LCCI for stronger ties between public, private sectors

LAHORE (APP): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry here Saturday called for a mechanism to strengthen relations between public and private sector institutions to pave way for economic growth at a faster pace and for a longer period. LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari stated this in a seminar on ‘National Outreach Programme’ organized by the LCCI Standing Committee. Sohail Lashari said the Lahore Chamber was making all out efforts for bringing public, private sectors institutions on the same page to ensure consistency of economic policies, and stressed need for bring sector specialists at one platform to utilize their expertise for the country’s economic growth.

This seminar aimed at developing strong linkages among various public and private institutions through partnerships, he said, citing, “This relationship will allow us to lay grounds to hold conferences, trainings and workshops which ultimately provide good learning platforms to the newcomers, who are keen to know and learn through the experience of successful professionals.”

On this occasion, LCCI vice president Kashif Anwar said that education was the only solution to multiple internal and external problems being faced by Pakistan.

Committee Chairman Awais Saeed Pircha called for further education of young professional so that they could excel in their respective fields.

Consumers face low gas pressure

in Punjab

LAHORE/RAWALPINDI/MULTAN (INP): Domestic consumers are facing great inconvenience as cooking and heating has become almost impossible due to low pressure of natural gas in various cities of the province. The problem of low pressure of gas was reported in many cities including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Multan, causing immense problem for the house wives. The residents of Rawalpindi said they used liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as an alternative but it was not affordable. They said that using wood for cooking and heating has become almost impossible for them as they have designed their kitchen for use of gas only.

A group of residents of Lahore said that the weather has turned colder in the city increasing demand of the natural gas. They said most of them have to take bath with cold water in the morning before going to their workplaces due to gas shortage. They said that now that the gas supply to CNG stations has been suspended, the supply company officials have no excuse for the shortage of gas. The citizens urged the authorities concerned to take steps for regularizing the gas supply during the winter season to the domestic consumers.

Prices of edible items reduced by 60pc, claims Punjab minister

LAHORE (APP): Provincial Minister for Food and Chairman Price Control Committee Bilal Yasin Saturday said provision of relief to people is a top priority and prices of edible items have been reduced to 60 percent in the districts of Punjab. He expressed these views while visiting vegetable market and Sahulat Bazaars in Kasur. Secretary Industries Irfan Ali and DCO Kasur accompanied the minister. He said rush of consumers in Sahulat Bazaars and vegetable markets was the result of the positive steps taken by the Punjab government. Bilal Yasin checked quality and prices of various vegetables and fruits in vegetable market.

He directed DCO Kasur to monitor prices of essential items during auction.

Dar orders preparation for trading

of govt securities on stock exchanges


KARACHI (APP): Federal Minister for Finance, Ishaq Dar directed that all required legal formalities and operational groundwork should be completed to ensure launching of Government Securities trading in stock markets across the country by end of January 2014. This he said while presiding over a meeting of the committee which was formed in connection with launch of Government Securities in stock markets here on Saturday.    The Minister obtained detailed update from the committee in this regard.  Based on discussions, the Finance Minister directed the stakeholders- SBP, SECP, KSE, and CDC to put in place the regulatory and operational framework for launching.

 the trading of Government securities through the Karachi Stock Exchange by the end of January 2014.

   He said that it is imperative that small savers and investors be provided the opportunity to invest in government securities while international fixed income investors should also be attracted to Pakistan Government Debt Market.

   The Finance Minister accepted to preside the road show in Islamabad regarding Government securities.

   Representations made by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and KSE highlighted the importance of creating wider ownership of Government securities in the retail/ small savers and investors across Pakistan.

   The Governor of SBP, Yaseen Anwar and his team provided an analysis of the progress achieved over last five years in diversifying the investor base of Government securities from mostly banks to non-bank institutions. In case of Treasury Bills the holdings of the non-bank sector has increased from 7.8% in 2009 to 16.9% in 2013.

   The Finance Minister remarked that the new trading platform of Government securities will operate alongside the existing OTC platforms in the interbank market.

   This would enable competitive pricing structure at the retail level, create greater transparency and structured dissemination of trading information.

   He hoped that as the market participants and investors become familiar with the new system and have the opportunity to invest easily in the secondary market for government securities, it  will enable the government to consider launching other securities such as infrastructure bonds and Islamic bonds to be traded through the capital markets.

   The representative of Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) highlighted certain aspects raised by the Primary Dealer banks which required clarification including provision of the BATS terminals directly to banks by the KSE and assurance of guaranteed settlement by CDC.

   Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) assured the meeting that necessary approvals will be provided by them.

   KSE and CDC also provided a summary of the marketing plan for government securities that included road shows in major cities and training of financial advisors and accountants of companies to create awareness and capacity.

KCCI lauds  compensation to goods transporters


KARACHI (APP): President, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Abdullah Zaki Saturday appreciated the Federal Government for resolving all issues of goods transporters and distributing compensation among those goods transporters whose vehicles were burnt after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007.  After attending a ceremony held at Chief Minister House on Saturday in which Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar distributed cheques among the affected goods transporters, President KCCI Abdullah Zaki warmly welcomed the government’s response towards resolving the issues of goods transporters on KCCI’s intervention.

   “KCCI played the leading role and acted as a bridge between the government and goods transporters towards resolving  various issues as early as possible with a view to save the economy from the likely grave losses, he said in a KCCI statement issued here on Saturday.

   The cheques distribution ceremony was also attended by Vice Chairman of Businessmen Group and former president KCCI, Zubair Motiwala, Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Idrees and Managing Committee Member KCCI, Asif Nisar.   

   Abdullah hoped that the government will continue to give similar considerations to the issues being highlighted by KCCI from time to time in order to ensure a business-friendly environment.

   He also appreciated United Goods Transporters Alliance for accepting KCCI’s request to consider reducing their demands.

   Abdullah said that the Chamber approached high authorities in Islamabad to ensure that all reasonable demands are fulfilled and today, one of the most pressing demands has been fulfilled as Finance Minister distributed cheques among the affected people.

   He also welcomed the relevant SRO issued by FBR on reducing the rate of withholding tax to Rs 2 per kilogramme of the laden weight.