JUNE 02, 2017


Punjab budget for next fiscal year with a total outlay of 1970 billion rupees has been presented in provincial assembly in Lahore.

Finance Minister says tax measures proposed in federal budget will enable Pakistan to achieve higher, sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

A Japanese magazine has said macro-economic management and fiscal discipline have helped Pakistan achieve status of global emerging market.

Interior Minister says PML-N government will implement its decision of merging FATA into Khyber Pakhtunhkwa.

Pakistan and Iran have agreed to improve border management through better coordination.

Pakistan Railways has reinstated goods train for Afghan Transit Trade after five years.

In occupied Kashmir, people staged demonstrations today to protest recent martyrdom of several youth by Indian troops.

Russian President has urged US businessmen to use their influence to help normalize Moscow-Washington relations.


A tax-free people-friendly Punjab budget for next fiscal year with a total outlay of over 1970 billion rupees was presented in Punjab Assembly in Lahore this afternoon.

In her budget speech, Punjab Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said despite all difficulties, a balanced budget has been presented.

She said Punjab is expecting an income of eleven hundred fifty four billion rupees from the federal government, and there is an estimate of provincial revenue of three hundred and forty-eight billion rupees.

The provincial minister said a huge amount of six hundred and thirty five billion rupees with an increase of twenty-nine point five percent has been proposed for annual development programme.

Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said fifty-nine percent of total budget has been allocated for education, health, agriculture, law and order and local governments, and one thousand seventeen billion rupees have been allocated for these sectors.

She proposed ten percent raise in the salaries of the provincial government employees and pensions. She said the minimum monthly wages of laborers and industrial workers will now be fifteen thousand rupees.
Lahore despatch...

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has expressed the confidence that the steps announced in the budget will enhance welfare of the general public.

Presiding over a meeting in Islamabad today, he said the tax measures will enable the country achieve higher, sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

He said the government will welcome all constructive suggestions regarding the budget from parliamentarians.

The Minister asked Federal Board of Revenue to take all necessary measures to meet the tax collection target for the current financial year.

Tokyo-based magazine "The Diplomat" says macro-economic management and fiscal discipline has helped Pakistan achieve the status of emerging market in the world.

In an article, the magazine said the achievements made by the country on multiple fronts will restore confidence of investors and help attract more Foreign Direct Investment.

The magazine states that economic growth is stabilizing Pakistan’s political atmosphere in Karachi, Balochistan, and FATA.

The outclass performances of Pakistan’s banking, energy, cement, oil and gas, and fertilizer sectors have brought Pakistan into the limelight of stock markets around the world.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif says PML-N believes in the supremacy of state institutions.

Speaking on the floor of National Assembly today, he said PML-N has sacrificed a lot for supremacy of judiciary, which strengthened judiciary.

Khawaja Asif said the statement of Nihal Hashmi is condemnable and the party has taken appropriate action against him. Nihal Hashmi's membership has been cancelled and he has resigned from the seat of Senate.

He said it is collective responsibility of both the government and the opposition to work for strengthening of state institutions.

Earlier, the National Assembly held debate on the federal budget for next fiscal year.

Taking the floor, Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Shah said the budget is meant for the betterment of the masses, and contribution of the opposition in its passage is important.

He said speeches of all the parliamentary leaders should be broadcast live as it will strengthen democracy in the country.

Taking part in the debate, Shaista Malik congratulated the government on presenting a people-friendly and balanced budget.

She said the budget will bring about positive change in the lives of people and improve living standard of common man.

The House will now meet on Monday at four pm.

The Senate today continued discussion on the budgetary proposals for the next fiscal year.
Participating in the debate, Rehman Malik said overseas Pakistanis should be fully facilitated in order to encourage remittances.

He said maximum resources should be diverted towards energy sector in order to provide relief to people.

Usman Khan Kakar called for equal development of all areas of the country.

Javed Abbasi said overall security and economic situation in the country has improved as a result of government's effective policies. Foreign entrepreneurs are now investing in Pakistan.

He said international financial institutions are also recognizing economic gains made by the country over the last four years.

Najma Hameed described the budget as pro-poor. She said it is a matter of great satisfaction that no new tax has been imposed. She said the government has given relief to the farmers by reducing prices of fertilizers.

Daud Achakzai said ample funds should be allocated to address the problem of shortage of water in Balochistan. He said transmission system should be upgraded to control line losses. 

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan says government's practical steps have led to improvement in security situation, development and political stability.

Talking to Prime Minister's Advisor Ameer Muqam in Islamabad today, he said restoration of peace in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA is a top priority of the government.

The Minister said the decision to merge FATA into Khyber Pakhtunhkwa will be implemented.

Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb has stressed the need for taking concrete measures to present soft image of Pakistan in the world.

Chairing a meeting in Islamabad today, she directed all allied departments of the Ministry, including Radio Pakistan, PTV, APP, Pakistan National Council of Arts, and Lok Virsa to prepare effective programmes for the purpose.

The Minister directed PTV and Radio Pakistan to project their archives abroad through Pakistani missions.

She directed PTV World and Directorate of Electronic Media and Publications to produce documentaries of short duration for projecting soft image of the country in the comity of nations.

Minister for Human Rights Kamran Michael says protection of human rights, including of women, children and minorities, is a top priority of the government.

He was talking to US State Department's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration Nancy Izzo Jackson in Islamabad today.

They discussed matters of human rights with particular reference of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, their dignified return, and situation in the region.

The US State Department representative lauded Pakistan for hosting millions of Afghan refugees and providing them basic necessities of life for decades.

Meanwhile, during her meetign with Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch in Islamabad today, she reaffirmed US commitment to humanitarian assistance to Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

She said both countries have joined together in this cause to help those who are suffering from violence and conflict.

Izzo Jackson said that the United States is partnering with UNHCR and seven different NGOs including two Pakistani organizations to provide assistance to most deserving people.

National Security Advisor Nasser Janjua says Pakistan wants peace and stability in Afghanistan and is ready to support all efforts in this regard.

He was talking to British High Commissioner Thomas Drew in Islamabad today.

The two sides discussed prevailing security situation in the region with special reference to security situation in Afghanistan and the state of Pak-India relations.

Japanese Ambassador Takashi Kurai also called on the National Security Advisor in Islamabad today.

They discussed matters pertaining to improvement of bilateral relations and regional security situation. The two sides expressed support for constructive efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Iranian Ambassador in Islamabad Mehdi Honardoost also called on the National Security Advisor.

Matters pertaining to enhancement of bilateral relations and issues of security and border management came under discussion.

Nasser Janjua said Pakistan is committed to overcome all irritants in bilateral ties.

They agreed to boost the level of cooperation in multiple areas to strengthen Islamabad-Tehran relations and improve border management through better coordination.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra says the government has launched a number of developmental projects in FATA to bring it at par with developed areas of the country.

He was talking to MNA from South Waziristan Ghalib Khan in Peshawar today.

Ghulab Khan informed the governor about the problems being faced by people of the agency.

Iqbal Zafar Jhagra assured his full support for solution of the problems.

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif says thousands of schools will be converted on solar energy in the province.

Chairing a meeting to review Punjab Ujaala Programme in Lahore today, he said the project will be initiated from southern Punjab.

The Chief Minister said millions of students will be facilitated through this project, and it will also help improve education system in the province.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said Sanghar-Mirpurkhas road will be completed by June next year.

He was speaking after inspecting the under-construction road at Sindhri today.

He said the road will reduce travel time between Sanghar, Mirpurkhas and Sindhri.

The sixty-three kilometer road is being constructed at a cost of twenty-four hundred and eighty-five million rupees.

Prime Minister's son Hassan Nawaz appeared before Joint Investigation Team on Panama Papers case in Islamabad today.

He recorded his statement.

NAB has introduced a complaint registration acknowledgement system to share information with complainant.

Chairing a meeting in Islamabad today, NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhary said the system will be helpful for complainants to know about the status of their complaints through modern technology.

Rangers have arrested eight criminals during raids in different areas of Karachi for being involved in extortion, target killing, dacoity, drug smuggling and other heinous crimes.

Illegal weapons, ammunition, drugs and looted items were recovered from them.

Thirty-three suspects were arrested in Peshawar and Mardan today.

According to police, nineteen suspects were apprehended in Peshawar and fourteen in Mardan.

Meanwhile, police foiled an attempt of terrorism in Charsadda and recovered a huge quantity of arms and ammunition.

Seven insurgents along with their commander Nahlan alias Langri surrendered to the security personnel in Dera Bugti District.

They vowed to quit subversive activities and accept writ of the government.

They also surrendered a huge cache of arms to the officials. 

Pakistan Railways has reinstated goods train for Afghan Transit Trade after five years.

Secretary Railways Parveen Agha inaugurated this train in Karachi today.

The train will provide freight services to Afghan traders from Karachi to Peshawar.

The train will generate revenue of 2 to 3 million rupees each week and will provide cheap, protective and trust worthy freight service to traders.

In Kabul, four people were killed and eight injured after police fired to halt protesters demanding the government step down in the wake of a devastating bomb attack.

Crowds rallied near the site of Wednesday's blast, chanting anti-government and anti-Taliban slogans.

Police in riot gear also used tear gas and water cannon to stop them from marching up to the presidential palace. 

The Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Muhammad Masood Khan has underlined the need of forging complete unity to highlight the longstanding Kashmir issue at international level.

He was addressing trainee officers and cadets of 136th Long Course of Pakistan Military Academy Kakul near Abbottabad today.

Sardar Muhammad Masood said a strong and stable Pakistan is imperative for the success of Kashmir liberation struggle.

He said Kashmiris are determined to achieve their inalienable right to self-determination despite worst ever state terrorism by Indian troops in held valley.

AJK President lauded the professional and humanitarian services of Pak Army for protecting the geographical and ideological frontiers of the country.

In occupied Kashmir, people staged forceful anti-India demonstrations today to protest against the recent martyrdom of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Sabzar Ahmed Butt, and other Kashmiri youth by Indian troops.

Indian forces used brute force to break up the demonstrations, injuring several people.

People took to streets in Srinagar, Badgam, Ganderbal, Sopore, Baramulla, Bandipora, Pulwama, Tral, Islamabad, Shopian, Kulgam, Trehgam, Kupwara and other areas.

They chanted high-pitched pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans and also waved Pakistani flags at various places.

Meanwhile, life remained affected for the 2nd consecutive day, today, in Sopore town and adjoining areas due to strike against the killing of two youth, Basharat Ahmad Sheikh and Aijaz Ahmad Mir, by Indian forces.

The puppet authorities kept Hurriyet leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, and Shabbir Ahmad Shah, under house arrest to prevent them from leading demonstrations.

The Chairman of Hurriyet forum, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, addressing a gathering in Srinagar said that frustrated by the unity among the Kashmiri people the Indian authorities are trying to mislead the world community by giving an impression that the resistance movement is confined only to some parts of the territory.

President Vladimir Putin has urged U.S. businessmen to use their influence to help normalize Russia-U.S. relations.

Speaking at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Putin said relations between Moscow and Washington are now at their lowest point since Cold War times.

During a panel meeting, he also pledged to help improve conditions for U.S. business in Russia.

China and the European Union have reaffirmed their commitment to a landmark climate change agreement, a day after President Donald Trump said he was pulling the United States out of the Paris accord.

Speaking to European business leaders alongside EU Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels said EU-China ties are underpinned by "a rules-based international system."

Juncker said Brussels and Beijing believe in "the full implementation, without nuances, of the Paris climate agreement," , and underlined that there can be "no backsliding."

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the US withdrawal will not prevent the rest of the world from pressing ahead with efforts to curb global warming.

Russia has further relaxed trade sanctions placed on Turkey in the aftermath of the downing of a Russian fighter jet in 2015.

In a statement, the government said Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had signed a decree lifting the ban on some agricultural produce and Turkish companies involved in construction, engineering and tourism.

In northern Cameroon, seven people were killed and over twenty injured in a two suicide bombing in the town of Kolofata today.

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