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Reaching out to the poor govt’s top priority: Shaikh Finance minister meets US envoy Olson, discusses economic cooperation ISLAMABAD
S Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson called on Federal Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Wednesday to discuss issues of mutual concern. The finance minister informed the US Ambassador that welfare of poor segments of the society remained the top priority of the democratic government and that efforts had been made to provide necessary funding for uplift of the masses. He said despite financial constraints, adequate funds were being provided for public welfare projects. The minister informed the Olson that the government had reached to the poorest of the poor to provide them relief under a number of initiatives in-
3-day Pakistan-IMF dialogue opens in Islamabad ISLAMABAD
cluding Benazir Income Support Program which was being successfully carried out to reach to target communities. Shaikh further said despite energy
scarcity and a far from ideal security situation in the country, the economic indicators showed positive trends which reflected the resilience of the country’s economy. He said due to suc-
cessful economic policies of the government, Pakistan was witnessing lowest inflation rate in the region and Karachi Stock Exchange had emerged as the best performing exchange in the world. The finance minister thanked Olson for his efforts in the release of Coalition Support Fund. The US Ambassador said economic stability of Pakistan was an encouraging sign. He said the United States was assisting Pakistan in many public welfare projects and will continue to do the same in future to further cement the relations between the two nations. The Ambassador said the US valued its relations with Pakistan and would continue to move forward in a number of mutually beneficial areas. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing economic relations to their full potential.
Senate body recommends amendments in Trade Organisation Bill, 2012 ISLAMABAD
Three-day dialogues between Pakistan and IMF on technical policy level started in Islamabad during which Pakistan included a plea for more aid in its agenda. Pakistan Finance Ministry presented a briefing on the FBR to the IMF mission during first day of dialogues in Islamabad on Tuesday. Details of tax collections, short falls, and new tax amendment bill were part of the briefing. Further briefing over fiscal deficit, devaluation of rupee, foreign reserves and reforms will be presented to the mission by the Finance Ministry, Financial Affairs Division, Planning Commission and FBR officials during next sessions of the three-day dialogues, said sources present in the meeting said. The IMF Mission Chief Geoffrey Frank will join the dialogue in the January 10 session, where Pakistan Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh will represent the country, sources added.
The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce on Wednesday recommended certain amendments in the “Trade Organisation Bill, 2012”. Chairing the meeting, Senator Haji Ghulam Ali said there were certain recommendations given by stakeholders regarding the bill which should be considered by the committee. He said the committee had always wanted to promote business activities in the country by making effective legislation in the National Assembly and Senate. The committee recommended that the name of district chamber should be associated with the name of its concerned district or the place where the chamber was being established. It further recommended that the chambers be established only in districts and not in divisions. “The presentation of associate sector or small businesses should be ensured and the division of small
traders and corporate sector should be discouraged,” the committee advised. The nomination for president of chambers should be on a rotational basis, one year from associate class and another year from the corporate sector, recommended the committee. In addition, the committee recommended that the period of suspension of membership be reduced to 4 months from an existing 2 years, while a penalty of 50 percent fee should be imposed to those who did not pay the fee of the chamber in time. Moreover, the nomination of president for the federation body would be on a rotational basis from each province for one year while the vice president would be nominated from province’s women chamber on a similar rotational basis. The Director General Trade Organisation (DGTO) should not be replaced by the regulator, the committee recommended. Secretary Commerce Munir Qureshi said the National Assembly
(NA) committee on commerce and the ministry had taken all stakeholders into the confidence regarding the bill. “The chambers should play a vital role for broadening the net base in the country which is beneficial for the government and the business community,” he added. Committee member Islamuddin Shaikh told the meeting that if the name of province was given to the district chamber, it would overlap the concept of the name. “The ministry should make such rules which negate the division of the business class and corporate class because it would not be manageable,” Ishaq Dar said in the meeting. State Minister for Commerce Abbas Khan Afridi said, “The period of suspension of membership with chambers would be reduced as the member can contest election and in addition, can cast vote in the election”. The meeting was attended by Ishaq Dar, Islamuddin Shaikh, Ilyas Ahmed Bilour and Karim Ahmed Khawaja.
Gas suspension jeopardises billions of rupees’ export KARACHI NNI
Export orders to the tune of billions of rupees are in jeopardy due to the massive load shedding and suspension of gas supply to the export-oriented industries, particularly in Punjab. Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Central Chairman Sajid Saleem Minhas expressed extreme concern over suspension of gas and electricity to the textile industry, continuously for the last several days causing large-scale shut down of garment units and textile industry, especially in Punjab. Minhas said with the current duty free ATP agreement with EU for the garment and textile sector, it had seemed that the garment industry was poised for a healthy growth in exports and an addition of about 100,000 new jobs was expected. The current tragedy of complete suspension of gas and electricity to textile industry in Punjab and very erratic supply in other provinces has started to have an effect on the garment industry as a whole. The textile mills are not in a position to honour delivery dates and have further reduced the price validity of fabric quotation to a few hours. It has become harder to match last year figures let alone benefit from the ATPs. It is essential that the supplies are restored immediately, he said. He said the textile industry in Punjab was losing $20-30 million a day due to the suspension of gas and electricity.
Trade policy to be announced by end of month: secretary ISLAMABAD: The Commerce Ministry is planning to announce the trade policy 2012-13 by the end of this month after approval from the cabinet, Commerce Secretary Munir Qureshi said on Wednesday. Speaking to the media personnel following the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce, Qureshi said the ministry had already discussed the policy with the prime minister and now it would be presented in the cabinet meeting to be held in the next few days for approval. The total volume of trade envisaged in the policy is US $95 billion, he said. The sensitive list containing 1,700 items would be reduced to 100 items till 2017 and about 320 items would be reduced each year, he added. There is a proper system with National Tariff Commission (NTC) to protect the interest of local industry, he said. “Besides, we are in the process to restructure the commission to make it more effective for protecting local industries,” Qureshi added. APP
WAPDA paid Rs 82.53 billion in fines to IPPs over delay in payment of dues, PAC told ISLAMABAD StAff RePoRt
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) expressed shock on Wednesday when it was told that WAPDA paid a massive fine of Rs 82.53 billion to IPPs for not paying electricity dues within the prescribed time. PAC meeting held at the Parliament House was also told that the power distribution companies paid charges of Rs 219.4 million to banks collecting electricity dues. The committee directed that the entire matter of payment of fine be investigated and responsibility be assigned to those who had caused huge losses to the national exchequer. Officials of the Ministry of Water and Power said the issue was related to circular debt which emerged due to shortage in financial resources. A member of the committee Saeed
Thursday, 10 January, 2013
Ahmad Zafar said the ministry purchased costly electricity from companies and then sold it at cheaper rates. He said continuation of the practice would cause the circular debt to increase perpetually. Dr Attiya Inayatullah demanded an urgent briefing from WAPDA regarding recovery of 45% percent of electricity bills had not been made. PAC Chairman Nadeem Afzal Gondal directed that DISCOs be directed to provide data about power theft on an annual basis. He was of the opinion that there was not as much theft of electricity as was being projected. He also asked that the PAC be provided weekly reports about recovery made from power defaulters and thieves. Audit officials disclosed that transformers and other material worth Rs 80 million had been stolen from NTDC and power distribution companies and the major theft of Rs 30 million took place in PESCO.
The committee was informed that illegal connections to tube wells caused a loss of Rs 660 million. Water and Power officials said 884 tube well connections out of 1,580 had been regularised and a process was in hand to regularise the remaining soon. The committee expressed strong resentment over the absence of chief executives of HESCO and FESCO and issued show cause notices to them. The PAC took serious notice of not using the building of Islamabad polytechnic college which was completed several years back. The committee was also informed that faulty material was purchased for Guddu barrage from three firms which caused a huge loss of Rs 510 million. On a query by the committee, it was told that those companies had not been black listed and one of them was still providing the required material. As a result no inquiry was held nor any responsibility fixed.
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Oil theft: NA body issues arrest warrants for MDs of PSO, PARCO
Dasti blames Dr Asim for hijacking the ministry g Asim calls Dasti an illiterate with a fake degree g
Major Gainers COMPANY
10000.00 10100.00 10025.00 10080.77 80.77
Attock Petroleum 505.75
EFU General Ins.
221.00 213.02 243.00 616.99 270.00
204.44 203.00 232.90 595.00 266.00
205.28 203.67 233.18 596.08 266.01
-9.91 -9.35 -9.18 -7.67 -3.13
54,700 3,500 3,100 69,600 3,300
15.86 19.52 15.38 13.87 5.51
15.21 18.76 15.00 13.20 5.30
15.76 18.85 15.05 13.33 5.45
0.26 0.01 -0.06 -0.38 0.03
14,516,500 12,429,000 4,969,000 3,963,500 3,852,000
ATIONAl Assembly’s legislative Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources issued arrest warrants of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and PARCO Managing Directors (MDs) for their alleged involvement in oil theft. A meeting of the sub-committee was held on Wednesday with Jamshed Dasti in the chair to discuss the issue of oil theft worth billions of rupees from the combined pipelines of PSO and PARCO. Dasti expressed annoyance over the absence of the MDs of PSO and PARCO on the occasion. He asked the Punjab Police Additional IG to put both of them behind bars in Mehmood Kot police station. He also directed the official to conduct a strict inquiry of the two officers. “How can it be that billion of rupees of oil had been stolen from the pipelines with both of the relevant departments unaware about it?” he questioned. “It is an important matter to consider why officials of these two organisations were involved in a scam of billions of rupees,” Dasti said. The NA body directed the Punjab Additional IG to give a report on the case in twenty days. Dasti said Advisor to Prime Minister on Petroleum Asim Hussain was also involved in the issue as he had appointed ineligible persons at key departments of the ministry. “Dr Asim has hijacked the ministry and due to his incompetence, issues are emerging in the petroleum ministry. His subordinate, secretary petroleum,
Pak.Int.Cont. SD Abbott Lab. AL-Ghazi Tractors Millat Tractors Ltd. Indus Motor Co
215.19 213.02 242.36 603.75 269.14
Volume Leaders Maple Leaf Cement Askari Bank Jah.Sidd. Co. Byco Petroleum TRG Pakistan Ltd.
15.50 18.84 15.11 13.71 5.42
Interbank Rates instead of performing his duties independently, is working as his personal secretary,” Dasti stated. Dr Asim lashed out at Dasti over his comments in a statement, calling him an illiterate holding a fake degree whose committee had no authority. On the occasion, officials of Special Branch said more than 950 million litres of oil had been stolen from the pipeline. Police officials apprised the legislative body that in eight cases more than 123,000 litres of oil was reportedly stolen in 2012 such that 64,000 litres of oil was stolen only in a single case. The sub-committee also directed AIG Punjab to remove SHO of Siranwala Police Station, as he was not a fair man and allegations had been leveled against him. The body also directed
DG Khan SP Investigation to ensure his presence in the next meeting of the committee and explain why he did not attend Wednesday’s meeting. Dasti warned concerned officials and the petroleum ministry to hold an independent inquiry of this issue or else the committee would forward the case to the Supreme Court informing it that the relevant officers were not fulfilling their duties honestly. He said under current circumstances, credit must be given to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary on working diligently and making all departments work efficiently. Secretary petroleum assured the body that he would personally look into the matter and will point out those responsible for certain offences and submit the report with the committee.
US Dollar UK Pound Japanese Yen Euro
97.3161 156.3188 1.1112 127.2699
Forex Rates US Dollar Euro Great Britain Pound Japanese Yen Canadian Dollar Hong Kong Dollar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal Kuwaiti Dinar
98.20 126.89 155.71 1.1042 98.20 12.38 26.55 26.00 344.40
98.90 129.06 158.31 1.1220 100.48 12.70 26.95 26.39 349.34
Pharmaceutical industry opposes MFN status for India g
Industry wants protection before opening up markets ISLAMABAD INP
Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association of Pakistan (PPMA) expressed grave concern over the government’s seeming insistence on granting MFN status to India without taking into account the valid concerns of the domestic pharmaceutical industry. The industry fears that in the absence of appropriate measures, the government’s move to grant MFN status to India will severely hit the local pharmaceutical industry, potentially inundate the market with spurious imported drugs, and render thousands of technical and non-technical and industryrelated people jobless in the industry.
In such a situation, the pharmaceutical manufacturers would be forced to close down their units or move to other countries, which would be another loss of investment following the large-scale relocation of textiles to Bangladesh, fear domestic manufacturers. Political attempts to normalise trade relations with neighbouring India are being appreciated widely, but the people of each country expect their governments to proceed with normalisation in a way that protects and benefits its own national interests. The domestic pharmaceutical industry has been trying to get its views heard at policy echelons but without much success. Reacting strongly to recent reports in the press suggesting that the Ministry of Commerce
had informed the cabinet that PPMA had no issues with granting of MFN to India, PPMA officials clarified that the industry strongly opposed the move unless its concerns were properly addressed and due priority given to the Pakistani over Indian pharmaceutical industry. Similarly, the industry in India benefits from several subsidies and incentives, including SEZ status, which gives the industry preferential access to electricity and gas at tax-free rates. In contrast, the industry in Pakistan currently has almost no access to utilities, preferential or otherwise. India also employs several non-tariff barriers to imports into its market which must be countered first and a level playing field created before opening up our markets.
CORPORATE CORNER Alkaram Studio comes to Faisalabad Alkaram Studio now comes to Faisalabad - Pakistan’s textile capital. located at the Doburj Mall on Jaranwala Road, the outlet will provide a variety of high quality and luxury fabrics like fashion fabrics, ready-to-wear clothing and a range of home fabrics, which includes everything from towels to cushion covers. The ambitious new outlet is Alkaram’s first retail store in Faisalabad after experiencing great successes in Pakistan’s other prominent cities like Karachi, Islamabad and lahore. -PR
that assessed the Foundation for internal governance structure, financial management and program delivery. The awarding of PCP certification is a testament to the diversity and outreach of the Mobilink Foundation and establishes the credibility of its operations. Bilal Munir Shiekh, Chief Commercial Officer, Mobilink, highlighted, “The Mobilink Foundation is a cornerstone of Mobilink’s Corporate Responsibility initiative. The Foundation has conducted some of the largest and most successful humanitarian initiatives in Pakistan’s history with utmost transparency. I would like to thank PCP for acknowledging Mobilink Foundation’s endeavors to provide education, healthcare, environmental protection and disaster relief for the communities we operate in.”-PR
Mobilink Foundation receives Pakistan Center for Philanthropy certification
Atlas Honda sponsors Pakistan Auto Parts Show
LAHORE: Mobilink Foundation has been awarded certification by the Pakistan Center of Philanthropy (PCP) in recognition of the Foundation’s excellence in executing large scale humanitarian and social development initiatives across Pakistan. Mobilink Foundation has become the first and only telecom industry CSR function to be awarded this prestigious certification. The PCP certification was awarded to Mobilink Foundation after an extensive evaluation
KARACHI: Atlas Honda limited (AHl) is supporting local auto part manufacturers by sponsoring Pakistan Auto Parts Show 2013 in Karachi from January 11 to 13,with a commitment of localization and development of local motorcycle industry. This was stated by Shakil Mirza,General Manager Supply Chain in a statement issued on Wednesday. He said that Atlas Honda is sponsoring this event to help boost localization and export of local motorcycles. -PR
IBA launches global entrepreneurship monitor
KARACHI: The findings of the second GEM Pakistan’s study pioneered by the Center for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) were released in a public ceremony on Wednesday at the IBA Main Campus, University Road, Karachi. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (known as GEM) is an international research initiative to promote entrepreneurship and is implemented in more than 80 nations. The GEM studies are conducted under the auspices of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association and Entrepreneurs. Policy makers and educators around the world are using the GEM reports to create awareness and enhance
learning about the entrepreneurial process. Congratulating the GEM team on completion of this report, Dean and Director IBA Dr.Ishrat Husain said, “I am confident that the research findings will help our policy makers, researchers and educators in Pakistan to create awareness and enhance learning about the entrepreneurial process with the aim of creating new opportunities for our aspiring entrepreneurs by improving support for new and innovative business ventures.”-PR
DARGAI: Engineer Muhammad Humayun Khan, minister for finance Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, inaugurates the Bank of Khyber Islamic Banking branch at main bazaar Dargai. BoK managing Director Bilal Mustafa and Executive Director Javed Hashmat are also seen in the picture.-PR
Thursday, 10 January, 2013
Published on Jan 10, 2013