KP to buy 0.3m tonnes wheat: PFMA

PESHAWAR, (APP): Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has said that Food Department of the province will purchase 0.3 million tonne wheat this year. The wheat will be procured from the local farmers directly. This was stated during a meeting of the delegation of the association with Senior Vice President (SVP), SCCI, Mohammad Naeem Butt here Thursday. During the meeting they discussed the industries problems. The meeting said that though the government had ruled out any compromise on the quality of the wheat. But, the District Food Controller in violation of the policy is purchase substandard, poor quality and injurious wheat on cheap price to earn illegal profit. They said that PFMA had repeatedly demanded the purchase of wheat through flour milling industry as they have to grind and provide quality flour to the people. Talking to the delegation, Naeem Butt said that the matter will be taken up with the higher authorities of the provincial government to stop the purchase of poor quality wheat through brokers.

He demanded of the Chief Secretary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for checking the quality of the purchased wheat to take indiscriminate action against those responsible in this regard.

 TVET policy to train 1m youth in year

 ISLAMABAD (APP): The government has set out country's first national policy for TVET, under which at least one million youth will be trained each year in a short term by increasing the number and quality of training opportunities. Under the new policy, National, Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) would also train 20 percent of all school-leavers, in addition to up-skilling and re-skilling existing workers by 2025. NAVTTC Executive Director Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema said this in a statement issued here on Thursday. Cheema said the new TVET policy showed present government's commitment to increasing access, relevant and the quality of technical and vocational training. This policy is an important milestone towards strengthening the technical and vocational sector which would contribute to boost the economy of country globally, he added. We are improving higher education sector but as TVET policy demonstrates so clearly that as a nation we must develop skills to transform on youth into an asset-instead of a burden, he added.

The government, he said has stoic resolve and commitment to ensure the implementation of the TVET policy, encouraging technical and vocational training for national and international labor markets.

 Neucon gets CCP notice for deceptive marketing

ISLAMABAD(Staff Reporter): The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued a show cause notice to Neucon Pakistan for copying the packaging of Biofreeze gel and spray, a product of the USA-based, Performance Health Inc. that is distributed in Pakistan by Ferozsons Laboratories Limited. Ferozsons' formal complaint to the CCP said that Neucon was using deceptively similar trademark, packaging, and labeling of its product, Biofreeze, for its product, Byqfreez.  Ferozsons is the authorised importer of the products of Performance Health, USA. These products, including Biofreeze, are duly registered with the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP). Biofreeze is also a registered trademark in the USA and with the Intellectual Property Organisation of Pakistan (IPO).  Ferozsons said that this action by Neucon was misleading consumers. The CCP's enquiry confirmed that Performance Health Inc is the first and rightful owner of the Biofreeze trademark and Ferozsons is its only registered distributor in Pakistan.

Neucon was not authorised to use the registered Biofreeze trademark, hence, it was involved in trademark infringement.

The enquiry also found that Neucon Pakistan was engaged in copycat packaging of the product of Ferozsons Laboratories to deceive consumers and harm the business interest of Ferozsons. Both these actions are a prima facie violation of Section 10 of the Competition Act.

A show cause notice has been served on Neucon Pakistan on recommendation of the enquiry report and the company has been directed to respond in writing within fourteen days.

CCP is mandated under the Competition Act to ensure free competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity, to enhance economic efficiency and to protect consumers from anti-competitive practices including deceptive marketing practices.

FPCCI wants changed banking hours during Ramazan

ISLAMABAD (INP): The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Thursday asked the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to revisit the notified banking hours for the holy month of Ramazan-ul-Mubarak. The SBP has notified the banking hours for all working days to be 8:00am to 1:45pm without any break while it is 8:00am to 12:30pm for Friday which is not going down well with some of the businesses, it said. The authorities should see the issue of bank timings from a different perspective so that it can benefit all the stakeholders, said FPCCI president Ghazanfar Bilour. The banking hours for public dealing during the Ramazan are not suitable for some sections of the business community which must be considered, he added. Ghazanfar Bilour said that the business hours for banks during Ramazan should be changed from 10.00am to 3.45pm. Such a move will help the masses and the business community to get better advantage of the banking services, he added.

The schedule for Development Finance Institutions and Microfinance Institutions should also be reconsidered by the authorities, he said.