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Buffalo milk export to increase Pakistan’s forex reserves

“Pakistan is rich in buffalo breeds, buffalo research, and buffalo milk production. To leverage its advantages and enhance Pakistan-China cooperation in this field, we hope to set up a dairy processing plant in Pakistan,” Chen Yiyi, President of Royal Group, told China-Pakistan Agricultural and Industrial Cooperation Information Platform (CPAIC) after completing a week-long visit to Pakistan.

What’s so special about Pakistan’s buffalo milk? Will Pakistan’s buffalo enter China again after nearly 50 years? How will China and Pakistan tap their complementary advantages in the buffalo industry to expand production capacity?

Bearing a few questions in mind, a reporter of CPAIC interviewed members of a Chinese delegation, led by the Royal Group.

Gu Wenliang, Agriculture Commissioner of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, told the reporter that Pakistan is the fourth largest milk producer in the world, with buffalo milk accounting for 60 percent.

There are 41 million buffaloes in Pakistan and milk yield is higher than that in China. According to an Economic Survey report of Pakistan’s government, in fiscal year 2019-20, the output of buffalo milk in Pakistan reached 256,000 tons.

ADB projects 2pc economic growth rate for fy2021

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday projected that Pakistan’s per capita economic growth rate will, for the consecutive second time, remain slightly negative in this fiscal year, indicating that the living standard of people will not improve.

The annual growth rate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of Pakistan will be negative 0.2 percent in the fiscal year 2020-21, according to the ADB’s flagship annual publication, the Asian Development Outlook report.

The report further showed that the per capita GDP growth rate during the first year of the PTI government was slightly positive but turned negative 2.7 percent in the last fiscal year.

The GDP per capita indicates whether people’s living standards are improving not because of change in their incomes. However, for the next fiscal year, the ADB expects that GDP per capita will increase by 1.7 percent on back of an overall economic growth rate of 4 percent.

The ADB has projected 2 percent real economic growth rate for current fiscal year that is going to end in June – slightly better than the IMF projections but still lower than 3 percent forecast by the State Bank of Pakistan.

ECC delays approval of independent power producers’ arrears

The government on Wednesday put off approval of a Rs89.9 billion supplementary budget to partially clear arrears of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) due to fear of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which was delaying decision by a cabinet body.

Like his two predecessors, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin as Chairman of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) deferred a summary of the Power Division that sought Rs89.9 billion to pay the first installment to 20 IPPs.

It was the first ECC meeting that Tarin chaired after becoming the finance minister. The ECC did not take final decision on two most critical summaries – the release of Rs89.9 billion installment to the IPPs and whether to continue electricity and gas subsidies for the so-called five export-oriented sectors.

However, the ECC approved a subsidy of Rs4.1 billion to settle the dues of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited for March 2020 on account of provision of cheaper gas to the exporters. The ECC constituted a sub-committee, to be chaired by the federal minister for finance and comprising ministers and secretaries from energy, petroleum and other ministries concerned, for further deliberations on IPP payments, according to a Ministry of Finance statement.

Shaukat seeks help to steer recovery

The third wave of Covid-19 has emerged as a difficult challenge and Pakistan needs support of development partners to stimulate recovery, said Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin.

Speaking at a virtual event on the sidelines of the 77th session of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) titled “Debt Relief in the Aftermath of the Pandemic: How can Regional Dialogue Help”, the finance minister said, “Our economy is showing nascent signs of economic recovery as large-scale manufacturing is posting significant growth, but there is a need to continue this momentum, which is not possible without external support.”

Tarin informed the forum about the economic challenges faced by Pakistan due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Government enlarges date for mango export

Considering the delay in mango season owing to global warming, the government has extended the commencement date of mango export to May 25.

According to a notification of the Ministry of Commerce, the local exporters will be able to begin their export from May 25.

“We used to kick-start mango export in mid-May, but due to changes in environment the mango season now begins late, therefore the government has decided to start export accordingly,” Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) former chief of agriculture committee Ahmad Jawad told.

President Arif calls for enhancing honey production

Modern beekeeping techniques should be adopted to enhance the yield and quality of organic honey produced in Pakistan, said President Dr Arif Alvi. Chairing a meeting on beekeeping and honey production on Wednesday, the president said that the government would encourage and facilitate beekeepers by offering loans under the Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan Programme. “In addition, the leadership will also help impart advanced training in institutes like the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) and Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA),” he said.

Pakistan has enormous potential to become one of the largest honey producers as its climate and vegetation are conducive for premium quality production, he said.

Alvi underscored the need for strengthening and improving the beekeeping segment as it possessed the capacity to generate employment and fetch foreign exchange.

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