Cotton production slows
Pakistan has reported a jump of 62percent in cotton production to 5.99 million bales in the first three and a half months of the current season, reducing reliance on imports significantly. The Production of the commodity, however, slowed down in recent weeks compared to the initial growth of around 80percent as “white fly attack, mainly in the south Punjab cotton region, reduced the yield by 10-15percent,” Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) former vice chairman Muhammad Asim Saeed said.
Agri-exports rise 13pc
Pakistan’s agricultural exports rose 13percent to $5.2 billion in financial year 2022-23, thanks to improved productivity, better prices and increased demand in the global market, said the Pakistan Business Forum (PBF). For further boosting shipments, “We may also invest in modernising our agriculture sector by adopting new technologies, enhancing water management, improving seed quality, expanding cultivated land for high-value crops, strengthening linkages between processors and growers, and providing incentives for agro-processing,” it said.
Sindh modernises first time water channels
The Long crest weirs (LCWs) of three water distributaries out of a total 15 distributaries are being modernised for the first time in Sindh aimed at stopping water theft, improving water velocity and bolstering the agricultural economy under the World Bank-funded Sindh Water and Agriculture Transformation (SWAT) project. “We will modernise 15 distributaries but right now we are going to build the long crest weirs of three as a pilot project to regulate water supplies and improve water velocity for tail-end farmers as water cannot be managed without measuring,” Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (Sida) Managing Director Pretam Das said.
In a year it exports can be doubled
Pakistan can easily double IT exports in a year or two by developing an efficient and integrated strategy with the support of private sector and through its proper and timely execution, said Umair Azam, CEO of Integration Xperts, one of Pakistan’s prominent technology firms.
While appreciating the caretaker administration for its dedicated efforts to nurture the growth of IT sector, Azam said that the government had taken the right direction and the IT ministry was undertaking excellent steps.
Contract inked for port development
Pakistan and China have signed a new advisory deal for faster development of Gwadar Port aimed at giving a push to the strategically important pillar of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that is facing inordinate delays.
The Advisory deal was among 20 agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) that Pakistan and China signed mostly in areas recommended by China.
ECC members oppose latest benchmark loan rate
Amid opposition from Chinese sponsors to Pakistan’s plans to adopt a new benchmark rate for IPP loans, the economic managers have raised serious objections to the proposal submitted by the Power Division for revising the borrowing rate.
The Power Division had called for a transition from the London Inter-bank Offered Rate (Libor) to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) for loans that would be secured from multilateral donors for power projects.
Pharma sector assured of government support
Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Investment Tahir Javed on Tuesday said that Pakistan was the world’s leading manufacturer and exporter of pharmaceutical products in the 1990s.
At one time, Pakistan’s pharmaceutical sector was the leading exporter to Europe and America, whose exports held a special place in important markets of the world, he said.
He was speaking to a delegation of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA), led by its Chairman Mian Khalid Misbahur Rehman, at the Board of Investment (BOI) office.
For exporters gas subsidy proposed
The Government has proposed huge hidden gas subsidies of 44percent for Pakistan’s richest exporters in the upcoming price revision but would increase rates for domestic consumers up to 172percent, underscoring the elite capture of diminishing resources. The hidden subsidies are in violation of the commitments given to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and against a decision of the last federal cabinet that wanted an end to the supply of cheap local gas to the self-generation power plants of industries, known as captive power plants.
Plan for G2G oil contract with Russia shelved
The Government has decided to shelve plans for a long-term oil import deal with Russia under a government-to-government (G2G) arrangement and has allowed refineries to strike direct commercial agreements with companies of the European nation.
Earlier, Pakistan and Russia agreed to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with the objective of crude oil imports as part of a G2G agreement. However, the establishment of SPV, whose task was to import oil and then ship it to local refineries for processing, suffered delays.
Turkiye eyes $5bn trade in next 2-year
Ambassador of Turkiye to Pakistan Dr Mehmet Pacaci has said that Pakistan and Turkiye can easily push bilateral trade to $5 billion in the next one to two years. However, in the long term, the bilateral trade could reach $20-25 billion, he anticipated. “We should make full use of mutually shared multilateral platforms like the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO).
100 Chinese companies to visit Pakistan
Caretaker Minister for Planning Sami Saeed has highlighted Pakistan’s national pride in being a significant contributor to the success of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and emphasised the pivotal role of the BRI in fostering regional connectivity. During a meeting with Chinese technology enterprises, the minister underscored Pakistan’s commitment to further strengthening its partnership with China.