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Over 30 million iftar meals distributed at Makkah’s Grand Mosque

Riyadh, (IINA) - More than 30 million Iftar meals were given to worshippers in and around Makkah Haram during Ramadan, according to a report presented to Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal.Prince Khaled received the detailed report from Hisham bin...

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NAB harassment causes less spending of Uplift Budget

Karachi, July 05, 2017 (PPI-OT):Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that after repealing the NAB law [the Sindh jurisdiction] the provincial government is going to restructure and strengthen the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) through legislation under which the provincial assembly, treasury members and the opposition, would be empowered to appoint its chairman. He said this while responding to the questions of the participants of the post-budget conference organized by a media group here at a local hotel today. He was accompanied by Information minister Syed Nasir Shah and senior bureaucrats of the provincial government.

He said that the NAB was created by a dictator [Gen Musharraf] and he had given it a constitutional cover by including it into the 6th Schedule to avoid amendment into it. “Under 18th Constitutional Amendment the 6th schedule was omitted, therefore the NAB law could be amended,” he said and added “since the anti-corruption is the provincial subject, therefore the Sindh government using its constitutional right has repealed the NAB law [Sindh Section] and is going to enact for creation of an autonomous anti-corruption body to serve as watch and ward on public spending in the province.

Questioning the performance of NAB, the chief minister said that they [NAB] had arrested a chief engineer and a Superintendent Engineer of irrigation department for lining canals and had put them in Sukkur Jail for three months. The judge who granted them bail had written in his judgement that the irrigation officers were arrested under malafide intentions.

“The DG NAB Sukkur has occupied a bungalow of Irrigation department at Barrage Colony Sukkur and latter got it forcibly allotted. Through a scheme of Irrigation Department, he has spent Rs45million of provincial government on its repair and renovation,” he said and added two more bungalows of Irrigation Department at Barrage Colony, one by Assistant Director NAB and other one by NAB judge have been occupied and got them allotted forcibly.

They have also got their bungalow renovation for Rs1.5 million. One bungalow of Works department at GOR Colony Hyderabad and a vehicle of Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA) is under the use of assistant director NAB and other NAB officer posted at Hyderabad. “This is what they are doing with Sindh,” he said.

The chief minister also said that the harassment of Sindh government officers by NAB is one of the factors behind less utilization of development funds in Sindh. Giving constitutional history, Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the entire constitutional structure of the country is based on Indian Act of 1935. In the constitution of 1956 the measures to combat corruption was placed in the concurrent list while in the constitution of 1973 it has been made a provincial subject. In Article 248 it has been clearly said that no minister is responsible to any court of law in exercise of his powers.

The chief minister said that under the NAB law, in violation of the constitution, the federal and the provincial cabinet members and the parliamentarian like civil servants have been declared as public office holders. This was done by General Musharraf with the intention to harass the politicians and parliamentarians.

“Why people did not make hue and cry when the federally imposed Local Bodies Ordinance and Police Order were repealed and re-enacted by the provincial governments,” he question and said “just it is being politicized to defame the Sindh government, otherwise we have used our constitutional power,” he said.

He deplored that Sindh Governor has linked repealing of NAB law as an attempt to separate Sindh from the federation. “I am quite surprised on his views. He has constitutional role and he should limit himself with that limits instead of indulging issuing irresponsible political statements,” he said. He questioned why he did not raise his voice or same question when Punjab Chief Minister had warned NAB authorities for crossing their limits.

Replying to a question about National Captive Power Projects (NCPP) , the chief minister said that they have already been established in different six districts of the province with a capacity of 120 MW. They are not functional because there is a dispute of tariff between their companies and the NEPRA.

“The federal government does not support Sindh because the electricity to be generated by them (NCPP) would be used locally means where they are installed. Had the power generated by NCPP was loaded in the national grid the federal government would have solved the issue much earlier. “This is why we have decided to pay the differential tariff amount which may cost over to Rs1 billion to Sindh government to reduce load-shedding in some districts,” he said and added it was purely aimed at giving relief to the people of Sindh.

BUDGET 2017-18: Earlier, the chief minister discussing the budget 2017-18 said that it is over Rs1 trillion which is something to be pride of. “The provincial government has two sources for making budget- the federal transfer from divisible pool and the provincial resources,” he said.

The federal government at the beginning of 2016-17 had committed to provide Rs593 billion and then curtailing Rs13 billion committed Rs480 billion. By the end of financial year, 2016-17 they provided only Rs440 billion which showed a shortfall of Rs54 billion. The provincial government has achieved all its targets. The SRB recovered Rs78 billion and for the current financial year it has been given a target of Rs100 billion.

He said that the development budget of the province has been approved at Rs344 billion which include Rs244 billion provincial ADP and Rs30 billion District ADP. “I have given special focus to the development of the province and personally monitoring uplift works,” he said and added that the recent heavy rains developed some cracks in the roads constructed in the city are being fixed again by the same contractor fort which funds would not be paid. “Believe me we have selected good contractors and are ensuring quality work this is why no accumulation of rain water was reported on Shahrah-e-Faisal because it has been given storm water drain on its both side,” he said.

Talking about education sector he said that it has been given top priority by giving Rs202.2 billion budget with 24 percent growth. Health sector which is most important has also been given Rs100.32 billion budget which 25.2 percent more budget than last year. “We have also given special grants to leading hospitals like JPMC for caner wards, NICVD, SUIT and others,” he said.

Law and Order has been allocated Rs90.586 billion which is 10 percent higher than the budget of last year. “We give a substantial security amount and compensation in case of martyrdom to Rangers also,” he said. The participants appreciated the efforts and energy of the chief minister.

For more information, contact:
Press Secretary,
Chief Minister House, Sindh
Tel: +92-21-99202019 (Ext: 336)
Website: www.cmsindh.gov.pk

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300 Kg charas recovered from Super Highway near Lucky Cement

Karachi, July 05, 2017 (PPI-OT):On a tip, the Excise Department Police Karachi, led by AETO Syed Sadqain, Inspectors Muhammad Sharif and Nisar raided on Super High way opposite Lucky Cement factory near Gulistan Hotel and dug out 15 plastic bags consis...

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Chief Secretary Sindh Rizwan Memon presides high level meeting on water supply, sanitation, other issues

Karachi, July 05, 2017 (PPI-OT):Chief Secretary Sindh Rizwan Memon has categorically noted that no compromise might be possible with negligence from duty, thus every employee of the Sindh Government whether officer or otherwise, must ensure performing ...

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Karachi Port Trust broke all previous records of cargo handling in Financial Year 2016-17 by handling 52.49 million tons cargo

Karachi, July 05, 2017 (PPI-OT):The cargo handling operations, including export and import at Karachi Port Trust has remained brisk in financial year 2016-17 and the KPT broke its own record. The total cargo handling in this financial year closed at 52.49 million tons whereas the same remained 50.05 million tons during last year resulting in an increase of cargo handling with +4.89% growth. Similarly the container handling closed at 2.11 million TEUs (Twenty Equivalent Units – i.e. equivalent to 20 feet container box size) whereas the same remained at 1.96 million TEUs during the same period of last year.

The cargo handling at KPT breakup shows that the port has handled 37.17 million tons of import and export dry cargo whereas during last year 34.59 million tons cargo was handled which is quite adequate increased handling with +7.46% additional cargo in the year 2016-17. The liquid bulk cargo of import and export has been closed at 15.32 million tons.

Further the breakup of dry and liquid bulk cargo shows that the export cargo handling during financial year 2016-17 remained at 8.54 million tons and 1.32 million tons respectively as dry and liquid bulk cargo. The tonnage of export remained 8.40 million tons and 1.38 million tons during the year 2015-16. Similarly, the handling of import dry and liquid bulk cargo also closed at 28.63 million tons and 14.00 million tons whereas these remained 26.19 million tons of dry cargo import and 14.07 million tons of liquid bulk cargo import.

KPT has handled +9.32% additional dry import cargo during the financial year 2016-17 and the major contribution in this growth is dry bulk import cargo which is +23.85% during financial year 2016-17. The port recorded handling of export of Urea this year apart from handling other import commodities like fertilizer and seeds.

The ships traffic has also improved during the financial year 2016-17 by witnessing arrival / departure of 758 container ships, 244 bulk cargo ships, 379 general cargo ships and 541 oil tankers. During last financial year 738 container ships, 222 bulk cargo ships, 374 general cargo ships and 559 oil tankers was handled in the year 2015-16. It is important to highlight that the KPT made available the Deep Draft Berths and as a result larger vessels has been accommodated with more volume of cargo.

For more information, contact:
Chairman,
Karachi Port Trust (KPT)
KPT Head Office Building,
Eduljee Dinshaw Road,
Karachi – 74000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-99214358, 99214542, 99214530-40
Fax: +92-21-9214329-30
Email: Chairman@kpt.gov.pk
Website: www.kpt.gov.pk

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Consultative Session on Special Economic Zones under CPEC at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Lahore, July 05, 2017 (PPI-OT):A Consultative Session on “Special Economic Zones under CPEC” was held here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday. The consultative Session was jointly organized by the LCCI and Board of Investment (BOI). Federal Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, the LCCI President Abdul Basit, Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan, Project Director CPEC, Planning Commission Hassan Daud Butt, Fareena Mazhar, Zuhfran Qasim, Ali Abbas, Amer Saleemi, Shahid Hassan Sheikh, Almas Hyder, Moazzam Rasheed and Muhammad Nawaz spoke on the occasion.

The experts said that China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an economic revolution and China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative covers countries and regions with a population of over 4 billion. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a mega game changing project of the government and most importantly people from all walks of life are on the same page as far as this project is concerned.

He said that dream has come true and a number of projects under CPEC have been operational. He said that in order to ensure timely completion of CPEC projects, the federal government is working together with all stakeholders. “It is good to note that federal as well as provincial governments are working on CPEC projects together. He said new technologies are being introduced in infrastructure, transportation and engineering sectors due to CPEC projects.

The LCCI President Abdul Basit said that Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are important part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor that would ensure establishment of industrial clusters and would also help transferring knowledge and technology. He said that government would have to develop better policy for Special Economic Zones to increase growth rate and to attract Foreign Investors towards Pakistan. The LCCI President emphasized the need of One Window Operation for Special Economic Zones under China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The Experts said that CPEC is a 3,218 kilometre long route, to be built over next several years, consisting of highways, railways and pipelines. The actual estimated cost of the project is expected to be US$75 billion, out of which US$45 billion plus will ensure that the corridor becomes operational by 2020. The remaining investment will be spent on energy generation and infrastructure development. It’s a beginning of a journey which hopes to transform the economy and help bridge Pakistan’s power shortfall.

They said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor has drawn the attention of all over the world and provided Pakistan a unique opportunity to become a global economic leader. They said that although governments of Pakistan and China are closely collaborating in this project, at the same time, the private sectors of Pakistan and China are going to have a bigger role to play in this mega project. They said that the CPEC is an overall cooperation platform with a focus on the long-term development of bilateral cooperation in various fields.

For more information, contact:
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-36368854
Website: www.lcci.org.pk

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