Petroleum secretary opens PSO retail outlet

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Secretary Petroleum, Ministry of Energy, Sikandar Sultan Raja has inaugurated PSO's New Vision retail fuel station in Lahore. MD & CEO, Pakistan State Oil, Sheikh Imranul Haque, senior officials from the company and key business partners were present at the occasion. PSO’s ‘New Vision’ retail outlet, Gastec Petroleum Services, is located on Northern Lahore’s historic GT Road. It will serve the fuel and non-fuel needs of customers in area having more than 30% population of the city. Leading educational institutions, local businesses, historic landmarks, restaurants and recreational spots are located in surroundings of this particular PSO retail outlet. Secretary Petroleum, Sikandar Sultan Raja, said: “For 40 years, Pakistan State Oil is the largest oil marketing company that also represents our national brand identity. It is the only company with retail footprint of 3500 outlets spread all over the country and serving 3.0 million Pakistanis on day to day basis.”

“I am glad to see PSO continuing to fulfil energy needs of the nation with commitment and dedication not only in urban cities but also in the far flung areas of the country.”

“Opening of this ‘New Vision’ PSO retail outlet in northern part of the historic city of Lahore has a great significance. This is first of its kind state-of-the-art structure on this side of the G.T. Road that will aim to serve PSO customers round the clock in all seasons with quality petroleum products and services.”

Food group imports increased by 16.08pc in 5 months

ISLAMABAD (APP): Food group imports into the country during first five months of current financial year increased by 16.08 percent as compared the corresponding period of last year. During the period from July-November (2017-18) food commodities worth $2.718 billion were imported into the country as compared the imports of $2.341 billion of same period last year, according the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. During the period under review, about 38,231 metric tons of milk cream and milk for infant food valuing $107.846 million imported which was up by 4.95 percent as compared the imports of 34,951 metric tons worth of $102.754 million of same period last year. Country consumed 68,965 metric tons of dry fruits and nuts costing $78.920 million in first five months of current financial year, which was recorded at 56,605 metric tons worth of $96.171 million of same period of last year.

Meanwhile, $230.917 million on the imports of about 80,597 metric tons of tea as compared the imports of 84,324 metric tons valuing US$ 208.383 million, showing an increase of 10.81 percent.

The spices imports into the country also grew by 26.74 percent as about 67,115 metric tons of spices valuing $66.667 million imported as compared the imports of 51,443 metric tons worth $52.601 million of same period last year.

Large scale manufacturing grows 9.64 percent in 4 months

ISLAMABAD (APP): The country’s large scale manufacturing (LSM) sector has witnessed growth of 9.64 percent during July-October 2017-18 as compared to the corresponding period of last year. The Quantum Index Numbers (QIM) of large scale manufacturing industries was recorded at 135.95 points during July-October 2017 against 123.99 points during same period of last year, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The highest growth of 5.9 percent was witnessed in the indices monitored by ministry of industries followed by Provincial Bureaus of Statistics (PBOS) with 2.69 percent and the indices of Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) with 1.06 percent. On year-on-year and month-on-month basis, the industrial output increased by 8.77 percent in October 2017 as compared to October 2016 while it increased by 5.59 per cent when compared to July 2017.

Meanwhile, the major sectors that showed growth during four months of current fiscal year as compared to same period of the previous year, included textile (0.70 percent), food, beverages and tobacco (14.24 percent), coke and petroleum products (15.67 percent), pharmaceuticals (2.93 percent), non metallic mineral products (13.03 percent), chemicals (2.29 percent), automobiles (28.4 percent), iron and steel products (44.39 percent), electronics (65.03 per cent), paper and board (7.56 percent), engineering products (15.29 per cent), rubber products (4.14 percent), and wood products (1.37 percent).

On the other hand, the industries that witnessed negative growth included fertilizers industry with a decline of 9.84 per cent, and leather products with negative growth of 2.72 per cent.

The provisional QIM is being computed on the basis of the latest production data of 112 items received from sources including OCAC, Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP) and Provincial Bureaus of Statistics (PBoS). OCAC provides data of 11 items, MoIP of 36 items while PBoS proved data of remaining 65 items.

Growers must stay vigilant to protect canola from insects

LAHORE/MULTAN (APP): Canola growers have been advised to stay vigilant to protect their crop from attack of insects and contact the agriculture extension staff if attack is witnessed. A spokesman for the Punjab Agriculture Department said on Tuesday that in order to obtain good yield of canola, mustard farmers must apply half quantity of urea fertilizer when the crop is given first water and the rest of it at the blossom of flower. In Punjab, canola cultivation target has been set at 50,000 acres of land and all possible support is being provided to farmers for enhancing crop cultivation, he added. Meanwhile, in Multan, for first ever in the history of the country, the cotton was picked mechanically at Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI). Briefing a group of journalists, Director CCRI Dr Zahid Mehmood said that shortage of female cotton pickers was creating difficulties for the growers adding that the latest technology will help them getting out of the problem in days to come.

He said that they were experimenting on different varieties of cotton and its production technology which would be suitable for mechanical picking in future.

He informed that there would a special variety and specific method of cultivation for this purpose. Director CCRI maintained that the cotton would be picked twice mechanically and the picking charges would be lesser as compared to hand picking. On this occasion, journalists appreciated the efforts of CCRI for introducing the latest technique for picking of cotton.