Businessmen condemn

Lahore attack

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Pakistan Industrial & Traders Associations Front and Progressive Group have strongly condemned the suicide blast in two churches of Lahore which caused loss of over a dozen innocent lives and injuries to scores of others. In a joint statement issued here Monday, PIAF chairman Tahir Javed Malik and Progressive Group president Khalid Usman expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the loss of precious human lives in this incident. They also appreciated the police jawans who also embraced martyrdom or sustained injuries while performing their duties at these places to foil the suicide blast attempt. They sympathized with the victim families and prayed for them.

They said the terrorists striking at the churches are the same who have been attacking the mosques hence they should be ferreted out and punished with equal harshness.

3G, 4G users climb to 10.4m

ISLAMABAD (APP): The four mobile phone operators, providing mobile broadband services, have added 1.31 million 3G users on their networks during one month (January 15 to February 15) with Mobilink topping the charts for converting most customers from 2G to 3G during the period. The 3G and 4G services, launched in May last year, have attracted a lot of subscribers as total number of 3G users in the country reached 10.34 million at the end of February. According to data issued by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Mobilink added 423,371 users on its 3G network during the month while Telenor added some 405,883 users to 3G. Zong attracted 266,307 customers to 3G while Ufone managed to grab 216,137 users for its 3G services.

 At the end of February, Telenor lead the 3G market with 3.1 million subscribers while Mobilink stood second with its 2.6 million 3G users. Ufone had 2.47 million 3G users while Zong contented with 2.11 million 3G users.

With regard to 4G users, at the end of reported period, Zong had 7,261, up from 5,023 4G users it had last month while Warid on the other hand grabbed some 1600 Long term Evolution (LTE) users during the period to take the total count of LTE users to 60,923 users on its network.

Govt asked to overcome energy crisis immediately

ISLAMABAD (INP): Government must use all possible resources to  ame energy crisis lest the GSP plus facility go in vain and country suffers, a business leader demanded Monday. Government needs to initiate serious efforts on all fronts so that Iran gas pipeline project and Kalabagh dam (KBD) could be constructed otherwise energy security will remain a pipedream, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Dr. Shahid Rasheed Butt. He said that Pakistan's future is tied to Iranian gas and KBD but many intellectuals and politicians haven't realised it yet which is unfortunate. "We should stop digging own grave," he warned. He said that politicians have decided to remain undecided on critical issues of national importance which is leading us nowhere.

The veteran business leader said that KBD will not hurt any province but delay can help transform Pakistan into a desert as Tarbela dam will complete its life in sixteen years when there would be no local gas in the country.

Dams are not tools of destruction, as considered by many, otherwise China, Iran, India and other countries would have not

Services trade deficit down 20pc

ISLAMABAD (APP): Services trade deficit during first seven months (July-January) of current fiscal year 2014-15 witnessed a sharp decrease of 20.01 per cent as services exports jumped by 14.06 per cent while imports witnessed a nominal increase of 0.54 per cent. According to break up figures, the trade deficit during the period was recorded at $1.461 billion as compared to the deficit of $1.827 billion during same period of last year. Similarly the exports of services from the country during July-January 2014-15 were recorded at $3.166b against the exports of $2.77b recorded during same period of last year. On the other hand, the imports into the country during the period under review were recorded at $4.628 billion against the imports of $4.603b during the corresponding period of last year.

On month of month basis, the services trade deficit however, increased by 54.53 percent in January 2015 when compared to the deficit of December 2014, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

PSC asked to cut certified cotton seed price by Rs1,000 per bag

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Punjab agriculture minister Dr Farrukh Javed has directed Punjab Seed Corporation to reduce price of certified cotton seed by Rs.1,000 per bag.  The seed corporation will make available 75000 bags of certified seed to farmers at 1200 outlets of registered dealers besides at its own 16 sales points at reduced price in Punjab.  The minister said that reduction in price will break monopoly of multinational companies dealing in seed business. He added that this decision had been made in the interest of the farming community to increase their profitability. He urged farmers to use certified seed of approved cotton varieties at appropriate time to get optimum yield.

He reiterated that certified seed of approved cotton varieties being marketed by Punjab Seed Corporation has resistance against diseases through which farmers can enhance their per acre yield.