Headlines: Dar vows continuous efforts to solidify Pak-US relations     -     PSB conducts Hajj draw ceremony
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Fin Div seeks Rs18.166bn for its projects in budget2017/04/25
ISLAMABAD: The Finance Division has proposed Rs18.166 billion budgetary allocations for its 28 provincial projects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the upcoming financial year (2017-18).
During the PSDP of the current fiscal year, funds of Rs8.332 billion were allocated for these 28 projects.
The details show an amount of Rs12.932 billion has been proposed for 14 projects of Balochistan for which Rs4.131 were allocated in the previous budget while Rs4.004 billion have been suggested for 9 projects of Sindh provinces, for which Rs3.001 billion were earmarked in the 2016-17 budget.
The finance division also proposed allocations of Rs1.130 billion for 4 projects of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for which Rs 1.100 billion were earmarked in the PSDP of ongoing financial year.
Similarly, Rs 100 million has been proposed for one project in the Punjab province for which Rs100 were allocated in the federal PSDP 2016-17, the official sources said.
It is pertinent to mention that the releases to these projects are made on the authorization by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform (PD&R) and are placed in the PSDP by the ministry in pursuance of Prime Minister or President's directive, while the provincial governments are executing agencies.
Meanwhile, the government so far released Rs 4445.689 million for various projects of Finance Division under PSDP 2016-17. Out of this, funds of Rs700 million for Greater Karachi Sewerage Plant (S-III) Karachi, Rs700 million for Gwadar Development Authority and Rs 500 million for Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme (K-IV) Karachi.
In total, an amount of Rs562.274 billion has been released for various ongoing and new projects of all the ministries and divisions under PSDP 2016-17 out of its total Rs800 billion allocations.
A proper mechanism is being followed for the release of funds and accordingly 20 percent of funds are released in first quarter (July-September), 20 percent in second quarter (October-December), 30 percent in third quarter (January-March) and 30 percent in fourth quarter (April-June). - NNI

Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline to be over in two years: Ayaz2017/04/25
TEHRAN: Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has said that the Iran-Pakistan Gas pipeline project is likely to be completed in two years.
"From the Pakistani side, the project was taken up on priority as work on Nawabshah-Gwadar section is in the process, which would then be linked from Gwadar to Iran," the Speaker said while talking to President of Iran Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, according to a press release received here on Monday.
The Speaker termed the over one hour meeting with President Rouhani as "President's special gesture for Pakistan" given the fact that Presidential elections have been announced in Iran and President Rouhani came specially for this meeting from his critical election campaign.
Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq stressed Pakistan's policy of unity among the Muslim World and assured President Rouhani that Pakistan would never take any step that could go against the interests of the brotherly country of Iran. 
"Our region is worst affected by terrorism. We must pool our resources to jointly curb this menace, which is not only affecting our progress but also threatening our future generations," explained Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.
While referring to the recent news reports on the brutalities of Indian forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, the Speaker asked Iran to play its role in the early implementation on the United Nations Security Council Resolutions for the prompt settlement of the Kashmir dispute as per the wishes of the Kashmiri People. 
He also thanked the President for Iran's continued support to Pakistan on Kashmir issue. He also stressed on the Iranian President to turn the fraternal relations between the two neighbouring countries into a mutually benefiting partnership. The Speaker called for enhancing the trade volume, which currently stands at a considerably low level of mere USD 500 million.  "The two countries have immense potential and can help each other in areas like energy, petroleum products, agriculture, citrus and fruit trade, surgical equipment and defence," said Ayaz Sadiq. He laid emphasis on lifting of tariff and non-tariff barriers on Pakistani products such as rice and citrus.
The Iranian President while talking to Speaker Ayaz Sadiq and the members of his delegation reiterated his country's unflinching support and friendship to Pakistan, terming it a "trusted brother." 
President Rouhani, stated that the two countries should take benefit of the complementarities enjoyed by the two countries and forge cooperation where they can benefit from each-other's comparative advantage. He showed immense interest in Iran's joining the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Both sides expressed satisfaction on the recently concluded banking agreement, which would pave the way for expanded bilateral trade between the two countries through the banking channels. The Bilateral Payment agreement (BPA) was signed between Iran and Pakistan last week in Tehran.-NNI

Pakistan has culture of giving to charity: Lodhi2017/04/25
NEW YORK: Pakistan needs welfare organizations that help confront the forces of darkness and contribute to spreading the light of education in the country, a top Pakistani diplomat has said. Speaking at a largely-attended event in Hicksville, a suburb of New York City, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan's permanent representative to the United Nations, said that Akhuwat, which dispenses interest-free micro-finance among the needy, was one such organization helping Pakistani people to stand on their own feet ...

SC demands Imran's role in ridding 'air of distrust'2017/04/25
ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan said to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan that he is a national leader and his one statement can put things rights.
During the hearing of a case regarding encroachment of land in Bani Gala, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar praised Imran Khan, saying, "Khan Sahib, you have leadership quality; that is why, masses lend ear to what you say."
"Your one sentence can set things right," the CJP addressed the PTI chief and added, "We need to put the atmosphere of mistrust to rest in the country."
"These institutions belong to the nation; hence, we will have to give them respect," Justice Nisar remarked adding the prestige of the court should not be called in question.
The chief justice underscored the need for all political leaders to set aright their direction.
Briefly touching upon the Panamagate verdict while in court, Justice Nisar said, "Dissenting verdicts are given everywhere in the world but nowhere are they discussed as much as in Pakistan."
"Everyone is supposed to respect the courts and their decisions, including you," Nisar told Khan.
"I hope you got what I mean to say," he said to Imran Khan and thanked him for raising the issue of illegal constructions.
Imran Khan asserted encroachments, cutting of trees and illegal constructions in Bani Gala are vital issues, adding half of National park has been illegally usurped.
The Chief Justice said it is to be delved into how this cancer be eliminated.
Commenting on the defamation campaign on social media against the judges who gave dissenting note in landmark Panamagate scandal case, the CJP Nisar said dissenting notes are given in cases across the globe; but, whatever is happening in Pakistan has hitherto never been seen. 
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Monday that the whole nation has pinned its hope on the judicial system of the country, Samaa reported.
He made the statement while talking to media outside Supreme Court of Pakistan. - NNI

Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq2017/04/25
TEHRAN: Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq called on President of Iran Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Monday. - PID photo

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