Industry facing low gas pressure: LCCI

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Wednesday complained of low gas pressure to the industry and called for corrective measures without any delay.  LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that low gas pressure is like non provision of gas. It hurts industry badly therefore the authorities should take all steps to keep the industrial wheel on the run.  Representative of the Ferozepur Road Industrial Association (FRIA) Adnan Khalid Butt informed the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry that low pressure of gas has become one of the biggest issues being faced by the industrialists of the area. He said that because of low pressure of gas, industrial production is at the lowest ebb.  LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that at a time when country is struggling to achieve export target, unavailability of gas to the industrial sector would play a devastating role. He said that how the government would be able to collect revenues to run its day-to-day affairs when the industrial wheel is coming to a halt.

 PTDC making efforts to promote tourism

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) is making all-out efforts to promote tourism across the country. An official of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) claimed that the Corporation has achieved its targets to promote domestic tourism in the country. Pakistani tourists are now visiting new destinations like Gilgit, Hunza, Fairy Meadows, Rama Lake, Chitral, Kalash and Shandur valleys, he said. He said PTDC has launched its summer tour packages again and announced special rates for its hotels, motels and resorts situated in the most attractive tourist destinations in the country. 50 million domestic tourists travel within the country on short trips usually, travelling between May to August. “There was a dire need to introduce Pakistan’s culture and tourism on international level and since inception PTDC was working hard to promote the beautiful picnic spots situated in far-flung areas, especially where the private sector was shy to invest,” he added.

He said that PTDC is currently operating Tourist Information Centres all over the country for the last 30 years to provide information, travel guide, brochures and maps to tourists for planning their holidays.

 CDNS collected Rs214b till June 10

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) collected Rs 214 billion against the revised target of Rs 218 billion by June 10, during the current fiscal year (2015-16). A senior official of CDNS told APP on Wednesday that the CDNS collected Rs 166 billion against the proportionate target of Rs 182 billion during the first three quarter of the current fiscal year. The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) notified downward revision in the profit rates for various saving certificates which was applicable from June 1, 2016. He said as per notification issued by the federal government, the new rates for Defense Savings Certificate, Special Saving Certificate, Regular Income Certificate, Savings Accounts have been fixed at an average of 7.70 percent, 6.14 percent, 6.56 percent and 04 percent respectively. The official said the profit rate of return for specialized Savings Schemes like Bahbood Savings Certificates and Pensioners’ Benefit Account has also been revised and fixed at 9.60 percent in order to provide safety net to specialized segments of the society.

He said that the proposal to launch registered prize bonds which offer coupons as well as prizes is also under consideration.

 Oil prices recover with global markets

LONDON (AFP):  Oil prices extended gains on Wednesday, tracking a recovery in equity markets as leaders look to temper fears over the effects of Britain's shock EU exit and traders bet on a fall in US stocks. Around 1000 GMT, the London benchmark Brent crude added 46 cents to $49.04 and US benchmark West Texas Intermediate rose 57 cents to $48.42. "Oil markets mirrored the rebound on stock markets as fundamentals came back into focus," said analysts at PVM oil brokerage. Global stock prices have risen in a second day of recovery from a sharp sell-off prompted by Britain's vote to leave the European Union, with Asian markets leading the way on hopes that authorities will unveil fresh stimulus to counter the effects of the vote. Seoul on Tuesday unveiled a $17-billion plan to support South Korea's already fragile economy, while news emerged Wednesday that Japan's leaders were holding talks on how to contain any tailwind from the Brexit crisis. Also Tuesday, European Central Bank boss Mario Draghi said central banks should aim to align monetary policies to mitigate "destabilising spillovers".

European leaders, who gathered in Brussels for a two-day meeting, urged Britain to act quickly to resolve the political and economic mayhem unleashed by the vote.

PVM analysts said oil prices were also being pushed higher by threat of a strike in Norway affecting supplies, as well as the shutdown of two offshore platforms in the US Gulf of Mexico.

"The possibility of a strike in the Norwegian upstream sector, where a pay dispute involving more than 700 workers at seven producing fields has the potential to impact combined oil output of around 280,000 barrels per day -- almost a fifth of the country's output," said analysts at JBC Energy.

And a slight weakening of the greenback, as traders shift out of safe haven investments, also helped as it made dollar-priced crude less expensive for buyers holding other currencies, in turn boosting demand.

- Falling oil stocks expected -

Official data on US commercial crude stockpiles, which is used to gauge demand in the world's top oil consumer, is due later in the day.

But data from the private American Petroleum Institute released late on Tuesday encouraged expectations of a further drop in US crude oil stocks.

The API's data had US crude stocks declining by 3.9 million barrels last week after having dropped by 5 million barrels the previous week.

"The market had only been anticipating a 2.2 million barrel reduction," noted analysts at Commerzbank.

They said it would not be surprising if the official data from the US Department of Energy showed a marked drop in crude stocks, which would be supportive of the price of oil but unlikely push it sharply higher.

"The continued high level of uncertainty over the United Kingdom's upcoming exit from the EU is likely to preclude any steeper price rise, however, meaning that it is unlikely that the $50 per barrel mark will be exceeded in the near future..."

They added that strength of the US dollar in the wake of the Brexit vote also limits the potential for oil prices to push sharply higher.