News Brief

Number of 3G/4G users reaches 47.204m

ISLAMABAD (APP): The number of 3G and 4G users in Pakistan reached 47.204 million by end of November 2017, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) revealed here. Number of mobile phone users in Pakistan reached 143.34 million by end of November 2017 compared to 142.404 million by October 2017, and registered an increase of 0.936 million during the period under review. Jazz’s total count for 3G users stood at 14.096 million by end November compared to 13.93 million by end October 2017, registering an increase of 0.166 million. Jazz 4G user numbers jumped from 1558180 by October to 1750866 by end November. Zong 3G subscribers increased to 9.0297 million by end November 2017 compared to 8.976 million by end October, while the number of 4G users jumped from 4776777 by end October to 4,845504 by end November. The number of 3G users of Telenor network decreased from 10.635 million by end October 2017 to 10.591 million. Like others, the number of 4G users jumped from 1162870 by end October 2017 to 1361514 by end November 2017.

Ufone added 67517 3G users on its network during the month of November as the total reached to 5.5564 million by end November against 5.4889 million by end October 2017.

Teledensity for cellular mobile reached 70.83 percent and broadband subscribers reached 47,204,796 by end November as compared to 46538184 by end October 2017.

 Telcos continue to share tax data with FBR

ISLAMABAD (APP): Cellular companies have continued sharing their withholding tax data with Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). So far, two cellular companies i.e. M/s Pakistan Mobile Communication Limited (PMCL) (Jazz) and M/s Pakistan Telecom Mobile Limited (PTML) (Ufone) have uploaded their data on the new format. The data uploaded by the Pakistan Telecom Mobile Limited (PTML) contained errors. PRAL is in contact with PTML for removal of said errors. The remaining two companies i.e. M/s Telenor Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd and M/s CM Pak (Zong) have yet to upload their data and are being pursued to complete the task at an early date. Since on the new software, the Telcos are to provide information of customer-wise usage of phone credit including easy loads/calling cards used per month, the information submitted can easily be cross-matched by the monitoring officer. The Telcos, with the intervention of PTA, have agreed to upload the relevant data on the new format from August 2017.

 LCCI president says regulatory duty issue to be resolved soon

LAHORE (APP): LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid has said that high govt functionaries have given assurance regarding resolution of regulatory duty on imports issue. He was talking to a buinessmen delegation at the LCCI here. He said that he had important meetings with PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, PM Assistant on Revenue Haroon Akhter, Federal Minister for Industries & Production Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi, Chairman NA Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Chairman FBR & Member Customs FBR Zahid Khokhar and demanded total withdrawal of Regulatory Duty on imports. “Good news is that they had, in principal, agreed to move in favour of business community,” he added. Malik Tahir said that the LCCI was active from the very first day on regulatory duty and meeting the people sitting on the helm of affairs and informing them that RD on various essential items including raw materials would harm the economy.

He said that since various imported raw materials are being used in the local industries for manufacturing and exporting of goods, therefore regulatory duty on these important inputs would add to the miseries of export-oriented industries. Resultantly, he said, exports would continue to sink.

The LCCI president said that principally Regulatory Duty is imposed on such products where local industry needs protection.

The LCCI understands that protection of local industry is important for any state as it provides employment opportunities and contribute size able amount of revenue to national exchequer.

He said that if Regulatory Duty is not withdrawn totally it would also adversely affect the industrial sector. On the other hand it would open flood gate of smuggling and under invoicing that are already causing huge financial loss to the national kitty.

The LCCI president said that positive response from the high officials is a good omen and hopefully Regulatory Duty would be withdrawn totally until and unless genuine reservations of business community are addressed.

 Crop-friendly pests imported from USA showing good results

MULTAN (APP): Crop-friendly pests imported from California (USA) are showing good results in experimental fields against Mealy Bug and research work at the laboratory level has been showing healthy signs to increase their population to control Mealy Bug through biological control techniques. This was stated by Dr Zahid Mahmood, the director Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI) Multan, in a statement issued here. He said that the CCRI laboratory was also analyzing efficacy of locally available crop friendly pests against the enemy pests and a strategy has been finalised to save cotton crop from Mealy Bug that showed good results during the recent cotton season.  Dr Zahid said that CCRI Multan scientists were busy day and night in developing varieties that can survive extreme hot weather conditions and water shortage. Besides this, the cotton research body was also working with the federal and provincial agriculture departments to save crop from pink bollworm and Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCuV) and arranging training and awareness programmes for farmers.

He said that scientists were also working to develop varieties that have resistance against new kind of CLCuV called Burewala virus, adding that attempts were being made to incorporate good traits of wild and Desi cotton into the new cotton varieties.

Mutation and biotechnology techniques were also being applied to achieve the objective.

He said that Bt cotton varieties developed by CCRI Multan that have been sown in Punjab included CIM-598, CIM-599, CIM-602, Cyto-177, Cyto-178, and Cyto-179 while the non-Bt varieties included CIM-620, CIM-573, Cyto-124, and CIM-554.

He said that varieties in the pipeline including Bt CIM-632 and Bt Cyto-313 have completed two years of national coordinated varietal trials (NCVT) while BtCIM-343, BtCIM-663 and BTCyto-515 have completed a year of NCVT.

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