RCCI holds spectacular cultural show

RAWALPINDI (Staff Reporter): Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has organised a spectacular cultural show (Ramooz-e-Ishq) depicting colours of different areas and regions of the country besides projecting folk music and dances. The event, organised on the sidelines of the on-going Rawal Shopping festival here, was attended by a large number of people coming from different walks of life along with elected representation of RCCI, informed spokesman on Wednesday. The performances of Sufi music by Bakhshi Brothers and classical dance by Umair Arif enthralled the audience who gave thunderous applause and standing ovation after their respective culminations.

Inaugurating the event RCCI President Syed Asad Mashadi said that the chamber has taken the initiative by holding shopping festival for the first time in Pakistan on the pattern of Dubai. He said such type of events would also be held in future as the general public has given optimistic response to this activity.

He said that different events have been organised for the attraction of different age groups and different taste as vintage car show, cycle race, musical programmes and prize distribution through computerised balloting were the centre for attraction for the people. While a kids carnival would soon be organised and on the concluding day of the festival i.e. May 17 a grand lucky draw would be organised where a number of prizes worth million of rupees would be given to the computerised draw winners.

He said that so far in two separately held two draws, 11 motorcycles, 2 Umra tickets, and a number of other valuable prizes including household and electronic gadgets have been handed over to the lucky winners. The ceremony was attended by Senior Vice President Mian Humayun Parvez, Vice President Saboor Malik, former Presidents Sohail Altaf, Dr. Hassan Sarosh Akram, Abdul Rauf Ch., Kashif Shabbir executive members and a large number of guests.

KCCI wouldn’t support budgetary measures if proposals not entertain

karachi (Staff Reporter): The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has stressed that if Karachi Chamber’s Proposals for Federal Budget were not considered and major issues were not resolved, they will not support the budgetary measures of the government and contest KCCI demands through all available forums. According to a letter titled “Underprotest – Budget Proposals 2015-16” issued to Federal Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar, the Karachi Chamber has been regularly submitting its recommendations and proposals to the Ministry of Finance and FBR, in the economic interest of Pakistan and to resolve the problems and issues faced by the trade and industry of Karachi which contributes over 65 percent of tax revenue.

“We regret that in the last two years, no consideration has been given to our budgetary proposals”, the letter said.

On the contrary, sweeping discretionary powers have been inserted in the tax regime through the Finance Bills of 2013-14 and 2014-15, which the KCCI and other trade bodies had successfully resisted in the last decade. The powers thus acquired by FBR as well as RTO’s and field formations in last 2 budgets, have been blatantly misused against the already tax-paying business community as a tool for harassment and extortion which has taken the corruption to the highest level in history, it said.

KCCI noted that during the aforementioned period, officials of FBR have totally ignored the issues and problems of business and industrial community and have not paid any attention to our grievances.

KCCI further pointed out that taxpayers all over Pakistan have suffered from the harassment tactics and blackmailing at the hands of RTO’s, while Karachi-based tax-payers have suffered the most because of their larger number and major share in tax-revenue.

Shutter-down call goes unheeded

FAISALABAD (APP): The shutter down strike call jointly given by Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI),All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA) and other trade/business/industrial bodies went unheeded as business activities in all the major eight bazaars around Clock Tower chowk continued normally till the filing of this story here on Wednesday. The trader bodies,earlier during a press conference on Tuesday at FCCI complex had given shutter down strike call to express their anguish against proceedings under sections 38 and 40-B of Sales Tax Act. The trade bodies had also threatened to choke entire business,trade, commerce and industrial activities in the city if the government won’t accede to their demands.

However,traders,shopkeepers and businessmen of Faisalabad city have rejected the strike call and continued their business activities in Jhang Bazaar,Bhowana Bazaar,Aminpur Bazaar,Chiniot Bazaar,Katchery Bazaar,Rail Bazaar,Karkhana Bazaar,Montgomery Bazaars and other adjacent markets and shopping plazas here today.

Talking to media,Shahid Razzaq Sikka,president Anjuman Tajiran Faisalabad City,said the strike call was given without taking the traders,shopkeepers and businessmen into confidence.

He said a group of industrialists and traders wanted to avoid paying their due share of tax to the government and therefore resorted to strike call to pressurize the government and its departments.

Shahid Razzaq Sikkah,however,appealed to the government to provide subsidies and incentives to traders and businessmen,besides providing protection and security to their businesses so that they could continue to contribute to the national progress.

FBR raids irk business community

LAHORE (APP): Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Wednesday expressed deep concern over Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials’ raid under the name Sales Tax Audit of the businessmen. Talking to a 150-member delegation of traders, the LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir and Vice President Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi apprehended that FBR’s move would lead to massive lay-offs and even closure of businesses. They said that undue notices and raids for Sales Tax Audit had created an atmosphere of harassment amongst the business community. The LCCI office-bearers termed it very unfortunate that despite clear direction of the government, the Board officials were creating an atmosphere of harassment for the business doing people who were backbone of the economy.

The manufacturing sector was already passing through very critical times due to unavailability of much needed electricity and gas, and in dire need of government’s support to run their businesses, they added.

They said, the private sector was ready to supplement all government efforts aimed at revival of economic activities in the country, otherwise it would be very difficult for them to continue with their businesses.  Nauman Kabir and Ghaznavi urged the Federal Finance Minister to take notice of the situation and stop the FBR officials from entering into the business premises.  Former LCCI presidents Sheikh Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Ali Mian, former SVP Sheikh Muhammad Arshad, Baber Mahmood from Anjuman-e-Tajran Hall Road, Khalid Pervez from Anjuman-e-Tajran Urdu Bazar, Ashraf Bhatti from Anjuman-e-Tajran Anarkali and Tariq Feroze also spoke on the occasion.

Shipping activity at Port Qasim      

KARACHI (APP): Four ships carrying Containers, Chemical and Edible Oil were berthed at Qasim International Containers Terminal, Engro Vopak Terminal and Liquid Cargo Terminal respectively. Meanwhile five more ships carrying Containers, Coll, Diesel Oil and Furnace oil also arrived at outer anchorage of Port Qasim During last 24 hours. Berth occupancy was 85pc at the Port on Wednesday where a total nine ships namely Maersk Kobe, Al Bahia, Alam Sayang, Sea Prosperity, Chem Road Jurney, Shan Ying Zuo, Ex Quisite and West Holman are currently occupying berths to load/ offload Containers, Cement, Coal, Chemical, Diesel Oil, LNG and Edible oil respectively during last 24 hours.

A cargo volume of 147894 tonnes comprising 113366 tonnes imports and 34528 tonnes exports inclusive of containerized cargo carried in 2507 containers (TEUs) was handled at the Port during last 24 hours.