EFP hails concessions on fertiliser, gas infrastructure cess

KARACHI: Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP) hailed concessions on fertiliser and gas infrastructure development cess in the budget fiscal year 2014-15.
Reducing sales tax on the import of edible oil seeds from 17 percent to 16 percent is also welcomed. However EFP emphasised the country could not come out of the present impasse until the peace prevailed in the country. 
K M Nauman President EFP at Karachi Press Club hoped law and order situation in Pakistan would be improved after Military operation against terrorists in North Waziristan.
He hoped along with the Military action, the law enforcement agencies in Karachi would start a drive against anti-social element who were involved in kidnapping for ransom and extortions. 
He was dejected about this information provided by the Finance Minister Dar that more than 60 percent of the population in Pakistan was living below poverty line. He emphasised until and unless business was not allowed to flourish, the economic condition would not improve and the people would remain below poverty line.
He was critical of the methodology used in increasing the minimum wage, as it should be done in a legal way through the Minimum Wage Board.
Nauman reviewing the progress of the Pakistan National Business Agenda after nine months of its launching said the issues raised in it were still the same as before. 
Government is trying to improve the regional trade and making efforts for increased production of electrical energy is good sign. However, he was critical about the ever-increasing power tariff, which was not providing a friendly business environment in Pakistan. 
He informed participants about some of the issues discussed at the International Labour Conference held in Geneva. He informed 2014 was the election year for the International Labour Organisation (ILO) governing body and it was a matter of satisfaction the government, employer and worker’s representatives have been elected to the ILO governing body. 
The important discussion was on the application of International Labour Standards and it was noted much improvement was required in the labour inspections in Pakistan. 
This is also important for improving the conditions, which are related to Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) plus status by European Union to Pakistan. Another important aspect was how to transfer informal economy into formal economy, as this was one of the aspect by which economic condition of the worker could be improved. 

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