Country’s economic health getting better

Lahore (Staff Reporter): The country’s economy is on right track following steps taken by the government while the international institutions like World Bank and IMF have also declared that Pakistani economy has made a significant progress. The Business Promotion Council chairman and LCCI Executive Committee member Ilyas Majeed Sheikh told a delegation of traders from various city markets that the country’s economic health is getting better with every passing day due to well-planned economic policies of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.  According to him, the international agency, Bloomberg, in its report has appreciated the achievements of the government despite continuous protests in the country.

As per report, the government has managed to bring turnaround of the economy after political disturbance in the mid of the last year by some opposition parties. While answering a question, He said that Pak-China Economic Corridor is lifeline of the country and it would be completed at every cost. This project would open new avenues of progress and prosperity apart from helping Pakistani economy excel and creation of millions new opportunities for the Pakistani workforce. 

He said that mark-up is at the lowest ebb of the history and it is an ample proof of the Nawaz Sharif government’s business friendly policies. He said the government would make this measure meaningful and result-oriented so that business community could avail full advantage of the lowest mark-up rate.

KE asked to send bills as per meter reading

KARACHI (APP): Senior Advisor Ombudsman's Regional Office, Farzana Jabeen, has said that K-Electric should send bills to the consumers as per actual meter readings. She said that in many of the cases the poor citizens are not sent bills as per meter reading that is why they are unable to pay. She pointed out this at the Camp Office of Deputy Commissioner Malir during hearing the applications. She said there are instances that consumers who earn 10 to 20 thousand per month and not use air conditioner and other electricity appliances, are receiving bills amounting to 50,000 to 80,000 rupees and they are upset upon it and could not afford to pay the bill.

Hearing the application on over-billing, Advisor Muhammad Yameen asked the representative of K-Electric to address the problem and provide relief to the consumers.

Govt asked to probe high sugar prices

Lahore (Staff Reporter): Society Watch President Khalid Mahmood on Sunday said masses had been forced to buy costly sugar, which is violation of their basic rights. “Sugar in Pakistan is sold at a 35 percent higher rate than in the international market, which is putting extra burden on people and the export industry,” he said. Mahmood said that sugar is available at Rs 40 in the international market while it is being sold at Rs 61 per kg in Pakistan which is unjustified. Mahmood said that sugar mill owners should be directed to reduce the prices, otherwise 40 percent regulatory duty imposed on the import of sugar should be abolished to benefit 200 million people.

He said the government should provide relief to masses and not to the sugar mill owners, while the industry exporting biscuits, sweets and confectionary continue to pay the price.

He said that other countries, with low sugar prices, were snatching export markets from Pakistan.

PR earns over Rs 81m by leasing out railway land in KP

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan Railways has earned Rs 81.724 million by leasing out unutilized land of the railway available on Mardan-Dargai section, KPK for various purposes during the last five years. The railway land was leased out on both the short and long term basis, official sources in the Ministry of Railways told APP. Giving break-up, they said, the land was leased out for agriculture at Rs 0.204 million, parking at Rs0.29m, stacking at Rs 2.44 million and tehbazari at Rs 6.45m. The lease included shops at Rs1.96m, cattle fares at Rs0.64m, row for the construction of flyover at Takht Bhai at Rs0.55m, buildings at Rs 2.715m and goods shed at Rs2.937m besides giving land for other commercial activities at Rs63.536 million.

The available railway land is leased out in a transparent manner through open public auction by fixing bench mark/reserve price of auction after evaluation, they added.

They said the entire section between Mardan-Dargai Railway Stations was free from any unauthorized occupation and encroachments.

In case of any temporary encroachments like hand carts, wheel barrows etc these are immediately handled effectively by carrying out clean-up operations in coordination with the District Administration, the sources said.

They said that at present, 357.20 acres of railway land exists over Mardan-Dargai section having worth of Rs1412.00 million approximately.

Tax amnesty scheme failed due to flawed strategy

Quetta (Online): Quetta Chamber of Commerce Committee Chairperson for Trade Tabassum Anwar said on Sunday that the flawed strategy resulted in the failure of the tax amnesty scheme, which would further shrink the documented economy and expand the thriving black economy. She said that although the economic managers had claimed to net one million new taxpayers through the scheme, but the result remained less than one percent because of flaws in the strategy, which forced the government to abandon the struggle to expand the tax net. Tabassum expressed the apprehension that the wrong policies would augment the undocumented economy, forcing the government to carry begging bowl again to meet its growing requirements.

She said that falling exports and problems in the export of manpower, coupled with shrinking tax base, were the issues that should be taken seriously lest the country was forced to go for another IMG programme, with degrading conditions.