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Growers demand implementation of court’s decisions for payment of sugarcane price

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KARACHI: Sindh’s sugarcane growers’ organizations on Tuesday decried over double jeopardy with them as on one hand they are unable to get appropriate rates of their products from sugar mills and on the other hand there is shortage of irrigation water, which has caused them huge financial losses.

Addressing a joint press conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC), the representatives of five growers’ organisations including Sindh Agriculture Research Council, Farmers Organisation Council, Sindh Abadgar Association, Tail Abadgar Association and Hari Abadgar Ittehad urged the Cane Commissioner of government of Sindh to implement the Sindh High Court’s orders regarding sugar mills’ payment to growers.

“We have faced financial hardships due to non payments or low rates delayed payments by sugar mills. Another problems is we are unable to sow next crop due to shortage of irrigation water at the tail-end,” said Ali Palh, a representative of the growers.

Civil society’s leaders Karamat Ali, Qazi Khizar and Shaikh Majeed were also present during the press conference. They also supported the demands of the growers.

Palh said Sindh government had issued a notification, fixing the price of sugarcane at Rs. 182 per maund, but mills refused to start the crushing. Later Sindh High Court fixed the rate at Rs. 172 and then Rs. 160 per maund but even those verdicts were also not implemented. Due to adamant attitude of the sugar mills, the growers are facing hardships. Protests marches, hunger strikes and sit-ins are held across the province, but our problem is not solved.

Currently, the sugar mills are purchasing sugarcane at a rate of Rs. 80 and 90 through their agents. They have stopped directly purchasing sugarcane from growers. The mills have stopped issuing the “Supply Indents” to the growers, they just issue simple chits, in which rates or weights are not written, he added.

Palh said the federal government is providing a subsidy of Rs. 20 billion to sugar mills, which is directly paid to them but they refuse to provide benefit to growers. “We demand the subsidy amount should be directly paid to sugarcane growers,” he added.

He said everyone knows the sugar mills in Sindh are mostly owned by the families of ruling political party, therefore, the provincial government is reluctant to provide any support or relief to the growers.

Talking about the problems of shortage of irrigation water at the tail end of the irrigation system in Sindh, Javed Junejo of Farmers Organisation Council said that small growers are unable to cultivate crops due to acute shortage of irrigation water in canals in Sindh. Even we are unable to receive water for drinking purposes, he added.

He recalled that the Supreme Court of Pakistan, in 2013, had ordered to cancel all water courses, which were getting water directly from the canals, but the Sindh government has not implemented that verdict.

The growers organizations had organized a three-day hunger strike outside Karachi Press Club for their demands and the speakers regretted that the provincial government has not taken any notice of their protests.

They expressed thanks to the civil society activists for extending their support to growers.

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Karachi

PM Imran Khan arrives in Karachi!

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KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Karachi today on a day-long visit in order to review the Metropolis’ political situation and ongoing development projects. 

Here the PM was received at the airport by Governor Sindh Imran Ismail and other PTI leaders.  Later he held a one-on-one meeting with the Governor at Governor House.

In the backdrop of the ongoing anti-encroachment drive, the members of the business community (including those affected) are seeing him today.

KARACHI: A delegation of officials and stockbrokers of Pakistan Stock Market Exchange, led by its Chairman Sulaiman Mehdi, called  PM and discussed matters apropos economy. 

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PM maintained that the government was committed to promote and protect businesses. He held that vast opportunities of investment are available in Pakistan. According to him, foreign investors are expressing interest to invest in various sectors of the economy.  He said that his government’s approach towards business and investment was different and steps were being taken to bring stability in the market. When delegation informed him about the issues faced by the PSX and brokers. PM approved most of their suggestions.  The PM and the delegation agreed to stop illegal transactions and expand the tax base.  Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) delegation (comprised of prominent industrialists Siraj Qasim Teli, Tahir Khaliq, Haroon Agar, Shamim Firpo, and Junaid Ismail Makda) also called on the PM. 

Relevant I: Prime Minister Imran Khan said today that the government had come up with a positive mindset to protect and promote the business and investment besides bringing stability in the market. In a meeting with a delegation of the office bearers and brokers of Pakistan Stock Market Exchange headed by Suleman Mehdi, the Prime Minister said he had arrived here to seek their suggestions for the betterment of the national economy. He said the foreign investors were investing their capital in the country because there existed a huge potential for investment. The delegation felicitated the Prime Minister on assumption of the office and lauded the efforts by government’s economic team for economic stability. The delegation apprised the Prime Minister on various matters regarding the stock market and put forward the proposals for financial stability most of which were accepted by the Prime Minister. The delegation assured that they would extend all-out support to the government for its financial policies. During the meeting, they agreed to widen the tax base, promotion of IT in the stock market and curb the issue of illegal payments. The meeting was also attended by Finance Minister Asad Umar, Planning Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Water Resources Minister Faisal Vawda, Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi, IT Minister Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, State Minister Hammad Azhar, PM’s Adviser Dr Ishrat Hussain and Special Assistants to PM Naeemul Haq and Iftikhar Durrani.

Relevant II: Prime Minister Imran Khan today reiterated his resolve to steer the country out of the difficult times and maintained that the country was not deficient in anything, the only thing; it needed was an investor-friendly environment.  He said the government had fully focused on bridging the gap between imports and exports and assured that there would be no difficulty in running a business. The Prime Minister was talking to delegations of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) and prominent businessmen, PM Office media wing in a press release said.  The Prime Minister told the delegation that he had come to listen to their issues and find an immediate solution. The unemployment issue could be overcome by imparting skills to the youth, he added. He said the government wanted uniform development of the whole country and eradication of poverty. Pakistan would progress when the environment for business and investment was conducive, he added. The Prime Minister also expressed the resolve to root out corruption. The delegation presented different suggestions and apprised the Prime Minister about their issues, over which the Prime Minister issued prompt directions.

Relevant III) Prime Minister Imran Khan said today the government would eradicate unemployment through the expansion of industries and would cap the gap between imports and exports. He was talking to a delegation of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) that called on him, PM Office media wing in a press release said.  The Prime Minister urged the industrialists to give further suggestions for the promotion of industry.  Under previous proposals by the industrialists and businessmen, the revenue and policy wings of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) were separated, so that effective planning and its implementation could be ensured. The delegation included prominent industrialists Siraj Qasim Teli, Tahir Khaliq, Haroon Agar, Shamim Firpo, Junaid Ismail Makda and others. Finance Minister Asad Umar, Planning Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Water Resources Minister Faisal Vawda, Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi, IT Minister Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, State Minister Hammad Azhar, PM’s Adviser Dr Ishrat Hussain and Special Assistants to PM Naeemul Haq and Iftikhar Durrani were also present during the meeting. The delegation apprised the Prime Minister about different issues of industries in Karachi and made certain suggestions for the expansion of the industry.  The issues of gas supply to industry, controlling power theft, increase in exports and small and medium enterprises also came under discussion. The Prime Minister told the delegation that instructions had already been passed by the cabinet regarding the provision of complete protection to the poor during the anti-encroachment drive.

Relevant IV) Prime Minister Imran Khan said today that ease of doing business was among the top priorities of his government and it always welcomed the private sector for undertaking public welfare and investment promotion ventures. He was talking to a delegation of Overseas Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry that called on him, PM Office media wing in a press release said. The prime minister observed that technology companies could support the government in different sectors. With the use of IT, innovation and improvement in service delivery could be made in various sectors including education, health, and governance. The work in this regard had already been started, he added. During the meeting, matters related to one-window facilitation, digitization of services and tax, for the promotion of investment and businesses were also discussed. The delegation comprised Irfan Wahab, CEO Telenor Pakistan / President OICCI, Shazia Syed, chairperson & CEO Unilever Pakistan / Vice President OICCI, Ghias-ud-Din Khan, CEO Engro Pakistan, Sarim Sheikh, CEO General Electric Pakistan, Helmut von Struve, MD Siemens Pakistan, Shehzad G Dada, CEO Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan, Anis Ahmed, MD Abbott Labs. Ltd, Ghazanfar Ali, CEO IBM Pakistan, and Abid Zaidi, CEO Microsoft Pakistan.

KARACHI: PM meets FPCCI delegation.

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KARACHI: PM seen meeting PTI MNAs Sindh Chapter.

 

 

 

 

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Karachi

Explosion near Karachi’s Perfume Chowk, 6 hurt (TEXT AND VIDEO)

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KARACHI: Six people got injured as a result of a cracker explosion carried out at Mehfil-e-Milad arranged by MQM-P (sans official permission) near Perfume Chowk here in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar area late night

Wounded are being shifted to nearby medical facilities. According to details, while MQM-P’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui was present on the stage at the event, Sindh Assembly’s former opposition leader Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan was sitting on the front row with the audience.

A worker of MQM-P’s communication department is reportedly among the injured. Convener and members of Rabita Committee are said to have remained unhurt. As expected there was a stampede after the explosion but that did not cause any casualty. Windowpane glasses of nearby buildings were shattered while many motorcycles were also partially damaged. The area has been cordoned off as an investigation is being carried out. 

Sources privy to NewsPakistan.tv had earlier insinuated that the explosive was hidden in a plant pot near the stage. Whereas, SSP East Capt (R) Ghulam Azfar Mahessar later informed that a cracker was thrown at the participants of the Mehfil-e-Milad, by unidentified motorcyclists, parts of which had been recovered from the scene of the crime by BDU.  

However, it later transpired that a 250-300 gram planted IED was detonated by means of a remote-control device. 

 

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PFUJ President GM Jamali and others attend Shafiuddin Ashraf’s funeral!

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PFUJ President GM Jamali

KARACHI: PFUJ President G. M. Jamali, KUJ President Hasan Abbas, Senior journalist Mazhar Abbas, Secretary General APNEC Shakeel Amin Kanga and a large number of journalists and representatives of various organizations attended the funeral prayers of  Shafiuddin Ashraf here today at Rahmania Mosque, Buffer Zone. 

Later the burial took place at Model Colony graveyard. Shafiuddin Ashraf was chairman APNEC and General Secretary of the Dawn Employee’s Union.

PFUJ President G.M. Jamali, eulogizing the services of Shafiuddin Ashraf has said that his contribution in the field of journalism would be remembered. Conveying his deepest sympathy to the grieving family he prayed for the departed soul. 

 

A relevant piece published earlier: 

PFUJ President GM Jamali condoles sad demise of Shafiuddin Ashraf

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