ACCA leads conversation for emerging Pakistan

LAHORE (PR): ACCA is one of the world’s most forward-thinking global bodies of professional accountants, supporting its 200,000 members and 486,000 students in 178 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business. ACCA has a network of 101 offices and centers and more than 7,291 approved employers worldwide. ACCA organised the 2nd edition of Pakistan Leadership Conversation (PLC) with six events in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore on 20, 21, 22 and 27 of March 2018. PLC is a forum for thought leaders to sit together and explore forward thinking policy choices. The theme was “Collective Vision for an Emerging Pakistan” and it featured over 40 local and foreign conversation leaders to deliberate and propose policy recommendations based on ACCA’s global research and professional insights. These conversations were also webcasted across the globe and had active participation from over 15 countries.

The conferences were followed by corporate dinners and new member ceremonies with ACCA members and prize winning students.

ACCA members pledged to collaborate with private and public sectors to drive social and economic growth for an emerging Pakistan. ACCA has helped to define some of the vital elements required for delivering on socio-economic development across Pakistan. One of the key items that have been at the heart of the conversation has been the role CPEC will play under China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI). ACCA is playing its part by utilizing its worldwide reach with BRI countries, engaging policy makers, academia and business to realign priorities and strategies to take full advantage of the potential that CPEC has to offer.

ACCA has drawn a roadmap with key deliverables essential to continue Pakistan’s progression towards achieving socio-economic prosperity. One of the big ticket items is tax and foreign exchange regulation reforms. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-18, taxation policy and tax collecting agency’s mindset, preceded by corruption, is the second biggest impediment to ease of doing business and global competitiveness rankings of Pakistan. In the past, measures have been taken for curbing corruption but the taxation system requires more trust-driven and transparent policy and its collection. Procedural reforms in foreign direct investment coming into Pakistan are necessary for global participation in Pakistan’s economy.

The other main drivers of change that can create an impact include the “Youth of Pakistan”. By nurturing this natural talent leveraging the 4th Industrial Revolution (powered digitally), Pakistan is in a unique position to access the ‘global market’ for consumers, products and services. By focusing on developing policies that will enable the digital economy, the youth of Pakistan will be key drivers in this new economy which will lead to social and financial inclusion, access to education and health care and economic participation of women which will help in attracting local and foreign investment.

The correlation between innovation and economic growth are the cornerstones of development. For Pakistan to achieve certain development goals certain sectors of the economy are need of overhaul which includes the financial markets, access to bank credit and governance structures of family owned businesses that require revamping to expand the access to capital from seed capital to growth capital. ACCA has taken a key interest in this area by creating awareness of the central bank’s recent reforms to support SMEs, Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s private equity related initiatives and its implementation, expansion of retail penetration in Pakistan Stock Exchange, succession of family owned business and knowledge sharing forumsincluding‘Startup eco-system’ to support innovation.



PFIA urges PFA to consult stakeholders before imposing any order

LAHORE (PR): Pakistan FMCG Importers Association (PFIA) has urged the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) to consult stakeholders, especially importers and manufacturers, before enacting any new law. No doubt, PFA is doing good job to ensure provision of quality and hygienic food to the consumers of the Punjab but stakeholders should also be taken on board before taking any new step, said PFIA President Anjum Nisar, Sheikh Khalid, General Secretary Ali Tariq Mattoo and Sheikh Wajid in a joint statement issued here Friday. They said that the Authority had recently announced labelling of all the products in English or Urdu. They said lots of products are being imported from non-English speaking countries also. The Authority should have consulted the stakeholders before issuing such directions and given a proper time frame to contact the suppliers and get the directions implemented. PFIA leadership claimed that the Authority gives too short time for implementation on its orders.

They reiterated their demand of consulting the stakeholders before any new step and giving ample time to get the decision implemented in letter and spirit.




Rickshaw maker to manufacture cars


ISLAMABAD (APP): Auto-rickshaw maker Sazgar Engineering Works has been granted permission to set up a new cars manufacturing plant in Pakistan in partnership with a Chinese company, it was stated in a notice issued by the Pakistan Stock Exchange. Company’s secretary Arshad Mahmood said, “Ministry of Industries & Production of Pakistan has awarded the Category-A, Greenfield Investment status to our company.” In January, the Sazgar Engineering Works announced that they are initiating to set up light commercial vehicles (LCVs) plant on a fast track basis, a private news channel reported. They are striving to manufacture the vehicles in a maximum of 18 months in order to tap potential growth in the auto sector in Pakistan. “The (cars and LCVs) project will be completed by June 30, 2019,” he said. The plant would have a “production capacity of 24,000 units per annum,” he added. According to reports, the budget for this project has been approved at Rs 1.76 billion excluding the value of the land already owned by the company.

The two partners would manufacture, assemble, sell and offer after sale services of passenger and off-road (like jeeps) vehicles.




ICCI for formulating inclusive economic policies

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed has called upon the government to finalize Federal Budget 2018-19 in consultation with private sector to make it inclusive financial bill. He was addressing a session organized by Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) in collaboration with ICCI to hold discussion on improving the parliamentary hearing process for formulating inclusive economic and other policies. He said major chambers of commerce & industry of the country were sending budget proposals every year to the government, but most of them were not included in the final budget that was unfortunate.  He said the role of national assembly's standing committees on commerce & textile, finance revenue & economic affairs, industry and production, energy and others was vital to make inclusive laws and policies and stressed that representative of business community should be called to the meetings of these standing committees so that they could present the voice of private sector in the lawmaking process.

He said for inclusive economic policies and laws, government must ensure maximum participation of private sector in parliamentary hearing process and system.

Muhammad Naveed senior vice president and Nisar Mirza vice president ICCI thanked the representatives of CRSS for organizing session on improving parliamentary hearing system and hoped that the suggestions given by the business community would be made part of final recommendations for the government.

Baser Daud, Mehmood Ahmed Warraich, Khalid Chaudhry, Nasir Chaudhry, Nasira Ali, Dildar Abbasi, Abbas Hashmi and others also spoke at the occasion and provided useful feedback to bring improvements in the parliamentary hearing process.

Speaking at the occasion, Imtiaz Gul, executive director, Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) said that the foundational flaws and lacunas in the parliamentary hearing processes discouraged dialogue between the parliamentarians and the private sector representatives.

Resultantly the inclusive policy making suffered as the private sector's feedback for the potential economic reforms was not conveyed to policymakers which was contrary to the idea of inclusive democratic process.

He said CRSS has completed the preliminary research and received comprehensive feedback from the several legal experts to understand the concept of public hearing, the existing systems of public hearing in Pakistan, international best practices and the way forward.

He said the CRSS would present its findings and collect more feedback to formulate the policy proposals for the government.

He assured that the proposals given by the business community would be made part of CRSS final recommendations for the government.

Tahir Hanif Parliamentary Consultant, Malik Mustafa Programme Manager/Research Fellow and Saddam Hussain Research Fellow of CRSS also accompanied him at the occasion.