Sunday, February 26, 2012

Child labour in Pakistan

Child labour is one of the curses that our society faces which have deteriorated the the quality of life and social fabric of the nation. This curse is very prevalent in Pakistan as 40% people live below poverty line and they have to feed their children so they put their children into child labour to increase their earnings to keep both ends meet. These children are therefore deprived of education and basic human rights as they are abused and put to work in hard and dangerous conditions. Their whole life becomes miserable and they usually never become good citizens of the state.

Oil import

Statistics showed that the oil import bill reached $5.86 billion in the first seven months of the fiscal year 2011-12, up by 47.38 per cent from $3.975 billion last year.
The surge in import of value-added petroleum products showed that Pakistani refineries were operating on low scale because of circular debt.
Import of crude oil was up by 18.21 per cent to $2.90 billion as against $2.45 billion in the same period last year.
This increase was because of rising oil prices in the international market. WTI crude is now trading above $100 for quite some time.The depreciation of rupee further added up the import value of oil during the period under review.
There is also a danger that if US- Iran relations go further tense it may push oil above 150.

Banks profits

It is the government not business community which makes banks rich in Pakistan as the profit of large private banks rose by more than 27% in the year 2011.
While presenting the bimonthly monetary policy a few weeks ago the governor State Bank was disappointed that most of the credit taken by the private sector was meant for working capital and that the banks heavily investing into government papers.
“Cumulative earnings of 4 big banks (HBL, UBL, ABL, MCB) reached Rs66 billion in 2011, up 27 per cent from 2010. Amongst listed private banks, four banks contribute 70 per cent of the market capitalization.
How vigorously govt borrowing is rising each year is visible from the State Bank`s latest report which shows that the government has so far borrowed about Rs690 billion from the scheduled banks till February 8, 2012 since July 2011.
At the end of June 2011, the stocks of the government loans from schedule banks had reached Rs1.67 trillion explaining the causes of real profits for the banks.
This huge investment in government papers yields real profit for the banks and despite an ailing economic growth the banks have been making profits due to this reason since 2008.
Economists believe the fiscal deficit is rising higher than last year and it might be ended at over 7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) till June 30,2012. This will promote more borrowing by the government.
The IMF also criticized the government fiscal policies and massive borrowing from banks which finally stopped lending despite having an agreement for large amount of $11.40 billion. Pakistan received only $7.90 billion.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Currency in circulation

The total number of currency notes in circulation in Pakistan increased to Rs.1798.987 billion, according to a State Bank of Pakistan report for the week ending on February 10, 2012.
The corresponding figure for the week ending on February 3rd was Rs.1755 billion notes.
This latest report reveals that the total number of currency notes issued were Rs.1,799,114,377.00 (Rupees one trillion, seven ninety nine billion, one hundred and fourteen million and three hundred and seventy seven thousand).
The total number of notes held in the banking department stood at Rs.127,070,000. The total assets held by the State Bank were Rs.1,799,114,377,000 while the liabilities were also of the same figure. The total liquid foreign reserves as of February 10 stood at US $ 16,768 million.
Of this the reserves held by SBP were US $ 12,286 million. The net reserves of other banks were US $ 4,482 million.
It is important to note here that when govt prints extra notes to finance its budget deficit to meet its expenditure, it feeds inflation. Govt  should try either to reduce its expenses or increase its revenues.

Asfandyar City

CM, KP, Ameer Haider Khan Hoti is expected to give a formal approval for the construction of a multi-billion rupees mega city near Peshawar by first week of March, a government official said.
The city will be named as Asfadryar City after the name of his party head . Asfandyar City to be built over 14,000 acres at an estimated cost of about Rs160 billion is being considered  as the biggest housing scheme in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“This will cater to our housing needs for the next two, three decades and will reduce pressure on Peshawar,” director general, Peshawar Development Authority, Qazi Mohammad Laiq told the press .
“It will include a medical city and an educational city. Planning will be done on modern lines. It is going to be the jewel of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he remarked.
The Planning and Development Department has approved its concept papers and a request has been made to the chief minister Hoti to convene a meeting to give formal approval, said Mr Qazi who expects the groundbreaking ceremony of Asfandyar City somewhere in June, 2012. “Asfandyar City will be bigger than Hayatabad and Regi Model Town put together,” he revealed.

Foreign reserves of India

 India’s foreign exchange reserves have reached  $293.44 billion as of Feb. 18, from $293.38 billions in the previous week, the central bank of India said in its weekly statistical supplement on Friday.
Changes in foreign currency assets, expressed in US dollar terms, include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of other currencies held in its reserves, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) told in the supplement.
Foreign exchange reserves include India’s Reserve Tranche position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
On the other hand Pakistan's total foreign reserves stand at just $ 16.7 billions which have decreased from &17.6 billions a few months ago. They will further decrease as Pakistan will pay $ 400 millions to IMF on 24th Feb, 2012.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ranking of Pakistani universities

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Thursday announced its ranking of universities in Pakistan putting Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad on top of the list.
Dr Javaid R. Laghari, the chairman of the HEC, spoke to the media that the ranking was based on quality teaching and research. After evaluation of data and statistics the 116 universities and degree-awarding institutes were divided into eight categories.
He said 17 institutions established after December 2008 as well as distance education universities and those who did not provide data were excluded from the ranking.
According to the ranking, the overall top 10 universities were:
1. Quaid-i-Azam University
2. Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences
3. Islamabad; the Aga Khan University (AKU), Karachi
4.University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
5. University of the Punjab, Lahore
6. National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad
7. Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi
8. University of Health Sciences, Lahore
9.Comsats Institute of Information Technology
10. Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore.

In the category of agriculture/veterinary, the five universities were ranked as: 
1.University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
2. Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi
3. University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore
4. KP Agriculture University, Peshawar
5. Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam.

Only two universities were placed in the art and design category – National College of Arts, Lahore, and Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture, Karachi.

In the category of computer sciences and IT:
1. the Comsats Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad is on the top
2. National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Islamabad
3.Qurtaba University D.I. Khan
4. Balochistan University of Information Technology and Management Sciences, Quetta
5. City University, Peshawar.
First five universities which were ranked in the category of engineering and technology were: 1.Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Science, Islamabad
2. National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad
3.Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering and Technology, Swabi
4. University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila
5. Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad.
University of the Punjab, Lahore, topped the list of general universities (large) having more than 3,000 enrolment followed by the University of Karachi, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, University of Peshawar and International Islamic University, Islamabad.
In the category of general universities (other) with less than 3,000 enrolment, the QAU was on the top followed by Government College University, Lahore, Gomal University, D.I. Khan, Kohat 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Banned Drugs

Unsafe and very dangerous drugs, banned across the world for causing multiple health problems, are doing good business in Pakistan with the direct or indirect approval of not only the Federal Health Ministry  and the departments in the provinces but also major public sector hospitals, posing threat to the health and even lives of the patients.These dangerous drugs, banned for causing cancer, hepatitis and heart diseases, are being manufactured and sold freely across Pakistan.
Provincial Health ministries including Punjab have purchased some banned drugs for providing free to the poor people. Major public sector hospitals including Services Hospital and  General Hospital have also purchased dangerous drugs, which mean complications among the poor patients in future after unfortunate episode of Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) medicine. 
Punjab Health Department has purchased tab Furazolidone 100mg , used as antidiarrhoeal, the drug is banned globally for causing cancer .
LGH has purchased tab Nimesulide. The drug, marketed with the names Nise and Nimulid, is used in fever and as pain killer but it has been banned across the globe due to its worst effects on liver.
Services Hospital, the health facility adjacent to PIC, has purchased activated charcoal 25 mg, a drug globally banned for causing cancer .  This drug is a form of carbon which is used to treat poisoning. It binds with the poison and prevents it from absorption by gastrointestinal tract. Development of cancer among patients after its use caused other countries including neighbouring India to ban manufacturing and sale of activated charcoal. This drug is still widely used in the country in spite of worst side effects.
Piprazine, used to get rid off abdominal worms in kids, is globally banned for damaging nerves. As many as 12 companies are selling this drug with different brand names including Biopar, Engpar, Hipar, Irza Par, No-Par, Pipragen, Pexopar, Pipramed, Polypar, Prozine and Wrmazine and its being sold freely.
About 13 multinational and national pharmaceutical firms are manufacturing and marketing Attapulgite, a formula banned globally for causing fat and nitrogen losses, with different brand names including Arutox, Bantox, Beetox, Detox, Entox-P, Kemypulgite, Neo-Intestopan, Printox, Pulgite, Semotox, Terlox, Unetox-T and Vee-Tox.
Chloral Hydrate, a sedative drug for children is banned worldwide due to carcinogenic activities, is available in the local market with the brand name Apnotek.
Furazolidone, another antibiotic widely used in the country for controlling dysentery, is banned worldwide for causing arrhythmia and cancer. It is available in the market with brand names Ardizol, Danoxone, Diarrazol, Eatone, Emil, Entroxone, Farmadine, Fulone, Furawid, Furazol, Furazolidone, Furoxone, Proquinol and Sumazone.
Different pharmaceutical firms are manufacturing and selling Gatifloxacin, an antibiotic used for controlling upper and lower respiratory tract infections, with brand names Agat, Florquin, Grayflox, Getif, Getnov, Getwel, Pang It, Yakta and Gaticin. This drug is also banned globally for causing hyperglycemia (sudden increase in sugar level).
Halofantrine HCL, anti-malaria, is banned in other countries for disturbing heartbeat. It is freely sold in the market with brand names Halfamed, Halfan and Halrin.
Kaolin – Pectin, used in diarrhoea, is banned worldwide for causing fat and nitrogen losses. This drug is available in the market with brand names Eropectin, Kaltin, Kaolin, Kaotin, Nepectol and Sapotin.
Metronidazole/Furazoladine compound, used to control diarrhoea, is banned globally for causing cancer and irregular heartbeat. Different companies are marketing this compound with brand names Dependal-M, Delzole, Depzole-P, Furamid, Mefudol, Metofur, Metrozole, Nafradol, Rose F.M, Rifuron-M, Tronid-F, Metric F and Truzole.
Nimesulide, used in fever and arthritis, is globally banned for causing liver failure. Despite hepatitis is a serious threat in Pakistan, multinational and local pharmaceutical companies are marketing this dangerous drug with 50 different brand names. This drug is being freely sold with brand names Amsolide, Analid, Arslide, Artilide, Blunid, Colway, Cox-2, Coxobid, Enim, Exilide, Fensulid, Frendcogen, Geoslide, Gravx, Lemide, Ledoran, Melide, Modact-IR, Muside, Narcogen, Nelsid, Nemsis, Neolide, Nidol, Nimaran, Nimase, Nmbex-100, Nimcox, Nimepan, Nimerol, Nimesota, Nimobid, Nims, Nimsel, Nimside, Nimsulid, Nimvista, Nise, Noach, Nulide, Orina, Orthosulide, Ostesoft, Pensulide, Rakalide, Rheuslide, Slide, Sulide-100, Unix and Wulid. 
The govt should take immediate action to stop sale of all these banned drugs and ban them if they are not already banned.
Nitrofurazone, a drug banned worldwide due to worst side effects, is available in the market with 10 brand names Doldercyn, Furacillin, Furacin, Furaseptic, Furatop, Furazoline, Furazone, Neufrazone, Nobofurazone and Primanitro.
As many as 11 multinational and local firms are manufacturing and selling Rosiglitazone (Maleate), a drug used to lower sugar level, with brand names Avandia, Ornix, Blutab, D-Engrax, Fandia, Mr-2, Pg Min, Rosizone, Rozi, Rozig and Zona-4. This drug is banned globally for causing heart and brain stroke and hepatitis.
Sibotramine, a drug used to reduce weight, is banned worldwide for causing heart and brain stroke. As many as 17 companies are selling this formula with brand names Trimfast, Accent, Butaslim, Getset, Kalgary, Light, Livvel, Merida, Nobese, Obecure, Oberid, Obesib, Reductil, Sibutra, Slimfig, Slimer and Tiamex.
Tegaserod, used to cure irritable bowel syndrome and constipation, is banned globally for causing heart and brain strokes among patients. This drug is sold widely in the market with brand names Lexttor, Serrod, T-Sod and Uniserod.
Source: The Nation

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sindh High Court                                   Sindh High Court    Sindh High Court cause list
Judges' appointment:
The Pakistan Bar Council on Tuesday expressed displeasure over shortage of judges in the Sindh High Court, where only 12 judges are on job against a sanctioned strength of 40.
“Not only are the cases piling up day by day  but it is also distressing for litigants as they have to wait endlessly to see disposal of their cases,” said a resolution passed by the executive committee of PBC.
The committee noted that almost every high court is working below its capacity, badly affecting dispensation of justice to the masses and causing hardship to litigants. Govt is not taking interest in this matter of great public importance as it wants to appoint its own people on these posts wich is not acceptable for the judiciary.
Presided over by its chairman Asrar-ul-Haq Mian, the executive committee meeting adopted two resolutions which expressed concern over the state of affairs in the SHC as well as LHC.
Recalling a resolution adopted at a convention of office-bearers of district bar associations and the Sindh Bar Council on Oct 8, the committee said it was unfortunate that lawyers from the interior of Sindh were being ignored in appointments as SHC judges for the past few years.
The PBC committee requested the authorities to fill judges’ vacancies in the Sindh High Court on a priority basis.
The PBC committee expressed confidence that the CJ of SHC as well as the Judicial Commission (JC) would take into consideration the sentiment and aspirations of the legal fraternity and ensure appointment of competent, honest and professional lawyers as judges of the provincial high court. Lawyers from the interior of Sindh should not be ignored in making the appointments, the resolution said.
It was decided that copies of the resolution would be sent to the chairman of the JC, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and its members as well as the SHC chief justice.
Through another resolution, the committee expressed concern over a list of 20 lawyers for appointment as judges of the LHC.
Memebrs of the committee said most of the names in the list appeared to be those of non-practising lawyers.
If such recommendations materialised, the committee observed, it would amount to violation of the law as laid down in the 1996 Al-jehad Trust case.
The committee also proposed that representatives of the bar councils in the JC should be consulted by the chief justice of the high court concerned during in the process of preparation and initiation of lists of recommended people for appointment before
forwarding it to the JC.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

PIA airplanes

PIA and Boeing announced a firm order for five  777-300 ER (extended range) planes worth about $1.50 billion at list prices on Monday.
A press release in this regard issued by PIA said that the order also includes purchase rights to PIA for five more 777-300ER. Based in Karachi, PIA has been renewing its long-haul fleet to accommodate an increased demand for air travel as well as to introduce new routes, the release revealed.
“With passenger traffic in our region accelerating, the new 777-300 ER airplanes will continue to deliver the highest standards of technology and  comfort to our customers,” said PIA’s managing director Capt. Nadeem .
“The spacious 777-300 ER has been an integral part of our long-range fleet renewal program and its excellent operating economics, long range capability and reliability will allow us to expand into new long-haul markets,” Nadeem added but he did not say anything about the financial position of PIA for such a deal and whether it is advisable to invest more in sinking ship.
“We are proud that PIA is a special Boeing customer that continues to invest and trust in the industry-leading capabilities of the 777 family of airplanes,” said Boeing’s VP Sales (ME, Russia and Central Asia) Marty Bentrott.
Boeing’s director international sales Miguel Santos said the 777-300 ER will generate more revenue and carry additional payload.
With this order, the national carrier’s Boeing 777 fleet will grow to 14, including three 777-200ERs, two 777-200LRs and eight 777-300ERs. The airline currently operates scheduled services to 24 domestic destinations and 38 international destinations in 27 countries across Asia, Europe and North America.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Countries in EU list

  • 1. Austria
  • 2. Belgium
  • 3. Czech Republic
  • 4. Cyprus
  • 5. Denmark
  • 6. Estonia
  • 7. Finland
  • 8. France
  • 9. Germany
  • 10. Greece
  • 11. Hungary
  • 12. Ireland
  • 13. Italy
  • 14. Latvia
  • 15. Lithuania
  • 16. Luxembourg
  • 17. Malta
  • 18. Netherlands
  • 19. Poland
  • 20. Portugal
  • 21. Slovakia
  • 22. Slovenia
  • 23. Spain
  • 24. Sweden
  • 25. UK

Lucky cement

 Lucky cement declared improved result as compared to the same period last year. see the table.

Seafood export

Efforts are under way on the part of the European Union to resume fish imports from Pakistan.

It may be recalled that the EU had placed a ban on Pakistani seafood imports in the year 2007 complaining of the unhygienic conditions under which various products were handled at different levels, from fishing boats to processing and packaging facilities.

The EU had told Pakistan that it would not lift the ban until the necessary requirements were met.

The EU's measure caused substantial loss to the fishing industry as 30 to 35% of its products were being sold in the European  countries.

The govt has managed to make up for some of the loss by increasing sales to Middle Eastern markets.

As per a State Bank report, during the last 3 to 4 years there has been a substantial increase in seafood exports.

For example, they rose from $197.8 million in July-May 2009-10 to $258.2 million during July 2010 to May 2011 period.

Still, the sector's potential remains largely under-utilised.

Since the ban those concerned have been trying to improve conditions in line with international standards.

Not long ago, the Sindh government announced an ambitious development project worth about Rs 560 million under which it decided to provide 75% of the total cost of modification of a boat.

By the third quarter of last year, as many as 100 boats had been upgraded.

These measures are important not only in terms of enhanced exports prospects, but can also be expected to better the quality of the sea food that reaches local consumers.

It has been a while since the government asked the EU to send its team for inspection of the improved facilities and allow resumption of imports.

The team kept postponing its visit, citing security concerns.

However, early last year came the news that the EU had informed Pakistan that it was ready to resume imports without sending its inspectors to examine on-the-ground situation.

But there was a caveat: for that to happen, the government had to provide a list of fisheries establishments as well as vessels which met the required standards.

A year on, press reports are still saying the same thing: that efforts are on to restart exports to EU.

Considering that the EU had put forward a specific proposal under which Pakistan was to furnish a list of reliable fisheries establishments and the vessels they use, it should not have taken that long to sort out the modalities.

In the absence of a clearly stated reason for the inordinate delay, it would not be surprising if people attribute unsavoury motives to the authorities concerned.

It would be advisable, therefore, that the TDCP, whose responsibility it is to act as the key co-ordinating agency in improving conditions in fish harbours and upgradation of processing units in accordance with EU and international standards, moves to remove the snag wherever and whatever it might be.

Seafood exports to the EU must resume sooner rather than later.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Griffin was invented by two professors of  Manchester University namely Andre Ghaem and Konstatin Novoselov .They both got Nobel Prize for this invention. It has wonderful features.

Griffin'sCarbon is an extremely light, stable and resistant material. 
It is very very thin layer of carbon which is just one atom in width.
It is a wonderful filter which filter all impurities and gases from water.
Professor Graeme says it is very difficult to stop Helium but this Griffin filter also stops it.
It is very thin but still very very strong.
It is the best conductor of electricity as compared to any other material .
Thinnest mobile phones can be made from it.
Aeroplanes and panels of electric wall papers can also be made from it.

MFN status for India

 Indian Commerce Minister Mr. Anand Sharma, accompanied by a high powered business delegation as well as relevant government officials dealing with trade related issues  seems disappointed  at the first-ever such visit by an Indian Commerce Minister to Pakistan ,the reason being the decision of the Pakistan government to phase out in three steps a negative list of 636 items , a process envisaged to be completed by December ,2011.

This effectively implies that the extension of the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India has been delayed.

In itself this is disturbing as credible reports supported by documents, indicate that the Pakistan government had agreed to extend MFN status to India as a critical condition for India's withdrawal of objections to the European Union humanitarian package for Pakistan's 2010 flood victims that would allow about 75 products of our major exports items duty-free entry into the EU countries for a period of two years.

The reason for the delay, it has been revealed, was the failure of the government to take everyone on board, including but not limited to establishment, with respect to the pace of normalisation in trade relations and the grant of the MFN  to India.

In short, while there is general agreement that trade needs to be strengthened, a win-win situation for the two nuclear rivals, yet there is no agreement on the time frame to achieve this objective.

There is no doubt that the government's failure to convince all the stakeholders in advance of Sharma's visit embarrassed the Indian Commerce Minister that also reflects poorly on our government's ability to deliver on its promise to the Indians.

However be that as it may, there is a continuing paranoia within some parts of our government and people that trade with India may compromise our security.

The PM Gillani during a recent interaction with senior members of the media correctly pointed out that China and India have considerably enhanced their trade relations in spite of the fact that the two countries have border disputes.

Or, in other words, security concerns aside, the economic benefits of trade must be explored to the extent possible that would benefit the peoples of the two countries.

However, to convince different organs of the government is the responsibility of the country's Chief Executive and one would hope that he would take appropriate measures to deal with all lingering concerns from all quarters.

At the same time there are some Pakistani businessmen who have also expressed concern over the grant of MFN status to India, by stating that it would hurt domestic industry of Pakistan.

Additionally, some businessmen lamented India's non-tariff barriers (NTBs) as impediments to fair trade, which are a source of concern to India's other trading partners as well.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) allows countries to take protectionist measures if the domestic industry is hurting due to the opening of trade and therefore the concern by the industries can be easily dealt with.

However, with respect to the NTBs, the govt can and must negotiate to ensure that they are not an impediment to Pakistani exports to India.

The joint communique does note that the two countries would systematically address issues related to Non tariff  barriers.
To conclude, enhancing trade relations is the way forward to not only deal effectively with our own domestic economic issues, but also gain leverage and bring India on the negotiating table with respect to other issues, including Kashmir, security and water issues as well as border disputes.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

School enrolment

Pakistan stands 2nd in world ranking of out-of-school children with 57% children in the 3-5 age group not enrolled in any school in the rural areas and 65% mothers being in the illiterate segment , Annual Status of Education Report (Aser), Pakistan revealed these facts. 
They also called for withdrawing teachers from election duties to minimise political interference and promote merit in their appointments.
The program was organized by the Idara Taleem-o-Agahi  and South Asian Forum for Education Development.
A total of 48,650 households were surveyed in 2,500 villages across 84 rural districts. This was the second Aser survey, which also includes data from three cities (Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad etc) for the first time. Children aged 5-16 were tested for language and arithmetic competencies while detailed information was collected about children above 3 years of age. Data was also collected from govt and private schools.
Sharing details of the national survey (rural), ITA programmed director Baela Raza said of the 32,320 children surveyed in the 3 to 5 years age group, 57.30 % were not enrolled in any school. Of those enrolled, 67. 6pc were in government schools, 29.30 % in private schools, 2.70% in religious madressahs and 0.4pc in `other` institutions. Girls` enrollment stood at 42.20 per cent only.
“Among children aged 5, an age at which one expects children to be enrolled in some educational facility, 32.30 pc were not enrolled in any school,” she further told.
Gender disparity, she told, was clearly reflected in the survey. School enrolment for children aged 6 to 16  stood at 80%, comprising 36pc girls and 64pc boys.

Monday, February 13, 2012

dates export

Pakistan's dates exports can be enhanced up to $200 million provided proper processing and packaging facilities are provided to the farmers, CEO Harvest Tradings and Member Export Committee, ICCI, Ahmad Jawad told the media.
"Since dates are perishable item , processing and packing facilities should be provided at farms to tap full potential and earn precious foreign exchange ", he said.
Jawad  estimated date production per annum in Pakistan is around 536,000 tons, of which only 85,000 tons is exported and the rest is either consumed locally, or perishes for want of different facilities.
Since 1999, per acre yield of dates in the country has not increased so much whereas the worldwide production had increased by 165% during this period.
He said, date palm needs immediate attention from producers, exporters, government and even public and private creditors.
The production and  export of dates  percentage wise  has been showing a decline over the long period, he said and added the government needs to pay urgent attention towards production, processing and quality enhancement, preservation, research and marketing facilities to save and ensure growth of this important source of foreign exchange for the nation
Due to the dearth of these facilities, dates are just dumped abroad at throwaway prices.
In addition, developed importers of date palm, as Germany, Denmark, and UAE, are re-exporting Pakistani dates, after quality enhancement and preparation of byproducts, at a price which is 5 to 6 times higher than their import price.
Other major importers of Pakistani dates include India, Nepal, US, UK, Afghanistan, and Canada.
Out of the 300 varieties of dates produced in Pakistan, Begam Jangi of Balochistan, Aseel of Sindh and Dhakki of Dera Ismail Khan are the varieties which are much sought the world over due to their exotic fantastic taste.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

World's largest producer of uranium

Kazakhstan increased its uranium output by about 9% to around 19,500 tonnes in the year 2011, consolidating its position as the world's largest producer of the metal with a 35%  share of global output, stated  nuclear firm Kazatomprom  on Friday.
Releasing its preliminary data, Kazakhstan's industry and new technologies ministry said on a few days ago that the Central Asian state's uranium output stood at "about 19,000 tonnes" in 2011.
Kazatomprom said that its own uranium output totalled 11,080 tonnes last year, accounting for 20 percent of the global production of the uranium.
It should be mentioned here that uranium is a dangerous source of producing electricity.