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Pakistan, like all developing countries, is under an immense international 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.


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