Author: none@none.com (Amjad Mahmood)

Flour Milling Industry to Resume Operations After Reaching Agreement with Government The flour milling industry in Pakistan has decided to resume its operations after coming to an agreement with the federal government regarding the withholding tax (WHT) mechanism. This agreement was reached after negotiations between the government and the Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA). Under the agreement, flour mills will sell flour under a commission system instead of being subject to Section 153-A of the Income Tax Act. This decision was announced by PFMA chairman Asim Raza after a meeting with Finance Minister Mohammad Aurangzeb and Minister of State for…

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Flour Shortage Looms as Mills Go on Nationwide Strike Urban consumers in Pakistan are facing the threat of a flour shortage as the All-Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) has initiated a nationwide strike in protest against a newly imposed withholding tax. Small grinding units and flour dealers have also joined the strike, causing disruptions in flour supply across various cities. PFMA Chairman Asim Raza has stated that the strike will continue until the association’s demands are met. The withholding tax, which makes flour mills withholding agents for tax collection, is expected to raise flour prices by Rs8 per kilogram. The…

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President Asif Ali Zardari emphasized the importance of adopting a holistic approach and prudent financial policies to steer the country towards development at a seminar in Lahore. He announced plans to tax agricultural income in line with IMF conditions, ensuring large landowners are taxed based on profitability and expenditures. Zardari addressed criticism, stating he considered it a form of reward in the afterlife. He highlighted the power of social media in amplifying voices but cautioned against agenda-driven information. The president supported freedom of the press while condemning manipulation by certain groups. He warned against efforts to create division in the…

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Cotton Ginners in Pakistan Go on Indefinite Strike Recently, cotton ginners across Pakistan initiated an indefinite strike to protest new taxes and a significant increase in power tariffs for ginning units. The Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) made the decision during a general body meeting held in Sukkur, where they vowed to cease the procurement of raw cotton and delivery of ginned lint to spinning units nationwide. Chairman of PCGA, Chaudhry Waheed Arshad, highlighted the financial hardship faced by ginners who are already burdened with 11 different taxes. He declared the unanimous decision to halt the purchase of raw cotton…

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Decline in Cotton Cultivation Area Worries Growers Disillusioned by low prices and lack of government support, cotton growers in Punjab have shifted to alternative crops, resulting in a significant decline in cultivation area and yield during the Kharif season of 2024. Data from the Punjab Crop Reporting Service reveals that the cultivation area for white lint fell short of its target by 19%, dropping to 3.22 million acres from last year’s 4.15 million acres. This decline comes after a bumper crop in the previous season, where cotton production more than doubled to 10.22 million bales. As cotton cultivation decreases, growers…

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Opposition to Punjab’s new defamation law is growing, with PTI announcing plans to challenge it in court and supporting journalists in their protest. PTI leader Malik Ahmed Khan Bhachar criticized the PML-N government on its completion of 100 days, accusing the PPP of silently supporting the law. Bhachar alleged Governor Sardar Saleem Haider went abroad to allow the speaker to sign the bill into law. He vowed to take the matter to court with journalists. He also criticized Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s government for taking credit for PTI’s initiatives. The PTI leader slammed the government’s wheat procurement policy, questioning…

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The opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, Malik Ahmed Khan Bhachhar, has voiced his opposition to the appointment of retired high court judges as heads of election tribunals. He believes that this move by the federal government undermines the neutrality of the institution, especially in sensitive matters like elections. Mr. Bhachhar has threatened a series of protests against what he sees as the “victimisation” of PTI activists. He criticizes the government for resorting to promulgating an ordinance to change the criteria for the post, questioning their lack of trust in serving judges. Not giving a specific date, he declared that…

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PPP to decide on joining PML-N governments: Faisal Kundi The decision to join the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) governments in the Centre and Punjab will be made by the PPP’s Central Executive Committee (CEC), according to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor and senior PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi. During a press conference at PPP leader Aziz-ur-Rehman Chan’s residence in Lahore, Governor Kundi mentioned that a committee is working on a power-sharing formula as a pre-condition for joining the ruling coalition. The PPP is reportedly seeking leadership roles in various assemblies instead of cabinet positions to distance itself from unpopular government decisions made…

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Pakistan’s rice exports are booming, with a record-breaking achievement in the 2024 financial year. Despite ranking ninth in global rice production, Pakistan now stands as the fourth largest rice exporter, following India, Vietnam, and Thailand. With favorable weather conditions, abundant farm inputs, and India’s ban on non-Basmati rice exports, Pakistan is expected to reach 5.8 million tonnes in rice exports by the end of June. The country’s rice exports have already surpassed the 5 million tonne mark in the first 10 months of the financial year, earning $3.4 billion. This accomplishment is attributed to a 32% increase in non-Basmati exports…

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Punjab Governor Sardar Saleem Haider has pledged further consultation with stakeholders regarding the Defamation Bill 2024 before signing it into law. He assured a delegation of journalist bodies of this commitment, emphasizing the importance of developing a consensus on the bill. The delegation, including representatives from various journalist organizations, expressed concerns about the bill’s potential impact on freedom of expression. In response, Governor Haider announced plans for a consultation at Governor House to address controversial clauses in the bill. Meanwhile, PPP Central Punjab general secretary Syed Hassan Murtaza stood with the journalist community, stating that the party did not support…

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