PIAF, PG felicitate Mian Anjum Nisar

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): PIAF has felicitated its patron-in-chief Mian Anjum Nisar for assuming the charge of interim Punjab minister in the caretaker setup of the province. PIAF chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh congratulated the minister for accepting the new and challenging assignment and hoped that keeping in view his vast experience, the economy of the province would also be handled in a smooth manner during the interim period. He said that the interim minister has vast experience having grass root information about trade and industry. He hoped that provincial minister would utilise his best abilities for the growth of business. The Progressive Group has also congratulated former LCCI President Mian Anjum Nisar on assuming the charge as Minister for Industries, Investment, and Minerals in the caretaker setup of the Punjab. Progressive Group’s President Khalid Usman, LCCI executive committee member Chaudhry Arshad, Wadood Alvi, Ejaz Tanveer and Ehsan Ullah Ehsan hoped that Mian Anjum Nisar will also perform as caretaker minister.

Services exports up 17.32pc in April

ISLAMABAD (NNI): The exports of services surged by 17.32 percent on year-on-year (YOY) basis during the month of April 2018 compared to the corresponding month of last year. The services exports during April 2018 were recorded at $451.17 million against the exports of $384.57 million in April 2017, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The imports of services during the month under review witnessed negative growth of 2.08 percent by declining from the imports of $832.59 million last April to $815.30 million during April 2018. Based on the figures, the trade deficit during April 2018 decreased by 18.72 percent as it went down from the deficit of $448.02 million to $364.13 million. On month-on-month (MOM) basis, the exports of services from the country increased by 4.96 percent in April 2018 when compared to the exports of $756.30 million in March 2018. The imports into the country increased by 7.8 percent in April 2018 when compared to the imports of $756.3 billion in March 2018.

Meanwhile, the exports during the first ten months of the current fiscal year witnessed negative growth of 8.17 percent compared to the corresponding period of last year.

Meanwhile, the overall services exports from the country during July-April (2017-18) were recorded at $4314.64 million compared to the exports of $4698.63 million in July-April (2016-17), the PBS data revealed.

The imports into the country witnessed increase of 6.29 percent during the period under review by going up from $8025.71 million last year to $8530.44 million during the ongoing fiscal year.

Based on the figures, the services trade deficit during the first ten months of the current year widened by 26.71 percent as the deficit was increased from $3327.08 million last year to $4215.80 million during the current year.

Al-Futtaim committed to Pakistani market

ISLAMABAD (APP): Al-Futtaim announced on Tuesday the acquisition of an industrial plot of land to set up a brand new automotive plant for the exclusive manufacturing and assembly of Renault vehicles in Pakistan. The world-class facility will be set up at M-3 Industrial City in Faisalabad, which is strategically located in the country and is Pakistan’s largest Special Economic Zone. “Al-Futtaim is fully committed to the Pakistani market and to this project,” Senior Managing Director of Al-Futtaim Automotive International Colin Cordery said in a statement. “We, together with Groupe Renault, are delighted to have completed the land acquisition, which is an important milestone in the project. We believe this to be the optimal location for the manufacturing and assembly plant, and look forward to working with Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) to develop a world-class and modern factory here," he said, adding that this project would bring significant foreign direct investment to Pakistan, and also create many direct and indirect jobs.

“The land acquisition in Faisalabad is an important step in our project with Al-Futtaim Automotive to bring the Renault vehicles to the Pakistani customers”, said SVP, Chairman of Africa, Middle-East India Region of Renault Fabrice Cambolive. “We look forward to the continuation of the constructive cooperation with Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development & Management Company (FIEDMC) and the federal, provincial and local governments in Pakistan to achieve our goal to establish Renault brand in Pakistan.”

The design and pre-engineering work of the project is well underway, and on-site activities will commence shortly. The formal launch of the facility construction will be in Q4-2018. Once construction work is completed, the state-of-the-art assembly plant will have a total installed capacity of over 50,000 units per annum.

Al-Futtaim and Renault expect that the factory will commence production in 2020.

The next key milestone for the Al-Futtaim Renault Pakistan project will be the establishment of a dealership network across the country, which reflects both Al-Futtaim and Renault brand values.

Plan to upgrade, renovate railway stations

ISLAMABAD (APP): Ministry of Railways was planning to upgrade and renovate another 30 railway stations situated across the country. In this regard, Pakistan Railways had already submitted PC-I for upgradation and renovation of railway stations,” an official in the Ministry of Railways told APP. Giving detail, he said that a project of rehabilitation of stations has been initiated under which 18 railway stations are being upgraded. He said the names of railway stations being upgraded included Karachi Cantt, Peshawar, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Bhawalpur, Raiwind, Gujranwala, Narowal, Nakana Sahib, Hasan Abdal, Khanewal, Okara, Sibi, Harnai and Kohat. Out of them, Okara, Narowal, Sahiwal and Yusufwala railway stations were inaugurated by the former Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique. He said that an amount of Rs 210.8 million had been spent on the construction of Sahiwal railway station, Rs 104 million on Yusufwala and Rs 359.8 million had been spent on the construction of Narowal railway station.

Regarding the Raiwind railway station, he said that it is being constructed by the National Logistic Cell (NLC) which started the work in 2016 and about 85 per cent work has been completed.

The official said that Pakistan Railways will spend Rs 977.32 million for upgradation of railway stations in Punjab, Rs 1,242.93 million in Sindh, Rs 442.71 million in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Rs 243.49 million in Balochistan and Rs 66.5 million in the federal capital.