ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce on Thursday expressed displeasure over the non-implementation on four bills passed by it and also directed the government to make the Export Import (Exim) Bank functional by November this year.

The committee, which met here under the chairmanship of Senator Syed Shibli Faraz, expressed concern that four bills passed by it, including National Tariff Commission Bill, 2015, Anti-Dumping Duties Bill 2015, Countervailing Duties Bill, 2015 and the Safeguard Measures Bill, 2015, had not been implemented.

The committee directed the Ministry of Commerce to implement these by October 2016 and submit a report to it.

Faraz said the government was not making EXIM Bank functional despite continuous decline in the country’s exports. He asked the Ministry of Commerce to formulate rules and regulations for the bank to make it operational by November 2016. “The EXIM Bank would facilitate exporters as well importers of the country,” he added.

The committee chairman went on to say that he would also ask the Ministry of Finance to take steps for early functioning of the Bank. He said that since the Finance Ministry had already released 70 percent of the seed money for the Bank, which was Rs7 billion during the financial year 2015-16, therefore this facility should be created as soon as possible.

Earlier, the officials of Ministry of Commerce gave a detailed briefing to the committee on the EXIM Bank.

“The bank would provide liquidity to the exporters and its authorised capital would be Rs100 billion while the initial paid-up capital will be Rs10 billion,” they informed.

“The government decided to establish the Bank to facilitate the country’s exporters,” they said, and added, “The ministry has given an advertisement in newspapers for constituting Bank’s Board of Governors, while the State Bank of Pakistan would appoint Bank’s CEO.

The committee also directed that the National Tariff Commission Bill, 2015 should be implemented within 90 days i.e. by October 30.

Faraz noted that about one year had passed since the bill was enacted, but still there was no implementation.

Committee Member Senator Ilyas Bilour noted that the government should set up an anti-dumping court as the required legislation had already been done in this regard.

Secretary commerce informed the committee that getting the bill implemented was ministry’s top priority, and it was working on it at a fast pace.

The committee was also given detailed briefing by the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce on Mineral and Pharmaceutical Sector.

The committee was informed that the pharmaceutical sector had great potential to boost exports, provided it was facilitated by the regulatory bodies and the government. The committee was also told that there were 700 pharmaceutical units in the country, situated in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and other cities. It was informed that price of hepatitis C injection in Pakistan was much lower than other countries like USA and India.

The committee was informed that the pharmaceutical sector of Pakistan could beat its Indian counterpart provided it was facilitated in terms of timely documentation.