Cut in oil prices welcomed

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Chairman Irfan Iqbal Shiekh has appreciated the Caretaker government for reducing the prices of petroleum products by lowering the general sales tax on directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. While issuing a press statement along with senior vice chairman Tanvir A Sufi and vice chairman Shahzeb Akram, chairman PIAF said that the relief in petroleum prices will not only provide the much-needed respite to the masses but also reduce the cost of production and give a boost to economic activity, as the government was grabbing the public money by imposing additional taxes in the tune of about Rs10 billion. He said that the tax on all petroleum products was increased whenever their prices fall in global market, as the petroleum consumers were forced to pay a total amount of Rs 47.16 billion in taxes. After the recent price hike consumers were paying a per litre tax of Rs24.77 and the diesel prices had a per litre tax of Rs29.91.

He said that Pakistan was generating a major share of electricity through furnace oil and increase in POL prices makes the cost of manufacturing activities unviable for the private sector.

Irsa releases 269,900 cusecs water

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Indus River System Authority (Irsa) Thursday released 269,900 cusecs water from various rim stations with inflow of 326,500 cusecs. According to the data released by IRSA, water level in the Indus River at Tarbela Dam was 1392.20 feet, which was 04.20 feet higher than its dead level of 1,386 feet. Water inflow in the dam was recorded as 171,300 cusecs while outflow as 150,000 cusecs. The water level in the Jhelum River at Mangla Dam was 1119.75 feet, which was 79.75 feet higher than its dead level of 1,040 feet whereas the inflow and outflow of water was recorded as 47,300 cusecs and 45,000 cusecs respectively. The release of water at Kalabagh, Taunsa and Sukkur was recorded as 189,500, 164,500 and 41,000 cusecs respectively. Similarly from the Kabul River, 38,700 cusecs of water was released at Nowshera and 36,200 cusecs from the Chenab River at Marala.

SCCI team to attend Dhaka climate moot

ISLAMABAD (APP): A high level delegation of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Pakistan chapter Thursday left for Dhaka (Bangladesh) to participate in the upcoming SAARC  seminar on "A Climate Resilient South Asia: Turning Climate Smart Investment Opportunities into Reality" scheduled on July 15. Talking to media here, leader of delegation SAARC CCI Senior Vice President (SVP) Iftikhar Ali Malik said that Pakistan had been working with SAARC member states to understand how public sector actors are building resilience to climate change in South Asia, said a press release issued here. He said Pakistan remains committed to playing its role in global efforts for tackling the issue of climate change. He said it had ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2015 and was following the principles therein to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent.   "Climate change has become one of the biggest challenges for mankind today and has united the international community for action against its hazards," he added.

Pakistan had recently passed the climate law i.e. Pakistan Climate Change Act-2016 and Pakistan was fully aware of its national and international obligations under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

He said extreme unhealthy temperatures in South Asia-a region that includes India, Pakistan and Bangladesh-affect around 15% of the region's population.

"A number of deadly extreme weather events in the region reflect that reality, including a 2015 heat wave that killed more than 2,500 people," he added.

He said South Asia as a region has witnessed favourable economic growth and was gearing up to capitalise on opportunities provided by urbanization, economic diversification and a young population.

At the same time the region is also home to the world's largest population of the poor and is extremely vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change.

Iftikhar Malik said SAARC member states should work with their respective private sector to encourage clean green business development for promoting climate action.

"The encouragement of bringing in innovation and building capacity of relevant stakeholders should be the fundamental objectives of every government in South Asia," he added.

Interiors Pakistan exhibition planned

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Pakistan Furniture Council's (PFC) will hold its next PFC Interiors Pakistan exhibitions in Islamabad to help boost economy and promote trade. The exhibitions have been playing vital role in economic prosperity by facilitating business growth and connecting buyers and sellers, said Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq while chairing a meeting of PFC board of directors to review arrangements of upcoming PFC Interiors Pakistan exhibition. He said that exhibitions, such as the Interiors Pakistan, have helped promote the development of furniture trade to a remarkable extent in local and international level. The Interiors Pakistan exhibitions would give a considerable boost to economic activities in the country as it had created a positive image of the business community. He further said Pakistan has built a reputation as one of the best exporters in textile industry, stressing the need for promoting export of handmade and solid wood classy furniture to foreign countries.

Outlining the role of PFC exhibitions in Pakistan, he said it helps build image of the country as well as boosts economic activities.

He said that Interiors Pakistan mega exhibition also provided employment opportunities to around 5,000 people directly or indirectly.