Text Bulletin 1300 hrs
Prime Minister says federal and provincial governments are working in harmony for development of the country.
Federal government is establishing twenty food processing and preservation units across tribal areas to boost agriculture.
Chairman APHC has voiced concerns over attempts of extremist Hindu organization RSS to change demography of Jammu and Kashmir.
In Iran, people are casting votes to elect the president for next term.
The National Economic Council, the highest economic policy-making forum, is having its meeting in Islamabad with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the chair.
It is expected to approve the Annual Development Plan for the next financial year besides reviewing the achievements of the ongoing plan.
The Annual Plan Coordination Committee has already recommended to the NEC a development programme worth 2113 billion rupees for the next financial year.
Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, Governor KPK and Chief Ministers of Punjab, Sindh, KPK, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan are attending the meeting. Federal and Provincial Ministers concerned are also present.
Addressing the National Economic Council meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan's economic indicators have significantly improved and this is acknowledged by international financial rating institutions.
He said the GDP growth rate of 5.28% for the current financial year is commendable.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan is now among the fastest growing economies of the world. He said Federal and Provincial governments are working in harmony for development of the country.
Mian Nawaz Sharif said development should not be politicized as it is for prosperity of every Pakistani.
The Prime Minister informed the participants of the meeting that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects are being completed on fast track basis.
He said not only power supply is priority of the government but it is providing affordable power supply for consumers.
He said the Government is also focusing on a balanced mix of sources for energy including LNG, coal, hydel, solar and wind.
Describing infrastructure as key to development, he said the government is concentrating on roads and communication networks.
The Prime Minister said the Government has adopted people centric approach for development planning.
The federal government is spending two point six billion rupees on the promotion of agriculture in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
Official sources told our Peshawar correspondent that twenty food processing and preservation units are being established across tribal areas.
Efforts are underway to open at least one fruit and vegetable market in each tribal agency for the benefits of tribal farmers.
The sources said thirty thousand acres of agriculture land will be leveled through laser technology to bring maximum area under cultivation in the tribal belt.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif says Prime Minister's Health Insurance Scheme will soon be expanded to thirty-two districts of the province.
He was chairing a meeting on the reforms and measures for the improvement of healthcare system in Lahore today.
The Chief Minister said a modern system has been introduced to buy, distribute and deliver medicines.
Shahbaz Sharif said additional one hundred mobile health units will be imported to provide standard medical facilities to the people of far-flung areas.
The Chairman of Pak-Britain Business Council Julian Hamilton Barns has said that Pakistan’s economic development is impressive and the country will be an important part of the world economy in next few decades.
He was talking to media during his visit to the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi this morning.
The Chairman PBBC said Britain also wishes to be a part of Pakistan's developmental process.
Earlier, the Chairman of Pak-Britain Business Council started the trading process in PSX by ringing the traditional gong.
In occupied Kashmir, the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Syed Ali Gilani, has said that extremist Hindu organization, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is working to change the demographic composition of Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement issued in Srinagar, he expressed serious concerns over the reports of proposed public meeting being organized in Srinagar by the RSS.
He said, after Jammu region, Kashmir is the next target of RSS for furthering their bigoted agenda.
Peaceful protests will be held in the occupied Kashmir today, against the slapping of draconian law, Public Safety Act on Aasiya Andrabi and Fehmeeda Sofi by the Indian authorities.
Call for the protests has been given by the joint resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.
Meanwhile, the All Parties Hurriyet Conference, the Mirwaiz-led Hurriyet forum, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and the Jamaat-e-Islami have strongly condemned the Indian forces’ massive crackdowns in Wokai, Kulgam, and Heff-Shirmal, Shopian.
In Japan, the cabinet has approved a bill that would allow Emperor Akihito to step down.
This step will pave the way for the first abdication by a Japanese emperor in nearly two centuries.
The bill will be sent to parliament, where lawmakers are aiming to pass it before the current session ends next month.
In Iran, polling is underway in the twelfth presidential election.
Four candidates including incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, Seyyed Mostafa Hashemi-Taba, Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi and Seyyed Mostafa Mirsalim are in the run.
Over fifty million Iranians are register to cast their votes.