz Democrat in the business visa list. It also allowed removal of the names of 18 persons from the Exit Control List (ECL) whereas placing of 9 other names in the list on the advice of the interior ministry.

While on the recommendation of the ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, it approved Jammu and Kashmir State Property Budget for the fiscal year 2023-24. For the current year, its budget earmarked at Rs267.590 million.

The meeting approved signing of Hong Kong International Convention 2009 for the safe and environment sound recycling of ships and preparation of draft Instrument of Accession in this regard on the suggestion of ministry of maritime affairs. Under the convention, Pakistan would legislate over recycling of ships and training would be imparted to the relevant staff, besides enhancing their capacity.

Moreover, for the disposal of any hazardous wastes/materials in the recycling process, availability of the relevant technological instruments would be ensured. The safety of labourers linked with the recycling industry would be ensured. It would hugely benefit ship recycling industry in Pakistan.

Upon the advice of Cabinet Secretariat, the federal cabinet also granted exemption to Trading Corporation of Pakistan from the Rules 8, 13, 35, 38 and 40 of the Public Regulatory Authority Rules 2004, for the procurement of 200,000 metric ton urea from the international market.

 

 

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