PEW slates conspiracies against CNG industry

ISLAMABAD (INP): The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday condemned conspiracies against world’s largest CNG industry worth Rs 450 billion by some influential quarters. A lobby continues to misguide government in the CNG issue headed by an official of a gas company who is considered above the law, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW. In a statement issued here Sunday, he said that the gas theft has reached alarming proportions but the said officials cannot be held responsible due to his political connections. He said that the same lobby has been trying to frustrate LNG import project while the gas is purchased on inflated rates for personal welfare and dishearten the millions of consumers.

Mughal said that former government demonstrated record mismanagement in the energy sector therefore the incumbent government must show some positive development. The government has passed on the full impact of gas theft to the CNG industry that utilises imported LNG while supply chain is being disrupted to ensure instability.

He said that those who had promised to end lines of CNG stations in their manifesto released on March 7, 2013 have failed to check conspiracy to lay waste to this industry which is unfortunate. The manifesto referred to the word energy 42 times but it proved to be a hollow promise, he observed. Many countries including US, India, Bangladesh and Thailand are promoting CNG industry while it is being strangulated in Pakistan which is amazing, he said.

ICAP, Unilever hold Pakistan’s first ever finance competition

KARACHI (NNI): The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) and Unilever Pakistan jointly organised Pakistan’s first ever Finance competition - National Finance Olympiad (NFO) 2015, the Grand Finale of which was held recently at a local hotel in Karachi. The event, organised by the ICAP’s Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee, was attended by the top management of renowned national and multinational organisations. The top six qualifying teams; Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited, Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited, Engro Fertilizers Limited, Haleeb Foods Limited, Kot Addu Power Company Limited and Pakistan State Oil Company Limited, competed in the Grand Finale.

The day commenced with recitation of a few verses from the Holy Quran followed by opening remarks from Khalilullah Shaikh, the Chairman PAIB Committee and Council Member ICAP.

He welcomed the participants and revealed the concept and objectives for the Pakistan’s first ever Finance competition. He said that the main purpose of the event was to engage finance professionals in their professional development in unique way, pit them against each other in a healthy competition and encourage them to discover their potential, exhibit their talent and celebrate their competence in a befitting manner.

PSA for formulating Pakistan Solar Mission Plan

LAHORE (APP): Pakistan Solar Association (PSA) on Sunday suggested the government to formulate Pakistan Solar Mission Plan 2015-26 with an ambitious target of 20000 megawatt power generation on the pattern of Nehru National Solar Mission Plan of India. PSA Chairman Engineer Faiz M Bhutta appreciated the Punjab CM’s vital initiative of switching 6000 govt primary schools over to solar energy. However, he added, the govt should expand the scope of this public welfare-oriented project to hospitals, basic health units and other sectors of society as well. Elaborating the Pakistan Solar Mission Plan, Faiz Bhutta called for dividing this plan to three phases of four years each having an accumulative power generation target of 20,000MW.

The proposed plan, he said, should also envisage an easy access to solar off-grid and hybrid power for solar lighting of houses and roads of urban and rural areas; solar pumping (tube-well), utility grade PV and solar thermal power plants.

The PSA Chairman said that under the Solar Mission Plan, the government must focus standardization, quality assurance, duty-free import of relevant equipment, preparation of manpower for solar sector, incentives and subsidies for investors, bank loans on low mark-up and bank financing for utility grade projects, besides, taking all stakeholders on board during formulation of the plan.

Faiz Bhutta also assured the government of the full support and cooperation by the PSA in this regard.

The World Bank, he said, was also ready to extend cooperation to Pakistan for promotion of alternate energy resources, adding that the GIZ Pakistan with the help of German government was already working on Renewable Policy Development and Technical and Vocational Education Training Reforms Programme.

While, the Asian Development Bank was ready to support for electrification of far-flung areas of Pakistan, similarly, other international donors could also contact Pakistan for help and support to the Pakistan Solar Mission Plan, he added.

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SNGPL introduces new policy for domestic connections

LAHORE (APP): Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Company Limited (SNGPL) has introduced new policy to provide domestic connection to the applicants whose applications were pending since 2008-09. According to SNGPL sources, the SNGPL decided to provide gas connection to all those customers on priority basis whose application could not be processed so far due to the non computerization of their record despite the availability of pipeline in front of their houses. Under this scheme, people have been advised to present original reciept of their application along with computerised identity card to the SNGPL during working days in concerned offices.

It is pertinent to mention here that SNGPL already introduced schemes to provide connection with urgent fee worth Rs 25,000 to the consumers who had applied after June 2012.

The SNGPL started providing gas to all applicants whose applications were filed before April 2012 without any urgent fee, the sources added.

Technology be used for strengthening agri sector

LAHORE (APP): Plant clinics will not only make the agriculture extension service more effective but also help in improving capacity building of agri officers. Experts told that plant doctors would be able to provide guidance and technical assistance to farmers under one roof. Experts said that these clinics were being set up in Muzzafargarh, Khangarh, Sher Sultan, Khairpur Sadat, Gujrat, Kot Addu, Shah Jamal and other places. Farmers would get timely guidance on these clinics about their queries. They said setting up of plant clinics under Agriculture department was a good step. Experts said information and communication technology tools should be used for making life of farmers easier besides strengthening the agriculture sector.