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The National Assembly Session has been prorogued on Wednesday, the 17th October, 2018

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Meeting of the Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile
Monday, 16th April, 2018

Islamabad; April, 16, 2018: The Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile met under the chairmanship of Mr. Siraj Muhammad Khan, MNA, in Parliament House, Islamabad.

The Committee discussed the draft Trade Dispute Resolution Act, 2018 aimed at providing swift and effective resolution of disputes relating to the Export as well as Import. It will help in promoting international trade in Pakistan by aligning trade governance with international best practices (WTO & United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) models). Proposed means, for dispute resolution, include negotiations, conciliation, arbitration, determinations, alternative dispute resolution mechanism and referral of disputes to commercial benches. Under this Act, Trade Dispute Resolution Commission will be established with its Headquarters at Islamabad and Regional Offices at Provincial Capitals including AJK. However, the detailed rules are under preparation. The Committee desired that the rules should be framed keeping in view expeditious resolution of the disputes.

The Committee was apprised that Intellectual Property Organization (IPO), in compliance with Committee’s directions, is in coordination with the concerned quarters to establish its Regional Offices at Peshawar and Quetta. Draft IPO Rules are under review at Establishment and Finance Divisions. For complaint resolution, IPO has established Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting Cells at Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. IPO is actively coordinating with IP tribunals, Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore for timely disposal of IP cases. The Committee desired IPO finalize its rules at the earliest.

The Committee considered the petition, filed by Royal Group, for promotion of the pharmaceutical exports to non-traditional markets. Pharmaceutical sector plays a vital role in manufacturing sector by generating employment and attracting investment. Despite a declining trend in the overall exports, the pharmaceutical export has registered an increase of 26% over the last 5 years from US $ 169.6 million (2012-13) to US $ 213 million (2016-17). They invited attention of the Committee towards the following grievances:

i.  Their customs rebate has not been paid for the last 5 years.

ii. Similarly payment of sales tax is pending for the last 3 years.

The meeting was attended by MNAs; Ms. Tahira Aurangzeb, Mr. Nazir Ahmed Bughio, Shazia Marri, Ms. Mussarat Ahmad Zeb, Ms. Sajida Begum, Dr. Fouzia Hameed, Mr. Sanjay Perwani, and Senior Officers of the concerned Division/Departments.