Dec 272016
 

FAISALABAD: Over 1,339 suspects were arrested by the police during raids in various parts of Faisalabad this month. Police said 672 proclaimed offenders, 249 drug traffickers, 185 target offenders, 178 illicit weapon holders and 55 court absconders were arrested. Also, 135 pistols, 37 guns, 14 rifles,11 Kalashnikovs, 4 revolvers, one Carbine, 85.525 kilogrammes of hashish and 3,593 litres of liquor were seized from their possession. Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2016. The post Behind bars: 1,339 suspects arrested in December appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

May 312016
 

An eight-year-old boy playing cricket was killed in Faisalabad on Tuesday. According to Express News, the incident took place after the ball children were playing with hit a house’s door in the colony. Angry men came out of nowhere and shot dead the child. Man surrenders after killing wife Police took five people into custody as area residents encircled the house of the alleged assailants. While investigation was underway, the child’s body was shifted to a nearby hospital. The post Minor playing cricket killed in gunfire appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Apr 142014
 
Better days ahead?: Economy to boom after three years, says Sanaullah


FAISALABAD: Pakistan’s economy is on the verge of a take-off and during the next three years it will become an entirely changed and progressive country.

This was stated by Punjab Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Rana Sanaullah Khan while speaking to the local business community after the inauguration of E-Police Station in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI).

He hoped that business friendly policies of this government will entirely change the face of this country. “Foreign investors have committed to invest in the power sector in order to add an additional quantity of 20,000MW of electricity,” he said.

He asked the business community in Faisalabad to avail the huge opportunities. He assured that the problems confronted by the business community would be resolved on a priority basis.

The minister appreciated the establishment of the E-Police Station in the FCCI and said that it indicated that the business community, police and administration are on the same page regarding the facilitation of the masses.

He said that this E-Police Station will provide 14 different kinds of services to 5,000 members of this chamber. He proposed that such E-Police Stations should be established all around the city and said that he was planning to establish an E-Police Station in Samanabad Sports complex. He asked the FCCI to take responsibility for the remaining three E-Police Stations in Faisalabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2014.

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Mar 242014
 
Bio-char as a remedy: Workshop held for agriculture sector


FAISALABAD: 

An international workshop on bio-char, arranged by the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), took place on Monday. The workshop discussed the soil’s declining fertility that could be enhanced with bio-char. This would increase agricultural production for the ever-increasing population of the country, stated speakers during the inaugural session.

Biochar is charcoal which is particularly used for the purpose of soil amendment. It can increase soil fertility, increase agricultural productivity, and provide protection against some foliar and soil-borne diseases.

“Pakistan, being an agrarian country, has numerous resources of bio-char and biomass which are available from agricultural crops and solid waste generated in huge quantities,” said Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, UAF vice chancellor, while speaking at the occasion.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2014.

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Mar 242014
 
Outlook: Faisalabad hopes for a brighter, ‘power’ full future


FAISALABAD: After five years of uncertainty, Faisalabad’s top industrialists are poised to make new investments — both for the purpose of expansion and to reap the benefits of the pro-industry policies of the new government.

For them it was the first winter season after years when their factories ran on optimal capacity due to uninterrupted supply of gas for most of the season, which was ensured by the federal government.

Businessmen in the country’s third largest city hope to cash opportunities through the 10-year duty free access to European markets and the possibility of trade normalisation with India, giving textile exporters one billion new customers.

Textile exports, which stood at $13.1 billion in fiscal year 2012-13, would cross $14 billion at the end of the current fiscal year 2013-14, according to textile experts.

Millions of rupees are being invested, which will fetch foreign exchange and also create thousands of new jobs.

Tanveer Yousaf, Yousaf Weaving Mills Faisalabad chief executive officer, who has recently invested to build a new factory, told The Express Tribune that Pakistan has great potential. He added that the country needed production at its fullest to meet international orders.

He added that the current government seemed to have pro-business policies, pointing out that in the first nine months of its tenure, gas kept flowing to the industries which boosted confidence.

During the last five years, thousands of employees were laid off by millers that also contributed to increasing crime rate in the city.

In the past five years, new investments were made in allied industries like printing, dyeing, weaving and processing due to the slowdown of the textile industry, said textile exporters. The industrialists are now satisfied with the friendly behaviour of the current government, they added.

Mian Sahid, another industrialist, said that he had to shut down his units in the winter season due to prolonged gas cuts. However, the decision to restore gas supply to the industry this winter season has revived the industry’s confidence.

After the Chinese decided to move out of the weaving sector, international buyers turned to Pakistan. This is the time to capture the huge potential of international buyers by exporting gray fabric.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2014.

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Mar 212014
 
Gas shortage: ‘LNG import project must begin immediately’


FAISALABAD: The government of Pakistan should expedite the process for the import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), with clear instructions to concerned quarters to complete the required infrastructure so that the first LNG consignment could reach Pakistan by the end of this year before the peak winter season, said Suhail Bin Rashid, Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, on Friday.

Rashid said that Pakistan was facing an energy crisis with the main reason for short supply of electricity being the gas shortage. He said that efforts are being made to add maximum electricity to the national grid within the current year but, until now no practical steps have been taken to meet the shortfall of gas in the beginning of the winter season. He did, however, appreciate the government’s efforts to import LNG from Qatar or Saudi Arabia, but added that practical steps are needed to be taken in this direction

Rashids said that Pakistan’s demand for gas was expected to double in the next 10 years and current gas production at 4 billion cubic feet a day (BCFD) was less than the required 6 BCFD. At the current rate of growth, by 2020, the demand could touch 13 BCFD, he added.

He said that due to the shortfall, value-added textile units are either shut down or forced to reduce their production. This situation could create an embarrassing situation for the textile exporters who were unable fulfil their Christmas-related demands. This would also create a bad image to international community and buyers to switch over their export orders to other countries. He said that the government should take this issue as a challenge and pro-active policies should be adopted to import LNG before the shortfall season.

This would not only save the industrial sector from forced closures but also fulfil their foreign demands well in time. This is also imperative to avoid unemployment in the country. Government will also have additional revenue as the industrial sector will work on full capacity.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2014.

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Mar 182014
 
Pakistan, Finland plan business summit


FAISALABAD: Pakistan and Finland will hold a business summit in the near future in an attempt to push bilateral trade and economic ties, which is high on the agenda, says Rauli Suikkanen, Ambassador of Finland to Pakistan.

Speaking to members of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Tuesday, Suikkanen described Pakistan’s economic growth rate of 3.6% last year as appreciable and beyond expectation and said Pakistan was on the right path to progress in all spheres of life.

Finland was also making efforts to play its role in the development of Pakistan with enhanced investment by Finnish companies, he said, adding two companies were conducting market surveys and were expected to set up viable industrial units in Karachi and Lahore.

The ambassador cited financial constraints as the reason for the closure of Finland Embassy in October 2012, but said he was performing his diplomatic duties as a roving ambassador.

“This is my third visit to Pakistan but it is for the first time I am visiting Faisalabad. The objective is to promote bilateral trade in addition to stepping up cultural activities,” he said.

Recently, museum associations of the two countries have signed a memorandum of understanding for collaboration.

Responding to the demand for appointing an honorary consul general in Faisalabad, he said two consuls general were already working in Karachi and Lahore and the third was expected to be nominated for Islamabad. “After that, we would think about appointing a consul general in Faisalabad.”

FCCI President Engineer Suhail Bin Rashid said Pakistan and Finland had enjoyed good bilateral and diplomatic relations since 1951. In fiscal year 2011-12, bilateral trade stood at $141.2 million, which was almost evenly balanced, as Pakistan exported $71.23 million worth of goods while its imports from Finland stood at $69.97 million.

He saw ample opportunities of joint ventures, stressing Pakistan was the most promising land in the region for investment and Finnish corporations could invest here while expanding their business across Pakistan and beyond.

He said nearly 400 Finnish companies were working in the South Asian region, which had made substantial investments in the last 10 years.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2014.

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Mar 042014
 
Foreign guidance: Belgium envoy calls for stronger ties


FAISALABAD: Ambassador of Belgium to Pakistan Peter Claes on Tuesday called for promoting ties between the two countries especially in the sectors of education, agriculture and trade; and emphasised on dealing with water scarcity and climate changes issues.

He said this while speaking at a Deans-Directors meeting of the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. He said that Pakistan is an agro-based economy and the agriculture sector was the salvation for the country.

He pointed out that universities, in the developed countries, are close to the industry. “The same mechanism must be strengthened in Pakistan.”

“Pakistan’s population is touching 200 million. It is blessed with the largest canal system but the country has become water scarce,” he added.

“The modern irrigation practices such as drip irrigation must be promoted and climate changes impact on the crops need to be tackled with modern and sophisticated research work and efforts.”

He stressed the need for collaborated efforts on part of the both countries on the issue of water; bio masses and agriculture will pave the way for further progress. Addressing on the occasion, the UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that work with Belgium will open up new horizons of progress. He said that value chain in Pakistan was a weak area in which Belgium cooperation will prove fruitful.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2014.

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Mar 032014
 
FAISALABAD City News

Tuesday, March 04, 2014
From Print Edition

Bank releases loans for biogas plants

 

From Our Correspondent

 

FAISALABAD: After a successful launching of a biogas project, a private bank has started releasing soft-term loans for the construction of biogas plants in rural areas of the district, said Naeem Ahmad, a spokesman for the NGO.

 

Naeem Ahmad told The News after successful launching of this program in Faisalabad, it would now be extended to other 12 districts of the Punjab including Sargodha, Jhang, Chiniot, Khushab, Toba Tek Singh, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Nankana Sahib, Sahiwal, Okara and Pakpattan. He said over 2,200 biogas plants have so far been constructed in rural areas including Punjab while 26 biogas construction companies have been constituted for the construction of new biogas plants in various parts of the country while 250 people have been imparted training to construct new biogas plants as per international standard.

 

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Feb 192014
 
Edible oil, pulses: ‘Strengthen cultivation to reduce deficit’


FAISALABAD: The country is importing pulses and edible oil worth around Rs400 billion, an amount that can be saved by promoting and strengthening its cultivation. This was stated by University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan while talking to the 41st Batch’s Common Training Programme at the Civil Services Academy, Lahore.

The delegation was led by Additional Director Khalid Javed.

“If we become self-sufficient in edible oil, we can not only save money but also earn heavy foreign exchange,” said Khan. “The country is blessed with four seasons and the best cropping system. It is the need of the hour to tap its potential by promoting latest agriculture practices in order to increase per acre production.”

Khan added that it was a challenge for the agri scientists and other stakeholders to ensure food security for an ever growing population.

Talking about rice, he said Pakistan is exporting rice worth Rs200 billion at the heavy expense of water, as it consumes 4,000 litres for just one kilogramme of production — this raises eyebrows since we are in a time of water scarcity as well, he added.

“The water crisis is deepening and it is imperative that we switch our focus to water-efficient crops. The per capita water availability has come down to 1,000 cubic metres compared to 5,000 in 1947.”

He said that a severe water crisis looms and can cause devastation in the coming years if steps were not taken to sensitise people about rational use of water.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2014.

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