SECP starts companies registration under VOSS
ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): The SECP has started registration of companies under the newly introduced Virtual One-Stop Shop (VOSS) and has registered two companies namely M/s CEMEX (Pvt) Limited and Bisma Builders and Developers (Pvt) Limited under VOSS. SECP also conducted a number of awareness sessions for potential promotors about VOSS features and benefits. Earlier, on the basis of an initiative taken by the federal government, a memorandum of understanding for the establishment and operation of VOSS was signed between the SECP, the Federal Board of Revenue and Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution, to provide for integrated company, tax and employers’ registration with the three authorities, respectively, under the online mode.
In addition, the newly introduced system has also integrated three internal processes of the SECP, including name reservation, company registration and issuance of certified true copies of the company formation documents. The VOSS software has been developed by Pakistan Revenue Automation (Pvt.) Limited (PRAL).
The aforesaid development will enable the country to achieve higher rankings in the starting-a-business and doing business indicators, which are global benchmarks to assess the doing business environment within a country. It is also likely to promote investment, facilitate and attract new investors, and ensure documentation of economy.

LNG deal to balance energy mix, boost economy: PBIF
ISLAMABAD (INP): Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) on Friday said $16 billion government-to-government LNG deal with Qatar would balance energy mix, boost economy and exports and provide jobs to millions. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal was a game changer, which would cater for 20 per cent of the energy needs but unlike Economic Corridor its impact would be felt immediately, PBIF President said in a statement here. He said, “The import of gas proves commitment of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif regarding resolving the energy crisis while Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has worked hard over the years to make it a reality.”
Mian Zahid said the deal would help textile, value-added, fertilizer and CNG industry which would reduce oil import bill and unemployment, besides providing additional revenue to the government.
The deal, he said, would have a positive impact on every person and every sector of the economy as gas import from Iran and Turkmenistan, benefitting from Thar coal and local exploration remained unsatisfactory.
He said that Pakistan was to import gas worth $1 billion per annum and would also save $1 billion annually which had made this deal ideal. The agreement to export 100,000 workers to Qatar would reduce unemployment and improve forex situation, he added.

Sunflower cultivation should be completed by mid February
FAISALABAD (APP): The experts have advised growers to complete sunflower cultivation by mid of Feb to get bumper crops. A spokesman for the agri deptt said growers should cultivate approved sunflower varieties including Hi-sun-33, Hi-sun-30, NK-278, FH-331, DK-4040, G-101 and 64-A-93. The farmers of district Faisalabad, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh, Chiniot, Multan, Bahawal Nagar, Bahawalpur, RY Khan, Khanewal, Vehari, Muzaffar Garh and Dera Ghazi Khan, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Mandi Bahaud Din, Sheikhupura, Qusoor, Nankana Sahib, Narowal, Attock, Rawalpindi, Gujrat, Chakwal etc should immediately prepare land and complete sunflower cultivation because late sowing will affect the production and financial loss to growers.

Non-performing E&P companies licences to be revoked
ISLAMABAD (APP): Licences of all oil and gas companies failing to start exploration work as per their obligations would be revoked, a senior official of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources said. The government, he said, had tightened the noose around non-performing Exploration and Production (E&P) companies, having the licences, and revoked 11 such permits recently, he told APP. He said the action was being taken against the inactive E&P companies holding licences for last several years without any ground work. Currently, the official informed that there were a total of 26 such cases, out of which four would be revoked shortly after completing all formalities.
He said licenses were not canceled instantly, rather such companies were given notices and provided an opportunity to present their cases, saying that all process was completed in a transparent manner before revoking licences. Answering a question, the official said, the ministry had recently signed 70 Supplemental Agreements for conversion to Petroleum Concessions Agreements aimed at expediting oil and gas exploration activities in potential areas of the country.

PSEB introducing certifications programme to boost IT exports
ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) would introduce a project - Enhancing IT Exports Through Industry Support Programme - to boost Pakistan’s IT exports. The main objective of the programme is to help Information Technology companies in Pakistan to get international certification. Official sources on Friday said the Rs. 265 million plan which has been formulated in close collaboration with the industry, would see 30 IT companies being assisted in getting Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) certifications and 50 IT companies being helped to get ISO-27001/20000 certifications. The sources said about 76pc of the costs will be borne by the govt while the remaining will be filled by IT industry.

Currently, there are not a lot of companies with international certifications, which is concerning since IT services are among Pakistan’s specialties. These certifications will open up a lot of new doors as well as make the industry more competitive in international market.