Govt negotiating with financial institutions for Dasu project

ISLAMABAD (APP): The government is negotiating with different local and international financial institutions to secure funding for Dasu hydropower project. According to officials, 1.44 billion rupees will be taken from local banks while another eight hundred million dollars from any international bank for execution of the project, Radio Pakistan reported on Saturday. About 4,500 megawatts of electricity will be generated from this run-of-the-river power project. In the first stage, the project will add 2160 MW to the national grid. The officials said contracts have already been awarded for relocation of Karakorum Highway, construction of right bank access road and 132 kilowatt transmission line from Dubair to Dasu.

Rs3m for desiltation of

non-perennial canals

MULTAN (APP): A sum of Rs 3 million will be spent for desiltation of 13 non-perennial canals of Shujabad canal division during the annual desiltation 2015-16. According to Irrigation department sources here Saturday, 13 out of 50 non-perennial canals of Shujabad canal division were selected for the annual desiltation while over Rs three million would be spent on the project. The work on the project will start from next month February. The department will also complete eight closure works at a cost of Rs 2.9 million at the infrastructure damaged due to recent flood during the closure period. The water will be released into the non-perennial canals from April-15, 2016, after ending of closure period to irrigate the Rabi crops.

The purpose of the annual desiltation of canals was to provide the water to tail-end growers properly, sources concluded.

Cutting of cotton sticks before 31st

MULTAN (APP): The Punjab agriculture department has advised farmers to complete cutting of cotton sticks before January 31 to abolish threat of pink-bollworm. According to Assistant Director Agriculture Information Naveed Asmat Kohloon, cotton sticks must be cut inside six inches of soil so that plants could not grow in spring. In case, plants reemerged then these plants would bring some pests which are injurious to next crops. He urged farmers to keep dislodging cotton sticks heaps so that pink bollworm inside moles could not find opportunity to grow further. The agriculture expert stressed farmers to burn raw sticks as it was vital to avoid threat of pink bollworm. He also proposed farmers to cooperate with field assistants so that pink bollworm threat could be countered properly.

ICT to resolve key issues of traders: Chief commissioner

ISLAMABAD (APP): Islamabad Capital Territory administration would make all possible efforts to resolve key issues of trade and industry on priority basis. This was assured by Zulfiqar Haider, Chief Commissioner ICT, while talking to a delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry that called on him here Saturday. Talking to the delegation led by ICCI President, Atif Ikram Sheikh, Chief Commissioner said that business community was playing an important role in the development of local economy. The Chief Commissioner said ICT Administration would maintain a strong liaison with ICCI to identify problems that were hampering the growth of business activities and would find out mutually agreeable solutions of such problems.

He said efforts were on for shifting of District Courts from F-8 to ease pressure on business community of the area. He said ICCI demand for representation in ICT Market Committee would be given due consideration and if no legal hitch was found, business community would be given representation in the said Committee.

Speaking on the occasion, Atif Ikram Sheikh highlighted various issues of business community that needed urgent attention of ICT Administration.

He said ICT Market Committee should be formed in consultation with business community and ICCI should be given due representation in the said Committee.

He also called for addressing issues of fruits and vegetable market beside developing it on modern lines.

Pakistan can make agri sector strong by giving subsidies: FPCCI

ISLAMABAD (INP): Standing Committee of FPCCI on Horticulture on Saturday said that Pakistan had another two years for agriculture subsidies as per the WTO decision. Chairman Standing Committee of FPCCI on Horticulture Ahmad Jawad, in a statement here, said that it was principally decided at the recent moot of WTO in Nairobi that developing nations may end agriculture subsidy by the end of 2018. So being a developing nation, Pakistan had another two years for making the agriculture sector, which was claimed the backbone of the country’s economy, strong, he added. The commerce minister, he said, had stated in his statement after the WTO meeting that Pakistan’s agriculture exports would have a level playing field.

as the WTO has eliminated immediately agriculture export subsidies by developed countries.

Jawad said the in the WTO moot, it was resolved that developed countries agreed to stop the subsidies immediately and developing nations must follow by the end of 2018, as the Nairobi Package contained a series of six ministerial decisions on agriculture, cotton and issues related to least-developed countries.

He said the decisions included a commitment to abolish export subsidies for farm exports. It was a significant development, which would improve the global trading environment. But without giving required infrastructure across the country and formulated soft policies for agriculture exports, yet it seemed to be difficult that Pakistan might get benefit from it, he added.

Jawad said Pakistan had an immense potential in agriculture and horticulture sector. “We are the 13th largest producer of Kinnow, 6th largest producer in mangoes, 5th largest in dates, one of the biggest producers of cotton, sugar cane, rice and still many other key products like potatoes, onions, wheat etc with the combination of unique taste due to favourable soil conditions. But we fail to prepare a proper agriculture policy covering production to value addition and competitive exports.”

He suggested that the government might announce special tariff concession for the agriculture sector and give basic subsidy at least in the form of seeds and fertilizers at optimum level in the upcoming budget at the bracket up to 10 acres land across the country, including Gligit-Baltistan, on all crops.

Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd, the largest agri lending bank, should be directed to finance agro- based industries, so that value addition environment might initiate accordingly in order to strengthen the agriculture exports; he added.