Category Archives: General Business News

Government striving for harassment-free work environment: Ombudsperson

Karachi, April 20, 2018 (PPI-OT): Kashmala Tariq, Ombudsperson on Protection from Harassment on Friday said the government is striving to ensure harassment-free and a more dignified work environment in the government and private institutions. All the people have the right to be treated with dignity, respect and courtesy free from bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimization, she said.

Inappropriate behaviour is destructive to the individuals and organizations and we will ensure a working environment where all employees feel safe, valued and recognized. She said while talking to Syed Mazhar Ali Nasir, Acting President FPCCI. President ICCI Sheikh Amir Waheed, former president FPCCI Zubair Ahmed Malik and Chairman Coordination FPCCI Malik Sohail Hussain and others were also present on the occasion.

Ms Tariq said that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect otherwise the organizations may face increased sickness and absenteeism, deterioration in performance, low motivation, loss of confidence, lower productivity, de-motivation, and increased cost of doing business.

Ms Tariq and Mr Nasir agreed to sign MoU to improve the working environment in various organizations and hold seminars in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. All the issues related to harassment weather victim is a woman or a man will be taken up if any such case is reported to the FPCCI, Kashmala Tariq said.

Syed Mazhar Ali Nasir also lauded the initiatives of the office of Ombudsperson on Protection from Harassment ensuring the full cooperation of the business community of Pakistan.FPCCI will circulate the related information among all the business chambers and trade associations, he added. Malik Sohail Hussain said that harassment at work is more prevalent than many people believe. Therefore, every organization should work to ensure that they replace inappropriate behaviour with positive behaviour.

For more information, contact:
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Shahra-e-Firdousi,
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +92-21-35874332
Email: info@fpcci.com.pk
URL: www.fpcci.com.pk

JCR-VIS Assigns Preliminary Rating to Sukuk Issue of Saif Textile Mills Limited

Karachi, April 18, 2018 (PPI-OT): JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS) has assigned preliminary rating of ‘A’ (Single A) to the proposed Sukuk issue of Saif Textile Mills Limited (STML). The outlook on the rating is ‘Stable’. Sukuk rating will be converted into final rating upon review of signed legal documents.

STML is involved in the manufacturing and sale of cotton and synthetic yarn. Majority shareholding of the company is vested with Saif Holdings Limited (SHL). SHL has interests in Textile, Feeds, Energy, Health, Technology and Real Estate sectors.

The company intends to raise Rs. 750 million (inclusive of a green shoe option of Rs. 250 million) through a Sukuk issue with a tenor of 6 years inclusive of a 1 year grace period. Proceeds of the Sukuk will be utilized for capital expenditure, fixed working capital and re-profiling of the company’s balance sheet by paying off short term borrowings. Principal repayment of the Sukuk will be made in 20 quarterly installments.

Rating draws strength from the Debt Service Account (DSA) mechanism envisaged for the payment of the Sukuk and its strict implementation whereby proceeds from sales will be transferred to the DSA every month to the extent that it covers 1/3rd of the quarterly installment by the middle of every month.

For more information, contact:
CFA
JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited
VIS House, 128/C,
25th Lane off Khayaban-e-Ittehad,
Phase VII, DHA, Karachi
Tel: +92-21-35311861-72
Fax: +92-21-35311873
Email: sobia@jcrvis.com.pk

Punjab, KP both win first National Junior Squash Championship

Punjab has won the U-13 and U-15 titles of first Punjab National Junior Squash Championship in Lahore.

Meanwhile, KPK has won the U-11 title of the championship.

In the U-15 category, Punjab’s Tayyab Rauf beat Muhammad Hamza of KPK and in the U-13 category Usman Nadeem of the Punjab defeated S Bukhari of Punjab.

And in U-13 category, Abdullah Nawaz of KPK defeated Abdullah Nadeem of Punjab.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Three-day Gilgit-Baltistan Festival starts at LCCI

Lahore, April 13, 2018 (PPI-OT): Three-day Gilgit-Baltistan Festival kick-started on Friday at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry to highlight flora and fauna of Gilgit-Baltistan. Stalls of herbal products, gemstones, woodcraft, agricultural products, tourism monuments, climbing wall and food court from the mountains were a great attraction for the visitors. The Festival was jointly inaugurated by the Provincial Minister for Tourism, Sports, Archaeology and Museums, Gilgit-Baltistan, Fida Khan Fida and the LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid. The LCCI Senior Vice president Khawaja Khawar Rashid and Executive Committee Members were also present on the occasion.

Addressing the participants on the occasion, the Provincial Minister for Tourism, Sports, Archaeology and Museums, Gilgit-Baltistan, Fida Khan Fida said that government of Gilgit-Baltistan is giving special focus towards the up gradation of tourism sites and for the promotion of tourism related activities. He said that all the segments of the economy are being given equal importance therefore a comprehensive strategy has been adopted to promote tourism.

The Minister said that since the law and order situation has improved therefore the flow of international tourists is also getting a considerable momentum. He said that Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world that have great tourist destinations. He appreciated the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry to organize three-day festival to bring to the limelight the potential of Gilgit-Baltistan.

The LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid in his address said that lack of proper infrastructure is hitting hard some of the finest tourists sites therefore the government would have to divert its attention towards these areas. He said that in today’s world when all types of technology is available, there must not be any problems for international tourists to get easy access to all areas. He said that Gilgit-Baltistan has huge potential but it could not be tapped so far only because of unavailability of good road network.

He said that tourism is a billion dollar industry and has played a very vital role in the economic well-being many of countries that have no other industry. He said that Pakistan could earn billions of dollars by highlighting its tourism potential in the outer world. He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry would continue to work for the promotion of this segment of the economy.

The LCCI President said that Ambassadors working abroad should be tasked to contact tourism related organizations for highlighting the tourists sites in Pakistan and also said that the 3-day Gilgit-Baltistan would help promote sustainable tourism, culture and heritage of Gilgit-Baltistan.

For more information, contact:
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-36368854
Website: www.lcci.org.pk

LCCI chief for ground-reality based reforms

Lahore, April 11, 2018 (PPI-OT): Taxation system needs reforms based on ground realities and due consultation process with the stakeholders to ensure result-oriented policies for the businessmen. Harmonization in tax system across the country is also a must to get rid of the issue of dual taxation. In a statement, the LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid said that though amnesty scheme is good step to bring out-of-country capital into the country but these cannot be productive until and unless major issues like “withholding tax on banking transactions” exists.

He said that over the years FBR could not satisfy all its stake holders i.e. the State as well as tax payers with 1.2 million filers out of total population of 210 million fetching hardly revenue collection of 12 to 13% of the GDP and unhappy stakeholders across the board, speaks of FBR’s failure so far. It is further repeated from the international ranking of paying taxes, which is at present 172 out of 190 countries of world which indicates very unhappy situation.

The LCCI President said that neither the existing system is economically neutral, taxpayer friendly, equitable, progressive nor facilitative and supportive to generate healthy business activities for all. Taxation is of course important source of revenue collection but tax policies must be based on the best international practices and universally accepted canons of taxation.

He said that it is a matter of serious concern that with the existing narrow tax-base, the policy makers instead of revolutionize the tax policy options, seems defendant on the burdening of the existing taxpayers whether corporate, (LSE and SME) salaried, individuals and certain other documented sectors of the economy. He said that repetition of such policy option coupled with unbridled withholding tax regime, tariff structures leading to protectionism and creating hurdles to make in “Pakistan’s Agenda”, to promote the domestic industry is perhaps the major obstructing and responsible factor for all difficulties be faced on economic front at present.

LCCI President was of the view that various distortion in the existing tax policies can be removed if the feedback of all the representatives of business organizations is given due consideration by the FBR authorities. It is universally admitted fact that public policy makers can make noticeable difference by linking their mind-set to ground realities.

He said that section 38-B of Sales Tax Act, 1990 is being adversely used by the officials of tax department. They are paying illegal visits to markets and godowns to unjustifiably harass the business people. They not only take coercive measures to raise unlawful tax demands without providing any supporting document but also carry all the available records with them. We are of the view that teams from tax department should visit the markets, if indispensable, but they should be bound to follow due legal process and immediately stop harassing business community. He said that FBR may convene a meeting to be attended by all the Chambers of Commerce, prominent representatives’ bodies, Associations and may lay down uniform and transparent policy guidelines for the field formation.

“Unjust and encroaching mind-set of field formations has drawn the confidence level between the FBR officials and the Taxpayers at the lowest level. Illegal taxation coupled with illegal recovery though bank account attachment is genuinely harassing and creating hardship for the business community. Recovery through attachment of accounts should not be allowed at all, unless the taxpayer has availed facility of stay of demand at LIT (Appeal) and ITAT level. It is pertinent to mention here that finances of business people in their bank accounts help sustain their business while when they are withdrawn by the department, it tantamount to sudden business death”, the LCCI President added.

While calling for reduction in Number and Frequency of Taxes, the LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rashid said it is a hard fact that number of taxes and frequency of paying taxes must be reduced. Moreover, taxes may be paid quarterly instead of every month. For that matter, all para-tariffs must be merged in the main tariffs. Similarly, there should be electronic communication between taxpayers and tax departments. These proposals can make noticeable difference and win the confidence of taxpayers.

For more information, contact:
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-36368854
Website: www.lcci.org.pk

Business Community has taken a sigh of relief on timely action of Muhammad Pervaiz Malik, Commerce Minister and Haroon Akhtar, Prime Minister Advisor on Revenue

Karachi, April 11, 2018 (PPI-OT): Ghazanfar Bilour, President and Syed Mazhar Ali Nasir, Sr. Vice President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has expressed their gratitude and thanks to Muhammad Pervaiz Malik, Federal Commerce and Textile Minister and Senator Haroon Akhtar Khan, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Revenue for recognizing the potential threat to the indigenous industries and taking timely action to defer the finalization of second phase of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA-II).

The non-signing of CPFTA-II has provided a sigh of relief to the trade and industry and has helped it to come out of shock and worries about the survival of existing industrial sector of Pakistan and its future development as industrialization is the key to economic self-sufficiency and sustainable development, they added.

The President and SVP of FPCCI elaborated that Pakistan is a developing country and its industrial base is very thin as compared to China, therefore, need of the hour is to protect the industrial growth of Pakistan which is already suffering from many faceted difficulties for its survival. “Since first FTA came into force in November 2006 Pakistan Trade Balance with China has worsened considerable although total bilateral trade between both the countries grew exponentially to $19bn in 2015/16 out of which imports from China was $16.5bn and export to China was only $2.5bn showing a trade deficit of $14bn which is slightly less than half of the Pakistan’s total trade deficit of $16.7bn.” they analyzed.

For more information, contact:
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Shahra-e-Firdousi,
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +92-21-35874332
Email: info@fpcci.com.pk
URL: www.fpcci.com.pk