all developing countries, is under an immense
pressure to effectively implement the Intellectual Property Rights by January 1 next year.
Pakistan also faces an uphill task to enforce a strict copyright protection and to create
public awareness about the issue. The rampant violations of the copyright at all levels of
economic activities is not only depriving government of billions of rupees in revenues but
is also discouraging investment on one hand and loss of confidence on the part of
industries on the other. The question is, "Do the IPRs have any relevance on the
economic development? PAGE tries to answer the question.
Finally the National Assembly has
approved the Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties Bill. This law is necessary to protect
the local industries from potential dumping by overseas suppliers. The immediate
beneficiaries will be the manufacturers of urea, polyester staple fibre and soda ash.
The government has increased
the price of feedstock for fertilizer units. The increase has come at a time when the
local manufacturers of urea face cheap import and oversupply. Since any increase in urea
price may not be possible the earning of these companies will come down.
The trade and industry in Pakistan will take a sigh of relief
after merger of 8 labour-related taxes into a single comprehensive tax by the end of
December 1999. Taxes to be merged are "Employees Old Age Benefit Act 1976, Workers
Welfare Fund Ordinance 1972, Companies Profit (Workers Participation) Act 1972, Workman
Compensation Act 1923, Employees Group Insurance Ordinance 1968, Education of Workers
Children Cess Ordinance 1974, Excise Duty Minerals Act 1974 and the Employees Social
Security Institution Ordinance1965".
Wheat Coordination Committee of the Cabinet is likely to meet shortly to
announce wheat import plans for 1999-2000. The crop size is estimated at 18.5 million
tonnes. Official support price is needed to be increased from Rs240 per maund to Rs300-320
to induce farmers for a better crop next year. Around 3-3.5 million tonnes may be imported
during the current financial year.