Govt. keen to exploit Gilgit Baltistan’s economic potential: President

ISLAMABAD, Dec 16 (APP): President Mamnoon Hussain on Monday said the government was keen to exploit the economic potential of Gilgit-Baltistan particularly its energy and natural resources for the prosperity of people. Talking to Prince Karim Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Ismaili community, who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the President said the government would continue to work with the Aga Khan Foundation for poverty alleviation and other social welfare and economic activities. He appreciated the services of Prince Karim Aga Khan across the world and particularly for the people of Pakistan in diverse sectors including education, health and poverty eradication.
The President lauded the continued support of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and Aga Khan Foundation in taking lead in a number of important social sector projects especially in Northern Areas.
He said Aga Khan network’s continued engagement in Gilgit Baltistan was making positive impacts on lives of the people and infrastructure in the area.
The President wished Prince Karim Aga Khan long life, good health and prosperity.
Prince Karim Aga Khan thanked the President and the government of Pakistan for the warm welcome and hospitality.
He appreciated the government’s efforts for the socio-economic development of its people.
He also assured continued support of his network to the government and people of Pakistan and said that various projects being undertaken by the Aga Khan Foundation for the socio- economic uplift of the people of northern areas of Pakistan will be vigorously pursued and completed in time.
Prince Karim Aga Khan was accompanied by his daughter Zahra Karim Aga Khan, Sultan Ali Allana, Iqbal Walji and Amyn Kassim-Lakha.
The meeting was attended by Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Nadeem Hassan Asif, Secretary to the President, Ahmad Farooq, Additional Secretary, Tasnim Aslam, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Saba Mohsin Raza, Press Secretary to the President. (Courtesy: APP)

PM orders enhanced power supply to industries

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday directed the authorities concerned to increase the supply of electricity to industrial units to bridge the energy supply gap.
“In addition to it, the industries should also get gas supply for two days a week,” he said while chairing a meeting to review the energy situation in the country.
The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif, and Federal Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
The Prime Minister was given a detailed briefing on the energy situation in the country.
The meeting also discussed the implementation status of Jamshoro coal-based power plant, Diamer Bhasha and Dasu dams, and Tarbella extension project.
The Prime Minister directed to enhance the pace of work on these projects.
In order to overcome the energy shortage and provide cheap energy to the masses, the Prime Minister said more solar power projects should be explored.
He also directed the Ministry of Water and Power to provide projected demand and supply position of electricity from 2014-18 in order to adequately address the growing demand of power.
The Prime Minister also directed that he should be apprised of the implementation status of energy projects on regular basis. (Courtesy: APP)

PM welcomes Prince Karim Agha Khan; says AKDN model for other development organizations

ISLAMABAD, Dec 16 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday said that the Agha Khan Development Network (AKDN) is a model for other development organizations, as it designs and executes its projects along modern and scientific lines, with focus on improving the quality of life of the beneficiaries. The Prime Minister said this during thee meeting with Prince Karim Agha Khan, who called  on him here at the PM House. During the delegation level talks, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan holds great investment opportunities and invited investment in energy sector projects of the country as it will not only help Pakistan overcome its energy crisis, but have a positive impact on the economy by generating activity and employment, increasing revenue generation, and improving the government’s ability to deliver services.
Discussions on training of manpower and higher education for Pakistani youth also took place.
The Prime Minister also apprised Prince Karim Agha Khan about the governance reforms brought by the present government in the Northern Areas of Pakistan including Gilgit-Baltistan, where AKDN is active in development work.
Muhammad Nawaz Sharif also appreciated the role of International Diplomatic Academy, which is a prestigious training institution in France headed by Prince Karim Agha Khan.
Possibility of providing fully funded scholarships to young Pakistani diplomats at the institution was also discussed.
Prince Karim Agha Khan’s delegation included Head of Social Welfare Department of AKDN, Princess Zahra Agha, President Agha Khan Foundation Pakistan, Iqbal Walji, Chairman Agha Khan Foundation Pakistan, Badruddin Vellami, President Agha Khan University, Firoz Rasul and Chairman AKCS Pakistan, Akbar Pesanani.
Pakistani delegation included Minister for Finance, Ishaq Dar, Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal, Advisor to PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz and Special Assistant to PM, Tariq Fatemi.
The Prime Minister also welcomed Princess Zahra Agha Khan and said that she has a very important responsibility as the Head of the Social Welfare Department of Agha Khan Secretariat.
Later, the Prime Minister hosted a dinner in honor of Prince Karim Agha Khan and Princess Zahra Agha Khan at PM House. (Courtesy: APP)

We Must Be Hard On Corruption And Mis-management To Steer The Country Out of Quagmire Of Crises: Prof. Ahsan Iqbal

“New Judicial Policy for expeditious disposal of sub judice cases involving contractors and officials is needed to eliminate the corrupt practices in public sector development projects”, said Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform during his visit to the construction site of 09-storey New Pakistan Secretariat Block building at Constitutional Avenue.  He said, “Corrupt practices in development projects have caused delays and cost over runs worth billions of rupees, and need ruthless accountability. It is heart-breaking to note the criminal negligence and corrupt practices of previous authorities, which caused non completion of the project within stipulated time frame and has resulted into huge cost escalation of up to 3.4 Million from the original 1.1 Million in 2005.  Moreover, contractors with blemished professional credentials were hired for the execution of various project components, resulting in heavy losses to the national exchequer”.

Prof. Ahsan Iqbal highlighted, “Stay orders and bails secured by contractors and officials in different corruption cases pending in the courts need to be decided on urgent basis, so that the responsible for corruption could be put behind the bars, to create lesson for others”.  He explained,  “We are at a critical juncture of our history where perform or pay is the only way forward.  Therefore, Pakistan cannot afford ill-planning, corruption mismanagement and wasteful expenditure of resources any more”.

Later in the day, the Federal Minister visited the site of Jamia Masjid Secretariat, where he was briefed on the plan of new design for extension of secretariat block mosque.  He directed the authorities concerned to speed up the project for its timely execution to accommodate more worshippers (Namaazis).

PMLN Secretary of Info addresses workers/media on recent economic measures

معیشت کی بحالی کا عمل شروع ہوچکا ہے اب عوام کو خوشخبریاں ملیں گی
کراچی میں جرائم کی شرح میں واضح کمی سے ملک بھر کے کاروباری طبقے کو نیا حوصلہ ملا ہے
حکومت بہت جلدصنعتی شعبے کے احیا اور ترقی کے لئے متوازن پالیسی کا اعلان کرے گی
حکومت نے 25ہزار میگا واٹ بجلی کو آئندہ 5سال میں نیشنل گرڈ میں شامل کرنے کے لئے اقدامات کر لئے ہیں
پہلے 6ماہ کے دوران کرپشن میں 12انڈیکس کی واضح کمی اور کسی بھی سکینڈل کا سامنے نہ آنے ہماری گڈ گورننس کی ترجیح پر مہرِ تصدیق ثبت کرتا ہے

پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ن) کے مرکزی سیکرٹری اطلاعات سینیٹر مشاہد اللہ خان نے کہا ہے کہ معیشت کی بحالی کا عمل شروع ہوچکا ہے اب عوام کو خوشخبریاں ملیں گی۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ امن و امان کا قیام ، بیرونی قرضوں کی ادائیگی ، روپے کی قیمت میں استحکام ، سرمایہ کاروں کے اعتماد کی بحالی کے لئے ساز گار ماحول کی فراہمی اور توانائی بحران اور بند صنعتوں کو چلانا ملک کی معیشت مستحکم کرنے کے لئے بڑے چیلنجز ہیں ۔ انہوں نے ان خیالات کا اظہار پارٹی سیکرٹریٹ میں پارٹی کارکنوں اور صحافیوں سے غیر رسمی گفتگو کے دوران کیا۔ مشاہد اللہ خان نے کہا کہ مسلم لیگ (ن) کی حکومت کراچی ، قبائلی علاقہ جات اور خیبر پختونخوا کے شورش زدہ علاقوں سمیت ملک بھر میں امن و امان کے مستقل قیام کے لئے متعلقہ صوبائی حکومتوں کے تعاون کے ذریعے کوشاں اور پر عزم ہے ۔ کراچی میں جرائم کی شرح میں واضح کمی سے ملک بھر کے کاروباری طبقے کو نیا حوصلہ ملا ہے جس سے اندرونِ ملک تجارتی سرگرمیوں کو فروغ حاصل ہوگا۔ انھوں نے کہا کہ حکومت بہت جلدصنعتی شعبے کے احیا اور ترقی کے لئے متوازن پالیسی کا اعلان کرے گی جس سے گھریلو صنعتکار بھی بھرپور استفادہ کرپائیں گے اور بیرون ملک پاکستان کی مصنوعات کو ایکسپورٹ کرنے میں مدد ملے گی۔ مشاہد اللہ خان نے کہا کہ ڈالر کی قیمت میں کمی سے روپے کو استحکام حاصل ہوگا اور افراط زر اور مہنگائی میں واضح کمی آئے گی۔ایک سوال کا جواب دیتے ہوئے مشاہد اللہ خان نے کہا کہ سبزیوں اور پھلوں کی قیمتوں میں اضافے کو روکنا صوبائی حکومتوں کی ذمہ داری ہے ۔ آلو اور ٹماٹر کی قیمتوں میں اضافے کا الزام وفاق پر نہیں ڈالا جا سکتا۔ آج پنجاب اور بلوچستان میں انڈے ، ٹماٹر ، آلو پیاز اور دیگر گھریلو اشیا ءکی وافر مقدار اور مناسب ترین نرخوں پر دستیاب ہیں جس کی بنیادی وجہ دونوں صوبائی حکومتوں کی جانب سے بنیادی استعمال کی اشیاءمانگ کے مطابق تسلسل کے ساتھ فراہمی کو سستے داموں فراہمی یقینی بنانے کے لئے بروقت اقدامات کرنا ہے ۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ وفاقی حکومت نے 25ہزار میگا واٹ بجلی کو آئندہ 5سال میں نیشنل گرڈ میں شامل کرنے کے لئے اقدامات کر لئے ہیں ۔ مشاہد اللہ خان نے کہا کہ پہلے 6ماہ کے دوران کرپشن میں 12انڈیکس کی واضح کمی اور کسی بھی سکینڈل کا سامنے نہ آنے ہماری گڈ گورننس کی ترجیح پر مہرِ تصدیق ثبت کرتا ہے ۔

Govt determined to granting equal rights to women: President

KARACHI, Dec 13 (APP): President Mamnoon Hussain Friday said that welfare and betterment of women were among the top priorities of government and allocation of 50 per cent quota in PM’s Youth Loan Scheme was a manifestation of it’s determination for granting equal rights to the women. He said the present government was determined to protecting women’s rights and was taking all possible steps to ensure a dignified position for them in the society. Mamnoon Hussain said that the Constitution and law of the country provided a special importance to the women.
He was addressing at a programme organised on the 105th anniversary of monthly ‘Asmat’ at DHA Club here on Friday.
He also congratulated the Editor of monthly magazine ‘Asmat’, Safora Khairi and other people attached with the magazine on its 105th anniversary.
He said the soul of patron of the magazine, Allama Rashid-al-Khairi (late) will be happy on the continuity of journey which had been initiated by him.
He appreciated the role of the monthly ‘Asmat’ in the reformation and education of women and the protection of their rights.
He said the magazine has also provided opportunities to women to demonstrate their skills.
He said the patron of the Asmat, Allama Rashid Al-Khairi’s services for promotion of women education was a guiding light for all.
The President said that the women have always fully participated in economic and social activities.
He recalled that women had played an active role in Pakistan Movement and Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah’s role was a guiding light for the women.
The President said that no society can develop without the participation of women.
He said that the women comprise 50 per cent of the population and until this half portion would not play a full role in social and economic activities, the country could not achieve its goal in true meaning and spirit.President Mamnoon Hussain expressed the hope that the government will further expand its programmes for granting equal rights to women so that they get maximum benefits from these programmes.
He said efforts of the government will not be enough in this regard, and added the civil society and private sector should also play an active role.
With these collective efforts, Pakistan can achieve its position among welfare-oriented states, he added.
He announced to give Rs one million to the ‘Asmat’ magazine.
He appreciated the efforts of the Editor of ‘Asmat’ Mrs Safora Khairi for her sincere endeavour for protection of women rights.
Earlier, seasoned Indian writer Satyapal Anand suggested that the Internet edition of the Asmat magazine should also be launched.
He also suggested that a collection of articles and features published in early editions of the Asmat magazine should be compiled in form of a book.
Later, President Mamnoon Hussain was presented a copy of the Asmat magazine and a shield.
Justice (Retd) Haziq-ul- Khairi also presented his book titled “Wo Aadmi” to President Mamnoon Hussain. (Courtesy: APP)

CM Shahbaz Sharif meeting with Indian PM Manmohan Sign

CM Shahbaz Sharif met Indian PM Manmohan Singh a few moments ago at New Dehli. Both the leaders exchanged views on Pak-India relations, and discussed measures to strengthen confidence. “India and Pakistan can combat poverty if both the sides resolve their differences”, said the CM. Later on CM also visited Delhi Metro’s busiest Rajiv Chowk station to learn from their experience of handling load on metro bus system.

CM Shahbaz is visiting India on the invitation of his Punjab counterpart in India, Parkash Singh Badal. CM will be the chief guest at the World Kabaddi Championship final in Ludhiana.

First Meeting Of The National Steering And Coordinattion Committee Of Young Development Fellows (YDF) Programme

The first meeting of the National Steering and Coordination Committee of Young Development Fellows Program was held here under the chairmanship of Prof. Ahsasn Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reform

Outlining the importance of YDF programmme, the Minister said. “YDF programmme has been carved out with intent to ensure active participation of young professionals in national development as future leaders. It will be a one year program with built-in stretch/learning assignments, and will create a pool of 200 young development fellows during next five years, 40 of them to be hired each year. They will be hired through a transparent mechanism  on the basis of relevant qualification, experience and skills. The first batch of YDFs comprises of a very talented pool and is very motivated.  Our future development depends on harnessing the talents and energies of our youth.  Two young economists will be sent for PhD in development and economics every year from among young officers of Planning Commission as part of our plans to develop Planning Commission as a development think tank”.

The Secretary Planning , Development and Reform Division, Mr. Hassan Nawaz Tarar made a presentation on various aspects of the recruitment process of the young development fellows.  Participants of the meeting , including representative  of Finance Division said that the schemes was a wonderful idea and will prove to be a source of great benefit for the country. The members recommended that the scope of the programme should be expanded, so that other ministries could also benefit.

Director General Ministry of Finance remarked, “It is worthwhile to note that all the 120 Persons shortlisted for the program enjoy outstanding credentials, which shows confidence of intelligentsia in the leadership of Planning Commission.

Rector National University of Science and Technology (NUST) said ,” NUST provided free of charge service as an independent third party for short listing the candidates for this program.  Dean National School of Public Policy (NSPP) was of the view, ”The selection process is transparent , fair and worth appreciation”.  Vice Chancellor PIDE stated,” The young fellows should be retained even after the completion of one year tenure”.

The committee approved the selection of YDFs and appreciated the quality of selected fellows.

Growth Of SMEs Led To South Korean Economic Boom: Prof. Jwa Sung Hee of Korean Development Institute, Korea

“Rewarding the performers was the lead factor for economic development of South Korea.  Government, corporations and markets are the elements of South Korean economic model”, remarked Prof. Jwa Sung Hee of Korean Development Institute (KDI) while delivering a lecture on “Lessons from Korean development”, organized by Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform here at the Planning Commission.   Sharing his country’s development experiences, he said, “South Korea capitalized on its SME sector to take the country towards fast growth trajectory’.  The honourable Professor acknowledged the need of effective economic planning, but laid greater emphasis on diligent and efficient implementation of the conceived projects.  He underscored the need of dismantling economic concentration by having effective government regulations to protect the SME sector against the resource-rich large corporations.  Drawing comparison with the Pakistani scenario, he explained, “South Korea crafted its Five=Year Plans in the 1960s with the technical assistance of Pakistani planning authorities at that time, but the subsequent years yielded opposite fortunes for both the countries.  The sheer reason behind this disparity was the state of implementation of these Five-Year plans.  While South Korea stuck to rigorous and target-focussed implementation of these projects, Pakistan could not keep up the momentum for one reason or the other”.  Prof. Jwa Sung Hee also highlighted the role of informal institutions like ideology, culture, history and religion in the planning process, He said, “Development model of one country cannot cater to these needs and ground realities of other nations, because every society is discrete in its composition and behavior’.  He also stressed upon the need of inculcating change in the behaviou of people through incentives for the better performers.

Speaking at the occasion, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform said, “We must benefit from the Korean development experience and tailor it to our own development needs”.  He added, “Government has initiated projects to make the SME and private sectors drivers of development. Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme is a practical reflection of this commitment”.  Prof. Ahsan Iqbal said, “We must work hard as a nation to earn prosperity for our country, because the fortune favours only the performers.  This is also the teaching of our religion that we would get only for which we strive.. We should have ongoing quest for excellence, as success is a race without a finish line”.

Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans

Prime Minister’s ‘Youth Business Loan’, for young entrepreneurs between the age group of 21 – 45 years, is designed to provide subsidized financing at 8.0% service charges per annum for nearly one hundred thousand (100,000) beneficiaries, through designated financial institutions namely National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and First Women Bank Ltd. (FWBL).

Small business loan with tenure up to 8 years, with first year grace period, and a debt : equity of 90 : 10 will be disbursed to SME beneficiaries across Pakistan, covering; Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwah, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). It has a 50% quota for women and 5% quota for families of Shaheeds, Widows and Disabled persons.

Forms are available at branches of all participating banks for free and you need to submit your form with a valid copy of your CNIC and your business plan.

Pre-feasibilities as Guidance for Business plan

SMEDA has taken the initiative of developing pre-feasibility studies in fifteen sectors, and as per directions of the Prime Minister, has made them available to new start up SMEs, through the SMEDA website, for the promotion of an entrepreneurial culture in Pakistan. To date, our website has recorded more than 117,000 downloads of the published pre-feasibility reports.

These pre-feasibility studies provide a general understanding of the proposed business, and are structured like a business plan. However, to assist the prospective entrepreneurs / loan applicants, SMEDA will provide a template for business plan preparation and requisite guidelines for the loan applicants, as soon as the loan application forms are made available by the participating banks on their respective websites.

For Complete info visit