LUMS hosts Pakistan-India Trade Normalisation Conference

lahore (Staff Reporter): The Department of Economics Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS) held a two-day International Conference on Pakistan-India Trade Normalization Issues for the purpose of disseminating the findings of policy papers researched at LUMS over a period of two years. The event explored various aspects of Pakistan-India trade relations and examined ways to realize the trade potential between the two countries. At the conference, in addition to LUMS, researchers from SDPI, USAID, Farmer Association of Pakistan (FAP) and ICRIER (New Delhi) also presented their findings.

The conference was attended by former Foreign Minister for Pakistan Hina Rabbani Khar, Businessman Syed Babar Ali, Vice Chancellor LUMS Dr. Sohail Naqvi, Chairman Planning and Development Irfan Illahi, a fifteen member delegation comprising of researchers, academics and industry stakeholders from Delhi including Secretary Industries, Commerce & Investment, Punjab; CEO of Punjab Board of Trade & Investment, representatives from the Agriculture and Pharmaceutical Sectors and academics from India and Pakistan.

The speakers said that research conducted by LUMS focused on the impact of normalizing trade with India on three sensitive sectors of the Pakistani Economy, i.e. the Agriculture, Automotive and the Pharmaceutical sectors.

FPCCI Achievement Award for Kashif Anwar

lahore (Staff Reporter): The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry has announced the FPCCI Achievement Award for LCCI former vice president Kashif Anwar. In a letter No. FPCCI.RO.LHR/14, dated Sept 14, 2014, the FPCCI declared that Regional Office Lahore has decided to honour FPCCI Achievements Award to Kashif Anwar, ex-vice president LCCI for his meritorious services rendered to the business community of Lahore. According to a press release, FPCCI president Zakaria Usman, regional chairman S.M Naseer and SAARC CCI vice president Iftikhar Ali Malik have congratulated Mr. Kashif for winning such prestigious award.

FPCCI Achievement Awards are the highest awards of private sector which are conferred to those leading organisations and individuals who have made outstanding achievements in socio-economic sector as well as in corporate social responsibilities (CSR) activities, said the press release. The achievement awards initiated by FPCCI last year received great recognition on national level.

SBP announces Rs10b concessional scheme for economic revival

karachi (Staff Reporter): State Bank of Pakistan has announced concessional re-finance scheme of Rs 10 billion for the revival of economic activities and to facilitate the flow of fresh credit in the flood affected areas as reported by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Under the scheme, a mark-up of 8pc per annum will be charged from the farmers and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of affected areas by the banks against their financing for production/ working capital loans/ advances. Further, SBP in a separate circular has advised commercial & microfinance banks and DFIs to reschedule/ restructure agriculture, SMEs and micro loans/ advances of the affected borrowers.

For all such rescheduled/ restructured loans and advances, banks/ DFIs/MFBs may defer loan provisioning up to September 30, 2015. The relaxation is available for loans and advances which have become non-performing since September 1, 2014 in the affected areas.

FBR urged to extend last date for filing of Income Tax Returns

karachi (Staff Reporter): KCCI President Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra has urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to extend the last date for filing of Income Tax Returns and Wealth Statements as the taxpayers are facing immense hardships and are unable to timely submit their Returns through the faulty IRIS system. In a statement issued on Thursday, President KCCI demanded that FBR must restore the previous online system for filing of Income tax Returns in order to give relief to taxpayers who are trying to submit their returns online but the existing IRIS system continues to give errors and the taxpayers are finding it difficult to submit their Returns online via IRIS web portal.

Reserves stand at $13.46b

karachi (Staff Reporter): During the week ending 17 October 2014, State Bank of Pakistan’s liquid FX reserves decreased by $95 million to $8,787 million compared to $8,882 million in the previous week. The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $13,464.9 million on 17 October 2014. The break-up of the foreign reserves position is as, Foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan: $8,787.3 million, Net foreign reserves held by banks: $4,677.6 million and total liquid foreign reserves are: $13,464.9 million. During the week SBP made payments of $118 million on account of external debt servicing. There were no significant inflows during the week.