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Reduced demand forces Millat Tractors to cut production days

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  • MLT announces closure citing decline in demand for tractors.
  • Analysts say agricultural land of Sindh is still under water due to floods. 
  • Cite high inflation behind reduction in demand for tractors.

KARACHI: Millat Tractors Limited (MTL), in a statement sent to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), announced the closure of its production on Fridays citing a decline in demand for tractors in the country, The News reported Friday. 

“Due to reduced demand for tractors, the company will observe Fridays as non-production days from December 16, 2022, till further notice,” the company secretary of Millat Tractors said in a statement.

As per the analysts, the agricultural land of Sindh was still under water in many areas due to the cataclysmic floods in the country

They added that there was also an increase in inflation in the country which has led to a reduction in demand for tractors. 

In October, Millat Tractors recorded a decrease of 75% month-on-month and 72% year-on-year to reach a sales figure of 638 units due to the shutdown of plants for 23 days in September amid floods.

In a report published on December 13, sales of all other variants of cars, trucks, buses, tractors, jeeps, pick-ups, and three-wheelers as well as two-wheelers saw a decline in November 2022 compared with November 2021.

Decline in motorcycle production

Meanwhile, motorcycle manufacturing has also witnessed a decline in 2022 which may be due to the steep increase in the price of two-wheelers.

Since bikes are purchased and used by low-income buyers, the sales might have slowed a bit if the prices remained stable, however, at current rates and almost stagnant incomes, people are struggling to make ends meet.

Another reason for the drop, the report added, might be declining agricultural productivity, as most motorbike sales in the country are accounted for in rural areas. Recent floods that affected over 34 million people are a reason for slumping sales.

Motorcycle production data is from the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), however, many motorbike manufacturers are not registered with it, and the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) records their production data.

However, the statistics for last year are available that put the total motorbike production at 2.6 million.

The PAMA statistics for the first five months of the current fiscal year give a true picture of the state of the bike industry in the country.

In the July-November 2022 period, the bike industry (registered with PAMA) produced 521,643 bikes against 797,346 produced during the same period of last year. 

This is a massive decline of 34% in the first five months of the current fiscal year.

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Over 600 points are added by PSX in intraday trading.

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Tuesday’s lunchtime trading on the Pakistan Stock Exchange saw favorable activity.

During intraday trading, the benchmark KSE-100 Index increased by 672.08 points, or 1.11%, and was trading at 61131.82 levels.

The KSE-30 Index was trading at 20,558.31 after adding 211.46 points, or 1.04%.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) had another round of discussions for the establishment of a central government the day before the rally in the local stock exchange.

In the meanwhile, Fitch Ratings has issued a warning, stating that the likelihood of default would rise in the event of a drawn-out discussion or the inability to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to the State Bank of Pakistan, which reported net foreign reserves of $8 billion as of February 9, 2024, up from a low of $2.9 billion on February 3, 2023, Pakistan’s external situation has improved recently.

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The smartphone app “Tajir Dost” to tax Pakistani businesses is anticipated to launch on February 22.

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The sources stated that the caretaker administration aims to include 3.5 million shops in the tax net by use of the “Tajir Dost” app.

They said that Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, the acting prime minister, has instructed the relevant authorities to conclude their engagement with the retailing bodies within a few days.

The introduction of the “Tajir Dost” smartphone app to impose taxes on several merchants was authorized earlier this month by the acting federal administration.

The smartphone application, created by Pakistan Revenue Authority Limited (PRAL), a division of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), is intended to serve as a registration tool for shops and dealers throughout the nation.

The app’s database will be updated with the traders’ information who have already registered with the FBR.

Previously, in December 2023, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) made history by collecting Rs1.021 trillion. After deducting refunds of Rs 38 billion that were given out that month, the FBR’s net collection increased to Rs 984 billion.

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SBP confirms the choice to use new currency notes was not influenced by the IMF.

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In response to recent rumours, Saleem Ullah, the deputy governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), said on Thursday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had no influence over the decision to release new currency notes.

Saleem Ullah underlined in an interview that printing new notes is a regular procedure carried out every 15 to 20 years to maintain the currency’s integrity.

He stressed that, in contrast to rumours, the deficit is expected to decline in the next fiscal year, in line with the goals of the new monetary policy.

“Every 15 to 20 years, new notes are printed,” he clarified. The new currency’s goal is to keep the note’s integrity intact.”

The SBP assured the public earlier this week that the current banknote series will continue to be in circulation despite the introduction of new currency notes, which it intended to implement over the course of the next two years.

Regarding the latest series of currency notes, the deputy governor clarified that they were launched in 2005 and were in circulation for three years.

He admitted that the procedure was time-consuming and estimated that because of the careful preparation required, it would take around two years to issue the first note.

In addition, he guaranteed that the new banknotes will have improved security measures because they would be made using contemporary technology. He gave information regarding the SBP’s effort to get public feedback on the new currency notes’ design, highlighting the fact that recommendations were being actively sought from the populace.

“There are three prizes for each denomination, and there are a total of seven denominations, hence 21 prizes,” he disclosed, highlighting the process’ openness. First place is worth Rs 1 million, second place is worth Rs 500,000, and third place is worth Rs 300,000.

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