Pak, Afghan tensions can hit energy corridor initiative: FPCCI

ISLAMABAD (INP): The FPCCI on Sunday said tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan over provision of land route can hit bilateral trade and energy corridor projects which are not in the interest of any regional country. Pakistan has refused land route to trucks from Afghanistan to India while Kabul has declined to allow Pakistani trucks to use its land to access central Asian states, it said. Both the brotherly Islamic countries should resolve this issue amicably while keeping reservations of each other in mind, said Fahmeeda Kausar Jamali, Vice President FPCCI. In a statement issued here today, she said that Pakistan plans to import 1300 megawatt electricity from central Asia through Afghanistan which will cost it 5 cents per KWH.

while Afghan government will get 1.25 cents per KWH as transit fee.

Similarly, Pakistan plans to import gas from Turkmenistan which will be added in national gas grid in Quetta for which friendly relations with Kabul are imperative.

Moreover, Ms Jamali said, Afghanistan is full of mineral, iron ore and coal which can be transported to Fata or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for value addition. A big steel mill can be established in northern Pakistan for the purpose which can provide jobs and earn foreign exchange.

The ongoing projects will bring Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan closer and make them interdependent with every country wanting stability in the partner nation.

This will result in peace and prosperity in the region which is a shared goal, she said, adding that Pakistan must improve transmission and distribution system of electricity and gas before arrival of imported energy.

Improved railway needed to support CPEC: PEW

ISLAMABAD (INP): The PEW on Sunday said railways should be improved to enable it to support China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC) project which is a game changer. Railways must swing to profit through reforms and private sector driving eight percent of the national economy should be lured to it through incentives, it said. There are private public and goods transport services and private airlines in the country therefore there is no harm in running private passenger and freight trains in Pakistan, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW. He said that the department of railways is nose-diving since long, 39 percent of the budget goes to salaries, 26.7 percent is consumed by pensions and 19.4 percent is utilised to buy fuel.

Rest is used for maintenance and repair as well as miscellaneous expenses.

Mughal said that there were 452 passenger trains playing daily in 1974-75 which have now came down to 90. Similarly, the number of passengers has reduced from four hundred thousand to 1,30,000.

There are only six freight trains now as compare to 179 in 1974-75 while the number of employees per train has jumped from 217 to almost 1000 which has not improved but worsened the working of the railways.

He called for improvement in railway factories at Risalpur and Islamabad and exploring transit opportunities with Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia which will improve the income of the department and help country earn precious foreign exchange.

Australia offers to sell LNG to Pakistan

KARACHI (NNI): Australian High Commissioner, Margaret Adamson has offered Pakistan to buy Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from her county at a time when it has designed a strategy to grow its economy by addressing energy crisis amid importing the cheaper fuels from countries including Qatar. “We also have plenty of clean coal and LNG to sell,” she said, while addressing at Pakistan Australia Business Forum’ annual dinner. Pakistan has already been importing coal, iron ore from Australia, and it has been exporting there textile leather and surgical goods.The commissioner said there are opportunities for Pakistani farmers and businessmen to use Australian technology, equipment and services to improve productivity of the farms.

“The Australian government has worked extensively in the public and private sector in Pakistan on dairy development,” he said.

Rs 11,593m released for NHA under PSDP so far

ISLAMABAD (APP): The government of Pakistan has released Rs 11,593 million for National Highway Authority under the Public Sector Development Sector (PSDP) till October 30. Rs 4,000 million have been released for Lahore-Abdul Hakeem Section (230 km) of Karachi-Lahore Motorway, while Rs 1050 million have been released for 387 km Multan- Sukkur Section of the KLM,an official source told APP. Rs 1370 million have been released for Thakot to Havelian 120 km (Construction of Phase-I of China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) while Rs 1000 million have been allocated for Land acquisition,he said. Rs 400 million,he said, have been released to ensure timely completion of Lowari Tunnel.

& Access Roads in District Dir.Rs 200 million have been released for construction of Bridge over Indus River at Qazi Ahmed Amri including Skrand Bypass (Nawab Shah),Rs 190 m have been released for construction of bridge across River Chinab linking Shorkot and Garh Maharaja in Jhang district.

He said Rs 220 million have been released for a 57 km section of Faisalabad-Multan Motorway including Land Acquisition (Multan) (IDB).

Rs 560 million have been released for 200 km Gwadar-Turbat- Hoshab Section of M-8 while, while for widening & Improvement of Hoshab-Nag-Basima-Surab Highway (N-85) Rs 500 have been released,the source said. 

FCCI for incentives to enhance export of Halal meat

FAISALABAD (APP): Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) president Chaudhary Muhammad Nawaz on Sunday demanded the government to provide special incentives and facilities to traders and industrials so that they could play their active role in enhancing the export of Halal meat. Chairing a meeting of Board of Directors (BoD) of Faisalabad Cattle Market Management Committee here, he said there was a huge demand of Halal meat in the foreign market. Therefore, the government should concentrate on this sector to enhance export of Halal meat by establishing most modern slaughter houses and installing meat processing plants.

The meeting was told that as many as 11 cattle markets were being established in the division and out of them, 10 markets would be made role model.