Month: November 2010

Gilgit-Baltistan: Australian Government Signs Agreement for the Promotion of Education in GB

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According to the plan two model schools will be developed in each district which will be equipped with Information Technology (IT) facilities. The agreement is signed between Aga Khan Education Service’ Pakistan (AKESP) and Australian Government.

The programme would include 75% government schools and 25 private schools. It is a highly appreciating initiative taken by Aga Khan Education Service’ Pakistan (AKESP) and Australian Government for the improvement of education in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Courtesy: GB Times November 05, 2010

 

Gilgit-Baltistan: Maiden Income Tax Imposed in GB

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GILGIT: People in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) have gotten so rich that the government, it seems, has been ‘forced’ to levy income tax on them for the first time in the region’s history.

In a press conference on Thursday, government officials showed their pay slips to journalists. The government had deducted 3 per cent of their basic salaries as income tax.

However, the tax has not yet been levied on government employees recruited under the federal government.

The issue of income tax has been discussed ever since the self-governance order was promulgated in 2009. The issue was also discussed in the G-B council’s recent session with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in Islamabad, said a government official.

“It was agreed in the session that income tax should be imposed in the region to collect revenue to be used for the development of the region,” the official said, asking not to be named. He added that the decision had not yet been made public.

Wazir Shakil, the provincial law minister had also told the house on Wednesday that they had decided to levy tax on G-B, but the final list of taxable items is yet to be finalised.

“G-B is short of resources therefore we will have to take steps to increase our resource base,” Shakil had said.

The local president of PML-N, Hafizur Rehman, had also criticised the provincial government for not imposing any taxes. He had said that the government had made G-B a “tax theft region” by not imposing taxes. Rehman had favoured imposition of tax on the affluent so that development expenditure could be met.

That said the latest development has triggered a sharp reaction from local nationalist parties. The leaders of these parties rejected the idea of taxes and said they were unwilling to pay “any sort of tax” unless G-B was made part of Pakistan in the constitution.

“We aren’t bound to pay any taxes as we are not part of Pakistan as per the constitution,” said Nawaz Naji, a nationalist leader.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2010.

 

Gilgit-Baltistan:Approved GB Public Service Commission and Services Tribunal

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GILGIT, Nov 3: The Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly approved establishment of the GB Public Service Commission as well as Services Tribunal with overwhelming majority here on Wednesday.

Law minister Wazir Shakil read out the acts tabled by him during the session chaired by Deputy Speaker Jamil Ahmed. The deputy speaker put both the acts before the house for consent.

There was opposition only from a single member who was not happy with English version of the acts. He demanded that before debate their Urdu translation should also be distributed among the lawmakers so that they could comprehend the text.

The Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly also unanimously adopted a resolution presented by opposition leader Bashir Ahmed. The resolution demanded immediate implementation of a judgment passed by the Supreme Appellate Court of GB and said that the treasury benches should put in their efforts for inclusion of GB in the Council of Common Interest so that the area could fight for its rights at the appropriate forum.

The deputy speaker also approved a suggestion of Law Minister Wazir Shakil that a committee comprising of lawmakers from both the assembly and council should be formed to take up GB issues with the centre.

Earlier, while answering a question of the opposition leader, Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah said that the matter of media colony would be resolved soon after Eidul Azha.

About provision of session allowance to the employees of GBLA Secretariat, the law minister said that the finance committee had been formed and it would handle the issue.

Replying a question of Mirza Hussain, the law minister said that shortly a high-level committee would be constituted and a comprehensive policy worked out to generate revenue and recommendations would be presented in the house for approval.

The food minister while answering a question said that wheat would be transported to far flung areas by 20th of this month adding that enhancement of quota was not possible at the moment. The deputy speaker adjourned the house for Thursday.

Courtesy: Daily Dawn November 04, 2010

Gilgit-Baltistan: Concessional Financing scheme of SBP through banks

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As part of SBP relief measures for improving access to financing in flood affected areas, SBP has launched a concessional financing scheme through banks for agri. production/working capital finance to Farmers and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in districts affected by recent flood as notified by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Under the scheme financing would be provided at affordable/concessional mark-up rates through banks/DFIs for which an amount Rs 10 billion has been allocated. Under the scheme all districts of GB are entitled to avail the financing

In this regard, SMEFD Circular No 16 dated November 02, 2010 on the subject has been issued and is available at  SBP website as mentioned below.

Source: http://www.sbp.org.pk/smefd/circulars/2010/C16.htm

Gilgit-Baltistan: Jashn-e-Azadi of Gilgit–Baltistan

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Jashn-e-Azadi of Gilgit–Baltistan Mubarak

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