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Showing posts with label APP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label APP. Show all posts

Monday, July 22, 2019

Pakistan’s exports to increase to $36 billion in 5 years: IMF

Pakistan’s exports to increase to $36 billion in 5 years: IMF

Pakistan’s exports to increase to $36 billion in 5 years: IMF

ISLAMABAD  (APP):  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that Pakistan’s exports will increase to US $ 36.7 billion in five years by the year 2023-24.

The pressure of current account deficit on the country will also ease out gradually from its peak US $ 19.9 billion in 2017-18 to as low as $6.95 billion in current fiscal year while US $ 5.49 billion in 2020-21, the IMF said in its recently published staff report on Pakistan.

The trade deficit would also decline to US $ 24.9 billion in current fiscal year from US $ 29.46 billion in 2018-19, however it will further go up to US $ 26.8 billion mainly on the back of growing import needs in coming years.

Meanwhile the report also estimated that due to policy measures committed by the Pakistan authorities, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is likely to collect around Rs 5.5 trillion during current fiscal year which would increase to Rs7.001 trillion in next year while in 2021-2022 the revenues would reach Rs8.3 trillion and Rs9.48 billion in the subsequent year.

The overall revenues of the country will surge to Rs7.165 trillion in 2019-20 followed by Rs8.9 trillion in 2020-21, Rs10.6 trillion in 2021-22, Rs12.12 trillion in 2022-23, and Rs13.37 billion in 2023-24.

With less than 1.5 million taxpayers filing tax returns and tax compliance generally very low, tax policy and tax administration measures will center on broadening the tax base while maintaining a low tax rate, aiming to ensure progress of the tax system, it added.

Staff and the authorities concurred that an additional 4-5 percentage points of GDP in additional tax revenues could be achieved by the end of the program, bringing Pakistan tax ratio in line with peer Emerging Markets.

In the near term, measures include removing exemptions and preferential treatment to reduce distortions in the tax system and broaden the tax base. These include the removal of GST exemptions and preferential rates, except for basic food and medicines, a measure that would significantly improve revenues, the report added. Greater inter-provincial harmonization and coordination of GST will also simplify filing procedures and increase compliance.

Canadians urged to invest in Pakistan

Pakistan High Commissioner to Canada Raza Bashir Tarar has said that Pakistan is a promising market of 220 million people and Canadian businessmen should take benefit of investment opportunities available in the country.

Addressing a launching ceremony of Canada-Pakistan Affiliated Chambers of Trade (CPACT) in Ottawa, he said that the incumbent government of Pakistan had reinvigorated the Board of Investment to develop a close coordination mechanism with the foreign missions abroad and local chambers and business houses to increase the flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Pakistan.

The high commissioner assured the Canadian Chambers and businesses of extending all possible support and assistance in bringing together business delegations and traders from the two countries to participate in joint ventures and benefit from existing profit-making opportunities, a press release on Sunday said.

The high commissioner said despite visa and adverse travel advisory related obstacles Pakistan-Canada bilateral trade has increased to C$ 1.5 billion.

He highlighted that Pakistan’s investment policy was one of the most liberal in the region and provided a conducive environment for attracting FDI.

“Canadians can benefit from investment opportunities in food processing, automobiles, Information Technology, Conservation of forests, recycling industry and services sectors which are priority areas for the government of Pakistan,” he added.

Referring to energy demands in the country, the high commissioner underlined that Canada’s expertise in hydel, renewable and clean technology power generation could be the areas where the two countries could further cooperate for mutual benefit.

Earlier, Abdul Hayee Bokhari, Founder CPACT gave a detailed presentation on roadmap of the chamber’s deliberations to bring together business community of both the countries to discuss possibilities of joint ventures.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Climate change adversely affects fresh water resources - via APP

Climate change adversely affects fresh water resources - via APP

Climate change adversely affects fresh water resources

Dr Saeed Ahmed Ali

LAHORE, Jul 16 (APP):The major sources of Pakistan’s fresh water and power generation, the mighty Indus River and other tributary rivers originated from Himalayas and Karakorum Mountain ranges are being adversely affected by rapid climate changes in the region.

Scientists and experts believe that climate change is taking place due to increasing emission of greenhouse gases, which is also one of the main reasons for global warming. It had also a direct impact on global atmospheric conditions. The changes also affect the physical conditions of heavenly glaciers, which exist on high mountains to formulate proper glacial eco-system. The other major areas which are being affected by climate changes included human health, water related infrastructure and hydropower generation.

Talking to APP, Member Punjab, Indus River System Authority (IRSA), Rao Irshad Khan said that due to increase in global warming, water vapours are generated in abundance which disturb the hydrogen-cycle of water system. The situation ultimately resulted into irregular rain patterns causing extreme weather condition and flooding in the country. He said that due to increase in temperatures, western winds and local monsoon patterns have become harmonically strong which has shifted the patterns of monsoon from Chenab River to some 100 miles away to the Indus basin region.

Rao Irshad said, “Our Northern Areas are home to 5,218 glaciers and 2,420 glacial lakes, out of which, more than 50 glaciers have potentially been categorised as dangerous”. He said that the glaciers are receding at an average 40 to 60 metres per 10 years, which has created complications for the communities residing at the up sea level, who are under the threat of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Recently, a week ago, the glacier `Azghor’ has outburst in Chitral district’s Golain region, following a huge flood inundated many villages, he added.

 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Country Manager, Mahmood Akhtar Cheema said that temperatures in most of the mountainous areas surpass 40 degree Celsius in summer season, which is alarming. This phenomena is caused by greenhouse gases, which are multiplying in various parts of the country at a fast pace, he added.

Cheema said that the hydrologic-cycle is being disturbed by the rise in temperatures, which has had a substantial impact on the water resources availability, changes in water quality and change in the precipitation pattern. High temperatures are disturbing the summer-winter precipitation cycle, which has a direct impact on the forest and vegetation cover, which is associated with balancing of the water-cycle, he added.

The IUCN country manager said that according to a research report, an over-whelming majority, around 85 per cent of farmers, was facing fresh water impacts, caused by climatic conditions such as change in rainfall, monsoon onset and temperatures. He said this trend suggests rural areas in Pakistan have been particularly hard hit by the climate change.

Sources in the Ministry of Climate Change said that anthropogenic activity and a climate change pattern has influenced the country`s capacity for energy generation, which has led Pakistan from water-stressed to a water-scarce nation.

Keeping in view the developments in the water sector, around 142 MAF water was available in 2015-16 for agricultural use, which now has been reduced by climate change impacts, he added. He said that in spite of all the strenuous efforts, water availability is either stagnant or dwindling.

According to Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC) research reports, fresh water resources are among the sectors that are most vulnerable and have potential to be strongly impacted by the changing climate issues.

The GCISC sources told APP that the incumbent government is facilitating collaboration of various local and international scientists and experts who are being engaged in research activities of water resources implications.

 Environment Protection Department Director Nasim-ur-Rehman said that the day by day increasing hot climate, changing patterns of snow melt, rise in sea level and precipitation is causing an existing social and economic pressure on natural resources. For example, poor communities residing along the delta and riversides are facing severe conditions to make their livelihoods, he added.

Nasim said that global warming and climate change issues were causing a fast glacial melting in Pakistan which could cause 60 per cent shortage of water — affecting both the energy and agriculture sectors of the country.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Govt allocates a record 20bn for Sports, Tourism for next fiscal year-2019-20

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Govt allocates a record 20bn for Sports, Tourism for next fiscal year-2019-20

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Govt allocates a record 20bn for Sports, Tourism for next fiscal year-2019-20

PESHAWAR: The government of KP has allocated a record of Rs. 20 billion for a total of 75 schemes of Ministry of Tourism, Sports, Archeology, Culture and Youth Affairs including 43 ongoing and 32 new schemes for the next fiscal year-2019-20.

Presenting budget-2019-20 in the Provincial Assembly, Finance Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra said the top priority of the govt is promotion of tourism sector and sports.

He said for tourism Rs 3.7 billion allocated for tourism promotion and destinations development through World Bank assisted under KITE program. He disclosed that Rs. 1 billion has been earmarked for tourism roads in the Malakand and Hazara divisions and for promotion of unexplored tourist spots and Rs. 150m for access to Sheikh Badin tourist site in Dera Ismail Khan.

He said that Rs.300m for various tourism activities across the province, construction of recreational park at Hund Swabi, Rs 500m for Development of 1000 playing facilities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Rs 350m for establishment and up-gradation of 7 sports complexes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Rs. 70m for promotion of hockey and squash throughout the province and establishment of the tourism police were the other projects enlisted in ADP. Provincial Finance Minister said that a total of Rs. 3806.000m has been allocated for 43 ongoing and Rs. 2090.240m for 32 new schemes.

There are 43 ongoing schemes for which Rs. 3806.000m has been allocated and 32 new schemes with an allocation of Rs. 2090.240m, thus the aggregated total reached to Rs. 5896.240m. In the 43 ongoing schemes Rs. 3806.000m allocated wherein it has multi-purpose gigantic sports projects from Chitral to Dera Ismail Khan, tourism projects and projects for youth affairs.

He said, despite financial crunch facing by the government, it has introducing 32 new schemes with an allocation of Rs. 2090.240m. Besides this there is a separate allocation of Rs. 5.5bn for the merged tribal districts for the development of sports infrastructure and Rs. 5.5bn has been allocated for the construction of 1000 grounds at Tehsil and District levels.

Out of the total 5.5bn Rs. 2.2bn would be spend in the year-2019-20 in the first phase and similarly in the second phase Rs. 2.3bn would be spend in 2020-21. In the overall break, the department of archeology would get Rs. 433.052m for the total 15 schemes including 13 ongoing and two new schemes.

Rs. 418.052m has been allocated for 13 ongoing schemes and Rs. 1600 allocated for two new schemes.

The department of Culture would get Rs. 200m for five schemes including two ongoing schemes with an allocation of Rs. 145.000 million and Rs. 55.000m for three new schemes.

A record increase has also been made in the sports budget that touches Rs. 6 billion.

A total of 2157.937m allocated for 33 different schemes including 19 ongoing schemes with an allocation of Rs. 1740.697m, and Rs. 417.240m allocated for 14 new schemes.  For the next fiscal year a total of Rs. 2865.251m earmarked for a total 20 different ongoing and new schemes with Rs. 1302.251m for eight ongoing projects and Rs. 1563.000m for 12 new schemes. The youth affairs Directorate would get Rs. 240.000m for a total of two schemes – on is ongoing and the other is new.

Rs. 200.000m allocated for the ongoing projects and for one new scheme, Rs. 40.000 million allocated respectively.

The Shiekh Badin tourism site would cost Rs. 417m, formulation and implementation of Marketing mix strategy for tourist destination in KP Rs. 25m, establishment of Tourism Complex at Peshawar Rs. 80mn, Construction of Recreational Park at Hund Swabi Rs. 90m, holding of important tourism festivals in KP Rs. 100mn, small scale tourism promotion activities in KP Rs. 80m, development of entertainment areas and establishment of recreational facilities for promotion of tourism in KP Rs. 100mn, strengthening of planning cell of tourism and sports department Rs. 30m, establishment of Sports Complex in Karak Rs. 300mn, establishment of Academic Sports Degree Awarding Discipline at Islamia College Peshawar Rs. 10.000 million, Establishment of 2 Sports Stadium (1 for UCs and one for UCs in Peshawar Rs. 250mn, up-gradation of Peshawar Sports Complex, Qayyum Stadium Rs. 480mn, establishment of Sports Stadium near GT Road around UC Chamkani/Lala Kallay, Peshawar Rs. 132.760 million, establishment and Rehabilitation and up-gradation of Sports facilities in District Mardan Rs. 415mn, construction of multi-purpose International standard Indoor Gym in PK-21 District Buner Rs. 180mn and establishment of Hockey turf at Swat Rs. 80mn.

The govt has allocated Rs. 2.5 billion for roads development of tourism sites in Malakand, Rs. 2.4 billion for Hazara and establishment of Female Indoor Sports facilities at Divisional Headquarters in KP Rs. 600.000 million.

The motor-sports arena would be developed at cost of Rs. 96.000 million as the total project would cost Rs. 8.106.469 million on these ongoing project. The tourism has some key projects for the promotion of tourism sector as declared by the govt to be in its top most priority along with sports and youth affairs.

Main focus has been given for the approach roads to the tourism sites likewise a road approach to Shiekh Badin tourist site the govt has allocated Rs. 417.000 mn.‑APP

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Bilawal considers democracy a ‘licence to corruption’: Firdous

Bilawal considers democracy a ‘licence to corruption’: Firdous

Bilawal considers democracy a ‘licence to corruption’: Firdous

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Monday said Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto considered democracy a ‘licence to corruption’.

Dr Firdous, in a tweet, said,”Mr Bilawal! your meaning of democracy is a licence to corruption. The nation has not forgotten your democracy of plundering the national wealth.”

She said in the guise of democracy, the two families had promoted an inherited political dictatorship. But now they were in trouble as Prime Minister Imran Khan had established a true government of the people in the country, she added.

She said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government had given additional Rs200 billion to Sindh during the current fiscal year as compared to previous year under the National Finance Commission Award.

Dr Firdous said the budget was only for the welfare of the people of Pakistan. During Imran’s government, neither the plunderers could now misappropriate the  budget nor they could laundered the looted public money abroad through Hundi, she added. APP

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Facebook Takes On The World Of Cryptocurrency With 'Libra' Coin - Backed by Mastercard, Visa, Stripe, Kiva, PayPal, Lyft, Uber and Women's World Banking

Facebook Takes On The World Of Cryptocurrency With 'Libra' Coin - Backed by Mastercard, Visa, Stripe, Kiva, PayPal, Lyft, Uber and Women's World Banking

Facebook Takes On The World Of Cryptocurrency With 'Libra' Coin - Backed by Mastercard, Visa, Stripe, Kiva, PayPal, Lyft, Uber and Women's World Banking

San Francisco, (APP - 19th Jun, 2019) Facebook unveiled plans Tuesday for a new global cryptocurrency called Libra, pledging to deliver a stable virtual money that lives on smartphones and could bring over a billion "unbanked" people into the financial system.

The Libra coin plan, backed by financial and nonprofit partners, represents an ambitious new initiative for the world's biggest social network with the potential to bring crypto-money out of the shadows and into the mainstream.

Facebook and some two dozen partners released a prototype of Libra as an open source code for developers interested in weaving it into apps, services or businesses ahead of a rollout as global digital money next year.

The nonprofit Libra Association based in Geneva will oversee the blockchain-based coin, maintaining a real-world asset reserve to keep its value stable.

The association's Dante Disparte said it could offer online commerce and financial services at minimal cost to more than a billion "unbanked" people -- adults without bank accounts or those who use services outside the banking system such as payday loans to make ends meet.

"We believe if you give people access to money and opportunity at the lowest cost, the way the internet itself did in the past with information, you can create a lot more stability than we have had up until now," Disparte, head of policy and communications, told AFP.

Facebook will be just one voice among many in the association, but is separately building a digital wallet called Calibra.

"We view this as a complement to Facebook's mission to connect people wherever they are; that includes allowing them to exchange value," Calibra vice president of operations Tomer Barel told AFP.

"Many people who use Facebook are in countries where there are barriers to banking or credit." But the move raised questions about how such a new money would be regulated, with one lawmaker calling for a pause on Libra.

"Given the company's troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues," said Maxine Waters, chair of the financial services committee in the US House of Representatives.

Meanwhile French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said such digital money could never replace sovereign currencies.

"The aspect of sovereignty must stay in the hands of states and not private companies which respond to private interests," Le Maire told Europe 1 radio.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said Facebook's new currency would have to withstand scrutiny of its operational resilience and not allow itself to be used for money laundering or terror financing.

ING economists Teunis Brosens and Carlo Cocuzzo said in a research note it was not clear what Libra was or how it might be overseen while US Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat and banking committee member, voiced concerns over Facebook's checkered record on protecting users' privacy.

- Backed by real cash - Libra Association debuted with 28 members including Mastercard, Visa, Stripe, Kiva, PayPal, Lyft, Uber and Women's World Banking.

Calibra is being built into Facebook's Messenger and WhatsApp with a goal of letting users send Libra as easily as they might fire off a text message.

Libra learned from the many other cryptocurrencies that have preceded it such as bitcoin and is designed to avoid the roller-coaster valuations that have attracted speculation and caused ruin.

Real-world currency will go into a reserve backing the digital money, the value of which will mirror stable currencies such as the US dollar and the euro, according to its creators.

"It is backed by a reserve of assets that ensures utility and low volatility," Barel said.

The Libra Association will be the only entity able to "mint or burn" the digital currency, maintaining supply in tune with demand and assets in reserve, according to Barel.

"It is not about trusting Facebook, it is effectively trust in the association's founding organizations that this is independent and democratic," Disparte said.

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