CDNS achieves Rs 162b up to March 16

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) has achieved Rs162 billion savings till last week of third quarter of current fiscal year, from July 1 to March 16, 2016-17. The target for the year 2016-17 was Rs228 billion, while the directorate managed to achieve Rs218 billion for the previous fiscal year, a CDNS official said. He said the CDNS had notified upward revision in the profit rates for various saving certificates to benefit its investors especially the widow and pensioners, which had been applicable from February 1, 2017.

"The instant revision was made in the backdrop of current market scenario and in accordance with the government's policy to provide market based competitive rate of return to the investors of National Savings", he said. He said as per notification issued by the federal government, the new rates for Defence Savings Certificate, Special Saving Certificate and Account, Regular Income Certificate and Savings Accounts had been revised upward at an average of 7.54 percent, 6.03 percent, 6.54 percent and 3.95 percent, respectively.

10.7m cotton bales reach ginneries

MULTAN (APP): Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has released its fortnightly report indicating national cotton production at 10.725 million bales till April 1, 2017, showing an increase by 9.87 percent. Seed cotton (Phutti) equivalent to 10.725 million or 10,725,737 bales have reached ginneries across Pakistan till April 1, 2017, registering increase in arrivals by 9.87 percent compared to corresponding period of last year. Out of total arrivals, Phutti equivalent to 10,724,915 or 10.724 million bales have undergone the ginning process. The arrivals at Punjab ginneries were recorded 6.938 million or 6,938,626 bales recording a percentage increase of 15.72 percent compared to corresponding period of last year. Arrivals at ginneries in Sindh were recorded at 3.787 million or 3,787,111 bales showing a percentage increase of 0.56 percent. Textile mills have purchased 10.168 million or 10,168,824 bales while exporters have bought 202,356 bales. Total sold out bales were calculated at 10.371 million or 10,371,180 bales.

Ban on cotton sowing lifted

LAHORE (APP): A ban imposed on cotton sowing in Punjab has been lifted and farmers can start its cultivation without any delay. A spokesman for the Punjab Agriculture Department told the media here on Monday that the ban was imposed till April 15, to avoid dangers of early sowing to the cotton crop. However, now the department has lifted the ban as the desired results had been achieved. He said that the department had prepared a plan to offer various free-of-cost services to cotton growers to enhance the crop production. The growers will get friendly pests, facility of pest scouting, PB-ropes, gadgets to arrest enemy pests, training opportunities and consultation services under the plan, he added. He advised growers to use certified varieties of cotton seed. He said that spray of recommended varieties of pesticide should be launched in the first phase of cultivation process of the cotton crop. He said that PB-ropes would be provided to farmers to control pink-bollworm. Spray machines would also be provided to them, he added.

Around 10,000 PMYBL applications under process: NBP

ISLAMABAD (APP): NBP officials are striving hard to process approximately 10,000 loan applications under the Prime Minister's Youth Business Loan (PMYBL) programme. This was stated by NBP officials while briefing Prime Minister's Youth Programme Chairperson Leila Khan on various initiatives being taken by the bank to improve the outreach of the programme to the masses, said a press release issued here on Monday. Leila was told that NBP was considering partnering with UNDP in outreaching skilled and unemployed youth for providing them sustainable entrepreneurial opportunities. An initial meeting in that regard had already been held with UNDP to discuss the possibilities of mutual cooperation and partnership. The NBP officials also met NAVTTC officials in Islamabad to explore the possibilities of tapping into PMYSDP trained youth for PMYBL. Under the initiative, the NAVTTC would share the data of youth trained under the Prime Minister's Youth Skill Development Programme with NBP for screening potential candidates for PMYBL.