FPCCI calls upon traders to seek 'marginal profits' during Eid

LAHORE (APP): Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Thursday urged all traders, businessmen and vendors to extend relief to people on Eid ul Azha by seeking minimum possible profits. President FPCCI, Muhammad Adrees, while talking to newsmen, said that the business community, especially small vendors and shopkeepers, should get marginal profits from Eid shoppers and customers and in return Allah Almighty will bless them with blessings and bounties. He said that the Holy Quran and the law of land prohibits profiteering and hoarding for the purpose of selling goods at higher prices.

"We are Muslims, and the Quran and Sunnah provide a complete code of life which must be practised in letter and spirit in daily life. We all should seek guidance from the Quran and Sunnah for success in every sphere of life", he said.

Muhammad Adrees made an impassioned appeal to businessmen to sell only best quality products at reasonable prices and offer special discounts to poor strata of life.

Vice President SAARC Chamber Iftikhar Ali Malik said that businessmen should sell their products through genuine "grand sale" on the pattern of western countries where all items were sold at huge discounted rates on the occasions of Christmas and New Year.

He said businessmen must provide an opportunity to poor segments of society to enjoy Eid and ensure their complete participation in Eid celebrations by selling items on no-profit, no-loss basis.

He said that all Chambers across the country, their affiliated trade bodies and organisations must constitute committees to monitor prices in their respective areas and businessmen engaged in overcharging be taken to task without any discrimination.

Education system damaging trade, industry: PBIF

KARACHI (INP): Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) on Wednesday said dysfunctional education system has become a threat to the country as it continue to damage masses, trade and industry. The education system has failed to provide skilled manpower needed to industrial sector ensuring growth resulting in national development, it said. The experience of neglecting public sector and relying on the private sector to improve literacy rate and provide quality education in a competitive environment has failed therefore government should focus on improve public school system, said PBIF President and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain.

He said that a good majority of the private schools are being run for profit only contributing nothing to the society unless they are stringently regulated as government is bound to prefer public interest under any circumstances.

Mian Zahid Hussain noted that Public schools are in pathetic condition, teachers are getting salaries without attending schools, students are forced to pay for private tuition and number of ghost schools and ghost teachers continue to increase.

He said that 5.5 million children are not going to school in Pakistan, literacy is second lowest in the world, country lags behind India and Nepal in school going girls and Pakistan is second in the world in number of unskilled youth.

Poor and lower middle income people compromise on necessities to get their children quality education for a good future but their investment in going down the drain.

Decades of negligence by governments have reduced growth rate of public schools to eight percent while private schools have filled the gap growing by 60 percent.

Government must make it mandatory for the private schools to provide free education to five students per class to lift their families out of poverty. While seminaries are imparting free education to million the private schools can also do it.

Tevta, Super Asia join hands to offer deman-driven courses

LAHORE (PR): TEVTA in collaboration with Super Asia will offer demand driven courses relevant to the light engineering industry for the District Gujranwala in specific and across the province of the Punjab in general. An MoU in this regard has been signed between TEVTA and Super Asia. Chairperson TEVTA Irfan Qaiser Sheikh and Executive Director Super Asia Group Faisal Afzal signed the MoU. Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that we have decided to launch three new courses by the name of machinist, inject moulding machine operator and home appliances repair. As pilot project, 100 youth will be provided including re-training of Super Asia’s current workforce as well as new enrollment at selected TEVTA institutes in Gujranwala.

Both the parties shall jointly develop an annual calendar of Capacity Building activities whilst the MOU shall remain in force.

Farmers advised to sow

lychee in Sep, Oct

MULTAN (APP): Agriculture experts have advised farmers to complete plantation of lychee saplings in their orchards in Sep-Oct. The tasty fruit of lychee is grown on 295 hectares in Punjab and delivers 1,811 ton production per annum at the rate of 50-80 kilogram production per plant, said a press release issued by media liaison unit of Punjab agriculture department on Wednesday. The lychee varieties including 'Bedana', 'Surahi', 'Gola', and 'Shui Tung' are considered good for sowing. Lychee tree usually attain the height of 15-22 feet. Farmers should maintain the plant to plant distance at 8-10 metres. They should dig one cubic meter size ditches to plant a sapling and keep them open for 15-20 days.

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Then third portion ofthe dug out soil should be mixed with equal quantities of 'Bhal' and fertilizers made from leaf and this mixture be utilized to fill the ditch in a way that its surface be a bit higher than the field. Lychee can be grown on different types of land successfully, however, fertile land having capacity to retain moisture was best for its plant growth.

Lychee orchards can be grown successfully on areas around rivers Ravi and Sutlej and its plantation inside mango orchards in Multan and Rahimyar Khan can also give good results. However, lychee plant must not be planted under the shade of a mango tree and must have full exposure to sunlight.

Lychee plants of the age of ten years should get fertilizers including ten kilogram natural rotten fertilizers, 3-4 kg Urea, three kilogram single super phosphate, and two kilogram potassium sulphate in December. Full quantity of Potash and Phosphorous be applied with traditional fertilizers in Dec-Jan in a way that it should be at least three feet away from each plant so that sensitive roots of the plants do not get hurt.

Light irrigation be done soon after the fertilizers application to get good results, the release concluded.

Research group launches world's largest online rice database

MANILA (AFP): The world's biggest genetic rice database online is now available free, a move scientists hope will contribute to a "green revolution", a leading rice research group said Wednesday. Information on the genetic sequence of 3,024 rice varieties can now be accessed through the Amazon Web Services system, a cloud computing platform, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said. The head of IRRI's genetic resources centre, Rory Hamilton, said the database would make it faster and easier to develop new rice varieties in the face of climate change and a growing world population. These new varieties could be higher-yielding,more nutritious and more resistant to pests, disease, drought or floods.

"What used to be a 20 year task... we can do in two or three years," Hamilton told AFP.

He stressed that with about half the world's population dependent on rice, it was crucial to develop varieties for another "green revolution." The first "green revolution" -- the development of higher-yielding crop varieties particularly wheat and rice -- took place between the 1960s- 1990s and has been credited with preventing massive food shortages.

The genetic sequencing and initial analysis for the new database was funded by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.

Hamilton said that this was likely the biggest genetic database of any crop ever placed online.