FPCCI polls: South Punjab chambers lend support to UBG

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): All chambers of commerce of southern Punjab have announced their support to the candidates of United Business Group (UBG) in the upcoming elections of the FPCCI. This was decided at a luncheon hosted in honour of the UBG chairman by the Rahim Yar Khan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Those who were present on the occasion included office-bearers and representatives of Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, DG Khan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Okara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sahiwal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Jhang Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Multan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Representatives of soap, spinning, ginning, marble, steel rerolling, rice, chemists, small chambers and poultry associations were also present on the occasion who announced unconditional support to the UBG in forthcoming elections, terming Zubair Tufail the best choice.

They said that they had pinned high hopes on the nominee of UBG and lauded the decision of UBG Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik and patron-in-chief SM Munir.

Speaking on the occasion, Zubair Tufail said that he would try to come up to the expectations of his seniors and the business community at large. He said that his doors would be open for the business community and that small traders would be given preference.

On this occasion, UBG Chairman Iftikhar Malik said that FBR should consult respective chambers or associations before raiding business premises. He said that raids on business premises were not going down well with the businessmen.

He called upon the business community to come forward and pay taxes, which were necessary to keep the government running. There are around eight hundred thousand taxpayers in a country of two hundred million people. Of these taxpayers, only half of them pay the taxes while the rest pay no tax or negligible taxes, he lamented. This situation is restricting growth of the country and hitting social services, he added.

Execution of currency swap deals with China, Turkey sought

ISLAMABAD(Staff Reporter): Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Senator Saleem Mandviwalla has called for implementation of Currency Swap Agreements (CSAs) with China and Turkey to increase the bilateral trade and investment and strengthen the balance of payments. Mandviwalla, who is also chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, said that former president Asif Ali Zardari initiated the currency swap agreements with China and Turkey and during the previous rule of the PPP Pakistan signed these agreements with both countries. He said that currency swap agreements with China and Turkey were not benefiting the investors, traders and businessmen of both countries because these were not being implemented in letter and spirit. In a statement issued here, he said that traders of both countries were facing difficulties in using currency swap agreements and the government was not resolving their issues.

He said that these currency swaps could be viewed as a credit line that both sides could draw upon at a pre-determined exchange rate and provide an opportunity to traders to trade and invest in each other’s country.

"There should be more credit lines and trade should be allowed only in local currencies," he said.

Underlining the importance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Senator Mandviwalla said the project would provide a window for implementation of the currency swap agreements. Business community of both countries can use these agreements to invest in each other’s country.

The senator said that such agreements would encourage cross-border economic and trade partnerships, not only with China, but also with other countries, and facilitate financing for Pakistan's key infrastructure projects. He said that Turkey had recently announced that it would have currency swap agreements with Russia.

He said that China signed bilateral currency swap agreement with 28 countries for providing liquidity and facilitating trade. He was of the view that execution of currency swap agreements with China and Turkey could rectify the economic obscurity of Pakistan as bilateral trade between Pakistan and China was picking up through CPEC.

SECP formulates Listed Companies

Regulations 2016

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has formulated Draft Listed Companies (Substantial Acquisition of Voting Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2016, under the Securities Act, 2015, keeping in view the best interests of the shareholders. These regulations will replace the Listed Companies (Substantial Acquisition of Voting Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2008, which were framed under the Listed Companies (Substantial Acquisition of Voting Shares and Takeovers) Ordinance, 2002, which has been repealed. The draft takeover regulations have been published in the official gazette and placed on the SECP's website (www.secp.gov.pk) for public consultation purposes. The stakeholders may submit their comments by December 23, 2016. As per the draft regulations, a consultant to the issue duly licensed by the SECP can be appointed as manager to the offer and payments to the shareholders of the target company can be made in form of cash only.

The acquirer and the target company have been obligated to comply with the requirements of the Securities Act, 2015, Takeover Regulations and regulations of the Pakistan Stock Exchange. Furthermore, the acquirer has been made responsible to act in good faith and in the best interest of the target company and its shareholders.

German envoy visits Nokhar grid station, assures support in energy sector

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): German Ambassador to Pakistan Ina Lepel has said that Germany always considered Pakistan as its important ally in South Asia and would boost cooperation in energy sector of the country. She stated this during her visit to 500kV Grid Station Nokhar near Gujranwala, a project of National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited (NTDC) completed earlier with funding of German bank. Lepel was flanked with First Secretary Sabastian Ernest and KfW development bank team comprising of Dr Flank Albert, Wolfgang Moellers and Dr Parvaiz Naim. Earlier, Delegation of Germany’s KfW State Development Bank met NTDC Managing Director Dr Fiaz A Chaudhry at his office in WAPDA House and showed interest in cooperation of future projects of NTDC. Dr Chaudhry welcomed their offers and affirmed that Germany has played an important role in the development of Pakistan’s energy sector.

He said that 500kV Grid Station Sheikhupura, 500kV Sheikh Muhammadi Peshawar and 500kV Nokhar grid station Gujranwala were completed with financial assistance of KfW development bank.

During the visit of aforementioned grid station, the German ambassador appreciated the maintenance and efficiency of the project. GSO GM Sabaz Ali Khan briefed the delegation about the construction of 500kV grid station Nokhar which has yielded significant benefits to the domestic, commercial, industrial and agri consumers of Hafizabad, Gujranwala, Mandi Bahaud Din, Gujrat, Sialkot and Narowal. Better voltage profile, no forced load shedding and creation of employment opportunities for the people of respective areas are additional benefits of the said projects.