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Cipla Quality Chemicals Hopes to Recover as Debt Collection From Zambia Commences 

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Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited’s (CiplaQCIL) has said it is optimistic about the future following a promising debt recovery plan with the government of Zambia.

The company recently announced to its shareholders that it had made losses in the first quarter of 2020. The Drug manufacturer also announced a loss of 14.5 billion Shillings for the period from April to September 2019.  The losses were mainly attributed to failure by the company to collect debts from the Government of Zambia and the stiff competition in the sector.

However according to Executive Chairman of CiplaQCIL, Emmanuel Katongole, the Company is intent on returning to significant revenue growth in 2020/2021 as well as a return to profitability.

“The 2019/2020 financial year was a challenging year especially given the Zambia issues and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. We can be proud though despite numerous challenges, CiplaQCIL continues to deliver on its ethos of “Caring for Life” by producing quality, affordable medicines to ensure that people have access to life-saving medication,” he said.

This was at the at second annual general meeting (AGM) held Thursday 20 August 2020

According to officials, CiplaQCIL continues to engage extensively and constructively with the Government of Zambia regarding payment of the over dues this financial year and has already received $1.2 million in the first quarter.  This engagement involves forfeiting the over dues through an international bank to secure guaranteed payment.

“The company is relentlessly focussed on driving shareholder value through increased revenues and profitability. Even though it was business unusual during the COVID-19 pandemic, CiplaQCIL was fortunate to operate without interruption and even managed to improve attendance and productivity levels during this period. The new financial year 2020/2021 has presented opportunities in increasing the customer base with orders from Botswana for 2.3 million doses of ARVs for adults living with HIV,” CEO of CiplaQCIL, Nevin Bradford, said



Source – chimpreports.com

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‘Unprovoked escalation’: US slams Russian plan to block Black Sea | Russia News

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US state department says the move is part of ongoing campaign to destabilise Ukraine amid Russian troop build-up in the region.

The US State Department has branded as an “unprovoked escalation” reported Russian plans to block parts of the Black Sea, which could ultimately impact access to Ukrainian ports amid heightened tensions over Moscow’s military manoeuvres.

The US and its European allies have expressed concerns regarding Russia’s military build-up in recent weeks and fear Moscow might be planning to invade Ukraine. Russia, which backs separatists in eastern Ukraine, annexed Crimea in 2014.

Russian state media have reported that Moscow intends to close parts of the Black Sea to foreign military and official ships for six months, which could affect access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, which is connected to the Black Sea through the Kerch Strait.

Russia has temporarily restricted the movement of foreign warships and what it called “other state ships” near Crimea.

“This represents yet another unprovoked escalation in Moscow’s ongoing campaign to undermine and destabilise Ukraine,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

“This development is particularly troubling amid credible reports of Russian troop buildup in occupied Crimea and around Ukraine’s borders, now at levels not seen since Russia’s invasion in 2014,” he added.

Sanctions

Last week, Washington slapped sanctions on Russia and expelled its ambassadors over Moscow’s interference in last year’s US presidential election, cyber-hacking, bullying Ukraine and other alleged “malign” actions.

Days later, Russia expelled US diplomats in a tit-for-tat move.

Ukraine and Russia have traded blame over a spike in violence in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian troops have battled Russian-backed separatist forces in a conflict that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people since 2014.

The US Federal Aviation Administration on Monday urged airlines to exercise “extreme caution” when flying near the Ukraine-Russian border, citing potential flight safety risks.

EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said on Monday that more than 100,000 Russian troops have amassed on Ukraine’s border and in annexed Crimea.

He said no new economic sanctions or expulsions of Russian diplomats were planned for the time being.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, after addressing EU foreign ministers, called on the EU to impose new sanctions on Russia.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Revenue Mobilisation Through Tax Transparency: Lessons from Uganda’s Transformative Journey

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By John Rujoki Musinguzi, Commissioner General- Uganda Revenue Authority, Mary Baine, Director – Tax Programmes, African Tax Administration Forum, Zayda Manatta, Head of the Secretariat of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, and Marcello Estevão, Global Director, Macroeconomics, Trade & Investment, World Bank Group

Uganda has significantly strengthened its tax transparency and tax capacity in just a few years to mobilise more domestic resources to finance sustainable development. Moreover, the country has taken significant steps to tackle illicit financial flows by implementing global transparency and information exchange standards. The results have been impressive: USD 26 million in additional revenue has been identified since 2014 through audits and exchange of information, USD 22 million of which has already been paid to government coffers.

The case study on Uganda published today shows how tax transparency can help developing countries strengthen their tax and resource mobilisation capacities to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s 2063 Agenda. It also shows that Uganda’s successful journey is the result of strong political and administrative commitment, clear strategy, and coordinated and steady support from development partners.

To fight against tax evasion, Uganda joined the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum) in 2012. In doing so, Uganda included exchange of information as a key component of its domestic resource mobilisation strategy to improve compliance of both multinational enterprises (MNEs) and individuals, including ones with high-net-worth. In 2016, Uganda also became a party to the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, the most powerful multilateral instrument for tax co-operation, with over 140 participating jurisdictions.

Partnerships also played a significant role. By partnering with the Global Forum, the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), the OECD, and the World Bank Group (WBG), Uganda was able to accelerate its transformation. These partnerships supported much-needed reforms, and helped develop technical capacities through skills and knowledge transfer.

Furthermore, since 2016 transfer pricing experts from ATAF, the WBG and the Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) initiative have been working alongside Ugandan officials on audit cases in sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture (commodity exporters), banking, and telecommunications. This has helped Uganda collect additional tax of nearly USD 125 million including approximately USD 26 million from just one audit case.

Exchange of information, which strengthens the audits and investigations, is now routinely used in Uganda’s national tax compliance programme. As a result, the number of requests for information made by Uganda’s authorities jumped from two in 2012 to 69 between 2014 and 2019.

Encouraged by these positive outcomes, Uganda has embarked on implementing automatic exchange of financial account information by 2023 with the support of the Global Forum. The country’s revenue authorities will then automatically receive information on financial accounts held by Ugandan residents in offshore financial institutions on a yearly basis. This should increase tax compliance and help better tackle tax evasion and other illicit financial flows.

Uganda is an effective regional player and a proponent of the tax transparency agenda in Africa. It was one of the first signatories of the Yaoundé Declaration, which is now supported by 30 African countries and the African Union Commission.

Uganda’s transformative journey paves the way for other developing countries and emphasises the need for a swift transition from political commitment to practical application. Uganda’s experience shows the importance of a multi-faceted and coordinated approach involving regional and international organisations to support developing countries’ commitment to the tax transparency agenda.

The post Revenue Mobilisation Through Tax Transparency: Lessons from Uganda’s Transformative Journey first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Pakistan’s parliament to debate French envoy’s expulsion | Pakistan News

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Move follows comments by French president last year that were deemed to be ‘blasphemous’ by a far-right Pakistani religious party.

Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistan’s parliament will debate a resolution on the expulsion of the French ambassador to Islamabad over comments by the French president last year that were deemed to be “blasphemous” by a far-right religious party, the interior minister says.

The move came amid negotiations with the now-banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) after days of violent protests by the party that has seen at least four policemen killed and more than 800 wounded.

The TLP on Monday released 11 policemen abducted during a raid on a police station in the eastern city of Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city.

On Tuesday, Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said the resolution would be brought before parliament later in the day “after long negotiations” with the TLP.

“Tehreek-e-Labbaik will, in the whole country and especially from Masjid Rehmat ul Lil Alimeen [where the Lahore protests were centred], end its sit-in protests and talks and negotiations will move forward,” he said in a video message.

Rasheed said legal cases against all TLP activists arrested during the recent violence would be dropped, and those TLP leaders who were listed under anti-terrorism legislation would be cleared.

Pakistan’s lower house of parliament was convened to meet at 3:00pm local time (10:00 GMT) on Tuesday to debate the resolution.

Last week, the French government advised its citizens and companies to temporarily leave Pakistan over security threats related to the TLP protests.

‘Will this stop blasphemy?’

However, it is unclear if the resolution will pass after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday denounced the TLP’s tactics as being “damaging” to the country.

“My question is: by sending the French ambassador back and cutting all ties, will this stop [blasphemy]?” said PM Khan in a televised address to the nation. “Is there a guarantee that people will stop insulting the prophet?”

Khan called on Muslim-majority countries to band together to lobby European and other countries to criminalise the act of insulting the honour of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad in the same way that some countries have banned questioning of the Holocaust genocide.

Founded in 2017, the TLP has held several major countrywide demonstrations on the issue of perceived “blasphemy”, a sensitive subject in Pakistan, where certain forms of the crime can carry a mandatory death penalty.

In 2017, a three-week TLP sit-in that blocked a major highway into the capital Islamabad successfully forced the government to change legislation that was deemed to soften language, excluding members of the Ahmadi sect in an electoral oath.

Prime Minister Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), then in the opposition, had supported the 2017 protests, and Khan has made combatting Islamophobia and perceived blasphemy against Islam’s prophet a key part of his international engagements.

In 2018, Khan’s government led a crackdown against the TLP when it repeated its protests from a year ago, this time over the issue of the acquittal of a Christian woman on blasphemy charges in a high-profile case.

Following last week’s violent protests, the Pakistani government has designated the TLP a “terrorist” organisation under anti-terrorism legislation, and says it will begin the process of de-listing the group as a political party by the Election Commission.

The TLP won more than two million votes in the 2018 general election, although those votes only translated to three provincial assembly seats in the southern province of Sindh.

Asad Hashim is Al Jazeera’s digital correspondent in Pakistan. He tweets @AsadHashim.





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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