Govt continues to charge RD despite its suspension by court: PFIA

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): FIA) has claimed that the Lahore High Court (LHC) orders of suspension of the regulatory duty (RD), levied by the government on several items being imported in the country, is not being implemented by the Customs department. In a joint statement, PFIA president Anjum Nisar, patron in chief Naseem Chawala and vice chairman Ejaz Tanveer said that the judiciary had provided a big relief to the importers and those doing business honestly by suspending the regulatory duty levied on import of different items including raw materials of some export oriented industries and food items. However, they claimed that this suspension order was not being implemented in letter and spirit by the authorities concerned. They urged the customs department execute the decision of the Lahore High Court of interim suspension of the duty and clear the goods worth millions of rupees awaiting clearance at the ports. They said that not following the orders of the higher courts was equal to contempt of the court and the officials should avoid such steps.

They said that the importers were right from day one opposing this duty and demand that it should completely be withdrawn in consultation with the stakeholders concerned.

 Halal Food Authority to be made functional soon: Minister

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): Federal Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain Monday announced to make Pakistan Halal Food Authority (PHA) functional at the earliest.  Hussain, while chairing a meeting with officials of Ministry of Science and Technology, emphasized the importance of setting up of Pakistan Halal Authority to promote trade in food, medicine and cosmetics. He said Halal food processing in the country will help in earning precious foreign exchange to strengthen national economy. Minister directed the senior officials of the Ministry to expedite their efforts to fulfill all prerequisites including hiring of staff and approval of Recruitment rules through Establishment Division, on priority basis. According to Ministry officials, Husain took the initiative some years ago, but the issue went into cold storage after he moved to other portfolio.  As per officials, the rationale behind the move was that being a Muslim country, Pakistan must take initiative and enter Halal food industry to get a big share in Halal market exports.

Pakistan Halal Authority would promote the business in Halal food products to capture Pakistan’s share in the trillion of dollars international Halal food market.

Pakistan Halal Authority will be tasked to recommend “Halal standards for government-notified articles and processes for adoption of Pakistan Halal Standards” in line with Pakistan National Accreditation Council.

 SAARC Chamber chief arrives in Pakistan today for trade promotion

ISLAMABAD (Online): President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Suraj Vaidya will land today (December 5) on a five-days official visit to Pakistan to meet local business tycoons and government officials to accelerate the efforts of the SAARC Chamber in promoting economic, trade and investment linkages across the region. This was revealed by SAARC Chamber Vice President Pak chapter Iftikhar Ali Malik while talking to media here Monday. He said Suraj Vaidya, a leading industrialist and investor from Nepal, is due to arrive in Karachi on Tuesday (today) where he will meet with bigwigs hailing from business community and later arrive in Islamabad on December 06 where he will meet important government officials and traders. He said President SAARC Chamber Vaidya assured him that being President of SAARC CCI his focus will continue to priorities better connectivity and establishment of SAARC industrial parks for better investment facilitation.

 He said there is dire need of hour to utilize this platform to bring prosperity in the region.

“If we utilize our potential in its true order, our region could make higher pace of development within next decades although currently it is lagging behind in terms of development” he added.

He said that the private sector of the region is committed to socio economic integration of South Asia. He said that the business community of the region believes in harmony and advocates regional economic integration to address the major challenges the region faces including job creation and poverty.

 Bond auction remained successful move, says business leader

ISLAMABAD (INP): President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said bond auction has remained successful which will provide some space to the government to put the economy back on the track. International investors did not give any importance to the negative reports regarding Pakistan which indicate that they are hopeful about the economic future of the country, he said. The auction of bonds worth 2.5 billion dollars attracted investors despite political turmoil, dharna and law and order issues which is a success, the former minister. Mian Zahid Hussain said that a loan from IMF was cheap as compared to the loan acquired from the debt market but the IMF loan seldom comes without strings. The credit of the positive reaction of investors also goes to Chinese investment under CPEC and the role played by the army to defuse political tensions between religious elements and the government, he added.

The veteran business leader said that the loan will provide some breathing space to the government which will be a text for the policymakers.

The development is good but the forex reserves will remain under pressure due to falling exports, dwindling remittances and reduced foreign direct investment.

Mian Zahid Hussain added that government must deliver despite the opposition of the political opponents and legal difficulties being faced by the top leadership of PML-N.