CDNS achieves Rs104b by Dec 21


ISLAMABAD (APP): The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) achieved Rs104 billion in last months of second quarter of current fiscal year from July 1 to December 21, 2016-17. The target for the year 2016-17 was set at Rs228 billion as the directorate was able to achieve the target of Rs218 billion for the previous fiscal year, a senior CDNS official said here on Monday. The CDNS has notified upward revision in the profit rates for various saving certificates which has been applicable from October 3, 2016 and rates to be revived in coming month of January 2017. "The instant revision was made in the backdrop of current market scenario and in accordance with the government's policy to provide market based competitive rate of return to the investors of National Savings," he said. He said as per notification issued by the federal government, the new rates for Defence Savings Certificate, Special Saving Certificate, Regular Income Certificate and Savings Accounts have been revised upward at an average of 7.44 percent, 5.8 percent, 6.36 percent and 3.90 percent respectively.



Food imports increase 5.43pc in 5 months


ISLAMABAD (APP): The food imports into the country witnessed an increase of 5.43pc during the first five months of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year. The food imports into the country during July-Nov (2016-17) were recorded at $2.340 billion compared to the imports of $2.219b during July-November (2015-16), according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Among the food products, the import of milk, cream and milk food for infants increased by 7.53pc by going up from $95.575m last year to $102.773m this year. Similarly, the import of dry fruits and nuts increased from $54.883m to $69.179m this year, showing an increase of 26.05pc, while the import of pulses (leguminous vegetables) increased by 32.18pc by going up from $218.351m to $288.607m.  The food items which showed declining trend in trade included tea, imports of which fell by 7.55 percent, from $225.625m to $208.597m. Similarly, the imports of spices decreased by 7.5pc, from $56.879m to $52.612m, while the imports of soyabean oil declined by 33pc, from $85.526m to $57.303m.


Steps taken to facilitate peach growers


ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) has adopted Integrated Management Strategies to control fruit fly in orchards and facilitate peach growers to improve quality and quantity of exports. The council, as part of its measures, also established Germplasm Units in public sector for bud-wood supply to commercial nurseries and ensured true to type and high quality nursery plant production. Sources at Commerce Division on Monday said that PARC was also ensuring trainings and capacity building of growers for orchards management (pruning, insect/pest control, fertiliser application and irrigation etc). Moreover, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) plans to organise Fruit Shows and seminars to promote export of fruits from the country. The sources said peaches are being exported both in fresh and dried form. During the year 2015-16, peaches amounting to a value of Rs13,99,000 were exported whereas no peaches have been exported from Pakistan during 2014-15.


PAD for enhancing cotton yield


LAHORE (APP): The Punjab Agriculture Department has evolved a new strategy to achieve record cotton yield. Modern techniques and latest research are the part of strategy, a spokesman of the agriculture department informed the media here on Monday. This strategy will consist of four phases. Steps have been mentioned for all of these phases to protect the crop and save it from various types of issues. First phase will be called pre-cultivation phase, second phase will be cultivation phase, third phase will be called flowering and ball development phase. While the fourth phase will be called picking phase. The objective of this strategy is to inform the farmers about the measures for protecting the crop from sects and germs etc and increase its yield. The strategy will also be helpful in further increasing liaison between the cotton farmers and the concerned officials of the agriculture department. The spokesman said that agriculture experts have termed the new cotton strategy as a positive initiative and also appreciated farmer-friendly steps of the Punjab Agriculture Department.