Electronic News Bulletin - The Federation Of Pakistan Chambers Of



Electronic News Bulletin - The Federation Of Pakistan Chambers Of
Electronic News Bulletin
(Summary of news appearing in National Dailies April 6, 2015) relating to Industry, Business, Trade & Commerce) From
(English & Urdu News Papers)
The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry 1 FPCCI/IR/ (11)
April 6, 2015
FPCCI’s Electronic News Bulletin
Index Head line
SR #
News Paper
-----News Page No. / Colum
Board of Revenue Sindh team visits FBR Punjab
Industrial zones be set up along Pak-China corridor
CDA discouraging investment in Islamabad: Small traders
Onion price jumps up by 100pc to Rs60 per kg
KSE-100 economic barometer nurtures corporate culture
Billions dollars dev accords to be signed on Xi’s Pak visit
SECP envisages promotion of Islamic finance
Chinese group keen to invest in Pak salt mining
WTO review of Pakistan’s trade regime
(p8.c4) (p14.c3)
(p2.c4) The Nation
The Nation
The Nation
The Nation
Pak Observer
Pak Observer
Pak Observer
Pak Observer
Growing domestic demand spurs spice business
Regulated import of wheat products
Stocks: method in madness
New economy, new business
Sri Lankan president arrives on 3-day visit
Politics in Pakistan
Westbury Group chief hosts dinner in honour of TDAP CE, others
The News
Business Recorder
Business Recorder
Business Recorder
2 April 6, 2015
Reports of “The Nation”
1. Board of Revenue Sindh team visits FBR Punjab
LAHORE : A delegation of senior officers led by Senior Member Board of Revenue Sindh Shoaib Ahmed
Siddiqi visited Board of Revenue Punjab on Sunday. Senior Member Board of Revenue Punjab Nadeem
Ashraf while giving a briefing to the delegation said, due to special attention of Punjab Chief Minister,
Land Record Management Information System Project is being speedily completed for the provision of
transparent and easy services of land record in the province. He said that computerised fard and mutation
deeds are being provided to lakhs of land owners within 30 minutes and 50 minutes respectively through
land record centres set up in 143 Tehsils of the province.According to an estimate, around Rs73.5 crore
have been deposited to government exchequer as a result of issuance of 77601 computerised fards and
24809 mutation deeds through these centres in the last one month.While giving out the details Nadeem
Ashraf told that out of 363 mauzas, land record of 186 mauzas has been computerised. He said land
record computerisation has been completed in 20 districts of Punjab while date of 16 districts has been
registered.He further told that Provincial Disaster Management Authority has been upgraded and its
performance has improved. He said that this institute will forecast any natural calamity of future and relief
arrangements can be completed before time, so that relief items have been stored to cope with any
emergent situation in the province.
2. Industrial zones be set up along Pak-China corridor
LAHORE : The Synthetic Products Enterprises Limited (SPEL) Chairman Almas Haider has said that
industrial zones should be set up along Pak-China economic corridor and motorways for foreign investors
with ten-year tax exemption for setting up industries. The upcoming visit of Chinese president to Pakistan
is of great significance as important agreements of billions of dollars are expected to be signed, he said.
He said the agreements would further expand and deepen the relations between China and Pakistan.
The government, he said, should also take the private sector into confidence on the accords to be signed.
He said that Pakistan was making enormous progress, as the GDP growth rate would reach 5 percent
soon. If the government provided all facilities to small and medium industries then the GDP rate could
reach at 8 percent.For the development of economy, the government should form deregulation policy in
the country as it promoted competitive environment and could overcome the crises of petrol, gas and
other petroleum products. He added that the policy would help in setting the prices of commodities in
accordance with demand and supply ratio and provision of petroleum products on cheaper rates to the
people which could also add more revenue in national exchequer.
3. CDA discouraging investment in Islamabad: Small traders
ISLAMABAD : Outdated laws, manual procedures and rampant corruption in the Capital Development
Authority (CDA) are hampering development and discouraging investors, a business leader said Sunday.
The investors who buy commercial properties worth billions are involved in petty matters like soil testing
etc. which should be done by the CDA in advance, said Patron of Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders
Shahid Rashid Butt. He said that CDA officials take years to approve the maps, design and plan of the
building made by the professional engineers and architects approved by the Pakistan Engineering
Council and the civic agency itself. Building Control Cell of the CDA delay approvals unless their palms
greased by investors resulting in delays, disheartenment and increased cost of doing business, he added.
He said that CDA must make system automated and approve the layout plans within one month to reduce
corruption, cut cost of doing business and encourage investment. This will make buying land easier,
boost taxes and employment and cast down increasing trend of commercial activities in residential areas
of Islamabad. Butt said that CDA would impose 18 percent extra charges on late payments but it would
not pay any damages for delay on its part to those whose billions are kept blocked for years.
4. Onion price jumps up by 100pc to Rs60 per kg
LAHOER : The rate of onion has sharply increased by more than 100 per cent just in a couple of days
from Rs25 per kg to Rs50-60 in retail market with no availability in makeshift markets established on
Sundays in Punjab Market sources said that supply of onion from Sindh has been suspended leading to
3 less supply in the provincial capital and raising the rate by more than Rs25-35 per kg only in few days.
Dealers of Sunday bazaars also refused to sell the commodity due to high rate. Resultantly several
vegetables were missing in most of the Sunday bazaars of provincial capital, as the market committee
fixed the prices of items lower than the cost of wholesale market. Dealers said that rate of 5 kg onion was
Rs250 (Rs50/kg) in wholesale market while the market committee fixed the price at Rs28 per kg which
was not viable for them. Hence they refused to sell onion in Sunday bazaars. However, substandard and
low quality onion was available in limited quality at few stalls at Rs25-30 per kg. Agri experts are of the
view that another crisis of onion shortage, although of less intensity, may over-take the country because
of some new factors viz less area sown in the Punjab, un-timely rains and a wet spell and un-favourable
conditions of the NWFP crop. They said that after few years gap the country usually confronts with onion
crisis causing acute shortage in supplies and abnormally high prices on different reasons. Recently
extensive damage caused to the Sindh main winter crop by unprecedented floods (which practically
washed it away, requiring re-sowing). Another onion crisis repeated itself mainly due to the record export
destined to India mostly by the land-route where the onion crop met with failure. Besides India, onion
export continued as usual to the Gulf states, Sri Lanka, Singapore and China. The latest onion crisis,
although of short duration, occurred two years ago which could have been averted by the increased
supply of the crop (which had been unusually delayed due to its washing away by heavy rains soon after
sowing. Pakistan Agri Scientist Association chairman Jamshed Cheema said that onion is grown in all
the four provinces of the country in varying volumes and with different harvesting seasons.
Reports of “Pak Observer”
5. KSE-100 economic barometer nurtures corporate culture
RECENTLY KSE-100, took dip, draw-down, of approx. 17%, from 2nd February to 34,676 to 28,927, and
previously during political protest, the dharna, in August 2014, however subsequently it recovered. Some
pessimists often inculcate a misconception, that Stock Markets indices are significant economic indicator
of a country’s state. Let this be cleared, KSE-100, represent 100 stocks only, whose values are affected
by any developments in those specific companies only. Pakistan’s more than 90% business is conducted
by SME’s (small & medium enterprises) not these listed companies. Moreover, Stock exchanges
sometimes follow a bullish trend of selling or buying, which overvalues or undervalues the stocks from its
balanced optimum value. People in panic often incur loss and vigilant veterans exploit market’s
inefficiency. So there are circumstantial factors underlying Stock Indices.Despite efforts anddevelopments
in SECP, Pakistan’s corporate business has not flourished along with population growth, stocks of same
companies are changing hands, since long. Only negligible new assets are being created in corporate
sector. As economists opine, Speculation gains may be considered non-productive Transfer Incomes,
which do not contribute to GDP. Investment in secondary market is just change of ownership. There is
negligible productive investment, by floatation of new companies stocks, which may add to GDP. So any
money spent on sale purchase of existing shares from secondary market is not an investment in broader
6. Billions dollars dev accords to be signed on Xi’s Pak visit
Lahore—The upcoming visit of Chinese president to Pakistan is of great significance as important
agreements of billions of dollars are expected to be signed, said Synthetic Products Enterprises Limited
(SPEL) Chairman Almas Haider on Sunday. Talking to APP, he said the agreements would further
expand and deepen the relations between China and Pakistan. The government, he said, should also
take the private sector into confidence on the accords to be signed.The chairman said that industrial
zones should be set along Pak-China economic corridor and motorways for foreign investors with tenyear tax exemption for setting up industries. To a question, he said that Pakistan was making enormous
progress, as the GDP growth rate would reach 5 percent soon. If the government provided all facilities to
small and medium industries then the GDP rate could reach at 8 percent. For the development of
economy, the government should form deregulation policy in the country as it promoted competitive
environment and could overcome the crises of petrol, gas and other petroleum products.
4 7. SECP envisages promotion of Islamic finance
Islamabad—The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has envisaged a roadmap for
restructuring and reorganizing of the Islamic capital market. The initiative aims at the promotion of
Shariah compliance in the capital market of Pakistan. The roadmap entails centralization of the Shariah
related capital market activities, introduction of uniform Shariah Regulation for the takaful, modarabas,
Islamic mutual funds, Islamic pension funds, Islamic REITs, other Islamic financial institutions (other than
banking), Shariah compliant (Non-financial) Companies, Islamic products and instruments.
The Chairman SECP Mr Zafar Hijazi is very keen to work for the growth and promotion of Islamic financial
industry and Shariah compliant companies in the country. Implementation of the work at SECP is being
pursued by the Islamic Finance Department (IFD) established in February, 2015 for achieving the
objective of a robust and credible Islamic capital market. The Islamic Finance Department in consultation
with the Securities Market Division of the SECP is working to introduce an All-Share Shariah Compliant
Companies’ Index at the Karachi Stock Exchange. The SECP recently gave its recommendations to the
Steering Committee for the Promotion of Islamic Banking in Pakistan. The Steering Committee submitted
its report to the Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, at a ceremony held at the
State Bank of Pakistan in Karachi last week.
8. Chinese group keen to invest in Pak salt mining
Lahore—A delegation from Joint Group Sichuan, China led by its president Bai Shun, accompanied by
Technical Director Bai Shijun, Agriculture Expert, Chen yang, Market Developing Department business
Manager Ms. Ma Qiuyun visited the office of Punjab Board of Investment & Trade (PBIT ).
The focus of delegation was to invest in Rock salt mining and its processing plant. PBIT offered them full
support and facilitation for the said purpose and informed them about the investment opportunities in
Punjab in various other sectors. Prior to their visit, PBIT had shared information on potential Investment
opportunities in Punjab especially in the Agriculture, Livestock, Dairy and Energy sector with the group
and as a result JOINTT GROUP have shown willingness to establish a branch office in Punjab.
Punjab Board of Investment and Trade also facilitated delegation’s visit to the University of Agriculture
Faisalabad where they met with the Vice Chancellor. Bai Shun was thankful to PBIT team for sharing
business opportunities in different sectors and arranging their visit to Agriculture University Faisalabad.
Jointt Group is a multinational corporation, whose business covers investment, mining, engineering
construction, international trade etc.
Reports of “Dawn”
9. WTO review of Pakistan’s trade regime
PAKISTAN’S major trading partners — who reviewed the trade policies and practices pursued by the
country since 2008 — concluded in a WTO meeting in Geneva last week that Pakistan’s expanding
economy needs more fiscal consolidation, infrastructure expansion and trade liberalisation.The country’s
regulatory framework and development initiatives also came under strong scrutiny.The participants put
over 200 questions over what they considered hurdles in the way of freer and larger trade volumes. Most
active in the discourse were representatives from the US, China, EU, Malaysia, Canada, Singapore,
Australia, Argentina and Japan.Some members raised the issue of the presumptive income tax of 1pc on
export proceeds. They believed that exporters pay lesser income tax as compared to non-export
companies, and a member termed this difference a subsidyAhead of the review, the WTO secretariat had
prepared a comprehensive research document on Pakistan’s trade regime. Pakistan had responded
through a position paper to the WTO secretariat, highlighting the government’s efforts to improve the
economy and foreign trade. These two documents became the basis for the five-year review.
10. Growing domestic demand spurs spice business
SALES of branded spices continue to swell on the growing domestic demand, but their market share is
still small. The spice processing industry has yet to exploit the untapped market potential. Exports of
packaged spices and pickles have also been on the rise as manufacturers have set up more distribution
networks abroad and are reaching out to new markets. Besides, offshore spice production facilities of
these companies are also doing well and earning foreign exchange for the country, executives of these
5 firms claim. Over the years, the growing urbanisation and changes in life styles have boosted domestic
demand for branded spices. And food firms have responded actively to cater to this rising demand.
Leading companies enter into sales agreements with superstores that are typically undertaken between
producers and distributors
11. Regulated import of wheat products
AT a time when the government is in a fix over how to clear the current wheat glut, the Economic
Coordination Committee of the Cabinet has allowed import of wheat products by imposing a regulatory
duty. The ECC lifted the complete ban, imposed a couple of months ago, on import of wheat products on
March 19, and instead raised the regulatory duty from 20 to 25pc on the import of both wheat and wheat
products with immediate effect. The regulatory duty has been enhanced to protect local farmers at the
expense of local consumers against falling international prices. The ECC also extended the period for
export of 1.2m tonnes of wheat for Punjab up to May 15 and for Sindh up to April 30. It set a target of
6.6m tonnes of wheat procurement by the provinces and Passco for wheat crop 2014-15 at a cost of
12. Oil
WITH breakthrough in nuclear talks with Iran on April 2, the oil price did not react much. For weeks,
experts predicted oil would likely slide as much as $5 after the announcement of a deal. Instead, oil is
down less than a dollar, and the US stock market showed little reaction.Crude oil has been trading in the
$48 to $50/barrel range all day on April 2. That’s a lot higher than the low point of about $42 oil fell to a
few weeks ago. Since the European Union placed sanctions on Iranian oil in 2012, Iranian exports of
crude have fallen by more than 1mbpd — more than 1pc of the daily global market. At a time when there
is a daily excess of nearly 2m barrels of supply on the world market, another 1mbpd would put further
pressure on world crude prices — which have fallen about 50pc since June.
13. Gold
IN the London market gold fell below $1,200/ounce on April 2, as the impact of a weak dollar was offset
by a positive round of US economic data offering hopes the labour market continues to expand even as
growth has stalled. Spot gold fell 0.6pc to $1,196.35/ounce. After a 2.4pc slide in March, the metal
climbed 1.8pc a day earlier, the biggest single-day rally since January 30. US gold for June delivery
slipped $11.60/ounce to $1,196.60. The metal reversed initial gains after data showed the number of
Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, while February’s US
trade deficit narrowed to its lowest point since October 2009. The dollar remained however under
pressure on views that US economic growth slowed sharply in the first quarter. Gold prices pulled back
from a one-month high on April 2 as some investors locked in recent gains while others moved to the
sidelines ahead of the long weekend. The most actively traded contract, for June delivery, was recently
down $4.50, or 0.4pc, at $1,203.70/troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile
14. HBL in the spotlight
With an asset base of a mammoth Rs1.77trn, Habib Bank Ltd is currently involved, at various stages, in
potentially acquiring two financial institutions: a foreign bank’s operations in Pakistan and a microfinance
bank. Yet, it is the government’s decision to divest its 41.5pc shareholding (609.3m shares) in the
country’s largest bank that has put HBL in the spotlight; this is being bid as the largest capital market
transaction in the country’s history. At Thursday’s closing price of Rs187.66 per share, the potential
divestment could fetch the government over Rs114bn (around $1.1bn). According to recent media
reports, the government has already started courting foreign institutional investors by launching overseas
road shows. According to the transaction structure approved by the Privatisation Commission in February,
initially 250m of the bank’s shares are to be sold through the book-building process.
6 15. Stocks: method in madness
The Pakistani stocks’ mouth-watering returns of 49pc in 2012 and 2013 each, and a further 27pc rise last
year, had attracted droves of investors to the capital market. But those looking for their share in the
fortune scarcely knew that the timing of their entry could not have been any worse. There goes a saying:
‘whatever goes up must come down,’ and the bourse came crashing down in March. As investors
watched in disbelief, the benchmark KSE-100 index continued to slide all through the month, losing 3,398
points or 10.1pc to reach 30,233 points.It was the worst monthly market fall in five years since May 2010,
and to many, it raised the ugly spectre of the crash of 2005.
Reports of “The News”
16. New economy, new business
Pakistan faces acute shortage of housing and related infrastructure. The current back log on housing is
estimated at 6 million units with an annual augmentation of a further 300,000 units. Urbanisation,
demographics, and limited financial options have placed tremendous strain on larger cities. Karachi,
Lahore, Faisalabad etc, that also serve as business, industrial and commercial centers may, in the long
run, be at the risk of being chaotic and vulnerable to instability owing to housing issues. According to an
estimate, house ownership represents 75 percent to 90 percent of household wealth in emerging
economies, 15 percent to 30 percent of aggregate investment and 9 percent of total employment.
Pakistan lags far behind these benchmarks. In order to encourage buoyancy, financial markets must play
their due role by channelizing resources to the sector. Pakistan’s financial markets are overwhelmingly
dominated by commercial banks, which have been reluctant to extend Mortgage Financing. Not
surprisingly, mortgage finance constitutes only 1.5 percent of the outstanding credit as of December
2014.Several reasons could be attributed to the limited participation in the real estate and construction
industry by banks, including but not limited to: lack of financial products, dominance of the informal sector
in all sub-segments (construction, buying/selling) of the industry, lack of documentation and transparency,
unreliable valuations, and the prevailing tenancy and foreclosure laws.
Reports of “Business Recorder”
17. Sri Lankan president arrives on 3-day visit
ISLAMABAD: President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday arrived here on a three-day state
visit to Pakistan at the invitation of President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz
Sharif.Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif warmly received the visiting Sri Lankan President and his
delegation at the Nur Khan Airbase.Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi
and other high officials also accompanied the Prime Minister.A 21-gun salute was presented to the Sri
Lankan President upon his arrival. Earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah along with other high
officials received the visiting President who landed at the Jinnah International Airport Karachi in a
commercial flight.After a brief stopover there, President Maithripala Sirisena left for Islamabad in a special
flight of Pakistan International Airlines. It is the first visit of the newly elected President Sirisena to
18. Politics in Pakistan
Politics is about never acknowledging serious mistakes and Pakistani politicians have displayed this
tendency like their counterparts in the rest of the world. However while in the West politicians’ focus is on
the defence of their policies and their far from salutary outcomes yet in this country the defence is for
serious crimes be they on charges of tax evasion, money laundering, accepting commissions on the
award of contracts, changing regulatory orders to benefit a political family or indeed murder or terrorism.
And their defence: claims of political victimization.Claiming victimization allows our politicians to self
righteously deny any wrongdoing and this has been consistently the defence by our politicians, democrats
and autocrats alike. To-date no political party is immune from charges of engaging in illegal activity:
Musharraf is embroiled in murder cases as is the MQM (though the National Reconciliation Ordinance
wiped the slate clean as it did on corruption charges of PPP leadership), the PPP of corruption and
establishing a militant/criminal wing after the assassination of its charismatic leader Benazir Bhutto, the
7 PML-N of manipulating statutory regulatory orders to benefit the Sharif family, continuing to defy public
procurement rules, refusing to undertake policy decisions that have an input from relevant experts at the
cost of the tax payers (examples include the Nandipur power project, claims of untold natural resources in
Chiniot) and the most serious charge of all – of being responsible for the Model Town tragedy which killed
several Pakistan Awami Tehrik workers last year, the PTI of attacking the prime minister’s house last
year, the JUI (F) of a partiality to winning diesel contracts, and the ANP’s corruption during its tenure in
2008-13 was the subject of even foreign reports. Our politicians continue to ignore the proverb where
there is smoke there is fire and post Musharraf there appears to be complicity between the PML-N and
the PPP to go slower than a snail in proactively investigating charges of corruption against their
leadership – an unfortunate outcome of the Charter of Democracy.
19. Westbury Group chief hosts dinner in honour of TDAP CE, others
KARACHI: Mohammad Bashir Janmohammed, a leading businessman and Chairman of Westbury
Group, hosted a dinner in honour of S M Muneer, Chief Executive of TDAP, Mian Muhammad Adrees,
President, FPCCI and Vice Presidents of the Federation.The dinner was attended by Vice Admiral Syed
Arifullah Hussaini, Commander Karachi, Arif Habib, Aqeel Dhadi, Senator Saleem Mandviwala, Senator
Haseeb Khan, Mehmood Mandviwala, Siraj Uddin Aziz, President and CE of Habib Metropolitan Bank,
Mian Muhammad Ahmed, Patron-in-Chief, BQATI, and many leading businessmen and officials.M Bashir
Janmohammed welcomed the CE, TDAP and FPCCI President and Commander Karachi. He said that
law and order in the city is improving and with the improvement of law and order in Karachi in particular
and in the country as a whole, the economic activities will increase considerably. He added that Pakistan
is the land of opportunities and with the good law and order and with good infrastructure facilities made
available to industrialists, the economy can grow manifold. He requested the President of FPCCI to hold
discussion with the Finance Minister and the Finance Ministry before budget for resolving the issues of
the business community. He said the Finance Minister is very cooperative and I am sure with the right
approach he could convince him for many issues.S M Muneer, Chief Executive, TDAP said that it is
satisfactory that the law and order has improved a lot and we have to civic sense specially in Karachi and
in the country so that civic amenities are not misused and people are conscious of their civic obligations.
He said that since he has taken over as Chief Executive of TDAP, the exports has considerably increased
and there is lot of interest in Pakistan which was reflected in EXPO Pakistan held recently in Karachi
where about 1200 participants attended.
http://epaper.brecorder.com/2015/04/06/14-page/650539-news.html 8 The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry 9 10 11 12 13