Rs22,876 million released for NHA under PSDP so far

ISLAMABAD (APP): The government of Pakistan has released Rs 22,876 million for National Highway Authority under the PSDP till February 4. Rs 4,000 million have been released for Lahore-Abdul Hakeem Section (230 km) of Karachi-Lahore Motorway (KLM), while Rs 1050 million have been released for 387 km Multan- Sukkur Section of the KLM, an official source told APP Tuesday. Rs 2740 million have been released for Thakot to Havelian 120 km (Construction of Phase-I of China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) while Rs 3000 million have been released for land acquisition, he said. Rs 800 million, he said, have been released to ensure timely completion of Lowari Tunnel and Access Roads in District Dir.

Rs 400 million have been released for construction of Bridge over Indus River at Qazi Ahmed Amri including Skrand Bypass (Nawab Shah),Rs 190 m have been released for construction of bridge across River Chinab linking Shorkot and Garh Maharaja in Jhang district.

He said Rs 440 million have been released for a 57 km section of Faisalabad-Multan Motorway including land acquisition (Multan) (IDB).

Rs 2560 million have been released for 200 km Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab Section of M-8 while, while for widening and Improvement of Hoshab-Nag-Basima-Surab Highway (N-85) Rs 2500 have been released,the source said.

Only OEC authorised to export manpower to South Korea

ISLAMABAD (APP): Only Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC), an attached department of Ministry of Human Resource Development, is authorized to export manpower to South Korea. An official source of OEC told APP here Tuesday that it has been come under observation of Human Resource Development of South Korea and OEC that some fake and unauthorized persons lure unemployed youth for employment abroad particularly for South Korea in order to get unfair financial benefits. OEC has warned public not to deal with any employment promoters because only OEC was authorized department which was supposed to export workers to South Korea.

He has advised that public should approach to nearby offices of OEC to confirm genuineness of demand and credentials of the concerned to avoid any embarrassment before making any agreement for employment.

He said that few private Korean Language Academies were sending the messages through fake advertisement to people that the examination of Korean language 2016 would be held without balloting.

They are also misleading that the quota of workers for South Korea has been enhanced and they were ensuring the jobs to those students who are getting language courses in their academies.

US energy experts’ delegation meets Khawaja Asif

ISLAMABAD (INP): A US energy experts’ delegation led by Jonathan Elkind, Advisor to US Mission on Energy, met Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Muhammad Asif here in his office Tuesday. During the meeting, areas of mutual interest and cooperation in the field of energy sector especially in energy conservation and renewable energy resources came under discussion. It was apprised that Pakistan has a huge potential in solar, wind and biomass energies resources and US wants to share their best experiences with Pakistan to exploit these resources and harness the energy crisis the country is facing. The delegation gave a comprehensive briefing on energy efficiency and development of the power grid system in the country.

The minister said the Pakistan was looking forward to US investment in infrastructure and energy sector development and thanked the delegation for their keen interest in energy conservation and pin pointing of very acute problems facing to Pakistan in this regards.

Both the side agreed that they would continue their discussion and would share their expertise to help Pakistan in energy crises.

David Hale, US ambassador to Pakistan, Younas Dagha, Secretary, and senior official of the ministry of water and power were also present in the meeting.

Job promoters can save country from default: PBIF

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) on Tuesday asked the government to patronise overseas employment promoters which are helping country earn hefty foreign exchange and reduce unemployment. Expats are sending around nineteen billion dollars to Pakistan which is a great service to the nation therefore government should chalk out a strategy to safeguard their interests, it said. This sector has potential to help turn our economy around but it is neglected due to reasons best known to authorities, said Mian Zahid Hussain, President PBIF, All Karachi Industrial Alliance and First Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel.

Talking to a delegation of promoters, he said that economies of oil producing countries continue to shrink due to lower oil prices resulting in budget deficit, unemployment and currency devaluation.

Income of some important countries has been reduced by 70 percent while expenses on wars in Yemen and Syria are running into billions of dollars which are being increased.

This situation can take toll on countries dependent on remittances which include Pakistan whose exports are almost half of the imports.

Export sector continue to nosedive despite many various relaxations due to incompetent managers therefore government should promote overseas employment sector to reduce unemployment and strengthen forex reserves which are under threat.

Manpower export market is contracting thus government and private sector should join hands to find new markets, he said, adding that welfare schemes including pension should be considered for expats on their return.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the concerned ministry and immigration bureau must be streamlined as both the institutions have become counterproductive while the some law enforcing agencies harass promoters for personal welfare which is poisoning the business climate.

PARC recommends 14

new rice hybrids

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Variety Evaluation Committee (VEC) on Rice of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) has recommended 14 new rice hybrids to National Seed Council for their commercial cultivation in the country. Some of the recommended hybrids have yield up to 106 maunds per acre, according to a statement issued here on Tuesday. Chairman PARC Dr Nadeem Amjad said that with the addition of new recommended hybrids in the national system of the country there would be a significant improvement in the rice production in Pakistan. The VEC Rice meeting was held here at PARC Headquarters which was presided over by Dr.Ahmad Bakhsh Maher, Member (Plant Sciences) PARC and Chairman VEC.

The technical members of Rice VEC committee from National Agricultural Research System (NARS) of the country attended the meeting.

The members included rice breeders, agronomists, entomologist, pathologist, seed experts, policy makers, private seed companies and provinces seed corporation representatives.

There were sixteen private seed companies that presented their rice hybrids proposals in the meeting. The VEC rejected fifteen (15) rice hybrids due to poor paddy yield, BLB disease susceptibility and poor grain quality.

The National Coordinator (Cereal Systems) PARC Mian Abdul Majid gave a detail presentation of newly rice hybrid proposals.

He appreciated the role of private seed companies for taking interest in rice research and development and working in close collaboration with public sector for the improvement of agriculture sector in Pakistan.

The experts also discussed in detail the issues related to making the rice hybrid national adaptability trials more qualitative and productive. They also appreciated the efforts of Mian Abdul Majid to conducting 2nd Rice VEC meeting successfully in one year.