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INGO exemption issue INGO exemption issueThe Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will submit its comments to the Ministry of Interior on the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for International Non-governmental Organisations (INGOs) regarding exemptions and monitoring/regulations of INGOs activities in Pakistan. Sources told Business Recorder that the FBR had submitted status of the draft MoU for INGOs during the last meeting of INGO committee which was held at Ministry of Interior, under the Chairmanship of Secretary Interior.rnrnOn the issue of concurrence of draft MoU by FBR, the representative of FBR conveyed that Inland Revenue Wing of FBR has given their input on draft MoU, while input from Customs Wing on tax exemption clauses will be forwarded soon. Secretary Interior pressed upon FBR to expedite their comments so that the MoU can be amended accordingly and get approved from the competent authority. It was further decided that the amended MoU, after requisite approval, will be co-signed by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) with all previous and fresh INGOs, till amendments to PCT, 9903 and Rules of Business, 1973 which will be carried out by the FBR.rnrnThe high-level committee set up by the Prime Minister to review laws and regulations regarding accreditation and activities of International Non-governmental Organisations (INGOs) has already endorsed the new electronic/online registration form and the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for INGOs. To consider 9 INGOs recommended by a scrutiny committee for registration, sources said that all participants shared their observations/recommendations regarding nine INGOs on case to case basis. After going through details of the saidINGOs particularly their areas of interest, comments of stakeholders, and security clearance, the Committee unanimously recommended all the 9 INGOs for registration with MOI and signing of MOU: NGOs included Ev-K2-CNR; JSI Research and Training Institute; Tearfund, UK; Medecins du Monde, France; Islamic relief World Wide; the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN); Welthungerhife/German Agro Action Germany; Population Services International, USA and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, Switzerland.rnrnDuring the meeting, the issue of PakTurk International Schools was discussed at length. The representative from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said that there are two dimensions of the issue ie Political and Operational. From political point of view, Pakistan has to proceed with the request of Government of Turkey, keeping in view the political relations between two countries at premier level and from operational point of view, Pakistan has to take extra care to go for the proposed transition of management of Pak-Turk Schools, as there are so many legal and administrative issues; and in this pursuit, minimum damage should be ultimate option. The fate of students and teachers would be the biggest issue, and closure of schools or change in management may pave the way for agitation by the parents of students and litigation in the Court by the parents, teachers as well as the present management. Secretary, Education, Government of the Punjab, raised following concerns about the proposed transition:rnrnFirstly, PakTurk Cag Foundation is registered with SECP. Secondly, the Foundation possesses lot of assets with/without rent; on ownership and on donation basis. In 2004, some of the Schools of public sector in Punjab have been adopted by management of PakTurk Schools and are being run by them. Thirdly, the government of Punjab has also donated them a big piece of land for the schools. Fourthly, they have purchased 60 canals of land for establishment of Schools. Fifthly, some of the philanthropists have donated them their building for use by the Schools without any rent. There may be similar situation in other provinces.rnrnAfter detailed discussion, it was decided that the MoFA may take up this issue with the Turkish Ambassador and press upon him that it is a complicated case and there are so many legal and administrative issues involved. Turkish Ambassador should come up with tangible proposal as to how and when they would start proposed transition. MoFA may formulate a working group/task force to examine this case and suggest possible options for the proposed transition. In this connection, MOFA will move a Summary for the approval of the Prime Minister.rnrnTo avoid educational loss of students studying in these schools, it was decided that short term visas may be granted to the teachers of PakTurk schools till the completion of subject transition. The situation in this regard may also be ascertained from other provinces.rnrnIt was also decided that as registration process is near completion and the next step which is required to be taken immediately is the monitoring process, there is a dire need to chalk out a workable and effective monitoring mechanism in the light of INGO Policy. It was decided that a separate INGO Monitoring Cell will be established in MoI to conduct monitoring and evaluation of the activities of all registered INGOs, on a regular basis, in the light of their Annual Plan of Action and INGOs Policy.rnrnrnView All

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