SECP makes online filing of returns mandatory

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has made it mandatory for all listed companies to file documents, returns, accounts and applications, meant to be filed with the SECP, or the Registrar, through SECPs eServices online filing facility.

The SECP issued a notification in this regard on March 13, 2013. The requirement shall come into effect after two months of the date of notification. The requirement has also been made applicable to companies which filed their last statutory documents through eServices or will file any statutory document through eServices from the date of applicability of the notification. Earlier, this requirement was only applicable to companies which had been incorporated through eServices online filing facility.

The online filing has been made mandatory to move towards automated regulatory regime of the SECP, in line with the objective of providing services with efficiency and in minimum possible time. eServices filing facility is an easy and hassle-free mode of submission for companies to make statutory filing, coupled with an added feature of smaller fees as compared to manual/physical filing.

The relevant notification has been placed on the SECPs website. The notification shall, however, be applicable to the filing of documents, returns, accounts and applications for which eServices online submission mode is available.

Govt leaves legacy of incompetence, corruption

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) said on day Sunday the democratic government has left a legacy of massive corruption and incompetence pushing country and masses into total gloom.

Those who take politics as a lucrative business secured their future through plunder while leaving 180 million people insecure, said Farida Rashid, President IWCCI.

Speaking to business community, she said that last five years would be remembered as a black chapter in the history of Pakistan.

The government made new records of incompetence, corruption, nepotism, lawlessness, bulldozing laws and clash of the institutions, she added.

Farida Rashid said that most of the economic, fiscal, foreign and internal policies of the government met with failure while Pakistan faced international disgrace on various occasions.

Government continued to plunder national resources during five years but made a history of loot during its last few days, she observed.

She said that almost all the policies were made to please nobility which took toll on Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs), rupee lost value, record loans were borrowed while collections and forex reserved dwindled.

Government failed to provide enabling environment, improve law and order as well as the circular debt contributing to flight of capital, shifting of industrial units and brain drain.

Incoherent policies left millions jobless while 10 million youth stepped in the job market with no opportunities available. Even the largest urban employment providing sector of textile failed to create a single job, she informed.

Farida said that oil and gas exploration was systematically discouraged to justify import of costly fuel for which the CNG sector was also destroyed.

Government took around Rs 2.7 trillion loans from international lenders out of which 2.3 trillion were used to finance politically run Public Sector Enterprises but none could come out of losses to become profitable entity.

Unprecedented corruption estimated at Rs 1800 billion, shook the foundations of the country and put its very survival.

Masses must learn a lesson as Pakistan cannot afford another round of such democracy, observed Farida Rashid.

Inefficient CPPs inflicts Rs 70 billion loss annually on country

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) on Saturday questioned the policy of providing cheap gas to captive power plants (CPPs) to gain political favours which is causing a loss of Rs 70 billion to the public exchequer per annum.

The technology, efficiency, cost, consumption, production, and other parameters related to the CPPs are questionable, as industry has been using scrap plants in place of modern and better equipment, said Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Chairman Supreme Council APCNGA.

The average efficiency of 113 CPPs, mostly installed in textile units, stands at 28 per cent meaning that they are wasting 72 per cent of the gas in the process of generating electricity, he said while speaking to APCNGAs central executive committee.

Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha said that data of SSGC and SNGPL shows that CPPs are getting 454 mmcfd gas per day out of which 327 mmcfd is lost to inefficiency causing loss of around 19 crore per day.

Planning Commission and Ministry of Water and Power have termed primitive CPPs a major drain of indigenous hydrocarbon resources but to no avail, he said, adding that statements of crackdown against wasteful CPPs by ministry of petroleum is mere eyewash.

He said that government is pleasing owners of CPPs on the cost of domestic consumers, CNG, fertiliser and general industry. Many industries closed since long are being provided gas while the power generated through that gas is being sold to running industrial units without approval from Nepra which must be probed, he demanded.

He said that the silence of concerned departments on the issue is not only amazing but also criminal at a time when whole nation is reeling under power crisis.

The country would not have faced energy shortages of such magnitude if decision were taken on merit and the gas allocated to CPPs was provided to efficient power houses, he said.

Power generation companies are facing heavy losses as gas consumption as well as some 2000 mw load has been shifted to the unregulated gas gulping CPP sector which do not require a licence and have no performance and efficiency checks.

The policy has hiked operation and maintenance cost of the Discos, average tariff is going up while average sale declines causing losses to the government while CPPs thrive on economical gas and support of petroleum ministry.

Criticising the move to lower the efficiency benchmark for CPPs, Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha demanded a probe into the issue to fix responsibility on those who played havoc with the country for their personal welfare.

He demanded an immediate comprehensive and independent audit of captive power plants, banning Discos buying power from captives using cheap gas as fuel, and concrete steps to improve the efficiency and avoid wastage of precious natural resources in the national interest.

The government needs to increase gas price for CPPs by a minimum of 150 per cent to resolve all issues, ensure efficiency and reduce load shedding. There is a need for a well-integrated power policy which addresses the various issues to ensure an overall development of the sector and economy.

Pakistan: National climate change policy launched

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The National Climate Change policy was launched today by the Government of Pakistan. The policy provides a framework to address the issues Pakistan faces vis-à-vis the phenomenon of climate change. It lays down policy measures for mitigation as well as adaptation for sectors including energy, transport, agriculture and livestock, industries, forestry, water resources, biodiversity, ecosystems with cross cutting themes of disaster risk reduction, human security and gender. It was developed by the Ministry of Climate Change with a wide range of stakeholders and the support of the One UN Joint Programme on Environment supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Rana Mohammad Farooq Saeed Khan, Federal Minister for Climate Change, said, The National Climate Change policy takes into account risks and vulnerabilities of various development sectors with specific emphasis on water, food, energy, national security issues and provides strategic guidance in the form of appropriate mitigation and adaptation interventions. He further added that in order to implement the policy at the provincial level, his ministry would make utmost effort to strengthen the provincial environment departments in carrying out additional functions devolved to them under the 18th Constitutional Amendment.

Mr. Marc-André Franche, Country Director UNDP Pakistan, congratulated the Government of Pakistan on the launch of the policy and said, Pakistan is among the most vulnerable countries facing climate risks and mechanisms need to be devised for greener, more resilient options for growth and sustainable development. UNDP is pleased to have been part of the process which culminated in the approval of this very important policy by the Federal Cabinet last year. I hope the policy will help key stakeholders in identifying capacities and skills for the successful implementation of the policy.

He emphasized UNDPs commitment for working at the national, provincial and community levels to support the effective implementation of the policy and in particular to strengthen capacities to mitigate risks related to climate change and develop effective programme and policy options helping people build sustainable livelihoods.

Other notable speakers included Mr. Jawed Ali Khan, DG (Environment) Ministry of Climate Change, Mr. Mujtaba Hussain, Deputy Secretary Ministry of Climate Change, Mr. Mohiuddin Marri, member (Infrastructure) Planning Commission of Pakistan and Mr. Mian Ijaz, Joint Secretary/National Programme Director One UN Joint Programme on Environment Ministry of Climate Change. This was followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

The event was attended by government officials, representatives of academia, media, civil society, development partners and UN agencies.

Trimming Ogra authority to open floodgates of corruption: IWCCI

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) said on Tuesday stripping Ogra of powers was a conspiracy hatched by influential to ensure freehand to the dishonest elements in the petroleum sector that are playing havoc with the country.

Advisor to the Prime Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr. Asim Hussain has been conspiring against Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to promote personal interests while spending too much time in blaming other for his failures, it said.

Ogra is not subservient to petroleum ministry and answerable to the Cabinet only but petroleum mafia continue to make childish plots against regulator in a bid to get blank cheque for exploitation, said Farida Rashid, President IWCCI.

Speaking to women entrepreneurs, she said that the campaign against Orga is also aimed at discouraging honest officers to total submission which is no more a possibility in the current set of events.

Farida Rashid said that the Adviser should demonstrate courage to admit his failures and stop placing blame elsewhere to get time to improve the prevailing situation.

She said that gas distribution companies have failed to stop theft of gas while the Adviser has been convincing government to provide Rs 7 billion subsidy to gas companies to overcome losses which is shocking as well as shameful.

Rejecting the repeated statements by Adviser regarding involvement of hundreds of CNG filling stations in gas theft, Farida said that he would not have confined his reaction to media statements only if there was any truth in the claims.

Government must clarify why it is not taking any action against violators and what is barring them from publication of lists of CNG outlets involved in theft with the names of operators and officials of the gas companies involved in the crime, the IWCCI president said.

Farida Rashid said that apart from business community and masses, the politicians linked to ruling coalition are also weary of the way energy sector has been handled as they fear a backlash from masses in the upcoming elections.

Adviser petroleum having the honour of only petroleum minister in the world who is a doctor has failed to stop theft or introduce any policy to stop dwindling growth rate. He has started defaming CNG sector to hide his helplessness and disappointments.

A strict action against theft of electricity over the years would have deterred those involved in gas theft to the tune of around 8.5 crore per day.

She stressed that Canadian nationals cannot be allowed to destroy Rs 400 billion investments in the CNG sector which is paying around Rs 86 billion in taxes, providing economical fuel and employment to millions.

Doctors should not try to manage critical energy sector like hospitals, clinics and dispensaries and stop playing havoc with countrys energy mix to fulfil personal ambitions, she demanded.

Rashid said that masses were relieved of billion in the name of illegal cess but there is no move so far for accountability or track the lavish spending. Masses will get relief only when a better and more accountable government is at the helm.

PESA expresses concern over failing economy

Rawalpindi, MTT News Desk: The Pakistan Ex-servicemen Association (PESA) on Tuesday said governments non- wasteful expenditures have put the economy in a tailspin and the damage would be irreparable if immediate corrective measures were not taken.

Local currency has been eroding while value of dollar is sky rocketing since last five years turning debt trap in to death trap, it said.

Corruption, tax evasion, undue relaxations, waivers and borrowings have crossed all limits putting a question mark on the ability of our economic managers, said President PESA Lt. Gen. Ali Kuli Khan while chairing a meeting.

Vice Admiral Ahmad Tasnim, Air Marshal Masood Akhtar, Lt General Naeem Akbar, Brig Mian Mahmud, Brig Masud ul Hassan, Major Farouk Hameed Khan, Major Khurram Naveed Khan, and Naik Raja Muhammad Fazil were also present on the occasion.

The meeting noted that the alarming figures regarding state of economy indicate that we are on the brink of an economic collapse which will force the next government to accept humiliating terms of our Western friends before they put something in our beggars bowl.

They said that almost all the public sector enterprises are being run of political considerations pushing them to bankruptcy but rulers seems preoccupied with winning votes only with revival of economy on the backburner.

The political and economic chaos will leave caretaker government will little options which will be a disaster for the country, the former military generals observed, adding that prevailing economic situation has emerged as a big threat to Pakistan.

The meeting demanded at elections should be held in time after giving all the independence to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

They military strategists said that all political parties must be included in the process of formation of the caretaker government which is at present confined to two groups in the parliament.

The meeting observed that huge amount of funds are being misused in the name of charity which is nothing but pre-poll rigging.

Masses can ensure a change only if they free themselves from stranglehold of feudal lords and influence of baradari system.

PESA members criticised plans to divide Punjab on ethnic basis, in a hurry, as it will add to the problems being faced by country.

Pakistan Mission in Kuala Lumpur marks Kashmir Solidarity Day

Kuala Lumpur, MTT News Desk: The High Commission for Pakistan in Malaysia organized a function in Kuala Lumpur today (Tuesday) to mark the Kashmir Solidarity Day in recognition of the untold sacrifices rendered by the Kashmiris to realise their goal of self-determination.

Speaking on the occasion, Pakistans Acting High Commissioner to Malaysia Mr. Mohammad Nadeem Khan paid rich tributes to the Kashmiris for challenging the Indian occupation and rendering countless sacrifices to throw off the yoke of subjugation.

He called on the international community to help resolve the Kashmir issue to secure durable peace in the region. He lamented that while the people of Kashmir had long suffered, the civilized world had only paid a lip service to the issue, leaving millions of defenceless Kashmiris to the mercy of a brutal regime intent on crushing the freedom struggle through bullet and bayonet.

Mr. Mohamamd Nadeem Khan also underscored Pakistans efforts to resolve the issue, saying our position is based on the support for a just cause and on principles recognized by the international community and enshrined in the UN Charter. Pakistan is committed to extending full moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiris till the realization of their right to self-determination, he added.

Later, documentaries highlighting the plight of Kashmiris and their struggle for freedom were shown. A group of schoolchildren also presented skits and tableaus signifying the theme of Kashmir Solidarity Day and highlighting the rich Kashmiri culture and traditions.

Govt lauded for focusing welfare of small traders

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: Small traders of capital city on Tuesday lauded the government for initiating moves aimed at welfare of the small traders, businesswomen and the cottage industry.

Steps taken by the government for setting up chambers for small traders and small industry in every district of country will help resolve many problems confronted by the business community, said Kamran Abbasi, President of the Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry.

Speaking to business community here at Super Market, he said that they have been striving for chamber of small traders since 2008 and now our dream is coming true as the formal approval of Trade Organisations Bill from the Upper House is expected within days.

He informed that an application has been moved to the office of Director General Trade Organisations to rename their chamber from Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Cottage Industry to Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry to ensure compliance with the bill.

Abbasi said that major beneficiaries of the new law would be millions of small traders, importers, and services providers for which the credit goes to Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Jahangir Badr, Chairman Senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, Senator Haji Ghulam Ali, Khurram Dastagir Khan and all the concerned officials.

He said that all trade bodies are currently functioning under the Trade Organisation Ordinance 1961 that has certain in-built inadequacies including lack of governance mechanism for services sector, female entrepreneurs, small businesses and cottage industry.

Speaking on the occasion, Jahangir Akhtar, Secretary General of the proposed Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry said that governments move will ensure effective dispute resolution mechanism and that every taxpaying trader would be eligible to become a member of the chamber while the membership fee would be mere Rs 200.

He said that chambers of small traders would take decisions on merit which will make things better for everyone.

The bill supports proper implementation of law, definition for territorial jurisdiction for trade bodies, elimination of fake associations, and facilitates the small businesses to prosper and promote good practices, said Akhtar.

The small traders demanded of the government to make the bill a law as soon as possible to win support of millions of small traders.

SBP yearly report a worthless document

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: Holding the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) partly responsible for the gloomy economic situation, the Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said the has failed to show correct picture of economy in its recently released annual report.

Political interference and attitude of the central bankers to please government while misleading masses has left the Apex bank untrustworthy and ineffective, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

He said that the SBP is no more regarded as a good regulator; rather it has become an efficient machine to print as much currency as required by the politicians to finance their luxuries.

Report based on assumptions, optimism and assurances will not help government, masses and nervous investors in any way but it will further dent the reputation of the bank and country, he added.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that the SBP should have admitted its failures and reported that the year 2012 added to the miseries of masses while there is no hope of betterment in the current year as government and opposition have no will to implement reforms.

SBP seems overconfident about certain things including payment of Coalition Support Fund, receiving outstanding money from Etisalat, raising revenue from sale of 3G licences and hike in remittances which can be best described as assumptions.

It remained overoptimistic on many other fronts despite rapidly deteriorating economic indicators and sluggish investment while the government has so far avoided serious effort to negotiate a loan with the IMF which amounts to keeping masses in the dark.

Failure of the SBP to resist or at least express displeasure over violation of borrowing limits by the government has remained a big obstacle in revenue mobilisation and curtailing unnecessary expanses.

Expressing concern over unsustainable fiscal deficit, Dr. Mughal said that all the efforts to revive economy will meet failure as far as governments total expenditures exceed the revenue that it generates which leaves it only with borrowing option.

Country would have defaulted earlier without judicial interventions

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday said concrete steps for economic revival seems a far cry during the current year.

Masses will experience three governments in the on-going year, the incumbent coalition will complete term which will be replaced by caretaker setup and after elections another political government will take charge, it said.

It would be unfortunate if the ruling party which claim to believe in continuity of democracy and reconciliation to justify wrongdoing forms government after elections as it will seal the fate of country, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

The ruling band, which is promoting corruption in the name of democracy on the cost of country will lead Pakistan to total destruction if given another chance, he said.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that politicians usually blame courts for obstructing their revolutionary steps but masses know that without judicial interventions the country would have defaulted earlier.

He said that Pakistan only progressed in corruption in the era of incumbent rulers inviting international disgrace and lack of trust on the part of development partners which is emerging as one of the biggest threat to country.

Masses saw two prime ministers tainted with corruption charges, four finance ministers, six finance secretaries, four SBP governors, six chairman of the FBR, and four deputy chairman of the planning commission in last five years which only points towards lack of serious attitude and absence concern, he said.

He said that rulers are sole responsible for pushing government debt to 1300 trillion, forcing millions below the poverty line, promoting nobility, mismanaging energy crisis, delaying projects of national importance, failed revenue collection targets, dwindling rupee and reserves and flight of capital and industries.

They would nail in the coffin of country if voted again to power in the upcoming elections, warned Dr. Mughal. A new government with a comprehensive strategy of economic revival can save Pakistan.

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