7 SEZs established to facilitate investors

ISLAMABAD (APP): The government has so far established seven Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the country to facilitate domestic and foreign investors to invest in manufacturing sectors, offering them special exemptions leading to reduced cost of doing business with efficient infrastructure. The SEZs included Khairpur Special Economic Zone, Sindh, Korangi Creek Industrial Park, Sindh, Bin Qasim Industrial Park, Sindh, Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park, Sheikhupura, Punjab, M-3 Industrial City, Faisalabad, Punjab, Value Added City, Faisalabad, Punjab and Hattar Economic Zone, Haripur, Khyber pakhtunkhwa (KPK). Official sources on Wednesday said provision of facilities of natural gas and electricity does not relate to Board of Investment. However, as per information furnished by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, gas has been provided to Korangi Creek Industrial Park, Sindh, whereas, Ministry of Water and Power has provided electricity at Khairpur Special Economic Zone, M-3 Industrial City and Value Added City, Faisalabad.

PBIF calls for patronage of handicrafts sector

ISLAMABAD (INP): Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) President Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said there is a great demand for locally made handicrafts in the international market therefore this sector should be promoted. This is the only sector that is directly linked with the skilled women therefore its promotion will not only serve the cause of poverty reduction and women empowerment but also reduce unemployment while providing foreign exchange to the country, he said. Hussain said that handicraft was once a major source of livelihood for millions of people but rising cost of inputs, difficult access to credit and poor marketing network, have brought the industry to its present dismal state. Low prices, lack of proper marketing, want of exhibition centres, discouraging behaviour of the bureaucracy, and the rising costs business were some reasons behind decline, he added. He said that millions of people are working in this sector but it is not organised while it continue to suffer due to the negligence of the authorities.

5 oil, gas blocks near completion in Fata

PESHAWAR (Staff Reporter): Seismic survey of 15 blocks of oil and gas has been completed having a combined potential of producing 20 trillion cubic feet gas, besides oil, officials informed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor on Wednesday.

The governor was presiding over a meeting aimed at reviewing the oil and gas exploration activities in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Additional Chief Secretary Fata Fida Wazir and Director Fata Oil and Gas Facilitation Unit Azhar Mehboob were also present in the meeting. The meeting was given a detailed presentation about exploration of oil and gas in Fata and frontier regions (FRs). On the occasion, the governor directed officials of Fata Oil and Gas Facilitation Unit to closely coordinate with the KP Oil and Gas Company Limited to further expedite efforts for exploration of natural oil and gas deposits in Fata and FRs. Director FATA Oil and Gas Facilitation Unit Azhar Mehboob informed the meeting that Rs4.5 billion had been invested for carrying out seismic survey in 15 blocks of oil and gas in Fata and FRs.

Out of the 15 blocks, he added, 5 blocks were near to completion which had already created several jobs for local people. The 5 blocks are situated in Latamber, Tirah, Orakzai, Wali and Baska areas.

The governor said production of oil and gas from Fata could change the fate of the people of the tribal belt. He said this would usher in a new era of development and prosperity in Fata.

Seed dealers directed to get licence from agriculture dept

MULTAN (APP): The Punjab government has held the seed dealers bound to get themselves registered with the agriculture department to obtain license and those willing to do seed business can file application till February 9. Director agriculture extension Multan division Rana Ahmad Munir said this while addressing a gathering of farmers at a farmers training programme at Chak 5-Faiz here Wednesday. He said the federal government had approved some amendments in the seed act following which provincial government has declared that those selling seed must get dealership license from the agriculture department to ensure that good quality certified seed is made available to farmers. He said that forms can be obtained from the office of deputy director agriculture extension free of cost and licenses would be issued to the individuals for a year without charging any fee. He advised farmers to remove weeds from their fields and areas around them, adding that weeds compromise production by around 42 percent.