DATED: MAY 20, 2017



Prime Minister has directed the National Economic Council to enhance development funds for FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

World Bank has appreciated government's economic reforms to strengthen the national economy.

Minister of State for Information Technology says people with no connectivity will get 3-G by the end of next year. 

AJK President has said Neelum-Jhelum power project will be linked with the national grid in February next year.

Saudi Arabia says it has destroyed a ballistic missile fired by Houthi militia from Yemen.

United Nations has warned that twenty million people in four African countries are on the brink of famine.



Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal says a record 2.5 trillion rupees Public Sector Development Programme for next financial year has been approved.


He was addressing a news conference after a meeting of National Economic Council in Islamabad.


He said the new budget includes 1001 billion rupees Federal Public Sector Development Programme, 1112 billion rupees provincial PSDP while 400 billion rupees would be spent by various corporations to carry out their development projects. 


Ahsan Iqbal said 411 billion rupees would be spent on infrastructure development, 43 billion for different projects of Railways, 404 billion for energy while 180 billion rupees on projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor.


The Planning Minister said that the Prime Minister during the NEC meeting directed for devising a mechanism for providing more funds to AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA.


Ahsan Iqbal said the social sector is being given importance in the development budget, financing for which has been increased from 90 billion to 153 billion rupees.


He said that in order to promote higher education, the budget for Higher Education Commission has been increased from 21 billion to over 35 billion rupees.


He said that seventeen billion rupees has been specifically approved for Balochistan to improve communication system and for different water related projects.



Earlier, addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said international financial and rating institutions have acknowledged a marked improvement in Pakistan's economic indicators.


He said the GDP growth rate of 5.28 per cent for the current financial year is commendable.


The Prime Minister said Pakistan is now among the fastest growing economies of the world.


Nawaz Sharif said Federal and Provincial governments are working in harmony for development of the country. He said development should not be politicized as it is for prosperity of every Pakistani. 


Describing strong 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 while planning development projects.   


Nawaz Sharif directed that rural development projects in health, education, and other social sectors should be given special attention.



Finance Minister Ishaq Dar says the government is now focusing on achieving higher, sustainable and inclusive economic growth.


He was talking to Vice President of World Bank for the South Asian Region Annette Dixon in Islamabad.


They discussed progress on various ongoing development projects in Pakistan during the meeting.


Annette Dixon lauded the economic reforms  by the PML-N government for betterment of the national economy.


The Vice President of the World Bank said the Bank is committed to working in partnership with Islamabad on projects which could take the development agenda forward. 



Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique says efforts are being made to provide safe, inexpensive and high speed trains to the passengers. 


He was chairing a meeting to improve performance of railways in Lahore.


He said billions of rupees would be spent on improving Karachi-Peshawar railway line (ML-1) under China Pakistan Economic Corridor.


The Minister said condition of trains running between small and large cities and on branch lines will also be improved.


He directed to increase number of coaches  from 3 to 5  in the Malikwal Pindadan Khan Shuttle Train.


He suggested to Sialkot traders and industrialists to use Pakistan Railways for delivery of goods from Karachi to Lahore and Sialkot.



Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan has said the government is working on several power projects to meet the growing demand of energy in the country.


Speaking in a TV channel he said Sahiwal Coal Power Plant has started production while several other power plants would start generating electricity shortly. 


He said a target of generating 17,000 megawatt has been achieved in a record period of time.


The Minister said several energy projects are being executed under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.




Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman Khan has said that 3G and 4G technology has brought an IT revolution in the country.


She was addressing a ceremony of National Competition of Final Year Projects organized by National ICT Grassroots Research Initiative in Islamabad.


The Minister said people with no connectivity will get 3G by the end of next year. 


She said the financial assistance under the programme enables students of public and private sector universities, undertaking Final Year Projects to build prototypes that demonstrate advances in technology and showcase creativity.   



AJK President Sardar Masood Khan says the government is focusing on building large, medium and small dams to make the state self-sufficient in energy.


Addressing a conference in Islamabad he said  969 Megawatt Neelum-Jhelum Power Project will be linked with the national grid in February next year. 


He said work has also been started on Karot and Kohala Power Projects having a capacity of 720 MW and 1,124 MW respectively.


The AJK President said other projects in the pipeline are at Azad Pattan and Mahal, with the projected capacity of 640 MW and 590 MW respectively.





Saudi Arabia says it has destroyed a ballistic missile fired by Houthi militia from Yemen.


According to official Saudi news agency, the missile targeted an unpopulated area in south of capital Riyadh causing no casualties.


Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition air forces in an immediate retaliatory action have destroyed the missile launching pads in Yemen from where the ballistic missile was fired.




US President Donald Trump has left for Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip since assuming his office.


During his visit, he will attend the Arab-Islamic-US Summit in Riyadh.




United Nations has said that twenty million people in four African countries are on the brink of famine.


Addressing a news conference in Rome, senior officials of World Food Programme and UN Food and Agriculture Organization said people in northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen are facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis due to drought and armed conflicts.


They said the conflict and adverse climate have also affected animals and fields.




In Iran, vote counting for the 12th presidential elections is in progress.


According to Iranian Interior Ministry, more than 40 million votes were cast indicating a turnout of about 70 per cent.


Four candidates are in the run for the presidential slot. However, main contest is between incumbent President Hassan Rouhani and Ebrahim Raeisi.




In Iraq, eleven people including four police officers have been killed and twenty injured in two car bomb blasts in southwestern Baghdad.


Iraqi police officials said the first attack targeted a police checkpoint whereas the second blast hit a nearby crowded street.




In Libya, the death toll in clashes between rival factions at Brak El-Shati airbase has risen to 141.




The second session of the World Heavy Weight Pro-Wrestling Competition was held at Al-Hamra Complex Lahore last night.


Twenty International Wrestlers including former WWE stars Wade Barrett and Carlito took part in the competition, highly enthralling  the spectators.


The third event of the competition will be held in Islamabad on Sunday .





Mainly hot and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country during the next twelve hours.


However, light rain-thunderstorm with gusty winds is expected at a few places in Hazara division, FATA and Kashmir.


Temperature of some major cities recorded on Saturday morning:


Islamabad twenty degree centigrade, Lahore twenty-seven, Karachi twenty-eight, Peshawar twenty-three, Quetta  nineteen and Gilgit , Murree and Muzaffarabad seventeen degree centigrade.



Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board, Dr Umar Saif has said Pakistan has excellent youth potential to obtain vast economic opportunities through freelancing under the Chief Minister Punjab’s e-Rozgaar Programme.


He said this while launching the first-ever e-Rozgaar Centre at University of Gujrat.


Dr Umar Saif said the programme would empower the youth to create jobs for themselves in technical, non-technical and creative areas.   


He said E-Rozgaar centres are being established in eleven universities of Punjab.         





Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif says CPEC will change destiny of the country.


Talking to elected members in Lahore he said all conspiracies against CPEC will be foiled.


The Chief Minister said these elements are not well-wishers of the people.  




Three persons died and several injured when a wall collapsed due to strong winds in Misri Shah Lahore.


The injured have been shifted to the Mayo Hospital.



Bangladesh beat Ireland by eight wickets in the 4th One-Day International of tri-nation series at Dublin in Ireland last night.


Batting first, Ireland made 181 runs in the 46.3 overs.


In reply, Bangladesh achieved the target in 27.1 overs for the loss of two wickets.

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