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Year 2020 has solid figures to boost Pakistan economy ahead

Year 2020 has solid figures to boost Pakistan economy ahead

  • Country’s 60pc broad-based LSM units post positive growth
  • Overseas workers’ remittances rise to 2.228bn in Nov 2020
  • FBR has surpassed tax collection target during July-Nov 2020
  • Current Account Balance stands at surplus of $447 million in Nov 2020
  • SBP Reserves increased to $13.1 billion, which is highest in 3 years

Interview with Mr Ashfaq Yousuf Tola – President, TOLA ASSOCIATES


Professional Accomplishments


  • Fellow Member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan
  • Fellow Member of the Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Pakistan
  • Life Member of Karachi Press Club
  • Life Member of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Member of Karachi Tax Bar Association.

Key Achievements:

  • Presentation to IMF on Single Stage Sales Tax in December 2015
  • Visited Turkey as an official of Government of Pakistan to study Turkish Tax System & authored a report on Turkish Taxation System
  • Knowledge of more than 40 Jurisdictions around the globe and co-authored report with Dr. Hafeez Pasha on Sindh Provincial Taxation System
  • International Speaker on Pakistan Economy and Non-Resident Taxation in 2018 and 2019 at Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Jeddah
  • Distinction of passing CA Examinations – Intermediate & Final (both groups together in 1st attempt) as trainee of PWC A. F. Ferguson & Co., Chartered Accountants

Areas of Expertise:

  • Tax Planning and Advisory
  • Assurance and Business Advisory Services
  • International Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Corporate Finance and Investment Advisory
  • Due diligence and Forensic audits
  • Financial Product Designing and Launching
  • Public Listings and Corporate Affairs

Key Positions:

  • Member Board – Privatization Commission, Government of Pakistan (Present)
  • Chairman – Sub-Committee on Taxation for promotion of Islamic Banking Ministry of Finance, GOP. (2017)

Federal Board of Revenue, Government of Pakistan:

  • Chairman Anomaly Committee (2019)
  • Member Tax Reforms Implementation Commission (2016 to date)
  • Member Tax Reforms Commission (2015)
  • Member Tax Advisory Council (2014-15)
  • Member Taxation Reforms Coordination Group (2011-13)
  • Member Revenue Advisory Council (2011)

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan:

  • Member Council, (Present)
  • Chairman — Fiscal Laws Committee (Taxation), (Present)
  • Chairman – Anti Money Laundering Committee, (Present)
  • Chairman – CA Joint Committee, (Present)
  • Member Investigation Committee, (Present)
  • Member Examination Committee, (Present)
  • Member Public Sector Committee, (Present)
  • Member Overseas Coordination Committee, (2018)
  • Member Regional Committee – (Southern Region) (1993-1996)
  • Secretary of Regional Committee (Southern Region) (1996)
  • Member Education and Training Committee, (1994-95, 95-96, 96-97)
  • Member Technical Services Committee, and 1992-93, 93-94)
  • Chairman Chartered Accountant Students’ Association. (1993)

South Asian Federation of Accountants:

  • Member Fiscal Law Committee (Present)
  • Member Tariff Committee (Present)

Federal Tax Ombudsman:

Member Advisory Committee (South) (Present)

Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance:

  • Member Board of Directors, and (Present)
  • Member Audit Committee (Present)

Pakistan Institute of Public Finance Accountant:

  • Member Board of Governors (Present)
  • Chairman CPD Committee (Present)

Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Pakistan:

  • Secretary of Karachi Branch Council (KBC) (1995 and 1996)
  • Elected Member KBC and Convener Seminar and Publication Committees (1992-96)
  • Member Technical Committee
  • Member Research Committee

Karachi Club

  • President (2012 and 2013; 2016 and 2017)
  • Honorary Secretary (2008)
  • Member Managing Committee (2003, 2004)

Professional Experience

  • President Tola Associates (April 2017 to date)
  • Senior Partner Naveed Zafar Ashfaq Jaffery & Co, Chartered Accountants, a member firm of Prime Global International (2012 to March 2017)
  • Partner Nasir Javaid Maqsood Imran Ashfaq, Chartered Accountants 2011 to March 2012
  • Principal Strategic Officer in Stallion Textiles (Private) Limited (2008 to 2010)
  • Chief Executive Officer in Fincon (2000 to 2007)

PAKISTAN & GULF ECONOMIST had an exclusive conversation with Mr Ashfaq Yousuf Tola regarding Large Scale Manufacturing, Workers’ Remittances, Tax Revenue Collection, Foreign Direct Investment and Balance of Payment. Excerpts of the conversation are as follows:

According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), out of 15 major broad-based industries, 9 or 60% of them recorded positive growth, which is good omen for economy. Whereas, 40% of them recorded negative production despite monetary easing. On-month-on-month basis, Pakistan’s Large-Scale Manufacturing (LSM) grew by 3.95% in Oct 2020 vs. Sep 2020. On year-on-year-basis, LSM grew by 6.66% in Oct 2020 compared to Oct 2019. Overall growth in LSM stood at 5.46% during July-Oct 2020 vs. last year. This growth in LSM is still below to pre-Covid levels.

According to the SBP, Pakistan’s Overseas Workers’ Remittances appreciated by 2.38% to $2.339 billion in Nov 2020 vs. $2.284 billion in Oct 2020. Pakistan’s remittances touched to $2 billion mark for 6th consecutive month since June 2020. On year-on-year basis, country’s remittances grew by 28.38% from $1.821 billion in Nov 2019 to $2.338 billion in Nov 2020. On a month-on-month basis, country’s remittances have dropped by 3.10% from Saudi Arabia. Whereas, it grew by1.01% from USA, 2.79% from UK, 3.06% from UAE and 7.95% from EU countries. During July-Nov 2020, Pakistan’s remittances surged by 26.90% to $11.770 billion vs $9.275 billion last year. On average, workers’ remittances remained $499 million higher in each month during July-Nov 2020 compared to July-Nov 2019.

According to official statistics, FBR has surpassed tax collection target during July-Nov 2020. FBR has collected tax revenue of Rs.1,688 billion in July-Nov2020 vs. Rs.1623 billion last year. Despite pandemic effects on Pakistan economy, FBR’s tax revenue grew by4.0% or Rs.65 billion vs. last year. On average, FBR needs to collect additional tax revenue of Rs. 467.85billion per month during next 7 months to accomplish annual tax revenue target of Rs4,963 billion for 2020-21.

During Jul-Nov 2020, Pakistan’s net FDI depreciated by 17% to $717.1 million as compared to $864.4 million last year. According to SBP, total Foreign Investment of the country has dropped by 81% to $389 million during July-Nov 2020 vs. $2.02 billion last year. Pakistan’s net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has turned into negative to $16 million in Nov 2020 after a gap of 25 months since Oct 2018, which is mainly because of repatriation by foreign investors in Power, Communications and Electronics sectors. According to Planning Commission, Pakistan’s net FDI is projected at $3 billion in 2020-21 vs. $2.56 billion last year.

Pakistan’s Current Account Balance stands at surplus of $447 million in Nov 2020 compared to the revised figure of surplus amounting at $415 million in Oct 2020. This current account surplus has been witnessed for 5th successive month. The Current Account balance stood at $1.64 billion during July-Nov 2020 vs. deficit of $1.74 billion last year, mainly due to improvement in Services Balance by 38% (travelling imports services reduced to half, dropped by52%), Primary income 10% and Overseas Worker’s remittances by 27% respectively. On services exports front, telecommunications & IT export services grew by 39% during July-Nov 2020 compared to last year. Whereas, exports of travelling has dropped by 22% and Govt. Goods & Services dropped by 15% during July-Nov 2020 vs. last year. On services imports front, the travelling services dropped by 52%, telecommunications& IT services dropped by 32% and other business services dropped by 0.70% during July-Nov 2020 compared to last year. According to SBP, “in contrast to previous 5 years, current account has been in surplus throughout FY21 due to an improved trade balance and a sustained increase in remittances”. State Bank further revealed that “this turnaround in the current account, together with improvement in financial inflows, raised SBP’s Foreign Exchange reserves by around $1 billion in Nov 2020”. SBP Reserves increased to $13.1 billion, which is highest in 3 years. External account likely to remain relatively stable compared to last year.

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