CPEC to promote economic integration, says BoI chief

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Board of Investment Chairman Dr Miftah Ismail has said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would promote economic integration and regional connectivity for development and prosperity in the region. “All the provinces and regions have shared opportunity for infrastructural development and industrial growth which provides employment opportunities and prosperity in the country,” he said while speaking at a 3-day 19th Sustainable Development Conference on theme of “Sustainable Development: Envisaging the Future Together, organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). He said after completion of CPEC, $150 billion investment would be brought by Chinese investors in Pakistan. He said work also underway on Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan India (TAPI) gas Pipeline while CASA 1000 also focused to meet need of energy in the country.

The government keenly focuses to remove regional disparity and provide equal development in all provinces, especially remote regions, he added.

He said that Balohistan would get more benefits from CPEC and Gwadar port would play pivotal role for providing connectivity and enhance the regional trade opportunities.

 LDA launches Rs300m record computerisation project

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The LDA has started a project for implementation of an integrated system for computerisation of its record, including scanning and digitisation of files of more than 80,000 plots in its own housing schemes, at a cost of Rs300m.  LDA Director General Zahid Akhtar Zaman said this while briefing a group of 26 participants of 20th Senior Management Course at the National Institute of Management, Karachi, who visited LDA Office here on Thursday. Zaman said that record of Gulberg, Johar Town and LDA Avenue One schemes was being computerised in the first phase. All relevant documents from the Revenue Department and other offices will be integrated at one place for ensuring quick disposal of transfer cases and eliminating chances of fraud, he added. He said that land audit of different housing schemes of LDA was under way. As many as 80 plots of different sizes worth billions of rupees situated in five blocks of Johar Town had so far been discovered for which no record of private ownership was available.

 After fulfilling legal requirements, the LDA will auction off these plots and spend the money on development projects, he said.

He said the LDA had planned to execute the project for widening of Canal Road, including construction of a one-kilometer long underpass at Choubacha Phattak at a cost of Rs5 billion within a period of four months. Expeditious execution of development projects in the city during the recent years by LDA was a precedent to be followed by other departments, he said.

The LDA director general said that in order to eliminate the risk of bogus transfers and protect the rights of buyers, LDA made it compulsory for plot owners to get no-objection certificates (NOCs) from the authority before the execution of any transaction.

In the past, power of attorney had been the main cause of fraudulent and bogus transfers. Transfer of plots by GPA has been prohibited in newly developed housing schemes i.e. LDA Avenue-I, LDA City, he added. To safeguard the proprietary rights of owners and control incidents of forgery and sale of plots on fake transfer letters, the LDA has started issuance of security feature documents, he said.

In order to upgrade the level of public service being extended at LDA's One Window Cell, various standard operating procedures (SOPs) had been simplified and timelines had been rationalised for disposal of citizens' applications.

 FTAs badly affecting economy: ICST

 ISLAMABAD (INP): Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Thursday said various trade agreements inked with friendly countries have damaged economy and hit revenue collection. The economy is facing losses to the tune of billions due to different Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), while FBR is facing losses amounting to Rs40 billion per annum due to these controversial deals, said ICST Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt. The trade deals should be reviewed in the national interest while the on-going trade negotiations should be suspended to get the feedback of the business community, he added. He said that trade deficit with China has swelled to $12 billion but nothing has been done to safeguard interests of the country. He said that the government should stop rushing into signing FTAs as these have not helped the country gain something but damaged the economy. He said that deals with Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia proved useless, therefore the government should think twice before entering into trade deal with Turkey, Thailand, Korea and other countries.

 Japan Business Expo attracts professionals

LAHORE (INP): Japan Business Exhibition 2016 got a great response, as large number of high profile personalities from business and media came to witness the high quality and world class Japanese products on the show. Japanese companies related to, pharmaceuticals, construction, transporter/automobiles, industrial machinery, textile, paint and big business groups manufacturing Japanese products in various sector of Pakistan are there to show their class. Professionals from different business sectors showed great interest in Japanese cars and motorbikes, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, steel, machinery, paints, along with many other Japanese products. They appreciated the organisers for putting up this huge show and bringing many Japanese brands under one roof. An eye catching display of Japanese culture grasped the attention of visitors. JETRO booth was also the center of attention. JETRO’s Country Director Osamu Hisaki said that Pakistan is a high potential market for FMCG goods among other economic sectors.

Japanese companies are eager to expand business in Pakistani market according to the JETRO survey.

Top Management from different companies and corporate sector visited the exhibition and had useful business meetings during the day.