Saturday, May 30, 2009

SBP, ICAP agree for greater cooperation

KARACHI: The Governor State Bank of Pakistan Syed Salim Raza visited the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) here on Thursday and praised the institute for its work in assigned fields. The president of the institute, Asad Ali Shah briefed the governor about the overall progress of the profession and proactive contributions the Institute has made towards economic and fiscal policies of the country. He said that for this purpose, the Institute keeps close liaison with Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, State Bank of Pakistan and Federal Board of Revenue and frequent meetings are held with them. Both the institutes agreed for greater cooperation in future. —PR

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Traders demand Karachi be declared as ‘calamity-hit’ city

KARACHI: All Pakistan Organization of Small Traders and Cottage Industries has demanded of government to give a tax exemption to the traders of Karachi for two years by declaring Karachi a disaster-hit area to compensate huge loss of traders owing frequent strikes, holidays and prolonged load-shedding.
APOSTCI Karachi chapter president Mehmood Hamid, Vice Presidents Ansar Baig Qadri, Abdul Majid and Usman Sharif said traders bear a loss of Rs140 million due to one-day strike in Karachi.
They said 12 to 14 hours of load-shedding have not allowed them to properly run their business even on normal days. Load-shedding is worsening with every passing day in Karachi and people have now become psycho patients, they said.
Traders are facing sever losses, business centers are closed and citizens cannot have a proper sleep in night due to frequent and prolong outages of electricity by the KESC.
They said all appeals for ending load shedding have fallen on deaf ear and in the current situation Karachi traders are not able to pay their taxes; therefore, a two-year tax holiday be given to them by declaring Karachi a calamity-hit area.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Karachi strike cripples trade activities

KARACHI: The continuous wave of terror and violence has badly affected economic activities in the city causing losses of billions of rupees to the traders, Daily Times found out on Saturday.

Violence in the city, which started from Friday night paralysed the whole city and even affected the interior province as well. Fears of further deterioration in the city halted business activities.

Chairman North Karachi Association of Trade and Industry (NKATI) Younus Khamisani while talking to Daily Times said that a city from where 80 percent of exports of various products are made and generate about 70 percent of the country’s total revenue should not be left at the mercy of political groups.

“It seems that the government has no interest in the city’s problems and has left its traders’ community helpless,” he complained and said that the Sindh government is doing nothing to ensure peaceful businesses environment for a better economy.

He said that NKATI has almost 2,000 industrial units that were badly affected by the strike, as less than 40 percent labour and workers could reach factories and the industrial zone had to suffer a loss of Rs 350 million to Rs 400 million on account of the strike.

“This was a total unexpected strike which not only hit the economic activities of the city, but largely affected that of interior Sindh as well,” member of managing committee of Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) Tariq Malik said. He said that KATI remained paralysed during the whole day, as 70 percent workers were not able to reach their industrial units and the industrial zone had to face substantial losses in terms of production.

President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Anjum Nisar said that this was the 10th day since July 1, 2008 that the economic activities in the city remained paralysed, and no production was observed during these days in the city.

He said that since July 2008 the country has faced a loss of about Rs 18 billion on account of taxes to the federal government, however almost Rs 25 billion to Rs 30 billion losses were reported in terms of production losses only from Karachi during these days.

Many traders face severe problems of supplying their consignments due to unavailability of transport and absence of peace in the city, besides rampant electricity load shedding has crippled the industrial production, he said.

A single day closure inflicts billions of rupees losses on the country’s exchequer, he said, adding that the country cannot afford such an unserious attitude towards trade and industry. He also criticised the government for not taking appropriate measures to ensure uninterrupted power supply to industries and residents of the city.

Chairman of Alliance of Markets Association (AMA), Muhammad Atiq Mir said that only stable political government could resolve the country’s problems, while the PPP-led government has proved a failure since forming the government.

About 25-30 percent of retrenchment has taken place in small markets in the wake of declining trade activities because of the government’s unfriendly business approach from the first day in the office, he said, adding that any rise in unemployment is likely to further collapse the existing peace in the country.

Friday, May 22, 2009

TDAP recommends PTA to boost exports

KARACHI: Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) has recommended the government to enter into preferential trade agreements (PTAs) with other countries to get better access in their markets.
The recommendations approved by the Committee III of Federal Export Promotion Board (FEPB) will be sent to the government for inclusion in the next meeting of the FEPB headed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
The meeting was chaired by the Chief Executive, TDAP Syed Mohibullah Shah and attended by the representatives of various trade associations from parts of the country. They gave their suggestions for increasing market share of Pakistan exports in traditional and non-traditional markets.
The committee also suggested the government to continue to seek access to the major markets of the USA and European Union.
The committee recommended to sensitize Pakistani diplomats and commercial officers to the importance of export promotion and trade development issues.
It was also felt that commercial officers should spend two years at TDAP on completion of their foreign postings so that our business people and exporters can benefit from their experience of foreign markets.
The committee felt that some of the important sectors with great export potential like agro-food, minerals and human services should receive much larger credit allocation from banking sector as well as export finance so their potential could be developed and the country could benefit from their increased exports. —APP