Unisame demands APC to fight corruption

karachi (Staff reporter): Zulfikar Thaver President Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) it is high time for political leadership to work collectively to end the fiscal terrorism and eliminate the corruption. In a statement he urged the PM Nawaz Sharif to convene an APC to fight corruption It is very important that all parties sit together and develop consensus to fight corruption tooth and nail at all levels by forming an independent anti corruption bureau lauded the consensus reached at the APC for amending the constitution for trial of suspects by military courts and said the next bold step is to fight corruption.

He said the government can prove its sincerity only by its fight against corruption which is not letting the country to prosper and weakening the infrastructure of the country.

The country will not be able to progress or achieve without a full fledged attack on corruption which has increased in the organizations and institutions to such an extent that repair and construction work is merely carried out on paper without actual physical work.

It s very shameful that all projects are first studied with the plan to siphon out money by the project managers and huge amounts go into the pockets of the managers.

Expenses are exaggerated by the officers and the departments are billed for expenses beyond imagination. All purchases made have provisions for the purchase officers and heads of departments.

The country is fortunate to have handsome crops of cotton, wheat, rice, sugar, maize, pulses, fruits and vegetables and also dairy, poultry and livestock and huge income from with holding taxes and with all these resources it can develope into a very progressive modern country if genuine work is carried out but it is to be seen that there is deficit, loans and borrowings which is disgraceful.

Ends

Pakistan in dire need of Iran’s gas: Minister

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Pakistani Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said his respective country is in dire need of gas from neighboring Iran. In an exclusive interview with Iranian state IRNA news agency in Islamabad, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also said that Pakistan has so far spent tens of millions of dollars for importing gas from Iran. ‘There is no doubt in Pakistan’s serious intention for implementing the gas pipeline project with Iran,’ he added. Pakistan’s southwestern neighbor, Iran, ranks second in the world in natural gas resources, he said, ‘Having a neighbor with abundant gas reserves is invaluable opportunity for Pakistan.’

“Not only Pakistan will not lose such a valuable chance, but it is mulling to construct three or more pipeline projects aimed at importing gas from Iran, the minister noted.

He further: “The issue is that Pakistan and Iran are neighbors, and you are talking about one pipeline I am talking about three pipelines, it is good that you have a neighbor which is the second largest owner of gas reserves in the world.”

“It is natural that you should import the gas from that country, gas is a cheap fuel, clean fuel, it can easily be transported, and Pakistan is a very old gas country, we have extensive gas network, even villages have gas, industries are on gas, fertilizers are on gas, so we need gas, what I am saying is, in future I see not this just one pipeline but I see three or more pipelines from Iran,” Abbasi said.

“So we went through different ways to develop the project and what we did was that we have signed an understanding with the Chinese company and this is part of the Gwader project also, we will build an LNG terminal at Gwader and pipeline would be built from Gwader to Nawabshah of 700 kilometers, so that leaves about 70 kilometers to be constructed to Iran border.”

He said the agreement with China is being negotiated now and Pakistan is very hopeful about the contract.

“I personally went to China and held high level meetings with them, they are interested in the project but these things always take time, it cannot happen in one day or one week, we are working on it since last August. “

Abbasi expressed the hope that within 6 months the construction activity will start and will be completed in 18 months because the Chinese can do it very faster than the other contractors. Normally such kind of project takes three years to complete.  The other more than 70 kilometers of the project to the Iran border will be done by our own companies. They are doing the planning now and they will be mobilized very soon.  The construction will start earlier than the Gwader-Nawabshah portion of the pipeline.

“ISGS and NIOC (Pakistani and Iranian companies that have signed the agreement) people will meet soon. The meeting is planned for the third week of January but I have asked them to do it earlier if possible.”

Regarding TAPI project, the Pakistani official said TAPI and IP are two different projects with Iran Pakistan has contractual commitment, but TAPI is not a contractual commitment.

“We have also invested money in the IP project, now we will invest more money in the project. We need gas and we are committed to the IP project.  The only constraint has been the sanctions.”

“TAPI project is moving very slowly but in the last meeting in Ashkhabad there was a resolution of the major issues and now the next ministerial meeting would be held in Pakistan in the month of February and it is good that we have started moving now. We are not satisfied with the pace of the project. But when there are four countries involved and there are security concerns then things move a bit slowly,” the Minister said. NNI

Traders back military courts

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The PML-N Traders Wing vice president Arjumand Maqsood has observed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and CoAS General Raheel Sharif are bailing out country from the worst crisis of its history which has awakened hopes of the masses and business community. He said that the resolve of the PM, CoAS, superior judiciary and leaders of the major political parties has a positive impact of the sentiments of the business community, as the decision of setting up of military courts is essential to rout out terrorism from the country. Speaking to media, he said that we fully back the decision to establish military courts and the decision of the Chief Justice to give priority to the terrorism related cases.

The veteran business leader said that tough decisions have boosted the rating of the Prime minister and the CoAS adding that masses would never forget those who remained steadfast and those who demonstrated laxity at this critical juncture.

Arjumand Maqsood said that US has termed capital punishments as an internal matter of Pakistan while EU has expressed reservations which should be discounted as it is a matter of survival.

FCCI for promoting tourism to strengthen economy

FAISALABAD(INP): Domestic tourism is an effective and viable option to strengthen economy in addition to consolidating national harmony among different federating units of Pakistan, said, Engineer Rizwan Ashraf president Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He was talking to Mr. Syed Hadi secretary tourism Gilgil Baltistan who visited FCCI along with a team of senior officers from the ministry here Saturday. Engineer Rizwan Ashraf tagged GB as Switzerland of Pakistan and said that people from different provinces could be attracted in large number to visit the unexplored and snowcapped mountains by extending proper boarding and lodging facilities.

 He also stressed the need for proper projection and marketing of the tourism potential of GB.

He welcomed the proposed 2-days GB Festival to be organized in Faisalabad during third week of February this year and assured to extend full support to make it a total success. He said that he was keen to visit this area and sign an MOU with GB Chamber to bolster cooperation and understanding between the business communities of Faisalabad and GB. He hoped that GB Festival will not only provide local business community an opportunity to understand the tourism and recreational importance of this area but also explore its economic potential.

Syed Hadi gave a brief description of GB and said that geographically this province is at the convergence point of three mountainous ranges i.e. Himalaya, Hindokash and Karakoram. It has marvelous scenic beauty with huge production of apricot and nut. The apricot is excellent in taste but its ripening period is only few days and afterward it is wasted if not processed and preserved. He said that this land also offers huge investment opportunities as electricity is pretty cheap with complete tax holiday. He said that GB Festival will not only give introduction to the people of Faisalabad but also help in attracting potential tourists.

Nadeem Allahwala senior vice president FCCI presented a memento of FCCI to the secretary tourism Mr. Syed Hadi. The meeting was also attended by Mr. Zafar Iqbal Sarwar and officers of the tourism department of GB.

Later Mr. Syed Hadi also visited the basement and auditorium of the FCCI complex and appreciated its capacity, architect and internal decor.

UK consumer debt hits 7-year high: Official data

ISLAMABAD (APP): The British public are piling up new personal debt at the fastest rate in seven years, with borrowing hitting more than 1.25 billion pounds ($2b) in Nov2014. The figures from the Bank of England showed consumer credit card lending increased by 269m pounds in November and personal loan and overdraft borrowing surged by 983m, The Guardian reported. The November figure was the third month out of five that British consumers racked up more than 1 billion pounds of new debt. The Bank of England said over the three months, unsecured lending had grown at its fast rate since October 2005 and annually the November figure was up 6.9 percent compared to the previous year.