No strike at Multan CDNS branches

MULTAN (APP): Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) Regional Director Sajid Mansoor said on Thursday that no branch of the CDNS in Multan was witnessing employees' strike and people were availing services normally. All branches of the CDNS in South Punjab and those upto Sukkur zone had been functioning properly and did not observe strike even for a single day, Sajid told APP. He said that they used to contact high-ups in Islamabad to discuss problems of employees and ways to resolve them and added that whole staff in Islamabad was also performing duty. He said the CDNS was providing the best services to people despite shortage of staff. He disclosed that lower tendency of people towards investing in national savings schemes witnessed during last few years due to reduction in profit rate which was now showing an upward trend. People have started showing more interest and investing more on saving schemes during last few months due to increase in rate of profit.

Sajid Mansoor said that all the seven branches of Multan had been computerized completely and rest of the branches would also undergo computerization process in the third phase soon.

He said that investment in national saving schemes was safe

as government guarantees protection of investment and people from almost all walks of life could venture for profitable investment options.

Ex-govts responsible for water crisis

ISLAMABAD (INP): The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said all the governments during the last 45 years are responsible for the water crisis in Pakistan. However, the burden of responsibility is more on the shoulders of two former governments that conveniently ignored the crisis in the making and continued to pursue agenda of personal welfare, it said. Only India should not be blamed as we are also responsible for this dire situation, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, president PEW. He said that our farmers are on the top of the list of the cultivators known for wasting water as they use two to three times more water than India to grow anything. Pakistani farmers continue to waste a lot of water which can b saved as it will not reduce but increase agricultural production to make Indian conspiracies less effective. Developed nations use few hundred litres of water to get one kilogram of sugar, developing nations use approximately 1500 litres of water for the same while Pakistan waste 7000 litres for it, he informed.

Pakistan is also wasting a lot of water for other crops like wheat, rice, maize, fruits and vegetables etc.

Half of the global production of food which is two billion tonnes is wasted in which Pakistan is not behind other nations. The world is using 3.8 trillion cubic metres of water per annum of which 70 percent is used by the agricultural sector and the demand is set to grow by 300 percent by 2050. Failure in the conservation of water will make Pakistan a failed state, he warned.

USAID to help enhance Pak mango exports

LAHORE (APP): The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) organised the 'Mangolicious Culinary Competition' at a private institution as part of its efforts to help promote Pak mango sector. Eight teams, comprising three students each, were required to  prepare mango-based dishes in an hour. The students were given away certificates for making mango dishes and beverages. USAID Provincial Director for Punjab Lea Swanson and US Consulate's Political Economic Section Chief Ann Mason were the guests at the  culinary skills competition. The United States-Pakistan Partnership  for Agricultural Market Development (AMD) is promoting the export of Pakistani mangoes to the international markets. Speaking on the occasion, Lea Swanson said the US was committed  to increasing opportunities for Pakistani mango growers to the new international markets and helping to maintain compliance with  international grading standards and export protocols.

She said despite being one of  the world's leading producers of mangoes, Pakistan's main exports to the global market were less than  10 per cent of its total production, adding that USAID wanted to make Pakistani mangoes as competitive as they can be in the international markets.

She said USAID launched the US-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development in February 2015 to improve the ability of Pakistan's commercial agriculture and livestock sectors to compete in the international and national markets.

Ms Swanson congratulated the participating students saying, "We are passionate about celebrating and investing in the incredible talents of Pakistani youth."

The US diplomats also distributed certificates among the  participants.

NAVTTC may join hnads with UK institutes

ISLAMABAD (APP): National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) was seeking meaningful collaborations with state of the art institutes of the UK with an aim to explore the possibility of recognition of Pakistani qualifications and skill standards and to create employment opportunities for Pakistani skilled workers. In this regard, a delegation comprising of stakeholders from technical and vocational sector of Pakistan visited the United Kingdom led by Executive Director NAVTTC,  Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema, a press releaase said on Thursday. The delegation consisted of heads of TEVTAs of Punjab and Sindh, Principals of Technical colleges from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan and the president of Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Lahore. Keeping in view the aims and objectives of the visit, the delegation held meetings with Skill Development Scotland, Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework and Association of Colleges.

The delegation also held meetings with UK-NARIC, Britain's apex body for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills, and world class Institution City & Guilds.

The management of UK-NARIC and City & Guilds showed keen interest in working out the modalities to recognize Pakistani qualifications and also expressed their desire to visit Pakistan to take the matter further.

During the visit, the delegation visited few of the most renowned and top ranking institutes for technical education in the UK. These include, Glasgow Clyde College, Dudley College, and Birmingham Metropolitan College. The meetings with these institutes proved extremely fruitful as their management made commitment to find means and ways to start partnerships with Pakistan.

In addition to the TVET sector, the delegation held meetings with Pakistani diaspora especially the business community. One such meeting was held in London in which the representatives of UK-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries were informed about the TVET landscape of Pakistan.

The host organization briefed the delegation about the skills and trades most relevant for employment in the UK.

The head of delegation Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema laid stress on the fact that the accomplished Pakistani business community of the UK has a responsibility to help the talented Pakistani youth to get the best employment opportunities as their level of skill is at par with that of international standards.

The delegation also met with the Pakistani High Commissioner to UK, Syed Ibn-e-Abbas. He lauded the efforts of NAVTTC for uplifting TVET sector of Pakistan and extended his full support in this regard.

He also hoped that Pakistani skilled youth would be rewarded with scholarships each year for further training in the best technical institutes of the UK.