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All Parties Conference postponed: Marriyum

The conference will be held on February 9.

Published by Noor Fatima



Islamabad: The federal information and broadcasting minister Marriyum Aurangzeb Monday informed that the All Parties Conference (APC) called by the Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on the issue of terrorism will be held on February 9 (Thursday) in Islamabad instead of February 7.

The federal minister turned to Twitter and wrote: “All the national and political leadership of the country has been invited”.

She stated that, a joint strategy will be formulated to combat terrorism, the challenges faced, adding that “The National Action Plan will be reviewed”.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Hussain Chaudhry stated that Shahbaz Sharif had invited PTI on media to join APC on the issue of terrorism, adding that “PTI had not received any invitation in this regard”.

He said that they would consult about the participation in the conference only if they receive a proper invitation.

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PTA to block more controversial websites

The authority had asked Wikipedia to register in Pakistan.

Published by Noor Fatima



Lahore: Lahore High Court (LHC) Monday allowed Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block more controversial websites after Wikipedia.

A hearing was held on a miscellaneous petition filed in the LHC to implement the court order related to the distortion in the translation of the Holy Quran.

During the hearing, the lawyer of PTA took the stand that Wikipedia had been asked to register in Pakistan, however, it currently had been banned.

The court allowed the authority to block more controversial websites and sought reports from the federal government and others on February 16.

It is pertinent to note that PTA had blocked the encyclopedia website 'Wikipedia' in Pakistan on February 4 for not removing offensive content.


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Fiscal deficit contained at 1.4%, primary balance improves

The report termed fiscal consolidation as the key to saving official reserves and exchange rate stability of the country.

Published by Mehak Javed



Islamabad: The fiscal deficit during the first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal year has been contained at the same level of 1.4 percent of GDP as it was recorded in the comparable period last year, finance ministry said in a report.

According to the monthly Economic Update and Outlook for January 2023, the primary balance improved during July-November (FY2023) and posted a surplus of Rs 511 billion (0.6 percent of GDP) against the deficit of Rs 36 billion (-0.1 percent of GDP) last year.

“The first five months of CFY have ended with some developments; containing fiscal deficit and surplus in primary balance due to effective fiscal management,” it says.

According to the report, the private sector credit observed developments in the month of December 2022 as it increased by Rs 458 billion compared Rs 413.6 billion in December 2021, emanated more credit demand both from working capital and fixed investment.

During 1st July to December 30, FY2023 money supply (M2) showed growth of 2.0 percent (Rs. 562.8 billion) compared to growth of 4.3 percent (Rs. 1047.3 billion) in last year.

The current account deficit shrank to $ 400 million in December 2022 as against $ 1857 million in the same period last year, largely reflecting an improvement in the trade balance.

Current Account posted a deficit of $ 3.7 billion for Jul-Dec FY2023 as against a deficit of $ 9.1 billion last year, mainly due to a contraction in imports.

The report termed fiscal consolidation as the key to saving official reserves and exchange rate stability of the country. It says, the fiscal consolidation may temporarily be costly in terms of growth prospects in the short term. However, long-run prosperity and growth could only be achieved by augmenting the country’s long-term equilibrium growth path by expanding production capacities and productivity.

The report says, Pakistan was currently confronted with the challenges like high inflation, low growth, and low levels of official foreign exchange reserves.

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