Pak Afghan Transit Trade: Government is fully alive to the menace of smuggling and was doing every bit to check it: Haroon Agar

Karachi, September 23, 2013 (PPI-OT): Annual Dinner of Pakistan Soap Manufacturers Association was held at local hotel of Karachi, in which Mr. Mohammad Haroon Agar, President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Shamim Ahmed Firpo, Senior Vice President KCCI, Mr. Nasir Mehmood, Vice President, KCCI and Mr. Abdul Majid Haji Muhammad, Former President, KCCI.

Mr. Shahzad Mushtaq Paracha, the Chairman of Association welcomed the Honorable Guests. Giving a brief introduction, he said it is a well established and very old Trade Association having more than 120 members including multinational companies that are engaged in soap manufacturing and contributing a huge amount to national exchequer.

The Chairman highlighted few problems faced to its members. Commenting the current economic conditions of the country, he said that at present our industries are passing through a very critical phase due to un-controllable law and order situation, acts of terrorism and sectarian violence and real painful energy shortage etc.

Soap industry falls under three days heavy load curtailment schedule on weekly basis, causing closure of soap manufacturing units, because they do not have any other alternative arrangement of energy to run their factories. He also pointed-out that electricity load-shedding has been reached up to 10 hours. All of us know that soap industry has great importance in the field of cleaning and washing arena.

Mr. Shahzad Mushtaq Paracha highlighted few other problems related to Smuggling and under invoicing of Toilet Soap, Controversial SRO, Additional burden of Sales Tax and Income Tax and Pak Afghan Transit Trade, which has crossed up to 2 billion dollars. The rate of Custom Duty in Afghanistan is less than Pakistan that causes smuggling.

The Chief Guest is requested to adopt firm steps to control the smuggling. If recent circumstances of local industry could not properly handled, all soap manufacturing units will be shut down and thousand of industrial workers, particularly the daily wages would face retrenchment.

He urged the government to save the SOAP industry in Punjab particularly to soap manufacturing units of Islamabad, Faisalabad, Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan, as these regions provide jobs to over 15 million peoples.

The Honorable Guest of Honor Mr. Abdul Majid Haji Muhammad, Shamim Ahmed Firpo and Nasir Mehmood expressed their thanks for the kind words by the Chairman of the Association in his speech.

He appreciated the efforts and struggles of soap manufacturers and explained at length the all issues faced by the soap manufacturers in the country so that definite measures and policies are put into practice to facilitate the industry. This would greatly help in generating revenues to bring economy back on the rails. Mr. Shamim Ahmed Firpo added that no doubt Soap Association is an important Trade Body.

The names of its members should be given from all provinces for the nomination of President and Vice President Post. He assured that qualified candidates should be given chance. He further expressed hope that Soap Industry shall do better business and in this way this industry will be more strengthen.

The Chief Guest Mr. Mohammad Haroon Agar said in his speech that it is not only the problem of soap industry, but all industries are suffering acute shortage of Gas and Electricity. We are trying our best by contacting with the relevant departments.

On Pak Afghan Transit Trade, he said that we are doing its exercise by contacting with the relevant Government officials. He explained at length the issue of Afghan transit trade, how it is causing loss to National exchequer.

He said that the government was fully alive to the menace of smuggling and was doing every bit to check it. He gave some encouraging tips related to Afghan Transit Trade. He further advised the members of the Association to meet him on a regular basis to apprise him of the day to day problem being faced by you.

He assured that KCCI shall try its best to resolve the problems faced by soap manufacturers as we think that the smooth sailing of Soap Industry is in the larger interest of Economy as well as people of Pakistan. He further said if the local industry flourishes it motivate the foreign investors to come and invest in Pakistan, if local industry is in doldrums how can they take risk of putting more industries.

For more information, contact:
Syed Aijaz Ahmed
Secretary General
Pakistan Soap Manufacturers Association
Pakistan Soap Manufacturers Association Room no. 148,
Sunny Plaza, 1st floor, Hasrat Mohani Road,
Off I.I. Chundrigar Road Karachi
Tel: +92 (0) 21 263 4648
Fax: +92 (0) 21 221 8937

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