Power Division asked to finalise 600MW plant deal with Russia

— Cabinet exempts PIA from paying fees to PSX, SECP amongst other major decisions

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet authorised the power division on Tuesday to negotiate the draft framework agreement with Russia for the construction of 600-megawatt natural gas combined power plant at Jamshoro.

In a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the power division was directed to bring the agreed version of the agreement before the cabinet. In addition, it was asked to finalise the loan’s terms and conditions in consultation with the economic affairs and finance divisions.

In another major decision, the cabinet exempted Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) from paying 0.1 per cent fee to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). PIA was also exempted from paying the supervisory fee of 10 per cent to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) of the PSX fee on the issuance of additional shares.

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The federal cabinet also took decisions relating to speedy justice for aggrieved insurance policyholders and the avoidance of double taxation.

It was decided to establish insurance tribunals in Lahore and Multan to provide the aggrieved policyholders with speedy justice.

The cabinet authorised the Ministry of Commerce to finalise the agreement between Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) of Pakistan and State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of China.

Three summaries of the revenue division were approved for amendments to the avoidance of double taxation treaties. The revenue division was allowed to amend the convention on the avoidance of double taxation between Pakistan and South Korea.

Similarly, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was allowed to update the article on the exchange of information under the existing conventions relating to double taxation and fiscal evasion.

The cabinet slashed sales tax to 6 per cent from 17 per cent on ready-to-use imported finished articles of textile and leather in line with World Trade Organisation (WTO) regulations. An amendment to the Import Policy Order (IPO) with regard to the import of beef was also approved.

Meanwhile, PM chaired a separate meeting on trade and export-related matters. It reviewed the impact of the prime minister’s incentives package for exporters. More than 10 percent increase has been observed in the country’s exports during the last three months, meeting participants were told.

Other decisions that the cabinet took include the ratification of the statute of the ECO Regional Centre for Cooperation of the Anti-Corruption Agencies and Ombudsmen and approval of Financial Cooperation Agreement 2015 with Germany.

The cabinet approved the appointment of Air Marshal Ahmer Shahzad as chairman of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Board, Kamra. It also approved an extension of the contract appointment of Omar Arshad Hakeem, judicial member (BS-21), Customs Appellate Tribunal, Bench II, Lahore, for two years.

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