FPCCI says private sector not getting bank loans easily

ISLAMABAD (INP); The FPCCI on Saturday said banking sector is yet to play its due role in national development by giving required loans to different sectors. The role of the central bank, which regulates the banking industry, is far from satisfactory which must be noticed, it said. Reports of increased lending to different sectors are frequently published but the fact remains that the ratio of loans as compared to the GDP is on the decline since last twenty-five years, said Atif Ikram Sheikh, chairman FPCCI Regional Committee on Industries. The reforms initiated by the SPB proved to be faulty in design as well as the implementation which allowed banking sector to support twenty big business houses, forward seventy percent of the loans to the corporate sector, prefer government over all other borrowers and lend over ninety percent of the agricultural loans to one province. The common depositors continue to get a negative return on their savings which has eroded confidence in the banking system, he added.

Atif Ikram Sheikh said that banks have increased their territory of services and the range of their products but a lot is to be done as many from the trade and industry still find it difficult to borrow from banks and they rely on loan sharks for money.

The sectors ignored by the banks should be made profitable while the industry should be forced to serve the unbanked population while branchless banking should be promoted which is essential for the growth of banking industry, business, agriculture and the economy, he demanded.

$307.9m earned by export of sports goods in one year

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Pakistan earned $307.943 million by exporting sports goods during the fiscal year 2016-17, official sources said. The earnings from export of sports products dropped 5.17pc during the period when compared to the exports of $324.738 million during the fiscal year 2015-16, official data revealed. Among the sports products, the exports of footballs decreased 11.7 percent during the period under review. The football exports during July-June (2016-17) were recorded at $152.549 million compared to the exports of $172.901 million during July-June (2015- 16), according to data of PBS. However, the exports of gloves surged by 16.02 percent by going up from $92.750 million to $107.608 million, the data revealed. Exports of other sports products decreased by 19.13pc during FY2017 and declined to $47.786 million from $59.087 million in FY2016. Meanwhile, on year- on-year basis, the exports of sports goods decreased by 1.19 percent in June 2017 when compared to the exports of June 2016.

The sports goods’ exports in June 2017 were recorded at $27.176 million compared to the exports of $28.515 million according to the data. During the month, the football exports decreased by 2.78 percent while the exports of gloves increased by 4.8 percent while the exports of all other sports products decreased by 6.81 percent.

On month-on-month basis, the exports of sports products increased by 21.69 percent in June 2017 when compared to the exports of $23.153 million in May 2017.

On month on month basis, the exports of footballs increased by 19.31 percent, gloves by 14.54 percent whereas the exports of other sports goods increased by 47.93 percent.

It is pertinent to mention here that the overall merchandise exports in July 2017 witnessed 10.58 percent increase compared to the corresponding month of last year.

Pakistan exported goods worth $1.631 billion in July 2017 compared to the exports of $1.475 billion in July 2016, showing upward growth of 10.58 percent.

The imports during the first month of the current fiscal year (July 2017) increased by 36.74 percent compared to July 2016.

The imports into the country during July 2017 were recorded at $4.835 billion compared to the imports of $3.536 billion.

Based on the figures, the traded deficit during July 2017 was recorded at $3.204 billion, which shows growth of 55.46 percent when compared to the deficit of $2.061 billion during July 2016.

PR organises workshop on Railways Strategic Plan

LAHORE (APP): The Pakistan Railways organised a consultative workshop on Railways Strategic Plan with the cooperation of the Asian Development Bank team at a local hotel here on Saturday. The workshop was presided over by advisor to Minister for Railways Anjum Parvaiz and co-chaired by Secretary Railway Parveen Agha. It covered all aspects of the department like business development, human resource management, rolling stock availability and infrastructure development. PR CEO Javaid Anwar Boobak said in his opening remarks that the PR was heading towards a new era of reinventing Pakistan Railways. He said that this is the last opportunity for the railways to formulate an all-inclusive strategy that will define governance frame-work of the future Pakistan Railways. ADB consultant team head Sakamoto said on the occasion that the Bank had provided international experts to facilitate the PR strategic team.

While giving the presentations on different departments of the PR, it was informed the ADB team that the PR assets had started deteriorating in 1980s and 90s due to lack of investment, thereby resulting in reduction in number of trains and the freight operation had nearly halted back in 2012. Today freight traffic has increased from only 0.4 million tonnes in 2013 to 5 million tonnes and it would be 8 million tonnes in the next year.

The participants were informed that the PR had already added 4,000-horse-power 55 General Electric locomotives to its fleet and by 2025, functional locomotives will increase from 300 to 500.

The workshop was told that the PR was going to receive the most massive investment of its history that was $8-9 billion in the next five years.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) leader of the PR, Ashfaq Khattak, also addressed the workshop participants. The consultative workshop will be followed by a final workshop planned on Aug 29 and the inputs/ policy decisions by all stakeholders would be presented to the government for approval. The workshop was attended by all principal officers of the Pakistan Railways.

Farmers advised to take special care of cotton crop

MULTAN (APP): The agriculture department has advised farmers to take special care of cotton crop as it has entered into an important phase and lack of proper nutritional ingredients at this stage could stop growth of cotton. If the growth got affected due to nutritional ingredients, then cotton production and quality would suffer, said Assistant Director Information (Agriculture) Naveed Asmat Kohloon in a statement issued here on Saturday. The agriculture expert suggested that white flowers would be visible at top of plants which would be due to growth or lack of irrigation. Such fields must be irrigated after mixing one bag of nitrogen fertilizer. Similarly, Potassium Nitrate (1.5 kg), Boric Acid (250 gram), zink sulphate (250 gram), magnesium sulphate (300 gram) must be solved in 100 litres water and then spray it in one acre after every 12 days. The spray should be repeated three to four times after the recommended period. The department advised farmers not to mix other pesticides for the recommended spray.

Similarly, last dose of Nitrogen fertilizer must be completed by August 31.