CDNS achieves Rs110b by Dec 31

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) achieved Rs 110 billion in last months of second quarter of current fiscal year from July 01 to December 31, 2016-17. The target for the year 2016-17 was set at Rs228 billion as the directorate was able to achieve the target of Rs218 billion for the previous fiscal year, a senior CDNS official said here on Tuesday. The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) has notified upward revision in the profit rates for various saving certificates which has been applicable from October 3, 2016 and rates to be revived in coming month of January 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 Defense Savings Certificate, Special Saving Certificate, Regular Income Certificate and Savings Accounts have been revised upward at an average of 7.44 percent, 5.8 percent, 6.36 percent and 3.90 percent respectively.

FBR collects Rs382b revenues in Dec

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) collected taxes amounting to Rs382 billion provisionally during the month of December 2016. According to official sources here on Tuesday, tax collection target for the month was set at Rs392 billion, showing Rs10 billion shortfall as compared to the total collections of the month. However, the actual collection is expected to grow more when the final figures are compiled. "The tax collection figure would go up when the tax figures are finalised during a couple of days," said FBR spokesman Dr Muhammad Iqbal. Meanwhile, tax collection during first half of current fiscal year crossed Rs1460 billion figure, which is expected to improve when the final figures are compiled, official sources said. According to the finance ministry sources, the overall performance of FBR remained at around seven percent for the six month period ended in December 2016. This reflects catching up of the shortfall experienced in the initial months, largely on account of giving relief to consumers on petroleum prices together with sales tax refunds of Rs45 billions.

Agriculture expert stresses export of seedless Kinnow

FAISALABAD (APP): The country could earn billions of dollars by exporting seedless Kinnow, said an agriculture expert Qamar Yusuf at the Ayub Agriculture Research Institute here on Tuesday. Talking to APP, he said Punjab was producing 95 percent of citrus fruits and its orchards were sprawling over 4.5 lakh acres of land mainly in districts of Central Punjab, including Sargodha, Faisalabad and Sahiwal. He said Kinnow in major variety which had great demand in Middle East, Iran and western countries as an exotic fruit. Pakistan exported a huge quality of Kinnow and last year 339,300 tons kinnow were exported. He said the Punjab government was making hectic efforts to improve its quality and in this connection scientists had evolved a new variety of Kinnow known as AARI-2016 which had been approved by various government institutions. In Punjab, many progressive growers were replacing their traditional Kinnow plants with seedless varieties of Kinnow, he added.

Palestine envoy suggests direct interaction between private sectors

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Ambassador of Palestine to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali on Tuesday said that direct interaction between the private sectors of Palenstine and Pakistan could help in exploring ways and means for enhancing bilateral trade. Talking to a delegation of Islamabad Chamber and Commerce and Industry (ICCI), he said many Palestinian products including marble and stones, food items, agro products, industrial goods, handicrafts, technology and communications, leather goods, construction, tourism related products could find good market in Pakistan. The ambassador opined direct interaction between the private sectors of both countries could help in exploring ways and means for enhancing bilateral trade. He said though it was difficult for Pakistani businessmen to do direct trade with Palestine due to Israeli factor, however, they could export to Palestine through Jordon, Egypt and Turkey which were facilitating it in trading activities.

He said many Pakistani products including rice, textiles, pharmaceuticals and others have good potential in Palestinian market.