Arshad appointed as PICIC

Insurance head

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): Irshad Ali Shaaban Ali Kassim has been appointed as Chairman PICIC Insurance Limited by its Board of Directors on Friday, July 4, 2014. The Karam Group has acquired 60 per cent of the shares of PICIC Insurance which is fourth largest insurance company in marine and health sector. Irshad Kassim is also the Chairman and CEO of Karam Ceramics Ltd. He is also Consul General of Tajikistan and played a vital role in boosting trade between the two countries. He was also pioneer of agreement of the purchase of 1000MW power from Tajikistan. Irshad Kassim brings with him a vast experience in trade and industry and banking sector as well.

0He is also the member Board of Director KASB Bank Ltd.

Irshad Kassim has taken over the charge of the Chairman PICIC on Friday following the meeting of Board of Directors held PICIC Insurance’ head office on Friday. The board of directors has also intimated all the stock exchanges of Pakistan about his appointment as Chairman.



First shipment of 110,000MT

of coal reaches PSM

KARACHI (INP): Mega Ocean carrying 55,000 Mtn of Metallurgical Coal from Australia berthed at Pakistan Steel Mills Jetty, Bin Qasim on Friday. Another ship Mega Lohori, carrying 55,000 Mtn of Metallurgical Coal from Australia has also reached at the outer anchorage of Port Qasim. It is pertinent to mention here that this is the first shipment of 110,000 Mtn of Metallurgical Coal to be received by PSM with the help of the received amount of Rs. 4.2 billion from the approved financial restructuring package of Rs 18.5 billion from the Government of Pakistan. On the occasion CEO and management congratulated the employees with whose efforts and prayers the much awaited revival of PSM has begun.

It is also pertinent to mention here that one more iron ore L/C for 50,000 Metric tons will be opened on Monday, 7th July 2014.

A spokesman for the PSM said workers and staff are working hard for the revival of this national asset under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Zaheer Ahmed Khan. The arrived raw material will help in increasing the production level to 20pc in July and in achievement of subsequent targets set by the GoP – 77pc by January 2015.





Former Lesco chief released on bail

lahore (Staff Reporter): A special judge on Friday released on bail former Lesco chief Arshad Rafiq and former Director Operations Mehboob Ali allegedly involved in selling electricity quota of domestic consumers to blue-eyed industries and misuse of powers. On the directions of Prime Minister of Pakistan, Federal Investigation Agency had registered the case against the Lesco officers and took them into their custody. On Friday, the suspects told the judge that they were intentionally booked in the case and taken into the custody while the prior inquiry, which is mandatory, was not held. They said they were implicated on political basis and they had nothing to do with the allegations leveled against them.

After hearing the arguments of the accused-petitioners, Special Judge accepted their bail applications and released them against submission of surety bonds of Rs200,000 each.

FIA had registered against both the officers and arrested them on the charges of misusing powers and selling electricity to industrials.




Cotton growers advised to

remove weeds

MULTAN (APP): Agriculture experts have advised growers to remove weeds from cotton fields immediately to save the crop from attack by white fly, mealy bug, armyworm, and leaf curl virus. Weeds should also be removed from around the cotton fields so that they do not consume the food meant for cotton plants and do not serve as a habitat for cotton enemy pests, says a release issued by the media liaison unit of the Punjab agriculture department here Friday. Cotton crop is passing through flower stage and needs special attention of growers. Experts suggested spray of zinc and boron where cotton fields were deficient in nitrogenous fertilizers.

Farmers should consult agriculture officials in case of a virus attack. Pesticides recommended by agriculture officials be applied in case of an armyworm attack and when an attack by white fly and ‘Sabz Taila’ reaches economic threshold level (ETL).

Twice a week pest scouting should be done to control heliothis. Spray should be applied in the morning or evening time only after consulting experts and spray of the same group pesticides should be avoided.




Food prices decline for third straight month: UN agency

UN (Special Correspondent): Global food prices dipped for a third consecutive month in June following a ten-month surge, the United Nations agriculture agency says.  The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) price index- which measures monthly changes in the global price of a basket of meat, dairy, cereals, oils and fats, and sugar- averaged 206.0 points in June 2014, down 3.8 points (1.8 percent) from May and nearly 6 points (2.8 percent) below the June 2013 level.  The index had risen to a ten-month high of 213 points in March 2014, but fell in April, May and June.

It also found that the price of cereal, vegetable oils and dairy decreased further from its last published data in May, while the price of meat edged up, reflecting a constrained world supply.

The latest FAO Crop Prospects and Food Situation report noted improvement in the global production of cereal, a staple food in many countries. Total production in 2014 now stands at 2,498 million tons, 18 million tons up from 2013. The increase reflected improved production for coarse grains and wheat crops, particularly in the United States, the European Union and India.

Despite this good news, the agency warns that millions of people still face food insecurity due to conflict, crop failure and high domestic food prices. Some 33 countries, including 26 in Africa, are in need of access external assistance.

Conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) continues to jeopardize crop production, which in 2013 declined by 34 percent from the previous year. Escalating conflicts and adverse weather in parts of Eastern Africa were threatening local people’s access to food.

In Somalia about 870,000 people are estimated to be in need of emergency assistance while in South Sudan, since the conflict began late last year, the number of people in need of food assistance jumped to 3.5 million.

Most recently, the report stated, an escalation of conflicts in Syria and Iraq have negatively impacted crop production, food security and access to drinking water.  Conditions are likely to deteriorate.