Showing posts with label Syed Sajid Aziz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Syed Sajid Aziz. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

KMC to carry out Tannery Zone development work urgently

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Administrator of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Rauf Akhtar Farooqi has assured the industrialists to carry out development work shortly in Korangi Industrial Area despite the paucity of funds.

Addressing a reception hosted by the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA), South Zone, in his honour on August 18, Rauf Farooqi announced to re-construct dilapidated Jam Sadiq Bridge very soon as the Chief Minister had approved the PC-I of the project. 

The Chairman PTA SZ, Fawad Jawed, Deputy Commissioner Korangi, SSP Police Korangi, former Chairman PTA and Vice President FPCCI, Gulzar Firoz and prominent tanners were also present on the occasion. 

He said that massive repairs and reconstruction of the bridge that connects the city to the Korangi Industrial Area was the long time demand of the industrialists and now the work would be commenced in a week’s time. As pointed by the PTA chief, he immediately ordered the carpeting of link road in Tannery Zone which was left incomplete by the KMC.

The KMC Administrator further announced to repair the refinery road which has turned into a very bad shape. He said that encroachments on refinery road would be removed with the help of area deputy commissioner and police. 

He said that despite the fact that the KMC has very limited resources and facing massive shortfall of revenue, would complete the remaining work in Tannery Zone with its own funds. 

Rauf Farooqui, however, added that water to the industrial areas specially the Tannery Zone could only be supplied when the government increase water quota from Indus for at least 1,000 cusecs as present quota of 1,200 cusecs could only cater to the needs of the less than half of the population of Karachi. 

He said that reverse osmosis plants installed by DHA have been failed either. He advised the industrialists to urge upon the federal government to release KMC’s funds so that several projects that have been shelved due to non release of funds in the city should be executed. 

Gulzar Firoz pointed out on the occasion that people have extended their houses on the link nullah which connects to the treatment plant, illegally should be removed otherwise any untoward incident could have occurred anytime. 

The PTA Chief, Fawed Jawed, in his welcome speech urged the federal, provincial and local governments to rescue falling exports of leather and leather garments by providing water to the country’s largest cluster of tanneries. 

He pointed out that Tannery Zone contributes over 35 per cent of the total exports of leather and leather goods and its tanneries are starving due to drought like situation for the last several years as the sub-soil water is also depleting fast. He urged the KMC Administrator to use his good offices to prompt the KWSB to release water into the newly laid pipeline in Tannery Zone.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Business leader regrets longest-ever Eid holidays

Mr Ismail Sattar, President LCCI
By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

“Due to one of the longest ever holidays’ spell during Eid-ul-Fitr, the country has remained cut off from the rest of the world for the whole week having halting all kind of trade and exports with foreign countries.”

This was stated by Ismail Sattar, President, Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), and Vice President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI). He regretted that due to these long and unnecessary holidays the country has had to bear an irreparable monetary loss.

While commenting on the long spell of Eid Holidays together with weekly holidays, the LCCI President said that due to these nine-day holidays, the industrial and commercial activities were stopped thus rendering heavy losses to the national exchequer, besides no contact with international business community for more than a week, which is not desirable for a country like Pakistan, whose economy is already in oxygen tent.

He argued that if taken one day’s exports as $71 million on the basis of Pakistan’s total annual exports of $26 billion, we have lost over $356 million in just five days.

“The government has made it a precedent to declare long holidays just to please government employees who already do not have tendency to work honestly,” Ismail Sattar observed.          

He also pointed out that due to these long holidays, the public resorted to unhealthy activities causing great losses, as was evident from the tragic incidents at the Sea View Beach in Karachi and the terrible traffic jams at Murree and other big cities.

The business leader urged the power-corridors in Islamabad to refrain from allowing such a long spell of holidays, which the nation cannot afford both economically and socially, as the public resorts to unhealthy practices in the name of entertainment, which the local administrations of big cities are not fully equipped to cope with such abnormal public activity thus causing great losses of life and property.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

PRGMEA expects 2nd Made in Pakistan Expo to fetch big export orders

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has received an overwhelming response so far from the Pakistani exhibitors and about 70 per cent stalls have already been booked for the 2nd edition of the Made in Pakistan Expo 2014 being held in Mumbai, India, from August 31 to September 5, 2014 subsequent to the success of the inaugural edition of MIPEM 2014 held from April 3 to April 7, 2014 also at Mumbai.

The single country exhibition aims to provide a platform to the Pakistan based companies, for showcasing their range of products and services to the Indian public and business community. 

The exhibition will also be contributing in promoting Pakistan-India economic relations by diversifying the existing trade patterns thus introducing a wide range of quality Pakistani products in the Indian market with prominent business and trade sectors. 

The PRGMEA Chairman, Arshad Aziz, said that if all goes well then the event is likely to fetch at least $600 million export orders as compared to $400 million received in the inaugural edition. 

He said that the Pakistani garments especially ladies wear and lawn are in great demand in India and the long term business deals among the two countries will flourish the bilateral trade and Pakistan’s value-added sector could be given big boost. It’s the time when India should be considered as an opportunity than a threat to our Industries.

While spelling out details Arshad Aziz said that the 2nd edition of ‘Made In Pakistan Expo’ which would be held in Mumbai with the aim to promote Pakistan’s garments and clothing in the neighbouring country has been duly endorsed by the federal ministries of commerce and textile. 

He added that PRGMEA has arranged B2C and B2B meetings between the Pakistani exhibitors and manufacturer with Indian buyers and trade delegation would also visit India in the sidelines so that Pakistan exhibitors could avail maximum benefit from the event. 

He said that beside readymade garments, fashion clothing, and home textiles, handicrafts, marble items, food items and other goods would also be displayed in the event. 

Arshad Aziz remarked that Pakistani value-added sector will get this regional market in real term when Indian government removes all hurdles on Pakistan’s exports. PRGMEA has acquired 25,000 square feet space in World Trade Centre in Mumbai and it is expected that over remaining stalls would be booked in next couple of days.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Tannery Zone becomes Pakistan’s first crime-free industrial area

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Tannery Zone of the Korangi Industrial Area in Karachi has become Pakistan’s first ever crime-free industrial zone on self-help basis.

This was stated by the Chairman of the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) South Zone, Fawad Jawed, while talking to the association’s members and office-bearers in a meeting held on June 12.

The PTA official remarked that quite a few incidents of street crime and dacoity were taking place in the Tannery Zone in the recent past and the industrialists were extremely disturbed due to the deteriorating law and order situation.

He informed that the PTA South Zone then finally resorted to go for CPLC’s assisted system of surveillance, Neighbourhood Care, under which the association started surveillance of the area with the initial budget of Rs four million and purchased vehicles, motorbikes and hired private guards.

Fawad Jawed added that the area police and Rangers had fully supported the PTA in its quest and provided patrolling and mobiles vans to strengthen the CPLC-NC surveillance, revealing that the then DIG East had provided 29 police personnel for the patrolling and established pickets at some major arteries in the area while DG Rangers specially instructed the Rangers in the area to fully assist PTA.         

He was highly appreciative the role of the Rangers in fostering peace in the area and the entire city. He lauded the efforts of the Major General Rizwan Akhtar in improving the city’s law and order situation.

He   acknowledged  the endeavours  of   the  Rangers  to  have  contributed  to  put  the  wheel of  the  industry  on  track  once  again  so  that  the  national  economy  continues  to grow.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Minister announces to give Halal accreditation, certification under one window

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Federal Minister of Science and Technology, Zahid Hamid has assured the private sector to provide full assistance in promotion of Halal brands; establishment of one window under Ministry of Science for Accreditation and certification of companies.

Addressing to the World Halal Assembly held in Islamabad recently, the Minister announced that very soon the law would be presented in the National Assembly for the approval after it is being recommended by all stakeholders. 

The World Halal Assembly was jointly organized by the Halal Products and Services Association of Pakistan (HAP) and the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), duly supported by the Standards and Metrology Institute of Islamic Countries (SMIIC), mandated by the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) to work on the Halal Standards and Accreditation. 

The guest of honour, Ayatollah Hassan Alemi, representative of Supreme Leader in Jihad-e-Agriculture, Iran, in his speech had emphasized on the need of harmonization and cooperation in order to achieve ‘One Halal’ logo and ‘One Halal’ standard. 

He informed that his government is fully supporting the SMIIC agenda. Furthermore, he informed his government priorities for the promotion of Halal brands, imports and exports procedures and the latest development made by his Ministry.

Later, in the sessions, the international Halal industry experts from all over the world gave comprehensive information to the audience; addressed the issues and challenges related to Halal business, certification, accreditation and marketing. 

They also highlighted the role of trade bodies in promotion of Halal trade and highlighted the issues which could be taken up by the governments for promotion of Halal exports. 

The Chairman, HAP, Kazi Asad Abid and the Senior Vice Chairman, Asad Sajjad, in their speeches and presentations, threw light on the opportunities available and how to enter in this trillion-dollar Halal market to give a boost to the efforts of government to achieve desired export results. 

Pir Buksh Jamali, Director General, PSQCA stated that the World Halal Assembly was the largest Halal gathering in the region. He revealed that the delegates have given overwhelming response. 

Several cooperation agreements were signed during the World Halal Assembly between Pakistani companies and standardized bodies for the export of Pakistani Halal products. These MoUs would help Pakistan to increase the Halal exports of Pakistan in big volume.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Business leaders welcome Federal Budget 2014-15

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Ismail Suttar, Vice President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI) and President, Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has declared the federal budget 2014-15 as a difficult one but the incentives offered to the export sector was a welcome step which could help in accelerating exports from Pakistan.

He said that like the previous governments, this one too has refrained from taking revolutionary steps like imposition of income tax on agriculture sector and bringing big fishes into the tax net or even taking measures to prevent major tax evasions.

He remarked that the government, instead of scrapping Benazir Income Support Scheme, has not only extended it but increased the allocations from Rs75 billion to Rs114 which could be utilized in some productive schemes such as microfinance to the poor instead of turning them into beggars.

Ismail Sattar expressed his dismay over skipping proposed Hub Dry Port from the PSDP as demanded by the industrialists of Balochistan.

He opined that the budget outlay was quite complicated and it seemed that the government would have to depend on external resources than the internal ones in order to meet the budgetary allocations.

The Chairman of the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) South Zone, Fawwad Jawed, reckoned that the budget announced by the federal minister for finance was quite balanced one and full of incentives to the business communities especially the export sector. He also welcomed the establishment of Exim Bank and reducing the export refinance rate.

The Chairman of the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), South Zone, Arshad Aziz, praised the incentives given to the exports sector in the Budget 2014-15 wherein a four percent duty drawback is offered to the garments sector.

He stated that the establishment of Exim Bank was also a long time commitment by the exporters and hoped that it would be fulfilled this time. He hoped that government would clear all the pending claims of refunds as committed by the minister in his speech. 

The President of the All Karachi Industrial Alliance, Mian Zahid Husain, while welcoming the federal budget has declared it business friendly.

He said that Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, has taken a right step in right direction by bringing retail sector into tax net. He welcomed the imposition of advance tax on purchase of heavy vehicles, properties and electricity bills over Rs 100,000 per month. He however, regretted that government has refrained from imposition of tax on agriculture.     

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Runh’s expertise to bolster power generation

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

“As energy demand continues to exceed supply, companies are looking for innovative ways to solve not only short-term electricity and heating issues but also future power generation needs that are cost-effective, secure, and sustainable.”

This was stated by Sohail Lashari, President, Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI), while addressing a seminar, conducted by Runh Power Plant Engineering Technology Co Ltd, a global Chinese firm engaged in Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) of power plants. 

“Runh Power’s fossil fuel fired, waste to energy, and biomass power generation Technologies are particularly attractive to our country at this time,” the LCCI President added. 

“We have enjoyed a very cooperative business relationship with Pakistan since 2006, during last month, we were awarded 18MW co-generation power plant with Century Paper & Board Mills, and in the last year, we signed a 150t/h Biomass Boiler Island Project with Bullah Shah Packaging (Pvt) Ltd,” Dr Hui Jiang, Vice General Manager, Runh Power, remarked. 

The functionaries of Runh Power’s associates in the country from Century Paper, Board Mills Limited and Bullah Shah Packaging also delivered a speech highlighting Runh Power’s endeavor and services. Representative from private and government power sector were also present on the occasion and took active part in the interactive session of the seminar. 

Runh Power is a professional power plant EPC contractor, complete power plant equipment supplier and a global engineering firm that specializes in the construction of various types of power plants including coal-fired, gas-fired, oil-fired, biomass-fired, combined cycle and waste heat recovery. 

Its experience spans hundreds of power projects serving a range of industries such as steel, chemical, cement, paper, and sugar. Its branch office in Pakistan is located at Defence Housing Authority, Lahore.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fruit exporters seek VHT Plant installation

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

While the axe is falling on Pakistan’s fruits’ exports to European Union (EU) due to fruit fly’s threat, the much talked about Vapour Heat Treatment (VHT) Plant has been cleared by the customs department and dumped at the backyard warehouse of Expo Center by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).

Though the VHT Plant was imported in very dubious circumstances by the previous management of the TDAP, headed by Tariq Puri, about two years back, it however, became ultimate need of the hour as Pakistan’s fruits and vegetables exports remained under threat due to various reasons particularly fruit fly.

While stakeholders have earnestly demanded TDAP’s present leadership to install it immediately at some independent location so that country’s exporters could be able to utilize it and get away from possible threat of ban on their exports as EU has already slapped a ban on Indian mango due to the same reason.

According to the sources among stakeholders the country has to pay a massive amount on VHT Plant’s duties and demurrages and the cost of the machinery import has shot up to several millions. The TDAP has to pay an amount of Rs33 million in demurrages only, they say.

Despite a big urgency the new leadership of the TDAP is in deep slumber as the Secretary, a junior level officer, has her own priorities. She has looked more interested in foreign trips and some fashions shows than taking the responsibility to safeguard country’s exports.

It is pertinent to note that exports during April and may have dropped significantly, sources said adding that the newly appointed Chief Executive from private sector has proceeded to long vacation after making tall claims of bringing Pakistan’s exports to over $50 billion, while exporters have been left to suffer once again.

Sources said that while VHT Plant remains dumped in warehouse for the last several days and stakeholders are crying for its earliest possible installation as the mango crop is fully ripe and ready for export; the TDAP management has left it on the mercy of vested interests.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

TDAP deprives Pakistan from World Expo participation

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

At this juncture when the nation has been deprived of its representation in world’s most important and biggest trade event, the World Expo Milan 2015, Sartaj Aziz, the Advisor on Foreign Affairs has asked the UAE government to acquire its expertise in organizing the next similar event to be held in UAE in 2020.

The World Expo is considered as biggest trade event in the world and it held after every five years to the country declared successful in the bidding. This event is almost six month long in duration.

The previous World Expo was held in Shanghai China in 2010 and Pakistan participated in that event with a great enthusiasm. The forthcoming event is being missed by the Pakistanis due to incompetency and ineptness of the high ups in Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).   

The World Expo that commences from May 1, to continue till October 31, 2015 in Milan, Italy would be participated by as many as 144 United Nations member countries. In the previous World Expo Shanghai, Pakistan had participated in a big way as the organizers had built a concrete replica of Shahi Qilla, Lahore.

The Pakistan pavilion was highly admired by the many international dignitaries and celebrities including many countries’ head of states and ministers.  The Pakistan pavilion was organized by a private organizer at a cost of   $2.8 million.

However,this time the newly appointed Secretary TDAP, Rabiya Javeri Agha, instead of inviting bidding for the event, had asked for a huge amount of nine million euro ($12 million) from the government and the request was denied.

As the deadline of the event was approaching near, the same organizer who had organized Expo Shanghai in just $2.8 million as against the bids of $12 and $16 million by the other organizers had tried to rescue Pakistan and asked the TDAP to outsource the event.

He even offered to organize World Expo on his own expenses but the TDAP Secretary refused to do so and let the deadline expire by saying that the event is not that important.

Pakistan, desperately in need of boosting its trade abroad, is losing many such opportunities to the whims of incompetent and inexperienced officers to run the organization responsible for the export promotion.

The exporters said that how the Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz can offer expertise of those to UAE for organizing World Expo 2020, who are not even able to manage their own participation?   

Sharjah to become centre of $3 trillion Halal market

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is to be made center of World Halal Food (WHF) very soon, this was announced on the occasion of establishment of Gulf Halal Centre which was inaugurated by Chairman, Sharjah AWQAF, Sheikh Sagar bin Mohammad Al Qasmi, at Sharjah recently.

The setting up of WHF was a step in fulfilling the vision of Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid al Maktoum, to make UAE the center of world Halal Food trade. The opening of the cenrre coincided with Sharjah celebrating 2014 as the Islamic cultural capital of the world, and with Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Ruler of Sharjahs guidance and support to the Islamic world and great Islamic architecture that can be found and seen in all Sharjah government.

The ceremony was held at a local hotel in presence of  VIPs, senior government officials, diplomats, CIPs, business community and media, who witnessed the official launching of Gulf Halal Center (GHC), the pioneering Halal Certification body in the United Arab Emirates, offering  Halal Audit and certification services to Emirati companies, to help them convert to Halal Management System. Sheikh Sagar al Qasmi, declared it as part of the jubilation celebrating Sharjah as the Islamic Cultural Capital of the World 2014.

Chairman of Gulf Halal Center, Saif Mohammad Jasim al Midfa while talking to media said that the Halal market does not only include food products and ingredients but also food service establishments, Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Personal care products, Animal & Poultry feed, Apparel & leather products, hospitality and tourism, banking, finance, Takaful and logistics, which will all be covered by the Gulf Halal Center.

Asad Sajjad, the CEO of Gulf Halal Center gave an eye opening presentation on how the Haram ingredients are used in our everyday use products and emphasized on the importance of Halal Certification as the demand of 1.7 billion Muslim consumers as well as a lot of non-Muslims, who prefer Halal food as its healthy and wholesome (Tayyab). 

Asad said that Halal Certified has emerged as an internationally recognized and established brand that is a big sales booster for the Emirati manufacturers and exporters to enter the 3 trillion dollar plus Global Halal market. Halal Certified removes the non-tariff barriers for many countries as Halal Certified products are able to enter countries with obligatory Halal requirements.

He said that GHC team consists of qualified professionals including Halal technical auditor, Shariah experts and food technologist, experienced in Halal Audit and certification work as per UAE Halal standards for food safety and Shariah, also compliant with OIC-SMIIC Halal standards that are accepted worldwide. 

The GHC also offers Marketing services for Halal Certified products as well as Halal Training and awareness services, for the company employees and management.   

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Europe becomes popular in Pakistan after GSP status

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

“Europe has become popular among Pakistanis after it has been granted GSP Plus by the European Union (EU) early this year.”

This was stated by Germany’s Consul General in Karachi Dr Tilo Klinner while addressing the office bearers and members of the Karachi Union of Journalists-D (KUJ) and the Karachi Press Club on May 21.

“The GSP Plus status is a proof of confidence shown by the European countries on Pakistan, because of which huge foreign investments are coming here in different sectors,” he remarked, adding that in order to fully exploit the GSP Plus, Pakistan should have to comply with the international conventions it signed earlier.

He said that a big potential of Pakistan’s agro products did exist but the Pakistani exporters must adhere to the European quarantine regulations, reminding Germany was already importing Pakistan’s rice and wheat.

The German Consul General praised the investment policies of the Punjab government due to which a number of foreign investors are being attracted to invest in the province of Punjab.

He was of the opinion that Pak-India bilateral trade is not only in the interest of both the neighbouring countries but beneficial to the region as well.     

Dr Kllinner reckoned that the conditions for the working journalists in Pakistan were getting harder day by day and it was the need of the hour to create awareness among the journalists about their safety and protection.

He agreed to the proposals given by the KUJ to hold training courses and workshops in collaboration with the German Consulate for journalists and initiate journalists exchange programme between the two countries.

He said that he would write to the Berlin Press Club to coordinate with the Karachi Press Club. He further agreed to facilitate the journalists in teaching German language.
Dr Klinner also informed that a large delegation of businessmen from Germany will be visiting Pakistan soon to explore the opportunities for trade and investment.

He offered full support to the KPC and the KUJ, committing to encourage and facilitate them in their professional activities. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

More than 25 countries to participate in POGEE 2014

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The 12th International Exhibition for the Energy Industry-POGEE-2014 is scheduled to be held from May 28 to 30 at Expo Centre, Lahore. The exhibition is geared up for an extensive display of technological advancement and innovative services and is attracting a good number of visitors from cities like Faisalabad, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Muzzafargarh, Shaikhupura, Multan,  Lahore and Karachi.        
More than 200 companies from around 25 countries will be participating in the show including with a majority from China, Germany, Iran, India, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, UAE, UK, USA, Ukraine, Malaysia, Egypt, Australia, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Thailand and Turkey. 

The exhibition provides an opportunity to bring together the international business professionals and the leading local industry players to exchange their technical and business expertise to acquaint the local industry with the latest developments in the energy sector.

POGEE-2014 will also be featuring a highly focused Conference program that is aimed at bringing South Asia’s Energy Industry into the limelight. The POGEE Conference offers an excellent platform for exchange of views & information to the highly targeted audience from Oil, Gas and Energy Industry.

The 10th international conference will commence on May 29 and will be based on the theme “Empowering Pakistan’s Energy Future: Innovation and Investment”. Ms Saniya Awais, Managing Director, Punjab Power Development Board (PPDB) will grace the POGEE Conference as the special guest.

The first session of the Conference will have participation of eminent speakers from Board of Investment (BOI), Private Power & Infrastructure Board (PPIB), Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), GE and NSR Group China.

Adding further value to the conference, an Exclusive Panel Discussion on “Exploring Prospects for Coal Based Power Generation” will be conducted by Dr. Muhammad Bilal Khan, National University of Science and Technology (NUST). The panelists include Mr. Shamasudin Shaikh, CEO, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company, Mr. Zubair Shafi Ghauri, Chief Marketing Manager, Pakistan Railways, Dr. M. Ashraf Moten, Chief Chemist, Coal and Energy Development Department, Underground Coal Gasification Project, and Prof. Dr. Shahid Munir, Director, Centre for Coal Technology, University of Punjab.

POGEE will be an ideal platform to display the latest in technology, equipment and machinery as well as allied services, while providing investors with a definite outlook of the regional energy industry and an opportunity to meet their prospective counterparts and business partners.

This globally recognized platform anticipates that participation of each individual brings benefit and success in their businesses and enables the country to move a step forward towards its economic growth. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

FTO orders FBR to refund decided cases of exporters’ claim

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO), Abdur Rauf Chaudhry, has ordered the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to refund and clear all such refund claims to the exporters that have been decided. 

While addressing the members of Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry on May 13, the FTO announced that, in order to facilitate the exporters, he by himself would approach the FBR to make payments of already settled refund claims within the specified time limit. 

He declared that he will also instruct the FBR to arrange the publishing of Customs’ daily list of Import and Export through Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) in order to facilitate the business community and to promote the transparency in the international business transactions. 

Responding to a question he noticed that the demand of Tool Tax twice at Karachi Northern Bypass which tantamount to double taxation would be addressed in accordance with law in the larger public interest. The FTO also assured to monitor the expenses being made by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) from export development surcharge meant for the promotion of export trade in accordance with relevant legal provisions but grossly misused. 

In his welcome address, President LCCI, Ismail Suttar said that the institution of FTO has risen to the expectations of those about one million Pakistanis who had fallen prey to official apathy, incompetence and maladministration. 

It is the satisfaction for all concerned that this institution has disposed of about 70,000 cases by the end of 2013 which is really quite appreciative and an exemplary performance for other public institutions. The FTO Office is also watching the pending cases of sales tax refund claims amounting to more than Rs 97 billion and the issues relating to this matter. 

In our opinion the reduction of the rate of sales tax and income tax, as has been suggested by the business community, will not only reduce the complaints against the tax collecting agencies but also will broaden the tax-base in the country. 

Regarding the matter that when your FTO decides any case against the FBR, who file an appeal with the Office of the President of Pakistan and this takes quite a long time to be decided and thus the significance of your justified judgment goes in vain. 

This has been a general conception amongst the business community. Earlier Advisor to FTO Office, Quetta, Mr. Justice (R) Muhammad Nadir Khan, Advisor to FTO Regional Office, Karachi, Manzoor Ahmed Kureshi and President, Lasbela Chamber, Ismail Suttar highly appreciated the office of FTO, which is a last resort for the aggrieved members of the business community to get relief. 

He said that it’s quite encouraging that majority of members of Lasbela Chamber have no issues pertaining to taxation because of the efficiency of commissionrate of Inland Revenue, Hub and the Collectorate of Customs at Gaddani. 

However he invited the attention of the FTO towards the problems of general nature like delay in issuing the Refund Cheques by FBR, the matters of expenses made from the fund of export development surcharge.

Dr. Muhammad Aslam, former President LCCI, appreciated the visit of FTO along with his colleagues to the Lasbela Chamber.

He also appreciated the business community that always plays the role of economic engine to ensure the continuation of economic activities and growth. 

The Collector of Customs, Gaddani, Syed Tanvir Ahmed, Additional Commissioner Inland Revenue, Hub, Abdur Rehman Khilji, former President LCCI, Dr Muhammad Aslam and Chairman LCCI Taxation Committee, Iqbal Ismail also spoke on the occasion.