Railways receives Rs54.5m to man level crossings

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Pakistan Railways has received Rs54.5 million out of the total Rs105 million from the Sindh government to man the unmanned level crossings in the current financial year. "The total number of manned level crossings over Pakistan Railways system at present is 1,514 and unmanned level crossings are 1,875," sources in the Ministry of Railways said. They said the total number of vulnerable level crossings was 550 as per joint survey conducted in collaboration with the concerned district authorities during 2013. Pakistan Railways took up this issue with the provincial governments and 75 unmanned level crossings out of 550 were converted into manned level crossings during 2015-16 in the province of Punjab, compared to seven unmanned level crossings, which were upgraded during last five years (2008-2013), they added. The sources said that efforts were under way for upgrade of remaining vulnerable level crossings. In this regard, the help of respective provincial governments is being solicited.

LNG import may touch 1200mmcfd by July

ISLAMABAD (APP): Import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is likely to double by July 2017 from its current volume of 600 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), official sources said. "Currently, Pakistan is importing 600 mmcfd RLNG, which is added to the transmission network and hopefully the matching quantity will add in the current supply by July, 2017," the sources said. Currently, they said, there was a huge gap between demand and supply (domestic production) of gas, adding "therefore, reliance on imported gas is likely to increase in future unless new major gas discoveries are made." They informed that the government took several measures to reduce reliance on imported gas. Elaborating the steps, the sources said, the Petroleum Policy 2012 was being implemented in letter and spirit, offering attractive terms and conditions to investors. Under the policy, they said, as many as 46 new blocks had been awarded under Petroleum Policy 2012, while the clearance process had been initiated for award of another 32 exploration blocks to oil and gas exploration and production companies.

SMEDA to hold 2nd SME Conference from today

LAHORE (APP): The SMEDA is going to hold the second two-day International SME Conference here from Wednesday, March 15. According to SMEDA sources here Tuesday, the conference would be attended by delegates from the USA, UK, Turkey, Japan, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Germany and China. Federal Industries and Production Minister Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi would be the chief guest at the conference. Others expected to attend the conference include Khizar Hayat Gondal, Federal Secretary for Industries and Production; Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman of HEC; Dr Hassan Sohaib Murad, Rector of UMT; and Dr Rebecca Fox, Professor of George Masson University, USA. The sources added that representatives of private and public sector business promotion organizations, including State Bank of Pakistan, SECP, Pakistan Stock Exchange, Leasing Association of Pakistan, Akhuwat, FPCCI, Bank Alfalah, Association of Management Development Institutes, University of Lahore and the UMT would attend the conference.

Pakistan's stock market growing faster than others in region

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan's stock market has risen faster than any other in Asia over the past 12 months, by a heady 50 percent, The Economist has said. Highlighting the political and economic stability in Pakistan achieved in recent years, the newspaper in its article said poverty in the country had fallen and the urban middle class was growing. The Economist mentioned that the sales of Nestle, a giant maker of processed foods, had doubled in Pakistan in past five years to over one billion dollars. The article also mentioned the successful holding of PSL final in Lahore, and said Pakistan seemed to be returning to a more stable and prosperous state. "This was a personal triumph but also a historic moment, marking the only time since Pakistan's founding that one elected government has completed its term and passed power to another," it said. "It also turned out to be the first of a heartening series of signs that Pakistan itself seems to be returning, slowly and haltingly, to a more stable and prosperous state," the article observed.