LAHORE – Chairperson of the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) Rahat Kaunain has said that enforcement of competition laws will bring down the prices of essential items by 25 to 30 percent, end cartels in different sectors and make Pakistan a functional economy.
Addressing to the members of the Lahore Economic Journalists Association here on Monday, she laid stress on enforcement of the competition laws. Presidnt of LEJA Muhammad Sudhir Chaudhry was also present.
The competition laws protect the consumers’ interests and make consumers' lives easy. She called for making a National Competition Policy to create awareness among the stakeholders. Furthermore, a regulatory tribunal should be established which will deal with the cases related to regulators. This will accelerate disposal of the cases with the regulators and improve overall investment and business environment.
Sharing details of different inquiries against the cartels and uncompetitive behaviors of various sectors, Rahat pointed out the non-cooperation of the State Bank of Pakistan in T-Bills Auction Inquiry. She mentioned that the commercial banks are cooperating with the CCP but the central bank is not providing the required details. The banks invested 55 to 75 percent of their deposits in the government T-Bills auction during the period under review which are against the required banking laws, she added. Further, she highlighted irregular fluctuations in bank base rates in the auctions.
Rahat said the CCP could be more effective with the support of other government regulators. Mutual cooperation of all government regulators is vital for improved service delivery for the public.
About the cement sector inquiry, she said it's complete for the south region (Punjab and KP) cement plants but the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association has got a court stay order against the inquiry on the north region (Sindh and Balochistan). Furthermore, the inquiry into procurement of raw materials (transformers, streel structures, meters and cables) by Distribution Companies (DISCOS) through tenders is under way. The Supreme Court of Pakistan's decision in poultry industry price cartel case is very positive and it will pave way for future decisions, she added.
Similarly, the CCP has initiated an inquiry against six mega players of property and real estate of Islamabad-Rawalpindi over deceptive marketing of upto 400 percent return on the investment made in their projects. The CCP will expand the scope of this inquiry to other parts of the country after its completion, she added.
However, Rahat wants an end to ‘Land Banking’ for the economic growth of Pakistan. People invest in plots and properties with guaranteed growth and return and other sectors remain unattractive for investment. This land banking has been massively changing the landscape of the country and it needs to stop. The government should facilitate and give incentives to other sectors so that people invest there and discourage investment in real estate and property business through policy regulations, she added.
Rahat mentioned that fixing price in the fertilizer sector is possible and it will ultimately affect all agriculture produce and consumers. An inquiry into the automobile sector is also under way. She mentioned that the Pakistan is lagging far behind India on safety regulations for automobiles. Indian automobiles are ensuring over 70 percent safety regulations in vehicles while Pakistan is still at 11 percent.
The CCP had recommended the provincial governments to come out of the wheat regulations and procurement business due to huge loopholes in the whole process of wheat procurement. The current circular debt on wheat management of the provincial governments has crossed Rs 550 billion, which is alarming.
KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on March 22, 2023 (Wednesday).
Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
|UK Pound Sterling||GBP||344.5||348|
|Hong Kong Dollar||HKD||35.9||36.25|
|New Zealand Dollar||NZD||176.66||178.66|
KARACHI - The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 202,400 on Wednesday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs173,500.
Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs163,624 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 190,880.
Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.
|Lahore||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Karachi||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Islamabad||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Peshawar||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Quetta||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Sialkot||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Attock||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Gujranwala||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Jehlum||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Multan||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Bahawalpur||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Gujrat||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Nawabshah||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Chakwal||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Hyderabad||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Nowshehra||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Sargodha||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Faisalabad||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
|Mirpur||PKR 202,400||PKR 2,375|
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