PVTC holds media sensitisation session

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Competency Based Training & Assessment (CBT&A) is an efficient training system capable of bringing a paradigm shift in the delivery of technical and vocational education and training to ensure better job opportunities for youth. Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC) Managing Director Sajid Naseer Khan said this while sharing his views at a media sensitisation session at PVTC headquarters organised in collaboration with the TVET Sector Support Programme, funded by the European Union and governments of Germany and Norway. “The role of media is very pertinent in creating awareness among general masses and especially youth to look forward to their future in TVET sector and especially CBT&A which is an employment oriented training system,” he said. PVTC has capacity of 200,000 male & female to train them in 102 different marketable/demand driven trades in its 348 Vocational Training Institutes across Punjab. He further shared that the PVTC has launched this training programme in its 79 institutes across the province.

DAP fertiliser prices up by Rs110 per bag

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The DAP fertiliser prices have increased up to Rs110 per 50kg to Rs2,570 and Rs2,620 depending on different brands. The manufacturers had already increased DAP prices by R60-80 per bag in Sept 2017. Resultantly, its off-take dropped massively by 83 percent on monthly basis while 46 percent on annual basis during September 2017 to 160,000 tons. Overall in 3Q, urea off-take is expected to drop by 12pc YoY to 1.4m tons while DAP off-take may surge by 68 percent YoY. Exports during the quarter showed healthy trend to 258,000 tons. Moreover, experts see improved prospects of growth in exports in 4Q driven by improved international price scenario. According to experts, 3Q witnessed a see-saw ride in terms of urea off-take where volumes dropped in July 2017 following abnormally high sales in June 2017 along with waning demand owing to outgoing Kharif season. The trend reversed with highest ever sales recorded in the month of August 2017 of 948,000 tons where dealers loaded stocks taking advantage of heavy price discounts offered across the board during off season.

This along with higher exports led to easing inventory situation where the stock dropped to its lowest level of the year ie 604,000 tons.

Higher quantum of exports during the quarter is expected to increase distribution expenses by 24 percent YoY. Moreover, looming receivables on account of delay in subsidy disbursement of Rs20 billion has led to heavy short-term borrowing by manufacturers to fulfil working capital needs and thus is expected to increase financial burden by 23 percent QoQ.

In a latest development, the Punjab government has announced end-consumer subsidy of Rs150 per bag on DAP to be paid to farmers upon presentation of sales receipt along with the CNIC to any branchless banking outlet. The subsidy will be effective for Rabi season, where the price ceiling of Rs2,500/2,600 for local/imported DAP will remain intact. This in turn has opened up room for DAP manufacturers and importers to increase prices; where the new net back price now hovers around Rs2,570-2,620 per bag, up by Rs60-110 per bag.

PFA discards over 100,000 litres adulterated milk

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) has discarded one hundred and seven thousands litres of adulterated milk by erecting screening check posts on entry and exit points of various cities across province here on Wednesday. Ensuring the vision of Healthy Punjab, under the supervision of Punjab Food Authority Director General Noorul Amin Mengal, Food Safety teams held pickets and checked hundreds of milk vehicles. The PFA teams held pickets at eight points including Gajju Matta, Thokar Niaz Baig, Bhobtiyaa Chowk, Sagian and other entry points of city, through which milk was being transported for sale in Lahore. During action, 21,216 litres adulterated milk was wasted. In Rawalpindi division, as many as 29,000 litres of milk recovered from dozens of vehicle and discarded on the spot. While taking action in Multan, 24,000 litres milk recovered from 11 vehicles was also spilt on the spot. In addition, 9,000 litres milk captured from 14 vehicles in Gujranwala and 16,000 litres milk seized from Faisalabad division were grounded.

The PFA DG said that operation was held in 140 tehsils of 36 districts of Punjab simultaneously. The PFA is planning to establish Pasteurisation plants in collaboration with the Punjab government. The purpose of the plants is to curb milk adulteration whereas sale of loose milk will be completely banned within time span of five years immediately after launching Pasteurisation plants.

The PFA DG further said that PFA is utilising all resources and taking strict actions against milk adulteration mafia to control tainted milk. He said that milk was discarded over proved adulteration of chemical in milk and presence of water during milk sample testing. “PFA will deal the adulterators iron hand and push them to corner in order to avoid any health risk in future,” he added.

BMP chief calls for ‘autonomous status’ of Federal Board of Revenue

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Businessmen Panel (BMP) Chairman Mian Anjum Nisar has suggested the government to replace the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) with an autonomous body, setting it free from any influence of the government and political victimisation that could effectively enforce tax laws both at the provincial and the federal levels. The government was advised to take the private sector on board and involve it in the policy-making process. It was observed that the Federal Board of Revenue must be run by an independent board of directors, comprising professionals. The Businessmen Panel Chairman SAID that he is expressing these remarks due to the present low level of tax collections and a keen desire by the representatives of the business community to raise them to the maximum extent to meet the total expenditures of the government and avoid large fiscal deficits.