SECP defers notification of  Whistle-Blowing Regulations

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has deferred notification of Whistle-Blowing Regulations, 2017. The SECP had previously placed the said regulations, in draft form, on its website for seeking public comments. The deferment decision was taken in view of the Public Interest Disclosure Bill, 2017, passed by the National Assembly on August 17, 2017. The said bill is aimed at protecting individuals, ie whistleblowers, who make certain disclosures of information in the public interest. Among others, the bill covers offenses by companies and their directors. Therefore, the essence of the bill is similar to that of the Whistleblowing Regulations proposed by the SECP. However, as the bill is yet to be placed before the Senate for approval and its modus operandi is to be determined. The commission is, therefore, of the view that notification of the regulations may be deferred until the finalisation of the bill.


NARC hosts Wheat Productivity Enhancement Programme meeting

ISLAMABAD (APP): Wheat, Pakistan's most important crop, is in the spotlight at the National Agriculture Research Center that is hosting a two-day Wheat Productivity Enhancement Program meeting (WPEP) this week. According to a statement issued here, representative of  USDA, Dr David Marshall, who is from USDA's Plant Science Unit and also the WPEP research leader, gave opening remarks at yesterday's inaugural session. Wheat accounts for 60 percent of the daily caloric intake of the average Pakistani, and it's grown on over 9 million hectares of land throughout the country. WPEP's goal is to protect and enhance wheat productivity, with particular attention to wheat rusts, which have caused hundreds of millions of dollars in crop losses during the past 50 years. A wheat-rust epidemic would threaten Pakistan's food security that is why USDA is supporting efforts to strengthen Pakistan's wheat-rust surveillance efforts, enhance collaboration with international researchers, and improving breeding methods and testing.

 USDA is supporting Pakistani institutions to increase the availability of new varieties and to work toward a safe and secure food system in Pakistan. WPEP is an international collaboration with a consortium of Pakistani government and university research facilities, USDA, the International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement and the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dryland Areas.



Many women development initiatives in the pipeline: Punjab minister

LAHORE (APP): Punjab Industry and Trade Minister Sheikh Alla-ud-din said on Wednesday that PSDF has taken initiatives to train poor and vulnerable women from urban areas on technical and vocational skills and then link them with sustainable employment opportunities. He was addressing as chief guest at a seminar arranged by PSDF in connection with Women Focused Employment Driven Training Programme at a local hotel. On this occasion, the PSDF also signed contracts with various technical institutes of the province. Provincial minister said that Punjab government has taken a lot of initiatives in the province for legal and economic empowerment of women including women entrepreneurship, property ownership, employment, decision making, education and vocational training through Punjab Women Empowerment Initiatives. He said that many more women development initiatives are in the pipeline, adding that the role of women is important for progress of a country to achieve prosperity in life.

Punjab government executed initiatives for women empowerment scheme, he said, asserting, "We must make every possible effort to ensure that more and more women of employment age must enter the workforce and contribute to economic growth of Pakistan." At the end of the event, PSDF CEO Jawad Khan presented a memorial shield to the provincial minister.



Government taking steps to promote textile sector

ISLAMABAD (APP): A comprehensive package is being implemented to improve performance of textile sector, the textile ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday. While talking to Radio Pakistan, he said that under the package, seven percent duty drawback is being provided on garments and six percent on made-ups. Processed Fabric is getting five percent and Yarn and Greige Fabric is getting four percent duty drawback. He said that customs duty and sales tax on cotton imports have also been withdrawn while there is zero rating of textile machinery imports. He said sales tax of five export oriented sectors - textile, leather, sports, goods, surgical goods and carpet - has been made part of the zero-rated tax regime. The spokesperson said that facility of duty free imports of textile machinery will continue while the mark-up rates on Export Refinance Facility have been brought down to 3 percent.