Dar arrives in Washington for annual WB-IMF meetings

WASHINGTON (APP): Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has arrived here to lead a Pakistani delegation to the annual World Bank-IMF meetings, which bring together top finance and economic managers from around the world. The Pakistani delegation includes Finance Secretary, Governor State Bank and Secretary Economic Affairs Division. In his numerous interactions, Senator Dar will apprise officials and experts of Islamabad’s policy to turn around the national economy through a series of fiscal and economic reforms.

He is scheduled to meet with leaders of financial institutions including the IMF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank. The finance minister will also hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts from friendly countries on advancing trade and economic cooperation. The finance minister will also discuss strengthening economic cooperation with U.S. officials during the visit. On Wednesday, he will address Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank, on challenges facing the Pakistani economy.

Oil prices down as US shutdown drags on

SINGAPORE (AFP): Oil prices edged lower in Asian trade Wednesday with little progress made in ending the bitter US government shutdown that has sparked fears of a chaotic debt default, analysts said.  New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in November, was down three cents at $103.46 in afternoon trade while Brent North Sea crude for November eased 11 cents to $110.05. “There has been little change in the focus on the oil front as the US budget stand-off continues to put pressure on prices,” market analyst at CMC Markets told AFP.

With the partial US government shutdown entering its ninth day, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he would not give in to demands from Republicans to make cuts to his healthcare law before they agree to a new budget and raise the country’s borrowing limit.

However, he did say he would accept a short-term deal to lift the debt ceiling and reopen the government — a move that would effectively postpone the crisis for a number of weeks.

Failure to lift the ceiling by a October 17 deadline will mean the government is unable to pay its bills or service its debts, causing a default that analysts have warned could send the world economy back into recession.

Despite Obama’s comments Chua said “investors are still well aware that a resolution still depends on the House (of Representatives), which remains deadlocked”.

Dealers will be looking later Wednesday to the release of a weekly US oil inventory report, with expectations that stockpiles rose by 1.4 million barrels, according to a survey by Dow Jones Newswires.

PM appoints members of private sector in PSM Board

ISLAMABAD (APP): PM Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday approved induction of the private sector including professional and businessmen in the Board of Directors of Pakistan Steel Mills, to improve its working. According to information available from the PM House, the following members of the Board have been approved for appointment in Pakistan Steel Mills. These include Asad Ali Khan Chartered Accountant, Jabbar Memom Shah Businessman, M Saad Hussain Human Resource Manager Professional, Sohail Ahmed Corporate Professional and Ahmed Alman Aslam Banker.

1.9 million tons sugar stock available

ISLAMABAD (APP): A buffer stocks of 1.9 million tons of sugar are available with local sugar mills and TC for domestic consumption and exporting where as a healthy sugarcane output is expected this year. Sugar mills will start sugarcane crushing from next month to produce the sugar for fulfilling the domestic requirements as well as to export, said National Sugarcane Coordinator, Sohail Khan. “The millers are legally bound to start sugarcane crushing by the start of November to produce sugar and help the growers prepare their land for next sowing of wheat crop across the country”.

said that so far the millers have not started any activity for sugarcane crushing as both growers and millers were using delaying tactics to get better prices of their products.

There are 80 sugar mills across the country some of these plants are dis-functional where as other plants are producing sugar at their optimal level, he added.

The Punjab province has 46 sugar mills, Sindh has 26 mills where as 8 sugar mills are operational in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province to fulfil the domestic requirements in the country, he said.

Sugarcane Coordinator further said that healthy sugarcane yield of over 62 million tons and 5 million tons sugar production are expected this year because of favourable weather conditions through out the crop season and commodity price in the country.

He said that sugarcane output was recorded at 62.7 million tons and sugar production of 5 million tons during last year as against the domestic requirements of 4.2 million tons.

He said that domestic per capita sugar consumption was decreased and average consumption was recorded at 21 kg sugar per annum. He said that government has also allowed to export the sugar and about 9,500 metric tons of commodity was exported so far and it is expected that 1.5 metric tons sugar export targets to be achieved.

Meanwhile commenting on sugarcane crushing, Punajb Sugarcane Commissioner said that government of the province has directed the millers to start sugarcane crushing within official fixed time.

He said that 44 out of 46 mills were operational and about 31,0000 metric tons sugar produced during last year.

Manais new Pamco CEO

LAHORE (Staff Reporter):Mumtaz Khan Manais has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Vice Chairman Punjab Agriculture and Meat Company (PAMCO). Mumtaz Khan Manais has been on ASF’s and PAMCO Board of Directors. A leading agriculturist with more than three decades of active involvement towards development of agriculture in Pakistan he was bestowed country’s highest civil award “The Tamgha-e-Imtiaz” by Government / President of Pakistan in 2007 in recognition of his contributions towards national agriculture.

His orchards, livestock and dairy farms, Fish farms and fields are managed with best farm practices and have always been on hand with all hospitalities for students of Agricultural Universities and Agri Colleges as practical learning grounds; a fact that was endorsed by The Governor of Punjab who declared Mumtaz Khan Manais’ livestock farm to be officially affiliated with Faculty of Livestock at Bahauddin Zakariya University of Multan as the country’s very first example of such an affiliation.

Fodder prices go up

LAHORE  (APP): Prices of different fodders for sacrificial animals have surged upto 100pc ahead of Eidul Azha. Since there is no price mechanism, traders, selling fodders at cattle markets and roadside places, are doing a roaring business. People belonging to different walks of life expressed concern over exorbitant prices of fodders and demanded that authorities concerned must take action against fodders’ traders engaged in exploiting customers. Bilal Khokhar, a customer said, he had bought a goat for sacrifice but being a salaried person, it is very difficult for him to purchase two-kilogram bundle of fodder for Rs 120 every day.

According to the survey conducted by this news agency, price of bran (chokar) has shot up to Rs 20 per kilogram against Rs 8 last year. Price of husk has fodder touched Rs 380 per 40kg this year.

Similarly, ‘cotton seed cake and cotton seed ‘ (khal’ and `banola) are being sold at the rate of Rs 33 per kilogram against Rs 9 previous year. Instead of Rs 76, `chara’ is being sold at Rs 140 per kilogram. A bundle of of one kilogram is available at Rs 70 against Rs 32 last year.

When contacted, a highly placed officer in Agriculture Department on condition of anonymity admitted that fodder prices had gone up but said, they were monitoring the situation and taking steps to bring the rates of fodder at reasonable level.