Garbage created a disastours situation at the seashores:Ali Zaidi

Karachi(Cliff News)Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Hyder Zaidi, while appreciating the immense participation of the business community, Public, KMC, DMCs and Sindh government in Federal government’s ‘Clean Karachi Campaign’, reiterated his commitment to completely cleanse Karachi from garbage and devise strategies to ensure cleanliness all over the city on regular basis.Speaking at a meeting during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) on Saturday, he added that Sindh government, Karachi Municipal Corporation and all District Municipal Corporations have become part of Clean Karachi Campaign in which the first phase to cleanse all the Nullahs has been completed while the second phase will also start soon in which garbage lying at the dumpsters all over the city including parks will be cleared.Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, Vice Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala, General Secretary BMG AQ Khalil, President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, Senior Vice President KCCI Khurram Shahzad, Former Presidents Majyd Aziz and Younus Muhammad Bashir, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shallwani along with KCCI Managing Committee members were also present at the meeting.“In order to create a better and civilized society, we, instead of blaming others for the disaster, should look at what we are doing which if we really do, would certainly create a much better society”, he stressed.He also sought peoples’ help to take photos and film those who throw litter on public places and upload them on social media to expose these elements. Such elements should be ashamed of their act and this campaign be titled as ‘Name and Shame’.Ali Zaidi pointed out that out of a total garbage of 14,000 tons, most of garbage was ending up by ultimately landing in the sea which has created a disastrous situation at the seashores. This garbage at Keemari has now reached Hawks Bay and may further go all the way to Port Qasim beach as well.He particularly appreciated Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar and Sindh Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Hussain Shah for extending their full support and cooperation to Clean Karachi Campaign. “All of us will have to work jointly and take the ownership of Karachi city in order to improve the cleanliness conditions. Situation will only change if all of us will come forward to take the ownership of our city”, he added.In response to KCCI’s suggestion, the Minister agreed to form a committee of all fourteen MNAs of PTI elected from Karachi who will be tasked to hold regular interaction with Karachi Chamber so that the issues being faced by the city could be discussed in detail.To a question, he informed that the new Shipping Policy, which has already been approved, will be announced in a week at a press conference. This new Shipping Policy addresses many issues currently being suffered by the business and industrial community, he added.Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, while appreciating Ali Zaidi for undertaking the desperately needed cleanliness campaign in Karachi, stressed that this cleanliness must not stop halfway and continue till the entire city is completely cleansed from the garbage while an effective system must also devised to ensure cleanliness across Karachi on regular basis.Siraj Teli announced that the Karachi Chamber will contribute a sum of Rs10 million to the kitty established for Clean Karachi campaign while the bank account details for this particular campaign will also be publicized by KCCI through its monthly publication. “Moreover, KCCI’s members will also be requested on your behalf and also on our behalf to contribute generously towards this cause of completely cleansing Karachi from the garbage. We would like to monetarily and humanly support your campaign”, he added.Referring to the human support being committed by KCCI, he informed that Karachi city currently has a total of 120 police stations and under KCCI’s Police Chamber Liaison Committee (PCLC), two representatives of Karachi Chamber are nominated for every police station of the city, who are purely businessmen and are well-acquainted with their respective areas. This human force, which was available at every nook and corner of Karachi, can be provided to Federal Minister for his cleanliness campaign in order to make it successful.He further commented that every political party during its tenure extracted maximum revenue from Karachi which contributes more than 70 percent revenue to the national exchequer but none of them bothered to do anything for this city. “There was a time when all three major political parties of Karachi assumed control of the government and we felt that now they will pay some attention to the issues of Karachi but unfortunately, during that era, Karachi suffered a lot of devastation” he added and urged that the city, which gives votes to come into power, must get something in return.Referring to some previous meetings with Chairman PTI Imran Khan particularly a meeting held on July 22, 2018 before being elected as Prime Minister, Chairman BMG said that although the government has made some compromises after assuming charge of the country’s affairs as compared to their claims and commitments given before the election yet the business & industrial community still has high hopes from PM Imran Khan who is on track but the government should not make those compromises that may create problems in the long term.In order to efficiently deal with the issues of Karachi which is spread on a huge area of 3500 square kilometers with a huge population of around 22 million, Siraj Teli suggested that all fourteen Ministers of PTI who were elected from Karachi must take similar initiatives in their respective areas as done by Ali Zaidi which may result in awakening the Sindh government and they may also start taking those steps which were in favor of Karachi. “Every single step either taken by the federal government or Sindh government for the betterment of and in favor of Karachi will be fully supported by KCCI”, he added but cautioned that any retreat from the task to completely cleanse Karachi from garbage was going to receive a lot of criticism from Karachi Chamber.Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala suggested to form a committee comprising all the fourteen Ministers of PTI government from Karachi and the proposed committee must hold regular meetings with Karachi Chamber either once a month or once in two months so that KCCI could well-acquaint them about the issues of Karachi which would surely enable them to efficiently advocate and debate on the issues of Karachi at National Assembly’s sessions.Commenting on the massive garbage being generated in Karachi city, he suggested that in order to get rid of this huge garbage, the government must look into the possibility of utilizing it for power generation as being successfully done in some of the most developed countries around the world. In this regard, numerous feasibility studies had been completed in the past for establishing two such power plants at both sides of the city which will be capable of producing 700 megawatts. “All these studies can be reviewed again by the present government for setting up these power plants and I am sure many foreign companies will come forward to set up these plants”, he added. President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, while welcoming the Federal Minister, paid glowing tribute to PTI government which has been extending full support and cooperation to Karachi Chamber from time to time and was also paying pay special attention to the issues being raised by the Chamber. He hoped that the liaison between the government and Karachi Chamber will continue to improve further in the days to come.Highlighting the overall cleanliness situation in Karachi, Junaid Makda pointed out that Karachi has been a story of neglect since the last many decades. During the recent monsoon rains in Karachi, there would not have been any stagnant water on the roads had the 38 Nullahs (drains) been cleaned.Referring to ‘Clean Karachi’ Campaign initiated by Federal Minister Ali Zaidi, President KCCI stated that over 15 private companies, celebrities, Karachi Chamber and around 5,000 volunteers pledged their support for the campaign while KCCI stands shoulder to shoulder with the federal government to make this campaign successful. “If Karachi can be cleansed of crimes, it can also be cleaned from garbage provided there is a will and desire to do it through collective measures and motivation”, he added.Commenting on the pathetic performance of Sindh Solid Waste Management Board, Junaid Makda stated that of an estimated 20,000 tons of garbage thrown out onto the city daily by a population of 20 million residents, nearly 70 percent reaches the two landfill sites while the rest remains strewn around the city in drains and some even finds its way quietly into the Arabian Sea. As a result, a bulk of residential, industrial and medical waste was being burnt on the daily that produces toxic gases contributing to harmful diseases and infections. “Sindh Solid Waste Management Board has to be blamed for failing to devise effective strategies to efficiently and swiftly deal with the massive garbage being produced all over the city everyday”, he added.

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Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli and President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda presenting crest to Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Hyder Zaidi during his visit to KCCI. Chairman Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Rear Admiral Jamil Akhter, Vice Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala, General Secretary BMG AQ Khalil, Senior Vice President KCCI Khurram Shahzad, Former Presidents Majyd Aziz and Younus Muhammad Bashir and Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shallwani are also seen in the picture.

 

 

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OICCI hails appointment of Shabbar Zaidi as Chairman FBR

Karachi(Cliff News)The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), has appreciated the appointment of well-known tax expert Shabbar Zaidi as Chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).The OICCI President, Shazia Syed commenting on the appointment said “Mr. Shabbar Zaidi, is a well-respected tax professional, who has been closely associated with tax policy and administration in Pakistan for many years. His appointment as FBR Chairman by the government is very commendable as it will strengthen the FBR capacity substantially”. Shazia was confident that “with full support from a well experienced and large FBR team, the new FBR Chairman will be able to lead the needed transformation of the tax culture and significantly boost the tax collection, in line with the true revenue potential of the economy”. OICCI reminded that in the World Bank’s 2019 Ease of Doing Business (EODB) rating, Pakistan was assessed as the 17th worst country in the world on the parameter of ‘paying taxes’. The OICCI is hopeful that with a rejuvenated FBR, supported by a close coordination among the provincial tax authorities, and government’s clear direction to improve on EODB, the country will significantly improve its EODB rating. The recently concluded IMF–Pakistan staff level agreement also recommends tangible actions to revamp the tax regime and boost the tax to GDP ratio in line with the relevant international standards.OICCI members comprising of leading multinationals operating in Pakistan contribute about one third of the total tax collection, the highest by any trade body. OICCI has already submitted a series of progressive taxation proposals for the 2019-20 Fiscal Budget to FBR and provincial revenue authorities mainly focusing on facilitating investment and growth in the economy, including need for longer term incentives to boost FDI in the large greenfield and job creating manufacturing facilities, and ensuring implementation of predictable, consistent and transparent policies. OICCI has also strongly urged for Revamping of Withholding Tax Regime from current over 50 sub-clauses/provisions to less than ten, with number of tax rates reduced substantially, better coordination between Federal and Provincial Legislations, with policies and tax rates harmonized across all jurisdictions, integration of all revenue authorities in such a way that each Authority remains functional but with one window solution for filing a simplified single return for both Federal and Provincial Taxes. OICCI has also shown serious concern on the booming illicit trade with significant damage to revenue base of the economy and urged the authorities to re-visit Afghan Transit Trade agreement supported by structural reforms in Customs to stop the highly visible availability of smuggled foreign FMCG products. OICCI has also given workable recommendations, including the use of IT technology, for substantially improving the Documentation of the economy and Broadening of Tax Base, besides reducing the frequency of interaction of the tax officials with the compliant tax payer.

PTCL offers 40% discount on installation charges

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Islamabad(Cliff News)Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) is offering 40% discount on installation charges of all new connections for a limited time period only.All new connections include PTCL unlimited internet, digital quality TV & reliable telephone services that allow subscribers to get best experience.Customers can now enjoy high speed unlimited internet up to 20Mbps on copper and up to 100Mbps on fiber at affordable prices on different packages and services across Pakistan.Talking about the offer, Yasir Manzoor, GM Content & Multimedia, PTCL, said, “PTCL continues to offer best-in-class services to its valued customers. We areconstantly working to improve our products and services in line with the customers’ expectations. Being a national company, we believe that every citizen should be able to experience a digital life style. Therefore, PTCL is introducing such offers to cater to the everincreasing demand for unlimited data and high speed internetat affordable rates.”PTCL endeavors to serve customers across Pakistan with a wide and diverse range of products and services.

 

 

 

 

 

CDC makes IPO subscription easy for general public through automation

Karachi(Cliff News)Stock market investors now prefer to use electronic IPO platforms to subscribe for new IPOs. In recent Interloop IPO, 43 percent of total subscriptions (both physical and electronic), or around 80 percent of all electronic subscriptions were made through CDC’s Centralized eIPO System (CES).Central Depository Company’s Centralized eIPO System (CES) has become the premium choice of stock market investors as 2283 investors in the Interloop IPO subscribed through CDC’s Centralized eIPO System (CES).Investors had the option of physically submitting the IPO applications at designated banks, using Electronic IPO portals of designated Banks or using Centralized eIPO System (CES) of CDC. CES is an online portal, available 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world and connected with all leading banks.This was also the first time that CDC introduced the IPO facilitation Account, an additional facility through which investors can subscribe securities even if they do not have CDC Account at the time of IPO subscription. The investors can later open their accounts and get their securities transferred in their respective accounts, till then securities will be in safe custody of CDC. This facility was introduced with the objective of facilitating new investors and encouraging maximum participation of retail investors in the IPO. Around 900 new investors participated in the Interloop IPO through this facility, which is a testament of the pilot phase’ success.In its continuous resolve to increase convenience for stock market investment, Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited is taking regular initiatives to provide ease and efficiency for the subscription of shares offered through IPOs to general public.Commenting on this success, CEO-CDC Mr. Badiuddin Akber said, “This is an important step towards expanding the investor base in the Capital Market. We are hopeful that this facility will be utilized by a large number of new investors and will become a good tool for attracting new investors towards our market.” He further said that“While it is important to note that both CES and IPO Facilitation Account are free-of-cost facilities for investors, this endeavor is part of CDC’s long time commitment towards the development of Pakistan Capital Market and our continuous efforts to introduce new technological solutions to enhance ease of doing business.” 

ACCA and Board of Investment work together on “Ease of Doing Business” reforms

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Karachi(Cliff News)During a meeting with Helen Brand OBE, Chief Executive, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Haroon Sharif said that the government is focused on addressing the structural problems in the economy to ensure export-led development and achieve stabilisation through development of human resource in the country.Highlighting some of the structural issues, the BoI chairman said that the professional bodies such as ACCA has a significant role to play in the development of human resource in the fields of corporate management, particularly corporate finance. Helen Brand highlighted that ACCA is training professionals on the line of fulfilling the requirements of digital age and is inculcating the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.“We are looking for tangible partnerships with private sector to bring in their knowledge and expertise to get the desired results.” – Haroon Sharif, Chairman, Board of Investment (BoI)The ACCA team also shared some of the insights on ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and overall business environment in Pakistan. Haroon Sharif appreciated the efforts of ACCA in finding the gaps in the policy and implementation and asked them to share concrete recommendations with the BoI, which is the Secretariat for ‘Ease of Doing Business’ reforms in the country.Earlier, Helen Brand OBE called on the Chairman of Audit Oversight Board (AOB), Mr. Tariq Iqbal Khan in Islamabad to explore opportunities for future partnerships. Senior representatives from the AOB, including Usman Hayat, Chief Executive Officer and Shahid Karim FCCA, Chief Regulatory Officer were also present at the meeting.Helen also met with Zia ul Mustafa Awan, President, ICMA Pakistan to discuss greater collaboration between both the professional accountancy bodies in developing the accountancy profession in Pakistan. Helen was also joined by Alan Johnson, Deputy President, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and Chair of ACCA’s Accountants for Business Global Forum.Helen Brand OBE was in Pakistan to attend the third edition of Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit. Powered by ACCA’s award-winning Professional Insights and featuring business leaders and luminaries from around the world, ACCA joined the summit as a Knowledge Partner.On the sidelines of the summit, Helen also attended different sessions hosted by country’s top leadership, most notably the sessions hosted by Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Dr. Arif Alvi and General Zubair Mahmood Hayat NI, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

 

 

ACCA announced Pakistan Leadership Conversation 2019

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Lahore(Cliff News)Current and future issues facing the business in Pakistan and the role of business leaders in shaping the economy will be the main focus at the annual conference ‘Pakistan Leadership Conversation 2019 (PLC 2019)’ announced by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), with high-profile events in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad starting 18 February.Pakistan Leadership Conversation (PLC) is a series of conferences that brings together prominent thought leaders from the public and private sectors and engage them in thought-provoking and future-focused conversations that aim to shape the future of society and economy in Pakistan. The conference features influential business leaders at the top of their profession and brings together hundreds of business professionals from across the globe.The British High Commission Islamabad has also joined ACCA as a co-organiserfor this conference. The agenda at the PLC 2019 will examine a wide range of key topics from institutional reforms to global competitiveness to digital revolution. There will be six panel discussions in which experts will discuss in detail the need for strategic business leadership possessing the right blend of ethical and professional skills to meet the demands of an uncertain future. Importantly, there’s a dedicated session planned for the leading policy makers and business operators to debate the implications of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).Speaking of the conference, Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan says:“With an evolving business environment bringing a range of new challenges, the primary theme of this year’s PLC is ‘Strategic business leaders – capacity and character’ to rethink and redefine the role of business leaders of the future.”Attendees will have the best opportunity to discover updates in FinTech, taxation, global trade and China’s Belt and Road Initiative and will get exposure to global thought leaders including the President of ACCA, Mr. Robert Stenhouse who will be delivering a keynote at the conference.Started in 2017, Pakistan Leadership Conversation has now become an important annual event for those who want to keep abreast with the way the business world and accountancy profession is evolving.The conference will also be complemented by three corporate networking dinners celebrating the achievement of young ACCA affiliates who have attained membership in the year 2018-19.

About ACCA:

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.ACCA supports its 208,000 members and 503,000 students in 179 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 104 offices and centres and more than 7,300 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence. ACCA has introduced major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability.

No change in Government policy on foreign ownership

Karachi(Cliff News)In a meeting with members of Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) on 1stFebruary, at OICCI Karachi, Mr Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, cleared the confusion caused by a recent statement by some authorities, and confirmed that there is no change in Government policy on 100% foreign shareholding allowed in legal entities incorporated in Pakistan. He further clarified that to encourage MNCs to set up JVs with local partners the government will need to give some incentives. The Advisor also emphasized on the need for large foreign investment in the manufacturing sector to promote value added exports and import substitution. Mr Dawood also assured that level playing field will be provided to existing investors, as well as new local and foreign investors.OICCI members’ issues shared with the Advisor, included concerns on the effective protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for trademarks, patents’ and copy rights and to make the Intellectual Property Organization Policy Board functional as it has not met since late 2016.The Advisor on Commerce and Investment assured the largest bloc of foreign investors in Pakistan that the Government of Pakistan led by PM Imran Khan is highly focused on improving Ease of Doing Business and is committed to go the extra mile to facilitate investment and commerce in the country. In this respect he referred to the recent economic reforms package announced by Minister of Finance on  23rd January and BOI Chairman’s recent media briefing highlighting various steps to facilitate SME’s and other businesses in the area of tax compliance, property registration and other aspects of Ease of Doing Business.The Adviser also informed participants that the government will soon announce a new ‘Industrial Policy’ and “National Tariff Policy’, in coordination with each specific sectors and also assured that the GoP was focused on improving interprovincial coordination.OICCI members shared growing interest and optimism in the government’s efforts to create a more friendly business enabling environment and recommended that the GOP should provide clarity on the Special Economic Zones and revised Investment Policy to further accelerate FDI in the country.Some of the OICCI members were extremely concerned on the growing abuse of Afghan Transit Trade Facility impacting the manufacturers in Pakistan, which, the Advisor assured, was already in the knowledge of the government authorities and some corrective action will be forthcoming soon.

About the OICCI:

Established in 1860, the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OICCI) serves as a platform to promote foreign investment, thereby playing a major role in the growth of commerce and industry in the country. The OICCI is the collective voice of close to 200 members, representing nearly all the largest foreign investors in Pakistan, who come from 35 different countries and operate in 14 different sectors of trade and industry. In its comprehensive function as a facilitator to foreign investors, OICCI plays a vital role on several fronts and the Chamber is frequently called upon to assist the government in policy formulation in the financial, commercial and industrial sectors, particularly where it impacts foreign investment. 56 OICCI member companies are listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange. Nearly 50 Members are associates of the Global Fortune 500 companies.