‘US to support Pakistan to meet economic challenges’

WASHINGTON (NNI): The US will continue to support Pakistan to bail out the country from the economic crisis, stabilize the economy as Islamabad confronts its economic challenges. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf answering a question during briefing here said the US will continue to support Pakistan to continue the reform efforts.  She said the US will continue to advance our bilateral trade and investment partnership and look to Pakistan’s leadership to determine the direction of these efforts, including their recent agreement with the IMF.

She said the Secretary of State John Kerry during his recent visit to Pakistan discussed about the economic collaboration. She said this is a very important issue between the two countries. However she said presently there is no new programme for Pakistan.

PIDA achieves 100 per cent target of SIAP project

LAHORE (APP): Punjab Irrigation Development Authority (PIDA) has achieved 100pc target successfully by completing all activities of Strengthening Irrigated Agriculture (through) Participation (SIAP) Project. A spokesman for PIDA told APP here on Saturday that Water Saving Technologies were introduced under SIAP. He said that targets were made for laser land levelling on 2525 acre of land in area Water Boards of Bahawalnagar Canal Circle, Lower Chenab Canal Faisalabad, plantation on 1541 acre of land, provision of wheat seed at 34 lakh acre of land etc.

, drip irrigation system on 100 acre land, tunnel farming at 20 acre and brick lining of 1400 meter long watercourses on which 100 per cent implementation had been made.

PIDA has utilized funds provided under SIAP with responsibility due to which the expenses were reduced and additional land leveling on 481 acre of land was made and wheat seed for additional 18 lakh acre of land was provided with this remaining fund amount. Four skimming tubewells were planned to be installed but 10 tubewells were installed within the available resources.

Sugarcane growers advised to select best seed

MULTAN (APP): Agriculture experts have urged growers to select registered, disease-free and high-yielding seed for September sowing of sugarcane to get good results. In a press release issued by the media liaison unit of the Punjab agriculture department, experts said that diseased and weaker sugarcane seed or seed fallen on the ground should not be used for sowing. The upper part of sugarcane should be used as seed and it should not be hurt by sharp-edged tools and instead hands be used to bring it to an appropriate shape for sowing.

Early maturing varieties of sugarcane for September cultivation included CPF-243, HSF-240, HSF-242, CP 77-400, and CPF 237. The other varieties suitable for cultivation included SPF-245, SPF-234, SPF-213, CPF-246 and CPF-247, they added. Growers should not delay sowing after seed preparation and use four-eyed seed at 13000-15000 per acre and three-eyed seed 17000-20000 per acre.

The sowing this way can yield 100-120 maunds per acre depending upon crop care and thickness of the cane.

Agriculture information officer Naveed Asmat Kahlon said that phosphorous and potash fertilisers be applied for preparation of fields and seed should be treated with anti-fungus medicines before sowing.

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Consortium to sign Gulpur Power Project agreement

ISLAMABAD (INP): Pakistan and a Korean consortium will formally sign an agreement of 100MW Gulpur Hydro Power Project to be constructed on Poonch river in Azad Kashmir tomorrow (Monday). Secretary, Water and Power, Saif Ullah Chatta and representative of the Korean consortium will sign on the agreement. Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali and other higher officials of the ministry will also be present on the occasion. Asian Development Bank (ADB) will also provide financial assistance to Pakistan for this project.

Construction work on the project will be started in April 2014 and it will complete in three years.

Lucky Cement celebrates International Literacy Day

PESHAWAR (Staff Reporter): Taking forward its legacy of philanthropic initiatives, Lucky Cement added another pillar to strengthen and revive the educational sector of Pakistan. The company celebrated ‘International Literacy Day’ by empowering the young students of Higher Secondary School, Pezu by holding a book drive at its regional and head office. The underlying aim of the drive was to donate books generously to a library that will serve as a beacon of optimism in northern regions of Pakistan. “Educational development has always been close to Lucky Cement’s heart.

 We think that an educated child can ensure a bright and secure future for this nation”, said Noman Hasan, Chief Operating Officer, Lucky Cement. While commenting on this initiative,” By conducting an employee-inclusive CSR campaign, we want to serve the Pezu community as well as encourage the philanthropic spirit amongst our ranks”.

Dollar skids after weak US jobs data

NEW YORK CITY(AFP):  The dollar tumbled against other major currencies Friday following a weaker than expected US jobs report for August. The euro bought $1.3180 around 2200 GMT, up from $1.3117 late Thursday. The dollar fell to 99.11 yen from 100.12 yen. The euro also declined against the Japanese currency, trading at 130.62 yen compared with 131.35 yen the prior day. The dollar slid after the US government reported the economy had added 169,000 jobs in August, falling short of the analyst consensus estimate of 177,000.

The unemployment rate ticked down a tenth point to 7.3 per cent, pushed by a fall in the participation rate to its lowest level since 1978.

Despite the weak jobs report, most analysts predicted the Federal Reserve would move to taper its massive asset-purchase program at its September 17-18 monetary policy meeting.

The decline in the jobless rate brought it closer to the 7.0 per cent range favored by the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) for the end of tapering.

“The dismal US non-farm payrolls report certainly dragged on the dollar, but the recent lull in job growth may do little to stop the Fed from tapering its asset-purchase program at the September 17-18 meeting as the central bank continues to highlight a more broad-based recovery in the world’s largest economy,” said David Song at DailyFX.

The British pound rose to $1.5636, from $1.5586 late Thursday.

The dollar also fell against the Swiss currency, to 0.9379 franc from 0.9449 franc.

“The sharp selloff in the dollar may be short-lived, and the policy outlook may continue to prop up the reserve currency over the near to medium-term as the FOMC looks to switch gears,” Song said.