Railways 281 locomotives complete 20 years age

ISLAMABAD (APP): Out of a fleet of 443, 281 locomotives of Pakistan Railways have completed their 20 years economic life, sources in Ministry of Railways said. They said that 162 locomotives have already completed 10 to 20 years of the stipulated economic life of 20 years. They said that locomotives were usually designed with an economic life of 20 years and after completing this period, the engines tend to break down frequently. Pakistan Railways still has 156 locomotives of over 40 years or older - over twice their economic age. One of these locomotives was a 53-year old diesel-electric locomotive manufactured by the American Locomotive Company, they added.

The 78 old locomotives were still in use. This makes around 27.86 per cent of Railways active fleet of engines, the sources maintained.

Apart from these, they said that Pakistan Railways has 41 locomotives which are between the ages of 31-40 years, and 84 locomotives which were between 21-30 years of age.

Of the engines which are yet to complete their economic life include 99 locomotives aged between 11-20 years and just 63 locomotives which were manufactured in the past 10 years.

Rice growers trained to enhance production

ISLAMABAD (APP): The rice growers belonging to Gujranwala city were trained to enhance production of the crop. In this regard, two training workshops were conducted in Gujranwala and Murdike to equip the rice growing farmers with latest cultivation techniques by Rice Partners Pvt Ltd in collaboration with Intercoperation and MARS Food. Experts from agri depts were invited in the workshop and according to them, rice production constituted the major economic activity and a key source of employment for the rural population of the country. The average yield of rice in Pakistan had been increased as a result of many research activities by more than 2pc per year but still far less than other leading rice growing countries.

There is dire need to bring the maximum rice growing farmers in capacity building activities. Engaging rice growing farmers in training workshops will enhance their skills on rice crop management, experts said.

They explained the importance of land laser leveling and said laser leveling improved irrigation efficiency and conserves water.

Dr Qamar Masood Qureshi said it was very important to use quality seed in rice production, using quality seed can also increase farmers yield. Using seed of lesser quality will introduce more weeds and

off-types into farmer's crop, he added.

For successful rice production, he said timely planting, appropriate control of vegetative growth throughout the duration of the crop, was very important.

Complete cotton sowing in April: Agri dept

LAHORE (APP): Cotton growers have been advised to complete cotton sowing during current month and use certified varieties for good yield. A spokesman for the Punjab agriculture department said on Friday that certified cotton varieties were FH-142, CIM-598, Sitara 009, Ali Akbar 802 and MNH 886. "The certified varieties require less water, bear high temperature and have high resistance against Cotton Leaf Curl Virus," he added. He said the Punjab Seed Corporation had seed of these varieties in abundance and their sale was underway in all districts through registered dealers. He said farmers could use seeds of private seed companies registered by the Federal Seed Certification Department.

Farmers were further suggested to sow cotton in lining as it helps in saving water.

Pakistani officials to leave for Italy tomorrow

KARACHI (APP): A delegation representing federal and provincial Boards of Investment will leave for Italy on Sunday (tomorrow) for promoting bilateral trade and investment relations. Chairperson Sindh Board of Investment (SBI), Naheed Memon will represent Sindh in the economic mission led by Chairman, Board of Investment Pakistan, Dr Miftah Ismail, said an official statement here on Friday. SBI's Chairperson would give a detailed presentation to Italian authorities and the business community on "Overall Investment Climate and Opportunities in Sindh". She would inform the Italian investors about the incentives and facilities being offered by Sindh Government to local and foreign investors.

She would also address Italian Foreign Trade Agency, National Confederation of Italian Industries, Ministry of Economic Development Italy along with attending meetings with different trade organizations of Italy.

Roadshows to educate expats in KSA soon

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Overseas Pakistanis Commission (OPC) Punjab will conduct roadshows in different cities of Saudi Arabia to sensitise overseas Pakistanis to the working of the commission. The road shows to be held in Rayadh, Damam, Madina Munawara and Jeddah, have been envisaged to educate overseas Pakistan about resolution to their grievances through OPC Punjab. In this connection, a delegation of OPC Punjab comprising Commissioner Afzaal Bhatti, Vice Chairman Capt (r) Khalid Shaheen Butt and Additional Director General Police Matters/ DIG Ahmed Mobin will leave for Saudi Arabia on Sunday (tomorrow).

According to OPC Punjab Commissioner Afzaal Bhatti, a large number of Pakistanis are living in Saudi Arabia will be informed of the investment opportunities in Punjab through these road shows. They (expats) will also be informed about the Punjab government’s steps taken to facilitate investors,” he explained.