Karachi, February 19, 2014 (PPI-OT): The president FPCCI Mr. Zakaria Usman, Vice Presidents Mr. Khurram Sayeed and Mazhar Ali Nasir have strongly condemned the issuance of bail able arrest warrants to companies registered with SECP for not retaining legal advisors as per its rules.
As per SECP law, a company having Rs. 5 lakh paid up capital must retain a legal advisor. The consultant must also be paid a retainership as per schedule. FPCCI feels that basically this law is flawed because if one is not needing legal adviser or is capable of representing himself / herself or knows the law, then why should the company retain one.
Secondly; even if the company for some reason did not engage one or failed to notify the SECP, then still this should; in no way be treated as a criminal offence. All companies are registered tax payers having NTN’s and are contributing to the national exchequer and under no circumstances can they be treated as criminals for such petty matter. Moreover; the company may or may not be engaged in active business.
The FPCCI feels that in today’s electronic age, all Limited companies regulated by SECP receive notices via email for non compliance of various rules. Even if a company failed to follow this law, then they should be reminded through email/fax/letters via courier etc and the SECP should ensure that the company receives the same.
In many complaints received by FPCCI, no notices were issued via email/fax and notices were delivered to addresses that were not occupied or had moved. In few cases no summons were issued and the SECP took serious step of issuing non-bailable arrest warrant.
In some cases, the SECP and its lawyers did not even realize that some directors may have been foreign nationals and it would be against any norms to issue arrest warrants for foreign nationals who are investing in Pakistan; for not retaining legal advisers? What type of message would this send to foreign investment at a time when no foreigner is willing to even visit Pakistan?
This act will have far reaching ramifications and not only will it deter foreign investors but will also discourage local businessmen from investing in Pakistan.
Therefore, the FPCCI demands of the Prime Minister, Commerce Minister, and Chairman Board of Investment, Heads of Provincial Governments to restrain SECP from issuing any further arrest warrants and resolve all such issues amicably and withdraw all warrants already issued. The FPCCI also demands of the Senate and National Assembly Standing Committees on Commerce and Trade to take notice and introduce amendment to the law.
For more information, contact:
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Tel: 0092-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +9221 3587 4332
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