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Economy

Identifying new tourism sites in GB!

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ISLAMABAD: In a bid to promote domestic and international tourism in the country, the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs has hired services of three international companies to identify new tourism sites in the region of Gilgit- Baltistan.
The Gilgit-Baltistan has great potential in the tourism sector and the federal government was working on a comprehensive programme to project various scenic destinations in the areas, official sources told Media. In its recently published ranking, Forbes has enlisted Pakistan among the ’10 Coolest Places to Go in 2019’ along with Bhutan, Columbia, Mexico, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mongolia, Rwanda, The Turkish Rivera, and Portugal. “Explore the valleys of Hunza, Shigar, and Khaplu via the renowned Karakoram Highway,” suggested Sara Barbieri, a foreign tourist in her tweet.
Highlighting tourism potential in Pakistan, an article published in a foreign journal drew the tourists attention towards the little-visited region in the far northeast of the country. “The region offers the kind of startlingly striking scenery that compels you to gaze from the window of your 4WD without blinking, for fear of missing a moment of the majesty of the landscape—or one of the astounding suspension bridges that cross the surging rivers filled with snowmelt. To a question, the sources said two economic zones would also be established under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to provide job opportunities to locals for development and progress of the areas. Work on the 200-kilometer corridor in Azad Jammu Kashmir was in progress to attract tourists, they added.

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Economy

30 new development schemes in GB

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GB to be accorded all powers

ISLAMABAD: The Gilgit-Baltistan Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP) has approved 30 new development schemes worth Rs 3.90 billion.
The decision in that regard was taken in the DDWP meeting held in Gilgit-Baltistan with Chief Secretary Muhammad Khurram Agha in the chair, Radio Pakistan reported on Saturday. The chief secretary, on the occasion, directed for timely completion of the schemes saying that the government will not compromise the quality of work and ensuring transparency in the projects.

 

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Economy

Registered workers’ applications for Hajj!

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Electronic grouping of pilgrims

ISLAMABAD: The Workers Welfare Fund (WWF), Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources Development, has asked the registered workers of capital based factories/establishments to submit their applications for inclusion in Hajj draw by 28th February.
According to a WWF official, ten registered industrial workers from Islamabad would be chosen through balloting, whose hajj expenses would be borne by the Fund.
The minimum age of the applicants should be 40 years and must not be over 60 years. They should fulfill the criteria of a worker as defined by IRA-2017, and be registered with Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) or Employees Social Security Institutions (ESSI). They are required to submit an affidavit stating that they had not performed Hajj at least in last five year (from 2014-18).
The applying worker must submit a certificate from his respective institution that the institution is situated and registered within the limits of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). In the case of women worker, all expenditure and another arrangement of her accompanying Mehram will be paid by herself.
WWF would pay the expenses as per the announced Hajj Policy 2019, complete applications should be sent to Assistant Director (Welfare) WWF, Building No 2, Street no 39, Mauve Area, G-10/4, Islamabad.
In case a selected worker is failed to go to perform Haj, he/she will not be entitled to receive the money. His berth will be allotted to next waiting candidate to avail the free hajj facility. The decision of WWF will be final and cannot be challenged in any case.

 

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Business

EODB more important factor for economy!

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LAHORE: Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) President Almas Hyder said on Saturday that ‘Ease of Doing Business’ was a more important factor than say for businesses growth and for a sustainable economy.
“It is a good omen that present regime is well aware of the importance of Ease of Doing Business and trying to change the scenario in this regard through economic reforms,” he observed while talking to a group of business leaders here. Almas Hyder said that importance of businesses could not be undermined for economic development as these provide jobs to the growing population, generate revenue for the government to run the affairs of state and attract foreign investment to the country which not only provides employment but also brings new technologies.
“Pakistan is at 136th place in the international index of ease of doing business while the ranking of a number of those countries is better than us who have fewer resources. Pakistan is at 130th position in starting a business, 166th in dealing with construction permits, 167th in getting electricity, 161 in registering property, 112th in getting credit, 26th in protecting minority investors, 173rd in paying taxes, 142nd in trading across borders, 156th enforcing contracts and at 53rd in resolving insolvency in the international indexes,” he maintained. Almas Hyder said that Pakistan had to take giant leaps towards improvement in these rankings, suggesting that a company office in Pakistan should be established for incorporation of new companies.
He added that an electronic One Window Operation at LDA (Lahore Development Authority) should be established and automation of construction permits should be completed at LDA including electronic submission of application.
Almas Hyder said that reduction in the number of taxes, change the mode of payments would help jack-up Pakistan’s international ranking in paying taxes. He also suggested that revenue (tax) collection should be separated from services as it would help the government to manage the affairs in a better manner. “Getting electricity is one of the major economic indicators and we have to make these better if we want to compete impressively with our competitors in the international market,” he opined. He said that registration of property should be easy for businessmen through modern technologies and one-window operation.

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