Railways considers proposal

to link Pakistan and Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan Railways is considering a proposal to link Peshawar with Jalalabad as well as Chaman (Pakistan) with Spinboldak (Afghanistan) through railway line. According to an official source, currently Pakistan Railways has existing line from Peshawar (KPK)- Jamrood (FATA) - Landikotal (FATA) linking Pak-Afghan border at Torkhum (FATA). Pakistan Railways is also carrying out feasibility study to explore the possibility of new alignment through Loi Shalman area from Jamrood (FATA). On finalization of feasibility study, PC-I will be prepared. For the second rail link from Chaman (Pakistan) and Spinboldak (Afghanistan), CDWP has approved PC-I of the project.

While Mardan and Nowshera are already linked with Peshawar through railway line.

Strict action to be taken against selling of substandard seeds

LAHORE (APP): Provincial Agriculture Minister Dr Farrukh Javid has directed the department to take strict action against persons involved in selling of substandard seeds in market without any discrimination. Addressing a meeting here on Tuesday which he convened after getting complaint of farmers regarding selling of poor quality seeds in market. He said that cotton and rice sowing season was about to start and availability of poor quality seeds in market at this stage was equal to the exploitation of farmers. He also directed the agriculture officials and staff in the province to start crack down against substandard selling of seeds and fertilizers.   

 He said that government would not tolerate the exploitation of farmers at any cost.

He also directed to form a joint action team along with Federal Seed Certification Department and persons involved in this business should be caught through joint strategy.

The minister said that uplift of farmers were the top priority of the Punjab government.

PM orders payment of Rs 85.74m dues of flour mills

MUZAFFARABAD (APP): Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir Chaudhary Abdul Majeed on Tuesday directed the Secretary Finance to immediately release an amount of Rs 85.746 to pay the outstanding dues of flour mills beside asking the concerned authorities to increase wheat storage. The Prime Minister issued these directions during a meeting held here on Tuesday under his chair and was attended by Minister for Food, Javaid Iqbal Budhanvi, Secretary Finance, Malik Sadiq, Principal Secretary Ehsaan Khalid Kiani, Secretary Food, Idrees Tabasam, officials of the concern departments and office bearers of Flour Mills Association.

Food Minister Javaid Iqbal Budhanvi told the meeting that the food department was in a severe crisis due to un-availability of the required funds to clear the dues of four mills and to increase the wheat storage for averting any crisis.

Abid asks Sindh to pay Rs 12 billion to power companies

HYDERABAD (APP): Minister of State for Water and Power, Abid Sher Ali Tuesday urged the Sindh government to pay Rs 12 billion outstanding dues of power utilities already reconciled in January last. Addressing a press conference held at the HESCO office here after meeting with the HESCO officials about recovery position and reduction of losses, he said Rs 68 billion were outstanding HESCO and SEPCO dues against Sindh government while bills amounting to Rs 8 billion and Rs 4 billion had been reconciled by HESCO and SEPCO respectively which should be paid without further delay. The duration of load-shedding would be increased wherever the losses go up beyond 30 per cent, he said.

There is no chance of theft of electricity without support of companies’ employees, he said adding that strict action would be taken against official found involved in such crimes.

Already, action has been taken against HESCO official over the issues of recovery and losses detected at Sub-division Sehwan, the State Minister said.

Besides, the officials found involved in such activities would be transferred to PEPCO and company headquarters, he said.

“We are making all efforts to control energy crisis and Sindh government should also cooperate with us in this regards”, he said.

If the losses were not recovered, the circular debt would again go up as it touched Rs 600 billion during previous government, he said.

He directed to replace defective transformers within 24 hours to save the consumers from inconvenience.

Two SDOs were suspended in Faisalabad over the delay in replacing the Transformer, he said.

Industrial development requires transfer of tech to end user

PESHAWAR (APP):  Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Rana Tavneer Hussain Tuesday said that existing geo-technological world and era of industrialization demands transfer of new technologies and inventions of laboratories to end users. He was addressing as a Chief Guest in a day-long Science and Technology Exhibition at Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) here. The exhibition among others was also addressed by Chairman PCSIR, Muhammad Ijaz Mian. Various indigenous products developed by the scientists of PCSIR to attract industrialists and business community were also displayed in the exhibition.

Minister said that importance of investment in science and technology sector is the key to development and the gateway to socio-economic development of a country.

He said that our efforts of industrial development can only be realized if the researchers, industrialist, academia and stakeholders in the country would work jointly and in an integrated way.

Later, Federal Minister inaugurated recently established Halal Authentication Laboratory and Technology Business Incubation Centre at PCSIR Complex.