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News Clips 09 January, 2016

[ Printing, security systems and textiles Turkey looks forward to JVs ]
[ Refund claims issue: Businessmen advised to approach tax ombudsman ]
[ Government encouraging women entrepreneurs: Khurram Dastagir ]
[ Boosting economic ties : PM announces Pakistan Single Country Exhibition 2016 ]
[ Supply of 60MMCFD RLNG: textile industry to be paid subsidy ]
[ Tax returns: Date extended ]
Printing, security systems and textiles Turkey looks forward to JVs   [ top ]

Business Recorder, January 09, 2016
Turkey's commercial counsellor has signalled his country's interest in joint ventures with Pakistan in printing, security systems, building materials, construction services and textiles. Farhat Kavakli, who was the President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh Muhammad Arshad, on Friday, told his host both countries could have first-hand knowledge of trade and investment opportunities through regular delegation exchange. 

"Turkey and Pakistan have marvellous untapped business potential that needs to be realised by maximising the involvement of private sectors of the two countries," he added. President Arshad said his chamber was ready to play fundamental role to multiply the existing trade volume between Pakistan and Turkey. "We together need to try to reverse the present trend in bilateral trade. Pakistan's exports are constantly dropping since 2011 when it reached $756 million. In 2013, Pakistan exported to the tune of $407 million to Turkey, but last year the value of total exports came further down to $391 million." 

He also said, "So far as imports from Turkey to Pakistan are concerned, these have been ranging between $150 million to $190 million. Considering the size of both economies, these trade figures seem quite dismal. We must find ways to take the bilateral trade to at least $1 billion in coming three to four years." He said the textiles sector had traditionally been the biggest sector of the economy. He said, "Studies and surveys confirm that its contribution in total exports are almost 60 percent and it engages almost 38 percent of manufacturing labour force to acquire more than a 46-percent share in overall manufacturing." 

He then called for some kind of understanding between private sector representatives of both the countries that would certainly provide basis to convert that into business deals. He said some analysts presumed that the trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan could increase as high as $2 billion with some joint efforts made by the public and private sectors of both the countries. He too called for regular business-to-business meetings. 

Refund claims issue: Businessmen advised to approach tax ombudsman   [ top ]

The Nation, January 09, 2016
KARACHI - Federal Ombudsman Salman Faruqui has advised the business community of Karachi to take up the issue of pending refund claims of genuine cases with the Tax Ombudsman who is empowered to take decision within 60 days. 

Exchanging views during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Federal Ombudsman reiterated that the business and industrial community must submit their formal complaints pertaining to refund claims to tax ombudsman who has powers equivalent to the judge of Supreme Court and is authorized to take suo moto notice to deal with such matters. 

Tax Ombudsman Abdul Rauf Chaudhry, Banking Ombudsman Anisul Hasnain, Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women Justice (Retd. ) Yasmin Abbasey, Chairman Businessmen Group and former president KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli and other office bearers KCCI were present on the occasion. 

Commenting on the overall performance of Federal Ombudsman, Salman Faruqui informed that around 16,000 complaints were being received at the Federal Ombudsman every year and the decision against each complaint is taken within 60 days. He pointed out that during the last two-and-a-half years, a total of 207,000 complaints were decided and there was absolutely no backlog. “Moreover, during the last three months of 2015, all the complaints were being resolved within 45 days which clearly indicates the improved performance of Federal Ombudsman”, he added. 

He further told the business and industrial community that Federal Ombudsman will soon be undertaking a campaign on experimental basis in which they plan to decide cases within 15 days by sending FO teams to around 500 districts and tehsils across Pakistan. 

Salman Faruqui said that Federal Ombudsman was fully authorized to take suo moto notice and hundreds of suo moto notices have been taken during his tenure as Federal Ombudsman. 

Chairman BMG and former president KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli referring to numerous arguments on Karachi city’s contribution of more than 68 percent revenue, Siraj Teli claimed that no matter what they say, but to date Karachi city’s revenue contribution is well above 60 percent. In this regard, he requested the Federal Ombudsman to order the FBR to compile city-wise details of revenue contribution and also give details of revenue being generated from ports and what was being sent to the upcountry from ports in Karachi. 

Criticizing the Federal Board of Revenue for its biased policies, Siraj Teli said that Pakistan’s revenue can easily be raised by just locking up the FBR. As a result, the business and industrial community will voluntarily come forward to pay their taxes which would surely help in doubling the country’s revenue as compared to what was currently being collected through the FBR. 

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Executive Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), S. M. Muneer expressed deep concern over declining exports of Pakistan which was mainly happening because of the global recession. He said that billions of rupees of refund claims have been pending since long and if these refund claims are released, Pakistan’s exports can be raised by at least US$4 to US$ 5 billion by the end of current year. 

Government encouraging women entrepreneurs: Khurram Dastagir   [ top ]

Daily Times, January 08, 2016
ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Textile Industry, Khurram Dastagir Khan on Friday informed the National Assembly that government had taken number to steps to bring women in the commercial activities. Replying to a question, he said that Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) had played a key role had reserved 15 percent quota for women entrepreneurs and new exporters for their participation in international trade fairs/ exhibitions and delegation visiting abroad.

He said that TDAP has been extending support to women entrepreneurs in the shape of provision of 50 percent discount in participating of international trade fairs. The minister informed that last year, TDAP had organized various export promotional activities in textile sector in which woman entrepreneurs participated. He TDAP has organized a 13- member woman entrepreneur's trade delegation to Australia at the time of Australia International Sourcing Fair in November 2015.

The product sector of delegation was Women Designers Wear, Home Textiles and Handi Crafts. He said that TDAP was planning to send a women entrepreneur's delegation to Beijing and Shanghai in the first quarter of 2106. The minister informed the National Assembly that government had reduced mark-up rate on exports finance from 9.4 percent to 7.5 percent and recently the rate had been further reduced to 3.5 percent with effect from November, 2105. He said that the government had announced a special package for Textiles Sector in the Budget 2014-15 and these facilitation measures have been extended for the FY 2015-16, further these facilities are available women entrepreneurs as well. He said that in the last budget, the government reduced mark-up rate on exports finance from 9.4 percent to 7.5 percent , This rate was reduced in February 2015 to 6.0 percent , and it was further brought down to 4.5 percent from 1st July 2015 recently the rate has been further reduced to 3.5 percent from November 2, 2015.

He said that duty free import of textile machinery would continue for financial year 2015-16. Spinning and ginning sector have also been included in Long Term Financing Facility. The minister informed that Textiles Policy 2014-19 has been approved by the ECC of the Cabinet. The Textiles Policy contains various short to long term initiatives having support schemes and development projects to double the exports of textiles sector from current 13 billion dollars to 26 billion dollars. The above measures are also part of Textiles Policy 2014-19, he added. 

Boosting economic ties : PM announces Pakistan Single Country Exhibition 2016    [ top ]

Daily Times, January 08, 2016
COLOMBO: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe announced the ‘Pakistan Single Country Exhibition 2016,’ thereby boosting the long-standing commercial ties between the nations and inviting businesses of the two countries to tap into growth potential of each other’s economies.

The high-level exhibition, which would be held in Sri Lanka from January 15 to 17 at the BMICH, would feature representation from Pakistani commercial establishments in 15 sectors, announced PM Nawaz Sharif and Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at a launch event held at the Temple Trees.

The announcement was made in the presence of many dignitaries including Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj Gen (r) Syed Shakeel Hussain, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan TDAP Secretary Rabiya Javeri Agha and Commerce Secretary Muhammad Shehzad Arbab. The event, organised by TDAP, is expected to feature over 110 top organisations representing some of the Pakistan’s leading companies and brands from a diverse range of industries. These include engineering products, auto parts, agri products, textile and clothing, designer wear, handicraft and traditional textiles, cosmetics and herbal products, pharmaceuticals, cutlery, gems and jewellery, furniture, carpets, marble and services. Participants include leading companies such as Toyota GT Motors, Pak Star Automotive Pvt Ltd and International Industries Limited (IIL). Apart from the exhibition, the event would also feature many B2B meetings expected to be attended by a trade delegation from Maldives.

“The ‘Pakistan Single Country Exhibition 2016’ provides a useful platform to further enhance the excellent commercial and bilateral relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka and a timely opportunity for Sri Lankan businesses to tap into the vibrant and progressive economy of Pakistan,” said High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj Gen (r) Syed Shakeel Hussain. “Pakistan’s leading commercial establishments and brands from an array of industries under one roof would present an unprecedented opportunity for any interested parties.”

Sri Lanka and Pakistan have strong commercial and bilateral ties and the FTA between the two nations has been operational for over 10 years – since June 2005. From LKR 6,851 million in 2003, Pakistan’s exports to Sri Lanka grew to LKR 48,942 million in 2013. Sri Lanka’s exports to Pakistan grew from LKR 3,488 million in 2003 to LKR 10,741 in 2013. 

Supply of 60MMCFD RLNG: textile industry to be paid subsidy   [ top ]

Business Recorder, January 07, 2016
Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has decided to pay subsidy to textile mill owners on 60 MMFCD imported gas (RLNG) in order to facilitate industry as local gas is not available. The decision was taken by the ECC on December 31, 2015 under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar. The economic decision making body was informed that the provisional price for LNG had been worked out at $10.006 per million British thermal unit (Mmbtu) to textile industry through SNGPL system and textile industry was willing to pay $9 per Mmbtu. 

The Ministry of Petroleum had proposed that the differential be paid by the government of Pakistan/Finance Ministry. The Petroleum Ministry argued that the textile sector had shown willingness to purchase Re-gasified LNG (RLNG) and proposed that in the current winter, around 60 MMCFD of RLNG volume be supplied to the textile industry for 52 days which had already started in view of the discussion held between the ministries of finance and petroleum with representatives of textile industry. 

It was also decided that to ensure the supply of 60 MMCFD gas to textile sector, gas supply to most efficient Rousch Power Plant would be suspended in case of further demand-supply imbalance expected in coming days. It was revealed that textile sector was a catalyst in economic development of the country contributing around 60 percent of the export earnings. In summer, indigenous gas was being supplied to textile industry on intermittent basis enabling the industry to continue its operations. However, with recent drop in temperature in northern parts of the country, gas demand by domestic sector had started increasing for water and space heating due to which the SNGPL is constrained to curtail gas supply to the industrial sector. It was further revealed that gas was diverted from Rousch Power Plant to textile industry. The continuous depletion of existing gas supply sources and increase in demand on account of new domestic gas connections, gas demand supply gap was increasing and this year indigenous gas was not available to textile industry. 

Tax returns: Date extended   [ top ]

Business Recorder, January 07, 2016
The last date for filing of returns by companies whose tax year ends on any date between January 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015 has been extended to January 21, 2016.