Call to enhance penetration

in global halal market

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked government to take steps to enhance Pakistan’s penetration in three trillion dollar global halal market in which its share is negligible despite potential. Non-Muslim countries have dominated the halal market which is growing at the rate of 17 percent per annum while Pakistan halal exports can surpass textiles in five years if proper attention is paid, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW. In a statement issued here today, he said that out of all Pakistan’s meat exports 80 percent goes to Middle Eastern market which is not as regulated as that of USA and EU therefore it faces reduced threat of sanctions.

Hybrid maize seed to be

launched today

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Hybrid Maize Seed Launching ceremony of Punjab Seed Corporation will be held on Monday (today) at 11 a.m at Flatties Hotel. The Punjab Agriculture Minister Dr. Farrukh Javed will preside over the meeting. The minister said that agri is the mainstay of our economy.   Punjab economy has been considerably diversified but the agriculture sector is still the largest sector of the economy and development. This sector is therefore being given top priority by the Punjab Govt.The Chief Minister’s vision for the agriculture sector is to transform it into a science based sector that can not only meet food security challenges but also compete in the domestic and international market.

To achieve this vision institutional reform, market reform, water management and technology change are the four major driving forces. The strategic interventions are being adopted through the Annual Development Program by the Agriculture Department to achieve these targets.

132 locomotives made operational to improve Railways performance

ISLAMABAD (APP) - Pakistan Railways has made operational around 132 D.E locomotives during last seven months to improve its performance by enhancing number of freight and passenger trains. Sources at Pakistan Railways on Sunday said, of the total five locomotives were rehabilitated, 22 specially repaired, 30 new locomotives were inducted while 75 locomotives were overhauled during the period. At present the total number of operational D.E locomotives is 253 while around 189 number of D.E Locomotives are non-operational, sources added. The sources said the Gross Earning of the department has been increased by 32.76 per cent and Working Expenses increased by 13.89 per cent during 2014.

The deficit/ shortfall has witnessed increase by 2.71pc as compared to figures of corresponding period of 2012-13.

The main reasons for deficit are non-availability of locomotives, passenger coaches and rolling stock resulting in decrease of freight and passenger trains.

The other reasons are increase in salary and pension of employees as per government orders.

With regard to steps being taken for making Pakistan Railways a profitable organization, the sources said the department has involved private parties in commercial management of four passenger carrying trains and cargo express train.

Right mix of passenger and freight trains, the sources said a Freight Transport Company is being established to give top priority to freight transportation for generating revenues.

The other measures being adopted are control over expenditure through computerized payments and pension to eliminate ghost pensioners and rule out possibility of over payments, procurement of new Bogie Oil Tank Wagons and procurement of new state of the art locomotives.

The terminal facilities are also being augmented to curtail loading/un-loading time by introducing modern facilities while Pakistan Railways is in process of up-gradation of its existing tracks on main corridor with collaboration of China.

Existing speed of trains from Karachi to Lahore would be increased upto 160 kms per hour and from Lahore to Peshawar upto 120 km per hour.

Another step is doubling of track from Shahdara Bagh to Lalamusa and improvement of Signaling System on Lodhran-Khanpur-Kotri section and provision of Centralized Traffic Control on Shahdara Bagh-Lodhran section.

Efforts are also on to connect Gwadar port with Railway network and establishment of a new Dry Port at Havelian.

Pakistan Railways is also trying to introduce E-Governance in Pakistan Railways while Vigilance Cell has been re-activated to curb pilferages.

Wheat farmers not being paid

fixed price: SCA

HYDERABAD (APP): The Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA) has complained that the middlemen are paying only Rs 1050 per maund to the wheat farmers against the Sindh government’s fixed rate of Rs 1,300 per maund, according to a statement issued here. At a meeting of representatives of the SCA here Sunday, in addition to the drop in the government’s procurement target from 1.3m tons last year to 0.9 million ton in 2015. General Secretary of SCA Nabi Bux Sathio complained that the Sindh govt had still not set up wheat procurement centres as the Food Department had informed that the centres would be opened either in the month of March or April.

“In the interim, the wheat farmers are left on the mercy of the middle-men who manipulate the open market,” he said.

The SCA’s President Dr. Syed Nadeem chaired the meeting which was also attended by the growers’ representatives in Karachi, Ghotki and Sukkur through the video link.

5th Fisheries Symposium on 24th

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Department of Fisheries Punjab and Pakistan Fisheries Society are jointly organising 5th International Fisheries Symposium on 24-25 February, 2015. The Symposium will be chaired by Dr. Lahsen  Ababouch, the Chief  FAO. Director General Fisheries Punjab Dr Muhammad Ayub while giving details in this regard informed that International Organizations like, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Fisheries Development Board (FDB) and European Union (EU) are partners in the event and about three hundreds delegates from all over Pakistan and abroad will participate in the Symposium.

Besides this, eminent scientists/ researchers, academia, farmers, traders, investors will also participate. He told that the significant participation from foreign and private sector will create an opportunity to modernize aquaculture and fisheries industry in this country. The programme will include a plenary session on trade and investment opportunities in fisheries & aquaculture sector.  He further told that a rich selection of topics will be addressed during the Symposium which includes: Fish Pathology, Nutrition, Fish Quality, Fish Biology & Ecology, Biodiversity etc. This Symposium will be an opportunity to share knowledge, promote further international collaboration in research, education, technology transfer and other business activities.