Iesco sets up call centre to redress customers complaints

ISLAMABaD (Staff Reporter): Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) has established state-of-the-art multipurpose Call Centre 118 to address and redress the complaints of its over 2.3 million valued customers.   Customers may call on help line No. 118 for redressal of their complaints and other information. Call centre facility will be available 24 hours for the customers of IESCO. According to the details, Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) has launched call centre to facilitate its valued customers where several facilities will be provided. IESCO’s customers can now call on call centre help line No 118 to register their electricity complaints as well as get other information.

 This facility is being provided 24 hours to the 2.3 million customers of 5 circles including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Attock and Chakwal. Facilities like electricity complaints, bill related information, load shedding schedule and information of tariff are also available at call centre. Electricity theft report may also be lodged at call centre. IESCO will also appreciate the suggestions given by the valued customers. State-of-the-art call centre is fully computerised. On the receipt of complaint from a consumer the concerned office will be informed for the remedial measures. To check the progress of call centre, a monitoring system is also launched where IESCO’s relevant officers will monitor it. IESCO’s new call centre will be effective in resolving customer’s complaints.

FBR agrees to establish Customs Dry Port at Hub

ISLAMABaD (Staff Reporter): The Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Ismail Suttar has said Chairman FBR Tariq Bajwa agreed that the inland revenue collected from tax payers having their business premises at Lasbela District would be accounted for in the revenue generated in Balochistan. In a statement he said that the Chairman FBR also agreed to provide total figures of the inland taxes generated from Hub and other parts of Lasbela District, so that the Government of Balochistan may assess the potential of tax generation in the area enabling them to provide further infrastructure and incentives for industrial progress in the province.

Member, FBR Inland Revenue (Operations) has been given the responsibility of providing the data of the revenue collection from Balochistan.

On the request of the Ismail Suttar, President LCCI,  Tariq Bajwa agreed in principle to establish the Customs Dry Port at Hub, which will certainly provide an incentive to the investors and the industries currently operating at Hub and other parts of Balochistan and would contribute to the economic progress of Balochistan and its people. 

Unregistered seed affecting country’s cotton production

MULTAN (APP): Pakistan was ranked fourth among 60 cotton producing countries but languished at 16th position on per acre production front largely due to sowing of unregistered and substandard seed, says a cotton botanist of Cotton Research Station (CRS) Multan. Dr Sagheer Ahmad said in a statement here Friday that only 13 per cent registered seed was used in Punjab last year while the ratio was much higher in USA (99pc), China (95pc) and India (83pc). Pakistan’s standing in the list of countries on per acre production can improve significantly provided growers sow only registered and approved cotton seed, he added.

Only registered companies sell seeds in important cotton producing countries and growers found involved in selling seed not only face penalties but also barred from cultivation, he said.

He advised growers to sow only cotton varieties in the upcoming season that are approved by Punjab Seed Council which included MNH-886, IR Nayab-824, IUB-222, Saiban -201, Sitara-11M, KZ-181, Tarzan-1, Tarzan-2, Neelam-121, Sitara-008, A-555, Ali Akbar-802, Ali Akbar-703, CA-12, MG-6, GN hybrid-2085, CIM-599, CIM-602, FH-118, FH-142, IR-1542, IR-3701, VH-259, and BH-178.

Dr Sagheer said that CRS Multan’s variety MNH-886 had been approved for sowing and was expected to cover major cotton areas next season.

He added that no variety in the name of 992 had been developed by CRS Multan and people should convey information to the federal seed certification department and other agriculture departments for legal action if they found any one selling the seed.

CCP takes notice of petroleum companies complaint

ISLAMABaD (Staff Reporter): The Competition Commission of Pakistan (the “Commission”) has taken notice of concerns raised by petroleum companies, on the apparently discriminatory access to Inland Freight Equalisation Margin (IFEM) pool which is distorting conditions of competition in crude and refined oil markets. Sections 28 and 29 of the Competition Act, 2010 entrust the Commission with the responsibility to “promote competition through advocacy which includes holding open hearing on any matter affecting the state of competition in Pakistan or affecting the country’s commercial activities and expressing publicly an opinion with respect to the issues.”

The Commission has scheduled a public hearing inviting all the stakeholders to share their views on the aforementioned issues/ concerns which will be held on 25-02-2014 at 11 a.m. at the Commission’s office located at 8th Floor, 55-B, ISE Tower, Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad. 

The Commission has asked all interested parties, who wish to attend the public hearing to get themselves registered with the Commission latest by 24 February, 2014 for participation in the Public Hearing. Names of participants, their telephone numbers may be faxed at 051-9100236.

Oil prices down in Asian trade

SINGAPORE (AFP): Oil prices were down in Asian trade Friday as dealers weighed concerns that the Chinese economy may be losing strength against upbeat US stockpiles figures, analysts said. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for April eased five cents to $102.70 in afternoon trade, while Brent North Sea crude dipped four cents to $110.26 for its April delivery. Weak Chinese manufacturing data released Thursday has heightened concerns about waning demand from the Asian economic powerhouse, the world’s top energy consumer.  HSBC’s preliminary reading for its purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which tracks manufacturing activity in China’s factories and workshops, contracted in February to its lowest level in seven months.

The index also tumbled in January, losing ground for the first time in six months.

Singapore’s United Overseas Bank said oil prices receded “as traders put more weight on the weak China PMI data against the strong US demand” reflected in the latest US stockpiles data.

Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, said investors were still mulling over the implications of the Chinese manufacturing figures.

“I think, collectively, the market has decided that the safer option will be to wait on more data from China before they make any downward adjustments to their growth outlook,” he told AFP.

The US Energy Department’s official petroleum stockpiles report released Thursday raised hopes of improved demand after bouts of winter storms and bitter cold gripped large parts of the country.

Commercial crude inventories rose by 1.0 million barrels in the week ending February 14, less than the 1.8 million expected by analysts.

US distillate reserves, which include diesel and heating fuel, fell by 300,000 barrels.

Analysts are also closely monitoring renewed conflicts in oil-exporting countries in Africa, which have given support to Brent prices and raised concerns over the region’s stability.

South Sudan’s key oil hub of Malakal faces fresh fighting as government troops vowed to wrest back control of the town from rebel fighters.