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The work of the individual still remains the spark that moves mankind ahead even more than teamwork. — Igor Sikorsky

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BUSINESS Sunday, 8 December, 2013

PAKISTAN LOBBIES SUPPORT FOR PERMANENT SLOT AT IMO Karachi: Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Senator Kamran Micheal has said that many of the member countries of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) had offered their unconditional support to make Pakistan a permanent member of the Organisation. The federal minister stated that "Pakistan had been declared defaulter due to non-implementation on international agreements of organisation and we not only made its membership restored but attaining a greatest achievement from this visit, we became successful to win the unconditional support of many Asian and European countries to elect Pakistan a permanent member in next election due after two years." The minister said that in a short period under his leadership he made it sure to implement international agreement of SOLAS and MARPOL due to which he got appraisal from one 70 member states and three associate countries. Michael said once Pakistan became a permanent member, she would be able to enhance the trade level of Pakistan many times and also win an international credibility. The federal minister said since none of ports and shipping minister bothered to extend efforts to actively participate and address the General Assembly session of the International Maritime Organisation and he was the first ever minister to address the General Assembly session in initial slot which itself speaks the success of Pakistan’s efforts. StAff RePORt

RUPEE GAINS AGAINST DOLLAR! Karachi: In a rare development, the trend of rising dollar value against the beleaguered rupee has reversed in the last couple of days following a recent statement by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on the dollar-rupee parity level in coming days. Earlier this week, Dar vowed that the government would bring rupee-dollar parity back to Rs 98 to a dollar from Rs 110/dollar. The statement shook the currency markets and a sharp rise in rupee value was seen in the last couple of days. The rupee regained some of lost value and was now trading at around Rs 108.50 to a dollar in the open currency market. Foreign currency dealers said that banks were selling dollars to the exchange companies after the statement of the finance minister. Malik Bostan, Chairman Foreign Exchange Association, said that banks had sold around $100 million to the exchange companies in the last couple of days that helped rupee to gain some of the lost ground. Online

No respectable pay FOR BLUE-COLLAR EMPLOYEES AT KSE! KARACHI

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iSMAil DilAWAR

ll you get is a termination letter if you are doing a blue collar job at the Karachi Stocks Exchange (KSE) and get your salary increased to a respectable level after rendering services for more than a decade. This is what exactly happened to 25 low-ranking employees, mostly sweepers and guards, who were drawing up to Rs 45,000 monthly remuneration, the austerity-conscious KSE management thinks, should be granted only to a "graduate" doing some white collar job. "The KSE is a non-profit demutualised organisation where the sweeper and guards are drawing Rs 35,000 to Rs 45,000 which is the salary package of a graduate," MD KSE Nadeem Naqvi justified the "retrenchment" of 25 employees. The sources confirmed as Naqvi said no one in fact had been fired but the KSE had retained them at lower salaries on contract basis. Deeming the move as "unfair labour practice", the KSE's Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) Thursday dragged the KSE management in a labour court to stay the retrenchment complaining that the Exchange and its managing director were attempting to crush the union. The Pakistan Workers Federation, a national body of 398 unions affiliated with International Trade Union Confeder-

The KSE is a non-profit demutualised organisation where the sweeper and guards are drawing Rs 35,000 to Rs 45,000 which is the salary package of a graduate ation, also has jumped in warning the KSE against the "unfair labour practice”. This it warned would harm the cordial relationship and industrial peace between your management and our CBA union". Naqvi was, however, unshaken saying the Exchanges legal consultants were readying to act accordingly. "We have to rationalise the cost structure of the Exchange to make it economically viable," the MD told Pakistan Today. He said compared to 30-40 percent of regional exchanges, the KSE's human resource cost was standing as high as 50 percent that, he claimed, to have cut to 40 percent till June 2013. The MD dubbed the KSE's 100 blue collar employees as most privileged ones having got 12.5 per-

cent annual increment compared to 10 percent of 135 doing white collar jobs, 7 percent of B Grade and 5 percent of C grade. While Naqvi felt uncomfortable with a liftman's Rs 40,000 monthly income at the KSE, the creation of special slots for some blue-eyed bigwigs puts to question his seriousness for economic viability. An insider at the KSE wondered that the management was talking of austerity at an Exchange where the Board of Directors a couple of years back had created a special designation of the Deputy Managing Director (DMD) for an individual, Haroon Askari, a 60-year old drawing over Rs 1.1 million monthly payment. "For 53 of the KSE's 62-year-old his-

NADEEM NAQVI KARACHI STOCKS EXCHANGE, MD tory, only one MD one GM ran the bourse. Today we have a DMD despite having an efficient MD and 7 GMs," the insider claimed. He said each of the general managers were getting not less than Rs 0.8 million per month. "If they really care for cost cutting, why new posts are being created for the blue eyed boys?" asked the insider. Naqvi shrugged off the blame saying Askari had a decades long experience and was contributing well at the Exchange to handle billions of rupees equity business. "It was then Board and not me who created the DMD's slot," he said.

Pak-Iran officials to ponder over IP gas pipeline TEHRAN Online

Pakistan and Iranian officials will meet tomorrow (Monday) to discuss accomplishment of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. Islamabad and Tehran are set to map out a strategy for the accomplishment of the under-construction multi-billion-dollar IranPakistan (IP) pipeline projected to carry natural gas from Iran to its Eastern neighbour, a senior official was quoted as saying by FARS news agency. Pakistan is expected to raise extension of the original deadline of the project, and a downward revision in gas prices during the forthcoming negotiations. Iran and Pakistan had agreed to accelerate negotiations on the IP gas pipeline. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Pakistani Prime Minister's Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Iranian

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran on November 26. The accord aims at a more realistic time schedule for the implementation of the energy project. The United States has long been threatening Pakistan with economic sanctions if Islamabad goes ahead with the pipeline project. However, the government of Pakistan has made it clear that addressing the country’s longstanding energy problems will be its top priority, and it has no plans to reverse the decision on the completion of IP pipeline. Iran has already built 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its own soil and is waiting for the 700-kilometer Pakistani side of the pipeline to be constructed. The IP pipeline is designed to help Pakistan overcome its growing energy needs at a time when the country of over 180 million people is grappling with serious energy shortages.

WTO OVERCOMES LAST MINUTE HITCH TO REACH FIRST GLOBAL TRADE DEAL NUSA DUA APP/ReuteRS

The World Trade Organisation reached its first-ever trade reform deal on Saturday to the roar of approval from nearly 160 ministers who had gathered on the Indonesian island of Bali to decide on the make-orbreak agreement that could add $1 trillion to the global economy. The approval came after Cuba dropped a last-gasp threat to veto the package of measures. "For the first time in our history, the WTO has truly delivered," WTO chief Roberto Azevedo told exhausted ministers after the talks which had dragged into an extra day on the tropical resort island. "This time the entire membership came together. We have put the 'world' back in World Trade Organisation," he said. "We're back in business...Bali is just the beginning." The talks, which had opened on Tuesday, nearly came unstuck at the last minute when Cuba suddenly refused to accept a deal that would not help pry open the US embargo of the Caribbean

island forcing negotiations to drag into Saturday morning. Cuba later agreed on a compromise with the United States. But there was scepticism how much had really been achieved. "Beyond papering over a serious dispute on food security, precious little was progress was made at Bali," said Simon Evenett, professor of international trade at the University of St Gallen in Switzerland. "Dealing with the fracas on food security sucked the oxygen out of the rest of the talks." The talks had begun under a cloud because of an insistence by India at the outset that it would only back an agreement if there was a compromise on food subsidies because of its massive programme for stockpiling food to feed its poor. An eventual compromise was greeted with jubilation by Trade Minister Anand Sharma. While India had insisted on a permanent exemption from the WTO rules, the final text aimed to recommend a permanent solution within four years. But the agreement is a milestone for the 159 WTO members, marking the organisation's first

global trade agreement since it was created in 1995. It also rescues the WTO from the brink of failure and will rekindle confidence in its ability to lower barriers to trade worldwide, after 12 years of fruitless negotiations. The deal would lower trade barriers and speed up the passage of goods through customs. Analysts estimate that over time it could boost the world economy by hundreds of billions of dollars and create more than 20 million jobs, mostly in developing countries. It still needs to be approved by each member government. "It is good for both developed and developing members alike," US Trade Representative Michael Froman said. A study by the Washington, DC-based Peterson Institute of International Economics estimated the agreement would inject $960 billion into the global economy and create 21 million jobs, 18 million of them in developing nations. The deal slashes red tape at customs around the world, gives improved terms of trade to the poorest countries, and allows

developing countries to skirt the normal rules on farm subsidies if they are trying to feed the poor. The ministers had gathered with a clear warning that failure to reach agreement in Bali would turn the WTO into an irrelevance and trigger a rush towards regional and bilateral trade pacts. It came almost 20 years to the day since a similar nail-biting conclusion to another marathon negotiation - the talks to agree the creation of the WTO itself, which wrapped up in mid-December 1993. That was the last global trade deal. The Bali meeting was also noticeable for its lack of anti-WTO protests compared to the street battles when ministers met in Seattle 14 years ago. The Bali accord will help revive confidence in the WTO's ability to negotiate global trade deals, after it consistently failed to clinch agreement in the Doha round of talks that started in 2001 and proved hugely over-ambitious. As the Doha round stuttered to a halt, momentum shifted away from global trade pacts in favour of regional deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership that the United

For the first time in our history, the WTO has truly delivered. This time the entire membership came together. We have put the 'world' back in World Trade Organisation. We're back in business...Bali is just the beginning ROBERTO AZEVEDO WTO CHIEF States is negotiating with 11 other countries, and a similar agreement it is pursuing bilaterally with the European Union.


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