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Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chairs meeting of Economic Coordination Committee

Islamabad, October 06, 2017 (PPI-OT):Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi today chaired a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s office today. The meeting approved a proposal submitted by the Commerce Ministry to allocate additional quantity of 12 million kilograms of surplus tobacco to all the tobacco companies and dealers on pro-rata basis. The ECC also approved a proposal to deregulate the margins on High-Speed Diesel for the Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) and dealers under the policy of liberalization and deregulation. The impact of the policy would be reviewed after three months.

It was also decided that OMCs would add Fuel Marker in HSD within six months at depot stage to avoid adulteration. It was decided that OGRA would develop a mechanism to monitor the OMCs commercial stock position, the dealers inventory system and Fuel Marker System. The ECC provided a provisional approval of the issuance of Government of Pakistan’s sovereign guarantee for Rs. 39,000 million for construction of 2X660MW Coal Power Project Jamshoro, subject a third part evaluation especially pertaining to demand and supply situation.

The ECC also extended the period of provision of subsidy to agricultural tube-well consumers in Balochistan till 31 December 2017 subject to commitment of past payments by all concerned/stakeholders on same terms and conditions as approved earlier by the ECC on 17.06.2015. The approval is linked with a comprehensive review of solarisation of the tube-wells to be undertaken on a priority basis in order to save electricity bills and the subsidy being provided by the federal and the provincial governments. The need to put in place efficient irrigation methods likes drip-irrigation were also emphasized by the meeting.

The ECC approved a summary for extending the period of applicability of reduced rate of 0.4% advance income tax on banking transactions of non-filers under section 236P of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 upto December 2017. In order to promote exports, the ECC approved a proposal that 50% of the export package incentive for eligible textile and non-textile sectors, announced in Prime Minister’s Export Package, be provided on the same terms as for the period January to June 2017 without condition of increment. Remaining 50% of the rate of incentive would be provided if the exporter achieves an increase of 10% or more in exports as compared to the corresponding period of the last year.

It was also approved that an additional 2% drawback would be provided for export to non-traditional markets. Besides, expeditious settlement of payments claims by the State Bank of Pakistan was also approved. Various measures for rationalization of imports and reducing the import bill were also suggested by Commerce division and Federal Board of Revenue. The detailed lists of import items would be reviewed and finalized.

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325, +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com
Website: www.pid.gov.pk

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Prime Minister chairs meeting of ECNEC

Islamabad, October 06, 2017 (PPI-OT):Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) at PM Office in Islamabad today.

ECNEC approved following development projects:-

1. Financial inclusion and Infrastructure Project at a total rationalized cost of Rs. 14.318 billion.

2. Balochistan Education Project (Revised) at a total rationalized cost of Rs. 3.57 billion. The Project aims at increasing student enrolment with special emphasis on girls’ education through 31 districts of Balochistan.

3. Doubling of Railway Track from Khanewal to Raiwind (246 Km) 3rd Revision at a total rationalized cost of Rs. 14.261 billion.

4. Revival of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) at a total rationalized cost of Rs. 207.546 billion to be completed under CPEC framework. The project includes construction of 24 stations, procurement of 162 locomotives. The project will serve commutation of 515,000 passengers per day upon completion.

5. Provincial Roads Rehabilitation Project by Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at a total rationalized cost of Rs. 17.103 billion.

6. Construction of 4-Lane Bridge across River Indus linking Layyah with Taunsa including 2-Lane approach roads and River training works (24.272 km) at a total rationalized cost of Rs. 9.775 billion. ECNEC also directed NHA to workout a master plan for future bridges to be constructed across the country.

7. Construction of Rathoa Haryam Bridge and approaches across reservoir channel on Mirpur – Islamgarh Road (2nd Revision) at a total rationalized cost of Rs. 6.48 billion.

8. Remodelling of Warsak Canal System in Peshawar and Nowshera District (Revised) at a total rationalized cost of Rs. 11.137 billion on 50:50 cost sharing between Federal Government and the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

9. Prime Minister’s Youth Training Scheme 2015-17 at a total rationalized cost of Rs. 26.6 billion.

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325, +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com
Website: www.pid.gov.pk

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Pakistan is keen to develop cultural linkages with Cuba: Marriyum

Islamabad, October 06, 2017 (PPI-OT):Pakistan is keen to develop cultural linkages with Cuba as cultures help people connect with each other to understand their diverse traits, values and traditions. Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage stated this in a meeting with H.E.Gabrel Tiel Capote, the Ambassador of Cuba who called on her here, today. She said that Pakistan highly values its ties with Cuba and would like to further enhance cooperation in the field of information, art and culture.
Minister of State added that Pakistan will always remain indebted to the Cuban gesture of support during one of the most challenging phase of our history and stood at the forefront in providing relief efforts for the earthquake victims in 2005. She said that bilateral relations between the two countries are based on mutual trust and respect and emphasized the need to further expand these ties to strengthen cultural bond to the benefit of the people of both countries.

H.E.Gabrel Tiel Capote said that Cuba desires to strengthen bilateral relations with Pakistan and would also like to collaborate in different areas mutually beneficial to each other. He informed Minister of State about the visiting Cuban cultural troupe comprising musicians, singers and dancers who would exhibit their performance in various cities of Pakistan. Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb assured her full support and cooperation in facilitating the cultural troupe and expressed Pakistan’s desire to enter into arrangements to ensure regular exchange of delegations in the field of art and culture.

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325, +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com
Website: www.pid.gov.pk

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Outgoing Chinese Ambassador makes farewell call on Prime Minister

Islamabad, October 06, 2017 (PPI-OT):Outgoing Chinese Ambassador H.E. Sun Weidong made a farewell call on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi at Prime Minister’s Office today. The Prime Minister commended the services of the outgoing Ambassador in further strengthening and deepening the strong bonds of friendship and multisector cooperation between Pakistan and China, and in facilitating the smooth and expeditious execution of the CPEC projects. He observed that Ambassador Sun Weidong had also contributed significantly in expanding people-to-people contacts and collaboration in various areas, ranging from trade and commerce to education and culture.

Referring to the conferment of Hilal-I-Pakistan on Mr. Sun Weidong, the Prime Minister said that this Award was very prestigious, and shall stand as a testimony of the outstanding performance of the Ambassador. The Prime Minister also appreciated the work of Madame Bao Jiqing in creating better understanding and affinity between the people of Pakistan and China. The Prime Minister wished the outgoing Ambassador the very best in his future personal and professional life.

Ambassador Sun Weidong thanked the Prime Minister and the Government of Pakistan for extending every possible cooperation in the performance of his diplomatic duties and said that it had been a privilege for him to serve in Pakistan, and to play his part in further strengthening the time-honoured friendship between the two nations.

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325, +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com
Website: www.pid.gov.pk

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Pakistan’s terrorist threat emanates now from beyond its borders: Dr. Maleeha Lodhi

Islamabad, October 06, 2017 (PPI-OT): Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Dr. Maleeha Lodhi told the world body that Pakistan today faced a terrorist threat “primarily supported and financed from outside its borders”. But she said that Pakistan “will be able to defeat these forces too”, says a press release received here today from New York.

She was speaking in the UN General Assembly’s debate on ‘Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism’ which took place in its Sixth Committee. Highlighting Pakistan’s successful fight against terrorism, Ambassador Lodhi said that the country has turn the tide against terrorism as a result of its comprehensive efforts over the past several years, supported by a firm domestic political consensus.

Ambassador Lodhi told the UN that Pakistan has conducted the largest anti-terrorism operation anywhere in the world. “We have launched an across-the-board military campaign to destroy terrorist infrastructures and bases in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region and our tribal areas”.

“We also embarked on a law enforcement operation targeting those elements in our urban areas that had fled our military operations in the tribal areas”, she added. The success of Pakistan’s two-pronged approach, she said, has resulted in the sharp reduction of terrorist activities across Pakistan over the past two years. According to the Global Terrorism Index, terrorism in Pakistan is now at its lowest point since 2006.

“We have lost over 27,000 of our citizens and law enforcement personnel to this scourge and have also suffered economic losses of over US$120 billion”, she added. Expressing Pakistan’s firm resolve to continue its fight against terrorism, Ambassador Lodhi said that these human and financial losses have not diminished Pakistan’s commitment to fight this menace. “It has only reinforced our will to fight until the last terrorist is eliminated from our soil”, she stressed.

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325, +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com
Website: www.pid.gov.pk

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Marvi Memon represents Pakistan in International Seminar on Social Information System in Mexico

Islamabad, October 06, 2017 (PPI-OT): “BISP’s integrated social information system enables all layers of government to coordinate their response to ensure maximum productivity, avoid duplicity of benefits and stop wastage of public money”, said Minister of State and Chairperson BISP MNA Marvi Memon during her key note address at the inaugural session of the International Seminar on Social Information System in Mexico City, Mexico, says a press release received here today from Mexico.

The three day seminar was jointly organized by the Mexico’s Ministry of Social Development, Social Development Committee of the Senate, Social Development Committee of the House of Representatives and the World Bank. The purpose of the seminar was to assist the Mexico’s Ministry of Social Development in developing the regulatory mechanisms as well as institutionalize its strategic planning and targeting instrument for social development policy at the national level. Lawmakers and international experts from Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Chile, Mexico, the World Bank and Pakistan were invited to attend the seminar.

Sharing the best practices from Pakistan, the Chairperson Marvi said BISP’s National Socio Economic Registry (NSER) has led to the development of an integrated social information system which replaced all other fragmented targeting mechanisms across the country. BISP’s transparent means of selection, use of innovative technology, a comprehensive package of services, and effective design and implementation has made BISP one of the pioneers of an integrated social information systems in the world. She further added that being the only country from Asia to have been invited to this elite group of Latin American countries, who have been implementing social protection schemes for almost two decades, demonstrates the recognition of BISP as an international best practice.

Mr. Pablo Gottret, Sector Manager, Social Protection and Labour, the World Bank said that BISP’s centralized social information system provides a unique case for the Latin American countries to develop an all inclusive tool for the development of social policies. The Under Secretary Ministry of Social Development Mexico, Mr. Javier Garcia Bejos said that data collection through technology based mechanisms as demonstrated by BISP is an important lesson learned for Mexico.

Mr. Guillermo Cejudo, Director General of Center for Economic Research and Teaching, Mexico said that data sharing protocols and the committee formulated by BISP should be replicated by the Mexican Social Development Ministry.

Sharing Pakistan’s experience on the regulatory frameworks in a later session, Ms. Memon highlighted that the development of NSER is the fulfillment of a constitutional obligation under Article 38 (d) and (e) to provide social security to all citizens. The issues of institutional fragmentation and multiple legal instruments currently faced by the countries participating in this seminar should be dealt at different levels. She presented a road map for the implementation of social protection framework at policy, program and administrative levels.

Mr. Luis Alberro, Director General of Geo statistics and Beneficiary Registries, Mexico said that this roadmap would prove instrumental in institutionalizing Mexico’s fragmented social protection schemes spread across the country.

Ms. Tereza Campello, Brazil’s former Minister for Social Development said that this roadmap may help the Latin American countries implementing social development schemes in integrating, harmonizing and coordinating fragmented and duplicate programs.

Minister Marvi also visited a community kitchen for the earthquake victims in Mexico, where she met Prospera (social safety net of Mexico) beneficiaries. She assured them of full support on behalf of Pakistan and said that Pakistan would be sharing ERRA and NDMA prototypes with Mexico for effective disaster management.

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325, +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com
Website: www.pid.gov.pk

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