Govt must ensure procurement of whole surplus wheat from farmers

LAHORE (INP): Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, President PPP Central Punjab has demanded that the government must ensure the procurement of whole surplus wheat from the farmers adding it must not be contended with the purchase of merely four millions tones as announced earlier. The procurement should be without political considerations of the ruling party, he added. He anticipated in the face of bumper wheat crop this year that the farmers would offer much more than the four million tones of wheat for procurement adding the procurement target of the government would inevitably push the poor growers at the mercy of the middle man to their acute disadvantage.

He pointed out that growers of rice, sugarcane, maze, wheat and potatoes have been suffering huge losses due to the anti-farmers policies of this government during the last two years. They cannot withstand the burden of the government policies any more and would be constraint to take extreme step if pushed against the wall, he warned.

He observed that the responsible governments provided subsidies to the farmers to protect their economic interest. He regretted that this government had faulted in this count because it backed out of its promises to compensate the rice growers through subsidies.

He said that agriculture sector was the backbone of the country’s economy and its contribution to the GDP stood around 25pc adding two thirds population of the country’s livelihood depended on this sector, directly or indirectly.

He pointed out that the textile sector of the country contributed 60pc of the total exports for which agriculture sector provided the raw material at affordable rates enabling it to earn competitive edge in the international market.

He maintained that Pakistan’s dream of emerging as a prosperous country would never materialise till the farmers of this country were not well off in the real sense of the word.

Ensuring power supply critical

for economic growth: APBF

ISLAMABAD (INP): As the Pakistani industry is striving hard to survive and grow in a very challenging environment, the regulators need to take robust measures for progress and industrial growth. The most critical factor that can ensure the survival and growth of Pakistan’s industry is the government’s ability to implement the National Power Policy 2014, which should ensure regular supply of electricity to enable the industry to compete in today’s cut-throat global competition. The President of All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) Ibrahim Quraishi stated that; “Despite being the most important pillar of the economy, the industrial sector is not getting the attention it deserves.

The continuous power crisis all over the country is having a major negative impact on progress. The decline in performance is caused by factors like; non-supply of electricity, gas and water, excessive litigation practices and lack of developmental funds, etc.”

“The business community has repeatedly urged the government to implement a fair and effective National Power Policy, for ensuring uninterrupted power supply to the industrial and commercial sectors. The new Power Policy should be enriched with a reliable contingency plan.” Ibrahim added.

The electricity crisis in Pakistan has had a debilitating impact on the industry, which is a major contributor to the country’s total GDP. Over the past 5 years, a significant portion of the employment opportunities in Pakistan were created by the industrial sector. Currently, this sector alone employs millions of the workforce in the country.

Although, the government of Pakistan is claiming to have its focus on resolving these issues, a lot more work needs to be done to overcome the current challenges. The government needs to adopt a multi-pronged strategy including; budgetary supports, policy interventions, marketing, Workforce training, revitalisation projects, and capacity building of each high-potential sector. A plan should be designed to enhance effectiveness, competitiveness and sustainability.

Current account deficit plunges

karachi (Online): Current Account Deficit witnessed downslide during the current fiscal year.  As per media reports State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has said in its report that during the period of July to March in the fiscal year 2015 current account deficit declined by $1.45 billion while it registered shortfall $2.692 billion during the corresponding period of last year and this way deficit fell by $1.236 billion. Citing to economic experts, media reports said current account deficit during the current financial year can dip as compared to last fiscal year.  Certain positive factors have contributed to lower current account deficit. These include domestic remittances, IMF loan and auction of Sukuk bonds. Decline in services deficit has also led to plunge in current account deficit.

SCGA convener meets Ahsan Iqbal

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Sugarcane Growers Association (SCGA) convener Javed Malik held a meeting with Ch Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister of P&D, in Gujranwalla along with Pir Ghulam Fareed, MPA and briefed him about salient features of Mamookanjan Plan of high tech German Growers Cooperative Sugar Industrial Complex. He emphasized the need for up-gradation of power plants of the local sugar mills, which have become obsolete over the period. He informed the minister that most of the sugar mills of Pakistan have low pressure boiler technology which takes 12 tons of steam to produce one 1MW while Germans are offering high tech boilers which take 4 tons of steam to produce one mega watt per hour.

Moreover, Germans are also offering high tech bio gas plants based on filter mud to fire the boilers of power plant of sugar mills, hence saving the baggasse. The minister took great interest in presentation and assured that government will do its best to implement the proposals.

ICCI terms Xi Jinping’s visit crucial

ISLAMABAD (Online): Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Muzamil Hussain Bukhari has said that the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan will be crucial to take relations between the two countries to a new height. In a statement issued here, the ICCI president said that the visit would open vistas of opportunities for traders and investors to invest in different sectors. He said that the Chinese president was expected to clinch several agreements worth $46 billion with the Pakistani government, which will help start energy projects in Pakistan to overcome the crippling energy crisis. Bukhari said that the Pak-China Economic Corridor project has the potential to turn around and spur economic activities in both the countries, resulting in well-being of the common man.