Pak-India tensions didn’t hit

bilateral trade

ISLAMABAD (INP): Tensions between Pakistan and India haven’t reduced trade between the two countries which is laudable, a business leader said Wednesday. Last year, the official trade between two countries was recorded at $2.5b, it hasn’t improved but hasn’t dwindled for which military and civilian establishment of both countries must be lauded, said President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain. Pakistan exports to India stood at 495 million dollars while it imported goods worth 1.86 billion dollars, he said. In a statement, Mian Zahid Hussain said that trade through Wagah, Muzaffarabad and Karachi is insufficient therefore authorities must consider opening Khokhrapar.

He said that most of the world’s poor live in Saarc region which are deprived of decent living due to unending tensions between the most important countries of the grouping. Both nuclear states must realise that war is not an option and prosperity through trade is only way to end hostilities.

Mian Zahid said that India and China have fought wars but their bilateral trade is around 70 billion dollars in which India is facing a deficit of 38 billion dollars. Trade is one of the best confidence building measure therefore Islamabad can improve trade relations with New Delhi without compromising on principled stance. Both countries should consider trade and visa relegations which will pay dividends, he said.

Discouraging transport sector dampening LNG spread

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt on Wednesday said discouraging transport sector is hitting LNG policy which must be taken seriously by the policymakers. Minor changes in the LNG policy could help country reduce energy shortage and save billions of dollars besides reducing pollution. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that LNG is suited for transport sector to replace the costly petrol which can help country save billions in the energy import bill. He said that government should consider bringing sales tax on imported gas from 5 percent to zero to make it viable for the private sector.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that gas utilities are charging 11 percent losses while demanding to jack up losses to 16 percent which is illegal as Ogra has determined loses to be 10.63 percent.

He asked the policymakers to pay more attention to LNG as its price will slide in the summer 2015 while there is no chance of notable price hike in the next decade as world’s regasification capacity is set to get a boost of 75 percent in the next 5-7 years.

Country can save 30 percent in fuel import bill if LNG gets a policy support, he said, adding that Pakistan’s energy requirement will be equal to 177 million tonnes of oil which call for meaningful actions. NNI

Implementation on PM’s

package for farmers begins

Islamabad (Online): Ministry of FBR have started implementation process on the Prime Minister’s special relief package of Rs 341 billion for farmers. Sources of Ministry of National Food Security said the implementation started following announcements made by PM Nawaz Sharif during the Kissan Convention held at Convention Centre in Islamabad on Tuesday. Sources said the amounts will be paid to the farmers according to the surveys conducted by Ministry of Finance and provincial governments. Nawaz Sharif had announced that Rs 40 billion will be spent for payment of cash grants to small growers of rice and cotton affected by slump in prices of commodities while cash assistance of Rs 5000 per acre to the farmers.

PTA seeks inclusion of tannery

zone in city development package

KARACHI (APP): Acting Chairman Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA-South Zone) Amir Majeed has demanded due share in Sindh Government's Rs150 billion city development package for leather sector in Karachi and its largest tannery zone here making 35 percent of leather industry of the country. The leather industry is the second largest export industrial sector of the country, he said in statement here on Wednesday. He mentioned that Co-Chairman of Pakistan People's Party Bilal Bhutto Zardari has recently announced the package of Rs 150 billion for development works in Karachi. He said tannery zone should be included in this package and better infrastructure be developed there.

It needs better roads, network for smooth and adequate supply of water and solid waste removal system.

There was worst shortage of water in the tannery zone for last two decades and the industrialists were forced to purchase water from water tankers' mafia, he pointed out.

"We want government attention and relief package for tannery zone on priority basis for its survival in Sindh", PTA leader emphasized.

RCCI holding exhibition to

introduce Pak products abroad

RAWALPINDI (APP): Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) is organizing exhibition to introduce Pakistani products in the foreign market. Talking to APP, Chairman Regional Trade Committee, Kurshid Barlas said that Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry is holding exhibition in different countries to attract foreign investors and buyers. He said that the exhibitions are being organized in Tajikistan and Nepal. The purpose of holding exhibition is to attract the foreign companies to purchase Pakistani products. To a question, he said that exhibition titled 'Made in Pakistan' is being held in Nepal on October 5-10 and Tajikistan from October 16-19.

To another question, he said that Afghanistan and Sri Lanka had placed orders of more than 600 million rupees, while the other countries are showing keen interest in enhancing business relations with Pakistan.