Pakistan’s 2nd to None

At a top financial institution with participants after completing a project on  . A long day can be tiring but professionally rewarding if successful.

I’ve always believed and my belief keeps on strengthening that we only need to garner the abilities of our people in a just way while focusing on education.

In terms of brilliance, hardworking people and potential,  is 2nd to none

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ACCA publishes detailed report on MLCC

Dear Readers,

Peace be on you,

It is with pleasure that we share that ACCA, the largest accountancy body in the world recently published a detailed report on our firm Millennium Law & Corporate Company (MLCC) and recognized it as the pioneer ACCA practicing firm in Pak. You can directly access it at: ACCA’s published profile of MLCC

or continue to read below and let us know your valuable views.

Millennium Law and Corporate Company (MLCC) becomes the Pioneer ACCA practicing firm in Pakistan

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Profile of Millennium Law & Corporate Company

  • 30 + Years’ “Young”

Millennium Law & Corporate Company (MLCC) has a background of thirty (30) years plus history of professional excellence stemming from its parent practice. It used to be focused solely on legal practice including corporate matters.

  • Way Forward – One stop solution

MLCC was expanded to include a new division for providing ACCA centered services. This led to the inclusion of the areas of taxation, corporate services, internal audit, advisory, risk management and trainings in addition to the other legal matters within the services offered by MLCC.

  • Partners

The firm is setup with specialized teams dealing with relevant areas under four (4) partners, two of whom are ACCA members while one is an ex legal advisor Federal Land Commission (Government of Pakistan) and another is an ex deputy Attorney General of Pakistan.

  • Pioneer ACCA Practising Firm in Pakistan

In 2015, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) took a giant leap in Pakistan and initiated practising license program for the country.

  • MLCC became the pioneer practising firm in Pakistan with
  • Omer Zaheer Meer FCCA (the managing partner of MLCC) being awarded the first ever ACCA practising license in Pakistan.

Before that history was made when:

  • Omer Zaheer Meer FCCA became the first ever ACCA member to get admitted to the prestigious Lahore Tax Bar Association (LTBA) during 2009/10.
  • He was later joined by his brother Mr. Ali Zaheer Meer ACCA who is now a partner at MLCC and another ACCA member at LTBA.

Millennium Law & Corporate Company has built a reputation for quality services based on value creation and issue resolutions with time-specified deliverables. It is now the premier ACCA practising firm in the country and one of the leaders in the taxation, advisory and corporate services sectors.

  • Distinguished Collaborations

MLCC through its partners is currently represented at the Taxation Committee of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chairing the Liaison and sitting on the publication committees of LTBA, Chairing the Taxation Committee of ACCA, Global Tax Forum of ACCA and several think-tanks including Hamdard Thinkers’ Forum and Millat Thinkers’ Forum. MLCC’s clientele also includes some of the most distinguished names. Out key clients and/or associations are as below:

Read the rest of this section directly at:  ACCA’s published profile of MLCC

 

Why was MLCC started?

Managing Partner’s Views:

It is my strong and educated belief that the ACCA qualification and a proper training program equips one with the relevant skills, education and expertise to be the best not just technically but on the value addition side of being an entrepreneur.

With an early start to my career resulting is sufficient experience, I felt it was the right time to launch an ACCA practising firm on my return from UK to Pakistan. Also it was an opportunity to contribute back to the profession and ACCA fraternity in several ways.

However ACCA did not have a local practising license back then. Nevertheless we upheld the brand ACCA and pioneered in an area deemed alien for ACCA members at the time, i.e. local taxation. Within a short span of time we stood out of the crowd delivering excellence and quality beyond norms of the market. We then started expanding into other areas such as corporate services, advisory, risk management, e.t.c. with equally good results.

The milestones so far

Since becoming the pioneer ACCA practising firm in Pakistan some of the major milestones achieved by MLCC are outlined below:

  • Establishment of our non-legal services headquarter at the prime location of Bashir Mansion, 2 Turner Road, Lahore which is opposite FBR, close to Appellate Tribunal, behind Lahore High Court, adjacent AG Office and practically in the hub of all the action.
  • Establishment of a branch office in DHA, Lahore for facilitation of our clientele from the posh areas.
  • Award of the practising license and hence becoming the pioneer ACCA practising firm in Pakistan
  • Joining of Mr. Ali Zaheer Meer as the second ACCA partner of the Firm
  • Expansion intro value addition areas beyond taxation including internal audit, advisory, risk management, corporate services, e.t.c.
  • Start of our training division
  • Partnership with ACCA Pakistan for the CPD trainings of ACCA fraternity and beyond
  • Attendance of our CPD programs and training events by high-profile professionals including owners, directors and even non-ACCA partners of other renowned firms
  • Publication and launch of a research study on indirect taxation across the MESA (Middle-East and South-Asia region) in collaboration with ACCA and EY
  • Working with top names in various sectors including the likes of National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank Limited, MPDD, ACCA, LCCI, KCCI, LTBA, e.t.c.
  • Pre-launch of our ACCA trainees induction program

Advantages and benefits of ACCA firms

ACCA firms offer several benefits for the ACCA fraternity, the business community and the society at large. Some of the major ones include:

  • Opening up of new horizons and opportunities
  • Jobs creation
  • Quality services
  • Greater acceptance of ACCA locally
  • Entrepreneurial rewards
  • Increased collaborations with worthy partners
  • Greater exposure

With the advent of CPEC and the corresponding developments, there is a lot of potential for quality accountants and firms offering the right services. Yes it will be challenging but the rewards are more than commensurate. So have a dream and turn it into a reality.

Session on FATCA

From: members.pk
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2016 6:05 PM
Subject: Webinar on Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a recently implemented law which creates a new reporting and withholding regime for financial institutions but impacts individuals and other businesses too.  FATCA, despite being a US regulation, has global implications as it effectively covers all US persons. State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Pakistan Banks Association (PBA), Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), individual commercial banks, non-bank financial institutions and other stakeholders in their respective capacities

It is a very important area for the banking and financial services sector, and equally important for professionals from other sectors and industries.

Keeping in view of our tradition of keeping our members and affiliates up-to-date on important professional developments, we’ve organized a session on this current and highly in-demand topic.

Trainer’s Profile

Mr. Omer Zaheer Meer is an experienced accounting, finance, management and economics professional holding FCCA (senior ACCA member), CFA Charter, the Anti-Money Laundering Specialization, BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting and several professional certifications from UK along-with 15 years of experience gained in top management positions in leading British and Pakistani companies.

Currently, he is the Managing Partner at Millennium Law & Corporate Company (pioneer ACCA practising firm in Pakistan) and a Director on the board of multiple organizations. Mr. Meer is an experienced trainer having worked with esteemed organizations in corporate, public and academic sectors. His portfolio includes having conducted mandatory promotional trainings of Government Officers at MPDD (Punjab Govt) as well as conducting programs at National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), HBL, LCCI, LTBA, Bahria University (Pak Navy), UET, e.t.c.

He is a regular contributor to various national and international publications like Daily Nation, Daily Times, Express Tribune and Blue Chip magazine.

Mr. Meer is also a life member and third-time serving Chairman Liaison Committee of Lahore Tax Bar Association, Member of Global Taxation Forum (ACCA UK), Member MNP and Chairman of the Taxation Subcommittee of ACCA (Pak), Member Taxation Committee LCCI, Director Millat Thinkers’ Forum, Member Hamdard Thinkers’ Forum and professionally associated with globally reputed organizations like ACCA (UK), CFAI (USA), UKSIP (UK), PRIMA (USA), PRMIA (USA),  MPDD (PAK) & www.mymfb.com

Topics Covered

        I.            What is Money Laundering?

      II.            Sources of Black Money

    III.            Money Laundering – Method

    IV.            Notable Cases of Money Laundering

      V.            Anti – Money Laundering (AML)

    VI.            Effective AML System

  VII.            Acronyms

VIII.            FATCA Regulations (including for Individual/Sole Proprietorship Accounts, Entities
and Change in circumstances of Existing entities) along-with impact on various stakeholders including businesses and individuals

    IX.            Q & A Session

Audience
ACCA Members & Affiliates, other Tax Professionals and professional accountants

When and Where
The event will be conducted only through Webinar.

Date & Time
3
0 September 2016, 03:00pm – 06:00pm

Registration

The participation fee for this webinar is Rs.5,000 and can be paid at all the ACCA Pakistan Offices to the Customer Services representatives.

The fee is fully waived for ACTIVE ACCA Members and Affiliates. 


All Members and Affiliates interested in attending the event should register before 29 September 2016 by filling up the registration form available on the link below.

Click here to register

CPD Units

03 Units

Haroon A Jan
Head of Member Affairs
ACCA Pakistan
61-C  Main Gulberg  Lahore Pakistan

cel: +92 (0)300 8466 322

tel: +92 (0)42 3598 7022
fax: +92 (0)42 3575 9346

Breaking new ground by combining our world leading ACCA Qualification with a Masters…

www.accaglobal.com/msc

 

Formal Launch of My Youtube Channel

Dear Readers and Friends,

Assalam O Alikum! (Peace be on you),

The constant suggestion by many of you to launch a formal Youtube channel covering my key public and/or professional engagements with a dimension of educating and enlightening has been turned into a reality.

It is with pleasure that I announce on this auspicious day of Friday that my team has successfully launched the same. The channel can be accessed at:

There are already some very interesting videos covering some of the key current issues and opportunities such as Immovable Property Taxation Issues, CPEC, Budget Proposals, Finance Act, e.t.c.

We aim to constantly update our channel with valuable knowledge sharing videos. Your feedback and appreciation would be the fuel to keep us going in this effort. I hope you find this useful and wish you all the best in your lives and careers.

Take Care,

Omer

10 Great Principles for Success

Dear Readers,

Assalam O Alikum, (Peace be on you)

Below are my ten quickfire principles, which when taken together will breed success InshaAllah. Try to implement them and wish you all the best in your life.

1. Positive Attitude with Faith

2. BELIEVE in Yourself

3. Learn, Learn & Learn

4. Think, Plan & Back it up with CONSISTENT Action

5. Change Direction if Necessary

6. Continue Forward with Determination when faced with Failure (Understand that Failure is a Step Towards Success)

7. Never Give Up

8. Build a POSITIVE Attitude & Outlook (Whatever doesn’t kills you, makes you stronger)

9. Have Courage to take the plunge for what you Believe in

&

10. Always remain Humble & Magnanimous

Remember in your prayers!

 

PM’s Youth Business Loan Scheme

This article was published in Daily Pakistan Today on 1st January 2014

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/01/01/comment/losing-its-lustre/ )

Short Link (for sharing on social media): http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/?p=306527

Losing its Lustre

By: Omer Zaheer Meer

Winston Churchill once said that plans are of little importance but planning is essential. The aphorism can apply to institutions and states just as equally as to individuals. One of the most important things taught to any professional, especially financial and economic experts, is the significance of proper planning. While intent is important, it is the planning and proper execution that decides the ultimate success or failure of any venture.

Let us flashback to 7th December, the day Prime Minister inaugurated the youth business loans scheme and thereby instilled expectations among the desolated youth. He announced an allocation of PKR 100 billion for this programme for the ongoing financial year. The ambitious scheme entailed “accessible” loans of up-to two million for 100,000 youth (especially educated and unemployed) aged between 21 to 45 at a discounted rate of 8% for a maximum tenor of up-to 8 years with the first year being the grace period. 50% of the quota was reserved for females. What’s more, even 56 pre-feasibility studies and relevant information was uploaded on SMEDA’s website for all to access without any charge.

It seemed that finally a government will actually deliver something meaningful for the youth of the country. Even the detractors agreed that this can be a good scheme if properly executed on merit. There was however ambiguity as to how the scheme would actually work but neutral professionals were willing to give it time to see how it unfolds.

For those who are unaware, here is it how the scheme unfolded over the next few weeks. At first it was announced to be executed through National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and First Women Bank (FWB). Application forms became available on the websites of SMEDA, FWB and NBP which seemed relatively straightforward. The applicants were required to have 10% of the total capital required for their business proposals. But it was not before long that the new requirements started pouring in.

First it turned out the grace-period meant interest only payments and not a total payment holiday followed by the requirements of two references and one guarantor. The guarantor could either be a BPS-15 or above Government Servant or someone with documented net-worth of at-least 1.5 times the loan applied. Considering the target market of the scheme of unemployed youth, this seemed tough. Reality was tougher as this requirement was followed by the prohibition on blood relatives including parents and siblings from becoming a guarantor. These are the very people who not only know a person best but would be best placed to keep a check on them. Instead the potential applicants are asked to look for others who may have no similar control over them. A “guarantor consent form” (GCF) was also issued by NBP. This form is not available on any of the websites but separately handed out by NBP.

Besides the pay-slip (in case of a Government Servant guarantor), bank statements or property papers (in case of non-Government Servant guarantor) and a copy of the CNIC of the guarantor, the GCF required submission of three post-dated cheques, duly signed by the guarantor amounting to the total principal and interest amount of the loan, in favor of the NBP.  Making it more alien for the common man, verification of an ECIB report amongst others was also required. ECIB is a credit report which most ordinary people are unaware of. Furthermore GCF mentioned about the guarantor signing a guarantee agreement with the bank effectively assuming the role of the debtor. Perhaps owing to Government pressure, NBP withdrew the requirement for the post-dated cheques but all other requirements stayed intact.

Being a Chartered Accountant I had existing clients’ and new enquiries about preparing feasibility studies for Youth Loan programme. When I explained the “guarantor requirements” and advised them to ensure they met them before proceeding, almost all of those that fall in the actual target segment, young people trying to find their feet, got numb for a while. The most common responses were “from where can I, an unemployed person, arrange such a guarantor?” and “if I had such a guarantee available why’d I need this loan?” On the other hand those with already established businesses deemed it an opportunity for cheaper financing. Somewhere along the line things went so wrong to miss out the very segment intended to benefit.

On top of the stiff requirements for a guarantor, the consistent changes created ambiguity. While the Chairperson of the programme Mrs. Maryam Nawaz Sharif made a largely lauded announcement that the scheme would be made interest-free by conducting it through Islamic Banks, the most relevant functionary Secretary Finance Dr. Waqar Masood declared his obliviousness to this, further compounding the uncertainty. As if all this was not enough the NBP has now informed the State Bank of Pakistan that instead of PKR 100 Billion it can only invest PKR 15 Billion in the scheme. FWB is financing 10 Billion.

The government will certainly take appropriate steps to address the funding shortfall but much more is needed to be done if this scheme is to accomplish its stated goals. The youth loan scheme was seen as a ray of hope by the educated but unemployed youth. Dashing their hopes by making it inaccessible to them would be callous and against the objectives of the scheme.

The government should work on the lines of the interest-free graduate loans offered by banks in many western countries. While one can understand the reluctance of banks to lend without sufficient collateral, the government can certainly play an important role. With the ever-increasing huge profits reported by the banking industry this is something the banks can certainly do, even treating this as a new financial product for the longer term. Involving several banks will spread the risk making it less material for the overall portfolio of the banks.

As per policy the government has already borne half the risk by bearing 50% of the projected losses (10% of total loan portfolio is estimated to default) and 46.67% of the total interest costs (7% in addition to the 8% to be paid by the applicant).

Without any further allocation, the government itself can become a guarantor as well as effectively make the loans interest-free for the applicants. All that is needed is to reduce the total volume by half, either limiting the maximum loan amount number to PKR 1 Million or the number of loans to half (50,000) thereby reducing the total volume to PKR 50 billion. Since the government has already covered almost half the losses and interest costs for PKR 100 billion, reducing the volume to PKR 50 billion would mean that the same will now cover the risk and interest of the whole portfolio. This will make it easier for the poor and unemployed youth to equally benefit from the scheme instead of making it just an avenue for the well-off. The potentially huge positive impact on the economy of easy access to finance for genuine potential entrepreneurs requires a separate write-up.

The government can even utilize Insurance to immunize against the risk of default that it has already guaranteed. The insurance premiums can be funded by the Government through an investment fund, thereby also supporting the investment industry in the country.

This scheme can become a profitable venture for both the banking and the insurance industries in the longer term. Last but not the least, the terms and requirements of the loan should be clearly announced and regular changes confusing the potential applicants must stop.

If the government succeeds in doing the above it may be able to provide the youth the opportunity and the economy with the impetus required. Confucius said that a man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door. It is indeed time that we avoid the pitfall by properly planning for the future of our country, our youth.

The writer is a leading economist who is also a qualified chartered accountant, financial analyst and anti-money laundering expert. He can be reached on Twitter and www.myMFB.com @OmerZaheerMeer or omerzaheermeer@hotmail.co.uk