ICCI hails CDA on not collecting board tax from traders

ISLAMABAD (INP):  Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed the decision of the Capital Development Authority to stop contractors from collecting sign board tax from traders and deploy its own staff to collect this tax from shopkeepers in cooperation with market unions. Muzzamil Hussain Sabri President, M. Shakeel Munir Senior Vice President and M. Ashfaq Hussain Chatha Vice President, ICCI said contractors were misbehaving with traders while collecting board tax and they thanked Maroof Afzal Chairman and Amir Ali Ahmed Member Administration CDA for accepting ICCI proposal for collection of sign board tax from traders through CDA staff.

The board tax would be collected at the agreed rate of Rs.60/sq yard.

They said the decision would greatly facilitate especially small traders who were facing difficulties from contractors. They said the contractors would collect board tax from multi-nationals while traders would pay board license fee to CDA staff only. If anyone has any reservations to this decision, he could approach the Director Municipal Administration CDA for redress.

They appealed that traders should not pay board tax to any representative of contractor and pay board tax @ Rs.60/sq yard only to CDA staff in cooperation with market unions.

Govt urged to announce

wheat purchase policy

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Pakistan Awami Tehreek has demanded the government to announce the wheat purchase policy within 48 hours.  The central president of PAT Dr. Raheeq Abbasi said that after suffering massive losses on the cotton and rice crops the farmer is finding it difficult to plough his fields for the next harvest. He said that due to this, not only Punjab government will suffer but with it the whole nation will have to suffer if the wheat price policy is not announced immediately. He was talking to a delegation of farmers from Punjab who called on him on Monday morning.  

The farmers said that each year by this time the government wheat procurement price is announced and the government starts purchasing and 98 per cent of the small farmers sell over 80 per cent of yield in the open market at rates little below the official rates. They said that middlemen make the purchases for the government and as such the farmer has to suffer. They said that the government should purchase the wheat directly from farmers. They said that the government should announce policy forthwith.

Dr. Raheeq Abbasi while briefing newsmen said that the farmer is worried that the Punjab Government Agriculture Department is already under a debt of Rs100 billion and will find it hard to make payments to the farmers to purchase their wheat.

CNG Association calls for parity in CNG, petrol prices

KARACHI (APP): All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) Sindh chapter has called for significant reduction in CNG prices in the public interest and of CNG sector, and to ensure its reasonable parity with petrol prices. He also underlined the need for creating an energy mechanism in the country where shortage of one fuel is catered by another for a well-balanced mix of energy, Chairman APCNGA-Sindh, Shabbir Sulemanjee made these assertions in his letter to the Chairman, OGRA. A press release here Monday said, the Chairman APCNGA has proposed that for reducing CNG prices the gas tariff be cut to the extent where continuity of this sector could be ensured.

The majority of the public transport sector has been converted to CNG and this sector provides thousands of jobs.

OGRA has referred the matter regarding maintaining a reasonable parity between price of petrol and CNG to Federal Government; declaring it as a policy issue, Sulemanjee claimed.

He said since the introduction of CNG the petroleum policy ensured a reasonable price differential parity. However, there has been no reduction in CNG prices which has direct link with crude oil prices in the international market.

The last change in CNG gas tariff was raised by OGRA in the year 2012-2013. Whereas, crude oil prices have come down from $ 115 per barrel to the present $ 45 per barrel ; declining by almost 60 percent, he maintained.

JICA to initiate tech programme for productivity enhancement

LAHORE (APP): Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will launch a four year technical support programme in collaboration with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) for quality and productivity enhancement of the auto parts manufacturing industry of Pakistan in April this year. Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry, Chief Executive Officer, SMEDA said this while addressing a meeting at SMEDA head office here on Monday. He informed that he had held a meeting with JICA Chief Representative  Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki to set a roadmap for implementation of the project.

During the 4-year programme, he said, technical support would be extended to 50 auto parts manufacturing units of Pakistan through five technical experts of JICA, who were expected to

arrive in Pakistan in April 2015.

Out of 50 SMEs, around 10 SMEs would be developed as model factories in the field of productivity and quality.

Development support system through capacity building programs of partner organizations and local experts is prime consideration of the project.

The visiting Japanese experts will also hold a series of workshops both in Punjab and Sindh on productivity and quality enhancement in auto sector of Pakistan.

The CEO said that SMEDA had been collaborating with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) since 2004 to impart best productivity and quality improvement knowledge and practices to the indigenous manufacturers belonging to various sectors.

The said program is based upon a survey conducted by JICA in collaboration with SMEDA in September last.

Apart from detailed discussions held with SMEDA, JICA Mission had also visited a number of auto parts manufacturing units and conducted series of meetings with Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) and a

number of OEMs both at Lahore and Karachi.

WWF, SCCI organise seminar

LAHORE (STAFF REPORTER): WWF-Pakistan and Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) organized an awareness raising seminar on the impacts of leather tanneries on environment at the SCCI auditorium, Sialkot which was attended by local traders, industrialists and exporters. The seminar focused on the water stewardship initiatives in Pakistan by WWF-Pakistan’s project titled City Wide Partnership for Sustainable Water Use and Water Stewardship in SMEs in Lahore, Pakistan funded by the EU. Dr Ejaz Ahmad, Senior Director, WWF-Pakistan; Ali Hasnain Sayed, Manager Water Security and Stewardship, WWF-Pakistan and Sohail Ali Naqvi, Senior Project Officer, WWF-Pakistan attended the seminar.

Dr Ejaz Ahmad gave the project’s overview and Ali Hasnain Sayed briefed the audience about the project initiatives especially pollution reducing practices to meet global trade challenges under the World Trade Organization (WTO) regime. He also explained that future training workshops in Sialkot will focus on the leather sector and Best Water Management Practices (BWMPs) which will train industries’ professionals on water conservation, pollution reduction and energy savings. Sohail Ali Naqvi gave a presentation on the initiatives taken in different SMEs and business cases for the implementation of BWMPs.

Mir Alamgir Meyer, Senior Vice President, SCCI discussed several challenges faced by the leather industry, especially environmental pollution. He informed participants that Sialkot’s leather industry has been facing several challenges due to environmental pollution, yet exporters are striving to find solutions to the problem. He further added that an international standard Sialkot Tannery Zone was underway where a large number of tanneries will soon be shifted after its completion. He thanked WWF-Pakistan for its efforts to conserve water in industries.

The activity was a part of an awareness raising campaign among 300 SMEs. WWF-Pakistan launched the Water Stewardship Project (WSP) in January 2013 with an aim to promote Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) practices in the country by facilitating and supporting a shift towards better water management in water-intensive SMEs located in Lahore and its surrounding districts.