Connect with us

Business

Deadlock persists in talks on sugar export

Published

on



ISLAMABAD:

Deadlock between the government and the sugar mills over permission for sugar export continued on Thursday, as the authorities concerned decided to go for a third-party audit of the available stock in the country much to the dismay of the mill owners.

The latest round of negotiation failed to make any headway on the export of sugar despite the Punjab government’s opinion that a large quantity of sugar was available. After the meeting, Food Security Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema that no decision could be reached on the export of sugar.

Advertisement

“The government has not allowed the export. Today, the Punjab government took a 180-degree turn on its first stand. Earlier, it said that the stocks of sugar were low therefore the export should not be allowed, but now it is of the opinion that sugar is available in large quantities,” Cheema said.

Cheema said that the mills presented a formula to resolve the issue. However, Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar said that the deadlock continued as the sugar stock position was the main issue. Therefore, he added, a third-party audit of the stocks would be conducted.

Read Govt rejects sugar export demand

“It was decided in the meeting that the owners of sugar mills will submit the stock details. On December 2, sugar mill owners will submit the details. The decision about allowing the sugar export will be taken after the stocks position us verified by the third-party side,” he added.

Speaking on behalf of the sugar mills, Zaka Ashraf also confirmed that the government had not yet given them permission for export. About the proceedings of the meeting, he said that the government had made them chase the tail light of long road.

Advertisement

“A meeting of sugar mills will be held. The mills have not yet gone on strike, rather the mills in Sindh, Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are awaiting government permission for sugar export,” Ashraf said. He added that mills were facing severe problems, as they sustain a Rs100 million loss every day.





Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

No oil import on discounted rates, NA told

Published

on



ISLAMABAD:

The government informed the National Assembly on Thursday that the country was not importing oil at discounted rates from any country, while matters pertaining to the import of oil and gas from Russia were currently under consideration of the petroleum division.

During the session, chaired by Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, the members congratulated the newly-appointed chief of army staff (COAS) and chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) and expressed the hope that the new military leadership would amicably deal with the challenges facing the country.

Advertisement

In a written reply to a questions from Sheikh Rohail Asghar and Tahira Aurangzeb during the Question Hour, the petroleum division told the house that no country has supplied oil to Pakistan at discounted rates so far, adding that Russia had not offered to supply natural gas in the recent talks with the current government.

The petroleum division further said that crude oil was being purchased from Saudi Arabia on deferred payment under an agreement between the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and the Pakistani finance ministry.

The reply said that the minister of state for petroleum sent a letter to Russia on October 11, expressing the government’s desire to purchase two to three cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia for December 2022 and January 2023 at discounted rates and deferred payment but the Russian reply was awaited.

The reply added Russia had not offered natural gas to Pakistan but during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Samarkand on September 15, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif emphasised on oil import. It said Pakistan was ready to send a team to Moscow to discuss the matter.

In a written reply to another question from Sheikh Fayyazuddin, the energy ministry told the house that foreign direct investment (FDI) worth more than $22 billion had come with the start of 42 projects. It included $1.604 billion FDI for the development of wind and solar projects in Pakistan over the past 10 years.

Advertisement

In response to Naseeba Chana’s question, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Murtaza Javed Abbasi said that the government had no intention to continue the hemp policy of the previous government, stressing that hemp cultivation and any other kinds of drugs should be banned.

During the session, Qadir Khan Mandokhel and Alia Kamran presented a calling-attention notice regarding the encroachment on the Zhob railway station and its adjacent land. In reply Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq said that efforts were afoot to resolve the railways issues before the end of this government’s term.

Kamran said that the road network in Balochistan was also very weak. She urged the government to make functional those railway stations, which were not operational so that the people of Balochistan could avail a cheaper mode of transportation.

Rafiq said that the government was trying to complete the Sibi-Harnai link before the end of its tenure. “Right now, we are trying to get Chinese investment for the Mainline (ML)-1 project, for which they [China] have signalled their willingness,” he added.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly passed the Legal Practitioners Bar Councils Amendment Bill moved by Mohsin Dawar. Besides, a bill moved by Wajiha Qamar for media access to individuals in matters of public importance through sign language, was also approved.

Advertisement

The Pakistan Institute of Research and Registration of Quality Assurance Bill was presented by Muhammad Aslam Bhutani. The House passed the International Institute for Technology, Culture and Health Sciences Bill. The bill was presented by Qadir Mandokhel.





Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Privatisation fails to meet objectives

Published

on



ISLAMABAD:

The success of Pakistan’s privatisation programme has remained limited to only generating $11 billion in sale proceeds, as the country could not achieve the post-privatisation objectives of improving efficiency and competition, says a new independent study.

The findings come amid the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) push for approval of the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Bill to improve efficiency and management of public sector firms. The finance ministry has requested the holding of a joint session of parliament to approve the law, after the bill was rejected by the Senate.

Advertisement

In a study titled “Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) in Post-Privatisation: Evidence from Pakistan”, authors Naseem Faraz and Dr Ghulam Samad concluded that the key objectives of the privatisation programme had remained unfulfilled. The study has been published in the Journal of Applied Economics.

“Our main finding is that the performance of firms has improved in the post-privatisation period but (it is) statistically insignificant,” said the authors. Privatisation has been carried out with the motive of reducing the fiscal burden and increasing the efficiency of the inefficient PSEs. Since 1991, the sale of PSEs has raised revenues of Rs649 billion, or $11 billion.

The $11 billion has been worked out by applying the exchange rate of the year when a privatisation transaction took place.

Pakistan is one of the developing countries where privatisation of a large number of PSEs has taken place, but the post-privatisation effect is yet to be analysed. Second, rather than focusing on one or a few sectors, the study considers all the privatised PSEs.

The study showed that the performance of a few firms improved in the post-privatisation period but it largely remained negative.

Advertisement

“In particular, the privatised PSEs in energy, cement and chemical sectors do not show positive gains in the post-privatisation period. However, the telecom and textile sectors have experienced a positive change in the performance of the privatised PSEs.” “Similarly, the results also showed that the efficiency of firms did not increase significantly.”

The authors said that according to their assessment through the Key Informant Interviews, the malfunctioning of regulatory environment led to the market failure that eventually resulted in market exploitation.

Regulations and regulators are captured by the market, bureaucrats, judiciary and politicians. An effective regulatory environment does not exist to force the privatised entities to have higher efficiency and develop a competitive environment.

Government intervention in the regulatory sphere is dominant. Every regulatory authority has a board member from the government. This practice is clearly not aligned with the privatisation regulations.

The government intervention (secretary sitting as a board member) creates conflict of interest by having ownership and management together.

Advertisement

The privatised banking and energy companies have failed to bring in the benefits of sell-off, according to the study. The process of privatisation and rewards distribution favoured mainly the buyers, while the government faced risk and cost.

According to the authors, the privatised companies earned a higher average rate of return on assets compared to their fully government-owned counterparts, as measured by the total net profits-to-sales ratio.

The higher returns on assets suggest a favourable effect of privatisation. On the contrary, the profitability or productivity measure (net profits-to-sales ratio) was relatively higher for the privatised firms but it was statistically insignificant compared to the period when the firms were fully government owned.

“The privatised firms experience a mild increase in productivity compared to their pre-privatisation period. This difference in performance is not statistically significant.”

Privatisation also did not enhance the efficiency of the privatised firms in terms of increase in sales. It suggested that the efficiency improvement was merely coming through the reduction in cost of production.

Advertisement

The study identified weak regulators as a reason for the failure to achieve the privatisation objectives.

“Unfortunately, the regulator Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) did not influence PTCL and other related entities to work in a regulated market environment.”

The role of the PTA is limited to overseeing the determination of market prices. PTCL’s privatisation was not a fair deal. It lost $800 million and also did not improve the market in terms of competition.

“The government sold 26% shares to Etisalat and also transferred the management, which is against the rule, which requires 51% shares,” emphasised the authors.

The government had agreed that Etisalat would pay $2.6 billion by making upfront payment of $1.4 billion and the remaining $1.2 billion in nine installments of $33 million each. For the deal, the government received only $1.8 billion and the remaining $800 million was never paid.

Advertisement

“The monopoly of the telecom sector persisted despite the privatisation and drove away billions of dollars.”

The privatisation of KESC, now KE, also did not achieve the objectives. Though the main reason of the privatisation was to get rid of the loss-making enterprise, unfortunately the government is paying more after privatisation, according to the study.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2022.

Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.





Source link

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Business

Tractor maker faces legal action over fraud

Published

on



KARACHI:

The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has ordered legal action against a tractor manufacturing company as the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) reported a fraud of more than Rs10 billion.

According to FBR sources, the tractor company has allegedly committed a fraud of over Rs10 billion under the previous government’s initiative to provide tractors at a lower cost to the farmers.

Advertisement

As part of the subsidy scheme, the government gave billions of rupees to the deserving and underprivileged farmers for the purchase of tractors.

Sources said that the tractor manufacturer had claimed sales tax refunds on fake documents and flying invoices. The FBR then referred the case to the FTO.

They added that the FBR recommended the application of the Benami Transactions Act while taking legal action against the tractor manufacturer.

“The respondent company misused pay orders of the complainant by issuing bogus and fake sales tax invoices to other persons for obtaining fraudulent adjustment and refund,” a notification of the FTO office read.

The FBR has initiated legal proceedings against the owners and dealers of the tractor manufacturing company for the recovery of money obtained through fraudulent means.

Advertisement

The Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation, Inland Revenue has been tasked with investigating the fraud and tax evasion case.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2022.

Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 ShayanXtreme