Widening trade deficit worrying: PBIF


ISLAMABAD (NNI): President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday expressed concern over widening trade deficit on the back of falling exports and increasing imports. Government should take steps to contain fall in exports and reduce imports of non-essential items otherwise it will have to borrow or introduce mini budgets, he said. Mian Zahid Hussain said that in the first three months of the current fiscal year the trade deficit widened 29.21pc to $7.06b while exports fell 8.9 percent to $ 4.68b. The imports rose 10.7 percent to $ 10.61b during the 3 months over the corresponding period which is disturbing. The govt should immediately take steps to boost exports and reduce imports otherwise it will have to borrow from international lenders or introduce mini budgets to keep deficit in the limit agreed with the IMF, he demanded. The business leader said that slashing Public Sector Development Programme is also an option but it will have very negative impact on the population which is already reeling under multiple problems.

He told there are new of curtailing budget of PSDP by 420bn.

It is high time the government came up with incentives for the export sector after bringing meaningful reforms and release export refunds worth hundreds of billions of rupees which has broken the back of many exporters.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that under a three-year strategic trade policy and restructuring of TDAP, the government set an annual export target of $35bn by 2018. Yet exports are falling in terms of value as well as volume while the ministry of commerce has yet to receive any funds from the ministry of finance to take steps that can stop the decline in exports.



Pak products at Paris food exhibition

attract buyers

PARIS (NNI): Pakistan Pavilion at Global International Food Products Exhibition (SIAL) held in Paris attracted many buyers from around the world. SIAL is world’s largest food products exhibition where over 7000 exhibitors from 104 countries are participating. Twenty six renowned Pakistan companies actively took part in the exhibition and showcased their high end varieties of rice, pickles, dry fruits, beverages, spices and processed food. The Exhibition started from October 16 will be concluded on October 20. The buyers from around the world who visited the Pakistan stalls showed their keen interest in Pakistan’s high quality and price competitive food products. Ambassador of Pakistan to France, Moin ul Haque visited the Pakistani Pavilion and appreciated the active participation of the Pakistani exhibitors in the exhibition. He said that impressive representation of Pakistani companies testifies to the growth of food industry in Pakistan.

He added that participation in the world largest food exhibition would help Pakistan to boost its exports of value added food products to Europe and other countries of the world.






Tevta to recruit 65,000 apprentices by December: Chairman

LAHORE (INP): Chairperson Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) Irfan Qaiser Sheikh has said that TEVTA will recruit 65,000 apprentices up to December 2016. TEVTA recruited 28,000 apprentices up to December, 2015.  The number of enrolment of apprentices is constantly growing. According to the vision of Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, TEVTA is also doing its best efforts to promote apprenticeship training scheme across the province of the Punjab.  At present, the strength of apprentices has reached up to 49000. Chairperson TEVTA was addressing a meeting to review the progress of Apprenticeship Training Scheme here Monday at TEVTA Secretariat. Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that all the Regional Directorates of Apprenticeship Training are trying their level best to get the required target. The apprenticeship scheme has now been made more flexible to give maximum benefit to our youth.

The summary for age relaxation to the apprentices up to the age of 28 years has already been approved by the Punjab Govt.  The strength of apprentices up to June, 2015 was 14,018.

Chairperson TEVTA further said that efforts are being carried out to bring the maximum number of industries under the net of Apprenticeship Training Scheme.  So far 1985 industries have been notified for implementation of apprenticeship scheme, whereas 175 new industries are under process of notification, he concluded.




SRO 1125 hitting suppliers of

packaging material


LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Cold shoulder of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on SRO 1125(I)/2011 is adding to the miseries of the registered suppliers of packaging material therefore FBR should review this SRO immediately in the larger interest of the economy. In a statement issued after hours-long meeting with the representatives of packaging material suppliers, LCCI President Abdul Basit and Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa said that it is a matter of concern that despite various appeals of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry, no laxity is being shown by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). The LCCI office-bearers said that SRO 1125(I)/2011 has pushed the registered suppliers to the wall as manufacturers have started to make their purchases from unregistered suppliers or from other countries. They said that most of the packaging industries are supplying packing material to the exporters and are duly registered for sales tax.

They said that the denial of input tax/refund to exporters will encourage them to make purchases from un-registered persons so that only 1% tax is required to be withheld, instead of making purchases from the registered manufacturers/suppliers who will charge sales tax @ 17%. They said that the business of registered manufacturers/suppliers of packaging material will, therefore, come to a standstill and they will be forced either to close down or to de-register themselves and go in the un-organized sector.