Dr Yusuf elected as APAARI chairman


ISLAMABAD (Online): Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Yusuf Zafar has been elected as chairman of Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), based in Thailand, in a General Assembly Meeting held in Taiwan. Dr Yusuf was elected unopposed. The countries like Fiji, Iran, Bhutan, Samoa, Papua New Guine, Vietnam, Taiwan and Sri Lanka supported the proposal initiated by India. The APAARI was established in December 1990 and has since grown into an important regional forum to promote the development of National Agricultural Research System (NARS) in the Asia-Pacific region through intra-regional and inter-institutional co-operation. APAARI's policies, plans, strategies and programmes focus on resolving regional concerns on increasing productivity and resource-use, food security, conserving environment, eradication of poverty and agricultural sustainability.

PEW calls for tackling gas sector circular debt


ISLAMABAD (INP) The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked the government to tackle gas sector circular debt before it put a question mark on the success of the energy policy. PEW President Murtaza Mughal expressed concern over the gas sector circular debt that has touched the mark of Rs12 billion. The debt should be contained before it damages the gas sector like it has played havoc with the electricity sector, he added. He said that Pakistan is already facing circular debt of Rs650 billion and now Rs12 billion of gas debt will cause more uncertainty. He said that the government is buying LNG since April 2015 and such losses in a short span are not acceptable, adding that the government has assured International Monetary Fund (IMF) that circular debt will be controlled but it couldn’t. He said that a gas utility has reported profit after three years of losses, therefore immediate steps should be taken to streamline gas sector.

He further said that minister of Water and Power recently slapped ban on using imported fuel for power generation which was overthrown by the higher authority. He demanded the government to divulge details of deal with the Qatar Gas to bring rumours to an end.




PTDC witnesses 100pc increase in domestic tourism

ISLAMABAD (APP): PTDC has witnessed 100 percent increase in the number of domestic tourists during the current season as compared to the previous year. This year a comprehensive security plan was made to promote the sense of protection among the domestic and foreign tourists. PTDC had decided to initiate certain steps to facilitate tourists and enhance the revenue of the Corporation by taking initiatives of security provision. Talking to APP, Managing Director Abdul Ghafoor said, "PTDC achieved its targets to promote domestic tourism. PTDC has increased security at all resorts including Murree, Galiyat, Ayubia, Kaghan, Swat Chitral and Kalash. Effective measures were being taken to provide security to the foreign tourists visiting different parts of the country" he added. He said current government was making earnest efforts to promote tourism sector and to reinstate the soft image of the country across the globe. He said that tourist traffic to Murree, Galiyat, Ayubia, Kaghan and Swat valley have considerably increased during current year.

While domestic tourists were now visiting new destinations like Gilgit, Hunza, Fairy Meadows, Rama Lake, Chitral,Kalash and Shandur valleys as well.



72pc subscribers express satisfaction on NTC services: survey

ISLAMABAD (APP): Around 72 percent subscribers have expressed satisfaction on telecom and support services being provided by National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC), according to survey carried out by Ministry of Information and Technology. Around 14 percent showed dis-satisfaction, whereas 14 percent remained neutral, while 90 percent of NTC subscribers said that they receive bill in time and 07 percent disagreed on in time bill delivery. On the other hand, around 3 percent showed mixed response in a survey. During the survey, telecom and data services of NTC were assessed on different parameters, ranging from installation to bill delivery along with responsiveness of customer support services. In his comments here, NTC chief Brig (Retd) Viqar Rashid Khan expressed his satisfaction over survey results as well as on various contingency plans. He instructed all the director generals to further enhance service delivery with quality assurance.