ICST demands increase in livestock productivity

ISLAMABAD (INP): Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Sunday highlighted the potential of livestock sector which is progressing well without the proper support of the authorities. The government should focus on improving the productivity of the livestock sector which is dismally low as compare to the neighbouring countries through meaningful steps, it said. Agriculture sector that is one of the largest segments of the economy but its production, especially that of subsector of livestock is very little, said Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt. In a statement, he said that the voice of small and poor dairy farmers is not strong enough to reach to the government while attention can help multiply production of milk, meat and hides to reduce prices at home and earn foreign exchange through exports. He said that Pakistan is the fifth largest producer of milk in the world but production of milk per animal is dismally low which can be improved by using modern techniques.

He said that Pakistan can easily become a leading producer and exporter of milk and meat which require some small steps which will also boost the troubled leather sector. Dairy and livestock is an important subsector of agriculture which continues to register growth of 3 to 4 percent per annum despite lack of support from the government.

“We are exporting live animals to many countries while the gap between demand and supply is increasing which is contributing to price hike calling for immediate steps by the authorities,” he added.

 

 

UBG demands inclusion of agricultural projects in CPEC

ISLAMABAD (INP): The United Business Group (UBG) of FPCCI on Sunday asked the government to pay attention to the agricultural development and include agricultural projects in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The government should not underestimate the matchless potential of agriculture and its sub sectors and it should invite Chinese to invest in these sectors with focus on value addition and food processing, said UBG Zonal Chairman Naseemur Rehman. He said improvement in agriculture, which is over 20 percent of the GDP will improve lives of millions of people linked to this sector in Pakistan. He said that Pakistan and China have focused on energy, infrastructure, transport, industry and ports but agriculture has not been given due importance. He lauded the move of the government to include Keti Bandar, Karachi Circular Railway and Dhabeji Special Economic Zone in the CPEC.

 “China has invested heavily in the agriculture sector in Africa therefore Pakistan should lure the friendly country as we are close to them and have vast land for the purpose,” he observed. He said that Pakistan’s per acre yield is less then China and India, while wastage of water is high because of primitive farming methods.

He said agriculture sector is suffering from lack of innovation, absence of value addition and apathy of banks which calls for immediate intervention by local authorities which will also attract Chinese investors which will also settle the issue of food security.

 

Fresh Iran sanctions to hit energy

import plans: PEW

ISLAMABAD (INP): The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said fresh US sanctions on Iran can hit plan of Pakistan to import gas from Iran. The Trump administration hit Iran with new sanctions following the test-firing of a medium-range ballistic missile, an action the White House says is in defiance of a UN resolution. The American move can also hit trade deals between Pakistan and Iran and have a negative impact on the overall situation in the region, it said. Pakistan should abandon plans to import gas from Iran and seek other sources to cull energy shortages, said PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal. In a statement, he said that hopes that Pakistan and Iran can become important trading partners have faded. Gas import deal which was to bring a revolution in the Pakistan’s energy market was still under sanctions and now new sanction have been imposed therefore Pakistan must explore new avenues, he added.

Dr Murtaza said that bilateral trade which was once one billion dollars has come down substantially despite the fact that both countries have agreed to boost trade to five billion dollars. He said that the government as well as private sector had initiated efforts to boost trade but now the situation has taken a negative turn which requires caution.

 

 

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Govt committed to facilitate tourists: PTDC

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RAWALPINDI (NNI): The present democratic government under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is committed to facilitate tourists for promotion of tourism industry which would not only help to revive the economy but also remove any misconceptions about Pakistan. In this connection Ch. Abdul Ghafoor Khan, Managing Director Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) visited Muzaffarabad and met Muhammad Jalal Sikandar Sultan, Chief Secretary, Azad Jammu & Kashmir. While discussion the Chief Secretary, AJK promised to allot alternate lands at Bank Square, Muzaffarabad for Tourist Facilitation Center and at Banjosa, Rawalakot for construction of PTDC Motel. The managing director further said that PTDC every possible step shall be taken for promotion of tourism in the country and all available resources shall be used for the purpose. Kashmir is known as the paradise on earth for its amazing landscape and scenic beauty.

“By its proper projection, we can earn sufficient foreign exchange and increase the flow of tourists to our country,” he added.