Purchase of 1000MW electricity from Iran welcomed

LAHORE (APP): Progressive Group, a representative forum of businessmen and traders, has welcomed the decision of Nepra to grant approval to purchase of 1000 mw electricity from Iran terming it a step in right direction. Group’s President Khalid Usman and Secretary Information Muhammad Ijaz Tanveer said Pakistan is facing severe power shortage for last over one decade and importing electricity on reasonable rates from our neighbouring friendly countries is an appreciable step by the present government. Nevertheless, interest of the masses of Pakistan should be kept in mind while negotiating tariff with these countries and government should pay attention that no quarter could secure any kickback or unfair incentive during such deals.

However, they urged the government to take steps which could resolve this issue on permanent basis and ensure providing cheaper electricity not only for domestic sector as well as for industrial and commercial purposes. It will help achieving economic turnaround, they added.

Progressive Group leaders said there was a dire need to initiate work on different dams including Kalabagh Dam and coal-fired electricity generation plants for being even cheaper than that of gas fired units. Availability of electricity was not the only issue being faced by the business community but it should be cheaper as well.

Gas pipeline project for re-gasification of LNG to be completed by 2017

ISLAMABAD (NNI): The gas pipeline project for re-gasification of LNG undertaken by a Russian company will be completed by 2017. A Finance Ministry statement said the pipeline project will facilitate free flow of estimated 550 MMCFD of gas. The pipeline will also feed 3,600 MW power projects in Punjab. A 4-member delegation of Russian company Rostec Global Resources met Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and discussed construction of 1,100 KM North South Gas Pipeline project. Chairman Rostec Global Resources informed the minister that the project will be executed on Government to Government basis and bulk of the financing raised by the Russian side.

ICCI for focus on Russia to

promote agri exports

ISLAMABAD (INP): Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the government to extend all possible assistance and facilitation to exporters for focusing on Russia as it offered immense untapped opportunities for boosting exports of agricultural products. Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that Russian food and agricultural imports stood at USD 43 billion during 2013 while its ban on import of food products from West and Europe has created a huge opportunity for Pakistan to enhance its agricultural exports to Russia. He said that Pakistan’s current trade with Russia was hovering around USD 500 million while there was great scope to improve it.

He said Pakistan has the potential to promote exports of many agro products to Russia including rice, fruits & vegetables, dairy products, sea food which are in huge demand in that big market.

Abdul Rauf Alam, Chairman ICCI Founder Group said that Russia’s annual import of citrus were around USD 1.60 billion, but Pakistan’s share in them was below 3 percent, which could be significantly improved with better marketing and facilitation to exporters.  He said Russian import of dairy products was about USD 4.3 billion and Pakistan was one of the leading milk producers in the world. He said Pakistan should focus on value addition of dairy products to grab better market share in Russia. Muhammad Shakeel Munir, Senior Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Pakistan could also enhance export of potatoes to Russia and emphasized that Pakistani companies should bring quarantine & quality standards at par with international requirements in order to improve export of food products to Russia and Central Asian States. Muhammad Ashfaq Hussain Chatha, Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry stressed that government should fully assist and facilitate the private sector in identifying all exportable agricultural products in Russian market and help them in improving quality standards for taking full advantage of available export opportunities in this huge market.