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2,139-acres acquired for Daimer Bhasha Dam

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National Assembly session commences

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda on Monday informed the National Assembly that some 32,139 acres of land had been acquired for the Diamer Bhasha Dam, which was 86% of the total land required for the purpose.
Replying to a question in the House, he said 31,977 acres of land had been acquired in Gilgit Baltistan and 162 acres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Faisal Vawda said the government was continuously striving for the development of water reservoirs in the country. Through its executing agency WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority), it had completed the raising of the Mangla Dam, Gomal Zam Dam, Satpara Dam, and Darawat Dam increasing their total storage capacity to 3.91 Million Acre per Feet (MAF).
Diamer Bhasha Dam, Mohmand Dam, Kurram Tangi Dam, and Nai Gaj Dam were at the implementation stage, he added.
Responding to another question, the minister said the country had lost about 22.7 MAF during the floods from 2010 to 2015.
He said the National Water Policy, which was approved in April 2018, emphasized on watershed management in the country. The watershed management, he added, was a dire need of the time, especially in upper areas of the country like Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit- Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to its multiple benefits.
The minister said the total installed capacity of Dasu-HPP was 4,320 megawatts (MW) and it would be implemented in two stages. Both the stages would have the installed capacity of 2,160 MW each.
He said the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved PC-I for the Stage-I in March 2014 amounting to Rs 486,093.30 million with FEC of Rs 218,547.50 million. It was now in implementing phase, he added.
Faisal Vawda said per-capita water availability in the country, that was 5,260 cubic meter per annum in 1951, had reduced to 908 cubic meters per annum in 2018 due to the ever-increasing trend of population, which was a stage of water scarcity.
With the same trend, he said, the projected estimate of water indicated that its availability would further reduce to 800 cubic meters per annum by 2025, which would be the situation of severe shortage of water having serious impacts on the socio-economic life of the people of the country.
The minister said until now, a storage capacity of 4.965 MAF of existing reservoirs had been lost due to sedimentation. Studies showed that an additional 0.75 MAF would be lost due to sedimentation by 2025, hence further reducing per capita water availability, he added.

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Asia

Asian markets stage a recovery!

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Trump's China comments

HONG KONG: Asian markets staged a tentative recovery today from the previous day’s steep losses, with investors increasingly anxious about the state of the global economy.
With a mixed lead from Wall Street, regional traders had few catalysts to drive buying, while safe-haven flows saw the dollar edge up against high-yielding currencies.
Attention is also back on London, where MPs essentially wrested control of the Brexit debate from Prime Minister Theresa May with a vote that will allow them to decide on a number of possibilities for how to proceed.
Investors in Asia were suffering a hangover from Monday’s pummelling, which came on the back of a drop in benchmark 10-year Treasury bond yields below those for three-month bills – for the first time since before the global financial crisis.
This so-called inverted yield curve shows investors are more willing to buy long-term debt – usually viewed as a higher risk — as they consider the short-term outlook more hazardous. Such a scenario has preceded several recessions in recent decades.
“Recession worries may be premature for the US, but the negative signals are consistent with the recent data,” said OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya.

 

 

 

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Economy

US economists less optimistic, see slower growth: survey

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WASHINGTON: US economists are less optimistic about the outlook and sharply lowered their growth forecasts for this year, amid slowing global growth and continued trade frictions, according to a survey published Monday.

And while the odds of a recession by 2020 remain low, they are rising, the National Association for Business Economics said in their quarterly report.

The panel of 55 economists now believe “the US economy has reached an inflection point,” said NABE President Kevin Swift.

The consensus forecast for real GDP growth was cut by three tenths from the December survey, to 2.4 percent after 2.9 percent expansion in 2018.

The economy is expected to slow further in 2020, with growth of just 2 percent, the report said.

Three-quarters of respondents cut their GDP forecasts and believe the risks of to the economy are weighted to the downside.

“A majority of panelists sees external headwinds from trade policy and slower global growth as the primary downside risks to growth,” NABE survey chair Gregory Daco said in a statement.

“Nonetheless, recession risks are still perceived to be low in the near term.”

Panelists put the odds of a recession starting in 2019 at around 20 percent, and for 2020 at 35 percent, slightly higher than in December.

Daco said that “reflects the Federal Reserve’s dovish policy U-turn in January” when the central bank said it would keep interest rates where they are for the foreseeable future, a message reinforced this week.

After four rate increases last year, Daco said a “near-majority of panelists anticipates only one more interest rate hike in this cycle compared to the three hikes forecasted in the December survey.”

Panelists see wage growth as the biggest upside risk to the economy, despite expected increase of just 3 percent this year, as inflation holds right around the Fed’s 2 percent target.

Meanwhile, amid President Donald Trump’s aggressive tariff policies, the panel projects the trade deficit will rise to a record $978 billion this year, beating last year’s record $914 billion.

In an interesting twist in the survey, only 20 percent said they expected to see the dreaded “inverted yield curve” — when the interest rate on the 10-year Treasury note falls below the 3-month bill — this year.

In fact, the yield curve inverted on Friday for the first time since 2007.

 

 

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Business

Is Uber buying Careem for $3.1b?

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DUBAI: According to the rumors making rounds here today it seems that Uber is about to acquire Careem for $3.1b!

Sources privy to NPTV have insinuated that the deal will be announced tomorrow (Tuesday 26th March). Initially Uber will pay $1.4 billion in cash and the rest in notes convertible to Uber shares.

It comes as Uber prepares for its initial public offering — expected next month — which could see the rideshare giant’s value increase to $100 billion.

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