LAHORE - Provincial Minister for Agriculture Ahmad Ali Aulkah has said that government is spending sufficient amount of energy and resources for the promotion of bio technology.

The Provincial Minister was speaking at a seminar on “Bio-fuel Challenges and Opportunities” organized by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday. LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar, Vice Chancellor University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Dr Talat Naseer Pasha and Convener LCCI Committee on Bio-technology Dr Shahid Raza also spoke on the occasion. The Minister said that the Punjab government had already handed over 1500 biogas plants to the rural community at a subsidy of Rs 50,000 per unit and the only objective is to promote alternate energy resources.

He said that since more than 60 per cent of country’s exports belong to agriculture therefore biotechnology is of prime importance. He said that the recent electricity shortage has badly hit the Agriculture and the industrial sectors and it is very unfortunate that the country is getting no benefit of its bio-fuel potential while by next year neighboring India would be fulfilling 20 per cent of its total energy needs through biofuels.

Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that there is no doubt about the enormous potential of biotechnology in Pakistan. Today, life sciences and in particular biotechnology are in a stage of exponential growth. It is rightly said that 21st Century belongs to biotechnology.

He said that there are a number of fields derived from biotechnology like agriculture biotechnology, environmental biotechnology, health biotechnology, industrial biotechnology and nano biotechnology.

He said that renewable and sustainable energy resources are the best substitute to the conventional fuels and energy sources as the business community understands that bio-fuels will reduce our dependence on petroleum to some degree and enhance energy security.

Likewise it will also contribute in rural economic development.

LESCO SITE INACTIVE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Tuesday urged the Lesco authorities to make their sales tax portal operational as the site shows LESCO’s status as INACTIVE. “On FBR tax facilitation portal and it is depriving businessmen of sales tax adjustment being charged on electricity bills.”

In a statement issued here after receiving written complaints from a member firms, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that the FBR site’s showing LESCO as an inactive member due to non filing of sales tax return since June 2012 as such it is not responding to the businessmen seeking adjustment on electricity bills.

The LCCI president said that it is very unfortunate that huge amounts of GST charged on electricity consumption are not being adjusted as input by the FBR due to LESCO’s inactive status on FBR site.