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ADB approves 2020 administrative budget

Dec 13, 2019: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday approved a 2020 administrative budget (net internal administrative expense budget) of $726.7 million.

This represents a 5.2% increase over the 2019 administrative budget, consisting of a price increase of 2.9% and a volume growth of 2.3%, said a statement issued by the bank.

The 2020 budget will support ADB’s work program, which includes estimated commitments of $18.2 billion for sovereign operations, $3.4 billion for non-sovereign operations, and $422 million for technical assistance.

“ADB’s 2020 budget will support the implementation of Strategy 2030. Our work program is focused on the seven operational priorities set out in the strategy as well as operations quality, expansion of non-sovereign operations, and providing high-quality knowledge solutions,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao.

“ADB is maintaining prudent budget growth by making the best use of existing resources and continuing to improve productivity and efficiency.”

The main cost drivers include an increase in staffing to deliver the bank’s long-term strategic plan, Strategy 2030; additional information technology (IT) requirements; and support for resident missions. ADB estimates that most of the increased staff will be for non-sovereign operations and related support, sovereign operations, and additional skills required for the seven operational priorities under Strategy 2030.

The Real-Time ADB IT reform program and the Digital Agenda 2030 will deliver benefits, in terms of quality, productivity, efficiency, and cybersecurity.

The ADB said it was committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.

In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

APP

Pakistan playing key role in economic development of South...

December 13, 2019: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood says Pakistan is playing a key role in economic development of South Asia and attaining the dream of regional integration.

He expressed these views in his congratulatory message to SAARC CCI Senior Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik on nomination of his name for the slot of SAARC CCI President for a term of two years.

The Adviser said Pakistan believes in regional development through the platform of SAARC, as it is the way forward for peace in the region.

He said Pakistan would continue to play its part to fulfill the hopes of people of the region.

Radio Pakistan

Midday Report: The Benchmark KSE-100 Index up by 516...

December 13, 2019 (MLN): The KSE-100 index has gained around 516 points in the first session of Friday, and closed at 41,030 points as the index rebounded after profit-taking. The last time the index closed above 41,000 was on Feb 07, 2019.

Oil & Gas Exploration Companies has captured the maximum gained so far, as it has contributed 207 points to the benchmark index followed by Commercial Banks and Oil & Gas Marketing Companies with 71 and 50 points respectively.

Company-wise, the scrips of PPL, OGDC, HBL and POL have gathered the maximum points.

The index has traded in a range of 517 points and has touched an intraday high of 41,031 and intraday low of 40,514 points.      

Copyright Mettis Link News

PSX gave 19.8% return as of Dec 6, FY20:...

Dec 13, 2019: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Friday said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan and due to the efforts of economic team Pakistan was swiftly moving towards economic stability.

In a tweet,she said Prime Minister Imran Khan assumed responsibilities as chief executive of the country in very difficult circumstances and averted the threat of default.

She said that from July to December 6, Pakistan’s stock exchange gave 19.8 per cent return which was highest during past six years.

She said that this year current account deficit has shrunk 73 per cent and Pakistan’s ranking in ease of doing business has improved by 28 positions and Moody’s upgrading outlook from negative to positive was acknowledgment by international institutions that national economy has improved.

APP

Pakistan’s cotton production likely to descend by around 19%...

December 13, 2019: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan has said that keeping in view the projections of US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and other independent estimates, Pakistan’s cotton production was likely to descend further by around 19 percent to somewhere close to 8 million cotton bales during FY20 which would terribly affect the exports of textile sector as cotton is a major raw material for this important sector.

In a statement issued, President KCCI pointed out that cotton production stood at 11.946 million bales in FY2018, which declined by 17.5 percent to 9.861 in FY2019 and with a further decline of approximately 19 percent being forecasted for FY20, the cotton shortages would terribly affect the performance of textile sector which will also depict in the export figures as this sector is the mainstay of Pakistan’s overall exports.

He was of the opinion that low production of cotton would mean heavy imports of around 6 million bales, putting a burden on foreign exchange reserves to the tune of $1.5 billion. Hence, the government will have to look into the causes of low cotton production and accordingly devise practical and effective strategies, besides adopting latest scientific techniques being used globally, to ensure enhanced cotton production, he stressed.

“We are already struggling hard to deal with the ongoing economic crises and can neither afford further burden on foreign exchange reserves due to cotton imports nor the depressing performance of the textile sector. The lawmakers will have to take notice of the deteriorating performance of the agriculture sector as Pakistan’s economy is based on the agriculture sector otherwise, the economy would remain under pressure”, he added.

Referring to recent locust attacks on the agricultural land in Sindh, President KCCI mentioned that in October, the federal Department of Plant Protection (DPP) had issued a report warning of the possibility of attacks by farm destroying grasshopper that breeds in November while United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the first week of September had warned that the situation relating to locusts in Pakistan was “most serious” as a second generation of the insect.

“Some meagre steps were taken by the federal and provincial government to minimize the damages but the reaction came only after the loss of several days when the locust had already played havoc in many regions of Sindh. It is really unfortunate that the crop-eating insects ranging from 100,000 to a billion capable of devouring 200 tons of food in a day were set free to ravage wheat, cotton and vegetable crops”, he said, adding that it has always been the mindset to only react after the damages and nobody bothers to take any precautionary measures despite the fact that warnings have been received from credible sources. This mindset has to be changed to save Pakistan from all types of calamities in future.

He said that as per numerous reports, the attacks had destroyed up to 40 percent of crops in which wheat, cotton and tomatoes had all been ravaged. These insects have been particularly deadly to the standing crops in 11 districts in Sindh whereas the wheat crop spread across at least 10,000 acres has been destroyed so far by locusts in southern Sindh. Agha Shahab stressed that the government will have to take steps to minimize such damages in future with a view to safeguarding the agriculture sector.

Press Release

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