Stable B3 rating indicates of

Pak economy improving

ISLAMABAD (APP): The global currency rating agency indicated the stable B3 rating to Pakistan’s global bond offering, terming the outlook stable. The agency is of the view that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project would bolster trade and economic activity especially that linked to transport and energy sectors and will ultimately result in economic improvement, a foreign news agency reported. “Pakistan’s B3 issuer rating reflects moderate economic strength with a supply-constrained economy that has been resistant to structural change. Although the scale of the economy is relatively large, globally, Pakistan’s per-capita income level is relatively very low.

The implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, will over time, bolster growth through investment in transportation and power generation infrastructure.

It has also been pointed out that, the lack of extension of taxpayers’ circle and savings as weak points and indicated that lack of cooperation between institutions can hinder continuance of policies.

PBIF says some IMF conditions against national interest

ISLAMABAD (INP): Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) on Saturday said some IMF conditions are against the national interests while some steps backed by the lender cannot be dubbed as business friendly. Getting costly loan from international market to service previous debt is not considered in the national interest but it can be supported if used to boost forex reserves, said PBIF President and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain. He said that IMF is aware that Pakistan’s expenditure is more than its income but it has slapped limits on borrowing from the central bank pushing government to commercial banks.

The State Bank provides money to commercial banks which they lend to government on high interest rate which means that government is taking loan from itself and paying interest in billion to banks, he said. Banks prefer risk-free lending to the government ditching trade, industry and agriculture where the threat of default exists.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that reduction in the interest rate has reduced profit of banks but still many banks have lent over 95 percent of investable funds to the government.

The easy money has pushed banks into a comfort zone caring less about widening customer base, innovate, introduce new products, give proper profit to accountholders or improve reputation. He said that government should introduce tax reforms so that it should stop asking for aid and loans.

Despite incompetent export managers the forex reserves have surpassed mark of $20 billion which is an achievement, however, Bangladesh’s reserves are at $30 billion due to exports only.

CPEC of vital significance to Pak economic development: IMF

WASHINGTON (INP): The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is of great significance to economic development in Pakistan. While giving an interview to a Pakistani TV channel, IMF’s mission chief for Pakistan Herald Finger said that Pakistan can improve its competitiveness through reforms and business friendly environment. He urged to give priority to infrastructure projects included in CPEC and assured that the funding will be monitored in a better way. He further stated that for successful completion of the project there is a dire need to have an inspection, assessment of priorities, correct cost estimation and improved financial system.

Herald Finger also stressed that funding for CPEC should be done within the limits of approximate budget while the agreements for the power projects should be prepared in such a way that the budget targets are not affected.

NAVTTC to organise training

programmes for youth

ISLAMABAD (APP): Executive Director National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema Saturday said the commission would organize training programmes for youth as per needs of the industrial sector. "The youth of the country wants to earn a respectable and honorable living by learning different skills and it is duty of the govt and industrialists to provide them education of technical skills," he said addressing a public private-partnership workshop. The workshop was attended by industrialists and representatives of social welfare departments. Cheema said that NAVTTC had introduced many reforms in the field of technical education.

keeping in view the challenge that the traits earlier taught, could not find ample space for employment in the market.

"Now, every student is being paid scholarship worth Rs 2500 which will be increased very soon" he disclosed.

He further said that skilled work force would be produced to cater to needs of every sector of industry which would result in prosperity of the people, increase in production of industry, strong economy and great revolution.

The certificate of NAVTTC would only be granted to deserving and it would open doors of opportunities for them, he added.

DG NAVTTC Javeid Nisar Syed also gave a detailed briefing about the new projects of NAVTTC to the participants of the seminar. DIG Motorway Police Mirza Faran Baig and SSP Masroor Alam Kalachi were also present on the occasion.

Argentina to repay $6 billion

in debt

BUENOS AIRES (AFP): Argentina will repay $5.9 billion of its debt on Monday in keeping with its repayment schedule, the country's economy minister said Friday. "We will follow this deadline as we have done for years. It is the largest payment in one installment in a decade," Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said. The payment will be made by drawing on the country's foreign exchange reserves, which showed a balance of $32.5 billion. "We will pay, all in good time, and Argentina will continue on the path of debt reduction." A longstanding dispute over the debt with US hedge funds remains, however. Since its economic collapse in 2001, Argentina has renegotiated its debt with 93 percent of its creditors.

, but a handful of US-based hedge funds have held out for full repayment and refused debt restructuring.

A US court decision requires Argentina to repay those creditors in full, which Buenos Aires has called extortion by a group of "vulture funds."