No IMF help needed: SBP governor


KARACHI (Online): State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Tariq Bajwa has said Pakistan is not going to IMF for another loan program. Giving in-camera briefing to Senate Standing Committee on Finance in connection with forex reserves situation on Wednesday, he stated that 4 billion dollars and 2 billion dollars have to come from World Bank and ADB respectively during the current financial year.  He said that imports could not be controlled during the current fiscal year. Talking to journalists after the meeting, the committee chairman Salim Mandviwala said the SBP governor has told during in-camera session that forex reserves situation in the country is satisfactory and we are curtailing national debt and increasing foreign loan. This is highly hazardous thing, he added. We could not overcome imports. He said foreign airlines earned 1.5 billion dollars from Pakistan during last two years. Data of all airlines in Pakistan has been summoned in the next meeting.  He said machines for checking currency notes of Rs 100 and above will be installed in the country in July, 2018.


TAPI gas pipeline project's financial close likely this year

ISLAMABAD (APP): Financial close of the TAPI gas pipeline is expected to be achieved this year, following which construction work would start on this multi-billion dollars project. "The construction work on the project will start after the completion of technical studies and achieving the financial close," official sources told APP. They said TAPI Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL), the project executing company, had been jointly formed by the four TAPI parties, which appointed the consultant to undertake the pre-FID activities including the detailed survey of the entire route, environment impact assessment studies and front end engineering design (FEED). The sources informed that the procurement process for lines pipe, long lead items and appointment of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor had been started. While, the company has appointed a legal counsel for rendering legal services on the agreements to be executed by the company, they added.

Highlighting importance of the project, the sources said it would help increase the power generation capacity to meet the country's future energy needs, create more job opportunities in backward areas along the pipeline route and further strengthen the national economy.

Upon completion, the project would help achieve high gross domestic product growth in the country, they said.

The TAPI gas pipeline project had entered its practical phase in Pakistan after the process of initiating FEED and route survey was formally inaugurated in March, last year.

Under the project, a 56-inch diameter 1,680km pipeline, having capacity to flow 3.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) gas, would be laid from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan up to Pak-India border, which is scheduled to complete in the year 2020.

Through the pipeline, Pakistan and India would be provided 1.325 bcfd gas each and Afghanistan would be getting the share of 0.5 bcfd gas.






LCCI delegation to visit US in March


LAHORE (Staff Reporter): A delegation of Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) will visit the US by the end of March this year to explore new trade and investment avenues. LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid disclosed this while talking to a US delegation from multiple business sectors, led by Megan Zacher, at Lahore Chamber on Wednesday. Malik Tahir Javaid said that Pakistan and United States had good prospects for improving mutual economic ties, asserting that the USA was a lucrative market for Pakistani products. He said the LCCI delegation would identify those areas for cooperation which were still unexplored. He said Pakistan and the USA had a long history of a multi-faceted relationship including diplomatic, strategic, cultural and economic relations. Malik said that USA was the second largest trading partner of Pakistan and among the top exporting and importing countries, USA came at first and fourth places respectively. The total bilateral trade averaged around 5.5 billion dollars but it had the potential to get doubled in few years through favorable policy initiatives, he said.


 and suggested that both countries needed to increase people-to-people contacts which would certainly encouraged US investors to consider Pakistan favorably.

He also praised the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for funding the Professional Fellows Programme and arranging visit of US delegation. "We should increase the frequency of exchanging such delegations. Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry is determined to play its role for bringing positive change for the benefit of both the countries," he added.

The LCCI believed that total trade between the two countries had the potential to touch the figure of $10 billion if favorable policy initiatives were taken by the two countries.

Malik Tahir Javaid shared with the delegation that the Lahore Chamber was established in 1923 and it was country's premier, largest and oldest chamber with a membership base exceeding over 22,000 members.

LCCI Vice President Zeshan Khalil said that LCCI having strong historical background remained a focal place for national and international delegations to meet and create linkages. He hoped that this visit to Lahore Chamber would also result in bringing both Pakistan and USA close to each other.

Ms Megan Zacher, in her address, said that business community of United States gave importance to trade and economic relations with their Pakistani counterparts. She said that development of people-to-people and business-to-business contacts could play a vital role in strengthening the trade and economic ties between the two countries.


Punjab finalises cotton calendar for

next season

MULTAN (APP): A cotton calendar has been finalised that will be beneficial for farmers to follow to get enhanced cotton production the next season. An agriculture spokesman said in a statement here Wednesday that the a fresh cotton calendar, finalised on the orders of Punjab Secretary Agriculture Muhammad Mahmud, keeping in view the changing weather behaviour, carries time-specific advisories for farmers for different stages of cotton crop, including land preparation, sowing, water and fertilizers application, pesticides, harvest and post harvest management, to keep land ready for the next season. He said that farmers who did not sow wheat after cotton picking could opt for sunflower sowing. He said that 75 per cent of cotton was grown in Punjab and the provincial government was taking special interest in assisting farmers in every way to enhance cotton production further. He said that farmers could apply proper techniques in the winter season to keep their next season cotton crop safe against pink-bollworm threat.

He advised farmers to keep smaller bundles of cotton sticks standing in perpendicular position rested against a wall with root side touching the ground and exposed to the sunlight so that pink-bollworm and its larvae get killed. Ginners should also destroy cotton waste to prevent pink bollworm from spreading to agriculture fields.