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Unconstitutional diversion of gas to other provinces incurred losses to Sindh: CM

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KARACHI: Maintaining that over 1000 mmcfd of gas out of 2,800 mmcfd produced by Sindh is diverted to other provinces, CM Murad Ali Shah said that was incurring heavy financial losses to the gas-producing province.

He was speaking at a session here today convened to prepare for CCI meeting: “If this 1,000 mmcfd gas of Sindh is not diverted to other provinces, Sindh can produce 5,000 megawatts of electricity from it at a rate of Rs8 per unit against Rs15 per unit which we are charged”, he held.

According to the CM Sindh Article 158 of the Constitution recognizes precedence of the right of utilization by the gas-producing province: “This right of our people has been denied”.  

Lamenting that thousands of villages in Sindh was deprived of gas and electricity he demanded the implementation of Article 158. He said that a resolution apropos this matter would be presented before SA.

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Food exports surge 29.28pc to over $4.797 billion

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ISLAMABAD: The food exports from the country surged by 29.28 percent during the outgoing fiscal year 2017-18 against the exports of the same period of last year.
The food exports from the country were recorded at $4797.936 million during July-June (2017-18) against the exports of $3711.159 million during July-June (2016-17), showing growth of 29.28 percent, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics(PBS).
Among the food products, the exports of rice increased by 26.78 percent by growing from $1606.834 million last year to $2037.075 million. Among the rice varieties, exports of basmati rice increased by 19.14 percent while the exports of other rice commodities increased by 29.78 percent.
Meanwhile, the exports of fish and fish preparations from the country increased by 14.57 percent by growing from $393.662 million to $451.026 million while the exports of fruits increased by 5.08 percent by going up from $184.016 million to $241.426 million.
Likewise, the exports of vegetables increased by 30.56 percent, from $184.916 million to $241.426 million whereas the exports of tobacco increased by 76.01 percent, from $14.813 million to $26.073 million.
Sugar exports from the country increased by 215 percent, from $161.039 million to $508.333 million while the wheat exports went up from $1.038 million to $236.339 million, showing growth of 22668 percent.
Exports of meat and meat preparation increased by 2.26 percent by growing from $220.662 million last year to $225.646 million during July-June (2017-18), the PBS data revealed.
The food products that witnessed negative growth in exports included leguminous vegetables, exports of which declined by cent percent. The exports of oilseeds, nuts, and kernels also decreased by 21.35 percent.
It is pertinent to mention here that the overall merchandise exports from the country surged by 13.74 percent during the fiscal year 2017-18 as compared to the previous fiscal year (2016-17).
The exports from the country during July-June (2017-18) were recorded at $23.228 billion against the exports of $20.422 billion in July-June (2016-17), showing growth of 13.74 percent, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
Imports into the country during the period also increased by 15.10 percent by going up from $52.910 billion in FY 2016-17 to $60.898 billion during FY 2017-18.
Based on the figures, the external trade deficit during the outgoing fiscal year 2017-18 increased by 15.95 compared to last year.
The trade deficit during FY 2017-18 was recorded at $ 37.670 billion against the deficit of $32.488 billion in FY 2016-17.

 

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Pakistan Business Council delegation meets Finance Minister

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ISLAMABAD: A delegation of the Pakistan Business Council (PBC) led by Ehsan Malik and Bashir Ali Mohammad met Finance Minister, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar here on Thursday.
The meeting was attended by Secretaries of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning, Development, and Reform, Ministry of Energy and Chairperson Federal Board of Revenue and additional secretary of the Ministry of Commerce.PBC made a comprehensive presentation of the issues facing the corporate sector and shared proposals for strengthening the overall business environment and steps that could help boost different sectors of the economy.
Concern was expressed regarding the trend towards de-industrialization in the country as Pakistan industry lacked competitiveness given the high cost of power and gas and faces difficult business environment because of distortions in incentive framework and inconsistencies of policy regime.
The PBC delegation advocated for the provision of energy at competitive costs and addressing in a more holistic manner, the inefficiencies of DISCOs including their eventual privatization that has resulted in high cost of power to industry.
At the same time, PBC emphasized broadening of tax base, reduction in indirect taxes and cascading duty structure.
The delegates called for reduction and simplification and reduction in the number of taxes through the unification of multiple taxes and reduction in tax rates to strengthen tax compliance.
The delegation also laid emphasis on the provision of the level playing field with the informal sector, with focus on steps for ease of doing business that would ultimately revitalize growth of industry and thus generate jobs, exports, and revenues for the national exchequer to invest in social development.
The delegation observed that there was a need to effectively tap the potential in the country’s housing sector as it could help generate a large number of job opportunities annually.
PBC called for the establishment of a High-level Council including political leadership as well as independent and corporate experts tasked to develop deeper structural reforms and achieve broader acceptability and consensus from various quarters concerned.
Finance Minister appreciated the proposals put forth by the delegation, saying these would be valuable for the future elected government and PBC should send their detail tax and other proposals to the government so work can be launched by relevant ministries for consideration of the new government.
The Minister also stressed on lifting the quality standards of local products at par with international standards, saying this was necessary to discourage imports.
The minister agreed on the need for a more effective stakeholder consultation mechanism as it is critical that effective proposals offered to get adopted and implemented by the government.
Pakistan industry needs to examine all options of managing their competitiveness and she agreed on the need for dealing with root causes of the energy liabilities such as transmission and distribution losses that have aggravated the circular debt problem.
The Minister underscored private sector explores options for boosting exports and availing of the opportunity offered by the establishment of Special Economic Zones.
There was an agreement that in few areas PBC will send more detailed proposals, meanwhile, the Secretaries will work towards taking up the suggested reforms with new Government.

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PSX: Pre-Election Rally lets Bulls roam all over the Bourse!

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PSX

KARACHI: Due to Pre-Election Rally Benchmark KSE-100 Index closed in the green (41,796) on week’s 4th trading day following an augmentation of 898 points.

Rs. 13b worth of 337m shares changed hands today. Value of the shares of 253 companies increased, 97 plummeted while 17 remained stagnant.

Commercial Banks, Chemical and Transport Sectors led the trade of the shares today with 46.5m, 41.3m and 31.9m shares respectively.

Today’s top five traders of shares were: K-Electric Ltd., 22.8m shares (+6.03pc); Lotte Chemical Pakistan Ltd., 21.1m shares (+8.42pc); Pakistan Intl. Bulk Terminal Ltd.(R): 20.4m shares (+42.00pc); Bank Of Punjab, 20.1m shares (+3.78pc); Pak Elektron Ltd., 13.7m shares (+4.97pc).

Relevant pieces published earlier:

i) As SCP imposed on the outbound travel of many politicians and bankers, bears attacked the bourse. Benchmark KSE-100 Index closed in the red (39,289) shedding 996 points (that was the third biggest decline in 2018).  Rs. 4.46b worth of 76m shares were traded today. Value of the shares of 265 companies plummeted, 32 augmented while 19 remained stagnant. Today’s top five traders of shares were: K-Electric Ltd., 11.9m shares (-5.38pc); Bank of Punjab, 8.4m shares (-4.63pc); Lotte Chemical, 5.8m shares (-5.09pc); Unity Foods, 5.1m shares (-3.34pc) and Pak Elektron Ltd., 4.4m shares (-4.79pc). (Published on 9th March 2018) 

ii) Benchmark KSE-100 Index closed in the red (40,346) shedding 1,219 points as the investors got panicky when accountability court in Islamabad revealed that the Avenfield case’s verdict would be announced on Friday (6th of July). Rs. 5.8b worth of 117.6m shares changed hands today. Value of the shares of 285 plummeted, 29 augmented while 15 remained stagnant. Top five traders of shares today were: Pak Elektron Ltd., 10.3m shares (-4.99pc); Bank Of Punjab, 7.0m shares (-5.63pc); TRG Pakistan Ltd: 4.5m shares (-4.97pc); K-Electric Ltd., 4.3m shares (-4.78pc); Pakistan Intl. Bulk Terminal Ltd., 4.3m shares (-3.21pc). (Published on 5th March 2018). 

iii) Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Syed Ali Zafar Tuesday hoped that Avenfield reference judgment be announced on July 6 would be based on merit and justice. “All requirements of a fair trial were fulfilled during the proceedings, therefore, the verdict will be based on justice and merit, however, the petitioners will have the right to appeal against the decision,” Ali Zafar said while talking to PTV. To a question regarding implementation of the verdict in the absence of Nawaz Sharif in the country, the minister said the decision would be enforced as soon as Nawaz Sharif returned to the country. “There are a number of cases in which accused staying abroad were awarded sentence and on their return to the country, they filed appeals against the decision, therefore, it is hoped that Nawaz Sharif will return to the country,” he said. To another query, the minister said as per law, court proceedings in other three cases, including Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference, would continue simultaneously even after the former prime minister was awarded punishment in the Avenfield case. Replying to a question regarding any agitation in the country in case possible sentence to Nawaz Sharif, the minister said the court had to issue the judgment according to the law which was its legal responsibility, while in case of possible agitation, the caretaker setup would also fulfill its administrative obligation. He, however, ruled out the possibility of delay in general election saying that the election would be held as per the given schedule at all costs. Ali Zafar said the caretaker government had not the mandate to involve in political matters and it must remain neutral. (Published on 4th July 2018) 

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