Ijaz Kakakhel Islamabad
A legislative body of Upper House of parliament on Thursday called for assurance from the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) (Pvt.) Limited, that no imports outside of the mandate of the TCP should be made.
The assurance was taken during Senate Standing Committee on commerce, which met today under the Chairmanship of Zeeshan khanzada here at the Parliament House and received a detail briefing on the working of Trading Cooperation of Pakistan (TCP) with focus on its role in post flood scenario.
The committee also recommended introducing the bifurcation of procurement plan into regular and emergent so that the items could be procured by minimal rates. The committee was also apprised that the private sector import on commodities imported by the TCP is not banned however due to exemption of taxes and heavy government subsidy; do not make it feasible for the private sector to import the same. The Chairman TCP apprised the committee that the TCP makes procurement for the food security and industries for urea and mainly deals with the import of wheat, sugar and urea to respond emergencies.
The TCP presented proposals for permanent exemption on limitations on splitting tenders, 30 days response time, 15 days hoisting time before approval for inviting objections, matching bids, limitation on negotiations and 15 pc repeat per cap. The TCP also proposed to introduce lemmatizing the quantity of procurement and time indictors according to harvesting season.
The Chairman TCP briefed the committee that the TCP is fully owned by the government of Pakistan, financially independent i.e. it does not receive any budgetary grant from Federal Government and the Federal Government determines when the TCP should import. The TCP informed the committee that the TCP invests 80 pc with Government securities (T-Bills, Treasury Bills, and PIBs) whereas 20 pc funds are invested in Term Deposit and Daily Products.
The Chairman Committee inquired on the role of NFML to which the TCP replied that the National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFMl) is a distributive network and do not deal in procurements. It was also informed that the TCP distributes the Utility store and the NFML sugar wheat and urea.
The Chairman TCP showed concern over the debtors in 2018 as per subsidy audit and apprised the committee that USC and NFML are the highest debtors by Rs51,183 million and Rs24,005 million respectively. The TCP said that the debtors do not return money which has reached up to a total of 91,756.802 including principal and markup amounts. “If it remains so, it will end up in the Public Accounts Committee” said Senator Saleem Mandviwalla. The committee recommended that the funds should be extracted through the provincial budget and recommended to write letters to the Finance Ministry and redress the matter.
The TCP informed the committee that as per the audit report 2021-22 the TCP generated Rs2365.990 million profit after taxation and as per the audit 2020-21, Rs200.000 million dividend to the government. The TCP also gave a brief on the incomes and expenses as Rs4469.388 million and Rs1046.915 million respectively.
While reviewing the overview of the company, the committee was apprised that for 30-06-2021 the paid up capital is rupees one billion and the comprehensive income was Rs.1.517 billioin. The revenue streams comprise commission income on commodity trading, investment, income, rental income from Go-downs and rice inspection Fee. The commodity procurement are financed through cash credit limits from commercial banks and until the moneys are collect from recipient of goods, the markup keeps on accruing on the bank borrowings.
Discussion on Pakistan-Canada Bilateral Trade also entailed in the meeting. President Pakistan Western Canada Trade Association, President US Pakistan International Chamber of Commerce and the Commercial Counselor Toronto participated in the committee and gave proposals and recommendations to enhance exports to Canada and through Canada to other countries. The representatives from the Pakistan Western Canada Trade Association pledged the Ministry of commerce to extend support in this regard. The USPICC also anticipated support in proposals for tariff, taxation and duty structures. The Ministry recommended to participate in various Expo’s conducted in the country and evaluate the products, availability of market, consolidation and mechanism. The committee also recommended the TDAP to play its effective role and its upcoming participation in Sial food fair, (food 7 Beverages at Toronto and collision Canada (It/ITes). The ministry presented that Canada has an import market of USD 490 billion in 2021.
The remaining agenda of the meeting was deferred. The meeting was attended by Senator Fida Muhammad, Saleem Mandviwalla , Nuzhat Sadiq and Senator Abdul Qadir. Senior Officials from the Ministry, the TCP and other attached departments were in attendance.