Plan to establish Tourist Facilitation Centres

ISLAMABAD (APP): Government is revamping and remodeling Tourist Information Centres of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) and plan is to establish Tourist Facilitation Centers in provincial headquarters to promote tourism. Special discounted tour packages have also been introduced to encourage students, families and groups to explore Pakistan. Besides, PTDC is reviewing National Tourism Policy and participating actively in international and domestic tourism events to attract local and foreign visitors. "A total of 28,333 foreign, 1,844,000 local tourists have visited Northern Areas during 2007-10", official sources at PTDC told APP, here today.

Government has also increased the tourist friendly countries from 2 to 26, he said.

Underlining various steps for promotion of tourism, official said tourists of 26 countries have been granted one month validity and multiple entries for group travel through designated Tour Operators.

Pakistani Missions abroad have been authorized to grant tourist/visit visa for three months validity and stay with double entry and other, he added.

Replying to a question he said the outstanding dues of PTDC would be cleared soon. A summary has been moved to the Prime Minister Secretariat for release of funds in this regard, he added.

He said PTDC's tourist resorts in northern areas Gilgit-Baltistan were including Chinnar Inn, Gilgit, PTDC Motel, Hunza, PTDC Motel, Sost (Pak-China border), K-2 Motel, Skardu,PTDC Motel, Gupis (Distt. Ghizer), PTDC Motel, Phandar (Distt. Ghizer),PTDC Motel, Stapara Lake, Skardu, PTDC Motel, Khaplu, Skardu, PTDC Motel, Astak (Gilgit-Skardu Road), PTDC Motel, Rama Lake (Astor).

..Thermal power, loadshedding not Wapda’s domain

LAHORE (APP): Pakistan WAPDA on Monday clarified that issues of thermal power generation and electricity loadshedding are not in its domain. In view of news reports and other media contents including columns, editorials, cartoons, etc. about the issues related to power sector, which continued to appear in media, a WAPDA spokesperson explained here that subsequent to introduction of power sector reforms and unbundling of WAPDA's Power Wing in 2007, WAPDA's mandate now included only the construction of new dams and hydropower projects and operation and maintenance of existing hydel power stations, whereas the rest of the matters relating to power sector did not come within its ambit.

He added that thermal power generation in public sector was now being looked after by the power Generation Companies (GENCOs).

Similarly, he said, other matters relating to power sector such as transmission and distribution of electricity, load-shedding, line losses, recovery of electricity bills, payment to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and other organizations etc. were now the responsibilities of various public sector corporate entities.

These entities include Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO), Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA), National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) and power Distribution Companies (DISCOs) etc.



Govt releases Rs 553.7 million for Commerce Division

ISLAMABAD (APP): The government has so far released Rs 553.700 million for Commerce Division, out of its total allocation of Rs 841m for the current fiscal year (2013-14) under its PSDP. According to the latest data of Ministry of Planning and Development, Rs 458.500m have been released for enhancement in exhibition halls and additional technology works (Expo Center Lahore Phase-II). Similarly, Rs 35 million have been released for purchase of equipment, furnishing curriculum development and training of Pakistan School of Fashion Design, Lahore, where as Rs 60.200 million have been released for restructuring of Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PIAD), Islamabad.

It is pertinent to mention that thenment has so far released Rs 179.364 billion under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for various projects against total allocations of Rs 540 billion for the fiscal year 2013-14.

The Planning Commission of Pakistan has been following a proper mechanism for the release of funds and accordingly funds are released as per given mechanism.

The commission releases 20 percent of funds in first quarter (July-September), 20 percent in second quarter (October-December), 30 percent third quarter (January-March) and 30 percent in fourth quarter (April-June).



Meeting reviews PM Loan Scheme

Lahore  (STAFF REPORTER): In order to review progress of the development of a long-term handholding Plan for the loan beneficiaries of Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme, a joint meeting of the organizations working under the Ministry of Industries and Production was held here under the chairmanship of Mr. Shaquat Hussain Naghmi, Federal Secretary Industries and Production at the SMEDA head office. Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, CEO SMEDA welcomed the Secretary MOIP on this occasion and gave a presentation bearing a number of effective proposals for promotion of the PMYBL Scheme. An evaluation report, prepared by SMEDA on advice of the Secretary, regarding websites of the MOIP organizations was also presented in the meeting.


‘Meezan Kafalah’ launched

KARACHI (STAFF REPORTER): Meezan Bank has launched Meezan Kafalah, a Shariah-compliant alternative to Bancassurance, in collaboration with Pak Qatar Family Takaful Limited (PQFTL).  Meezan Kafalah is a savings product through which customers can save money for their future plans such as the education, wedding of their child, going for Hajj, planning for old age or any other future needs.   Meezan Bank offers competitive profits on this product, in addition to which the customers will also get Free Takaful coverage through Takaful Partner that in the case of the customer’s death during the savings period, the Takaful Partner will provide the funds needed for completing the savings for achieving the customer’s desired objectives.

This new product, thus, offers a unique combination of saving, investment and protection.