Posts tagged ‘Ministry’

July 2, 2011

Devolution of Education Ministry criticised

Devolution of Education Ministry criticised
Rawalpindi, July 02: Pakistan Green Task Force Chairman Dr. Jamal Nasir has criticised the devolution of Ministry of Education and termed it a conspiracy against the people of Pakistan and said uniformity in the education system is the only solution of all issues.

“We can attain the goal of progress and prosperity by educating our young generation without any discrimination of cast, creed and colour. The current education system based on social status is spoiling the future of intelligent deserving students,” he stated this while addressing a seminar organised by Private Schools Network, says a press release issued here on Friday.

Dr. Jamal said that discrimination in the education system has disappointed the youngsters and also badly affected the carrier of new generation. He said: “We can bring revolution through promotion of education from grassroots level, the present conditions of our public sector educational institution is dilapidated and besides up gradation of these institutions it is imperative to provide a suitable and congenial atmosphere in which students could excel their capabilities and talent.”

July 2, 2011

Ministry wants more: ECC allows 13 per cent increase in gas prices for fertiliser plants

 Some ministers oppose rise in fuel prices for fertiliser manufacturers, CNG outlets . DESIGN: CREATIVE COMMONS


The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet has quietly given the go-ahead to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to increase gas price by 13.15 per cent for fertiliser manufacturers with immediate effect.

The ministry had proposed an increase of 100 per cent in gas price for fertiliser plants effective from July 1, 2011. However, ECC accorded approval for an increase of 13.15 per cent which was worked out by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) and directed the petroleum ministry to seek approval either from the prime minister or cabinet for the 100 per cent increase.

The ministry had sought ECC’s approval for increasing gas tariff from 10 to 15 per cent for domestic consumers, 15 to 20 per cent for commercial and industrial consumers and 100 per cent for fertiliser manufacturers. It had also proposed taking prices of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to 65 per cent of petrol price. At present, CNG price stands at 50 per cent of petrol price.

Sources said during the meeting of ECC on Thursday, some ministers opposed the increase in gas prices for CNG outlets and fertiliser plants.

Fertiliser factories are paying Rs59.28 to Rs102.01 per million British thermal unit (mmbtu) for gas being used as feedstock in Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited’s (SNGPL) system. Commercial consumers are paying Rs563.76 per mmbtu, CNG Rs503.63 per mmbtu, industrial consumers Rs382.37 per mmbtu and power plants Rs332.36 to Rs980.61 per mmbtu.

“The petroleum ministry wants to end distortion in gas prices and ECC has in principle agreed to this by approving the increase in prices,” an official said, adding, however, the issue would be taken up with the prime minister and cabinet for a formal approval.

“If power plants and other consumers are paying higher prices for gas, then why fertiliser manufacturers should not pay the same price,” the official said, adding the idea behind the increase in gas price for fertiliser units by 100 per cent was to bring it on a par with prices paid by other consumers.

Sources stressed that old fertiliser plants had benefited much from cheaper gas supply and the subsidy could not continue for long as different sectors, particularly textile, were protesting against the concession.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2011.

June 30, 2011

Airblue Crash: Defence Ministry refuses to submit report to NA committee

Defence Minister Chaudhary Ahmed Mukhtar said that the government had given a four-page detail of defence expenditures instead of a one- liner.

ISLAMABAD: The Defence Ministry refused to submit the inquiry report into the Air Blue crash accident to the National Assembly’s (NA) Standing Committee on Human Rights, on Wednesday.

Ministry officials briefed the standing committee about the investigations’ progress and admitted that they have all facts and figures regarding the accident but are not authorized to forward information to the committee, citing some legal issues which will be resolved soon, after which the report will be forwarded to Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and made public afterwards.

The NA Committee, however, expressed its reservations on the non- payment of compensation to the crash affectees and directed it to be paid within four months.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar had said that officials know the reason behind the Air Blue crash in 2010, but details could not be made public at this time.

Speaking during a press briefing, Mukhtar also said that some important details regarding the attack on the PNS Mehran base had been uncovered, but these too could not be made public at this time.

These details have however been shared with the national assembly standing committee on defence in private.

Relations with the US

The Defence Minister said that Pakistan is reviewing its relations with the US on the war on terror.

During a meeting of the national assembly standing committee on defence, Mukhtar said Pakistan is spending its own money in the war on terror as the coalition support funds are halted.

He further said that losses continue to mount for Pakistan, in human and financial terms.

The defence minister denied any knowledge of the whereabouts of Mullah Omar and said that after the Bin Laden raid, even if he were here, he would have fled Pakistan.

Pakistan was expecting $500 million (Rs43 billion) in the last tranche of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), which was set up by the US Congress after the 9/11 attacks to reimburse allies for costs in supporting the US-led war on militancy. On April 25, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh had announced after a visit to the US that the Obama administration was “firmly committed” to releasing at least $500 to $600 million by June 30.

A finance ministry official said that the US Congress is yet to clear the transaction.

US bases in Pakistan

Mukhtar said that Pakistan told the United States to leave Shamsi air base reportedly used as a hub for covert CIA drone attacks.

“We have told them (US officials) to leave the air base,” national news agency APP quoted Mukhtar as telling a group of journalists in his office.

The air strip is 900 kilometres southwest of the capital Islamabad in Baluchistan province.

A US embassy spokeswoman told AFP there were no US military personnel at the Shamsi base.

CNN reported in April that US military personnel had left the base, said to be a key hub for American drone operations, in the fallout over public killings by a CIA contractor in Lahore and his subsequent detention.

Reports said operations at the base, which Washington has not publicly acknowledged, were conducted with tacit Pakistani military consent.

Mukhtar also denied the presence of American troops at Ghazi base in Tarbela, stating that it is being operated by Pakistan.