Scientists urged to develop new mango varieties

MULTAN (APP): Special secretary agriculture Punjab, Gulzar Hussain Shah Tuesday urged the scientists to develop new mango varieties in accordance with the specific taste and nutritional habits of consumers from lucrative foreign markets to enhance country’s foreign exchange earnings. Scientists should develop mango varieties having good nutritional value but low Fructose and Sucrose, have exotic taste and aroma, are in good shape and colour, have more pulp and smaller stone and a stronger connecting branch so it does not fall due to duststorm, Gulzar said during visit to different sections of Mango Research Institute (MRI) here on Tuesday.

The varieties having exotic taste, better shelf life and quality and good nutritional value can penetrate lucrative foreign markets like Japan, USA and European Union, says a release issued by media liaison unit of Punjab agriculture department.

The special secretary agriculture also advised quarters concerned to pay attention to exporting those existing mango varieties which have not so far been exported. Director MRI Mushtaq Ahmad Alvi disclosed that two new mango varieties including ‘Azeemo’ and ‘Sindhri Late’ were being introduced which he added matched international standards and possessed good export potential.

More varieties including ‘Hassaan’, ‘’Rohan’, and ‘Aalishan’ were undergoing propagation process, he added.

Alvi said that 91 ton mango was exported last year which was around five per cent of the national production.

Mango export volume in the on-going year so far was 71 ton, he added.

He said that mango production capability of Punjab was 12 ton per hectare which was 7.5 ton per hectare in India.

He said that MRI was engaged in research in different sections including horticulture, plant pathology, Entomology, plant nutrition, and post harvest.

Horticulture wing was focusing on developing new varieties and introducing modern and disease-free mango nursery in Pot Media, he added.

Plant pathology wing was engaged in research on finding cure for different orchard diseases while Entomology wing was developing efficient ways to counter fruit fly, and other pests attack.

Special secretary agriculture promised to fill in vacant posts of scientists and other staff at the MRI.

Earlier, he visited the experimental cotton fields which were developed with the assistance from Chinese experts at Cotton Research Station Multan and Shujabad to assess impact of Growth Regulator and Flumetralin technologies, the release concluded.

Govt to set up capital market

business hub in Abbottabad

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): On the recommendation of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), it has been decided to establish a capital market business hub in Abbottabad. It is being done to expand the outreach of the capital market. SECP Chairman Zafar Hijazi had formed a committee to chalk out a plan for enhancing the outreach of mutual funds, stockbrokers, leasing companies, investment banks, modarabas and insurance sector to the smaller cities to encourage investors to easily access capital markets and non-bank financial services. Hanif Jakhura, CEO of the Central Depository Company (CDC), had been appointed the committee’s convener.

The committee worked out various initiatives, out of which one was the establishment of capital market business hubs (CMBHs). These hubs will be set up in the cities, which are not first tier but have small industries and also attracting foreign remittances, such as Mirpur, Abbottabad, Sialkot, Dhadial etc.

The first such hub will be established in Abbottabad. The city is well known throughout Pakistan for its beauty and located in the Hazara region of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Mansehra Road.

Eleven entities, including five asset management companies (AMCs), two brokerage firms and a bank along with CDC and stock exchanges will open their branches in Abbottabad’s hub. This will enable investors to benefit from the services of the aforementioned entities in a single place. Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar is expected to inaugurate it soon.

The SECP is continuously focusing to promote fair, transparent and efficient capital markets in line with international best practices.

PEW lauds Dar’s determination on withholding tax

ISLAMABAD (INP): The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday lauded the determination of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on the issue of imposition of withholding tax on bank transaction terming it a great move. The steadfastness of the government will help Pakistan emerge as a self-reliant nation in the long run which must be appreciated, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW. In a statement issued here Tuesday, he said that the strikes of traders are being backed by frustrated politicians, black sheep and billionaire traders who don’t want to discharge national obligation by paying taxes. He said that trade association are divided over the issue which has increased chances for the government to achieve the noble objective.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that FPCCI has changed its stance over the issue of WHT which has further dented its credibility. He said that traders should not block the initiative of the government to stabilise the economy, adding that they are ready to bribe tax officials but not willing to pay tax which is amazing.

Why the traders are not prepared to show their assets and income if they are on the right path, he questioned? He said that rich are not ready to pay taxes therefore government has to rely on indirect taxes which trigger poverty in the country.

Dr. Mughal demanded of the government to collect tax from politicians, landlords and professionals while making tax returns easy for the small traders so that they can easily pay their due.

Punjab Agri Dept to help promote kitchen gardening

RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD (INP): Punjab Agriculture Department will start providing winter vegetable seeds packets to public from 6th of August, 2015 for promotion of kitchen gardening. Agriculture Department spokesman Rawalpindi told this while talking to media persons at his office. Vegetable seed packets will consist of all major winter vegetables which can be sown in pots, crates, on roof or any available place without shadows. Objective of kitchen gardening project is to provide fresh vegetables to households without poisons, sprays & pesticides. Spokesman also urged the community to get benefit from the vegetable seed packets to grow vegetables at their homes which is not only a healthy activity but also considerably lessens kitchen expenses.

Public can get seed packets from agricultural complex, Shamasabad & a stall is also being installed at gate of Arid Agriculture University, opposite Nawaz Sharif Park at Murree Road, Rawalpindi.

Oil prices rebound

LONDON (AFP): Oil prices rebounded Tuesday after falling steeply in the previous session owing to weak Chinese and US manufacturing and continued worries about the global supply glut, analysts said. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for September delivery rose 69 cents to $45.86 a barrel compared with Monday's close. Brent North Sea crude for September was up 80 cents at $50.32 a barrel in London afternoon deals. WTI plummeted $1.95 while Brent tumbled $2.69 on Monday, extending sharp losses of more than two percent on Friday. Analysts said the small rebound was likely to be capped as dealers focused on sluggish manufacturing data from energy guzzlers China and the United States.

A key private economic indicator on the Chinese manufacturing sector, Caixin's purchasing managers index, showed a plunge in July to a two-year low of 47.8, deeper into contraction territory.

A reading of 50 marks the line between growth and contraction. The official PMI showed a drop to 50.0 in July from 50.2 in June.

In the United States, the Institute for Supply Management's purchasing managers index showed manufacturing activity cooled to 52.7 in July from 53.5 in June.

"Weakening growth in the global economy piled on the pressure for commodities," said Bernard Aw, market strategist at IG Markets in Singapore.

"Juxtaposing the waning demand in crude oil with persistent upticks in supply, the overhang seems to be widening," he added.

Long-running worries about the global supply glut were exacerbated by comments from the Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh on the Islamic republic's plans to ramp up oil exports once sanctions are lifted, as part of the country's deal with six major powers to limit its nuclear programme.

The price of crude has steadily fallen from around $120 a barrel in June last year, largely due to oversupply caused by the OPEC oil cartel's refusal to trim lofty output levels and surging US shale production.