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1,393 kg gold imported during five months of 2012-13 ISLAMABAD
bOUT 1393 kilogram of gold has been imported during the first five months of current fiscal year showing an increase of 12.52 per cent over 1254 kg during the same period of last year. The gold imports during the period under review cost US $ 74.812 million against US $66.49 million during the same period of previous year. According to the data of Pakistan bureau of Statistics, the overall imports of metal group registered an increase of 14.38 per cent during July-November (2012-13) against the same period of last year. The metal imports during the period
under review were recorded at $1.293 billion against those of $1.13 billion during the same period of last year. Imports of iron and steel scrap registered a growth of 31.05 percent during July-November (201213). Their imports were recorded at $290.248 million during the first five months of current fiscal year against those of $221.476 million during July-November (2011-12). Imports of iron and steel edged up by 6.21 percent from
$544.064 million last year to $577.852 million whereas the imports of aluminum wrought and worked decreased by 1.16 percent from $49.176 million to $48.604 million. The imports of all other metal and articles w e r e recorded a t $301.426 million during the period under review against those of $249.188 million last year posting a growth of 20.96 percent. Meanwhile, during the month of November 2012, the gold imports wit-
nessed an increase of 314.13 percent when compared with those of November 2011 whereas the gold imports during November 2012 over October 2012 decreased by 45.39 percent. Gold imports in November 2012 stood at $16.387 million against those of $3.957 million and $30.006 million in November 2011 and October, 2012 respectively. The overall imports decreased by 0.91 percent during first five months of current financial year whereas exports from the country witnessed positive growth of 7.85 percent, indicating a positive trend in the overall trade volume of the country. The imports decreased from US$18.416 billion last year to US$18.25 billion during the current fiscal year, the data revealed.
Govt likely to give subsidy on addition of GRI to push kinnow export ISLAMABAD ONLINE
Ministry of Commerce may give subsidy to exporters on Reefer Containers shipments for the continuity of kinnow export target, as GRI (General Rate Increase) of 1500USD/40ft Reefer containers will be added on the current tariff effective from 1st of January 2013 said Chief Executive Officer Harvest Tradings & Member Export ICCI, Ahmad Jawad. In a statement he said kinnow export already faced many issues from the start of season and with the addition of GRI from the shipping lines, it could create a negative impact on the cost. Till date only private sector is taking at their own to improve the export every year of this potent source. Jawad said current year’s produc-
fortune for all stakeholders involved with this trade. Despite restoration of normal transportation by goods carriers, it would take sometime to normalize the process. Already kinnow processing factories and orchards in Sargodha are overfilled with citrus fruit and they have become a major headache for their owners to preserve them in a way. It may be recalled here that previous year’s citrus fruit’s export goal remained unfulfilled at 225,000 tonnes as against the target of 300,000 tonnes.
tion is 20 percent less at 1.8 million tones compared to previous year’s yield of 2 million tones. However, unexpected strike by the goods transport carriers across the country few days back badly disturbed all plans and export process. As a result the export target for the citrus fruit fell by 10 percent to 175,000 tones or 180,000 tones from the set target of 200,000 tones, which may spell bad
LCCI makes downward revision of its services charges LAHORE ONLINE
In a major move to ensure monetary relief to all the LCCI members, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has made downward revision of its services charges. According to details, the LCCI Executive Committee in its meeting decided to bring down the charges for Visa Recommendation Letter, Visa Invitation Letter, Visa Processing Fee. Visa Recommendation Letter fee for Asian Countries for Proprietor/Director has been curtailed from Rs 1500 to Rs 1000 and for Europe, Africa, USA, Canada, UK and Australia it is now Rs 2000 instead of Rs 3000. Visa Recommendation Letter fee for employees of LCCI Member firms for Europe, Africa, USA, Canada, UK and Australia has been decreased by Rs 1500 and now onward it would be to Rs 2500 instead of Rs 4000. Visa Recommendation Letter fee for employees of LCCI Member firms for Asia has been decreased by Rs 500 and now it is Rs 2000 instead of Rs 2500. The charges for Visa Invitation letter to foreigners have also been halved. Earlier for Asian countries the fee was Rs 1500 and now it is Rs 750 while Europe, Africa, USA, Canada, UK and Australia it is now Rs 1500 instead of Rs 3000. Same way Visa processing fee for China has also been halved.
‘Let’s enhance trade with India’ SUKKUR ONLINE
Federal Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim has said that Pakistan’s stance to enhance trade relations with India is a new era between the two countries. Regional Trade is quite common in other countries of the world but owing to poor political relations between the said countries trade activities could not promoted, he told reporters in Sukkur. He further added that we are working on the roadmap which is made for the improvement of promotion of trade in this regard.
NGOs DEMAND RECONSIDERATION OF PLANT BREEDERS’ RIGHTS BILL ISLAMABAD STAFF REPORT
Demanding that Plant breeders’ Rights bill 2010 should not be passed in haste as it needed more time to be debated by the stakeholders concerned, the civil society organizations on Wednesday asked the government to postpone the bill and to let the new National Assembly after the next general elections to consider it. This was said in a seminar “Plant breeder’s Rights (PbR) bill 2010” held by the Centre for Culture and Development (C2D), Sustainable Agriculture Action Group (SAAG), Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy (PODA) and Lok Sanjh Foundation in collaboration with Actionaid-Pakistan. The policy seminar was aimed at addressing the conflict emerging between farming communities, civil society and seed producing companies after the introduction of the PbR bill in the parliament. The participants from civil society and small farmers associations demanded that the present National Assembly had a very short time to consider the proposed PbR bill 2010 and it, if passed in haste, would have drastic implications for the small farmers and the agriculture sector. The PbR bill had been pending for contemplation in the National Assembly for the
last few years and it had received renewed attention from the government after formation of Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) as the regulator of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in Pakistan. Lok Sanjh Foundation Executive Director Dr Shahid Zia gave a brief overview of the PbR legislation in Pakistan. He said that seed monopolies were expected under the original and existing version of the PbR bill. He added that the present proposed bill was a replication or the reorganization of the previous draft of 1998 with some cosmetic changes. Under the proposed legislation, centuries old farming practice of exchange including sharing and reusing seeds could be crippled entirely. There was also need to further look into the clauses of the PbR bill to make it more farmer friendly and should not be used to safeguard the concerns of the seed companies. He stressed the need for the inclusion of damage clause in favour of farmers. He lamented the fact that damage clause for the benefit of the farmers was not inserted in the bill which was widely demanded by the farmers and the civil society, whereas the demand of deletion of damage clause by the major seed selling companies was accepted overnight. He further demanded that the exceptions included in the PbR bill should be accepted as a right of the farmers.
Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department Certification Officer Saeed Iqbal argued that the PbR legislation was in pursuance of Pakistan as a signatory of World Trade Organisation (WTO) and TRIPS. It would help to protect and promote research initiatives for the innovation and new varieties of seeds and plants for improved per acre yields. Dr Shahid further said that the PbR legislation would help to achieve the goals of food security in Pakistan. He added that the proposed legislation was important as it would regulate illegal practices of the seed mafia and companies. PODA Executive Director Sameena Nazir appreciated the organizers for holding the consultation. She said agriculture was impossible without the contribution of women farmers. However, the proposed legislation did not refer to the concerns and requirements of the female farmers. NCA Rawalpindi Director Dr Nadeem Omar Tarar said that passing the bill without ensuring bio-safety guidelines and farmers’ rights would be disastrous for the small farmers’ community in particular and the agriculture sector in general. He further added that all traditional knowledge and genetic resources were required to be properly documented and exclusive rights of the people should be conceded over indigenous knowledge. He also pointed out that Conven-
tion on bio-diversity, of which Pakistan was one of the signatories, was referred to selectively, whereas all clauses which contained the rights of the people over indigenous resources were usually not quoted. Mushtaq Gaddi, lecturer at NIPS, Quaid-a-Azam University highlighted the importance of the PbR bill in the perspective of political economy and said that the bill was an attempt to give rights to the multi-national corporations to exploit the people and the resources of the
developing world. He termed the bill a form of neo-imperialism. He said that the government should be urged not to pass the bill without ensuring rights of the farmers’ community. The participants appreciated the efforts of Actionaid-Pakistan for initiating the debate on the PbR, which was a crucial piece of legislation in the context of food security in Pakistan. They said that the issue needed to be debated further and farmers should also be consulted in this regard.
Friday, 28 December, 2012
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Mobile banking accounts touch 1.8 million mark ISLAMABAD APP
Mobile banking accounts have jumped to 1.8 million mark depicting a remarkable growth of 25 percent during July-September quarter of the current year. According to branchless banking Newsletter released by the State bank of Pakistan (SbP) on Thursday, the branchless banking customers conducted almost 31.5 million transactions of Rs 139 billion during the quarter. The average size of each transaction was Rs 4,420, while the average number of transaction per day increased to 0.349 million. The accounts’ activity level has also improved considerably during the quarter at the back of significant growth of 84% in Level `0’ accounts and 7% growth in Level `1’ accounts. These accounts are opened
at the agents’ locat i o n largely by those, w h o have traditionally been excluded from the banking services. T h e agents’ network has reached to 31,637 as of September 30, 2012 from 29,525 as on June 30, 2012 registering an increase of 7 percent. It may be pointed out that transaction limits for Level `0’ & Level `1’ accounts are Rs 15,000 & Rs. 25,000 per day respectively.
b i l l s payments & mobile top-ups r e mained t h e dominating act i v i t y d u r i n g July-September 2012 quarter with 45 percent share in total numbers, followed by person to p e r s o n (over the counter) fund transfers with a share of 38 percent. bulk p a y -
ments mostly by agents topped, among others, by 41 percent share in total value transacted during the quarter followed by person to person fund transfers with a share of 34 percent. It may be pointed out that the branchless banking service providers are trying to increase their linkages with microfinance institutions as loan repayments of Rs.646 million were collected through branchless banking agents during the quarter. According to the Newsletter, the growth expectation in coming quarters is fairly high as the existing two branchless banking players are increasing their scale of operations and two banks namely Waseela Microfinance bank and Askari bank Limited have launched their branchless banking services under the brand names of `Mobicash’ and `Timepey’ respectively.
ICCI PRESIDENT FOR MAKING PUBLIC SECTOR ENTERPRISES MORE PROFITABLE ISLAMABAD ONLINE
A delegation of Pakistan Post Office led by its Chairman and Director General, Syed Ghulam Panjtan Rizvi visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry and informed business leaders about the steps taken by Pakistan Post to facilitate the business community. Keeping pace with the changing communications market, Syed Ghulam Panjtan Rizvi informed the meeting that Pakistan Post is emphasizing upon the use of new communication and information technologies to move beyond what is traditionally regarded as a its core postal business. Pakistan Post is committed to make secure and
timely delivery of mail, money and material at the doorsteps of the customers at affordable cost. He said Pakistan Postal Service Office has been transformed into a modern and fully computerized organization to compete with the private couriers, under a progressive policy, for the benefit of the customers in the country. Director General said that unfortunately, Pakistan Post office was facing a loss of Rs.2 billion annually as it lost most of its money order business due to online banking and other private competitors. Syed Panjtan Rizvi said that business community could also avail their online postal services such as Express Mail Tracking
System where businessmen could track their international business packets and personal mail items online even on cell phones by logging on to wwe.ep.gov.pk. He said that Pakistan Post has also an efficient staff handing postal complaints system as well as online complainants receiving system. Speaking on the occasion, Mr.Zafar bakhtawari, President ICCI said that various Public sector enterprises drain away a significant chunk of government resources and causing huge financial losses to the national exchequer. Thus, there is dire need to make these enterprises efficient and profitable by practicing good governess and effective monitoring system, he added.
He said that Pakistan Post should take all measures to remove trust deficit by facilitating people in their transactions across the country without any delays. He said that it is right that trend of personal letter writing decreased, however, Pakistan Post could initiate other new services to cater the needs of their customers. President ICCI expressed hope that Pakistan post would overcome its losses very soon as it is the organization of faithful and sincere officials. Mr.Munawar Mughal, former President ICCI said that Pakistan Post should provide motorcycles to the postmen across the country to ensure provision of quality services to the common people.
Business 02 Major Gainers OPEN COMPANY Nestle Pakistan Ltd. 4850.00 Indus Dyeing 600.00 Mithchells Fruit 366.00 AKD Capital Limited 57.60 Ghani Glass Ltd.XB 55.67
HIGH 4999.99 629.00 375.00 60.48 58.45
LOW 4845.00 629.00 365.00 60.48 57.50
CLOSE CHANGE 4900.00 50.00 629.00 29.00 375.00 9.00 60.48 2.88 58.45 2.78
TURNOVER 320 100 2,200 500 113,000
1350.00 375.00 10000.01 132.00 121.00
1316.00 375.00 10000.01 126.45 121.00
1320.00 375.00 10000.01 126.45 121.00
-40.00 -13.57 -7.49 -6.65 -6.00
200 200 20 19,800 500
13.26 6.21 6.61 4.21 3.23
12.50 5.49 6.40 3.65 2.77
13.22 5.67 6.50 3.80 3.17
0.96 -0.37 0.13 -0.19 0.32
24,045,500 12,835,500 11,910,500 11,355,000 5,880,500I
Major Losers Bata (Pak) Sanofi-Aventis Pak UniLever Pak Murree Brewery Fazal Cloth Mills
1360.00 388.57 10007.50 133.10 127.00
Volume Leaders Byco Petroleum 12.26 K.E.S.C. 6.04 Fauji Cement 6.37 P.I.A.C.(A) 3.99 Wateen Telecom Ltd 2.85
Interbank Rates US Dollar UK Pound Japanese Yen Euro
97.5765 157.7617 1.1379 129.4548
Dollar East US Dollar Euro Great Britain Pound Japanese Yen Canadian Dollar Hong Kong Dollar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal Kuwaiti Dinar
BUY 97.40 127.85 155.87 1.1212 96.81 12.31 26.40 25.90 343.12
SELL 98.10 129.60 157.96 1.1355 98.75 12.59 26.71 26.16 346.33
Oil prices jump ahead of renewed ‘fiscal cliff’ talks NEW YORK: Oil prices jumped Wednesday as President barack Obama headed back to Washington for a last-ditch attempt to secure a “fiscal cliff” deal with Republicans ahead of a year-end deadline. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for February delivery, gained $2.37 to settle at $90.98 a barrel, its highest level in almost ten weeks. brent North Sea crude for February delivery climbed $2.27 to $111.07 a barrel in London trade. With the clock ticking, Obama and Congress are under increasing pressure to hammer out a compromise to avoid looming tax hikes and deep, mandated spending cuts that are slated to take effect next month. Experts warn that going over the so-called fiscal cliff could plunge the United States economy back into recession. And that could hurt oil demand in the world’s biggest consumer of crude.“Hopes for progress have been fueled by President Obama’s early return from his family vacation in Hawaii,” said Lisa Finstrom of Citi Futures and OTC Clearing. If investors believe that Democrats and Republicans can reach agreement that works in favor of crude prices “as the chances for recession decrease,” said James Williams of WTRG Economics. AGENCIES
CORPORATE CORNER Etihad Cargo posts record November figures KARACHI: December 27 – Etihad Cargo, a division of United Arab Emirates (UAE) flag carrier Etihad Airways, has posted record monthly revenues for November of US$ 65.8 million, up 21.2 per cent on the same period last year (US$ 54.3 million). The carrier lifted 32,633 tonnes of freight in the period, an 18.2 per cent increase on November 2011 (27,628 tonnes). The figures reflect the cargo operator’s continued upward momentum in what has been a record 2012 so far. Etihad Airways’ Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, Kevin Knight, said: “2012 has been a great year for us. The latest impressive revenue and tonnage figures have been driven largely by strong sales out of Southern China and solid growth out of Europe and South East Asia. “Yields have also held up compared to last year, and at the same time we have successfully grown volumes ahead of our capacity growth.” “Looking ahead, we expect to maintain strong freight performance over the final month of 2012.”
charge remittance services to Pakistani Expats living in Malaysia. Further, Placid Express is a global Money Transfer Company and has its presence in Central Asia, Asia Pacific, European and North American Regions. “NbP is one of the largest players in Pakistani remittance market and the launch of NbP Foree Cash and NbP Foree Transfer services from the counters of Placid Express and its agents will make it convenient for Pakistanis to send money home through legal channels and serve the national cause.” said Mr. Khalid bin Shaheen, SEVP/Group Chief & Chairman NbP Exchange Company Limited during the Agreement Signing Ceremony in Malaysia.
Emirates says ‘Hello 2013’,offers great fares across its network KARACHI: Emirates, one of the world’s fastestgrowing airlines, is welcoming 2013 aboard by offering very attractive fares for quick-acting customers. Whether your New Year’s resolution is to spend more time with family and friends or visit a dream destination Emirates’ Economy Class deals, currently available for early bookers, offer something for everyone. The special fares apply to more than 120 destinations across the Emirates’ network when booked between December 26, 2012 and January 10, 2013 - for travel from January 18 to June 10, 2013.* “Emirates has always been customer focused. Welcoming 2013, Emirates has introduced special fares to provide its passengers with best options for their money in order to make their journey more pleasant and convenient,” said Mr. Khalid bardan, Emirates’ Vice President, Pakistan.
KARACHI: The Consul General of the Russian Federation Mr.Andrey V.Demidov, and Mrs Demidov, hosted a reception on the Occasion of the Stamp and photographic exhibition at Consulate premises. Picture shows, host addressing to the guests.
NBP signs Home Remittances Agreement with Placid Express In line with its objective to facilitate overseas Pakistanis across the globe, NbP has launched its Home Remittances Services in collaboration with Placid Express from Malaysia. This collaboration has further enhanced NbP’s outreach to provide fast, convenient, secured and absolutely free of
KARACHI: The prominent businessmen Zafar Iqbal and Ather Iqbal, hosted a dinner at their residence in DHA, it was attended by, Kalim Farooqui , Naseem Farooqui COO Sindh Bank, Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, Farrukh Ansari,Col Thair Husaan, of town and journalists.
RAWALPINDI: Caroling children along with Sheharyar Mirza General Manager Pearl Continental Hotel, Rawalpindi posing for a group photo in the Hotel Lobby on Christmas Eve.
KARACHI: The Grandeur Art Gallery held an exhibition Designer Curve at its premises. Picture shows Grandeur CEO, Neshmia Ahmed, witn other designers.
Friday, 28 December, 2012