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Introductory meeting of FPCCI Standing Committee on

Gems and Jewellery (Punjab)-2015

   
   

Minutes of the first introductory meeting of federation of Pakistan chambers of commerce & industry (FPCCI) standing committee on gems & jewelry producers, manufacturers & exporters, 2015 and gold & gems art promotion council of Pakistan.

The first introductory meeting of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) Standing Committee on Gems & Jewelry Producers, Manufacturers & Exporters, 2015 (Punjab Region) and Gold & Gems Art Promotion Council of Pakistan (GGAPCP) was held on 18.04-2015 in FPCCI Regional Office Lahore at 1100 hours. Mr. Muhammad Ahmad, Sr. Vice-Chairman of the Committee & President of GGAPCP  presided over the meeting. Following members attended the meeting:-

  1. Mr. Muhammad Ahmad                              Sr. Vice-Chairman
  2. Mr. Tahir Mehmood Bhatti                          Member
  3. Haji Muhammad Ikram                              Member
  4. Mr. Tahir Malik                                          Member
  5. Haji Muhammad Afzal                                Member
  6. Seth Muhammad Arshad                            Member
  7. Mr. Naseer Ahmad (Sialkot)                       Member
  8. Mr. Mukarram Ali                                      Member
  9. Mr. Shahzad Iqbal                                    Member         
  10. Mr. Zulfiqar Hussain                                  Member
  11. Sheikh Kaleem Ahmad                              Member
  12. Mr. Irfan Salah-ud-Din                              Member
  13. Mr. Muhammad Zeeshan Ibrahim               Member
  14. Mr. Muhammad Ikhlaq                              Member
  15. Mr. Moazzam Waheed                               Member
  16. Mr. Muhammad Waqas Khalid                    Member
  17. Mr. Jamshed Ahmad                                  Member
  18. Rana Irfan                                               Member
  19. Mr. Mohsin Malik (PBIT)                             Member
  20. Rana Azhar Hussain                                  Member
  21. Mian Asad Masood                                    Member
  22. Mr. Faisal Awan                                        Member
  23. Mr. Atif Javaid                                          Member
  24. Mr. Kashif Adeel Haider                             Member
  25. Mr. H.M. Zafar (Kasur)                              Member
  26. Haji Ijaz Ali (Kasur)                                  Member
  27. Mr. Saeed Azmi                                        Member
  28. Seth Aftab Ahmad Butt                              Member
  29. Rana Nadeem                                           Member
  30. Ihsan Sarwan (Sahiwal)                             Member
  31. Mr. Abdul Rehman                                    Member
  32. Mr. Muhammad Nadeem Bhatti                  Member
  33. Mr. Zain-ul-Hassan                                   Member
  34. Haji Muhammad Tariq Javaid                    Member
  35. Seth Farooq-e-Azam                                Member
  36. Rana Muhammad Asghar                          Member
  37. Mr. Muhammad Ahmad Raza                     Member
  38. Rana Ijaz Ahmad (Faisalabad)                  Member
  39. Mr. Muhammad Saqib Ishaq                    Member
(Toba Tek Singh)

Proceeding:

Meeting started with the recitation of Holy Quran by Mr. Mukarram Ali. After recitation, Mr. Muhammad Ahmad, Vice-Chairman of the Committee welcomed all members.  On the request of the Chair all members introduced themselves.

Mr. Muhammad Ahmad briefed the members about the business plan of the FPCCI Standing Committee on Gems & Jewelry Producers, Manufacturers & Exporters, 2015 (Punjab Region) (FPCCI S/C GJPME-2015). He informed the members that concerned Government Departments have been requested to nominate their representatives to attend this meeting. On account of our efforts, TDAP nominated Hafiz Muhammad Ahmad, SMEDA nominated Ms. Farah while Punjab Board of Investment nominated Mr. Mohsin Malik as their representatives. He has also informed that CUSTOM and Pakistan Gems Jewellery Developing Company are considering the matter and will send their nomination in due course. Mr. Muhammad Ahmad further pointed out that it would be our great success because the said nominees shall assist our Committee in resolving the problems facing by our community in these days.

At the meeting Mr. Muhammad Ahmad presented the following Business Plan before the Hon’ble Members of the Committee which is reproduced here below for kind perusal:-

BUSINESS PLAN FOR THE GEMS & JEWELLERY INDUSTRY

1- Since the gems and jewellery sector has been declared as industry in 2005, unfortunaely, this industry could not get incentives by the government at par with other industries. However, all incentives and facilities shoud be provided to this industry in the larger interest of national economy.  
2-  Formation of gems and jewellery association at the Saarc level. It will provide a forum for the member countries to exhibit their jewellery and introduce their products in other countries, having vast chances of  business opportunities.
3-  We want to focus India for the export of Pakistani gems and minerals as we think that India is a big lucrative market for Pakistani gems sector.  However, it is the need of hour that we should take early steps to spread the business of Gems Sector at world level. For this purpose, our Council has started its basic work and a suggestion has been presented before the TDAP to open an OUTLET in the Expo-Center, Lahore.
4- For improving the infrastructure of gems and jewellery, small developing centres will be set up in various cities. Such facility exists in India and the outcome of their efforts is before us. This situation demands us to visit abroad and see latest designs technique, display and machinery. Incentives should also be given to the exporters in duties and customs matters.
5- We intend to form business committees for contacts with the embassies of those countries, where, we think, a vast scope of gems and jewellery market to give impetus to this sector.
6- For the export of Pakistani gems and other items and seeking facilities for Pakistani exporters, Commercial Attaches posted in Islamabad will be invited to the office of FPCCI, Lahore. This will help our gems and jewellery in projecting their products in other countries.
7- Different gems and jewellery trade delegations will be invited at the office of FPCCI for the promotion of business relations with these countries.
8- For attracting foreign jewellers, exhibitions of various gems and jewellers associations will be arranged in Pakistan.
9- We will try our best to get removed all hurdles in our policy of import and export of gems and jewellery.
10- We will organize training programmes in collaboration with the Investment Promotion Unit (IPU) to provide skilled workforce to the gems and jewellery sector.
11- Any other proposal coming from any quarter will be accommodated.
`
Our cooperation in the implementation of this business plan will be welcomed. We expect that it will prove to be beneficial for the gems and jewellery community.    
Mr. Muhammad Ahmad told the participants that our committee’s last year business plan was not completely implemented. However, we shall, Inshallah, try our best to promote the said plan upto the mark. He appointed Mr. Muhammad Zeeshan Ibrahim as Incharge, Gems Sector of the committee. He said that in order to adopt some strategy against the imposition of General Sales Tax on Gems Jewellery Sector, we feel it necessary to discuss the same thoroughly. At this stage, all the participants expressed their views, one by one, on this subject and unanimously it was resolved that the imposition of General Sales Tax on Gems Jewellery Sector is against the interests of this community which shall effected badly their business and ultimately they shall be constrained to close it. For this purpose, a 10-member action committee was constituted which will contact the jewelers community in the country and brief them about the imposition of GST and its future effects on this Sector.  Further, Mr. Muhammad Ahmad congratulated the newly elected office-bearers of Latif Plaza Jewellery Market, namely, Rana Azhar Hussain, President, Mr. Tariq Masood, General Secretary and assured them committee’s full cooperation. On this occasion he presented flower souvenirs to them. 

He assured that issues of gem and jewelry sectors will be resolved with mutual consultation. He informed the house that meeting was called to discuss the following agenda:-

  • To discuss issues relating to Tax.
  • To discuss issues relating to gemstones and its cutting.
  • To invite suggestions and proposals to increase trade of gemstones.

Mr. Shamsi said SRO 608 was imposed on business community eight months ago. Due to strong protest and strikes from jewelers, Government withdrawn this SRO. But now Government has again imposed this SRO. He stressed that Government should immediately withdraw SRO-608 to save business community from further problems and pursue a policy of equitable taxation system to broaden tax net in order to improve tax revenue

He further said that it was unfortunate that instead of withdrawing concessions & exemptions and bringing all untaxed sectors into the tax net, the government was taking coercive steps to squeeze the existing taxpayers. He said before implementing taxation at retail level, the government should take strong policy measures to eliminate smuggling and under-invoicing.

He informed that he has talked to Presidents of all markets in Punjab in this regard and they are willing to meet the concerned officials. A meeting with FBR officials will be arranged soon.

The Chairman than opened the house for proposals and suggestions.

Mr. Moeen Irfan said officials from concerned departments may be invited in FPCCI and electronic media must be involved to raise voice of jewelers.

Mr. Asim emphasized on the importance of Hallmarking and said more work must be done on hallmarking. Mr. Shamsi replied that a seminar on hallmarking will be arranged in FPCCI Regional Office Lahore.

Mr. Shahzad said a lobby is working against PGJDC. This institute was constituted by Ministry of Industries and Production on our demand and it should not be closed.  Mr. Shamsi suggested that visit of PGJDC will be arranged. He advised the participants to send their children at PGJDC for skilled training.

Mr. Muhammad Ahmad, Senior Vice Chairman of the Committee seconded the opinion of Mr. Shahzad and said Pakistan Gem Jewelry Development Company is providing training of International level to our students. Common man does not know about working of PGJDC. We should make more efforts for better working of PGJDC, he added. He further said we have to become united to resolve the tax issues. He suggested that a committee may be formed who will visit all markets of Lahore.

Mr. Shamsi agreed and said meeting will be arranged with Presidents and Secretary Generals of all markets to brief them about our working regarding sales tax. He informed that budget proposals have been forwarded to FBR and FPCCI Head Office and hoped it will be included in Budget 2015.
.
Mr. Rashid Ray said new courses may be introduced. He inquired about the procedure to inform the public about seminars/training conducted by PGJDC to which Mr. Zahid Principal of PGJDC replied that they informed through SMS and Newsletter. He invited the participants to give their suggestions for new courses which may be started at PGJDC.

Mr. Zahid further informed that every year four advertisements have been published in newspaper regarding upcoming seminars/training programs. He further informed that in summer vacations new courses will be introduced for students.

Mr. Shami advised the participants to provide their mailing address to the institute. He informed All Pakistan Gem and Jewelry Merchant Association has increased membership fee without any notice. He suggested that a letter will be written to the Association to reverse the increase so that more people can get membership. Further this Association is registered with FPCCI and according to bylaws regional office of the association must be in every Province whereas there is no Regional Office in Punjab. A letter must be sent to the Association from FPCCI to complete its representation and list of members from Punjab may be provided.

There was no agenda item to be transacted. The meeting ended with vote of thanks to the Chair.
 

 

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