Agricultural innovation programme

KARACHI (PR): Life for Naheed Fatima was a daily struggle. She was surviving by doing odd jobs, earning 100 to 150 rupees from each – hardly enough for a family of three. Along with her odd jobs, Naheed also worked on the land. She would trek 30 minutes on foot across difficult terrain to work a half-acre plot, but because she was planting poor quality seeds, her yields were unreliable and low. The dangerous walk to and from was hardly worth the pay. Other women in Naheed’s village faced similar struggles in their fields, so they formed a farmers’ organization. It was at one of their meetings where Naheed, along with her fellow members, first learned about Millat 11 certified seeds. The seeds were provided by USAID-funded Agricultural Innovation Program and promised big change for Naheed and her community. The old seeds produced around 150 kilograms; with Millat 11 certified seeds, the yield doubled to 300 kilograms. Not only did the yield improve, the quality of grain increased, and their fields looked better.

Now Naheed has enough yield to retain an adequate amount to feed her own family and enough fodder for animals too. She keeps 150 kilograms for herself and barters the rest with neighboring farmers for other types of food crops. She’s even earning enough to send her son to school.

 

Industry needs breathing space

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): Lasbela’s business community has hailed the cut in key interest rate by State Bank of Pakistan, saying that it will provide a little breathing space to the industry. Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Maqsood Ismail and former president Yakoob H Karim said that SBP has taken a wise decision to slash the policy rate to 5.75 percent from 6%. They said that economy is in a state of uncertainty and needed some more breathing space to survive. They said that banks in Pakistan are making huge profits for the last few years and a little cut in bank rate would not make any difference. They said that at this juncture the industrial sector is more suffering due to the immense increase in their cost of doing business. “We have lost our significant share of export market in a number of countries as we have become uncompetitive in many countries that were our traditional markets and now we have to recapture them if we are given level playing field”, Yakoob said.

They said that SBP’s monetary policy is heading in the right direction. They hoped that the Monetary Policy will continue as business friendly.

 

Telecom imports drop by 1.83pc

Islamabad (Staff Reporter): Overall telecom imports have seen a decline of 1.83 percent during July- April 2015-16 period, compared to the same period last year. Total imports of the sector stood at $1157.89 million in the period under review compared to $1179.49 million during the same period last year. Mobile phone imports in Pakistan have increased by 6.64 percent during the first 10 months (July-April) of the current financial year (2015-16). According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), total imports of mobile phones stood at $635.342 million in the period under review, while imports worth $595.778 million were recorded in the same period last year. Other telecom equipments imports also saw a decline of 10.48 percent during the said period, and stood at $522.55 million against $583.71 million during the same period last year. On the other hand, the government has yet to decide about extending or ending tax holiday on IT exports set to expire in June 2016.

Nearly 40 percent of Pakistan’s companies that provide IT services have moved their businesses to the Emirates, mainly due to the 8 percent additional tax on revenues levied by the government during 2015-16.

Although the levy of tax has not hindered the growth of such companies, but have forced them to move elsewhere.

Experts fear more taxes will compel more companies to shift to Emirates.

 

Wah Nobel, China firm sign agreement

WAH CANTT (Staff Reporter): Wah Nobel Group of Companies and China Gezhouba Explosive Company Ltd has inked an agreement for the establishment of a new manufacturing line for production of 4th generation emulsion explosives and establishment of Ballasting Services Company. CE Wah Nobel Brig (r) Shirazullah Chaudhry signed the agreement on behalf of Wah Nobel, while Gezhouba Explosives Company Chairman Fu Jun on behalf of his company. The pioneer and leading commercial explosives manufacturer in Pakistan takes a leap forward by joining hands with China’s topmost explosives company for the establishment of a Blasting Engineering Company in Pakistan. It will usher in a new chapter in commercial explosive industry in the country and will effectively meet the growing demands for safer and secure blasting operations in the mining and infrastructure development industry. This agreement will be the first in a series of steps Wah Nobel is taking to modernise mine blasting industry in Pakistan.

Keeping in view the mega infrastructure development projects being planned in Gilgit Baltistan, Wah Nobel has recently established Wah Nobel Gilgit Giltistan Pvt. Ltd. in order to manufacture commercial explosives close to the sites and hence save money and ensure safety and security of miners.

In the end souvenirs were exchanged.