Huge potential of Pakistani dates in national, int'l markets: Nizamani

ISLAMABAD (INP): President Sindh Abadgar Board and member Pakistan Agriculture Council (PARC) Board of Governors (BoGs) Abdul Majeed Nizamani has said that Pakistani dates have a huge national and international market demand. He said that Pakistan is the 4th largest producer of dates with total annual production at around 650,000 tons in the form of over 300 varieties. Scientists' efforts are appreciated for introducing solar dates drying technologies. He stated this while addressing at Inception Workshop on "Post Harvest Management and Value Addition of Fruits in Production Catchments in SAARC Countries" - Pakistan Component at local hotel in Sukkur on Wednesday.

Majeed Nizamani said Pakistani fresh dates are considered industrial quality by the developed world and fetch only one-third the price of processed dates. Efforts are required to develop and disseminate appropriate dates dryers. The other important fruit crop of the area banana is also facing serious problems from production to post harvest management and marketing.

Cut in tax rates for corporate

sector welcomed

LAHORE (APP): Progressive Group in the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has welcomed the govt initiative of reducing tax rates for corporate sector, reducing export refinance rate and exempting new industries from taxes for five years to be set in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. However, the Group said that the government should extend this incentive to whole of the country so equally promote industrialization in all the four provinces. Progressive Group President Khalid Usman, Vice President Abdul Wadood Alvi and Secretary Information Muhammad Ejaz Tanveer said that it is good that the income tax rate for corporate sector has been brought down to 32 per cent from 33 per cent in next fiscal year.

However, he said that reduced rates of taxes should also be applied on local, small and medium size companies as higher rates tend to increase tax evasion while reduced rates encourage the honest persons. He said that the government should not focus the export oriented one sector only but extend incentives and concessions to all segments of the society and trade.

They also hailed giving exemptions to investments in electricity transmission projects, new halal meat processing units and reducing the advance income tax collected with token tax. They also welcomed the waiver of GST on bricks and crushed stone, reducing duties on import of construction machinery and suspension of minimum tax on builders saying it would increase the construction industry, which also accelerate economic activities in over 40 ancillary industries. They also welcomed bringing down the income tax rate for Association of Persons and individuals salaried class.

Prices of ghee, cooking oil to

remain stable: PVMA

ISLAMABAD (INP): The President Harripur Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chairman Pakistan Vanaspati Mills Association, Atif Ikram has said that no new duty had been imposed on vegetable ghee and cooking oil in the budget 2015-16. Atif said that there would be no impact on the price as there is no change in the taxes, the price of ghee and cooking oil will remain stable in the country after the new budget, until or unless there is massive fluctuation in the international market. Atif said that "The economy of KPK has suffered immensely due to terrorism and appreciated measures to revive it.

He said that the federal government in the fiscal budget for 2015-16, has announced five years Income Tax holiday on all new manufacturing units, set-up in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said that to address the demand of traders and to facilitate exports from KPK to Afghanistan, exports of perishable goods namely fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meat are allowed against Pakistani currency instead of dollars with effect from 1-7-2015.

He appreciated government for giving relief to builders and industrialists of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). He said that it is a positive step to trade in Rupees instead of dollars with Afghanistan but there is need to take more steps in order to control smuggling on the western border.

3G, 4G services boost telecom

revenues to Rs299 billion

ISLAMABAD (APP): The commercial launch of 3G and 4G services has opened new opportunities for revenue generation for operators as revenues from telecom sector reached an estimated Rs 299 billion during first two quarters of 2014-15. The availability of 3G and 4G services in the country from June last years enabled development of new applications and database services, and people are quickly adopting these new technologies and services. As per official figures here on Tuesday, this has resulted in surge in data revenues of cellular mobile industry, reaching Rs.37.3 billion during July-December, 2014 as compared to Rs 22.1 billion in July-December, 2013, showing an increase of 69 percent.

The revenues are expected to further increase in the coming years as more subscribers are added into the 3G and 4G fraternity, generating more data revenues of telecom industry.

With regard to telecom contribution to national exchequer, the data revealed that during the first two quarters of 2014-15, this sector contributed Rs. 73.22 billion to national kitty in terms of taxes, regulatory fees, initial and annual license fees, activation tax, and other charges.

Cargo train service between

Pakistan-Iran to promote trade

ISLAMABAD (APP): Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq has said that launching of cargo train service between Pakistan and Iran was aimed at promoting trade between the two countries. Talking to VOA, he said that Pakistan was also interested in launching a train service to Turkey via Iran. Khawaja Saad Rafiq said, "At initial stage, we would ply train service once a week and it would return within a week; we have also started renovation work and restoration of railway track for Quetta-Zahidan for freight train service." Referring to the objectives of train service, he said that Pakistan wanted to promote its trade with Iran. He said, "We will export rice and other goods through our Quetta-Taftan and Zahidan Goods Train Service.

Earlier, these goods were being sent to Iran by road while it will bring back goods from Iran to Pakistan." He said, at moment, the train service will contain twenty four bogies while finally the number of bogies would be increased to forty. Besides, "We will purchase 2000 liters diesel at the rate of 15 rupees per liter for the train service." Khawaja Saad Rafiq added that Pakistan was also interested in launching a train service to Turkey via Iran and according to him, for this purpose, efforts were being made.

He remarked that government was also ready to launch ECO Train service. He pointed out that there were some problems in launching the ECO train service. ECO Train Service would ply between Quetta and Istanbul via Tuftan and Zahidan in Iran. "We had told Turkey that Pakistan is ready for launching ECO train Service," he added. To a question regarding Pakistan railways has been facing deficit, he said that its ratio was constantly being decreased.