PIA claims achieving 100pc punctuality

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): National flag carrier PIA achieved 100 per cent punctuality on its entire 124 domestic and international flights on Wednesday. “This punctuality is a significant milestone for the national airline as it is undergoing a process of revival and underscores the focus of the airline on passengers’ convenience and comfort”, PIA spokesman said on Thursday. He said PIA is also in process of inducting more aircraft in its fleet and has established four layers security at all the major airports in the country. Staff Reporter from Lahore: CAA has successfully upgraded and installed ILS CAT -IIIB installation at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore. Capt (r) Shujaat Azeem will inaugurate the said system on Friday (today).

Sindh finance minister assures support to American investors

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): Sindh Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has urged the American Business Council (ABC) to share recommendations to ease hardships of existing taxpayers and assured that ABC inputs would be used in the formulation of provincial budget FY16-17. Sindh Finance Minister and Chairman Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) Tashfeen Khalid Niaz were invited by ABC to its quarterly CEO roundtable meeting to discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by their companies. The Minister and Chairman SRB informed ABC that the Sindh government is taking concrete steps to formulate business friendly policies to improve the law and order situation and undertake infrastructure development projects.

The minister shared details of various infrastructure, energy, waste management and transport projects that were planned for the city.

Upon hearing the concerns expressed by members on the increasing cost of doing business in Sindh on account of various levies and taxes including the sales tax on services, the provincial minister and SRB chairman urged participants to share their views to improve the business environment in the province.

“The provincial government needs to formulate long term, strong, efficient and business friendly policies and share the roadmap of its strategy to simplify the taxation structure and improve Karachi’s infrastructure which will encourage the business community to expand and invest further,” stated ABC President, Nadeem Elahi.

“The ABC is encouraged to hear about the planned infrastructure projects that the Sindh government will consider taxpayer feedback to simplify the taxation structure. It is critical for tax authorities to facilitate taxpayer, rather than creating hardship in compliance. The tax allocation should be done by the revenue authorities without creating hardship for the taxpayers,” he added.

ABC members were of the view that while there had been some improvement in the city’s security in recent months, further progress was required to change overall investor perception. They also urged the Sindh government to prioritize development and infrastructure projects within Karachi as concrete progress on this front would lead to a drastic improvement in the overall business environment.

The ABC with 68 members is the largest single country investor group in Pakistan and most of them represent Fortune 500 companies.

Petroleum Institute launches Pakistan Energy Outlook

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Petroleum Institute of Pakistan (PIP) launched the 5th edition of its flagship bi-annual Pakistan Energy Outlook, PEO document during the Annual Technical Conference. PIP CEO, Asim Murtaza Khan said that the PEO document attempts to further advance the relevant policy deliberation and to offer its contribution to the energy sector. The set of recommendations identified in this document provides the long term energy solutions for Pakistan for securing higher GDP growth and economic development on sustainable basis. It highlights core areas of focus for the industry and the Government as well as provides policy guidance and recommendations to increase activity and investment in the sector.

, with focus on oil and gas exploration and energy efficiency. 

Mr. Khan further elaborated that the research work behind the document examines the existing infrastructure, market conditions, investment climate and competitive landscape of upstream, midstream and downstream sectors.

Call to generate fresh opportunities for micro enterprises

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The speakers have urged the microfinance sector to generate fresh opportunities and lead the growth for micro enterprises. Delivering their views at the 9th Pakistan Microfinance Forum 2015, they dilated on the need for a cohesive effort to move from regulations to actions. The annual assembly of the microfinance sector attracted a large number of microfinance experts, social entrepreneurs, regulatory institutions, valuable contributors, banking professionals, stakeholders and other prominent personalities in the social developmental sector. Nadeem Hussain, Chairman, Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN), emphasized the need to change and to be prepared for growth.

First consul general of China visits PBIT

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The first Consul General of China in Lahore Yu Boren, accompanied by Consul Zhang Biao and Consular Attache Zhai Yinglin, called on Chairman Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) Abdul Basit on Thursday. Purpose of the visit was to extend appreciation for Punjab Board of Investment and Trade’s tireless efforts to facilitate Chinese businessmen and to brainstorm the way forward for establishing long term cooperation with PBIT to build a platform to facilitate the Chinese investment in Punjab. Chairman PBIT, Abdul Basit said that China is the true and trusted friend of Pakistan who has extended invaluable cooperation in the progress and development of the country.

He further said that under the present elected government, we are striving to take Pak China relations even further. The Pakistan- China Economic Corridor (CPEC) aims to transform the strong political relations into strong economic ties

Sectors like agriculture, real estate, energy, special economic zones (sezs) and low cost housing were discussed in detail. Basit informed Boren and his team about the incentives offered to the investors including the 10 year tax holiday to the SEZ’s. He also answered a number of queries of Boren pertaining to the available investment projects in Punjab. He said that 100% foreign equity is allowed in Punjab and various low cost housing projects are available where Chinese companies can invest such as Ashiana and other Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects.

Zhai Yinglin, Consular Attache said that in the past ten years number of Chinese skilled work force has increased drastically in Punjab as various energy projects of coal and solar sectors are underway. Currently, numerous Chinese experts are employed in various energy and infrastructure projects in the province including Nandi Pur Power Project, Jinnah Barrage Hydro Power Project, Bahawalpur Solar Park, Motorways, Bhikki Project, Baloki Project and other mega hydro projects.