Govt invests Rs77bln in connectivity to promote e-business in country IT Minister

Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Amin Ul Haque has said the vision of the government is ‘Digital Pakistan’.Addressing an MoU Signing ceremony for the establishment of the Health Incubator and Science and Technology Park at the…

Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Amin Ul Haque has said the vision of the government is 'Digital Pakistan'.

Addressing an MoU Signing ceremony for the establishment of the Health Incubator and Science and Technology Park at the Karachi University, he said a total of eight National Incubation Centres have been established in the country.

The IT Minister said that the government has invested 77 billion rupees in the connectivity to facilitate the people and promote e-business in the country.

He said that Google provided 15,000 scholarships to our students last year and this year they are providing 45000 scholarships.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Price of Sugar May Rise Further Despite Govt Curbs

Sugar which is already being sold at Rs. 160 per kg in retail, up more than 60 percent from Rs. 98 during mid-April, may shoot up again despite the government’s efforts to prevent it from getting completely out of the reach of common people.The govern…

Sugar which is already being sold at Rs. 160 per kg in retail, up more than 60 percent from Rs. 98 during mid-April, may shoot up again despite the government’s efforts to prevent it from getting completely out of the reach of common people.

The government has finally entered into the regulator mode with the caretaker setup set to take the reins, although sugar prices, for all the right or wrong reasons, are rising for the past three months. Both sides blame different factors for the hike in the price of the basic commodity.

Recently, Punjab Government imposed Food Stuff Order 2023 which authorized the district administration to lift the stock from the sugar mills which will be supplied in the market to stabilize the prices. Administration can also register cases against the owner and the dealer with up to three years of imprisonment. According to reports, nearly a dozen sugar mills still have 0.2 million tons of sugar which they can’t hold for more than fifteen days.

Critics argue that sugar mills have pocketed illegal profits of up to Rs. 25 billion since April since sugar prices cannot be increased without government approval through the Sugar Advisory Board. Moreover, the sugar already sold is not being lifted from the warehouses and is being further traded to jack up the prices.

The minister for National Food Security and Research reportedly alleged in a recent meeting of the Senate Standing Committee that the export numbers were fudged to trick the government into giving export orders and hinted at investigations since as per him, exports resulted in the price hike.

The spokesperson from Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) was not available for comment but they have previously argued for the rise in the cost of sugar production reaching Rs. 130 per kg and a 70 percent rise in markup rates as the primary reason behind the price increase instead of exports.

On the other hand, market sources claim that all these actions will eventually prove futile and any change in the retail price will be temporary.

“Government has itself bought the sugar for utility stores at Rs. 140 per kg so it’s unlikely it will be sold at lower than that price. Secondly, these actions may have pressurized the market in the short run, but there is a strong possibility it may result in a stronger rebound once the incumbent government leaves the office” stated a commodity market consultant while talking to ProPakistani

He added that the government is only showing the teeth since it’s entering an election month but the caretaker setup will not have a similar appetite or the ability to exercise its control. He also pointed out that Sindh Government has already announced the minimum support price of Rs. 450 for sugarcane while Punjab is also expected to follow and these factors may further fuel the market pricing.

Current crop outlook will be critical

Sugarcane has historically been a success story as far as large-scale adoption and production trend is concerned, now whether we attribute it to the unchecked growth of sugar mills, that’s a whole different story. Although the prices are projected to rise regardless of the crop output because of the minimum support price, in case of lower production the increase can be severe.

Pakistan’s sugarcane production has increased by nearly 35 percent in the last ten years from 67.7 million tonnes in FY14 to 91 million tonnes in FY23. The increase has mostly been horizontal meaning due to the increase in cultivated area while our per acre productivity still stands below regional competitors.

Source: Pro Pakistani

NA Speaker underlines need of parliamentary, legislative research

Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has stressed the need of enhancing cooperation with the international community in the field of parliamentary and legislative research.He expressed these views while meeting the United Nations Resident and…

Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has stressed the need of enhancing cooperation with the international community in the field of parliamentary and legislative research.

He expressed these views while meeting the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator to Pakistan, Julien Harneis, who called on him in Islamabad on Tuesday.

While responding to the briefing by UN Representative regarding support in training to government officers at different tiers, the Speaker said that parliamentary research is vital for qualitative legislation.

He emphasized for enhancing UN cooperation in different socio-economic sectors for the development and progress of the country.

On the occasion, the UN Resident Coordinator expressed his resolve to continue to support Pakistan in its endeavor for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Source: Radio Pakistan

FM urges Afghan authorities to take action against TTP, terrorists

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has urged the Afghan interim authorities to act against TTP and other terrorists operating from Afghanistan and carrying out terrorist activities inside Pakistan.He was responding to a question at the launching …

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has urged the Afghan interim authorities to act against TTP and other terrorists operating from Afghanistan and carrying out terrorist activities inside Pakistan.

He was responding to a question at the launching ceremony of the Digitized System under FM's Change Management Initiative in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The Foreign Minister said Pakistan should not be compelled to go for this option.

Quoting international law, he said Afghan interim government should fulfill its commitments made under the Doha Agreement that it would not allow anyone to use its soil for terrorist activities against any country.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, however, said Pakistan should be ready to extend all necessary assistance and cooperation to Afghanistan for the capacity building of Afghan security agencies to fight terrorism.

Answering another question, the Foreign Minister said unfortunately, NATO's leftover supplies, after the fall of Kabul, have gone in the hands of terrorists and criminal gangs.

Replying to a question, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said Pakistan does not want to become part of any bloc politics on the world stage.

Talking about Pakistan's policy to deal with the scourge of terrorism, the Foreign Minister said we do not want any appeasement with terrorists and we are committed to bring peace to our country and establish writ of the state.

Source: Radio Pakistan