Call to stop FBR raids on business premises

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The business community has said that undue notices and raids for sales tax audit have created an atmosphere of harassment amongst the business community. LCCI executive committee member and Foam Manufacturers Association chairman Sheikh Ibrahim said that it was very unfortunate that despite clear direction of the government, the bureaucracy is creating an atmosphere of harassment for the business doing people who are backbone of the economy. He said that the private sector was ready to supplement all the government efforts aimed at revival of economic activities in the country if they are provided breathing space but in the presence of such anti business tactics, it would be very difficult for the private sector to continue with their businesses.

He said that acts like raids on industrial units and shops would hamper the economic activities. He said that the Federal Finance Minister should take notice of the whole situation and stop the FBR officials from entering into the business premises.

Pak-Tajik festival in Dushanbe

ISLAMABAD (INP): The Embassy of Tajikistan in Pakistan in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tajikistan would organize a Pak-Tajik Trade & Cultural Festival 2016 from 7th-10th April 2016 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and it was a good opportunity for Pakistani businessmen to participate in the festival to show potential of their products to Tajik customers and promote trade & exports with Tajikistan. This was said by JononovSherali, Ambassador of Tajikistan, while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said the festival would encompass exhibition of Pakistani products, briefings & seminars on opportunities by ministries/authorities, business networking gatherings, B2B meetings, cultural programs, Pak-Tajik fashion shows etc.

He said Pakistani businessmen could exhibit many products in the trade festival including textiles & clothing, construction & building material, home appliance & furniture, general machinery & equipment, agricultural products & machinery, health care products & instruments, food products & processing machinery, IT products & services, sports items, leather goods, fashion & beauty products, home décor products, printing & packaging and tourism & culture. He said Tajikistan has established 4 Free Economic Zones and Pakistani investors have good potential to promote their exports to Central Asia and Europe by setting up production plants in Tajikistan. He assured that his Embassy would facilitate the businessmen in participating in the Trade and Cultural Festival 2016.

Cut in petrol prices, power tariff lauded

RAWALPINDI (Staff Reporter): The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Mian Humayun Pervez has lauded the government’s decision to cut petrol prices by Rs 8.48 per liter and the reduction of Rs.4.11 per unit in the power tariff. In a statement issued here on Thursday, he hoped the decision would significantly increase trade and business activities across the country. The RCCI president referred to the final declaration by All Pakistan Chamber Presidents Conference (APCPC), at which trader’s representatives had urged the government to provide cheap energy to industries by lowering the oil prices. “Through these decisions, the government has met our demands,” Humayun said.

However, at the same time, he also stressed the need for taking several other measures like taxation reforms, lowering of custom duties, formulating a comprehensive trade policy and exploring non-conventional sectors for boosting exports.

Humayun, while appreciating reduction in the power tariff, asked the government to fix a unified power tariff rate for all public sector distribution companies.

The RCCI president expressed the optimism that the government would speedily complete all the energy projects, hence ensuring supplies to the industries round the clock.

He also hoped the government would ask multinational companies to lower the prices of lubricants and other products, whose prices have a bearing on the transportation costs.

Oil prices hold steady

LONDON (AFP): Oil steadied Thursday as traders digested rising crude inventories and falling output in the United States, alongside hopes that talks among major producers could lead to an output cap. According to US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, oil production fell to just over nine million barrels per day in the week to February 26 although inventories rose an expected 10.4 million. At about 1300 GMT, the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in April rose five cents to stand at $34.71 per barrel. In London, Brent North Sea crude for May shed 11 cents to $36.82 a barrel compared with Wednesday's close. Phillip Futures analyst Daniel Ang told AFP that the fall in US production provided a degree of "bullishness" in the market, pushing prices higher in earlier Asian trade.

"Judging from this decrease, we could easily be seeing more drops and by the end of the year even a 500,000-barrel-per-day drop." Plans by major oil producers including Russia as well as OPEC members led by Saudi Arabia to cap output have also provided some support for prices in the past two weeks.

KCCI members advised to get membership renewed by 31st

KARACHI (NNI): The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has advised all its members to renew their KCCI membership by March 31 in order to avoid any inconvenience. The process of membership renewal is currently underway at the Karachi Chamber for the year 2016-17 and as per Trade Organizations Act 2013, the last date for renewal of membership is 31st March 2016. The Chamber has already intimated its members through letter, email and SMS service that the membership of Karachi Chamber shall expire on 31-03-2016 thus all members must get their membership renewed on or before 31-03-2016 by submitting prescribed membership fee along with proof of last income tax/ sales tax returns.

KCCI cautioned that in case an existing member could not get the membership renewed on or before 31st March 2016, his/her membership shall cease automatically and to become KCCI member again, they will have to go through the entire re-admission process.