The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce has called for simplifying the procedures of public procurement to ensure speedy procurement of commodities from the international market when their prices are relatively lower to benefit the country. The committee, which met with Senator Zeeshan Khanzada in the chair, discussed the working mechanism of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), and recommended measures for enhancing the efficiencies of these entities for the country’s economic development.
The senators noted that due to cumbersome processes of approval from the authorities concerned during their procurement to fulfil local needs, the prices of commodities like wheat, sugarcane and fertilizers gradually increased in international markets, which ultimately cost the country. The TCP chairman apprised the meeting about its operational activities, adding that the fully government-owned corporation was established in 1967 and is generating its own revenues.
He said the paid-up capital of the corporation stood at Rs1 billion, whereas the comprehensive income after tax was recorded at Rs1.517 billion, adding during the year 2021-22, the corporation earned about Rs4.469 billion and the profit-after-tax was registered at Rs2.565 billion. He informed the committee that total liabilities of the corporation had swelled to Rs127.447 billion, saying the principal amount was calculated at Rs45.721 billion and the markup stood at Rs87.726 billion by October 30, 2022.
The committee members expressed concern over the increasing liabilities of TCP and asked for evolving mechanism to improve its financial health. They asked the TCP to approach the ministry of finance to recover the outstanding amount from the provinces and other departments. The trade counsellor, Embassy of Pakistan in Canada, briefed the Senate panel about the trade potential with Canada and measures being taken to exploit the untapped areas to further enhance bilateral trade and investment.
He informed the meeting that webinars were organised to highlight the trade and investment potential of Pakistan. He said due to different tariff barriers, Pak-Canada trade is less than other regional countries and said the embassy is making efforts to remove these barriers to enhance bilateral trade. Senators Saleem Mandviwala, Nuzhat Sadiq, Fida Muhammad Khan and Muhammad Abdul Qadir were also in attendance. Secretary of commerce, senior officials of the ministry of commerce and allied departments also attended the meeting.
Credit : Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk