Farmers advised to take proper care of cotton crop during rains

LAHORE (APP): Farmers should stay vigilant and take proper care of cotton crop to protect it from the negative impact of rains. A spokesman for the department said on Friday that growers should stop picking cotton during rain and start when the cotton crop is properly dried. Farmers were suggested to ensure drainage of rainwater from fields where it was accumulated as if water stays in field for over 24 hours it affects the growth. Water could be drained in nearby crops of sugarcane and fodder, he added. He said that farmers should follow the instructions of agriculture department to achieve the cotton production target of over 10 million cotton bales.

OGDCL spuds 17 new wells

ISLAMABAD (APP): Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) spudded 17 new wells including eight (8) exploratory/appraisal wells and nine (9) development wells during the year ended on June 30, 2014. "OGDCL with an aim to enhance its exploration portfolio, holds the largest exploration acreage in the country which as of June 30, 2014 stood at 112,7994 sq. km," an official of OGDCL told APP.This increase in the exploration acreage is attributable to an acquisition of 29 new exploratory blocks through competitive bidding of petroleum exploration rights by Directorate General of Petroleum Concessions, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources in March 2013 and formally awarded to the Company during the reporting period.

As of June 30, 2014, the company held the largest exploration acreage in the Country covering an area of 112,794 sq.kms. This includes 62 owned and operated exploration licences.

PTDC achieves its targets

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) has achieved its targets to promote domestic tourism and reinstated the soft image of Pakistan at national and international level. This was stated by PTDC Managing Director Chaudhry Kabir Ahmad Khan. He said that despite the negative projection by the international media, more than thirty percent (30pc) increase in tourism has been observed. The corporation initiated these steps on the directions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to facilitate tourists, enhance the revenue generation of PTDC to make it a self-sustaining organization by taking initiatives of security provision, he remarked.

Elaborated measures were taken to provide security to the foreign tourists visiting different parts of the country, for which PTDC has increased security at all resorts including Murree, Galiyat, Ayubia, Kaghan, Swat, Chitral, Kalash and Shandur, he added.

He said that the PTDC has planned to introduce Tourism Friends Club Card for overseas Pakistani tourists, though which incentives like discounts on room rates, tour packages and transport services will be given, he maintained.

He informed that tourist traffic to regular tourists places have considerably increased during 2013 and 2014, while Pakistani tourists visited new destinations like Gilgit, Hunza, Fairy Meadows, Rama Lake, Chitral, Kalash and Shandur valleys as well.

He said, PTDC will welcome development and operation of tourism projects in different parts of the country under a public private partnership programme, in addition to this, PTDC land at Gaddani Beach and in Balochistan would be utilized for launching projects like developing a beach resort, outdoor and indoor games facilities and water-sports club which would help in generating income," he stated.

Meanwhile, Khan informed that PTDC has not been affected by the 18th Amendment, only tourism ministries were handed over to the provinces, while the provincial governments and concerned district management were in a close contact with PTDC to ensure the security of the tourists, he said.

PIA pre-Haj operation continues

KARACHI (APP): PIA has so far operated 34 pre-Haj flights and carried more than 12,000 intending Haj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia with on time flight departures and arrivals, a spokesman of the airline said here on Friday. PIA on the eighth day of its pre-Haj operation operated 34 Haj flights carrying over 12,000 intending pilgrims to the holy land. PIA has carried 2,546 intending pilgrims from Karachi to Saudi Arabia through 08 flights, 2,484 from Lahore through 06 flights, 3,391 from Islamabad through 07 flights, 2,080 from Quetta through 07 flights and 1,823 intending pilgrims from Peshawar through 06 flights to KSA. On Saturday,  a total of 04 flights are scheduled to operate; one each from Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Quetta.

Sports goods exports up 9.50pc

ISLAMABAD (APP): Sports goods exports from the country during the first month of current financial year registered an increase of 9.50 per cent as compared to the corresponding month of last year. Sports goods worth $32.95 million were exported during the month of July 2014 as compared to $30.09m of same month of last financial year. The exports of sports goods were recorded at $33.8 million in month of June 2014 which were registered at $7.47m during the same month of last financial year, the data reveled. During the period under review, about 385 dozens of footballs worth $17.52m were exported which were up by 46.17 percent as compared to the exports of 255 dozens valuing $11.99m exported in same period of last year.

Meanwhile, the exports of gloves increased by 5.92 percent during the first month of current financial year as country fetched US$ 11.17 million by exporting about 212 thousand dozen of gloves from the country.

In July 2013, country was able to export 313 thousand dozens of gloves valuing US$ 10.55 million, the data reveled.

The other products which showed positive growth in their exports during the month of July included knitwear, bedwear and towels by 21.66 percent, 14.54 percent and 7 percent respectively.

During the first month of current financial year the country earned US$ 238.7 million by exporting the knitwear while US$ 195.8 million by exporting bedwear and US$ 64 million by exporting the towels.