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Business and Economy: Pakistan


Finance Minister Ishaq Dar here on Sunday chaired a briefing session by managing director Pak-Brunei Investment Company, seeking details of its present investment/financing profile and immediate future plans.

Defence, Water and Power Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said on Sunday that the PML-N-led government was making strenuous efforts for bringing economic stability and strengthening the national economy on top priority basis. The economic stability had become more imperative in current era to cope with the future challenges more easily and the government has adopted very aggressive approach for achieving the results of its programme, he said.
Gwadar will soon be declared a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for a period of 20 to 30 years in order to facilitate rapid commercial and economic development. The SEZ is likely to cover city of Gwadar and industrial areas currently planned and foreseen. As per data provided by Ports and Shipping Division here on Sunday, the specific incentive-regime is likely to include general tax-holidays, no VAT and generous incentives pertaining to business ownership.
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday lauded the decision of State bank of Pakistan (SBP) to cut policy rate by one percent to prop up growth terming it essential to strengthen business sentiments. This is a welcome move though overdue decision as it will trigger economic expansion, boost capital market and support badly needed foreign investment.
Business community of the Punjab has welcomed 100 basis points cut in the policy interest rate by the State Bank of Pakistan with reservations describing it below expectations. Talking to Business Recorder, here on Sunday Chairman All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) Nabeel Hashmi said as the government has saved nearly $ 5 billion on the import of oil, it should have reduced the interest rate by at least 200 basic points.
The Businessmen of South Punjab have welcomed the announcement of one percent reduction in the policy rate, saying it would definitely cut the cost of doing-business. They also expressed reservation and said it would still not compensate higher power and energy and transportation costs that are being industry faced. President of Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) Mian Iqbal Hassan said the industry would benefit from one percent decline in the mark-up, if the government ensures 24 hours power supply at reasonable rates.
The Business Community of south Punjab has demanded of the government to delete Section 140 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 which is creating mistrust between banks and the business community. Mian Iqbal Hassan, President of Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), has said that granting powers to FBR officials to attach/freeze bank accounts of business entities, even during the pendency of cases in appellate courts.


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 25, 2015
Reserves $15.019 bln