Tag Archives: amnesty

Switzerland- Rights groups are calling for a halt to Ethiopian repatriation flights | Instant News


(MENAFN – Swissinfo) Amnesty International has urged the Swiss government to reconsider the possibility of repatriation flights of Ethiopian asylum seekers.

This content is published January 25, 2021 – 18:57 January 25, 2021 – 18:57 swissinfo.ch/ug

Rights groups say they are concerned about reports of a planned deportation operation next Wednesday from some Ethiopians whose asylum requests were rejected by Switzerland.

Amnesty said the east African country was unsafe because of ongoing political tensions, including serious human rights violations in the northern region of Tigray ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for June.

The Swiss Ministry of Justice’s State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) did not comment on the report by the Migrant Solidarity Network group.

SEM said last week that repatriation flights to Ethiopia were possible despite the coronavirus pandemic.

But such operations into conflict areas were not included, a spokesman told Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA.

In November, The Swiss government pledged CHF2 million ($ 2.3 million) for humanitarian assistance in the violence-stricken Tigray region. It has called on all parties to respect international humanitarian law.

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How Switzerland responds to online disinformation

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how disturbing the problem of “fake news” is if left unchecked.

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‘Historical victory’: Swiss Parliament approves same-sex marriage, World News | Instant News


The Swiss parliament on Friday approved legislation on Friday allowing same-sex couples to marry, finally bringing the tiny Alpine country in line with much of Europe on gay rights.

However, the final decision is up to Switzerland alone as the Christian party, the ultra-conservative Federal Democratic Union has announced that it will ask for legislation to be included in the referendum.

Switzerland is one of the few European countries where same-sex marriage is prohibited. It is in the 25th position in terms of human rights for LGBT Public.

The State allows same-sex couples to enter into “registered partnerships”, but this does not confer the same rights to marriage, including to citizenship and co-adoption of children.

Once approved by the two chambers of parliament, it was transferred to parliament 13 years after the civil partnership became legal in Switzerland.

The wording in the bill allows same-sex couples to access sperm donations to conceive a child.

Switzerland passed laws specifically protecting lesbians, gays and bisexuals from discrimination only in February.

Amnesty Switzerland tweeted, “This is a historic win for the rights of the LGBTI Community *.”

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The Rainbow Family Association, which was founded in 2010 to defend the interests of gay parents in Switzerland, said it was preparing the matter to go to a popular vote.

“If the opponent launches a referendum, we are ready,” said Matthias Erhardt, vice president of the national committee that specializes in “marriage for all”.

“We have 82 percent of the population behind us and, thanks to the mobilization of the LBGT community, our partner organizations and the political parties that support us, we will be able to further increase the acceptance of LGBT people in society,” he said.

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The government links amnesty with builders to project completion | Instant News


KARACHI: The government has excluded builders from disclosing the source of investment if they complete a new housing project in less than two years, a tax official said on Thursday.

Abdul Hameed Memon, the chief commissioner of Inland Income at the Karachi Intermediate Taxpaying Unit told media that the money-bleaching scheme for new housing projects will only take effect if the project is completed within 21 months.

“Immunity to undisclosed money to be used in new housing projects only applies if the project is completed by September 2022,” said Memon after a session with builders and developers from Sindh and Balochistan on tax relief packages.

“FBR (Federal Board of Revenue) will not ask for investment sources from developers and builders if they deposit money into new bank accounts before December 31 for new housing projects.”

The tax official said the government through amendments to the tax law announced an aid package for the construction sector.

The package has two types of benefits: immunity from questioning the source of the investment; and reduced income tax rates in the form of a fixed tax regime for builders and developers.

The chief commissioner said the package would help boost activity in the construction sector and generate significant economic growth.

Tax officers share presentations with builders and developers about immunity from section 111 of the 2001 Income Tax Ordinance. The section attracts criminal action for individuals who hide assets from tax authorities.

The commissioner said article 111 would not apply to individuals if the individual kept the money in a new bank account until December 31 or had ownership / rights to the land invested on April 17.

In the case of companies or associations of persons, the clause will not apply if the company or association of persons with the sole purpose of registering between 17 April and 31 December.

The commissioner said there were other exemptions and benefits in the tax package and investors would be exempt from having to cut taxes on purchases of building materials except cement and steel. They will be exempted from the withholding tax requirement on the acquisition of services related to construction except those from companies.

Individuals involved in low-cost housing projects will be awarded a 90 percent reduction in their fixed tax obligations, the commissioner said. In addition, dividends paid by construction companies or developers will not be taxed and there will be no deductions for dividend payments, he said.

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FBR linked the extension of the tax amnesty payment to the change in law | Instant News


KARACHI: The Federal Revenue Council (FBR) has ruled out an extension of payment terms under a tax amnesty scheme announced last year, citing the need for legal changes to each of those concessions, sources said on Saturday.

The source said earlier this month a notification for asset concealment was sent to defaulters under a tax amnesty scheme. However, a large number of statement givers asked the tax authorities to give them time to make payments.

An official at the Karachi Regional Tax Office (RTO) said the complainants asked for further time on paying taxes under an amnesty. Due to the coronavirus lockdown and cessation of business activities, they said they could not make payments by the due date, the official said.

“Since the issuance of the amnesty scheme is a parliamentary act, the extension of time needs to be regulated through the parliament,” said the RTO official.

In May last year, the government announced a tax amnesty, covering undisclosed foreign and local assets (including benami) and expenditures.

The declaration under the amnesty scheme is permitted to pay the amount of tax in installments at a default surcharge. The payment scheme with an additional default fee is 10 percent if the amount due is paid no later than September 30, 2019; 20 percent if the amount in arrears is paid before 31 December 2019; 30 percent if the amount due was paid before March 31 and 40 percent if the tax amount was paid by June 30.

RTO Karachi estimates Rs610 million can be recovered from assets declared based on the applicable tax rates for the amnesty. The amnesty scheme allows the declaration of all assets except domestic immovable property at four percent. A 1.5 percent tax rate is offered for undisclosed domestic immovable property. Meanwhile, undisclosed foreign liquid assets that are not repatriated are offered to get a clear chit of 6 percent. The amnesty scheme offers 4 percent for unexplained expenses and 2 percent for undisclosed sales.

The amnesty scheme provides comprehensive immunity from other laws except for those whose money comes from the proceeds of crime or terror financing. In addition, public office holders are not allowed to take advantage of the scheme. The official said because the declarator failed to make payments on June 30 and the FBR did not provide an extension of the payment period, the tax department would reject the declaration under amnesty.

In the event of rejection of the declaration, assets / income that are announced will attract normal tax rates in addition to a fine of the same amount of tax due will also be returned, the official added.

FBR sent 560 notifications to absent individuals. The FBR decided to initiate punitive action against the amnesty declaration, which failed to make tax payments on hidden assets declared under the amnesty scheme, sources said.

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Rs50 to 250 per foot tax for 3 categories | Instant News


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