Gas cos to set up over 60 LPG-air mix plants


ISLAMABAD (APP): The government has planned to set-up over 60 Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)-air mix plants in selected areas to facilitate consumers where natural gas supply does not exist. Two state companies, Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL), would establish the plants in their respective far flung areas at an estimated cost of Rs1,353.29 million. "The companies will set up the LPG-air mix plants and supply lines using their own funds," official sources told APP. The companies would set up 30 air mix plants each on their respective transmission network in the areas of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Chitral, Gilgit-Baltistan and backward areas of Balochistan. The setting up of the LPG-air mix plants would save these areas from the rapid deforestation, they added. Recently, they said, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has also approved setting up of LPG-air mix plants at Murree (Kurbagla, Dewal, Company Bagh and Tret), Awaran and Bella.

Answering a question, the sources informed that private sector had also been allowed to establish their own LPG-air mix plants for housing colonies subject to fulfilment of all codal formalities required for the purpose.



SCCI calls for exploring new markets


SIALKOT (APP): Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Majid Raza Bhutta has called upon the government to take special measures for exploring new potential markets for Pakistani products. While talking to APP, he said that the commerce ministry, in collaboration with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and trade associations, should work on identifying more markets like Far-east, Central Asian Republics, Latin America and Russia, etc. The SCCI president also demanded setting up of EXIM Bank (Export Import Bank of Pakistan) on top priority to facilitate the export sector. The SCCI president said that the Sialkot Export Processing Zone (SEPZ) should be given the status of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) to facilitate business community of Gujrat, Gujranwala and Sialkot. He emphasised the need of establishing a Marketing Intelligence Cell at TDAP for providing assistance to manufacturers and exporters in obtaining information pertaining to international demands for commodities, competitive price index, expanding markets and other essential trends.





LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) on Friday inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with University of Engineering & Technology (UET) to work together for the common good of the economy. LCCI President Abdul Basit and UET Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid signed the document in the presence of LCCI Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa, Vice President Nasir Hameed and Convener LCCI Standing Committee on Industry Academia Linkage Umer Saleem. This agreement is continuity of the LCCI endeavours aimed at filling the communication gap between the industry and academia. The MOU will enable both the institutions to share their knowledge and experience for mutual benefits. It was also agreed that both the sides will conduct joint seminars and workshops on common issues. The LCCI president said that linking academia with the business needs is a crucial step which should remain at the forefront to motivate both the sides and enhance their skills.

He said that the MoUs with University of Engineering & Technology will pave way for the progress and prosperity of the country. He said that the LCCI would make best use of this facility as a number of economic challenges have direct link with the unavailability of correct data.

He said that it would not only further strengthen university-industry collaboration but it would also help researchers to have access to the real challenges being encountered by the trade and Industry. Basit said that the LCCI has already signed a number of MOUs with the educational institutions and this agreement will also go a long way for the promotion of regional trade that is buzz word in today’s global village.

PM’s decision to keep exchange

rate stable lauded

ISLAMABAD (INP): President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday lauded the decision of the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to keep exchange rate stable despite pressure from exporters. Business community fully supports the decisions of the prime minister to boost the economy and stabilize the energy sector, he said. Mian Zahid Hussain said that erosion in the exchange rate is an outdated idea which gives some support to the exporters in the short-term but damages the economy in the long-run. The government should keep the exchange rate stable to save the masses from inflation and reduce the price of electricity and gas for the export industries, he said. He said that different governments have devalued the rupee many times - openly and silently - on the demand of exporters but it proved counterproductive.

 The Indian currency has been devalued four percent since 2014 while the currency of Bangladesh has been eroded by three percent but this is not a viable option in Pakistan as all three economies have very different dynamics.

The business leader said that the last year’s current account deficit was four percent of the GDP and it may hit the mark of five percent in the ongoing fiscal which would be a record since 2008, therefore, steps are needed to boost exports.

He said that if devaluation is considered necessary by the government, it should not go for abrupt devaluation and implement it in phases.