Cotton growers asked to apply for reward

 BAHAWALPUR (APP): The Agriculture Department Punjab has sought applications from cotton growers of 16 districts of Punjab for participation in a competition regarding quality and production of cotton crop. The farmer of 16 districts including Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Rahimyar Khan, Lodhran, Khanewal, Vehari, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Sahiwal, Mianwali, Layyah, Bhakar, Jhang and Pakpattan can submit their applications for the competition till July 31. According to details issued by District Agriculture Department Bahawalpur, the applications could be obtained from concerned Assistant Directors of Agri Department or could be downloaded from department's website www.agripunjab.gov.pk. The competitions would be held on district and provincial level and decision of the divisional committee would be considered final. A farmer who cultivated cotton crop on three acres or more than three acres of land can participate in the competition, it said. It is also mandatory for a participant that the cotton seed should be a approved variety and the cotton yield should meet the international standards.

Overall prizes of Rs 14 million would be distributed among the farmers. The District Agriculture officer talking to APP said that this competition would encourage the cotton growers and result in enhanced per acre yield.

The department plans to give laser land leveler, tractor trolley, disc harrows among the winners of this competition on provincial level while cotton planters, rotavator and boom sprayers would be given to winners on district level. All the growers including those having personal land, tenants, joint owners and lease holders could participate in this competition. Nevertheless, members of the provincial and national assemblies, senators and their family members, officers' grade-17 and above and employees of agriculture department are not eligible to take part, he added.

He said that modern machinery would not only help farmers to increase per acre yield of their crops but also save their time.

 HCCI governing body replaces 3 members

 HYDERABAD (APP): Following controversial resignation of HCCI president Muhammad Akram Rajput, the third governing body meeting of Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI), while taking major decision, has filled three vacant seats of the governing body. According to a press release issued here on Wednesday, out of 21 members, 18 attended the meeting of the governing body which granted approval of taking Muhammad Ismail Shaikh in the body against Muhammad Akram Rajput who tendered resignation from the post of the President. Besides, the governing body also granted approval of including Muhammad Yousuf Memon and Abdul Waheed Shaikh in the body in place of Hassan Mehmood Baig and Abdul Qayoum Nusrat following their replacement from their respective companies. The HCCI governing body also formed three members committee with a task to propose names for formation of the HCCI sub-committees.

The participants of the meeting also discussed the issues including load shedding as well as health and sanitation and decided to approach the officers concerned for addressing the genuine problems of the people particularly the business community.

The meeting also expressed satisfaction over the security arrangements by Pakistan Rangers and Sindh Police for maintenance of law and order particularly during the election campaign in Hyderabad.

 141,000 workers sent to 60 countries

 ISLAMABAD (APP): Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) had sent around 141,000 workers to the 60 different countries of the world so far. An official source told APP on Wednesday that OEC  has started the online registration of skilled and unskilled workers for jobs in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries especially for the upcoming World Expo 2020 in UAE and FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. He said that in the wake of these mega events in the region, a huge number of workforce of all categories and trades professions was required for these mega projects. The OEC as public sector organization, was successfully proving competent, reliable and cost-effective human resource to the international market, while ensuring exploitation free environment for overseas job seekers, he expressed. He said that the OEC had been awarded fastest sending agency awards by the Human Resource Development Service of Korea to process and dispatch of Pakistani manpower to Republic of Korea under their EPS which was the most efficient, fair and transparent recruitment system of the world.

The official said the OEC is in process of building and maintaining a database of available workforce in Pakistan, which would be directly accessible to foreign employers and highly skilled, skilled, semi-skilled and general workers, who intend to seek employment abroad can apply to or register with OEC. Those candidates who are unable to apply online, may submit their CVs along with copy of deposit slip in any OEC office. All interested candidates can send their documents to the offices of the OEC including Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar by August  31, he added.

 Smeda initiates revising SME Policy

 LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) is going to initiate the process for revising SME Policy 2007, said authority CEO Sher Ayub Khan in a review meeting held here at SMEDA head office Wednesday. He said that the policy framework will bring fundamental reforms at SME level necessary to provide level playing field to local businesses.  He further stated that all key SME stakeholders will be involved in the policy development exercise. Rapidly changing economic environment requires policy and institutional focus that can make Pakistani SMEs competitive in international markets and fulfill the multiple agenda of employment creation, new enterprise development, increased exports and enhanced contribution to GDP, he added and hoped that the revised SME Policy framework will serve as the Government of Pakistan's Master Plan for providing support to catalyze growth of the sector for the medium to long term development.

General Manager, Policy and Planning Division, Nadia J. Seth, stressed upon the need of innovation and research-based policy interventions across SME sector to enhance their productivity and competitiveness.

Sheheryar Tahir, Head, External Relations Directorate, stated that technical support for policy development is being provided by USAID's Small and Medium Enterprise Activity (SMEA). He highlighted the role of international development partners in shaping the policy through sharing international best practices and expertise through local and international consultants' engagement.

GM-Central Support Fuad H. Hashim observed that in most countries, SMEs constitute more than 90percent of all enterprises and significantly contribute towards economic growth.