Punjab fish farmers being provided latest training

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Fisheries Department is providing every possible help and information to the fish farmers regarding fish culture techniques for producing export quality fish so as to earn foreign exchange for the country. This was stated by Director General Fisheries Dr Muhammad Ayub while talking to media-men in his office, here. Dr. Muhammad Ayub informed that a six monthly diploma course has been completed successfully in order to provide information to the fish farmers regarding modern methods of fish farming. He said that it is the first programme of its kind in the country. He said that Fisheries Department is also going to start a degree programme so that fish industry could be further developed.

Dr. Ayub said that Fisheries Department is extending technical assistance to fish farmers for investment in the fisheries sector under private- public partnership. He said that Fisheries Department is making all out efforts to bring researchers, scientists, fish farmers and fish traders on a single platform so that the problems being faced in fisheries sector could be resolved on scientific basis.

He further said that Punjab government is extending all out cooperation and support for the establishment of aquaculture technology park and export processing zone for facilitating private sector in the export of fish products and in this regard tenders have been issued for feasibility study. He said that the Fisheries Department is fully capable to modernize aquaculture and it will succeed in its efforts in this regard.

LNG-based power plants to help end energy scarcity

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Pakistan Foam Manufacturers Association general secretary Ibrahim Sheikh has said that projects initiated by the present government including three LNG-based power plants, coal-based power plants, Karachi-Lahore pipeline will end energy scarcity in country as promised by the PM. LCCI executive committee member said that political, economic and security situation is improving, GDP growth is above four percent, deficit has been educated to 5.3 pc, inflation is at 6 percent and interest rates are at lowest while stocks market has progressed by 72 percent. He lauded the Chinese investment worth 46 billion dollars and up-gradation of Gwadar port.

, he said that international financial institutions and credit rating agencies are all praise for the policies of the government.

AIIB first-batch of projects to be launched early next year

BEIJING (INP): Pakistan-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a China-initiated multilateral new financial institution, is a complement rather than a rival to existing financial institutions, Jin Liqun, president-elect of the AIIB, said. Speaking at a seminar organized by the US Brookings Institution in USA, he said the prospective founding members of AIIB are drafting detailed operating policies and rules. Jin said Asian countries are initially the biggest stakeholders — holding about 75pc of the total shares — and resources of AIIB will initially be invested in these countries. China will hold 30.34pc stake in the bank and 26 percent of the voting rights. He said the first batch of projects will be launched in 2016 at the earliest.

With initial capital of US$100 billion, the AIIB aims to lend money to build roads, mobile phone towers and other much-needed infrastructure in poorer parts of Asia. AIIB will have headquarters in Beijing.

Jin Liqun is a veteran in finance, with rich leadership and managerial expertise in the public and private sector. The 66 year old used to be China’s vice finance minister and vice president for Asian Development Bank.

PBIF criticises govt for ignoring dairy sector

ISLAMABAD (INP): Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) said lack of incentives has an impact on the development of dairy sector. Pakistan is the third largest milk producer in the world bringing out 50b litres of milk annually but only four to five percent milk is processed for local consumption and exports while the rest is distributed through informal channels, it said. The unprocessed milk is popular in the country due to its low price compared to processed milk but it is prone to germs and adulteration, said PBIF President and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain. He said that 8.5m families are linked to milk business in country out of which 92pc are small farmers preferring buffalos over the rest of the animals.

Only one out of thousand have over 50 animals in this business which is playing active role is reducing poverty in rural areas, he added.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the share of livestock is around 12 percent in GDP but it never caught attention of authorities who have always preferred crop sector over it. He said that dairy sector shrank by 30 percent in the last eighteen years due to issues like regulation, taxation, cost of doing business, outdated methods and unabated import of milk powder which is weakening the local dairy sector.

He said that supply is increasing by four percent per annum while demand continue to increase by 10 to 15 percent which must be balanced though full government involvement.

Rapid national progress linked to SME development

ISLAMABAD (INP): Chairman of the United International Group Mian Shahid on Friday said rapid national growth is tied to SME sector development therefore this sector should be given importance. SME sector has positively changed fate of many economies including Japan, Korea and Thailand, he said. He said that out of 3.5 million SMEs in Pakistan, 65 percent are located in Punjab which are facing multiple problems like energy crisis, lack of regulatory support, incoherent laws, deficiency of market information and skilled labour. Mian Shahid said that SBP pushed banks to boost SME financing which increased by 20 percent to 299 billion of which loans worth 91 billion or 30 percent got infected shying away many banks.

Textile and garments sector has emerged as biggest defaulter which failed on 50 percent of its financial obligations therefore special incentives should be given to these sectors.

He called for reviving textile and garments sectors which is steadily going down in competition with China, India, Bangladesh and Vietnam while the spinning capacity of country has declined by 30 percent. He asked the banks to revisit policy of ignoring SMEs and orchestrate a plan to develop this critical sector to reduce poverty and unemployment and ensure equality in the society.