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Showing posts with label TDAP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TDAP. Show all posts

Saturday, March 7, 2015

FPCCI to back ABAD in resolving construction issues


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Chairman of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and a leading entrepreneur, S M Muneer, has reckoned that the construction industry has an important role in the economic development of any country.

He said that in his next meeting with Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, he will take the ABAD representatives along and request the PM to remove the four-year old ban on new gas connections. 

He was addressing a luncheon meeting held at the ABAD House in honour of the newly elected office bearers of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI). 

He observed that ABAD has great respect in trade associations and this is officially accepted adding that the issues of housing and construction industry will be resolved from the FPCCI platform. 

S M Muneer revealed that the recent exhibition organized by the TDAP was a great success and export orders worth 1.75 billion dollars were booked while the participation by businessmen from 75 countries which also improved the image of Pakistan in the world. 

The President of the FPCCI, Mian Muhammad Adrees, disclosed that the federation has declared 2015 as the Year of Revival of Pakistan Economy and the government has also supported the view that issues can be resolved at 7% growth of the economy. 

Appreciating the role of construction industry in the economic development of the country, he said that the bureaucracy has not been able to resolve the issues and the economy could not prosper without private sector’s participation. He offered full cooperation of the FPCCI for resolution of issues of members of ABAD. 

The Patron-in-Chief of ABAD, Mohsin Sheikhani, described the law and order situation as the biggest hurdle in the development which, he thought, can be improved with the cooperation of business community. 

The Chairman of ABAD, Junaid Ashraf Taloo, emphasized on the role of construction industry in the economic development and said that the total requirement of all gas connections in Sindh including Karachi and Hyderabad was less than 1 MMCFD. 

“The summary about lifting the ban on gas connections has been awaiting action in the Prime Minister’s office for the last six months. Rs 200 billion of builders and allottees are blocked at present which could bring more revenue for the government if brought into circulation,” he remarked.  
The ABAD Chairman reminded that the construction industry was the largest employer in the cities and towns as the construction moved the wheel of many allied industries and it deserved to be given facilities and incentives. 

The Senior Vice President of FPCCI, Abdul Rahim Janoo, the Vice Chairman ABAD, Mohammad Hanif Memon, and the Regional Chairman ABAD, Mohammad Hassan Bakshi also spoke on the occasion.

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?   

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.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Pakistan to hold mango festival, single country exhibition in Malaysia

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Pakistan High Commissioner to Malaysia, Syed Hasan Raza, has announced to promote Pakistan’s exports in Malaysia in a broader way and assist the business community to hold single country exhibition in Kuala Lumpur. 

Speaking at a seminar at FPCCI with the collaboration of Halal Association of Pakistan the other day, Hasan Raza also announced that Mango and Orange Festivals would also be held in Malaysia in order to promote Pakistan’s fruits’ export into Malaysia. 

The seminar was also addressed by the Chief Executive, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), S.M. Muneer and Kazi Asad Abid, Chairman Halal Products and Services Association of Pakistan (HPSAP). 

The High Commissioner highlighted the potential of fruits and vegetables, readymade garments and Halal products as his focus sectors. He also informed the initiatives he has taken for the promotion of Pakistan imports to Malaysia. 

S M Muneer, Chief Executive TDAP welcoming the High Commissioner appreciated his detailed presentation and informed the audience saying that he recently held a meeting with the Minister of Commerce and highlighted the importance of Pakistani foreign missions in promotion of exports. 

He said that he has taken up this matter with the ministry and a list would be updated of Pakistani foreign consulates / embassies officials which are not performing their duties as per the role assigned to them for the promotion of Pakistani exports. 

Kazi Asad Abid, Chairman HPSAP, recognized that Ambassador Hasan Raza has visited the FPCCI and Pakistan-Malaysia Business Council on the initiative of Founder and Senior Vice Chairman of Halal Association Asad Sajjad. 

He said that business community is well aware that for the last several years about the importance of halal branding and harmonization of standards, making efforts to bring Pakistan on the global map of Halal trade. 

He added that Ambassador Hasan Raza had also initiated and helped us organized the first Halal Trade delegation to Malaysia, under the leadership of then foreign minister. The delegation had literally opened Pakistan’s halal products export with Malaysia as most of the delegation members are now regular exporters to Malaysia. 

Kazi Asad Abid remarked that business community is very happy that Mr. Hasan Raza is now posted in Malaysia as the Ambassador and we are sure that he will do his best efforts to identify and create opportunities for our exporters to increase Pakistan’s exports to Malaysia for the Halal certified Food and non-food products. 

Appreciating the appointment of S M Muneer as the CE of TDAP, Kazi Asad assured the audience that HAP will organize similar lectures on regular basis, especially for the markets which are still not open for Pakistan, and would make efforts to resolve the issues and difficulties faced by the exporters under the dynamic leadership of S M Muneer, who hailed from the private sector and would be there for the promotion of exports.