Gaddani plant to help overcome power shortageISLAMABAD (APP): Renowned scientist Dr Samar Mubarikmand has said that the agreement between China and Pakistan to build a coal-based power plant at Gaddani in Balochistan was a step forward to overcome power shortage in the country. He said the electricity produced by the use of coal cost less. It local coal were used, then the electricity could be provided to the consumers at Rs 9 per unit and in case of imported commodity, it would Rs 13 per unit, he added. Dr Samar said it was an important initiative of the govt., which would help bridge the power shortfall being faced by the country.

ooperative bank to match commercial banksLAHORE (APP): Punjab Provincial Cooperative Bank Ltd (PPCBL) will be at a par with other commercial banks by introducing latest facilities for its account holders. The bank will start mobile banking, ATM services, internet banking and other latest facilities soon, a spokesman for the bank told APP here on Saturday. Training opportunities and refresher courses have also been arranged for employees of the bank to enhance their abilities and improve delivery of service, he said.About protection of financial interests of account holders, he said that PPCBL was not behind other banks in giving percentage of profit. The bank has also announced profit from January 2013 to June 2013 for PLS account holders with different ratios. Apna Munafa Scheme is among popular schemes of the Bank.He said senior citizens and widows would be given profit at the annual rate of nine percent. He said that holders of provincial monthly saver accounts would get profit at the rate from six to 8.5 percent. Six percent profit will be given on saving accounts while seven percent on super saver plus accounts. Under the annual income scheme, profit will be given at the rate of eight percent.

PIBC welcomes Kerry’s statement on Pak-India tiesLAHORE (APP): Pak India Business Council (PIBC) has welcomed a recent statement of US Secretary of State John Kerry for close relations between India and Pakistan. PIBC Chairman Noor Muhammad Kasuri talking to APP here on Saturday said the US had always played a positive role in improving relations between both neighbouring states for economic and political stability in the region. Kasuri said a Pak India joint business council would meet in New Delhi the next month. The meeting will play a very positive role in bringing business community leaders of both countries close to each other and improving trade relations between both countries, he said.The PIBC chairman said that Pakistan should properly consider an Indian offer of supplying liquified natural gas (LNG). “India is the best route to import LNG in a shortest possible time as it had a developed infrastructure,” he said.“Even if Pakistan goes for importing LNG from Qatar, it will not be possible in less than two years”, he viewed. He said that Pakistan should take a decision in this regard keeping in view commercial interests and not merely giving importance to political considerations.

Samsung receives response for Smart Summer 2013LAHORE (NNI): Samsung Electronics, a market leader and award-winning innovator in the electronics industry, has announced the first week winners of its smashing summer camping for valued customers. The offer named “Samsung Smart Summer 2013” gives an unprecedented chance of winning loads of prizes on the purchase of Samsung Galaxy device. Amazingly, its mega prize include cruise for entire family. Following three simple steps can make customers; the lucky winners. Buy any Samsung Smartphone, register with purchased phone’s IMEI and enter the lucky draw which will run for four consecutive weeks.Samsung’s Head of Mobile Division Farid Ullah Jan said, “Samsung has once again created a delightful offer for its customers. In just one week of the Samsung Smart 2013 campaign, we have received a tremendous interest from people nationwide, who just can’t wait to be a part of it. Samsung will continue to add excitement and create value for its customer”.It was a perfect retreat not only for the winners, but all those who participated in the campaign, which kept the excitement alive till the last minute of the lucky draw results. With next three weeks to follow, it is expected that more people will participate in the campaign. The last date for registering in the campaign is August 6, 2013. NNI

China services PMI improves, inflation upBEIJING (Reuters): Growth in China’s non-manufacturing sector picked up in July as Beijing’s recent support measures for small firms helped improve sentiment, though companies noted that inflation is picking up and pushing up costs, official data showed on Saturday. The govt’s non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 54.1 last month from June’s 53.9, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement. A reading above 50 indicates activity in the sector is accelerating., while one below 50 indicates it is slowing.The services sector index followed the bureau’s manufacturing PMI on Thursday, which showed China’s factory activity was slightly stronger than expected in July.The latest data “indicate the non-manufacturing sector is improving, with the new orders sub-index consistently staying above 50, setting a good foundation in terms of demand for a stable growth,” said Cai Jin, a vice head of the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, which compiles the index on behalf of the NBS.“In general, the index pointed to a good start of the economy in the second half. Although there are still challenges, China has the foundation and conditions to maintain stable economic development,” Cai added.The services industry accounted for 46 percent of the Chinese economy in 2012, and overtook manufacturing as the biggest employer in 2011.China’s economic growth unexpectedly stumbled in the first half, as factory output and investment slowed.To prevent it from slipping too far, Beijing has announced a series of targeted fine-tuning measures to safeguard growth. The politburo, China’s top decision-making body, has pledged stable economic growth in the second half as it presses ahead with reforms and restructuring to make domestic consumption the main driver of economic growth.The government is betting on a developing services industry to absorb surplus workers to be laid off by the restructuring move.It has also announced several measures to support small firms, including scrapping business and value-added taxes for small firms, cutting red tape for importers and exporters, simplifying foreign exchange rules for the services industry and allowing small firms to issue more bonds.The central bank has also pledged to improve the financial environment for small companies, which employ tens of millions, promoting innovation in financial products and services to take into account the varying needs of small businesses.INFLATIONThe PMI’s sub-index measuring new orders remained the same at 50.3 in July as it was in June, while the reading for new export orders rose to 53.1 compared with June’s 50.4.In a breakdown of sectors, growth in the tourism and telecom industries gained traction rapidly, raising the employment sub-index in the services sector to 53.0 in July, up from 50.0 in June.Although the headline figure for small non-manufacturing firms still remained below 50, the reading reversed falls in the past two months.The PMI also showed rising inflationary pressure, with the sub-index measuring input prices rising to 58.2 last month from June’s 55.0, while the reading for service charges increased to 52.4, the highest since May 2011.The input price in the official manufacturing PMI rose to 50.1 in July, ending its three-month-long contraction.The central bank also remained hawkish against price rises in its second-quarter monetary policy report released on Friday.“We must not be blindly optimistic about consumer price situation in the next phase. We must continue to guide and stabilize inflationary expectations,” it said.The NBS is scheduled to announce inflation data on Friday.China’s consumer inflation has remained benign so far this year at levels below the benchmark one-year deposit rate of 3.0 percent. Beijing has set a target for full-year consumer inflation of 3.5 percent in 2013.On the producer end, China has run factory-gate deflation since February 2012.

Poland and Europe will soon emerge from downturnWARSAW (Reuters): Poland’s economy will soon emerge from its deep downturn and Europe is also pulling out of its crisis, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Saturday. Tusk said second-quarter GDP data should already show a slight recovery. He pointed to an improving manufacturing sector, which returned to growth in July after 15 consecutive months of contraction, as one of the main signs of a looming recovery. “We clearly feel that this crisis is nearing its end, although the times are certainly not without tensions.” the prime minister told a news conference. “There could have been slight acceleration in the second quarter.”“I believe that we will soon be able to announce an end to the crisis in Europe and in Poland,” he said.Poland’s exporters have struggled as their customers in the euro zone hold back on spending in response to tax hikes and budget cuts in countries with big debt burdens.Also in anticipation of a recovery in the second half of the year, the Polish central bank announced an end to its easing cycle in July and said it planned to keep the key rate at its all-time low of 2.5 percent till the end of the year at least.The bank cut the rate by a total of 225 basis points between November and July in response to an economy that nearly stood still for six months at the turn of 2012 and 2013, with quarterly growth levels at near zero and unemployment levels at over 14 percent in February, a multi-year high.The state statistics office is due to publish its first estimate of second-quarter GDP on August 14.The finance ministry has already said it is expecting economic growth in the second quarter to have picked up to 0.7-0.8 percent year-on-year from 0.5 percent in the first quarter.