APCNGA for sound strategy to counter sale of faulty cylinders

KARACHI (APP): The All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) has urged the concerned authorities for a sound and long term strategy to counter availability of faulty CNG cylinders causing serious risks to precious human lives as well as to the property. Office bearers of the association here on Monday, registering their heart felt grief with regard to loss of precious human lives during recent incidents, said these can not be acceptable to any section of the society. Claiming that APCNGA had heavily invested in workshops, training and introducing safety technologies viz a viz promotion of CNG as a cost effective as well as hazard free fuel, they alleged that sections with vested interests have frustrated the efforts.

They regretted that not only a sluggish attitude was adopted towards unscrupulous elements engaged in the sale of substandard cylinders but that regular checking of CNG kits and cylinders was also never adopted among the top priorities by the concerned authorities.

Experts demand govt to waive off GST, IT on agri inputs, machinery

FAISALABAD (INP): Experts at a stakeholders’ conference on “setting research agenda for precision agriculture” here at UAF have urged the government for waiving off the GST and Income tax on all agricultural inputs and agri machinery to enable farmers, researchers and the sector to compete with rest of the world and make the rural development and the economy to grow. The conference was organised by Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Food Security/ Agriculture funded by USAID that envisaged building the capacity of UAF to find innovative solutions to solve national and global challenges related to food, agriculture and environment through excellence in education, research, outreach and policy support.

Opening the debate Dr Bashir Ahmad Director/Chief of Policy said that after two consultative conferences on climate change and fertilizer, the centre is holding 3rd conference to take all stakeholders on board to device a doable pro-farmer policy that could solve the problems of industry. He said, on one hand the Indian government was providing an adequate subsidy to its farmers to keep them globally competitive and on the other hand to ensure the food security in the country. He termed the injudicious use of pesticides and other inputs, was counterproductive, as the experts are advocating a balanced use of nutrients to keep the soil productive for a longer time to come.

Thailand BoI team visits PBIT

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): An 8-member delegation from Thailand Board of Investment visited PBIT, Office here Monday. Executive Director, Board of Investment, Thailand Ms. Siriporn Nurgsa deliberated upon the activities, different sectors of investment of Thai Board of Investment. She unleashed that besides different sectors of investment, Thai BoI is doing focused work on the investment in the agriculture and energy sectors in biomass and biogas. She also informed that Thailand has expertise in automobile industry, value addition in food processing and packaging & technology which would be an area of investment in Pakistan. She proposed that Thai BOI and PBIT may engage positively in different areas of mutual interest and sharing of information.

 in order to explore investment opportunities in Thailand and Pakistan.

PBIT officials were also extended an invitation by BOI Thailand and assured some meeting with ministry of industry which would enable PBIT to know more about Thailand’s investment climate. After identifying areas of collaboration Thai investors would be invited to Pakistan.

Mughal Industries book building

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The journey towards listing on the domestic market for Mughal Iron and Steel Industries Limited (MISIL) has started with a rousing response from the institutional and high net worth individuals with a total bidding amount of Rs 2.3 billion more than three times what the company expected to rise. The strong interest from the investors can be gauged from the fact that the entire block of 20.512 million shares offered for book building was picked up by the investors, bidding at the top end of the price range, i.e @Rs 34/- per share, within a matter of minutes of starting the electronic book-building process.  In the next stage of the IPO process, MISIL shall offer the remaining 6.837 million shares to the general public through a public offering likely to take place by mid-March.

Oil prices stabilise in Asian trade

SINGAPORE (AFP): Oil prices stabilised in Asia Monday following sharp gains in the previous session as dealers predicted the end of volatile trading and the beaten-down commodity bottoming out, analysts said.  US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for April delivery fell 36 cents to $49.40 while Brent crude eased 41 cents to $62.17 in afternoon trade.  WTI advanced $1.59 while Brent gained a hefty $2.53 on Friday. WTI, after falling in early 2015 to a six-year low, swung wildly in February, but finished the month a little more than $1.50 higher. By contrast, Brent gained about $12. Crude oil has lost about 50 percent of its value since June, largely due to a global supply glut partially caused by surging US shale production.  

“Although there is still a global supply glut, oil prices are on a general increasing trend especially with the falling rig count numbers indicating that US shale is responding to low prices,” Ken Hasegawa, energy trading manager at Newedge Group in Tokyo, told AFP.

The weekly Baker Hughes US drilling rig count showed the number of rigs in operation fell by 33 to 986 in the week to February 27. The count is down 39 percent since October, according to Bloomberg News.

Hasegawa said thin losses in Asian trading early Monday was possibly due to “a profit-taking setting coming into play”.

Analysts said dealers will next be scrutinising a slew of US economic data to be released later Monday for clues on demand prospects in the world’s biggest crude consumer.