Nespak wins Gaddani contract

LAHORE  (Staff Reporter): The Nespak has been given contract of Gaddani power project and appointed as consultant in accordance with PPRA act to ensure timely completion of this project of national importance. A press statement said that being an engineering consultant working nationally and internationally with more than 2500 professionals on its strength it is the only consultant in the country who can handle all the design aspects of Gaddani Project starting from conception to completion. It has in house capabilities of Civil, Electrical & Mechanical Works.

, with total in house expertise of carrying out studies related to Geotechnical Investigations and other site specific studies. By Awarding the work to Nespak the covernment, in fact, has ensured completion of this important mega project on fast track basis with much lesser cost to be incurred.

This project at Gaddani which shall ultimately be producing 6600 MW of electricity from hard coal has to be undertaken on war footings and on emergent basis.

FBR asked to extend

tax returns date

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to extend the date for filing sales tax, federal excise duty returns. In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari, Senior Vice President Mian Tariq Misbah and Vice President Kashif Anwar have urged FBR to extend the date for filing returns to facilitate the tax payers. The Eid-ul-Azha holidays are starting from October 15 till 17 (Tuesday to Thursday) making it difficult for the tax payers to meet the deadline.

PARC for collective efforts to enhance agri output

ISLAMABAD (APP): Chairman, PARC Dr Itikhar here on Saturday emphasized  collective efforts to devise a mechanism to transfer new innovations and knowledge to the end-users. He urged for making agriculture sector profitable as well as to enhance agri production for food security in the country by using new technologies in the country. While presiding a meeting with Country Director ICARDA Dr. Abdul Majeed, Director General, ABAD Punjab, Dr. Nadeem Amjad and senior scientists, he asked for introducing water and energy efficient technology in the country.

The Chairman assured full support of PARC to ABAD for up-scaling and improved rainwater harvesting and watershed management in the country.

It was further agreed that both organizations would enter into an MoU shortly to outline the mutual efforts to achieve the broader objectives of rural livelihood improvement through efficient utilization of harvested water.

DG ABAD appreciated the PARC research activities in Fatehjang whereby storage of existing dam was efficiently utilized through solar pumping irrigation system by using various smart technologies. He further said under present energy and water crisis, such work is highly needed to improve and promote diversified high value agriculture in Potohar region of Punjab province.

He requested the Chairman PARC to provide technical support to ABAD in the target region so that benefits of PARC work can multiplied.

Good farming practices to boost exports

ISLAMABAD (APP): The National Technical Working Group (NTWG) on Fruit and Vegetable Pakistan has initiated implementation of Good Agriculture Practices (Global Gap), the worldwide standards. The group facilitated by Agribusiness Support Fund Lahore (ASF) consists of experts and stakeholders from the public and private sectors, The Technology Times Quoted. The NTWG (F&V) of Pakistan is a platform to harmonise certification activities in Pakistan and create a direct link between the country and Global Gap Secretariat Germany.

ASF, not for profit organisation, is engaged in the development of agribusiness sector and an active member of Global Gap Germany since 2007.

The Global Gap Germany awarded ASF with the status of host for three national technical working groups: fruit and vegetables, livestock and aquaculture.

Representatives from the fields of certification, agribusiness, government agencies, and other experienced stakeholders are part of these working groups, it added.

The ASF with the support of USAID-Pakistan organised the 4th meeting of NTWG (F&V) Pakistan in Lahore. Thirteen members participated in the meeting.

ASF's focal person for NTWGs Tahir Mahmood briefed the participants about the work on interpretation which had already been completed.

Measures afoot to open LPG auto gas stations

ISLAMABAD (APP): Chairman LPG Distributors Association Irfan Khokhar has said that efforts are underway to open LPG auto gas stations countrywide in order to provide cheaper and environment-friendly fuel to consumers. Talking to APP, he said the first LPG outlet was scheduled to open in Mandra, Rawalpindi, in August but it was delayed due to non-cooperation of certain departments including the explosive department. He added construction work had been started on the facility after obtaining license from the OGRA.

, which would be inaugurated by a high official of the government.

He was of view that initiative would be encouraged at government level as it could not afford for long to supply gas to the CNG sector which had no future in the country where power shortage was badly hitting the masses, he added.

"We have high hopes from government to take effective steps for provision of relief to common people by promoting the LPG and encouraging to open its filling stations, across the country," he observed.

He said the LPG association would be fully co-operating with the government by providing workable proposals to it in order to resolve issues for promotion of LPG to extend relief to consumers who were already faced with high prices of daily-use commodities.

He also called upon the government to take notice of frequent raises in prices of the commodity to extend relief to consumers who were already overburdened with the crippling inflation.

He was of the view government was needed to take measures for working out an effective pricing mechanism of the fuel to provide the commodity to the consumers at affordable price.

He said the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority(OGRA) should also play its role by taking action against the unethical forces in the LPG sector, that were extracting money through unjustified raises.

PAJCCI’s role appreciated by  Pak, Afghan sides in APTTCA

KARACHI (NNI): Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) role as an enabler to business communities of both the countries to overcome the ground problems to enhance the bilateral and transit trade was greatly lauded at 4th APTTCA meeting held in  Kabul. The fourth joint session of Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Co-ordination Authority (APTTCA) was held in Kabul from October 8-9, 2013 in a bid to explore ways to solve transit grievances. The Pakistan side was led by Secretary Commerce Qasim M. Niaz.

 while the Afghan side was represented by Deputy Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industries Mozammil Shinwari. The role of PAJCCI was greatly lauded by both the sides for the active participation in facilitating transit trade and bilateral trade, says a press release issued here Saturday.

Motiwala has elaborated that Afghanistan side has agreed to facilitate the process of allowing multiple entry visa to Pakistani businessmen, especially members of PAJCCI. It is to be noted that Pakistan side is already issuing six months multiple entry visa to Afghan businessmen and it was requested that the same should be done on reciprocity basis especially to PAJCCI members and also to exempt them from personal appearance for visa application.

The Afghan delegation informed that an order in this regard has been issued by the President and it will be implemented as soon as possible.

In order to resolve issues of 5% physical examination and partial shipments, Pakistan Customs has proposed to implement the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) connectivity and its utilization for release of financial guarantee. The pilot project will be executed at Torkham, initially, from November 1, 2013.

Pakistan Customs also intend to launch automated clearance system (WeBOC) for Afghan Transit Trade under APTTA 2010 according to which an external user interface will be provided to Afghan importers based on Jawaznama and Tax Identification No (TIN). For this, all Afghan importers shall also be members of Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

This initiative will facilitate in developing a database of Afghan importers for Risk Management Criteria for 5 percent examination selectivity as agreed under APTTA. PAJCCI in coordination with Pakistan Customs will hold orientation sessions for Afghan Importers for effectiveness and coordination.

Pakistani side requested that the provision of auction may be extended to about 200 loose consignments lying since 1971-2010 at Karachi Port and Peshawar Railway. The customs has agreed to provide complete details to PAJCCI so that Afghan importers may be informed for claims and refunds prior to auction of consignments (if not cleared within 90 days).

Pakistan side informed that in pursuance to a previous meeting in September 6-7, 2011, both sides agreed to waive the condition of financial security for export of Afghan Cargo transiting through territory of Pakistan and export of Pakistan (to CIS countries) through territory of Afghanistan.

Pakistan has implemented the said waiver w.e.f. 14th September, 2011, while Afghan side is still charging 110 percent of the value amount from Pakistani exporters. Additionally requirement of transit permit and payment US $100 per consignment each from Pakistan by Ministry of Afghanistan is effecting the transit business of Pakistan.

Afghan side replied that Afghan Customs have launched a new transit system at Torkham and now they are securing the leviable duty/taxes amount through Freight Forwarders which is credited automatically to their account after arrival/cross-border of cargo at Sher Khan Bandar/Harithan. Afghan Customs also informed that the said system will be implemented at Chaman/Weish after Eid-ul-Azha holidays. They further elaborated that transit permit requirement would also be taken care off through the introduction of new transit system at Torkham. It was informed that production of the copy of agreement between Pakistani exporters/importers and third countries importers/exporters have also been abolished.

Afghan traders indicated that there are no shipping containers available in Afghanistan that can go directly from Afghanistan to overseas destination points. This requires that transit goods be transferred to Pakistan by trucks in loose form and then stuffed into appropriate containers within Pakistan. Pakistani side assured that that if goods come in containers then they will be further transported in containers and if in bulk will be carried away in bulk as agreed already and Afghan exports will be allowed to be containerized for further export.

In the meeting, it was also decided to hold Customs Working Group Committee Meeting between the two countries in mid November 2013 so that issues pertaining to bonded carriers, open pool facility for commercial consignments, insurance guarantees, cross-border certificates, tracking devices, formation of border liaison committees (including PAJCCI directors) must be dealt with. It was also agreed by customs of both the sides that all related amendments, SROs and minutes will be shared with PAJCCI for proper coordination and follow-up and prompt communication with stakeholders.