CNIC mandatory for dividend payment: SECP

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has allowed companies to withhold all future dividends of such shareholders who have not provided their Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) numbers. Shareholders will provide their CNIC number to companies to be written on the dividend warrants. However, the companies will require the SECP’s approval to withhold dividend of any shareholder. The SECP had introduced the policy of mandatory bearing of CNIC numbers on the dividend warrants of shareholders in 2001. This was aimed at minimizing the risk of money laundering, terrorists’ financing and benami transactions.

Following the introduction of aforesaid requirement, extensive efforts were made by companies to procure copies of CNICs of their shareholders, through public notification, and substantial compliance has been made. Still there is a small number of shareholders who have not provided their CNICs to the companies.

Therefore, the companies have been allowed to withhold all future dividends of such shareholders who have not provided their CNICs, despite publication/issuance of notices by the company.

Such companies have been advised to provide public notice for at least three dividend declarations to the shareholders before approaching to the SECP. Nevertheless, such companies will be required to issue dividend warrants to such shareholders within five days of receipt of CNIC copy. The companies will also ensure that list of such shareholders will be prominently displayed on companies’ website. The SECP believes that this is to safeguard the interests of shareholders, and make the dividend declaration less cumbersome.

Paapam for withdrawal of RD on industrial steel materials import

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Pakistan Association of Parts & Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) chairman Mumshad Ali has appealed to the Prime Minister for the withdrawal of regulatory duty on import of industrial steel materials by the auto parts industry, as these materials are not manufactured in Pakistan. He made this appeal at a meeting of the Managing Committee of the Association, which was held on Tuesday. According to PAAPAM chairman, an Auto Development Plan (ADP) has already been approved by ECC on March 21, 2016, which lays down a 5-year tariff structure for the auto parts industry. The FBR is unjustified in modifying this new policy’s tariff structure through interventions like levies of regulatory Duty, etc.

The last such intervention was made vide SRO 236(I)/2016, dated 21st March 2016 immediately after announcement of ADP which further levied an RD of up to 15 % on various metal products in addition to the RD levied earlier through SRO 568(I)/2014 back in 26th June 2014. To date, FBR has not rectified the earlier anomaly and this additional RD after the announcement of ADP 2016-21 amounts to insult to injury.

He stated that these interventions were made for the protection of the local steel industry which mainly produces constructional steel. However the affected PCT codes were common for raw materials allowed to be imported by the auto parts industry at concessionary duty, because these materials were not produced by the local steel industry, which has been protected through levy of RD). This fact has also been duly recognized in the new ADP document, and no regulatory duty has been levied on raw materials imported by auto industry, provided they are not manufactured locally.

NIM delegation visits Lahore Chamber

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): A twenty-six member delegation of National Institute of Management (NIM) on Tuesday visited Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry to seek private sector’s point of view on ongoing economic scenario. The delegation, led by Ayesha Makhdoom, Director National Institute of Management, spent well over two hours at LCCI and asked questions including impact of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on Pakistan’s economy and existing taxation laws. LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed chaired the meeting while former presidents Shahid Hassan Sheikh, Sohail Lahsari and Executive Committee members Kamal Mahmood Amjad Mian, Mian Zahid Jawaid and Amjad Ali Jawa also spoke on the occasion.

LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed Said the chamber identifies the issues faced by the business community and proposes their possible solutions with the input of more than 100 standing committees related to various sectors. These issues are taken up with the relevant Government department for their resolution.

The chamber keeps itself engaged in exploring the business opportunities through meetings with diplomatic missions, heads of various departments, federal and provincial ministers. Besides that we eagerly pursue trade diplomacy by way of organizing exhibitions and participating in international trade fairs to give boost to our exports.

The chamber also organizes seminars and training workshops to keep its members updated and prepared with regard to new business concepts and upcoming economic challenges.

By way of these means, the LCCI keeps gathering relevant facts concerning with economic issues being faced by business community. The energy crisis, security issues, capital flight, low level of investment, corruption, lack of good governance, deficit budget, unfavourable balance of trade getting further critical due to falling exports are some of the challenges that are seriously hampering the pace of economic growth.

“We often have the opportunity to interact directly with the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan. This interaction also helps solve business community issues.

Discos outstanding dues swell

ISLAMABAD (Online): Outstanding dues of the power distribution companies increased by Rs88b during the first nine months of the current fiscal year due to poor performance of these companies. The total receivable amount which earlier was Rs 282b has now swollen to Rs364b. Outstanding dues on account of non-payment of electricity bills have increased by Rs52b. Outstanding payments increased by Rs28b due to excessive line losses and transmission losses. Due to delays in deciding the cases of tariff adjustment, losses amounting to Rs2b were caused. Different bills recovery targets have been set for different companies: it is 95.7pc for KEPKO, 98.5pc for FESCO, 87.6pc for IESCO, 98.1pc for MEPCO, 87.1pc for PESCO, 75.4pc for TESCO, 72.6pc for HESCO, and 57.5pc for KESCO.

Line losses will be brought down from 21.1 percent to 18 percent, as per target set for the power distribution companies.

Food experts visit RCCI

RAWALPINDI (Staff Reporter): A delegation of food experts headed by Netherlands Embassy Deputy Head Renate Pors visited Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) here on Tuesday. Romke Wustman, a world-class Dutch food security expert, acting president RCCI Saqib Rafiq, vice president Muhammad Aqil Obaid, members of the executive committee and a large number of traders were also present on this occasion. Renate Pors said that the Netherlands has a lot of expertise and solutions to offer to Pakistan when it comes to food security. She said that food production is not the only aspect of food security. “A crop is harvested in one season but must be used through the year. Food produced in one region can be consumed in another region.

The Netherlands has expertise in various aspects of agricultural productivity, technologies and solutions,” she added.

Renate Pors expressed the commitment of Netherlands government on food security. Food security is a worldwide issue including Pakistan. She mentioned that one out of six children dies of malnutrition and every night one billion people go to bed hungry around the globe. She informed the audience that in the Netherlands we have a successful agricultural production and we are exporting seed and agricultural technology and solutions to other countries and Pakistan can take benefit if its expertise. Increasing production, providing packaging, storage and transport solutions and innovations are our expertise, she added.

On the occasion, Romke Wustman, a world-class Dutch food security expert, that there is a need to build up local seed production which will only happen with the involvement of the private sector. “Sustainability and competitive pricing are achieved through private sector activity. All parts of the agricultural chain are important and value-addition can take place in handling, packing, branding, storage and transport,” Wustman said.

He said that Pakistan utilized roughly 3.4 million tons of seeds and its demands are growing every year. Due to in adequate store management, lack of modern storage facilities, and cold storages, Pakistan losses 30-40%, he added. Romke also discussed seed concepts, viability, multiplication, certification and modern storage concepts with the participants and shared some vital information in this regard.

Earlier, in his welcome address, acting president RCCI Saqib Rafiq said that food security is a big challenge for Pakistan as its population is growing very fast. Nutrition is emerging as an industry and we need more awareness and expertise to deal with this key area. He said Netherland should cooperate with Pakistan in improving value addition of food chain. To take the benefit out of the existing opportunities, exchange of delegation is important, he added. A short presentation related to the RCCI current and future events was also shown to the guests.