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.

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Pakistan’s Automotive (Car) Assembling Industry

The following article has been published in Daily Nation, dated 30th March 2015

(E-Paper (Print Edition)http://nation.com.pk/E-Paper/lahore/2015-03-30/page-9 )

(Onlinehttp://nation.com.pk/business/30-Mar-2015/car-industry-needs-transfer-of-technology )

Car industry needs transfer of technology

Prof Dp

By: Omer Zaheer Meer

WTO changed the global attitude towards business competition and generally opened up markets globally as compared to before. However some countries still choose to protect certain local industries in view of supporting local populace and enhancing regulatory protection of consumers. Pakistan’s automotive (car) industry has also been amongst such industries, protected from outright direct competition in some ways by the Government. The question then is whether this industry has passed on the desired benefits to the populace in Pakistan?

The automotive sector in Pakistan is not your typical manufacturing or technology based but rather focused on local assembly. The sector has seen growth for quite some time with exponential growth in 2006 and 2007 fuelled by low-interest auto-loans from the banking sector. The growth slowed and did not reach the same levels again. It employs between five to seven thousands people and has been amongst the leading sectors of indirect taxes for the treasury. The annual turnover is claimed to be PKR 300 billion with a contribution of 2.8% to GDP.

The sector has great potential for growth as not only does Pakistan possess one of the largest proportion of young population with an urbanization trend, the car to people ratio of approximately 1/100 is still one of the lowest in emerging economies. Despite this huge potential, there are some serious issues hindering the sector from realizing its full potential which needs to be addressed.

Despite a lapse of sixty two years since the start of the automotive industry in Pakistan, no significant transfer of car manufacturing technology has taken place. The local manufacture of car components is minimal with that of the vital components virtually non-existent. To make matters worse there are only three major car assemblers in Pakistan namely Pak Suzuki Motors, Honda Atlas Cars and Indus Motors with only Pak Sukuzi Motors focusing on smaller cars.

Some of the most worrying issues facing the automotive sector are as below:

  • Weak regulations governing the sector
  • Lack of attention to international standards of safety particularly in the small car sector
  • Failing to meet the demand possible with available capacity
  • High prices with illegal premiums charged for newly assembled cars
  • Price fixation practices amongst the cartel of the three major players
  • No real progress towards car manufacturing technology transfer to achieve the goal of self-reliance
  • Extensive barriers to entry for new aspirants
  • Lack of ability to compete with cost-effective and high quality products from neighboring countries, should open trade was to take place

What’s most worrying is the undocumented cartel system that seems to be operating amongst the three major assemblers resulting in exorbitant prices as well as lower quality products. Pakistan shares economic pressures, a large middle class and high demand for small economical cars with its’ arch-rival India. While in neighboring India cars have long been manufactured locally, we’re still priding ourselves on mere assembly.

Perhaps what’s more relevant is that while TATA India has successfully provided economical cars like TATA Nano, initially launched for just one hundred thousand Indian Rupees, the most economical in Pakistan is still costs almost 5 times that price. Initiative like Nano attracted the burgeoning middle class in India particularly families, away from the two wheelers with significant growth in market demand for cars. The importance of volume and expanding the market is apparently missed on the major players in Pakistan with extreme focus on excessive margins at the peril of the ordinary consumer already hit by a lack of sufficient competition.

Pak Suzuki Motors which holds the lion’s share of almost 60% of the four-wheeler industry sells smaller cars with despicable security features despite sky-high prices as compared to smaller cars in neighboring India. Similarly the quality of bigger cars manufactured by all three leaves much to be desired with “Pakistan assembled” still being a symbol of lower quality instead of the prestige that should be associated with it.

All this is happening despite the favorable Government policies of the past and present like reducing the age limit of imported used cars from 5 to just 3 years as well as imposing other restrictions on imports of used vehicles. Such restrictions resulted in a massive decline of almost 62%in the import of used cars in just the first half of the last fiscal year (2014) alone.

This obviously helped the local automotive assembly sector to grow sales volume but instead of passing some of the benefits to the consumers, they choose to increase the sales prices too despite the strengthening of Pak Rupee and reduced input costs. To make this point clear, consider that just during the first quarter of the last fiscal year (2014) all three local car assemblers reported solid growth. The smallest of the three, Honda Atlas Cars with approximately 17% market share reported a strong increase in profitability of 170% to PKR 632 million. Similarly both Indus Motor (assemblers of Toyota) and Pak Suzuki Motors registered growth of 29% and 22% respectively. As outlined above, the increase in sale volumes, the increased sales prices and the exchange gains were the main factors for this high growth.

The truth is that the automotive (car) assembly industry is heavily concentrated with consumers paying a substantial sum for cars that are not worthy of their costly price tags. High custom duties and import restrictions strengthen this monopoly of the prevailing cartel, leaving the consumer with very few options. To improve the situation and grow the automotive sector in Pakistan, the Government should undertake the following major steps:

  • Strong regulation to protect consumer interests
  • Legislation against cartels
  • Remove regulatory barriers to entry
  • Promote and encourage transfer of technology to Pakistan
  • Tax breaks and incentives for new investors to enter the market
  • Lesser restrictions on import of vehicles including used ones to allow greater competition and hence better deals for the consumers
  • Stronger legislation regarding cars safety and emission standards

The automotive sector has the potential to rise from the current state of a purely assembly operation to an indigenous manufacturing one while increasing the market demand many folds. With the above recommended steps and a strong political will the dream of self-reliance and earning foreign exchange through quality exports of cars can become a reality.

The author is Director of the think-tank “Millat Thinkers’ Forum”. He is a leading economist, chartered financial analyst, qualified fellow accountant and anti-money laundering expert with international exposure who can be reached on Twitter and www.myMFB.com @OmerZaheerMeer or omerzaheermeer@hotmail.co.uk

The automotive sector has the potential to rise from the current state of a purely assembly operation to an indigenous manufacturing one while increasing the market demand many folds. With the above recommended steps and a strong political will the dream of self-reliance and earning foreign exchange through quality exports of cars can become a reality.