Govt asked to withdraw GST instead of giving subsidy on urea

KARACHI (NNI): Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Engro Fertilisers Ruhail Mohammad on Thursday suggested to the government to withdraw General Sales Tax (GST) instead of giving subsidy on the urea, adding that this will save the industry from a number of issues. The CEO said that the GST is almost equivalent to the subsidy the government gives on urea therefore; the replacement of the subsidy with GST would not make any difference on the market dynamics. Commenting on the increase in Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP) prices, he said the fertiliser companies never agreed to fix them with the federal government. “Since we sell imported DAP, we cannot fix its price. Similarly, the government should not fix prices because one cannot control the international prices of any commodity,” he added. DAP importers have increased prices by Rs50 per 50 kg bag more than once in recent months due to the increase in international prices.

The confusion on fixing DAP prices was created by the Punjab government’s notification which had nothing to do with the position of the federal government. In fact, the federal government did not want to fix price.

 

However, now the Punjab government has also conveyed to the federal government that it has no objection on the market determination of DAP prices instead of its earlier stance to fix it, he said.

Mohammed believed the government is not supporting the farmers other than just giving subsidy on fertilisers.

“The government should support the farmer community by helping them increase per acre yield. This will not only make Pakistan self-sufficient in food production but it can also export various commodities like wheat etc and earn foreign exchange,” he added.

 

 

 

Oil, gas exploration activities stepped

up in FATA

ISLAMABAD (APP): In a bid to achieve self-sufficiency in the energy sector, the government has started extensive oil and gas exploration activities in different parts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). MOL Pakistan, an oil and gas exploration, has commenced the 'Gravity Survey' in Tal block of North Waziristan Agency. Besides, it is planning to conduct drilling in the Biland Khel area under the same block, according to official data available with APP. While, Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) has completed a 2D seismic survey in the FR Barinu area of Latamber Block in 2016 and the drilling would start by the end of 2017. The OGDCL has also planned to initiate the 2D seismic survey in the Wali Block, covering South Waziristan Agency, Lakki Marwat and FR Tank. At present, the project is under discussion with the law enforcement agencies and hopefully the survey would complete in the current year.

Zhen-Hua, a Chinese company, has completed 2D seismic survey in the Baska block of FR D I Khan. Whereas, another oil and gas exploration and production company - Hycarbex - has completed geological mapping in Peshawar block of FR Peshawar, Orakzai and Khyber agencies last year.

Al-Haj, an oil and gas exploration and production company, has completed 80 percent of 2D seismic survey in Baska North Block of FR D I Khan and South Waziristan Agency. Last year, the OGDCL has completed geological mapping in the

Orakzai and Tirah blocks and the 2D seismic surveys would start during the

current year.

 

NAVTTC to train more 100,000 youth in FY2017-18: Cheema

ISLAMABAD (APP): National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) would impart skill development training to 100,000 youth during next financial year, in order to create employment opportunities for the bulging youth in productive sectors of the national economy. This was stated by Executive Director, NAVTTC, Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema while addressing a ceremony held here. He also distributed toolkits among the youth, who completed the six-month training programme under Prime Minister Youth Skill Development Programme. During last three years, about 75,000 youth were trained in different market driven skills, where as training of a batch consisting of 25,000 youth was in progress. In order to improve the quality and standards of the training, NAVTTC was selecting best institutions for initiating the different courses and programmes, he added. He further said that curriculum of the training programmes were also revised and make them according to the demands of local industrial sector.

He said that skill development programme could play an important role in alleviating poverty from the country, besides it would make the youth economically empower and enable them to provide financial support to their families.

He said that a major portion of the local population was comprising youth, if they will remained unskilled it would enhance the pressure on national economy.

The huge bulk of the young population could be turned into a treasure by making them skilled and productive for the uplift of national economy, he added.

Zulfiqar Cheema informed that the commission had also initiated skill competition among the youth in order to make the training courses interesting and creating job opportunities for them.

He informed that the different training courses and programmes introduced by the NAVTTC were gaining momentum and encouraging response from youth.

He said that NAVTTC had received about 125,000 application for the third batch of training programme against the total allocated seats of 25,000.

He said that demand for skilled labor force increased after the initiation of China Pakistan Economic Corridor, adding that it would further enhanced during the days to come.

He called upon the government to establish skill development training centers along with the CPEC route to taping the growing demand of skilled labour.

He said that the commission had also set up and 'job placement center' which was aiming at to absorb the trained youth in different industrial units on their demand.

Besides providing toolkits to youth, he said that government would provide them interest free loans for setting up their own business and creating more job opportunities.

 

 

Automobile companies show interest

to invest in country: BoI DG

MULTAN (APP): Board of Investment (BoI) Director General Shahjahan Shah said on Thursday that world's renowned automobile companies had shown interest in making investment in the country. In a meeting with Acting President Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) Bakhtawar Tanweer A Sheikh, former president Main Mughees A Sheikh and other industrialists, he said talks were underway with manufacturers of Renault, Audi, Hyundai, and KIA automobiles. He said foreign investment was on the rise in Pakistan due to prudent policies of the government and companies already assembling automobiles in the country would have to introduce modern vehicles at lower prices in the wake of competition following the investment from the other automobile companies. The DG BoI said the government had a vision of attracting foreign direct investment worth US$15 billion by 2020 and added that achievement of this target would become reality following completion of CPEC.

Shahjahan Shah said the government had introduced some filters to ensure that whoever sets up industry or shift it to Pakistan, would have to produce most modern and environment friendly products matching international standards. Their standard must be above the standard of locally manufactured products and most of it would be exported, he added.

He said the Special Economic Zone Board (SEZB) of Punjab government send applications to BoI for establishment of new industrial zones and asked the MCCI to send application through SEZB if they want to get industrial zone set up in this area.

He also advised industrialists to convey their problems to the BoI and promised efforts to get them resolved.

Shahjahan Shah disclosed the government was also preparing proposals to facilitate those interested in starting small businesses.

He said Pakistan was going to hold two international road shows to attract foreign investment by highlighting opportunities and benefits attached to investment in the country.

He added that a road show would be held in November in China while an international conference would be held in Italy in July.

He said the MCCI could also send its representatives to these events.