Farmers to be provided over 233,000 tons of wheat seed
ISLAMABAD (APP): Government has set a target to provide 233.36 thousand tons of certified wheat seeds to growers during current sowing season (2015-16) in order to achieve maximum per acre crop yield in the country. Total requirements of the seed during the current season was estimated at 1,085 thousand. As per the break figures, 21.50 percent of requirements would be fulfilled by wheat growers and private sector by providing quality seed for cultivation, said an official of Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Talking to APP here on Monday, he said that to ensure maximum crop output, seed requirements for cotton crop were achieved 100 percent as about 40,000 tons of certified cotton seed was provided to farmers against the set targets.
He informed that seed was the most important input to achieve the crop production targets adding that government has set a target to provide 14.44 thousand tons of seed for paddy growers as against the requirements of 42.48 thousand tons which comprising 34 percent of the total requirements.
Meanwhile, the government has set a target to provide 34 percent out of the total requirements for the maize seed adding that during the period under review 10.85 thousand tons of seed would be provided to farmers against the total requirements of 31.91 thousand tons, he added.
The government has set a target to provide 32 percent fodder seed to farmers in country adding that 12.84 thousand tons of fodder seed would be provided to farmers as against the required volume of 40.14 thousand during season 2015-16.
He said that government has also set a target to provide 21 percent oil seeds and 22 percent of pulses seeds to farmers during current sowing season in the country.
The total requirements for oil seeds were recorded at 10.58 thousand tons as and pulses at 47.50 thousand tons respectively, where as 2.22 thousand tons seeds for oil seeds and 10.45 thousand tons of pulse seeds would be available for growers during the year 2015-16.
It may be recalled that government has set agriculture sector growth at 3.9 percent for current financial year as compared to 2.9 percent of growth of same period of last year.
It has set the growth target of important crops at 3.2 percent, other crops at 4.5 percent, live stock at 4.1 percent and forestry at 4 percent for the period under review.

$40b Silk Route Fund to
integrate three continents
ISLMABAD (INP): President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), All Karachi Industrial Alliance & First Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel (BMP) of FPCCI, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said $40 billion Silk Road infrastructure fund by China will bring over fifty countries in Asia, Europe and Africa closer by boosting connectivity. The amount allocated to resurrect the old Silk Road trading route and sea-related projects will be increased by the passage of time as initial allocation is insufficient, he said. The project is focused on Asia with Pakistan and Central Asian states getting more benefits than others, said the former Provincial Minister.
The Silk Road has existed for thousands of years, it enriched the countries it passed through, transporting material goods, cultures, knowledge, religions, arts, and languages into societies across Asia, Europe, and Africa, and uniting them all with a common thread of cultural heritage.
President PBIF, Mian Zahid Hussain said that China has produced over 25 percent of the global GDP since centuries but the industrial revolution in West slowed it down. Now, China is regaining its lost glory which is not acceptable to US. US, India and Japan have joined hands to counter Chinese influence, especially in Asia which will come with billions of infrastructure influence.
India is eying oil and gas and minerals in Afghanistan and Central Asia since long therefore it cannot see increasing Chinese influence in that region.
Moreover, international lenders uneasy with the establishment of Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank have decided to increase loans significantly to counter China however they have a serious image issue in the developing world. Developing countries will benefit between power struggles among influential nations, he said.

LCCI calls for early release of
refund claims
LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has demanded of the Federal Board of Revenue to release refund claims at the earliest as the businesses are facing serious shortage of capital to run their businesses. In a statement issued here Monday, the LCCI president Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said the Federal Board of Revenue is hampering growth of the most productive sectors by denying the exporters and manufacturers their right of refund of Sales Tax and Income Tax. He said that the delay in release of huge funds that runs into billions has triggered serious liquidity crunch for the exporters and manufacturers that might lead to closure of several industrial units.
The LCCI President said the authorities concerned should take realistic view of the matter and allow the refunds of sales tax and Income Tax to exporters and Manufacturers at the earliest, who were facing severe hardships.

Businessmen condemn
terrorist attacks in Paris
LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The business community all over the country has come out to show solidarity with the French and condemn a wave of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris. The FPCCI President Mian Adrees strongly condemned deadly terrorist attacks in Paris that have resulted in the loss of more than 100 precious lives and injuries to scores of people. The businessmen of Pakistan wish to convey their heartfelt sympathies and deepest condolences to the bereaved families and the people and government of France, he said. “We stand with them in their hour of grief. We pray for speedy recovery of the injured.” The whole Pakistan reiterated its condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
Saarc CCI Vice President Iftikhar Malik condemned the hateful attacks and urged global unity against extremism. “We denounce this hateful incident and the time has come for the world to unite to confront this monster.”
He said that business community of Pakistan stands firmly behind the people and Government of France in this hour and extends its support to bring the perpetrators to justice. The UBG chairman criticized Friday’s deadly attacks in Paris, branding them crimes against humanity.
“On behalf Pakistan business community, who have themselves been victims of terrorism, I strongly condemn these crimes against humanity and offer my condolences to the grieving French people and government,” he added.
The LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that Pakistani nation in general and business community in particular stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of France. He said that our prayers and hearts go out to our French brothers in this testing time. He said that terrorist attacks in Paris should not be seen in the context of any region or religion as no religion allows killing of innocent people.
LCCI former Vice President Kashif Anwar denounced the heinous attacks, adding, these acts, which target stability and security in France are against all human and moral values. The country supports all measures aimed to eradicate terrorism, he said. We condemned these criminal acts of terrorism which run counter to all teachings of holy faith and humanitarian values. Pakistan supports all measures France might take to protect its security, he said.

Cotton growers advised to counter pink bollworm
MULTAN (APP): The extension and pest warning wings of Punjab Agriculture department have noticed pink bollworm attack on silver fibre in different cotton growing districts and advised techniques including animal grazing after last picking to kill the enemy pest in the cotton remains. In winter season, pink bollworm resides inside the middle of two seeds joined with each other, inside open bolls in the field after picking or in the trash lying at ginning factories, according to a release issued by media liaison unit of Agri dept on Monday. Pink bollworm has no host other than cotton and introduction of new cotton varieties and changes in its cultivation tendencies have enhanced manifold the importance of tackling pink bollworm properly.
Experts recommended that after last picking farmers should leave animals inside the cotton fields to enable them eat each remaining cotton boll to kill the bollworm inside.
Farmers should break the unripe cotton bolls and destroy them. The cotton sticks should be cut from six inch deep inside the soil to prevent them from growth in spring season.
The process of cutting remaining cotton sticks and their destruction should be completed on or before Jan 31.
Farmers should then deep plough the empty field to kill the pupae of the pink bollworm. Before the commencement of the spring season, farmers should apply rotovator to destroy the remaining roots of cotton plants and weeds.
In case farmers need the cotton sticks as fuel wood then they should keep the sticks in form of smaller stacks in a way that they are exposed to sunlight to destroy the remaining pink bollworms.
The stacks' position should be changed two to three times to remove trash and kill pupae of pink bollworm, the release concluded.