Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association hails announcement of Zero Rated Regime for Textile Sector

Karachi, June 06, 2016 (PPI-OT):Mr. Tariq Saud, Chairman, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) hailed the Government specially the Finance Minister, Mr. Muhammad Ishaq Dar and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue, Mr. Haroon Akhtar Khan for reinstating Zero Rated Regime for the Five Major Export Oriented Sectors including Textiles.

In a statement issued to the press, Chairman APTMA, Mr. Tariq Saud said that reintroduction of Zero Rating or No-Tax and No-Refund Regime for the Textile Sector which is the major export oriented sector and contributes more than 55% of foreign exchange earnings through exports is a positive step toward the restoration of viability of the ailing textile sector. He said that APTMA was demanding zero-rating regime and met the Finance Minister last Sunday in this regard and convinced him that the viability of textile industry is must for the economic growth of the country.

Chairman APTMA thanked the Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs who heard the issues of the industry and he is sure that the government would implement it in true letter and spirit. He further appreciated reduction in export refinance rate by 0.5%.

Mr. Tariq Saud said that the government should announce a comprehensive package for the textile industry as its exports are under pressure both in quantity and value terms. He said the high cost of doing business and an unrealistic value of the local currency has also played a role in this regard. He said the textile industry was not able to utilize resources due losses to sustained earlier and a liquidity shortage now a major hurdle to produce exportable surplus.

He has urged the government to liquidate pending sales tax refunds by the end of July as promised by the Finance Minister so that funds, presently lying and unproductive and use it meeting working capital requirement of the industrial operations in the best National and Economic interest.

He further demanded complete withdrawal of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) and Electricity Surcharges from entire textile chain, provide 5% DLTL against Exports to all textile value chain to remove incidentals of taxes, cess, levies and duties on all textile exports and provision of Long Term Financing Facility to entire textile chain to attract fresh investment and BMR of the existing plants and machineries. To safeguard the domestic commerce from under invoiced imports, government should levy 15 percent Regulatory Duty on Synthetic Yarn and Fabrics under Chapter 55, he demanded.

For more information, contact:
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association
APTMA House, 44-A, Lalazar,
Molvi Tamizuddin Khan Road,
Karachi -74000, Pakistan.
Tel: +92-21-111-700-000
Fax: +92-21-35611305

Pak-Qatar Takaful Group achieves net-profit of Rs. 84.7 million

Lahore, May 09, 2016 (PPI-OT):The Pak Qatar Takaful Group recently held its Board Meeting, to review the group’s performance and the strategy for the year 2016. Pak-Qatar Takaful Group, which comprises Pak-Qatar Family Takaful and Pak-Qatar General Takaful, has posted a net profit of Rs.84.7 million in 2015. At the same time, Participant Takaful Fund generated the net consolidated surplus of Rs.196 million.

The financial statements of both companies were reviewed and approved during the Board meeting held at the head office of Qatar International Islamic Bank, in Doha. The meeting was chaired by the Chairman of Pak-Qatar Takaful Group – H.E. Sheikh Ali Abdullah Al Thani. Other participants of the board meeting included; Mr. Abdul Basit Ahmed Al-Shaibei, Mr. Zahid Hussein Awan, Mr. Ali Ibrahim Al Abdul Ghani, Mr. Muhammad Ashraf, The Managing Director of Pak-Qatar Takaful Group – Mr. Said Gul, Mr. Owais Ansari and the group’s CFO and Company Secretary – Mr. Muhammad Kamran Saleem.

The Chairman of Pak-Qatar Takaful Group – Sheikh Ali Abdullah Al-Thani praised the group’s “remarkable performance” in 2015, and stated that; “The participants of the board meeting have appreciated that Pak-Qatar Takaful Group has registered “an immense growth” during the preceding year, with an aggregate turnover of 7.4 billion Rupees.

Mr. Muhammad Kamran Saleem, the group CFO and Company Secretary discussed about the trust that has been placed by its customers upon the group’s capacity to meet its obligations, evident by the increasing contribution base, an improvement in overall persistency of renewal contributions under Individual Life business segment of Pak-Qatar Family which increased to 82 percent during 2015 (2014: 77 percent), portraying the unstinted faith of the policyholders.

He further said, “During 2015, the Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings of both companies were also reaffirmed by the respective credit rating agencies at “A” (Single A), assuring policyholders of the strong capacity of the group to meet all contractual obligations.” Mr. Saleem concluded that Pak-Qatar Takaful Group will continue to serve its valuable customers with quality products and services in future.

For more information, contact:
Mr. Syed Adnan Hasan,
Marketing Manager,
Pak-Qatar Family Takaful Limited
Tel: +92-21-34326076
Cell: +92-331-9234567
Fax: +92-21-34386451

Prime Minister’s Special Assistant urges pharmaceutical industry to become part of global clinical trials’ effort for innovation

Karachi, May 05, 2016 (PPI-OT):Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr. Musadik Malik has urged the pharmaceutical industry of the country to explore the option of Pakistan becoming a part of the global effort of running clinical trials for innovation in the field of medicines and health care research.

“In order to Pakistan move forward and in order to go to global place, you have to do strategic innovation, base science innovation, you have to go into a new industry, which is growing very fast, which is contract research organizations,” said the PM’s aide while addressing a dinner reception for participants of 2nd Pakistan Pharma Summit held the other day at the conclusion of summit.

He said that all the clinical trials had been earlier taking place in North America and Europe but because of the changes that had transpired, most of the trials are now global with regional representation from all over the world. “You can with 200 million people from South Asia having certain kind of a genetic set-up, you have to play about somewhere as there is enormous play in setting up contract research organizations, setting up bio-analytical organizations here for being part of these global clinical trials,” said Dr. Malik.

He said that at present such research organizations and hospitals had been missing in Pakistan, which had the expertise of running the protocols and trials, which were practiced the world over by contract research organizations in the field of drugs’ manufacturing and innovation. He lamented that Pakistani pharmaceutical industry had become stagnant because of low growth, lack of innovation in research and development (R and D) sector, doing less value creation and addition to their products.

The PM’s aide urged the leadership and managers of Pakistan pharmaceutical sector to create a balance in their manufacturing and products’ portfolios in order to make a differentiation in the market place. He said that at present the portfolios of pharmaceutical companies of the country had been heavily lopsided due to less emphasis on biologics and similar new and innovative trends prevailing in global Pharma sector. He said that portfolios of Pakistan pharmaceutical companies could easily be balanced with minimal investment and with no high science.

He urged the Pakistan Pharma sector to adopt scientific, evidence, and research-based marketing strategies for their products for doing marketing on innovative lines for a long-term relationship with physicians, dispensers, retailers, and distributors related to the medicines’ market. He said that traditional and old marketing strategies for medicines’ products that tried to create leverage on basis of offering certain incentives to doctors against ethics of health care service were no more valid around the globe.

Dr. Malik, himself a qualified pharmacist who worked in different countries, urged the Pakistani Pharma sector that in addition to going after innovation of new therapeutic entities, the Pakistani drugs’ manufacturers should also do research for innovation in the field of combination therapies. He said that innovation in the field of combination therapies didn’t require high-science or high investment.

He said that pharmaceutical industry the world over had been growing very fast with its volume increased from 980 billion US Dollars to 1.2 trillion US Dollars. He said that most of this growth in the global pharma sector had been coming from developing economies. “It is a fact that future growth of pharmaceutical industry would be driven by developing countries including China, India, Brazil, and Pakistan, etc,” said PM’s special assistant. He added that most of the value creation and capture in pharmaceutical sector was in two areas that is R and D and marketing as 66 per cent of total spending in the industry goes to these two specific areas.

He said that Pakistani pharmaceutical industry could avail massive advantage for its growth for being part of the expanding and prospering global Pharma sector. Also speaking on the occasion, Chairman of organizing committee of the Pharma summit Dr. Kaiser Waheed said that around 400 executives related to different functions of Pakistani Pharma industry attend the two-day summit. The conference was addressed in total by 32 speakers including two international level experts of the Pharma industry.

He said most salient feature of the summit was participation by Prof. Dr. Marcel Corstjens who is considered the world over as a guru of Pharma industry’s marketing. The other speakers of the moot include Muhammad Imran who is a consultant of Pharma industry in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Haroon Qasim and others.

For more information, contact:
Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA)
Office No. 03, 2nd Floor, Al- Babar Centre, F-8, Markaz,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Phone: (051) 2850300 – 2818251
Fax: (051) 2818252

PRGMEA central chairman Shaikh Mohammad Shafiq expresses concern over continuous decline in export

Karachi, May 02, 2016 (PPI-OT):Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) central chairman Shaikh Mohammad Shafiq, in a statement said that the government has set export target of $35 billion to be achieved during next three years through Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2015-2018 and improvement in export competitiveness, on the other hand export is continue declining, and break the highest decline record of 32 years.

This decline is only for the reason of high cost of production; due to increase in the energy costs as compare to our competitive countries and exporters are unable to compete with their competitors. The tariff rates of electricity for industry and commercial concerns are considerably higher in Pakistan than competing countries basically due to over 50% line losses and theft.

Pakistan ranks 138 out of 189 on ease of doing business, while last year it was 136. Shafiq continued to cite the high cost of doing business, saying that it has started hitting the textile industry severely, which is evident from the growing number of factory closures in the sector. He further said that Oil prices declined internationally but here in Pakistan industry is not getting relief.

For more information, contact:
Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA)
3rd Floor, Plot No. 57-C, 24th Commercial Street,
Phase II (Ext), DHA, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35890651-2
Fax: +92-21-35890653

China Pakistan Economic Corridor’s momentum setting industrial cooperation fundamentals in place: Ahsan Iqbal

Islamabad, April 29, 2016 (PPI-OT):The Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal has said that with the momentum of China Pakistan Economic Corridor a world of opportunities have opened up setting fundamentals of industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China, fast in place, says a Press Release received from Beijing here today.

Prof. Ahsan Iqbal was addressing a seminar on ‘Industrial Parks in Pakistan, attended by Chinese enterprises and government functionaries from both sides in Beijing today. The Minister said that CPEC—the flagship project of One Belt One Road (OBOR) – had made tremendous progress within last two years in completion of infrastructure and energy projects and the time was ripe for businesses from both sides to develop further on the foundations laid by governments and for business-to-business cooperation to be taking the lead. Chinese investment and technology and Pakistani location and low production cost combined together made a winning combination, he pointed out.

Ahsan Iqbal said that through various energy projects energy shortage would be overcome which was the first prerequisite of industrial development. He said that the second requirement of industrial development was strong infrastructure and in next two years Gwadar port would also have further improved infrastructure through road and modern airport. As for peace and security, a requirement for industrial investment and development, he mentioned that the gov’t had taken solid steps not only to improve the security situation in the country but both countries were working together to improve the security situation in the region.

Describing the opportunities in Pakistan he said that with a large middle income population, Pakistan was an attractive choice. The distance from Kashghar to Gwadar port being 2500 km was far shorter compared to distance from Shanghai port to Arabian sea which was more than 15000 km. The land route through Gwadar port could also provide logistics to enterprises particularly in west China through rail and road links, he added.

Discussing the prospects of cooperation in industrial parks in Pakistan, he explained the available opportunities in engineering, automotive industry, information technology, chemicals, construction materials, textiles, agro-based industry, fisheries, marbles, small and medium enterprises particularly cottage industries and highlighted their potential to create employment at the grass root level. He also advised Chinese businesses to join joint ventures to make win-win platforms for both Pakistani and Chinese businessmen so as to develop and maintain goodwill by more mutual and partnership based relationship.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323 and +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325 and +92-51-9252326

Lucky Cement records Rs9.61bn profit for nine months

Karachi, April 26, 2016 (PPI-OT):Lucky Cement Limited continued to lead the cement industry in terms of sales volumes and reported net profit of PKR 9.61 billion for the nine months ended March 31st, 2016 which is 3.3% higher than the same period last year. Consequently, the earnings per share (EPS) for the nine months increased to PKR 29.73 compared to PKR 28.77 reported during the same period last year.

The Company’s net sales revenue increased by 1.0% to PKR 33.49 billion compared to PKR 33.15 billion reported during the same period last year. The increase in net sales revenue was mainly attributable to increase in sales volumes.

The local sales volume of the Company during the current nine months period registered a growth of 21.9% with 3.88 million tons compared to 3.18 million tons reported during the same period last year, whereas export sales volume registered a decline of 33.7% to 1.23 million tons compared to 1.85 million tons for the same period last year.

On a consolidated basis, Lucky Cement reported net profit of PKR 11.03 billion for the nine months ended March 31st, 2016 which is 7.1% higher compared to same period last year. Consequently, consolidated EPS during the nine months period increased to PKR 34.11 compared to PKR 31.84 reported during the same period last year.

Lucky Cement also reported progress on its key foreign and local projects i.e., fully integrated cement manufacturing plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cement Plant investment in Punjab, 1 X 660 MW, supercritical, coal based power project, 50 MW Wind Farm, 10 MW WHR plant at Pezu Plant and electricity supply to PESCO.

Under the ambit of corporate social responsibility, Lucky Cement continued to take significant initiatives in the areas of health, education and environment and recently collaborated with Pakistan Welfare Association for Blind (PWAB) and donated school books for sight impaired children for their upcoming semester.

For more information, contact:
Lucky Cement
6-A Muhammad Ali Housing Society,
A. Aziz HashimTabba Street,
Karachi-75350, Pakistan
UAN: (+92-21) 111-786-555
Fax: (+92-21) 34534302

Government is committed to further expanding and deepening mutually beneficial relationship between Pakistan and Italy: President

Islamabad, April 21, 2016 (PPI-OT):President Mamnoon Hussain has said that the Government is committed to further expanding and deepening mutually beneficial relationship between Pakistan and Italy especially in the economic and commercial spheres adding that Pakistan has recently announced a new automobile policy to diversify its automobile industry in which Italian car maker Fiat and motorcycle maker Piaggo may consider venturing into Pakistan’s lucrative market.

The President said this during a meeting with Paolo Gentiloni, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Thursday. The President noted that Italy is Pakistan’s third largest trading partner in Europe and among the top ten globally and urged for encouraging Italian entrepreneurs to do business with Pakistan. President Mamnoon emphasized that there is immense potential for expanding bilateral trade and appreciated the support and cooperation extended by Italian side in organizing “Pakistan Trade and Investment Forum” in April 2016.

President Mamnoon Hussain expressed Pakistan’s strong resolve to eliminate terrorism and said that Pakistan has been the biggest victim of this scourge and has sacrificed 60,000 lives and suffered economic losses of over $100 billion. The President emphasised that Operation Zarb-e-Azb will continue till elimination of the last terrorist adding that terrorism is now a global problem and urged for joint efforts in eliminating this menace.

President Mamnoon said that Pakistan is making sincere efforts to facilitate dialogue between the Taliban and the Afghan Government for peace in Afghanistan hoping that the efforts of the Quadrilateral Group will soon bear positive results. The President remarked that peace in Afghanistan will ensure peace in the whole region.

President Mamnoon said that the minorities in Pakistan are enjoying equal status and the country’s Constitution makes no discrimination against them. The President referred to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s speech in which he had categorically said that all minorities will enjoy equal rights in the country as Pakistanis.

President Mamnoon said that the large number of Pakistanis living in Italy is serving as a bridge in furtherance of friendly relations between Italy and Pakistan. The President highlighted that Pakistan and Italy have commonality of views on number of regional and global issues, particularly on the issues of terrorism and UN Security Council Reform process adding that Pakistan will continue to work closely with Italy on all issues of mutual interest.

The President lauded the role of Italy in the EU on grant of greater market access to Pakistan noting that Pakistan is positive that Italy will continue to support it in the on-going GSP Plus review process in the EU. President Mamnoon Hussain noted that being the members of the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) Group, Italy and Pakistan work closely on the issue of Security Council reform.

Speaking on the occasion, the Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said that his country accords high importance to its relations with Pakistan and agreed upon the need to increase the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries to fully realise the existing potential in the energy, agriculture, food processing and automotive sectors. The Italian Foreign Minister appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in fight against terrorism and urged upon the need to jointly combat this common challenge. Paolo Gentiloni also appreciated the positive role and contribution of the Pakistani community living in Italy.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323 and +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325 and +92-51-9252326