ISLAMABAD - The 31st meeting of the Standing Committee on Commerce of the National Assembly was held in Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Office (TDAP), Karachi on Monday under the chairmanship of Siraj Muhammad Khan, MNA.

Matters pertaining to implementation status on the recommendations of the Standing Committee meetings held on March 09, 2015 and August 28, 2015 at Karachi were discussed.

The Committee members were briefed by the Chairman, TDAP regarding its functioning and performance, according to the recommendations made by the Committee in its previous meetings. He said that TDAP has planned to launch 146 exhibitions during this year in different countries. The Committee emphasized that ladies delegations should be given priority in this regard.

The Chairman TDAP further informed the Committee that 100 delegations of traders have already been visited different countries in the world.

S.M. Munir, Chairman TDAP informed the Committee about the problems being faced by the business community with regard to stopping income tax refunds and sales tax rebate by the Federal Board of Revenue. Siraj Muhammad Khan, Chairman of the Committee, was of the opinion that TDAP should forward a request to Government of Pakistan for issuance of Money Bond against Income tax and Sales tax refund / rebate, etc.

The Committee members have shown their concerns about the performance of commercial attaches, appointed by the Government of Pakistan in different countries. The committee members were of the observations that they were not performing their duties efficiently. The Committee once again recommended to Ministry of Commerce for provision of detail list of the performance of Commercial Attaches.

It was recommended by the Committee that TDAP will furnish a detail information regarding dates production in Khairpur District, Sindh and details of the Dryer plants and packing plants in said District. The Committee recommended that Ministry of Commerce should resolve the issues of employment and vehicles of TDAP. The Committee recommended that awareness campaign for presentations of exhibition items should be launched in Swat and rural areas in the country, before any International or National level exhibition.

The Chairman, TCP briefed the Committee about the implementation status on the recommendations of the Committee. He said that nominations for Board of Directors of TCP have been forwarded to Ministry of Commerce for further necessary action.   He also informed the Committee that investigation about sugar mills cases were under process with National Accountability Bureau, (NAB) and TCP was assisting NAB in this regard by provision of information/record from time to time.

Acting President, FPCCI, informed the Committee about the problems being faced by the business community with regard to arbitration matters. He said that arbitration authority was changed by the government to Director General Trade Organization in 2013. The Committee strongly recommended that arbitration powers should be returned to FPCCI for smooth working. The Committee Members were also of the view that DGTO should be abolished, as such kind of practice has been finished in developed countries of the world. The Committee decided that an exclusive meeting would be held, to discuss the geographical Indication Protection (under process law), 2001.

The meeting was attended by Choudhry Muhammad Shahbaz Babar, MNA, Mian Muhammad Rasheed, MNA, Ms. Tahira Aurangzeb, MNA, Dr. Shezra Mansab Ali Khan Kharal, MNA, Dr. Mehreen Razaque Bhutto, MNA, Mr. Nasir Ahmed Bughio, MNA, Shazia Marri, MNA, Ms Mussarat Ahmad Zeb, MNA, Ms. Sajida Begum, MNA, Mr. Sanjay Perwani, MNA and Dr. Fouzia Hameed, MNA, besides Senior Officers from TDAP, TCP, FPCCI and Ministry of Commerce.