RCCI stresses need for

renewable energy solutions

RAWALPINDI (Staff Reporter): The President of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Mian Humayun Parvez emphasized the need of renewable energy solutions and asked government to pursue alternative and renewable energy projects to meet the growing requirements of power. Pakistan was facing energy crisis and renewable energy solutions, solar, wind and coal could help us to lower the burden on the national grid, he said adding that a clean and cheap energy was the need of the hour. He was expressing these remarks during a panel discussion on Energy Shortfall and Alternative resources at All Pakistan Chamber Presidents conference on yesterday.

He said that government was spending billion dollars on import of petroleum products. He urged government to promote alternative and renewable energy sources. He also appreciated the Wah Nobel Group’s proposal of providing free feasibility study/technical support to all chambers and associates organizations across Pakistan.

“Group’s representatives on this occasion said that their company is providing renewable energy solutions, i.e. Solar energy through Nobel Energy Ltd,” RCCI President said.

He added that Wah Nobel Group was ready to provide free technical and feasibility study services to all chambers by converting their existing power structure into alternative / solar energy solution to meet the requirement of their electricity with zero emission of carbon dioxide.

Higher telecom taxes

reducing adoption

Lahore (Staff Reporter): Higher telecom taxes are discouraging consumers and companies which is resulting in reduced adoption that is detrimental national productivity, a business leader said Sunday. According to a study, a price increase of 1 percent leads to a decrease in consumption by consumers of ICT goods and services of anywhere from 0.2 percent to 3.8 percent, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt. He said that according to the World Bank, every 10 percent penetration of broadband contributes 1.38 percent to GDP but this is ignored in Pakistan where telecom industry of is dying under burden of taxes.

Pakistan’s telecom sector is second highest taxed in the world which has discouraged investors resulting in lower 3G and 4G penetration and dramatic drop in direct foreign investment, he said.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that DFI plummeted by 72 percent for the fiscal year ending June 30th, while the telecoms industry contributed 50 percent less in taxes compared to the previous year.

He said that biometric subscriber verification that resulted in overall connection numbers dropping by 18 percent while it cost telecom industry 60 million dollars.

He said that cell phones and mobile internet is important tool to reduce poverty therefore policymakers should consider providing relief to telecom industry reeling under heavy taxation.

SME best tool to increase exports

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Chairman of the United International Group (UIG) Mian Shahid said on Sunday Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) are best tool to increase exports and revenue. SMEs should be promoted so that it can absorb increasing number of unemployed people which will help combat extremism and terrorism, he said. He said that over 96 percent businesses fall under the category of SMEs therefore this sector deserves an independent ministry otherwise government should increase allocation for SMEDA which is doing a good job in its meagre resources. Mian Shahid said that development of SME sector is linked to the security situation which continue to drag economy down since long.

He said that percentage of businesses not falling under SME sector are joust about four percent which include large scale manufacturing that cannot survive without SMEs.

Government and the central bank is paying attention to four percent businesses but the sector having 96 percent share deserves more.

SME sector continue to struggle for energy, skilled manpower, energy, value addition and training which cost of energy is casting a shadow over it, he said.

Lauding the role of State Bank of Pakistan, he said that commercial banks should not ignore this critical sector which is backbone of the economy.

He said government can consider designing a comprehensive support system and establish separate industrial estates for this sector which was playing a vital role for economic security with 30 per cent share in GDP.

OGDCL confident to meet drilling 31 new wells' target

ISLAMABAD (APP): OGDCL is confident to achieve its target of drilling 31 new wells set for the current financial year. "Under the target, the company has to dig 31 wells in all province and it will hopefully be achieved by end of June this year," official sources in the company told APP. Presently, they said, 17 wells were under the drilling process, adding that nine new wells had been spud and five were in testing phase. In next month, six more drills would be carried out and the company would complete all the process by June, 2016. They informed that around 125 mmcfd (million cubic feet gas per day) gas would be added to the system and 380 metric ton plant of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) would also be installed in March this year.

They said OGDCL had recently made two significant oil and gas discoveries in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.

The company discovered reservoir of 35.7 mmcfd gas in its Thal East-I concession and it would be added in the system soon. While, the second discovery of 1,032 barrels oil per day had been made in Nashpa field, Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Currently, the sources said, the company had 24 exploration licences and it was actively busy in exploration and production activities in Balochistan where some areas were inaccessible earlier.

OGDCL had also initiated 2D and 3D seismic data surveys in eight blocks in the province to step up its oil and gas exploration activities, they said.

Towel worth $396.196 million exported in six months

ISLAMABAD (APP): Towel exports from the country during first half of current financial year registered an increase of 4.56 percent as towel worth US$ 396.196 million exported as compared to the corresponding period of last financial year. Towel export was recorded at US$ 380.823 million during first six months of last financial year, said figures of Pakistann Bureau of Statistics. During the period from July-December, 2015, about 87,413 metric tons of towel exported as compared the export of 81,112 metric tons of same period last year, the data added. Meanwhile, exports of readymade garments grew by 3.85 percent as compared to the corresponding period of last year, the data reveled.

In first six-months readymade garments worth US$ 1.006 billion exported as compared the exports of US$ 1.004 billion of same period of last year.

During the period under review, about 15,027 thousand dozen of readymade garments were exported as compared to 15,094 thousand dozen exported during same period of last financial year, said the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

On month-on-month basis, the textile group exports increased by 8.2 percent to US$ 1.04 billion in December as compared to the pervious month's (November, 2016) exports of US$ 961.455 million.

However, the data reveled that textile group exports fell by 8.93 percent to US$ 6.269 billion in first half of current fiscal year as compared to the exports of US$ 6.884 billion in same period of last year.

During first half of current financial year, the textile group items which recorded negative growth in their exports including cotton yarn by 29.66 percent, cotton cloth exports by 10.24 percent and knitwear 3.05 percent.

However, other textile material exports witnessed 0.73 percent growth in first two-quarters of current financial year as textile material worth of US$ 233.285 million exported as compared to US$ 231.885 million of same period of last financial year.