PM urged to take bold steps for revival of economy


ISLAMABAD (NNI): The business community has full faith in the abilities of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and he can overcome the economic problems being faced by the country, a business leader said on Sunday. The prime minister should take bold steps to revive the economy as the masses as well as the business community will fully support him, said ICCI former president Atif Ikram Sheikh. He said that more duties should be imposed on imports of luxury items while steps should be taken to improve exports. Sheikh, who is also group leader of HCCI, said that economy is not performing well but the decision to keep rate stable in the larger national interest is highly laudable. He said that state-owned-corporations are inflicting an annual loss of over Rs500 billion; therefore, these should be sold as the exchequer cannot bear its burden anymore.

These corporations were mismanaged by the government in the past while heavy induction also took place in these institutions which has damaged them beyond repair, he observed.

He said that recent hike in the price of electricity and fuel prices was a difficult decision but there was no other option to arrange finances to keep the country afloat. The business leader called for reforming energy sector, imposing a tax on agricultural income, and bringing an end to the culture of blocking refunds which take a toll on exporters. He said that business community is pinning high hopes on the prime minister to revive the economy by his solid decisions backed by his knowledge of the economy.






Chinese visit Pakistan to explore

opportunities in SEZs


ISLAMABAD (APP): Chinese experts and investors are visiting Pakistan to look out for new trade avenues and to explore investment opportunities in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in all four provinces of the country. The delegation of Chinese experts, headed by China International Engineering Consultant Corporation (CIECC) Du Zhenli, would hold the workshop and meeting in different cities including Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar till October 18, 2017, for reviewing and negotiating on future investment opportunities in Pakistan, said Board of Investment (BoI) Spokesman Shahjhan Shah. The experts would discuss and give detailed briefing on the successful models of economic zones in China besides sharing their expertise with representatives of provincial government officials, he said. He said the visit of Chinese experts was significant as they would determine it’s potential for becoming SEZs and Priority Special Economic Zone (PSEZ).

 Chinese were investing $62 billion in CPEC infrastructure and power, he added.

The BoI spokesman said that in wake of the decisions taken during 6th JCC held in Beijing in December, 2016, a delegation of Chinese experts were visiting Pakistan to conduct trainings and workshops in context of SEZs from October 11-18. These workshops were being organised by BoI, he added. He said the CIECC was a state-owned consulting firm that would carry the final recommendations from its meetings in Pakistan back to the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) in Beijing.

The BoI Spokesman said the first round of consultations with provincial authorities began in Karachi. Replying to a question, he said the Chinese delegation come to share the experience of development of Industrial Parks with local counterparts in Pakistan. Shahjhan said the team of Chinese experts visited Dhabeji Special Economic Zone on October 13, which was high on the agenda of Pakistan and China to make it part of the multi-billion dollar CPEC.

He said the zone would be developed over an area of 1,000 acres having strategic importance of close of seaport, airport and road and rail network. He said the expressions of interest came from investors in different areas including steel, cement, chemicals, garments, logistics and pharmaceuticals.



Pakistan eyes access to Vietnam’s market for competitiveness


ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan wanted to get market access in potential Vietnam market for competitiveness and also to compete with regional competitors in all sectors, including textile, auto mobile and food processing, said a senior official of Ministry of commerce on Sunday. Pakistan and Vietnam shared current trade volume of $554 million as compared to only $97.6 million during the past decade, he said. He said that in fourth meeting of Joint Commission on Trade (JCT) between Pakistan and Vietnam held in past week, both sides were agreed to share initial list for bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) leading to FTA for boosting bilateral trade. The official said that Pakistan and Vietnam had agreed to share initial list for initiating negotiations on bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for increasing trade ratio between the two countries.

He said the two sides acknowledged the importance of tariff concession in developing the bilateral trade, adding that Pakistan proposed tariff concession.

During negotiation in meeting, both sides discussed to enhance cooperation in a variety of sectors including textile and garments, energy, banking, air and sea connectivity, chemical, mechanical sectors besides agriculture machinery, automobile, food processing and infrastructural development.

Replying to another question, he said that during talks the two sides also reviewed the implementation status of decision of third JCT meeting held in Hanoi for reviewing the trade volume between the two sides. The Pakistan’s side assured that all out support would be extended to Vietnamese investors in energy and other potential sectors for investment, he said.  “We are satisfied with progress of bilateral trade dialogue between the two countries and matters are moving smoothly in perspective of boosting future trade," he added.







Subsidy of Rs150 on each bag of DAP fertiliser


LAHORE (APP): Subsidy on Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertiliser is being given to farmers under the ‘Khadim-e-Kisan Package’ to ensure prosperity of farmers. The Punjab agriculture department spokesman said that, under this new programme of Khadim-e-Kisan Package, 5.2 million farmers would be benefited. Low rate fertiliser would help farmers to incur less expense on agricultural commodities and apprehension of less yield of different crops due to shortage of fertiliser would be no more there. A subsidy of Rs150 on each bag of Diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertiliser is being given. Unregistered farmers should get themselves registered through contacting agriculture helpline so that they could get advantage of this subsidy. The spokesman said that registered farmers should contact 080029000, 15000-0800 to seek information regarding subsidy or other matters. This subsidy is for the farmers of Punjab and every grower could get a subsidy on 20 bags of DAP.