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PM directs to facilitate allied industries connected to construction...

December 04, 2020: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to ensure the provision of facilities to allied industries connected to the construction sector to keep moving the economy's wheel of the country.

He was chairing the weekly meeting of the National Coordination Committee for Housing, Construction, and Development in Islamabad yesterday.

Imran Khan said Islamabad is the only planned city of Pakistan, but now its outlook is getting worse. He directed to ensure measures to protect green areas in the federal capital.

Governor State Bank informed the meeting that banks have almost achieved the quarterly targets regarding Housing and Construction sector. He said banks have been instructed to provide further facilities to the consumers. 

Chairman Capital Development Authority briefed the meeting that work on automation is continuing with great pace and will be completed by the end of this month. He said the automation will save people from unnecessarily visiting CDA offices. He said CDA has so far received maps of four out of 12 commercial plots on which construction will be started soon.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed for implementation of an industrial package provided for industries.

Presiding over a meeting regarding reforms introduced in the energy sector, in Islamabad today, he also directed for sustainable resolution of problems related to the energy sector and to take every possible step in providing facilities to the general public.

The meeting was informed on the progress of the reform process and negotiation with IPPs.

The meeting was attended by Ministers for Planning, Information, Industries and Production, Power Division and Advisors on Finance, Petroleum and others.

Radio Pakistan

China acknowledges major progress in CPEC infrastructure, energy projects

December 04, 2020: China has acknowledged progress in the infrastructure and energy projects being completed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor framework.

The acknowledgment was made by the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Spokesperson Hua Chunying at the 11th International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum in Macao.

The Chinese spokesperson said CPEC is an important pilot program and both China and Pakistan are committed to bringing greater benefits to both the countries and the entire region.

Speaking at the forum, Chairman of CPEC Authority Asim Saleem Bajwa said there are 22 construction projects under the framework of CPEC, covering roads, railways, airports, thermal power, hydropower, renewable energy, Gwadar Port, special economic zones and other areas.

Radio Pakistan

PM proposes ten-point agenda at UNGA to avert economic...

December 04, 2020: Prime Minister Imran Khan has proposed a ten-point agenda to world leaders to avert economic collapse due to the Covid-19 pandemic and called for debt suspension, drawing rights of USD $500 billion and return of stolen assets stashed in rich countries.

He was virtually addressing the U.N. General Assembly’s two-day special session on the response to the deadly coronavirus pandemic and forge a united path forward to better recovery, including access to a vaccine.

He said developing countries are facing a dilemma of how to stimulate the economy and yet at the same time reduce the budget deficit.

Imran Khan said the only way we can have the fiscal space to maintain and revive growth is through access to additional liquidity.

Underlining the need for reforming the international financial architecture, he called for building an inclusive and equitable debt management mechanism, constructing a democratic and SDG-focused trading system, and installing a fair international tax regime.

Besides, the Prime Minister also proposed concessional financing to lower-income countries through multilateral development banks; provision of loans at lower costs,  mobilizing 100 billion US dollars per year for climate action in developing countries, and halting of illicit financial outflows from developing to rich countries.

Alluding to the effects of the pandemic, the Prime Minister said the Covid-19 pandemic has infected nearly 65 million people and killed sadly close to 1.5 million.

He expressed hope that whenever the vaccine is available, it must be offered to everyone.

He said we provided a relief package of around 8 billion dollars to support the poor and to keep the economy afloat during the Pandemic.

He proposed a ten-point agenda for urgent action, which called for;

  1. Debt suspension till the end of the pandemic for low income and most stressed countries.
  2. Cancellation of debt of least developed countries.
  3. Restructuring of the public sector debt of other developing countries under an agreed inclusive multilateral framework.
  4. A general allocation of special drawing rights of $500 billion.
  5. Expanded concessional financing to lower-income countries through multilateral development banks.
  6. Creation of a new ‘liquidity and sustainability facility’, which should provide short term loans at lower costs.
  7. Fulfillment of the 0.7 % official development assistance commitments.
  8. Mobilizing the required $1.5 trillion annual investment in sustainable infrastructure.
  9. Achievement of the agreed target of mobilizing $100 billion per year for climate action in developing countries.
  10. Immediate action to stop the massive illicit financial outflows from developing countries to rich countries, to offshore tax havens and at the same time, immediate return of their assets stolen by corrupt politicians and criminals back to these countries.

The Prime Minister said the pandemic caused immense human suffering and created the deepest global economic contraction since the great depression of the 1930s.

Prime Minister Imran Khan pointed that nearly 100 million people in developing countries would fall back into extreme poverty while on the other hand, the rich countries had injected $13 trillion as fiscal stimulus to revive their economies.

He said Developing countries just do not have the resources to afford such a massive economic stimulus. They are struggling to find even a fraction of the $ 2-3 trillion they require to recover from the pandemic.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in his address mentioned Pakistan’s successful policy of “smart lockdowns” and said these efforts were aimed at ensuring that not they save people from the virus, but also prevent them from dying from hunger.

The Prime Minister said that so far, their strategy has worked, but now the country was confronted with a far more aggressive second wave of the virus.

He said we are facing now the challenge of maintaining and reviving our economic growth as well as dealing with an increasing number of cases which are occupying our hospital beds,”.

The Prime Minister referred to the advice made by Managing Director International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the countries to spend as much as it was required, to stimulate growth, and said that like many developing countries, Pakistan was committed under their IMF program to reduce the budget deficit.

Radio Pakistan

Moderna plans 100 million Covid vaccine doses in early...

December 04, 2020: Moderna plans to have 100 to 125 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine available in the first quarter of 2021, the vast majority of which will go to the United States, the biotechnology company announced Thursday.

Between 85 and 100 million of the doses will be distributed in the United States, with the rest of the world receiving the remaining 15 to 25 million, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said in a statement.

Moderna also confirmed that it expects to have 20 million vaccine doses available in the US by the end of 2020.

The company has been working on its American supply and production chain for months, in preparation for the vaccine's expected emergency approval by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

For all countries outside the United States, production will take place in Switzerland.

US officials have said they plan to distribute 40 million vaccine doses by the end of the year, including those produced by Pfizer-BioNTech.

That would mean 20 million people vaccinated by the end of 2020, with each person requiring two doses.

The Moderna vaccine will be reviewed by an advisory committee of the FDA on December 17 and could be green lit for emergency approval soon after.

The FDA advisory committee meeting for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which was approved Wednesday by Britain for general use, will take place on December 10.

AFP/APP

NBP issues Foreign Exchange Rates

December 04, 2020: Treasury Management Division of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) on Friday...

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