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Railways’ concessional fares for Ramzan 

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways would offer 20 percent discount on advance booking on all classes of its passenger trains during the holy month of Ramzan.

According to a spokesman of Pakistan Railways, 20 percent concession had been announced on all train tickets during Ramzan.

The call was made to offer affordable Railways fares to passengers across the nation ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr. The spokesman said the Minister has also directed the authorities to give special concession to passengers during the holidays of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pakistan Railways, Abdul Hameed Razi said that it was an honor for the department that when the transporters hiked fares, Pakistan Railways reduced them for its valued customers.

Abdul Hameed Razi said that Pakistan Railways had announced to reduce its fares on more than two dozen different occasions during the last five years.

RELEVANT PIECE: Khawaja Saad Rafique Railways Minister has ordered the railways administration to ensure respect to families in trains and reserve separate quota reserved for them.

Presiding over a meeting on modernization in the railways through information technology and provision of facilities to passengers held at the railways’ headquarters here on Saturday, he said the families quota should also be defined in online reservation.

He also directed the administration to create awareness among the public regarding special quota for women who were traveling alone so that the train journey could be made more secure and comfortable for them. “Curtains are also being installed in trains to ensure respect to families,” he added.

The minister directed that refund after the departure of the train to passengers should be ensured through one window operation.

He said the process of connecting the issuing or change of tickets in trains during travel with a central computerized network of the railways through hand-held devices had been completed and it was being started in Karakuram Express train as a pilot project.

EXCLUSIVE NPTV PHOTO BY AIMAN INAM

 

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Pakistan

US announces sanctions on key Iranian paramilitary force

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WASHINGTON: The US Treasury Department today slapped sanctions on an Iranian paramilitary group along with a network of businesses that were providing it financing, as part of Washington’s campaign of maximum economic pressure against Tehran.
In announcing the sanctions, Treasury said a network of more than 20 businesses known as the Bonyad Taavon Basij was financing the Basij Resistance Force, a component of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
“The international community must understand that business entanglements with the Bonyad Taavon Basij network and IRGC front companies have real-world humanitarian consequences,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The Basij, a paramilitary force formed soon after the 1979 revolution, is one of the Iranian regime’s primary enforcers of internal security with branches in every province and city of Iran, according to the US Treasury.
The Bonyad Taavon Basij is said to provide the Basij militia social welfare services, including housing and financial support, and manages economic activities by funding small companies. “Bonyad Taavon Basij has expanded its reach into Iran’s economy by establishing several investment firms through its financial and investment offshoot Mehr Eqtesad Bank,” the Treasury statement said.
Among the other companies singled out was Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company (ITMC), the largest tractor manufacturer in the Middle East and North Africa which predates the Iranian revolution, that generates millions of dollars in profit for the investment firms that represent the Basij. Also targeted was Iran’s Zinc Mines Development Company, described as the country’s “preeminent, multibillion-dollar zinc and lead mining and processing holding company.”

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Education

US Govt. assistance in Pk. focuses on education!

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KARACHI: U.S. Consul General JoAnne Wagner interacted with youth at a forum organized by the Karachi Rotaract Club and highlighted the role that youth can play for the welfare of society by promoting peace and harmony.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Mission Director for Sindh and Balochistan, John Smith-Screen also accompanied the Consul General on this visit.  Dr. Anum Akram, Rotaract Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan provided an overview of Rotaract while Hassan Naviwala, Member Rotaract, outlined Rotaract’s programs and the Club’s role in the community. 

With one of the highest youth populations in the world, Pakistan has a unique opportunity for social, political and economic progress. However, the challenge of keeping youth productively engaged is also enormous. Therefore the U.S. government is supporting the Government of Pakistan as well as private youth fora across the country and holds interactive sessions between youth and policy-makers, and provides grants to organizations that seek to promote social tolerance and community cohesion among young people.

“I’m pleased to see youth, like those gathered in this room tonight, taking steps and creating organizations and public spaces which are an essential platform for development,” said Consul General Wagner. “Many U.S. government assistance activities in Pakistan focus on education, training, employment opportunities, and more inclusive communities for youth.”

Consul General Wagner also highlighted some USAID programs supporting youth such as the Centers for Advanced Studies in various disciplines which send students and faculty on exchange programs to partnering U.S. universities. She also spoke of the support for building 118 schools and improving education in Sindh to allow millions of children to have a brighter future, as well as focused job-readiness training to youth and helping them find jobs or become entrepreneurs. Within Karachi, USAID has partnered with UNDP and Aman Foundation to provide job skills training to 21,500 young people. About 65% of those trained so far have found employment.

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Business

ECC approves uninterrupted gas supply to export oriented industry

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ECC approves uninterrupted gas supply

ISLAMABAD: Economic Coordination Committee at its meeting here today approved the mechanism for supply of uninterrupted gas to zero-rated export-oriented industry.

The meeting chaired by Finance Minister Asad Umar approved the supply of RLNG to the export industry for three months from December this year to February next month.

According to the mechanism, the export sectors will be provided mix energy including RLNG from March to November.

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