News Brief

PCGA rejects withdrawal of duty, ST on cotton import

MULTAN (Staff Reporter): Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has rejected the ECC recommendations to withdraw 4pc customs duty and 5pc sales tax on the import of cotton from India and other countries and demanded continuation of tax and duty for the survival of agriculture sector. Addressing a Press Conference PCGA leaders Haji Muhammad Akram(Chairman),Shehzad Ali Khan, Malik Talat Suhail, Amanullah Qureshi,Sheikh Muhammad Saeed, Haji Hafeez Anwar (Former Chairmen),Mian Javed Tariq Vice Chairman, Khalid Hanif Lodhi, Ghulam Mustafa Khandwa, and Ashiq Ali Babar Rehmani said that Pro-APTMA policies of present Government at the cost of agriculture sector were not acceptable to ginners as well as growers and urged upon the PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi not to notify the recommendations of ECC. Haji Muhammad Akram further said that Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar admitted that our economy had suffered a loss of Rs500 billion due to less production of cotton which had shattered our economy. 

More than 1.3 million bales were lying in ginning factories while ten percent more crop was expected from the growers.

Under these circumstance, allowing the import of cotton would be tantamount to slaughtering the growers and ginners who heave a sigh of relief after increasing the prices of cotton to reasonable level. The cotton ginning industry has fiercely opposed duty-free import of Indian cotton, saying it will have destructive effects on Pakistan’s economy. They revealed that more than 1.3 million bales of cotton were lying unsold in ginning factories, which textile millers were reluctant to purchase. Another 10 to 15 percent bales are expected next month. They saw no justification for withdrawal of tax and customs duty on cotton import from India at the cost of Pakistan’s farmers, arguing fibre import via land or sea was not in the interest of national economy. If such imports continued without any curbs, he believed, they would harm cotton production in the country in the next season. Last year, cotton harvest had dropped 30% and if appropriate measures were not taken, the situation could deteriorate further and affect local output. He was of the view that the production cost was higher than the prices farmers were receiving for their harvest. The high cost was one of the reasons behind the decline in cotton production, he added.

 PFC delegation leaves for 5 European countries visit to explore new markets

LAHORE (INP): First high level delegation of Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) of the year Tuesday left for five different European countries Germany, Portugal, Austria, Spain and Italy on a weeklong visit to explore new markets and strengthening existing bilateral trade relations with their counterparts in furniture industry during business to business contacts. The delegation, headed by its CE M Kashif, would avail the opportunity to study about the latest trends of designing of products and modern technologies in their fields to better their trade to compete global markets. Talking to media prior to his departure to Germany, Mian Kashif said the delegation during first leg of visit  would also attend 3-day international trade fair Heimtextil 2018 commencing from 9 January at Frankfurt (Germany) to explore new markets. He said this business tour would provide a chance to explore new avenues by sharing vision, expertise for formulation of future policies, economic studies, sectoral and project specific reports besides promotional efforts.

The delegation would have one on one direct interaction with foreign business leaders, researchers and investors in European countries, he said adding the tour would enable   investors to identify potential organizations to partner and developing successful regional economic strategies and support regionally vital businesses.

He was of the view that economic and trade relations between Pakistan and Europe possess great potential and there was dire need for Pakistani business community to focus on improving their competitiveness in the European market. More attention needed to bring

improvements in agri sector: Bosan

LAHORE (APP): Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan has said that reduction in cost of production of different crops is of high importance for farmers. He said this while addressing a Standing Committee meeting on National Food Security and Research held at Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) on Tuesday. The meeting was presided over by the committee’s chairman Malik Shakir Bashir Awan. The minister said that about 98 percent of wheat sowing had been completed and sufficient wheat was available in stock as well. Bosan said that if electricity loadshedding could be overcome in the country then agriculture sector could also flourish as well, only special attention was required for the uplift of the sector. The meeting discussed the current government stock situation of wheat, next wheat crop outlook, how to enter into new wheat crop procurement with current stock situation.

Chairman of the committee said that two million tons of wheat would be exported and out of which, Punjab would export 1.5 million tons of wheat while Sindh would export 0.5 million tons of wheat. He further said that 70 percent of export would be carried out through sea route and 30 percent via land. The export would be completed by June 30, he added. Gold import rises 50pc in 5 months

ISLAMABAD (APP): The import of gold during first five months (July-November) of current fiscal year increased by 50.58 per cent as compared to same period of previous year. During the period under review, 217 kilograms of the yellow metal valuing $7.768 million was imported against import of 164 kgs gold worth $5.823 million last year. On yearly basis, the import of yellow metal in November 2017 also witnessed an increase of 66.1 per cent as compared to same month of the year 2016 as it rose to $1.367 million in November 2017 from $823,000 in November 2016. However, on month-on-month basis, the import went down by 21pc as during October 2017 the import was recorded at $1.737 million, latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics reported. Similarly, the overall metal group import also increased by 33.02 per cent in July-November (2017-18) to $2.134 billion from $1.6 billion in same period of previous year. Iron and steel scrap import also surged by 92pc as it rose to $656.2 million in first five months of current fiscal year from $341 million in July-November (2016-17).

Likewise, the import of iron and steel also rose to $940 million in Jul-Nov (2017-18) from $813.9 million in same period of preceding fiscal year thus showing an increase of 15.5 per cent. Aluminum wrought and work import also increased by 18.66 per cent from $73 million in July-Nov 2016-17 to $86 million. On year-on-year basis the overall metal group import in November rose by 6.08  per cent while on month-on-month basis the import went down by 5.98 per cent in November 2017 as compared to that of November 2016.

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