World Savings Day celebrated

ISLAMABAD (APP): On the occasion of World Savings Day 2016, Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar gave a message to encourage national savings as an investment for future prosperity and better standard of living of all segments of the society. Ministry of Finance, through the Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS), celebrated the World Savings day here on Tuesday. Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, Parliamentary Secretary for Finance, delivered the message of the finance minister and addressed the officials and partner organizations of National Savings Organization on the occasion of World Savings Day. Finance Minister Dar, in his message, said, "National Savings Organization is playing an important role in providing risk-free saving and investment opportunities for the low income segments of the country. It offers a variety of schemes to suit the needs of savers, including Senior Citizens, Pensioners and Widows to cater for endowments, retirement plans, and insurance policies.

The social impact and contribution of National Savings Organization is indeed phenomenal towards sustainable economic status of citizens."

Rana Afzal quoted the finance minister saying that the government is improving governance and technology interface of National Savings Organization, the main custodian with almost 1/3rd of total banking deposits of the nation and the PML (N) government has reduced the savings to investment gap from Rs 241 billion in FY 2012-13 to Rs 180 billion in the FY 2015-16.

He conveyed best wishes of the finance minister to national savings and its worthy employees for all the success in their future endeavors to strengthen the National Savings Organizations. Special Secretary Finance and DG National Savings also spoke on the occasion.

Tevta issues recognised free certificates to 27,000 uncertified skilled workers

LAHORE (INP): Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (Tevta) has issued nationally as well as globally recognised free certificates to 27,000 uncertified skilled workers in Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program up to 31st October, 2016. This programme was started in April 2015 and this target has successfully been achieved now. This was stated by Chairperson TEVTA Irfan Qaiser Sheikh while addressing the progress review meeting of RPL programme for uncertified skilled force through Ustad Shagird Sytem here at TEVTA Secretariat. Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that PC-I has been approved for this programme and it has been planned to register 28,000 uncertified skills during the current financial year. Free registration in 3rd phase of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) across Punjab is in progress. Uncertified skilled workforce will get certification after passing theory and practical test of concerned trade.

The admission criteria for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) include minimum age limit 19 years holding CNIC, minimum 2 years Industry experience, record of employment, use of skills and reference from the employer. Integrated assessment (knowledge, skill and attitude) theory & practical will be the basis for self-assessment.

Experts stress efficient irrigation to conserve water

ISLAMABAD (APP): Agriculture experts gathered here from 30 countries of the world has asked for using efficient irrigation technologies to conserve water and to produce more crops for tackling the increasing food demands. Addressing the 3rd day of the 75th plenary meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), they said that inefficient use of water was reducing the ground water level and available water resources were facing immense pressure due to increasing population across the globe. The event was organised by the Ministry of Textile Industry which was attended by the 400 delegates from 30-member states, besides ICAC Director General Jose Sethi also attended the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, WWF Pakistan representative Arif H Makhdum said that agri-sector and cotton crop was consuming about 95 percent of fresh water in the country. He said that the cotton sector was a source of livelihood for over 1.4 million farming families and accommodating skilled and semi-skilled labours in the country.

He informed that about 56 million cubic feet water was diverted in Punjab irrigation system and about 11 million feet water in canals wasted due to inefficiencies. He said that WWF has initiated programmes for the capacity building of farmers and about 92,350 cotton farmers across the country, and trained them on better management practices, pest attack management.

It had reduced 24.7 percent of water waste, where as the use of pesticides were also reduced by 31.5 percent in the targeted areas which had help in environment degradation, he added. WWF chief informed that 27 percent net profit was gained by reducing the 24 percent use of synthic fertilisers, where as 115,336 metric tons of clean and better cotton produced.

Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Agriculture Department Secretary Abdul Raheem Soomro termed the event as a great opportunity to promote local textile and cotton industry in the world. He said it would also help in policy making to produce best cotton by sharing the international best practices and innovative techniques.

He said the event would also help in capacity building of other stakeholders including growers, ginners and spinners besides introducing the local products in international markets.

APTMA concerned over impounding of containers

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) spokesman has expressed concerns over impounding of export and import cargos by the civil administration, saying that it would have a dire impact on the exports and industrial production. He said the textile industry exports are already sliding down and confiscation of export and import cargos would add salt to the industry injuries, a situation that would lead to colossal losses to the mills. Furthermore, he pointed out that these import cargos carry raw materials of the industry and a delay in their availability would mess up the productivity targets. The APTMA spokesman said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was making his utmost efforts to take the textile industry out of sluggish mode. A relief package is also on the anvil but the civil administration has started seizing both export and import cargos of the industry, which is not a wise decision.

He urged the prime minister, Punjab chief minister, finance and commerce ministers to take stock of the situation and direct the civil administration to release the confiscated cargo immediately.