820km Optic Fiber Cable project in GB to facilitate tourism

ISLAMABAD (APP): The fiber optic network project in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is being carried out at a fast pace and would facilitate trade, tourism and Information Technology (IT) awareness in region. The coast of 820km of Optic Fiber Cable from Khunjerab to Rawalpindi is US $ 44 million and expenditure incurred so far is $28.30million. Sources at Planning and Development Division Sunday said the project completion time is December 2018 but it may be completed ahead of schedule. Giving details, the sources said main alignment of CPEC optical fiber is Rawalpindi, Mansehra, Naran, Babusar top, Chillas, Gilgit, Karimabad, and Khunjerab.  The project while establishing alternate international connectivity of Pakistan and China with rest of the world will particularly play a key role in provision of 3G and 4G services in Gilgit-Baltistan at parity with services now available in other parts of the country.

Essentially, the project will provide benefits which include: a major source of revenue, facilitate trade, tourism and IT awareness in region, employment to locals of area along deployment route, generate economic opportunities in GB region, provide modern telecom facilities on CPEC route, direct access for Pakistan-Middle East for China and, Central Asian Republics, Far East and Europe.

Changed tax structure needed to support underprivileged

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan Tehreeek-e-Insaf’s (PTI’s) pro-poor policies would require radical changes in the tax structure which heavily favours the rich, said Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders. Present tax system forces poor to subsidise rich which must be rewritten to make it progressive and indirect taxes should be rolled back and fuel prices should be reduced, said a statement issued here. The country is facing a balance of payments crisis and its resolution plan should avoid inflation which will hurt poor leading to higher interest rates, slowing down growth and hitting competitiveness, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt. It will also collide with the SMEs on which the incoming government is counting to provide jobs to millions of unemployed, he added. Butt said that country was facing a trade deficit of $38 billion, current account deficit of $18 billion, official forex reserves are about $10 billion, while external debt is inching towards $100 billion.

Exports and investment are not taking off, remittances are insufficient while the increasing oil prices will add additional pressure on the economy.

Training courses to enhance capacity of textile workers

ISLAMABAD(APP): The Ministry of Textile Industry is offering multiple training courses to focusing on different areas of textile sector to enhance the capacity of its workers. Garments, fashion, apparel design, cutting for lingerie making, line supervisory skills and knitting machine operators training are the areas of these capacity building courses, a senior official of Ministry of Commerce and Textile told APP here. He said the ministry has also launched a skill development project in collaboration with International Labor Organization (ILO) and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).  “The Mintex has selected four textile training institutes working under administrative control of Mintex namely Pakistan Readymade Garment Training Institute (PRGTTI), Pakistan Knitwear Training Institute (PKTI) Lahore , Pakistan Fashion and Apparel Design Institute (FADIN) Karachi and SMA Rizvi Textile Institute (SMARTI) Karachi as partners for implementation of this project.”

He said the training programmes’s main objective is provision of skilled workforce to make textile industry more competitive.

The ministry will cover the costs incurred in the areas of trainee stipend, trainer’s salary, raw material cost, social mobilization, evaluation cost, certificate printing and distribution, he added.

He said this programme will render dual benefits for Pakistan’s economy; firstly provision of skilled workforce to textile industry and secondly employment opportunities for workers especially trained women.

Approximately 600 trainees would be trained in different batches spread over about one and half year’s time. On the completion of training course, job placement of the trainees would be ensured with the help of textile institutes and respective textile associations, he added. All the stakeholders of the skill development project are hopeful for positive results.

Mobile Vet School imparts training to 15,677 cattle farmers

MULTAN (APP): Livestock Mobile Veterinary School imparted special training to 15,677 cattle farmers and students during one year in Multan Division. About 316 sessions of training were conducted in different schools and 280 sessions in villages across the division, said Focal Person Livestock Dr Majid while talking to APP.  He informed that Punjab Livestock Department provided Livestock Bus at division level with an objective to provide training to cattle farmers and also create awareness among students about utility of milk, meat, butter and yogurt as these food items could help improve health of the youngsters. Each Bus of Livestock department is air-conditioned and contained material both audio and video, to guide cattle farmers through demonstration documentaries. Dr Majid added that cattle farmers were also apprised the need of specific minerals and fodder in their particular areas. The farmers are also informed about importance of neat and clean area of animals residence, said Dr Majid.

Responding to a query, the Livestock Department focal person maintained that the Livestock Bus had one doctor, one livestock assistant and other two technical staffers and the doctor used to respond questions of the cattle farmers.

About feedback of mobile veterinary school, Dr Majid informed that the cattle farmers were very much happy and they were getting training with much interest. He added that a good number of female cattle farmers also got training from the mobile veterinary schools. Similarly, the farmers have been instructed to contact Help Line 08000-9211 in case of any issue related to cattle rearing.