Supreme Court asked to take note of wheat scam

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked the Supreme Court to look into wheat scam which benefitted few at the cost of millions of farmers, consumers and public exchequer. Government allowed import of wheat despite bumper crops since two years and surplus stocks giving opportunity to private sector and flour mills mafia to dump seven lakh tonnes of substandard wheat. The import destabilised local market forcing farmers to sell their commodity at reduced rates and transformed issue of surplus stock into a national concern, it said.  Inferior quality of imported wheat is now consumed by masses while millers are not buying grain from government.

 which has compromised capacity of food departments to return loans obtained from banks, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

Therefore, billions are being paid to banks as interest which would have not been the problem if import of wheat wasn’t allowed by the ECC.

NTDC, Chinese company agree

to upgrade transmission line

MUREE (NNI): The National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) and Chinese Company have agreed to upgrade transmission line. Documents of the agreement were exchanged between two sides in Murree on Sunday. Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif witnessed the agreement ceremony. Under the agreement, the transmission line will be upgraded for transmission of nine hundred megawatt of solar energy from Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park. Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said up-gradation of this line will be completed on fast track before solar park begins power generation.

‘Pakistan can get 1,000 megawatt power by wind energy’

LAHORE (APP): Pakistan can produce above 1,000 megawatts of electricity through wind energy. Denmark’s Ambassador in Pakistan Mr Jesper Moller Sorensen said this in an interview with APP here. He said the Danish companies had recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Punjab government for production of wind energy. He said Pakistan should focus on alternative resources of energy production, including wind energy. He said Denmark had got world repute in producing good quality wind energy installations. “We are ready to transfer wind energy technology to Pakistan”, he said. The ambassador said once Denmark was also facing energy shortfall but it had overcome it by using modern technology.

“Now we are fulfilling 40pc of our energy requirements through wind energy”, he said.

Jesper Moller Sorensen said that Pakistan and Denmark had vast opportunities to expand mutual trade.

He said Pakistan’s armed forces and civilians had rendered great sacrifices against war on terror. People of Denmark fully appreciated these sacrifices and support the efforts of Pakistan to curb terrorism, he added.

He said operation Zarb-e-Azb had resulted in improvement of law and order situation in Pakistan.

To a question, he said Denmark was working on a project of $50 millions for free primary education for poor girls and construction of Darul Aman for shelterless women in KPK, Baluchistan and Punjab.

The ambassador said Denmark had launched various social sector development projects in Pakistan.

Youth Exchange programme and Journalists support programme with Pakistan are running very successfully, he concluded.

Wheat farmers demand specal compensation package

ISLAMABAD (APP): Rains continuing from mid-March have badly affected the wheat crop in the country, particularly in upper Punjab, maikng it difficult to meet the target set by the government for the current year.  The unusual rains have either fully destroyed the crop or affected grains in terms of quality and weight. The stagnent rain water in fields will affect wheat yield considerably, according to agri experts. Wheat farmers have demanded the government a special package to compensate their loss caused by rains.Secratery Kissan Bachao Tehreek Ahmed Noor Dhudhi told APP that the rains had affected the wheat in upper Punjab, including Sargodha, Lahore and Gujrnawala divisions.

 He said farmers would suffer financially due to the climate change as they would would be able to get potential wheat produce.

The wheat grain this year, he added, would also be weak or have low gutton content due to stagnent water in the fields. He urged the government to instruct food department officials to purchase the crop from farmers without creating any hurdels.

 Muhammed Ali, another farmer, asked the goverment to annonce a compensatory packege, besides waiving off Aabiana (agri-tax) for the farmers.

He also urged the federal government to release funds to compensate rice farmers under the package announced last year. The government had announced Rs.5,000/= per acre compensation for the rice crop in view of low prices internationally.

 The farmers appreciated the Pakistan Metreological Dapartment for timely rain forecast, which helped them adopt precautionary measures to lessen damage to wheat crop.

Govt expecting 20pc growth in revenue collection this year

WASHINGTON (Online): Finance Minister Ishaq Dar says the government has successfully undertaken tax reforms resulting into an increase of 20 percent in revenue collection. In a meeting with Vice President of World Bank’s South Asian Region Annette Dixon in Washington, the Minister briefed her about the healthy trends in Pakistan’s economy as a result of the government’s policies. He said the revenue collection has witnessed 16.4 percent growth rate during the last fiscal year, and the government is expecting 20 percent growth this year despite all challenges. Annette Dixon appreciated the performance of Pakistan’s economy during the last two years. She said World Bank is preparing a plan to support energy sector and economic growth in Pakistan.