PARC transfers solar dryer tech to farmers of Sukkur

ISLAMABAD (INP): Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) is introducing and transferring new innovations and technologies among farming community for promotion and development of agriculture sector in Pakistan. Farmers can increase their production and income by using new knowledge and latest technologies. This was stated by Dr Nadeem Amjad, Chairman PARC while addressing at an inception workshop and ceremony of transfer of solar dryer technology to local farmers of Sukkur Region to produce export quality solar dried dates and by-products of dried banana under the Project titled “Post Harvest Management and Value Addition of Fruits in Production Catchments in SAARC Countries (Pakistan Component) at Sukkur.

Chairman PARC said Pakistan’s economy can be strengthened and the goal of food security can be achieved by giving priority to agriculture development activities as 70% population of the country is directly or indirectly depend on this sector.

He said Federal and Sindh Governments were working together for profitable agriculture in the province. Through the use of latest technology, dates and banana can be dried and preserved to increase growers’ income. He said Pakistan’s prosperity link with farmer prosperity. He urged the farmers to use new knowledge and innovations to cultivate their crops and to minimize the post harvest losses. He stressed the growers and village organizations to make sure continuous operation / functioning of the units to get maximum benefits from the technology distributed among them at farm and village level in the region. 

On this occasion Dr. Munir Ahmad, Chief Scientist / Director General Agricultural Engineering Division of PARC and Project Director (SAARC Project-Pakistan Component) highlighted the activities and importance of the project. He said the solar dryers for dates and banana value addition units of PARC in the region would help to reduce the post harvest losses and improve the quality of the produce of the farmers that leads to increase exchange earnings through export of quality solar dried dates and other by-products of dried banana such as dried figs, chocolate dipped banana.

Dr. Muhammad Abbas Bhutto, Incharge AZRI Technology Field Station of PARC, Mr. Asif Mirani and other scientists also shared their knowledge and experience.

All the farmers and growers appreciated the PARC role for serving them at their door-step. Later on a document was also signed for transfer of solar drying technology to local farmers.

SECP becomes member of Islamic Financial Services Board

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has become member of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), Malaysia, aimed at furthering the Islamic financial services industry in Pakistan. IFSB serves as an international standard-setting body of regulatory and supervisory agencies that have vested interest in ensuring the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry which is defined broadly to include banking, capital market and insurance. The Council of the IFSB in its 27th meeting held on December 8, 2015 at the Islamic Development Bank Headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, approved the membership of the SECP for IFSB, Malaysia.

The SECP’s membership means that the SECP benefits from cooperation amongst IFSB members in developing the Islamic financial services industry in Pakistan. Also, SECP will gain from personnel development training facilitated by IFSB related to regulation of the Islamic financial services industry and specific market in Pakistan. The SECP will also take advantage of research and surveys undertaken by IFSB on the Islamic financial services industry which will inform product development and enhance the product offering.

To date, the 189 members of the IFSB consist of 65 supervisory and regulatory authorities from the banking, capital markets and Islamic insurance (Takaful) sectors from 47 jurisdictions, as well as eight international inter-governmental organizations, and 116 market players (financial institutions, professional firms and industry associations).

TDAP chief visits RCCI

RAWALPINDI (Staff Reporter): Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Chairman S M Munir has asked traders and industrialists to take benefit of GSP Plus status and work hard towards the betterment of Pakistan. He expressed these views during his visit to the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI).“Our exports were showing an increasing trend yet we are far behind as compared to the regional competitors. Rice exports have shown a 10 percent increase. Sugar and leather exports both were reflecting positive signs,” he said. Government was fully aware of issues and concerns of traders with respect to withholding tax, he added. He said women entrepreneurs should come forward and put their share in reshaping the country’s economy.

Women chamber was the need of the time, he said. SM Munir urged businessman and traders to come forward and play their effective role for a prosperous Pakistan. He appreciated Rawalpindi Chamber efforts for holding successful expos and promoting business activities and bridging the gap between government and traders.

RCCI president Mian Humayun Parvez thanked the chief guest and the participants. He said Rawalpindi needs a skill development institute where skilled human resource can equip themselves in various categories, especially gems and jewelry sector. This will help us to increase exports volume. “We want RCCI- TDAP partnership for organizing expos, fairs and conferences. A joint venture can help us to boost economic activities,” he added.

Senator Mian Atiq, former president ICCI, Zafar Bakhtawari, Rauf Alam, Tariq Sadiq and Khalid Javed, group leader Sheikh Shabir, Senior vice president Saqib Rafiq, vice president Aqil Obaid and a large number of executive members and traders were also present on this occasion.

LCCI, SCCI join hands

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The LCCI and Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry have decided to make joint efforts for economic uplift of the country. It was agreed at a meeting between LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad and Vice President of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry Syed Ahtesham Mazhar Gilani here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Both the Chambers also agreed to keep an eye on the trade and invest opportunities and ensure their timely exchange besides sharing their trade and economic research work. LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said collaboration between the two chambers would go a long way and would help business community of Lahore and Sialkot to find new destinations for trade & investment.

He also threw light on ongoing economic challenges and stressed the need for collective approach to bring country out of these problems. He said that both the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry have their own strengths and the joining of hands by the two institutions would bring positive change at the economic front.

The LCCI President said that Pakistan could not make an impact at international level only because of lack of awareness about latest business methodologies. Had awareness been there for the business community, the situation would have been far better today.

Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry is working on an important report on Ease of doing business in Pakistan and also collecting necessary business-related data that would help bring convert certain unorganized sectors into organized ones.

He said that both chambers can contribute a lot in the further development of mutual trust and understanding of problems relating to trade and industry located in Lahore and Sialkot. He said that collective stand to safeguard the interest of business community is need of the hour.

Speaking on the occasion, the SCCI Vice Syed Ahtesham Mazhar Gilani said that the harmony between the LCCI and Sialkot Chamber of Commerce would give further boost to the inter chamber interaction. He said that Sialkot is hub of quality products and offer matchless opportunities for both local and foreign investors.

He took a round of the LCCI departments and appreciated the work being done by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the cause of the business community.

Reserves surge to $20.4 billion

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $20,450.9 million on December 4, 2015. The break-up of the foreign reserves position, released by central bank on Thursday, showed that foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan stood at $15,441.4 million, while net foreign reserves held by banks stood at $5,009.5 million. During the week ending December 4, SBP’s liquid FX reserves increased by $654 million to $15,441 million, compared to $14,787 million in the previous week. During the week, SBP received $918 million from multilateral, bilateral and other official sources, which include $500 million received from World Bank and $400 million received from Asian Development Bank.

During the week, SBP made payments of $270 million on account of external debt servicing.