IMF trust in Pakistan result of viable govt policies

LAHORE (APP): International Monetary Fund’s trust in Pakistan is the result of best economic policies of the present government that will definitely pave way for an increased foreign investment into the country. These views were expressed by Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Senior Vice President Mian Noman Kabeer, former SVP Sheikh Muhammad Arshad, PIAF Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh and Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) Chairman Abdul Basit while talking to APP. They also termed the approval of $520 million tranche by the IMF Mission as the outcome of the efforts of Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, quoting the IMF mission’s remarks that Pakistan’s economic indicators were improving.

The industrialists and businessmen hoped that country’s GDP growth rate would scale up to 4.5 percent during current fiscal year following stability in economy; cut in oil prices; improvement in generation and provision of energy to the industry and investment under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

They mentioned that dearness ratio reduced by 1.8 percent last month, while foreign trade deficit went down by 0.8 percent against the GDP due to reasonable oil prices and improved foreign exchange rates in FY 2014-15. The foreign reserves of State Bank of Pakistan are also showing an upward trend, they said and asserted that country’s economic health is recovering fast because of well-conceived and viable policies of the government.

The industry and business leaders urged the government to ensure implementation on the IMF Review Mission’s report that called for expediting reform process in energy sector; increasing tax collection; improving tax to GDP ratio and privatization of institutions incurring billions of rupees losses.

They said that Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) is also moving in the right direction, as it is extending financial assistance effectively to the poor and neglected segments of society.

Finance ministry rejects certain reports on rise in inflation

ISLAMABAD (APP): A spokesman of the Ministry of Finance said on Saturday that certain media reports had made references to finance minister’s statement at the IMF talks in Dubai wherein he hinted at rise in inflation. He said that the Minister had actually apprised the IMF delegation that overall inflation rate had considerably decreased from 8.6% in financial year 2013-14 to below 5% in financial year 2014-15. For the month of July 2015, the inflation rate was reported as low as 1.8%. The minister had actually stated that inflation would be higher than the July figure of 1.8%. It is hoped that the overall inflation rate for the fiscal year 2015-16, would remain as projected in the macro-economic framework, the spokesman added.

Establishment of HR endowment fund with Rs10b underway

ISLAMABAD (APP): A Human Resource Endowment Fund with the allocation of Rs10b was underway for achieving targets sets under vision 2025. Officials said Vision 2025 rests on seven pillars identified as the key drivers of growth which will transform Pakistan into a vibrant and prosperous nation. Giving details of the key impact initiatives taken, they said establishment of Cancer Hospital Islamabad with allocation of Rs200m is under process. Work on Seerat Chairs in public sector universities with Rs190m has also started, they stated. For Model Police Station in Islamabad Capital Territory Rs100m allocated whereas Rs50m reserved for standardization of examination system in vision 2025 and work on them are underway.

Working on a National Curriculum Council and Rs. 25 million for Mainstreaming of Madrasahs and Women University and Skills University in Islamabad and NUPPA in Lahore has also started while work on establishing of university campus in every District with the allocation of Rs. 280 million was also initiated, they further informed.

With the collaboration of provincial governments the initiatives of Overseas Pakistanis talent engagement scheme, grants for innovative ideas, Comprehensive Civil Service Reforms stakeholder consultation have also

in progress.

PFMA’s flour milling conference,

exhibition next month

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Pakistan Flour Millers Forum will organise its 7th Pakistan Flour Milling Conference and Exhibition on 5th September at a local hotel in Lahore. The conference theme is “Innovation and modern technology in flour industry.” PFMA’s former chairman Dr Bilal Sufi, the chairman of the organizing committee of the conference and exhibition, said that distinguished flour millers from all over Pakistan including technicians, agricultural experts and companies from USA and Turkey will be participating. The registration of moot has been opened by the organizing committee while the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Food Minister Bilal Yssin are likely to be present in the inaugural session.

The focus of the conference will be on how Pakistan can get rid of excessive wheat, wheat issue policy, modern means of storage of wheat, new milling techniques, value addition, improvement in the standards of products and meeting the social challenge of anemia through flour fortification etc. There will be four sessions of the conference to be presided over by secretary food Punjab, Director Food Punjab and former chairman of Pakistan Flour Mills Association. The flour fortification special session will include presentation from international organizations on ‘micronutrient initiative milling.’ It will cover how to get rid of iron deficiency. During the conference tribute will be paid to two late chairmen of PFMA, including Mujahid Khurshid and Haji Maqsood Ahmad.

CDNS realises Rs336b savings target

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) has achieved Rs.336 billion savings target during current fiscal- year from July 1, 2014 to 30 June,2015 against the revised target of Rs.329 billion. An official of CDNS giving breakups of set targets for coming fiscal year 2015-16 of National Savings told APP here, that “Net target for new financial year 2015-16 is Rs.302 billion and gross target would be 1043.” He said the federal government has revised upward the profit rates on National Savings Schemes for the investment made on or after August 1. The CDNS said that the instant revision was made in the backdrop of current market scenario and in accordance with the government’s policy to provide market based competitive rate of return to the investors of National Savings.

As per notification issued by the federal government the new rates for Special Savings Certificates (R)/ Account, Regular Income Certificate, Defence Savings Certificates and Savings Accounts have been fixed at 7.63%, 08.52 percent,09.15 percent and 04.75 percent respectively, he added.

The official said that new rates for Short Term Savings Certificates of three months, six months and one year have been fixed at 6.56 percent, 6.60 percent and 6.65 percent respectively.

However, the profit rate of return for specialized Savings Schemes like Bahbood Savings Certificates and Pensioners’ Benefit Account has also been revised and fixed at 11.04 percent in order to provide safety net to specialized segment of society,the CDNS said.

The official of the CDNS said that the proposal to launch registered prize bond with offering coupon as well as prize is also under consideration.