GCU Endowment Fund playing great job for needy students: PM

LAHORE (APP): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Sunday said the Endowment Fund of Government College University (GCU) was doing a great job to facilitate the deserving students. He said this while addressing the Endowment Fund Trust's annual function here at the Government College University. The prime minister also announced Rs 50 million for the fund on behalf of the federal government, and said resources played a significant role in delivering quality education. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the GCU had been imparting quality education for 154 years, adding he was sure that the institute would keep delivering quality education with full devotion and commitment. He said the GCU had a beautiful campus and hoped that the fund would further be increased and more facilities would be provided in the institute. GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said:"The GCU Endowment Fund Trust (EFT) is doing a great job and a good number of students are being facilitated through this fund."

GCU EFT Executive Committee Secretary Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt said this year almost Rs12.5 million had been distributed among 550 needy students and hoped that day would come when the maximum number of students would be facilitated.

Endowment Fund Trust President Iqbal Z Ahamd also spoke on the occasion.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb and Punjab Governor Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana were also present.

Later, the prime minister distributed shields among donors, while a shield was presented to him.

MoMA gets Rs 1453.956 million to execute 16 projects

ISLAMABAD (APP): The government has so far released funds amounting to Rs 1453.956 million, against total allocation of Rs 12775.670 million, for execution of 16 projects of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs (MoMA) under the PSDP for the year 2017-18. According to official data, an amount of Rs 180 million has been provided for construction of Eastbay Expressway, Rs 850 million for development and construction of Port Allied structures in Mullah Band Area and Rs 146.28 million for upgradation of Gwadar Port Authority Housing complex project. While, Rs 36 million have been released for Feasibility Study to construct Break Water under China Pakistan Economic Project, Rs 25 million for Simulator (ECDIS, GMDSS, Radar-ARPA and High Voltage), Rs 15 million for Feasibility study of Petroleum/Petrochemical Terminal and Dirty Dry Bulk, Rs 15 million for Rehabilitation of auction hall of Gwadar Mini Port, Rs 11.36 million for establishment of regional offices and testing laboratories of marine fisheries.

department at Gawadar, Rs 11.12 million for establishment of regional offices and testing laboratories of marine fisheries department at Peshawar KPK, Rs 10 million for Pak-China Technical Institute at Gwadar, Rs 10 million for Business Complex RO Plant (0.2 m/g/d), Rs 7.45 million for Survey to Find Population Dynamics and Management of Vertebrate Diversity of the Coastal Areas of Sindh and Balochistan, Rs 14.75 million for upgradation and accreditation of quality control laboratories of MFD for environmental contaminants, Rs 29.06 million to acquire land for setting up oil storage at Gwadar.

Whereas, the government has released 100 percent fund, amounting to Rs 29.156 million, for setting up the CPEC Support Unit (CSU) for projects and activities in the Gwadar Port Authority .

China sees more exhibitors from Belt and Road Initiative countries

BEIJING (Xinhua/APP): China has been seeing more exhibitors from countries covered by the Belt and Road Initiative last year, a report indicated. Over 26 percent of overseas exhibitors participating in China's exhibitions in 2017 were from countries covered by the Belt and Road Initiative, up 15 percentage points year on year, according to a report from the Ministry of Commerce. Exhibitions have become important platforms for China to further open up its market. China held more than 5,600 exhibitions in professional display centers last year, up 1 percent year on year, while its total exhibition area grew 12.3 percent. The industry raked in 87.2 billion yuan (about 13.84 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue, an increase of 12.3 percent compared with 2016. Daily consumer goods and services dominated the sector, followed by exhibitions of architecture, decoration and industrial technologies.

Zimbabwe imports $400m to ease cash shortages

HARARE (Xinhua/APP): The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has imported about $400m cash in the first four months of this year to ease cash shortages in the economy, governor John Mangudya said. He told the state-run weekly Sunday Mail newspaper that bank queues were expected to minimize within the next two months as cash flows improve from tobacco and gold exports. The central bank will also draw from the $1.5b extended to it by the Afreximbank in Dec 2017, he said. "What I want to promise the nation is that within the next two months, the queues are going to be minimized. Zimbabwe has been facing bank note shortages since 2016 due to a widening trade deficit and runaway govt expenditure. The governor also said the biggest challenge facing Zimbabwe in relation to the cash crunch was poor circulation of money. "If the money was circulating, we would not be having the cash challenges that we have. Zimbabweans are looking at foreign currency as a store of value and not as something that they should circulate," he said.

Instead of circulating the money in the country, many people in the country were exporting the cash through paying for digital satellite television, school fees and shopping in foreign countries, among many other means of cash flight, the governor said.

In 2016, the central bank introduced local bond notes to ease the cash crunch but these have not helped much since these are being put into the market sparingly and in tandem with the value of exports to avoid stoking inflation.

Currently, 350 million bond notes and 40 million bond coins are in circulation. Initially trading at par with the US dollar, the bond notes have significantly lost value to the greenback on the black market.