Special economic zones to be established to increase industrial production: Jatoi


Solid measures afoot for promotion of tea cultivation, NA told

The National Assembly was informed Friday that the government is actively pursuing measures to increase industrial production.

Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi told the House during Question Hour that the measures include establishment of industrial parts and special economic zones in the country in which the industrialists will be given a number of incentives.

He said that a new automotive development policy has been launched to attract investments in the automobile industry.

Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali told the House that work on Tarbela-IV Extension Hydropower project is in progress. He said the project is expected to be completed by June next year. He said an agreement has been reached with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government under which the feeders having 70 to 75 per cent recoveries have been exempted from power outages. He said efforts are being made to improve and upgrade transmission system in the country including in the Balochistan province.

Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr Darshan told the House that the manufacturing of generic drugs is being encouraged and facilitated as they are cheaper than the branded drugs. He said that priority is also being given to grant new licenses to increase local production of drugs. He said the increase in competition will result in the reduction of prices of drugs.

Parliamentary Secretary for National Food Security Rajab Ali Baloch told the House that the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council has introduced several varieties of crops including wheat, canola, sunflower and maize to enhance agri yield.

Parliamentary Secretary for National Food Security and Research Rajab Ali Khan Baloch said on Friday National Tea and High Value Research Institute (NTHRI) Mansehra is working for the promotion of tea cultivation in the country.

Speaking during Question Hour, the parliamentary secretary said in the National Assembly that the NTHRI has established a tea garden on 34 acres at the institute and 50 acres at farmers’ fields in Mansehra district. He said that 4.5 tonnes of green tea had been produced and processed.

He said efforts were being made to acquire new tea germplasm from Sri Lanka, Kenya and Turkey, adding that two development projects were underway for the promotion of tea in the country including participatory development of tea value chain around the Mansehra area under the Agriculture Linkage Programme (ALP).

He said the other project was mechanisation of tea production and promotion of green tea to improve profitability under the Research for Agriculture Development Programme (RADP).

Replying to another question, he said Pakistan Agri Storage and Services Corp (PASSCO) Ltd had procured 779,541 million tonnes of wheat during the current year (2016) from Punjab and other provinces.

He said dispatches of wheat stocks of 146,369 million tonnes to the recipient agencies have been made from April 1 to July 28 this year.

He said PASSCO stored approximately 80 per cent of wheat stocks in the open on raised plinths but no storage loss occurred due to the best management practices and care and preservation of stocks by the PASSCO field staff.

He said PASSCO’s situation with regard to availability of grain-storage is precarious keeping in view the dearth of brick and mortar godowns.

He said PASSCO commenced construction of 20 godowns and construction of 10 godowns has already been completed, which will enhance and develop PASSCO’s grain storage capacity by an additional 22,000 million tonnes.