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Event Title: Senate Standing Committee on Commerce

Event Date: 2020-09-22

Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Trade Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi has said that smuggling have reduce substantially due to effective measures for its eradication which has supported local industry and would be instrumental for promoting economic activities and businesses in the country nbsp He expressed these views while presiding over the SSC on Commerce amp Trade here at Parliament House on Tuesday nbsp Mirza Muhammad Afridi appreciated the measures taken in this regard and said that the sick units need to be facilitated to ensure their revival nbsp The Committee was apprised about the problems faced by the farmers due to inadequate prices of tomato onion despite good production during the current season The Committee was also briefed about the steps being taken for exploring new markets for dates tax evasion on computer laptops and other IT equipments as well as the issues of under invoicing nbsp The Chairman and members of the Committee said that the basic purpose is to protect the local industry and its production for overall progress of the country nbsp Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmad Muhammad Shahi said that due to import of the fruits and vegetable from neighboring countries the local farmers from Balochistan do not get adequate prices of apple grapes onion and tomatoes nbsp He said that Ministry of Commerce amp Trade should take measures for protection of local farmers and utilization of local production before importing such items nbsp Secretary Ministry of Commerce assured the Committee that the issues would resolved in collaboration with Ministry of Food Security and the Committee would be apprised accordingly nbsp Senator Dilawar Hussain while talking about Afghan Transit Trade said that due to the deficiency of trackers there is a huge pressure on transit points nbsp He asserted that appropriate solution to this should be sorted out nbsp Chairman of the Committee Senator Mirza Afridi said that trade is a backbone of the national economy and an appropriate strategy should be followed to promote business activities in the country nbsp Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawod apprised the Committee that State Bank have been approached for provision of easy loan through Small and Medium Industries and consultation process for the IT sector is in progress which will bear positive results nbsp Secretary Commerce informed the Committee that E-Commerce policy has been introduced and the Committee in its next meeting will be informed about a framework in this regard nbsp nbsp Chairman of the Committee appreciated these measures however he emphasized that sick units need to be supported so as to cater for the local requirements and as well as the export oriented from such units nbsp Senator Dilawar Khan informed the Committee that Trade and Development Authority TDAP could not hold even a single meeting so far nbsp He further informed that he had sought different details from TDAP which have not been provided yet nbsp Senator Mirza Afridi said that TDAP is an important organization its board should hold regular meetings to proceed on different issues and the people of Pakistan should have access to information nbsp He further said that question has been raised about Trade and Commercial Attach eacute posted in different countries nbsp He said that Pakistan produces a good quality tobacco nbsp Trade and Commercial Attach eacute should improve their efficiency and awareness must be created about Pakistan products in foreign countries nbsp The Committee insisted on provision of facilities and capacity building of the tobacco farmers in Mardan Charsada and Swabi districts nbsp Committee was further informed that a project in collaboration with Swabi University has moved ahead nbsp Senator Dilawar Khan emphasized that all the stake holders must be taken into confidence as quality tobacco of the country is produced in these areas and national exchequer gets taxes of worth billions of rupees nbsp About the export of the dates the Committee was informed that 70 of dry dates were exported to India and due to suspension of trade with India farmers have to face huge losses nbsp However efforts are being made to explore alternative markets for export of the dates and different countries have been contacted in this regard nbsp Chairman Committee emphasized that these efforts must be expedited to avoid losses to the farmers nbsp Senator Rana Mehmood ul Hassan suggested that a policy for installation of small sugar mills should be introduced to promote compatibility in the market nbsp Secretary Commerce informed the committee that such proposal is already under consideration in different ministries nbsp The Committee was also apprised about clearance of containers at Port Qasim as well as money laundering issues in the country nbsp nbsp The meeting was attended by Senators Mir Kabeer Ahmad Muhammad Shahi Zeesahn Khanzada Nuzhat Sadiq Dilawar Khan Rana Mehmood ul Hassan Advisor to Prime Minister for Commerce Secretary Commerce and other senior official of relevant departments nbsp