Anusha Rahman overviews existing projects of USF

ISLAMABAD (NNI): 48th BoD meeting of the Universal Service Fund Company (USFCo) was convened here on Wednesday. Chairperson USFCo Board and Minister of State for IT & Telecom, Anusha Rahman chaired the meeting and took an overview of the existing projects of USF pertaining to the establishment of 50 more Computer Labs in Women Empowerment Centers Bait Ul Maal under the ICT’s for girls programme and Broadband for Low Income Women in phase 2. The USF BoD unanimously approved the award of Awaran-Lasbela Lot under a Broadband for Sustainable Development Project. An un-served population of about 196,177, covering 269 unserved Mauzas and an unserved area of 39,434 sq kms will be benefited with modern broadband facilities through this project. Other Board members including the Secretary IT; Rizwan Bashir Khan, Member Telecom; Mudassar Hussain, Chairman PTA; Dr. Ismail Shah, VP ISPs of Pakistan; Azfar Manzoor, CEO Mobilink; Aamir Ibrahim and CEO USF Co; Faisal Sattar also attended the meeting.

 Railways bore Rs152m burden owing to concession fare

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan Railways had to bear Rs 152.914 million financial burden in the first ten months of the last financial year owing to the provision of subsidised tickets to the entitled persons. Railways officials are entitled to travel on free passes and tickets in limited number each year, an official in the Ministry of Railways told APP. "The persons entitled to travel free or on concessional rates are provided the facility of advance reservation at all reservations/booking offices of Pakistan Railways," the official added. He said that Pakistan Railways also providing concessional rates to local and foreign students to travel in trains on 50pc concession. "The department is also providing 50 per cent concession to blind/disabled persons. However, blind students are being given 65 per cent concession and their accompanying attendant 50pc off on tickets", he said. He said that sports athletes are being given concession at the rate of 40 percent and journalists are being offered concession at the rate of 80pc and their spouses 50pc.

Senior Citizens are being offered 25 per cent concession in AC/Class and 50 percent in economy class, sources disclosed. Tourists are being offered 25 percent concession, scouts and girl guides were also being given 50 percent. Members of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Pakistan Chapter are also traveling on concessional rates, the sources said. "There is no proposal under consideration of the government at present to withdraw these concessions," the official added.

 Pakistani exporters to participate in FoodEx Saudi exhibition

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistani exporters will be participating in FoodEx Saudi 2016 exhibition, being held from November 21 to 24 in Jeddah. Several Pakistani companies, through the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), will be participating in the exhibition, being arranged by Saudi Exhibition Company, said a message received here Wednesday from Jeddah. Pakistan is the original home of "Basmati Rice", famed around the world for its exquisite taste and aroma. The Government of Pakistan, through TDAP, is bringing 7 established companies that have proven themselves over the years as exporters of genuine, high-quality exporters to the rest of the world. These companies included Reem Rice Mills, Lahore; Elahi Rice Mills, Lahore; Khalid Rice Mills, Lahore; Bismillah Sehla Processing Plant, Nankana; N.Y. Company, Karachi; Tooba Rice Mills, Karachi; and Khan Rice Mills, Karachi.

In the category of Bakery and Confectionery Items, Ready-to-Eat Products and Frozen Food, Pakistan is introducing a company which has been singularly successful in establishing a Food-Items brand with international recognition.

The company is GOLDEN HARVEST FOODS from Karachi, and their brand is DAWN. By facilitating the participation of these excellent companies in the prestigious exhibition, FoodEx Saudi 2016, the Government of Pakistan is not only sending traders and marketers to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but ambassadors of our land and our people. Pakistan hopes that the relationships forged and partnerships established at FoodEx Saudi will go a long way in benefiting both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and will only serve to reinforce the already monumental relations of brotherly and spiritual love that both peoples hold for each other.

Proposed LPG regulation policy to end `mafia' monopoly: Official

ISLAMABAD (APP): The proposed LPG regulation policy would help end monopoly of `mafia' and ensure smooth supply of the commodity throughout the year at prescribed rates, a senior official of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources said Wednesday. The ministry is finalizing a policy to regulate LPG prices and curb monopoly of the `mafia' multiplying miseries of the consumers especially during winter. "Hopefully, the LPG prices will be regulated in the coming two months as the proposed LPG regulation policy is in its final phase after the nod of CCI," the official told APP. The mafia creates artificial shortage to mint money by increasing prices of the commodity at its own, which prompted the authorities concerned to control the profiteers and facilitate the end-users through appropriate regulations. Chairman LPG Distributors Association (LPGDA) Irfan Khokhar said formulation of the policy was a good initiative of the government.

 He appreciated the federal government for formulating the LPG regulation policy and getting it passed through CCI taking all stakeholders on board.

After the policy, he said, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) would start the process to regulate the LPG prices. "Consumers will get their LPG cylinders refilled less than Rs 900 each throughout the year across the country," he said.

Presently, he said, around 104 licence-holder LPG marketing companies were operating across the country and total sale of the commodity was approximately 3,000 metric ton per day across the country.

With effective implementation of the regulation policy, Khokhar said, there would be no monopoly of the marketing companies and consumers would get LPG on prescribed rates.