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Successful completion of three years of democratic journey is testimony to the political maturity of the nation: President

President Mamnoon Hussain says that successful completion of three years of democratic journey is testimony to the political maturity of the nation. He was addressing joint session of the Parliament in Islamabad today. He said this is reflective of the fact that the system is capable enough to sustain crises and take the country forward on the path of durable progress and stability. Mamnoon Hussain said "government ensures rule of law, economic development and provision of basic needs to the people easily overcome challenges, succeed in stabilizing democracy and reinforce the relationship between an individual and the state. Both the government and opposition are cognizant of this and are formulating policies in the light of this philosophy to strengthen democracy. It is now responsibility of each individual, class and institution to earnestly contribute towards reinforcing this positive trend. Government, be it of any political party, should formulate policies in accordance with the tested principle so that democracy can take roots and the people may lead a prosperous life.

Economic achievement

President notes that tax system and collection has improved, foreign exchange reserves increased, GDP has steadily expanded and this year growth has been 4.7%. He said, "budget deficit stands reduced, inflation controlled and the rupee stabilized. These positive indicators will encourage foreign investors and accelerate our economic progress, which will be further boosted by CPEC. Such a welcome progress on the economic front is possible only through consistent and realistic policies. More steps should be taken to pass on the benefits of improved economic situation to the common man."

Welfare 

Mamnoon Hussain said, "Welfare steps include business opportunities and technical training for youth, comprehensive programme for poverty alleviation, PM's health insurance, subsidy on essential consumer goods, special package for farmers, educational facilities and stipends for underdeveloped areas and provision of laptops to talented students.

CPEC

About CPEC, the President said at this juncture of our history, we need national consensus and solidarity and its significance is even greater in the context of CPEC. He said, "there is no weight in the reservations expressed by certain quarters regarding the Corridor. Expressed satisfaction that concerted efforts have led to national consensus on the matter and apprehensions if any should be removed through dialogue. Schedule of the CPEC clearly shows the project is not of benefit to any particular government, political party or group of politicians but purely a national project. It is responsibility of the nation to remove every internal and external obstacle in the way of its implementation. Nation should unite on the agenda of economic stability for continuity in policies in all situations. He hoped political parties and other stakeholders will soon agree upon this national agenda."

Steps taken to minimize energy crisis

The President also recounted the measures and projects launched by the government to address the energy crisis including LNG and electricity import and construction of water reservoirs. He said, "Dream of national development would materialize only when there is peace and conducive business environment." 

Govt to keep petroleum prices unchanged in June

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar says in line with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's policy of providing maximum relief to the people, it has been decided that the prices of petroleum products will not be increased on June 1, 2016. Addressing a press conference, he said government will absorb the full impact of maintaining the prices at the current level. The absorption of Rs6.69 per litre in high speed diesel by the federal government would also help the provincial governments to ensure that there is no unnecessary price hike during Ramazan on this account. He said petrol and high speed diesel are two major products which generate most of the revenue in the oil sector. The average sale of HSD across the country stands at 600,000 tonnes per month, petrol at 400,000 tonnes, kerosene at less than 10,000 tonnes and HOBC lower than 6,000 tonnes. Finance Minister said the original budget documents duly signed by the Nawaz Sharif in London have been received. According to the Article 83 of the Constitution, the budgetary documents are to be signed by the prime minister, “so this constitutional obligation has been fulfilled.” Nawaz Sharif, through video link, had chaired the meeting of National Economic Council (NEC) and Cabinet on Monday to give approval to the budget proposals for the fiscal year 2016-17.

Two-day US-Pakistan Business Conference starts in New York tomorrow

Two day "US-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference" will start in New York tomorrow. The conference is aimed at building business-to-business linkages between U.S. and Pakistan. The conference will particularly focus on fashion apparel, healthcare, information communication technology, and agriculture.

Pakistan, Kuwait agree to enhance exchange of businessmen's visits

Pakistan and Kuwait have agreed to increase interaction at leadership level, promote investments and enhance exchange of businessmen's visits. The understanding to this effect reached at the second round of bilateral political consultations held in Kuwait on Tuesday. Special Secretary Foreign Affairs Muhammad Whaled-ul-Hassan led Pakistan’s delegation, while Kuwaiti side headed by Assistant Foreign Minister Ali Sulaiman Al-Saeed. The two sides discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and expressed satisfaction on the existing level of relationship. They also deliberated on ways and means to ease visa restrictions on Pakistan nationals and increase recruitment of Pakistani manpower for employment in Kuwait. The Pakistani delegation briefed the Kuwaiti side about Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision of a “Peaceful Neighbourhood” and the efforts being made by Pakistan in this regard. The delegation also invited Kuwaiti businessmen to invest in energy and infrastructure development projects in Pakistan

RCCI to hold 'Made in Pakistan' exhibition from Thursday

Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) will hold a five-day 'Made in Pakistan' exhibition in Houston, United States from Thursday. Talking to newsmen in Rawalpindi on Tuesday, RCCI President Mian Humayun Parvez said the purpose of holding such exhibitions is to attract foreign companies to purchase Pakistani products. He said that introduction of Pakistani products would help promote business and trade activity in the country, besides strengthening the economy.

Currency Exchange Rates

Analysts 

Ali Salman (Economist):

“Government has decided not to increase the current petroleum prices which will definitely provide a relief to the people. The incumbent government is making all out efforts to bring down the inflation rate. Government is also focusing on to improve health and education sectors in the country which is a positive development. All out efforts are being made to ensure better utilization of foreign investment in different sectors. The government needs to make certain reforms in tax system in order to bring more people into this network. PML-N government is following the agenda of economic development in an effective way. We are hopeful that Pakistan will soon be included among the developed countries of the world because of the prudent economic policies of the government.”


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