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Economy

ECC  approves procurement of 5.15M tons of wheat target

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ISLAMABAD: ECC  has approved the procurement of 5.15 million tons of wheat target with a financial limit of 158.5 billion rupees this year.

The ECC, which met here today with the PM’s Adviser on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, also approved additional supply of 150 MW of power through National Grid to K-Electric to address power shortage in Karachi.

The Committee approved additional subsidy amounting to 1.8 billion rupees to Tribal Electric Supply Company (TESCO) for the month of Ramazan to provide additional power supply to the seven tribal agencies of ex-FATA. The Power Division informed that the government has been paying the electricity bills of domestic consumers of former tribal agencies through a subsidy of 1.3 billion rupees per month.

ECC acceded to the proposal of Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority by granting tax exemption to the projects being constructed under the Saudi Fund for Development Grant. It waived off Karachi Port Trust’s storage charges on the consignments of rice to be distributed among the needy people by a non-profit welfare organization working for the poor and needy people of the country. The Committee also approved Technical Supplementary and Supplementary Grants for different Ministries and Divisions. (rp)

Export of surplus wheat from Pakistan

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Asia

Trade worries encourage bears in Tokyo bourse

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TOKYO: Stocks here opened lower today on worries over the US-China trade war as bellicose rhetoric persisted between Washington and Beijing, pushing the safe-haven yen higher against the dollar.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.94 percent, or 199.04 points, to 20,952.10 in early trade, while the broader Topix Index was down 0.86 percent or 13.26 points at 1,527.32.
The US market “dropped sharply as worries intensified over the US-China trade war after China’s commerce ministry spokesperson said the US should correct its actions if it hopes to continue trade negotiations,” Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex, said in a commentary.
The Tokyo market “is seen falling significantly at the beginning following falls in the US and a higher yen,” he said.
On Thursday, China warned the United States that it must show “sincerity” if trade talks are to continue between the world’s top two economies.
“If the US wants to continue to talk, it should show sincerity and correct its mistaken actions. Only on the basis of equality and respect can the negotiations have the chance of continuing,” commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a press briefing.
The trade dispute has snowballed into a tech war, with the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei at the epicenter of a battle for supremacy in technologies that could shape the future of the world economy, such as next-generation 5G networks in which the Chinese firm is a global leader.
In Washington, US President Donald Trump for the first time linked a dispute over Huawei, which he views as a threat to American security, with a deal to resolve the US-China trade war.

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Economy

SC suspends LHC verdict regarding recovery of water bill charges

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday suspended the Lahore High Court (LHC) ruling regarding recovery of water charges from mineral water companies.
A three-member SC bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan heard the review petitions regarding recovery of charges over water extraction/installation for commercial use.
During the course of proceedings, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan asked as to how the high court had dismissed the notification ignoring the orders of the apex court.
He observed that the high court should have checked that the matter was in the Supreme Court. The high court verdict could not be maintained as it was the authority of the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) not that of the high court, he observed.
He remarked that the apex court was hearing the case regarding charges for water extraction.
He asked the counsel for the private mineral water company that his client should approach the apex court instead of the high court.
The counsel said the high court did not cancel the notification as it canceled the bill.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that the court did not want to punish anyone as it was hearing the matter for the only public interest.
The court remarked that the high court order regarding billing would remain suspended and the amount collected through bills would remain in bank accounts but would not be utilized.
Later the case was adjourned till after Eid holidays.

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Business

Naya Pakistan Housing and Devt. Authority Ord. promulgated!

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ISLAMABAD: Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority Ordinance, 2019 has been promulgated by the President of Pakistan.

Under the ordinance, Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority will be established for the purposes of planning, development, construction, and management of real estate projects.

The Prime Minister shall be the patron of the authority and shall review its performance and give general policy directions.

The patron shall constitute the policy board comprising not less than five and not more than 11 members, including chairman for a term of five years.

The authority shall identify immovable properties and projects suitable for the development of housing schemes.

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