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Pak to have its own medical, electromagnetic industry within...

Jul 05, 2020: Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Sunday said Pakistan will have its own big medical and electromagnetic industry in the next three years.

"And I have no doubts that the United States will be our major client", he said in a tweet.

The federal minister said that, "We are already exporting sanitizers and Personal Protective Equipment to the United States".

Fawad Chaudhry appreciated the USA gesture of friendship through providing 100 ventilators to Pakistan.

APP

WAPDA produced highest ever hydel electricity in 2019-20:...

Jul 05, 2020: Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar Sunday said WAPDA had produced highest ever hydel electricity in 2019-20 with an increase of 20 percent compared to the previous year.

In his tweet, the minister said massive hydel capacity increase was taking place with Dasu, Mohmand and Diamir Bhasha Dams being built.

“We need to rely on local renewable energy instead of expensive imported thermal fuels,” he added.

APP

Sino-Pak agrees for JVs in value added agriculture, other...

Jul 05, 2020: The Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood said on Sunday that China and Pakistan have agreed on some proposals for Joint Ventures between Chinese and Pakistani companies, particularly in the value added agriculture sector.

The Joint Venture with Chinese would benefit Pakistan because of its export potential not only in China but elsewhere as well, the advisor Razak Dawood told APP here.

Replying to a question, he said that Pakistan’s exports increased in value terms by 2.2 percent in the first seven months in the July-Jan period, of this fiscal year.

The advisor said that Joint Ventures with the Chinese companies would allow Pakistan to have improved technology and enhanced capacity for production and exports.

He said that both sides were reviewing the plans to enhance bilateral trade and investment for future Sino-Pak economic and trade connectivity.

Razak Dawood said that China was moving fast on some of the construction projects in Pakistan, which would create a number of jobs for the local population.

The opportunities and ongoing projects of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were also discussed in a recent meeting with the top leadership of both sides.

The Advisor Commerce emphasized the need to start industrial activity through development of Special Economic Zones(SEZs).

The meat and poultry exports of Pakistan have risen by more than 50% in the fiscal year 2019-20, with market accessibility to China and different potential markets of the world.

Abdul Razak underscored that the exports of Pakistan were beginning to gain momentum after a slow down caused by COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns.

Now China and Pakistan need to sit together again and discuss issues related to bilateral trade with efforts to further diversify the products being exported from Pakistan, with a specific focus on value-addition, under the China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement(FTA) Phase II, he added.

Replying to another question on recent trade connectivity China through the Khunjerab border,Razak Dawood said that “We had discussed the opening of Khunjerab border as well as strategies to exploit bilateral trade and investment opportunities in the wake of the Corona pandemic.

He said that around 186 containers were stuck at the Khunjerab border which is a cause of great concern especially among small businesses.

The advisor said that temporary opening of the border was under consideration in order to clear the backlog of containers.

Both sides agreed to finalize the modalities in this regard to resolve the issue on priority.

APP

Record Rs.114,311 mln allocated for ongoing hydel projects

Jul 05, 2020: The government has made record allocation of Rs 114,311 million for various ongoing hydel projects under Annual Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2020-21.

According to the planning commission, a sum of Rs 80,059 million has been earmarked for Dasu Hydro power Project stage- 1, Rs 14,069 million for Neelum Jhelum Hydro power project and Rs 5,024 million for Mangla Power Station Refurbishment and Upgradation of generation units.

Similarly, an amount of Rs 5,649 million for Tarbela 5th Extension Project, Rs, 3,265 million for Tarbela 4th Extension Project, Rs 3,200 million for Warsak Hydroelectric Power Station, Rs 1,358 million for Keyal Khawar Hydro power project and Rs 988 million for Golen Gol Hydropower project.

APP

EOBI pensioners to get Rs 2.4bln arrears in August...

Jul 05, 2020: The Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) would pay three-month arrears amounting to Rs 2.4 billion to around 400,000 registered pensioners with increased annuity in the next month, its Chairman Azhar Hameed said on Sunday.

“Each retired employee registered with the EOBI will get increased pension of Rs 8,500 coupled with Rs 6,000 arrears of three months (April, May and June).

In total, Rs 14,500 will be transferred in bank account of each pensioner by the current month-end,” he told APP here in an exclusive interview.

He said the recent raise of Rs 2,000 was announced by the EOBI in the start of this year which was approved by the Federal Cabinet due to active persuasion of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari.

To a query, Azhar said the delay in approval of recent increase in pension was occurred due to actuarial valuation of the EOBI on the instruction of Ministry of Law and Justice. The arrears of January, February and March had already been paid.

With the recent increase in pension, he said the pensioners received a top up of total 62 per cent during the last 20 months of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

The EOBI had given a raise of 30 per cent in 2019 after which the annuity reached Rs 6,500, he added.

“The government intends to take the pension to Rs 15,000 during its five year-term by giving an overall 130 per cent raise. By the grace of the Almighty, we will achieve this target,” said SAPM Zulfikar Bukhari in a recent interview with APP.

Highlighting the present management’s initiatives which led to improvement in financial health of the EOBI, the chairman said the department had made tireless efforts to bring significant increase in its recoveries and contribution.

Azhar said the EOBI revenue collection was stood at Rs 18.23 billion during the fiscal year 2017-18 which witnessed marked increase of 15 per cent and ballooned to Rs 20.7 billion in fiscal year 2018-19. “We have successfully achieved target of Rs 21 billion set for the 2019-20 fiscal year,” he noted.

He said the EOBI had been declared as a federal subject by the Council of Common Interests (CCI) last year, enabling the management to pursue its initiative of including the informal labourers in the pension net.

He said there was whooping number of labourers who had been associated with the informal sector. “This government intends to ensure inclusion of undocumented labourers in EOBI pension net by introducing an amendment in the EOB (Employees’ Old-Age Benefits) Act through the act of Parliament.”

After the amendment, surveys and awareness would be launched to expedite registration of informal workers, he said while responding to a query. The EOBI Transformative Initiative was also underway which would digitize the affairs of all entire organization.

“This whole process would take a time period of two years,” he added.

APP

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