Paddy sowing target set at 4.4m acres in Punjab

MULTAN (APP): Punjab agriculture department has set paddy sowing target at 4.448 million acres with assessment of achieving 3.5 million tons production. In a release issued by media liaison unit of Punjab agriculture department, agriculture spokesman said that sowing target of paddy for Multan division was set at 171,530 acres and production target 143,490 tons. The sowing target for Dera Ghazi Khan division was set at 152,800 acre with production assessment of 124,000 ton while sowing target in Bahawalpur division was fixed at 252,370 acre with production assessment of 211,360 ton, agriculture spokesman Naveed Asmat Kahlon told newsmen on Wednesday.

Paddy plays an important role in meeting our domestic food requirements while export of surplus rice fetches foreign exchange.

Kahlon said that sowing of unapproved/unregistered varieties was a major hurdle in improving quality, however, advocacy by agriculture department and gradual improvement in literacy rate among farmers has reduced sowing of unregistered varieties.

He said that country’s agriculture scientists have developed high yielding rice varieties including Super Basmati and Basmati 385 with a production potential of 65 Maunds per acre while Basmati-2000 also possesses the similar potential. Shaheen Basmati has a capacity to yield 60 Maunds, while fat rice varieties including KSK-133 gives 90 Maunds per acre and Irri-6 gives 80 Maunds per acre production.

Kahlon, however, added that per acre production farmers were getting was less than the capability of these varieties and advised farmers to adopt modern technology to achieve production in accordance with full potential of varieties.

To get better results, farmers must obtain healthy seed and sow them properly at the right time. He also advised farmers to avoid unnecessary spray on paddy pleading it affects quality of crop.

Farmers should remove/uproot remains of paddy crop after harvest to avoid chances of pest infestation. Crop fields, its beds and water courses should remain clean to avoid pest attack on nursery.

He advised farmers to apply non-chemical pest control methods to lessen pesticides residual impact and get improved quality yield.

CCP, SECP ink MoU on sharing

of information

islamabad (Staff Reporter): The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for sharing of information at CCP in Islamabad on Wednesday. Vadiyya Khalil, Chairperson CCP and Zafar Hijazi, Chairman SECP signed the MoU. SECP Commissioner Tahir Mahmood, Executive Director SECP Musarat Jabeen, and Members of CCP Dr. Joseph Wilson, Dr. Shahzad Ansar, Mueen Batlay, and Ikram Ul Haque Qureshi attended the signing ceremony.  The purpose of the MoU is to establish a framework for sharing information which would help SECP and CCP in discharge of their respective statutory functions.

A formal information sharing arrangement will allow both the agencies to request and receive information in a timely manner, thereby making the process efficient. All information exchanged under the MoU will be kept confidential unless disclosure is required by law. The MoU cements the enhanced working relationship developed between the two agencies.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman SECP Zafar Hijazi said that the signing of MoU is an important development that will enhance cooperation and coordination between SECP and CCP. He said that SECP is looking forward to working with CCP in various areas of mutual interest.

Chairperson CCP Vadiyya Khalil in her remarks said that the MoU would not only enhance both Commissions’ enforcement capabilities, but will also aid in their research and advocacy initiatives.

KCCI appreciates Sindh Police’s untiring efforts

karachi (Staff Reporter): KCCI President Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra has appreciated the untiring efforts and rapid response of Sindh Police which resulted in the arrest of four terrorists who were responsible attacking a passenger bus at Safoora Chowk and killing at least 45 innocent passengers on board. Vohra said that despite limited resources, Sindh Police was doing a fine job and making all out efforts to ensure peace and stability across the city. He, while underscoring the need to enhance resources to Police department, said that police officers in Karachi city were discharging their duties in dire circumstances and they should be provided with latest state-of-the-art weapons and other necessary equipment to maintain the law and order.

Criteria for listing on panel

of auditors approved

islamabad (Staff Reporter): The SECP has approved criteria for audit firms for the listing on the SECP’s panel of auditors. This has been done to enforce reasonable discipline in the appointments of auditors of companies in the financial sector and securities market and to devise uniform criteria for developing a panel of auditors for the licensed entities. A review of the recent data of the audit firms conducting audit of various sectors being regulated by the SECP revealed that the companies did not consider the quality of auditors properly while assigning them auditing tasks. Analysis of the brokerage industry highlighted that the majority of the auditors being selected by the brokerage houses are of category C of the SBP’s panel of auditors.

 or in certain cases they do not belong to any of category.  

Currently, various divisions of the SECP use different criteria for selection of the audit firms to conduct audit of its regulated entities. However, the SECP is of view that the very nature of specialized sectors being regulated by it, the auditors performing the audit of these sectors must possess adequate resources, knowledge and related experience of these regulated sectors to perform their duties with professional competence.

The SECP considered several factors such as number of audit professionals within the audit firm, relevant audit experience, firm’s international affiliation, quality control review and firm’s geographical presence for enlistment of the audit firm on the panel of auditors. In light of the above facts, the SECP formulated eligibility criteria for listing of audit firms on the panel of auditors to conduct audit assignments for different sectors, including non-banking financial institutions, brokerage houses, insurance and modarabas.

Oil rebound from steep dive

LONDON (AFP): Oil prices rebounded Wednesday from recent steep losses in the previous session, as traders awaited the latest snapshot of US crude inventories. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in July rose 59 cents to $58.58 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for July gained 83 cents to stand at $64.85 a barrel in London early afternoon deals. “Prices have bounced back a little following yesterday’s 3.0-percent drop,” said analyst Fawad Razaqzada at trading site Forex.com. “Speculators are exercising some caution ahead of the official supply data today.” Later on Wednesday, the US government’s Department of Energy will publish its weekly inventories data for the week to May 15.

The US Department of Energy is expected to report stockpiles fell by two million barrels in the week ending May 15, according to Bloomberg News. They still remain near their highest levels on record, however.

“Although stockpiles are expected to fall, the crude production level in the US is still on a high side and we expect it to rise further,” said Daniel Ang, an investment analyst with Phillip Futures in Singapore.

Both oil contracts fell sharply Tuesday on worries about the crude oversupply and as the greenback soared against other major currencies, making dollar-priced oil more expensive and denting demand.

The dollar strengthened against the euro after a European Central Bank official said the bank would ramp up its asset-purchase stimulus programme in May and June to offset an expected financial market slowdown in the coming months.

A robust report on US housing construction also lifted the greenback.

“The strengthening of the dollar... was the reason for the three percent decline in crude prices yesterday,” added Ang.

“The subsequent rebound we see today is due to bargain-hunting and the market forces readjusting to normal trading.”