High energy prices hampering export growth: PTEA chief

FAISALABAD (Staff Reporter): PTEA Chairman Ajmal Farooq has said that extreme cash flow crunch and high energy prices are hampering the export growth and adversely impacting the industry. He said exports are falling consistently both in value and quantities and yrged the government to immediately intervene to check the drastic downfall in exports. In a statement issued here on Tuesday, he termed severe liquidity crunch and high energy prices as major cause of export decline. They appealed the government to rescue the ailing textile industry as extreme cash flow crunch has squeezed the financial streams and breading liquidity jerks. Massive working capital of textile exporters has been held in sales tax, custom rebate and income tax refund regime increasing the financial stress and textile exporters are unable to enhance their export turn over. He condemned the government’s indifferent attitude towards the Punjab-based textile industry as it is facing a serious blow of non-viability due to the high cost of doing business.

  Industries in Punjab are compelled to use high priced RLNG; whereas industries in other provinces are supplied system gas at reduced tariff, he added.

He demanded the government to bail out textile industry and exports from financial crisis by immediately releasing of stuck-up amounts in refund regime. He further demanded to supply gas to the industries on equal prices across the board enabling them to retain their competitive edge in international market.

 Minister visits ATCOPP, reviews PAEC projects

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Provincial Minister for Agriculture Naeem Akhtar Khan Bhabha visited Al-Technique Corporation of Pakistan (ATCOP), a commercial setup of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, here yesterday. According to a handout, during the visit the minister was given a detailed briefing on PARAS, PARAS-2, Agro Laser, SOILCON, Power Tech and PCR labs. Muhammad Shoaib Ghafoor, Project In charge, told the minister that Al-Technique Corporation of Pakistan (ATCOP) was working with the vision of providing commercial platform to the internally developed technologies. He said that ATCOP has been contributing to the nation through its expertise in the field of Gamma Irradiation services for the last 29 years in the healthcare sector and for the export of Agriculture products by providing irradiation services. Agro Laser Project is the only production facility in the public sector providing laser land leveler equipment along with after sales services support to the farmers at affordable and competitive rates.

Laser Land leveling equipment is used by the farmers to level the Agriculture lands, which helps in saving the water up to 30pc and enhances yield up to 20pc.

He explained that Pakistan Radiation Services (PARAS) is extending the Gamma irradiation services to national and multinational firms in the Healthcare & Foods sector.

The process of Irradiation reduces the pathogens (bacteria & viruses) significantly and helps in the sterilization of health care products which also includes pharmaceutical products & its raw material and Foods items. The Food Irradiation is useful for the purpose of Food safety and to improve the shelf life of the Food items and Agriculture commodities.

He said that SOLICON is another project providing services in the field of Geo Technical investigation, Geo technical drilling and Soil testing which helps to analyze the bearing capacities and seismic studies for construction of buildings, dams, bridges, roads etc.

 Jan witnesses increase in mobile phone imports

ISLAMABAD (APP): Mobile phone imports in the country have registered over 20 percent increase in month of January 2017, as compared to same period of last year. However, mobile phone imports registered a decline of over 7 percent in first seven months (July-Jan) of current financial year as compared to same period of last year. Statistics released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Tuesday revealed that mobile imports registered over 20 percent increase in month of January and remained at $70,171 against $58,211 during same period of last year. Total imports of mobile phone stood at $399,408 in first seven months of current fiscal year 2016-17 against $433,275 during same period of last financial year. Overall, telecom imports saw decline of over 2 percent during July-January 2016-17 as compared to same period of last year. Total imports were recorded at $780,907 during this period as compared to $799,254 in July-Jan 2016-17, registering 15.3pc growth as compared to $104,757 during Jan 2016.

 CCP hosts seminars at Peshawar universities

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): As part of the Competition Advocacy Academia Drive, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) launched the second phase by holding seminars at the Peshawar University and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women’s University, Peshawar.  The seminars were attended by the faculty members and students of economics, law and management sciences in large numbers. In the first phase of the Academia Drive, seminars were held at nine universities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. In the second phase, seminars will be held at 18 leading universities of the four provinces. The seminar at the Peshawar University was attended by Dr Zilakat Khan Malik, chairman of Economics Department; Dr Danish Alam, senior faculty member of Economics Department and students of economics and management sciences. The seminar at the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women’s University was attended by people from different walks of  life.

Dr Abdul Manan, head of Law Department; Dr Ayesha Abrar, head of Management Sciences Department; Dr Madiha Gohar, assistant professor at the Department of Economics and students of economics, law and management sciences in large numbers.

The participants were given presentations, explaining key concepts of competition, substantive provisions of the Competition Act, 2010, and initiatives taken by the CCP to create a level playing field in the economy.

The faculty members and students showed great interest in the seminars by actively participating in the discussions. “Besides ensuring a level playing field in the economy, the competition law offers great opportunities for the students of economics and law to do research and get specialised skill set for future,” said Dr Zilakat Khan Malik while speaking at the seminar.

Addressing the seminar at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women’s University, Dr Madiha Gohar underlined the need for a close coordination between the university and the CCP for imparting the latest knowledge and training to students of economics, management sciences and law.

Presentations by the CCP included an animation on competition law, a brief overview of the evolution of competition policy and law worldwide, an outline of Pakistan’s competition law and a presentation on the role of the Office of Fair Trade (OFT) in curbing deceptive marketing practices. After the seminar, a meeting was held to discuss the “Module on Economics and Competition Law” and its possible adoption as an elective subject by the university. The CCP team included Ikram Ul Haq Qureshi, member on Cartels & Trade Abuse and Legal; Dr Shahzad Ansar, adviser to CCP; Ahmed Qadir, director general of Competition Policy & Research and International Affairs; Noman Laiq, secretary; Syed Umair Javed, registrar of CCP; and Maryam Haseeb, deputy director for research.