ICCI delegation returns after successful visit to Morocco, Qatar

 ISLAMABAD (INP): A delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, led by senior vice president Muhammad Naveed Malik, visited Morocco and Qatar to explore possibilities of further improving trade and exports with these countries. Malik Najeeb, Imran Minhas and Sardar Zahid part of the delegation. During the visit to Qatar, the delegation visited Pakistan Embassy in Doha and met with Murad Baseer, Counselor/Deputy Head of Mission. Speaking at the occasion, Muhammad Naveed Malik, senior vice president ICCI, said that Qatar was importing many products from other countries to meet its needs and the purpose of visiting Qatar was to explore prospects for Pakistani products in Qatari market. He said that despite enjoying friendly relations, Pak-Qatar bilateral trade could not reach even $200 million and there was a dire need to make strong efforts on both sides to improve it.

He said that Pakistan Embassy in Doha should conduct market studies about the potential of Pakistani products in Qatar and share such information with ICCI so that business community could take benefit of untapped business opportunities in Qatari market. He stressed that Pakistan and Qatar should focus on frequent exchange of trade delegations so that private sectors could explore new avenues of mutual cooperation.

 New loadshedding schedule for industrial sector unacceptable: FPCCI

ISLAMABAD (INP): The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Thursday said the new schedule of ten-hour loadshedding for the industrial sector is unacceptable. Industrial production across the country and in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will take a blow because of the new loadshedding schedule while tens of thousands of labourers will face unemployment, it said. Government has repeatedly claimed to have eliminated the loadshedding but the new loadshedding schedule for the industrial sector has exposed all such unfounded claims, said President FPCCI Ghazanfar Bilour. He demanded relief for the industrial sector reeling under multiple issues and asked for an independent probe into the worst breakdown across the country a day ahead of the holy month of Ramazan. A disastrous failure of the power system which left most of the country off-grid and panicked the masses should be embarrassing for those who claim to have revived the ailing power sector, it said.

Billions have been spent to improve the power sector but the majority of the concerned departments are still headed by the non-technical and incompetent officials which is one of the reasons behind power sector woes, said President FPCCI Ghazanfar Bilour.

He said that inexperienced bureaucrats have been posted against highly technical posts in the power sector which is destabilising the whole system but the rulers seem not concerned about it.

The president of the apex chamber said that the important slots in the power system should be filled by the highly experienced and competent engineers otherwise masses and the business community will continue to pay the price of cronyism by those who matter.

Ghazanfar Bilour said that the fault in the power system disturbed life across the country, especially in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and it took a toll on masses in the residences, schools, hospitals, courts and offices, etc. which is shocking.

The power outage left tens of millions of people in different cities without water in the summer which had a crippling effect on them.

 KPZDMC CEO seeks residents

support for development of SEZ

PESHAWAR (APP): Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company (KPEZDMC) held a meeting with the delegation of the residents of Rashakai area at KPEZDMC Head Office to hear their concerns. During the meeting, CEO informed the delegation that KPEZDMC will give priority to employment of locals and provide them with vocational trainings. He assured the delegation that he was committed to Corporate Social Responsibility and will ensure that enterprises setting their units at the zone will play their role in development of the local area through CSR initiatives. The delegation was informed that Rashakaip Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will generate thousands of jobs and bring billions of dollars of investment over the years making the region prosperous. The meeting was concluded with a positive note by the delegation assuring full cooperation to KPEZDMC in the development of Rashakai prioritized Special Economic Zone.

The KPEZDMC has signed an engagement agreement with Chinese partner CRBC to develop 1000 acres of land as Special Economic Zone and install a 225 MW power plant at Rashakai. KPEZDMC is in final stages of modalities of the joint venture agreement and plans a ground breaking of the project soon.

 Balochistan govt taking interest in uplift of irrigation sector

ISLAMABAD (APP): Balochistan government is taking interest in uplift of irrigation sector so that more and more barren lands could be irrigated in order to make the province self-sufficient in production of various types of food grains. Provincial Director Irrigation (Water Management), in an interview with Radio Pakistan, said that for this purpose, a project of improvement of Pat Feeder and Khirther Canals is being executed at a cost of 500 million rupees. Furthermore, another project of betterment of drainage system in Hair Din area of Jaffarabad district is also swiftly being carried out at the same cost of 500 million rupees. Besides, a project of construction of irrigation system in Killa Saifullah is also under way at a cost of 234 million rupees. Similarly, a project of construction of protection walls to save the cultivated lands from flood waters and small dams in Gwadar district would soon be completed at a cost of 100 million rupees.

Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to construct 10 hydro power projects in Malakand and Hazara divisions. A spokesman of Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation informed that these projects will be completed at the cost of two hundred and forty billion rupees by 2023, Radio Pakistan reported. These projects, on completion, will generate three hundred and eighty-eight megawatt electricity. The spokesman said Malakand and Hazara divisions have vast potentials for hydel power generation.