May 302017
 

ALI SUKHANVER

Those who are interested in the secrets of the hidden world of the intelligence agencies might have read this famous quotation, ‘a spy sitting in the right place saves the life of at least 20,000 soldiers of his nation’. But the Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav simply turned this quotation upside down. Instead of saving 20000 soldiers he put the whole Indian nation into trouble. How pathetic is that from Mr. Modi to every man in the streets of India has been compelled to raise his protesting-voice in favour of a criminal who was earlier not accepted even as an Indian citizen. At the cost of the whole of the Indian nation, the International Court of Justice had to be dragged into a matter which brought nothing but shame and insult for the whole of the ‘Shinning India’. But this all makes no difference to Pakistan. Jadhav is going to be hanged very soon as his activities are directly linked with the security affairs of Pakistan and such affairs are beyond the jurisdiction of the ICJ. “In some issues, Pakistan does recognize the jurisdiction of the ICJ,” said Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria in a recent statement after his meetings with Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali and Pakistan’s representative at the International Court of Justice Khawar Qureshi, “Jhadav’s case is related to Pakistan’s security. Commander Jadhav continues to provide vital intelligence with regard to recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan. India is just twisting the facts and trying to give this case a humanitarian angle.”A senior official at the foreign ministry said talking to media, “It was decided in the meetings that every effort will be made to expose India before the international community and to ensure punishment for Kulbhushan Jadhav as Pakistan has a very solid case against him.” Mr. Khawar Qureshi said, ‘The staying of Kulbhushan execution by the ICJ is not on our mind. This is a normal practice as the case could not move forward if Jadhav is executed.’ All these meetings were arranged to discuss the future line of action with reference to Kulbhushan’s case.

Certainly the case of Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav is not a simple matter of a spy, it is the matter of Pakistan’s defence and security; it is the matter of killings of so many innocent people; it is the matter of pushing Pakistani society into the inferno of sectarian-divide and linguistic-hatred; it is a matter of keeping the foreign investors away from Pakistan and all these matters lead to social insecurity and no doubt to destruction of the whole economic structure. Jadhav is not just a spy, he is a terrorist and a terrorist never deserves any soft corner. R&AW’s futile efforts of spreading anarchy in Pakistan and its useless struggle of destabilizing Pakistani society are nothing new; since after the creation of Pakistan, it has ever been an ‘official dream’ of India to keep Pakistan in trouble, sometimes with the help of its ‘media-soldiers’ and sometimes with the help of the R&AW and sometimes with the support of the so-called Militant Organizations.

Spies do work in hostile lands; it is a ‘part of game’ but forgiving spies is nowhere a part of game. Spies are treated everywhere with all possible strictness rather rudeness and rigidity but in Pakistan, the natural and national temperamental peacefulness and kindheartedness with the neighbors has ever been a hurdle in a way to deal with the spies, particularly the spies belonging to India. The security agencies of Pakistan have so many times caught the Indian spies red-handed and after giving them all possible opportunities of proving their innocence and after following complete legal procedure sent them behind the bars but during all this process such criminals are never treated brutally. The reason behind this soft-behaviour might be that the spies are considered ‘illegal-diplomats’ of the countries they belong to. Kulbhushan Jadhav was also treated with the same kindness. People might have noticed the appearance of Jadhav during his confession-statement; freshly and nicely shaven face, neatly dressed with very peaceful expressions on his face; he was looking like a high-ranked army officer. He seemed neither under influence of some violence nor under some mental torture. It seemed that he had got tired of the dirty game of which he had been a part since long and he wanted to get rid of all that rubbish. If you look back at the record-files of the Indian spies arrested in Pakistan you would be astonished to know that they are hundreds in number. It is the high-time for Pakistan to put a full-stop to India’s dirty game of sending her spies here. Pakistan will have to make sure that Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav is punished for killing innocent people and it is the most suitable way of exposing India’s dirty face before the international community.

 

May 272017
 

موبائل کالز، مرغی، کھاد سستی، سیمنٹ، سریا،دودھ مہنگا، تنخواہوں، پنشن میں 10 فیصد اضافہ، کم از کم اجرت 15 ہزار

اسلام آباد : آئندہ مالی سال 2017-18ء کا 47؍ کھرب 53؍ ارب روپے حجم پر مشتمل 1480؍ ارب روپے خسارے کاوفاقی بجٹ وزیر خزانہ اسحاق ڈار نے قومی اسمبلی میں پیش کر دیا ہے جس میں افواج پاکستان اور سرکاری ملازمیں کی تنخواہوں اور پنشن میں 10؍ فیصد اضافہ کیا گیا ہے یہ10؍ فیصد  اضافہ 2009ء میں 15؍ فیصد اور 2010ء میں 50؍ فیصد ایڈہاک الاؤنس بنیادی تنخواہوں میں ضم کرکے دیا جائے گا ۔ کم از کم اجرت 15ہزار ماہانہ کر دی گئی ہے ، موبائل فونز کالز ، مرغی پولٹری مصنوعات ، کھاد سستے جبکہ سیمنٹ ، سریا اور خشک دودھ مہنگے ہوگئے ہیں ، سگریٹ ، پان چھالیہ ، میک اپ کے سامان اور درآمدی کپڑے اور گھڑیوں پر ڈیوٹی میں اضافہ کیا گیا ہے ، زرعی مشینری ، پنکھے ، آٹو پارٹس ، بچوں کے ڈائپرز، اسمارٹ موبائل فونز ، ہائبرڈ الیکٹرک گاڑیاں ، آلات جراحی بھی سستے ہوئے ہیں ، آئی ٹی سروسز کی ایکسپورٹ پر سیلز ٹیکس معاف کردیا گیا جبکہ برتن سازی کی صنعت پر ریگولیٹری ڈیوٹی کم کردی گئی ہے ، گھر بنانے کیلئے 10لاکھ قرض پر حکومت 40فیصد کی گارنٹی دے گی، بلڈرز اور ڈویلپرز پر فکسڈ ٹیکس ختم ہوگیا ، ملٹی میڈیا پروجیکٹرز پر ٹیکس کم کردیا گیا ۔ تفصیلات کے مطابق آئندہ مالی سال 2017-18ء کا 47؍ کھرب 53؍ ارب روپے حجم پر مشتمل1480ارب روپے خسارے کاوفاقی بجٹ وزیر خزانہ اسحاق ڈار نے قومی اسمبلی میں پیش کر دیا ، افواج پاکستان اور سرکاری ملازمین کی تنخواہوں میں 2009میں دیا گیا 15فیصد اہڈہاک الائونس اور 2010 میں دیا گیا 50فیصد اہڈہاک الائونس بنیادی تنخواہ میں ضم کر کے اس پر 10فیصد تنخواہ میں اضافہ کر دیا گیا ،پنشن میں بھی 10فیصد اضافہ کر دیا گیا ، سیمنٹ ، سگریٹ ، سٹیل، پان چھالیہ ، دودھ مہنگے کردیئے گئے ، زرعی اور ٹیکسٹائل مشینری ، پولٹری مصنوعات ، پنکھے ، آٹو پارٹس ، بچوں کے ڈائپرز، سمارٹ موبائل فون سستے کر دیئے گئے ، کم از کم اجرت 15ہزار ماہانہ کر دی گئی ہے ،ساڑھے 12ایکڑ اراضی کے حامل کسانوں کیلئے زرعی قرضوں پر مارک اپ کی شرح 14فیصد سے کم کر کے 9.9؍ فیصد کر دی گئی ، دفاعی بجٹ میں 79؍ ارب روپے کا اضافہ کیا گیا ہے ،آئندہ مالی سال جی ڈی پی کا ہدف 6فیصد رکھاگیا ہے ، سرمایہ کاری کی شرح جی ڈی پی کے 17فیصد، مہنگائی کی شرح 6سے کم اور بجٹ خسارہ 4.1فیصد رکھا گیا ہے ، ٹیکس کی شرح جی ڈی پی کے 13.7فیصد ، زرمبادلہ کے ذخائر چار ماہ کی درآمدات کے برابر اور مجموعی قرضے کی شرح کو جی ڈی پی کے 60فیصد تک لانے کا ہدف مقرر کیا گیا ہے، روزمرہ اشیاءپر ودہولڈنگ ٹیکس کی شرح کو 3.5فیصد کو کم کر کے 2.5فیصد کر دیا گیا ، کپڑے کی کمرشل درآمد پر6فیصد سیلز ٹیکس عائد کر دیا گیا ، سیمنٹ پر فیڈرل ایکسائز ڈیوٹی میں ایک روپے فی کلو گرام سے 1.25روپے فی کلوگرام اضافے کیا گیا ،اسی طرح میک اپ کے سامان، درآمدی کپڑے اور گھڑیوں پر ڈیوٹی میں اضافہ کیا گیا ہے۔ سرکاری ملازمین کی بنیادی تنخواہ میں 2009اور 2010کے ایڈک الائونس  ضم کر کے 10فیصد ایڈہاک الائونس دیا گیا ہے ، افواج پاکستان کو ردالفساد الائونس دیا گیا ہے ، گریڈ پانچ کے سرکاری ملازمین کو 5فیصد ہائوس رینٹ الائونس کی کٹوتی سے مستثنیٰ کر دیا گیاہے ، ڈیلی الائونس کے ریٹ کی شرح میں 60فیصد اضافہ کر دیا گیا ، اردلی کے الائونس کو 12ہزار روپے سے بڑھا کر 14ہزار روپے کر دیا گیا ، میت کی منتقلی و تدفین کی موجودہ شرح کو 1600روپے سے بڑھا کر 48سو روپے اور 5000روپے سے بڑھا کر 15ہزار روپے کر دیا گیا ، پاکستان بحریہ کے الائونسزکو بڑھا دیا گیا ، ڈیزائن الائونس میں 50فیصد اضافہ کر دیا گیا ، پاکستان پوسٹ کے الائونسز میں بھی اضافہ کر دیا گیا ، ایف سی کے اہلکاروں کو 8000روپے فکسڈ الائونس دیا جائےگا، تنخواہوں میں اضافے سے 125 ارب روپے کے اضافی اخراجات ہونگے ، فارما سیوٹیکل سیکٹر میں سرجیکل گائوون، بینڈجز، اور مرہم پٹی پر کسٹم ڈیوٹی 16 فیصد سے کم کر کے 5فیصد کر دی گئی ہے ، ملٹی میڈیا پروجیکٹرز پر سیلزٹیکس کی شرح 17فیصد سے کم کر کے 10فیصد کر دی گئی ہے، دوا ساز صنعتوں کیلئے اخراجات کی حدفروخت پانچ سے 10فیصد کر دی گئی ، آئل کمپنیوں پر عائد دو فیصد ٹیکس ختم کرنے کی تجویز دی گئی ہے، کارپوریٹ سیکٹرکیلئے ٹیکس کی شرح 30فیصد ہوگی ، بلڈرزاور ڈویلپرز پر فکسڈ ٹیکس فی یونٹ ختم کر دیاگیا ، الیکٹرانک اشیاء کے ڈیلر ، ڈسٹری بیوٹرز اور ہول سیلرز پر ودہولڈنگ ٹیکس کی شرح 0.5فیصد سے بڑھا کر ایک فیصد کر دی گئی ، نان فائلرز پر ٹھیکوں ، فروخت اور خدمات ، غیر مقیم افراد کو ادائیگی ، کرائے سے آمدنی ، پرائز بانڈ ، سی این جی اسٹیشن کے گیس بل کی وصولی ، صنعت کاروں ، درآمد کنندگان کی ڈسٹری بیوٹرز ، ڈیلرزاور ہول سیلرز کو فروخت پر اورلاٹری کےانعامات ، کمیشن ، نیلامی پر ودہولڈنگ ٹیکس بڑھا دیا گیاتاہم فائلرز کیلئےموجودہ شرح برقرار رہے گی ، وزیر اعظم کی یوتھ لون اسکیم کے تحت لی گئی گاڑیوں پر ودہولڈنگ ٹیکس میں چھوٹ دے دی گئی ، فائلرز کیلئے گاڑیوں کی رجسٹریشن پر ودہولڈنگ ٹیکس میںکمی کر دی گئی اور 850سی سی تک کی گاڑیوں پر عائد 10ہزار روپے سے کم کر کے 7500روپے ، 851سے 1000سی سی تک کی گاڑیوں پر عائد شرح 20ہزار سے  کم کر کے 15ہزار روپے کر دی گئی اور 1001سے 1300سی سی گاڑیوں کی شرح پر ٹیکس  30ہزار سے کم کر کے 25ہزار روپے کر دیا گیا ، آئندہ مالی سال کیلئے خام کھالوں پر کسٹم ڈیوٹی کم کر کے صفر کی جارہی ہے ، کم آمدنی والے افراد کوقرض کی فراہمی کیلئےسٹیٹ بنک میں 8ارب روپے سے فنڈقائم کیا جائیگا، برانچ لیس بنکنگ سے رقوم نکلوانے پر ودہولڈنگ ٹیکس میں چھوٹ دی گئی ہے۔ موبائل فون کمپنیوں کے سامان کی درآمد پر ڈیوٹی میں کمی کر دی گئی، جدید ، سمارٹ فونز پر کسٹم ڈیوٹی کو ایک ہزار سے کم کر کے 650روپے کر دیا گیا، وہ ٹیکس گزار جن کی آمدنی پانچ لاکھ روپے یا زیادہ ہے وہ سال گزشتہ کے ادا شدہ ٹیکس کے حساب سے چار اقساط میں ایڈوانس ٹیکس ادا کرسکتےہیں ، آمدنی کی اس حد کو 10لاکھ روپے کر دیا گیا ، آئندہ برس ٹیکسوں کی وصولی کے ہدف میں 14فیصد اضافہ کیا گیا ہے ، ایف بی آر کے ٹیکسوں کا ہدف 4013ارب روپے ، دیگر ٹیکسز317.5ارب روپے کا ہدف رکھا گیا ہےجبکہ وفاقی اخراجات میں11فیصد اضافہ کیا گیا ، اس طرح مجموعی ریونیو کا ہدف 4330.50ارب روپے ہے، نان ٹیکس ریونیو 979.9؍ ارب روپے کا ہدف ہے ، بیرونی قرضوں کی ادائیگی کا تخمینہ 837.8ارب روپے لگایا گیا ہے، قرضوں پر سود کی ادائیگی کا ہدف 1363ارب روپے، پنشن کی مد میں 248ارب روپے ، گرانٹس اور ٹرانسفرز پر 430.20ارب روپے ، سبسڈیز پر 138.80ارب روپے ، تنخواہوں کے اخراجات 376.80ارب روپے ہونگے ، وفاقی حکومت کی نان ٹیکس وصولیوں کو 7فیصد تک بڑھایا گیا ہے، ترقیاتی بجٹ میں گزشتہ سال کے  نظرثانی شدہ 715ارب روپے کے ترقیاتی بجٹ کے مقابلے میں 40فیصد زیادہ ہے ، آئندہ برس جاری اخراجات کو افراط زر کی شرح سے کم رکھا جائےگا، 2018کے موسم سرما میں 10ہزار میگاواٹ اضافی بجلی نیشنل گرڈ میں شامل کی جائیگی ، ایئر پورٹ ، اسپتال اور پانی صاف کرنے کے پلانٹ سمیت گوادر کی ترقی کیلئے سرمایہ کاری کی جائیگی، 300بجلی کے یونٹ استعمال کرنیوالوں کیلئے سبسڈی جاری رکھی جائے گی ، بلوچستان کے کسانوں کیلئے ٹیوب ویل پر سبسڈی جاری رکھی گئی ہے اور ملک بھر میں زرعی ٹیو ب ویل کیلئے 5.35فیصدفی یونٹ ریٹ آئندہ برس بھی جاری رہے گا، اس کیلئے 118؍ ارب روپے مختص کیے گئے ہیں ، وزیراعظم کے مختلف اسکیموں کیلئے 20؍ ارب روپے رکھے گئے ہیں جن میںبزنس لون اسکیم ، انٹرسٹ فری لون اسکیم ، ٹریننگ اسکیم ، اسکل ڈویلپمنٹ پروگرام ، فری ری ایمبرسٹمنٹ پروگرام اورلیپ ٹاپ پروگرام شامل ہیں ، آئندہ برس بینظیر انکم سپورٹ پروگرام سے مستفید ہونیوالوں خاندانوں کو ذاتی کاروبار شروع کرنے کیلئے تربیت اور 50ہزار روپے مالی معاونت دی جائے گی ، ابتدائی طور پر دو لاکھ 50ہزار خاندانوں کو یہ گرانٹ دی جائے گی ، بجلی کے ترسیلی نظام سے دور دراز کے شہروں خاص طور پر بلوچستان کے چھوٹے شہروں کے مکینوں کیلئے شمسی توانائی سے چلنے والا نظام متعارف کرایا جائے گا، زراعت کے شعبے کیلئے وزیراعظم کسان پیکیج اور دیگر مراعاتی پروگرام جاری رکھےجائیں گے ، نئی اسکیم کے تحت چھوٹے کسانوں کو 50ہزار روپےتک قرضہ فراہم کیا جائے گا ،یہ قرضے زرعی ترقیاتی بینک ،نیشنل بینک اور دیگر بنک دینگے ،زرعی قرضوں کا حجم 700ارب روپے سے بڑھا کر 1001ار ب روپے کر دیاگیا ، درآمد شدہ یوریا کی قیمت کو ایک ہزار روپے کرنے کا فیصلہ کیا گیا ، ڈی اے پی پر فکسڈ سیلز ٹیکس لاگو کیا جائےگااور سیلز ٹیکس 400روپے سے کم کر کے سو روپے فی بوری کر دیا گیا اس سے 13ارب 80کروڑ روپے کی رعایت حاصل ہو گی ، یوریاکھاد کی بوری کی قیمت 14سو روپے برقرار رکھی گئی ہے ، کسانوں کو بینکوں سے زیادہ قرضہ کی فراہمی کیلئے پروڈکشن انڈکس یونٹ کی قدر چار ہزار سے بڑھا کر پانچ ہزار روپے کر دی گئی ، نئی اور پانچ سال تک استعمال شدہ زرعی مشنیری پر کسٹم ڈیوٹی اور سیلز ٹیکس ختم کر نےکی تجویز ہے ، درآمد شدہ سورج مکھی اورکینولہ کے ہائبرڈ بیج پر جی ایس ٹی ختم ، پولٹری کیلئےدرآمدی مشینری پر سیلز ٹیکس کی شرح 17فیصد سے کم کرکے 7فیصد کر نے کی تجویز ہے، تین سے 36ہارس پاور زرعی ڈیزل انجن برائے ٹیوب ویلزپر عائد 17فیصد سیلز ٹیکس ختم کر دیا گیا ۔ وفاقی وزیر خزانہ نے کہا کہ ملک میں 10لاکھ مکانات کی کمی ہے اورہرسال 3لاکھ طلب میں مزید اضافہ ہو رہا ہے ، گھروں کی کمی کو دور کرنے کیلئے رسک شئیرنگ گارنٹی سکیم شروع کی جائیگی ، گھر بنانے کیلئے 10لاکھ روپےکے قرضے پر حکومت بنکوں اور مالیاتی اداروں کو 40فیصد تک قرضہ کی گارنٹی فراہم کرے گی اس کے لیے6ارب روپے مخص کئے گئے ہیں۔ آئندہ مالی سال کے بجٹ میں انفرا سٹر کچر کیلئے اخراجات میں اضافہ کیا گیا ہے اور نجی شعبے کے قابل عمل منصوبوں کو انفراسٹرکچر کی مد میں قرض کی فراہمی کیلئے پاکستان انفراسٹرکچر بنک قائم کیا جائے گا،موبائل بنکنگ کے ذریعے ادائیگیوں کو آسان بنانےکیلئے دو ارب روپے کی لاگت سے جدید ای گیٹ نظام قائم کیا جائے گاقدرتی آفات سے نمٹنے کیلئے 12.58ارب روپے سے انڈومنٹ فنڈ قائم کر دیا گیا ، درمیانے درجے کے کاروبار کے لیے قرض کی فراہمی کو یقینی بنانے کیلئے سٹیٹ بنک میں تین ارب50کروڑ روپے سے رسک میٹگیشن سہولت متعارف کرانے کا فیصلہ کیا گیا ، چھوٹی صنعتوں میں ٹیکنالوجی میں جدت کیلئے ایس ایم ایز کیلئے 50کروڑ روپے سے انوویشن چیلنجزفنڈ قائم کرنے کا اعلان بھی کیا گیا ، ایس ایم ایز اور زرعی قرضوں کی فراہمی کے لیے الیکٹرانک رجسٹری قائم کی جائیگی جس کے ذریعے چھوٹے قرض خواہ اپنی منقولہ جائیداد کے عوض قرض حاصل کر سکیں گے ، جنوبی کوریا کے تعاون سے 6ارب روپے کی لاگت سے اسلام آباد میں آئی ٹی سافٹ پارک قائم کیا جائے گا ، نئی قائم ہونیوالی آئی ٹی کمپنیوں کو پہلے تین سال انکم ٹیکس میں چھوٹ دی گئی ، اسلام آباد اور وفاقی علاقہ جات میں آئی ٹی سروسز کی برآمد پر سیلز ٹیکس عائد نہیں کیا جائے گا، آئی ٹی کمپنیوں اور ہاوسز کو آمدن کو بذریعہ ترسیلات کھاتوں مین جمع کرانے کی شرط پر فارن ایکسچینج اکائونٹس کھولنے کی اجازت دی جائے گی ، یہ اکائونٹ بیرون ملک کاروباری ادائیگیوں کیلئے استعمال ہونگے ، عام آدمی کی سہولت کیلئے موبائل کال پر ودہولڈنگ ٹیکس کو 14فیصد سے کم کر کے ساڑھے 12فیصد اور ایکسائز ڈیوٹی کو ساڑھے 18فیصد سے کم کر کے 17فیصد کرنے کا فیصلہ کیا گیا ہے۔ وزیر خزانہ نے کہا کہ دہشتگردی کے خلاف بے گھر ہونیوالے افراد کی بحالی ، تعمیر نو ، فوجی کارروائی کے اخراجات کے لیےتین برس سے ہر سال  90  سے 100ارب روپے خرچ کیے جارہے ہیں ، قومی سلامتی کمیٹی کی تجویز پر اس مقصد کے لیے قابل محاصل پول سے تین فیصد حصہ مختص کرنے کی تجویز زیر غور ہے،وزیر خزانہ نے بتایا کہ گزشتہ تین برسوں میں تین ارب روپے کی امتیازی رعاتیں ور استثنیٰ دیا گیا ہے ، خام مال کی درآمد پراستثنیٰ کی انتہائی حد 110فیصد سے بڑھا کر 125فیصد کرنے کا فیصلہ کیا گیا ہے ،سٹاک ایکسچینج میں شامل ہونیوالی کمپنیوں کو پہلے دوسال ٹیکس میں20فیصد اور آخری سال 10فیصد چھوٹ دی جائے گی ، پہلے صرف دوسال تک 20فیصد کی چھوٹ تھی ، انشورنس پرئمیم پر عائد ایک فیصدودہولڈنگ ٹیکس کی حد دولاکھ سےبڑھا کر تین لاکھ روپے کر دی گئی ہے ، گلاب دیوی اسپتال ، نیشنل اکیڈمی آف پرفارمنگ آرٹس کی آمدنی کو انکم ٹیکس سے استثنیٰ دے دیا گیا۔ آئندہ مالی سال کے لیے یہ فیصلہ کیا گیا کہ پاکستان ٹوبیکو بورڈ یا اس کے ٹھیکدار تمباکو پر ٹیکس کی وصولی کے وقت پانچ فیصد کی شرح سے ودہولڈنگ ٹیکس عائد وصول کریں، ہائبرڈ ایکٹرک گاڑیوں کی مقامی سطح پر فراہمی پر عائد سیلز ٹیکس میں کمی کر دی گئی ہے ، پولٹری کی مشینری پر سیلزٹیکس کی شرح کو 17فیصد سے کم کرکے 7فیصد کر دیا گیا ، مشینری ، آلات ، آپریٹس ، اپلائسنز ، ویل چیئرز ،جراحی ڈینٹل فرنیچر اکی ڈیوٹی فری درآمد کا دائرہ کار مسلح افواج ،فوجی فائونڈیشن اور پاکستان اٹامک انرجی کمیشن کے اسپتالوں تک توسیع دے دی گئی ، الیکٹرک سگریٹوں پر صرف 3 فیصد کسٹم ڈیوٹی عائد ہے الیکٹرک سگر یٹو ں کی مناسب درجہ بندی کر کے 20 فیصد کسٹم ڈیوٹی عائد کر دی گئی ،آٹو پارٹس، پنکھوں اور برتن سازی کی صنعت سمیت دیگر کئی صنعتوں میں استعمال ہونیوالے خام مال پر اس وقت 3 فیصد کسٹم ڈیوٹی اور 10 فیصد ریگولیٹری ڈیوٹی عائد ہے۔ اس صنعت کو ریلیف دینے کیلئے ریگولیٹری ڈیوٹی کو 10 فیصد سے کم کر کے 5؍ فیصد کرنے کی تجویز ہے۔میٹالک یارن کے خام مال پر زیادہ ٹیرف ریٹ اور اس کی حتمی مصنوعات پر کم ریٹ کی وجہ سے مشکلات کا سامنا ہے۔ تجویز ہے کہ اس شعبہ کو ریلیف دینے کیلئے اس کی حتمی مصنوعات پر 5 فیصد ریگولیٹری ڈیوٹی لاگو کی جائے اور اس شعبہ کے اہم خام مال پر کسٹم ڈیوٹی 20 فیصد سے کم کر کے 11 فیصد کر دی جائے ،لکڑی کے شعبہ کو استحکام دینے کیلئےونیر شیٹس پر عائد 16 فیصد کسٹم ڈیوٹی کم کر کے 11 فیصد کرنے کی تجویز ہے۔ اسٹیل سیکٹر پر عائد سیلز ٹیکس کی شرح کو حقیقت پسندانہ کرنے کیلئے بجلی پر 9؍ روپے فی یونٹ کی موجودہ شرح کو بڑھا کر 10.5 روپے کیا جا رہا ہے اور اسی لحاظ سے شپ بریکنگ اور متعلقہ صنعتوں میں اضافہ متعارف کیا جائے گا۔ اس شعبے میں کاروبار کو آسان بنانے کیلئے اسٹیل کی صنعت کے مسائل کو مشاورت سے حل کیا جائے گا۔مرغی کے گرانٹ پیر نٹ اور پیرنٹ اسٹاک کی درآمد پر عائد 5؍ فیصد ریگولیٹری ڈیوٹی کو ختم کر دیا گیا اور کسٹمز ڈیوٹی کو 11؍ فیصد سے کم کر کے 3؍ فیصد کر نے کی تجویز ہے ۔ اس کے علاوہ تجویز ہے کہ ہیچنگ انڈوں پر عائد کسٹم ڈیوٹی کو 11 فیصد سے کم کر کے 3؍ فیصد کر دیا جائے، ، 1800سی سی تک کی ہائبرڈ گاڑیوں کی درآمد جاری رہے گی اور 1801سے 2500سی سی تک گاڑیوں پر تمام ٹیکسوں اور ڈیوٹی پر 25فیصد کی رعایتی شرح برقرار رہے گی ، الیکٹرک گاڑیوں پر مراعات دی گئی ہیں ، ڈیوٹی میں ریلیف دینے کے لیے تین ماہ میں پیکیج دیا جائے گا، قومی بچت کے ذریعے نئی اسکیم کے تحت فوج ، پولیس اورسیکورٹی اداروں کے شہدا کے پسماندگان کو اضافی منافع دیا جائے گا، معذور افراد کو دو فیصد ملازمتوں کا کوٹہ نئے کمپنی ایکٹ کے تحت لسٹڈ کمپنیوں پر بھی لاگوہوگا۔بیرون ملک مقیم پاکستانیوں کو سرمایہ کاری کے لیے ایک ارب ڈالر کا بانڈ جاری کیا جائے گا، جو ناقابل تبدیل ہوگا، سمندر پار پا کستا نیو ں کی رئیل اسٹیٹ میں سرمایہ کاری کو محفوظ بنانے کے لیے سی ڈی اے ایک الگ سیکٹر کا اعلان کرے گا، 10لاکھ روپے تک کے سیلز ٹیکس ریفنڈ ز 15جولائی تک اور باقی 14اگست تک ادا کرنے کا اعلان کیا گیا ہے ، وزیر خزانہ نے کہا کہ اقتصادی ترقی کی شرح کو 7فیصد تک کرنے کی ضرورت ہے ، غربت کی موجودہ 29فیصد شرح کو10فیصد تک لانے کے لیے آئندہ پانچ برسوں کے دوران کم آمدنی والے طبقے کی فلاح و بہبود پر بنیادی توجہ دی جائیگی ۔ مشینی فارمنگ کے فروغ کے لیے  تین اور پانچ سال تک کی پرانی اور استعمال شدہ ہارویسٹرزپر عائد تین فیصد کسٹم ڈیوٹی کی چھوٹ دی جائے گی ، شترمرغ فارمنگ کے لیے شترمرغوں کی درآمد پر کسٹم ڈیوٹی میںچھوٹ دی گئی ، فارما ، بائیو ٹیکنالوجی اور لائف سائنسز میں استعمال کو فروغ دینےکے لیے پری فیبری کیٹڈ کلین رومز کی درآمد پر کسٹم ڈیوٹی 20فیصد سے کم کر کے 3فیصد کر دی گئی ۔مالی سال 2017-18کے وفاقی بجٹ میں سگریٹ پر ڈیوٹی ٹیکس کے تین سلیب (TIERS) کا فنانس بل  میں اعلان کیا گیا ہے ۔ مقامی  طور پر بننے والے سگریٹ جن کو پیکٹ پر  خوردہ قیمت4500؍ روپے فی ہزار سگریٹ طبع ہوگی، اس پر 3ہزار 7سوروپے جمع  40روپے فی ہزار سگریٹ سیلز ٹیکس حاصل ہوگی ۔ مقامی طور پر بننے والے سگریٹ جن کے پیکٹ پر خوردہ قیمت دو ہزار 9سو 25 روپے فی ہزار سگریٹ طبع ہوگی مگر خوردہ قیمت 4ہزار500روپے فی ہزار سگریٹ سے زیادہ نہیں ہوگی تو اس پر ایک ہزار 6سوروپے جمع 70رو پے فی ہزار سگریٹ  سیلز ٹیکس/ ڈیوٹی وصول ہوگی۔ مقامی طور پر  یہ بنائے گئے سگریٹ جن کی خوردہ قیمت دو ہزار 9سو 25روپے فی ہزار سگریٹ سے زیادہ نہیں ہوگی ان پر 8سو روپے فی ہزار سگریٹ ڈیوٹی ٹیکس لگا کرے گا۔نئے مالی سال میںاسٹاک سے منافع (ڈیوڈنڈ) پر ٹیکس کی شرح  میں اضافہ کر دیا گیا ہے نئے مالی سال سےڈیوڈنڈ پرٹیکس کی یکساں شرح کو 12.5؍ فیصد سے بڑھا کر 15فیصد کر دیا گیا ہےاسی طرح میچوول فنڈ کے ڈیوڈنڈ پر ٹیکسوں کی حالیہ شرح10فیصد سے 12.5فیصدکرنے کا فیصلہ کیا گیا ہے

بشکريہ جنگ

پاکستان بجٹ 2017-18

 Posted by at 6:46 am
May 262017
 

ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday unveiled Rs. 2.113 trillion Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the fiscal year 2017-18.

Following are the salient features of the PSDP (2017-18).

– The PSDP allocations up by 26.14 percent as compared to last fiscal year.

– Total National PSDP stands at Rs. 2113 billion.

– Rs. 1001 billion have been allocated for federal departments

– Rs. 1112 billion has been allocated for the provinces.

– Rs. 35.662 billion allocated for Higher Education Commission.

– Rs. 48.701 earmarked for National Health Services,Regulations and Coordination Division. – Rs18.936 billion set aside for Finance Division.

– Rs. 15.666 billion earmarked for Interior Division.

– The government allocated Rs 4.348 billion for Aviation Division.

– Rs. 5.188 billion allocated for Capital Administration and Development Division.

– Rs. 1.2 billion set aside for Commerce Division.

– Rs. 13.66 billion awarded for Communication Division.

– Rs. 4.468 billion allocated for Defence Production.

– Rs 2.961 billion allocated for Federal Education and Professional Training Division.

– Rs. 10.386 billion earmarked for Housing and Works Division.

– Rs. 2.737 billion set aside for Industries and Production Division.

– Rs. 1.538 billion allocated for Information Technology and Telecom Division.

– Rs. 3.044 billion awarded for Inter Provincial Coordination Division.

– Rs. 1.2 billion fixed for Law and Justice Division.

– Rs. 1.614 billion allocated for National Food Security and Research Division.

– Rs. 15.085 allocated for Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.

– Rs. 16.798 billion granted for Planning, Development and Reform Division.

– Rs. 12.775 billion earmarked for Ports and Shipping Division.

– Rs. 42.9 billion allocated for Railways Division.

– Rs. 2.427 billion awarded to Science and Technological Research Division.

– Rs. 26.900 allocated for States and Frontier Regions Division.

– Rs. 3.5 billion awarded to SUPARCO.

– Rs. 36.750 billion earmarked for Water and Power Division (Water Sector).

– Rs. 60.909 billion have been allocated for WAPDA (Power).

– Rs. 30 billion allocated for Prime Minister’s Global SDGs Achievement Programme.

– Rs. 40 billion earmarked for Special Federal Development Programme.

– Rs. 12.5 billion earmarked for Energy for All project.

– Rs. 7.5 billion awarded to ERRA.

– Rs. 5 billion set aside for Special Provision for Completion of CPEC Projects.

– Rs. 45 billion allocated for Relief and Rehabilitation of IDPs.

– Rs. 45 billion awarded to Security Enhancement.

– Rs. 20 billion allocated for Prime Minister’s Youth Initiative.

– Rs. 25 billion set aside for Gas Infrastructure Development Cess.

– Rs. 43.644 have been earmarked for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Division.

– Rs. 159 million allocated for Cabinet Division. – Rs 815 million awarded to Climate Change Division.

– Rs. 535 million allocated for Defence Division.

– Rs. 270 million earmarked for Establishment Division.

– Rs. 200 million allocated for Foreign Affairs Division.

– Rs. 306 million fixed for Human Rights Division.

– Rs. 811 million allocated for Information and Broadcasting Division.

– Rs. 220 million earmarked for Narcotics Control Division.

– Rs. 272 million awarded to National History and Literary Heritage Division.

– Rs. 100 million have been allocated for National Security Division.

– Rs. 321 million allocated for Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority.

– Rs. 554 billion set aside for Petroleum and Natural Resources Division.

– Rs. 790 million have been allocated for Revenue Division.

– Rs. 200 million awarded to Statistics Division.

– Rs 217 million fixed for Textile Industry Division.

Source: APP

 Posted by at 3:38 pm
May 262017
 

Following are the salient features of National Budget 2017-18, announced by Minister for Finance, Muhammad Ishaq Dar in the National Assembly on Friday:

The total outlay of the budget 2017-18 is Rs 5,103 billion.

 Rs one trillion historic development budget

Key features

  • The total outlay of the budget is Rs4.75 trillion
  • Total tax revenues target has been set at Rs4.33tr, of which the Federal Board of Revenue will collect Rs4.01tr.
  • The development expenditure for next year will be Rs1.001tr.
  • The defence budget has been set at Rs920.2bn.
  • The minimum wage will be set at Rs15,000.
  • Agriculture, SMEs and IT will be given tax breaks.
  • By 2018 summers, nearly 10,000MW of electricity will be added to the national grid, eliminating load-shedding completing.
  • BISP will be allocated Rs121b for 5.5 million beneficiaries.

Agriculture

  • Nearly Rs1.001tr will be given out in agricultural loans next year.
  • Agricultural credit will be extended at 9.9pc on Rs50,000 amount to farmers who hold 1.2m acres of land.
  • Imported fertilizer will be subsidized.
  • Urea will be sold at Rs1,400 per bag.
  • Other fertilisers’ prices will also be kept constant through subsidies.
  • The State Bank will also help link the banking system to the land record management system to facilitate farmers in securing loans.
  • Tubewells will be provided subsidised electricity.

Industrials

  • Zero-rated schemes for textiles, leather and other sectors will be continued.
  • To promote textiles, cotton hedge trading will be introduced. A brand development fund will also be created.
  • An online b2b and b2c portal for textile trading will be introduced.
  • Custom duty on raw hides will be eliminated.

Housing

  • Government will provide guarantees for housing loans for up to Rs1 million.

Infrastructure

  • Pakistan Development Fund will be established.
  • Pakistan Infrastructure Bank will be established to provide loans to private infrastructure projects.

Financial sector

  • Microfinance institutions will provide loans to low-income individuals worth Rs8bn in total.
  • Withholding tax on branchless banking will be eliminated.
  • SMEs will be provided easy-to-access loans through a risk mitigation facility secured with Rs3.5bn from the State Bank.

Information Technology

  • An IT park is being established with the help of South Korea
  • New IT companies will be exempted from income tax for the first three years.
  • IT exports from Gilgit, Fata and will be exempted from sales tax.
  • Withholding tax on mobile phones to be reduced from 14pc and custom duty on smartphone sets will be cut to Rs650 per set.

Development expenditures

  • Federal development expenditures have been increased 37pc.
  • Energy and infrastructure will get 67pc of the PSDP budget. Rs411bn will be allocated for this.

Energy

  • Loadshedding will be history by next year.
  • Rs401bn rupees will be allocated to energy projects.
  • Energy for All program will receive Rs12.5bn
  • Dasu project Rs54bn.
  • LNG projects to receive Rs70bn.
  • Diamer Bhasha will receive Rs21bn.
  • Neelum Jhelum will receive Rs19bn.
  • Tarbela-IV will receive Rs16.4bn.
  • Jamshoro plant will receive Rs16.2bn.
  • Transmission and distribution lines from Matiari to Lahore will be builty.

Water

  • Government is focusing on building dams and improvement the water distribution infrastructure.
  • Rs38bn will be allocated under this head.

Roads and highways

  • Rs320bn will be allocated to national highways.

Railways

  • Rs45.9bn to be allocated to Railways, including for 75 new engines, 830 bogies and 250 coaches and the Peshawar to Karachi railway line.

Human development

  • Rs35.7bn for Higher Education.
  • Health programs will receive Rs49bn.
  • Hospitals will receive Rs10bn.
  • Rs12.5bn will be allocated for Clean Drinking Water for All.
  • Sustainable development goals will get Rs30bn.

Gwadar

  • 31 new projects, including a new airport, 200-bed hospital and desalination plants.

CPEC

  • Rs180bn have been allocated for CPEC projects.

Special projects

  • Rs45.6bn for projects Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Fata.

Security

  • All Army officers and jawans will receive a 10pc special allowance other than the salary increment in lieu of their sacrifices in Pakistan’s war against militancy.

Major heads

  • Rs2,384bn to be given to provinces.
  • Defence budget will be Rs920bn.
  • PSDP will be Rs1,001bn
  • Budget deficit will be limited to 4.02pc of GDP, contingent on spending on the ‘war against terrorism’,

Taxes

  • Target to raise tax revenues to 15pc of GDP.
  • Corporate sector will get relief in the form of a 30pc effective corporate tax rate.
  • Islamic banking instruments like Musharika, Ijarah and Murabaha will face the same tax regime as conventional banks.
  • Withholding taxes for tax filers have been cut on new car registrations. (From Rs10,000 to Rs7,500 for 850CC; Rs 20,000 to Rs15,000 for 851-1,000CC; from Rs30,000 to Rs25,000 for 1,001-1,300CC cars.)
  • Threshold for availing tax deduction for education expenses to be enhanced to cover individuals with taxable income of Rs1.5m per annum.
  • Individuals earning above Rs1m to be eligible for Advance Tax, compared to Rs0.5m earlier.
  • Tax rate on dividends to be increased from 12.5pc to 15pc. Dividends from mutual funds are also proposed to be taxed 12.5pc, compared to current 10pc.
  • Interest income to be taxed at 10pc up to Rs5m, 12.5pc between Rs5m to Rs25m and 15pc above for interest income above Rs25m.
  • Single capital gains tax rate of 15pc for filers and 20pc for non-filers.
  • Super Tax to be extended on the income of affluent and rich individuals, association of persons and companies earning income above Rs500m at 4pc for banking companies and 3pc of income for all others.
  • Withholding tax of 5pc to be collected from cigarette producers at the time of collection of tobacco cess.
  • FED on cement will be increased from Rs1 per kilogramme to Rs1.25/kg,
  • Commercial import of clothing will be taxed at 6pc.
  • Steel sector will be taxed on electricity consumption at Rs10.5 per unit instead of Rs9/unit.
  • A special taxation regime extended to the Association for Builders and Developers will be withdrawn due to the contribution of only Rs110m in taxes to the national kitty.
  • The rates of withholding taxes for non-filers on payments received for contracts, supplies and services, payments to non-residents, rental income, prizes on prize bonds and lotteries, commission, sale by auction, collection on gas bill of CNG stations and sale by manufacturers and commercial importers to distributors, dealers and wholesalers are proposed to be further enhanced. The withholding tax rates for filers will be maintained and there will be no increase for filers.
  • Reduction in sales tax on supply of hybrid electric vehicles at the import stage to promote efficient motor vehicles.
  • Sales tax on zero-rated sectors’ retail sales to be increased to 6pc.
  • New tax on import of fabrics, which will be taxed at 10pc.
  • FED on cigarettes to be enhanced.
  • Regulatory Duty on chhaalia (betel nuts) to be enhanced to 25pc from the current 10pc and paan (betel leaves) to be taxed at Rs200/kg

 

 

 Posted by at 3:24 pm
May 262017
 

The finance minister Ishaq Dar presented Economic Survey of Pakistan 2016-2017 report in Islamabad on Thursday.

According to the report, the growth rate of the country stood at 5.3 percent, the highest in last 10 years whereas Industrial sector grew by 5.05 percent during the outgoing fiscal year

“After almost 10 years, we have exceeded 5% GDP growth. In 2013, we were in the range of 3% growth, and within 4% in the next couple of years. This year, the Pakistani economy has grown by 5.28%, rounded off to 5.3% GDP growth,” said the finance minister.

Claiming that the country’s economy has surpassed $300 billion, the finance minister said growth rate for next fiscal year has been set above 6 per cent adding that the growth rate for agriculture sector was negative, last year. ‘Growth rate for agriculture sector stood at 0.25 percent’ claimed Ishaq Dar.

He also expressed that growth rate was 3 percent back in 2013 when PML-N assumed office. The legislator opined that in the first 10 months of the outgoing fiscal year, exports fell by 2.3% while imports increased by 19.88%. Moreover, the services sector of economy shared 60 percent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

The minister highlighted that the foreign reserves stood at $21 billion as Pakistan’s economic uplift was being lauded by international monetary organisations.

‘The per capita income stood at 1629 USD per year with an increase of 22 percent as compared to the last year’ claimed the minister and said that the sectors including wheat, cotton, maize and rice saw much betterment.

‘Cotton production remained 10.6 million bales this year as compared to 9.92 million bales last year’ the report read.

The country’s thriving banking sector witnessed 16.2 percent growth whereas national fiscal deficit was recorded at $ 7.5 billion which was reduced to 4.2 percent by the government. The production of wheat was recorded at 25.75 million tonnes compared to 25.63 million tonnes last year whereas Sugarcane and Rice production swelled by 4.12 percent.

The total debts as per March 2017 estimates were recorded at Rs 20872 billion that rose from Rs 14318 billion when compared to 2013 however according to the lawmaker, they were less than 60 percent of GDP.

“Public debt was at 53.1% of GDP in 2008. It went up to 60.2% of GDP and it is now at 59.3% of GDP.” vowed the minister and said Pakistan would soon become a part of G-20 nations.

‘The foreign exchange reserves of the country were recorded at Rs 16.15 billion dollars’ said Ishaq Dar and added that the interest rate was being maintained at 5.75 percent.

Dar said the current account deficit, a new source of worry for economic managers, is estimated to widen to $8.3 billion by the end of the outgoing fiscal year. The amount stood at $2.5 billion in the previous fiscal year, a staggering increase that Dar attributed to import of CPEC projects-related machinery.

He said the import of heavy machinery surged 70%, textile sector showed a 23% increase while the construction (67%) and agriculture (37%) were also responsible for the increasing import bill.

Ishaq Dar maintained that the home-grown industries will be able to help boost country’s economy and said ‘We won’t need to go to the IMF anymore after 2019’.

Regarding Gas and Electricity transmission, he expressed that 3.4 percent growth was recorded in this sector.

Highlighting the efforts made by the incumbent government regarding uplifting economy, Dar claimed that pakistan’s economy would surpass that of Italy, Canada and Korea by year 2050.

 Posted by at 2:09 am
May 192017
 

 

 

 

 

 

By Muhammad Javed

 

The Managing Director, Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF), Islamabad, recently in a press conference in Dubai said that a 100 member Overseas Advisory Council was being formed for the solution of Overseas Pakistanis (OPs) problems.  30 would be from Middle East, 30 from Europe and 30 from North America.

 

  1. First Overseas Pakistanis Advisory Committee was established in 1996-97 when Mian Nawaz Sharif was showing his immeasurable but non existing, love for the OPs under his slogan قرض اتارو ملک سنوارو.  General Musarraf relabeled it as Overseas Pakistanis Advisory Council (OPAC) and replaced the members with his own liked ones.  Even today OPAC exists.  What had been the practical performance of these Committees or Councils or its members?   One example would suffix.  One Mr. Nishat (if my memories in this old age are not misguiding me) was “selected a member from Bahrain.  On his “selection”, he announced through the local Bahraini newspapers that every Sunday he would regularly sit in the Pakistan Embassy to meet Pakistanis in order to listen to their problems.  During his full tenure he came only on two Sundays. Later no ordinary person ever saw him.

 

  1. What is the performance of the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) itself, let alone that of such Committees or Councils or the members thereof?   One example might suffix.  I addressed Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis Islamabad early 2016 enquiring as to what was the “merit” for selection of one Mr. XYZ as a Member of the Council from Bahrain?  I narrated the Ministry how instead of helping a 20 year young Pakistani victim of human smuggling, its council member Mr. XYZ shamefully protected the apparent human smuggler.  (I am not aware if Mr. XYZ still is a Member of the new Council proposed and announced in Dubai by the MD OPF if has taken over).  In return one official, not less than the Assistant Director (CC) named as Basharat Khan wrote that you areADVISED” to provide name/address of the Complainant (Mr. XYZ).  The head of this senior citizen went deep down into self-shame as to how “minus lowest” the capability of the officers one can expect had gone that an Assistant Director can’t just “read” and understand a communication lying on his table let alone right action.  He did not know that Mr. XYZ was not the complainant rather was against whom I had raised the complaint. The depth of sorrow and self-shame was that the senior level Assistant Director did not know that Mr. XYZ was a Member of the Council established by his own office whose full credentials were somewhere in his own office file present.  Those who don’t have their average mental attention towards reading and understanding the content and meaning of a communication from a member of public lying on their table, what “problems” they can solve for others?  The ex-Member Advisory Council in Bahrain Mr. Muhammad Usman has in his treasure amongst other a letter from OPF addressed to some government Department reading “received herewith a complaint from LATE Mr. ABC”.  Dead people are sending their problems “from up” to OPF, it can happen only in our beloved bureaucracy.

 

  1. This 70 years senior citizen can’t understand what actual purpose of forming this 100 member get-together is, if not just to spend on their regular tickets for Pakistan, hoteling, meetings, foreign touring – not a single Rupee from the national exchequer but all from the huge undisclosed treasure with the concerned Ministry/OPF in the form of monies contributed by OPs themselves from their own pockets.

 

  1. Air Marshal Asghar Khan once said about a Department that there was a large army there either nothing or very little to do.  Same suffixes to the issue of welfare of OPs or OPF which has none concerned except mostly doubtful housing schemes or according to the Senate “spending on physically invisible on the ground development” has done anything.  There is a huge Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis solving OPs problems.  Then there is a Federal Ombudsman and different provincial ombudsmen all “also” solving problems of OPs.  There are different other institutions like Punjab Overseas Pakistanis Commissioner.  There is a Federal Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis who never gets tired from seen in the press and on the Facebook.  He is said to be solving problems on Skype, having appointed Focal and Grievance Persons in every Department, airport counters, this and that including weekly Ambassadors listening OPs complaints . The other day I read that PIA was the second after Ethiopian Airlines in terms of worst safety;  we have distinguish to be the sole and top of world whose Ambassadors regularly weekly listen community complainants. Ha ha ha).   Nowhere in the world has an Ambassador attested a document but the Consular.  Our Ambassador in Qatar attested famous Qatari letter.  So why can’t our ambassadors weekly hold regular complaints hours.  In addition to above not ending army, recently PM’s Coordinator/Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis (one named Zubair Gull “probably” living in UK) has been appointed.  If it was still not enough the Bahawalpur Division Commissioner has established Special Complaint Cells in his three districts to redress the problems and grievances under the supervision of DCOs.

 

  1. Very logical, sensible and a million dollar question arises that since years over years such a large army outlined above is present as self-claimed, solving OPs problems, then all those problems must had, logically, disappeared in thin air by now.  If not, which is a fact from the MD OPF’s press conference itself, then the logical conclusion is all this large army practically had done nothing except for enjoying status, jobs, perks and boosting itself.  Rather, it depicts that the problems of OPs have further aggravated against the so much trumpeted tall claims from “different” mouths, as is evident from the fact that instead of existing 10-12 members Committee/Council now a 100-member Council is being setup. If a new group of 100 laborers are engaged to pull a sunken ship from the sea, it logically means the earlier team of 10-12 laborers completely failed to perform this job. Federal Ombudsman received 80,000 complaints from Ops in seven months.  Why this number increased?  Because problems not got solved rather issues of concern increased.  It is a total failure against the claims of success. These are the serious judicious views of a senior citizen with 45 years rich experience whose working “still” is liked abroad.

 

  1. it is a fact that OPF itself is a problem for the OPson whose personal financial contributions this organization survives.  Take one example provided if you are honest and believed on  عزوجل  خوف خدا only then read this paragraph and arrive at your own God fearing conclusion.  Last year on 01 July 2016 the Deputy Director Estate OPF issued a FINAL NOTICE to the Pakistanis all over the world ordering them to pay their outstanding dues by 30th July otherwise their plots would be cancelled.  Nothing was mentioned how much was outstanding and why.  As millions were “spent” according to Senate on non-existing development, likewise since there was “something” contrary behind the mind, the efficient Deputy. Director kept those Notices on his table for complete one month and sent to the Post Office on 29th July 2016 Friday technically, thus, leaving no time, even any hours, for the allottees to make payment.  Last date mentioned was 30th July and it was Saturday which is a Government holiday and OPD closed. Thus on the last date when the payment should have been deposited, the said Dy. Director was enjoying “آلو کا پراٹھا” with his family.  This happened all under the nose of the MD OPF who in Dubai now is showing his so much love for the OPs in solving their problems by appointing a 100 member greater Council. This was done deliberately with the intention that the notices may expire before reaching to the OPs so they may suffer and the cancelled plots could be allotted illegally to dear ones as was done in Islamabad-V Housing Scheme earlier.  Had there been any remotest honest Government set up, the Dy. Director Estate would have been packed home same moment the matter came into light in writing (through this senior citizen).  Please stop, don’t think the film is finished here, just hold your breath and brace yourself to have “unbelievable”.  Please don’t take that next lines hereinafter are from a 70 year old having lost his senses and from a “mad” needing mental hospital admission.   No, Sir, I am perfectly OK with complete sound mind.  Now listen.  I took up this matter with the Federal Ombudsman, called in Urdu the وفاقی محتسب.  The issue involved was not just an individual personal for this 70 year old, rather it was a matter of collective community concern needing more serious attention as it badly affected a larger segment of OPs.  The protector of the citizens’ rights the Federal Ombudsman refused to entertain the complaint on the ground (hold your breath) that a complaint should be (i) in writing and   (ii) addressed to the Wafaqi Mohtasib.  I have 45 years typing experience starting from old orthodox “Brother” manual type writer to the first generation 486-PC and since 12-years on high class Laptops with high cost laser printers.  My “written” letters/papers got due attention like decision by Supreme Court, amendment in foreign exchange regulations etc in Pakistan, written letters to UNO, foreign Governments, foreign missions in line of my duty abroad.  First time from the Federal Ombudsman Pakistan I learnt that what I wrote in shape of a complaint was not “in writing”.   The second objection was that a complaint should be addressed to the Wafaqi Mohtasib.  This 70 years old, not yet mad, could not understand why then then the ombudsman for the mohtasib, whatsoever he is, on his official website mentions himself as the “Federal Ombudsman”?   This is the justice, this is the standard of justice for which this poor debit ridden nation is spending huge amount on different ombudsmen system, نام نہاد Grievance Commissioners (provincial or federal) etc on huge expense.  A recent example suffixes good for a point to ponder and soul searching provided one is truly honest.  Last month two women, a mother and her daughter both Overseas Pakistanis from Norway were physically beaten by FIA staff at Islamabad airport. When through others passengers and the people present there, the incident came out of the Lounge, the FIA denied if any such incident ever occurred.  However, the video of the beating became viral when My Lordship Chief Justice of Pakistan took suo moto notice of the incident. At this stage, repeat at this stage, the FIA terminated an FIA lady constable. No news item has so far passed before the eyes of this 70 years senior citizen if any notice having been taken by the Federal Ombudsman or the one called the Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis.  They have managed “Skype” complaints but what happened right under their nose in Islamabad at the airport with two OP ladies, perhaps “skype” did not catch the signal.  Where “went” their much fanfare created “special one-window system at airports” for the Ops?  Where were the OPF, FIA, CAA, ASF officials seated on this “one window” on the orders of the Federal Ombudsman at the time of incident?  Where is the OPF; what notice it took on the issue?  Did it covered up this ugly incident in its costly Magazine as a new item?   No, certainly not.   Lady Constable has been terminated which means the matter has ended. If the Federal Ombudsman and the Grievance Commissioner were really serious for the care of Ops, would they do what rightly is needed viz investigating and terminating the representatives of OPF, CAA, ASF staff present including the Assistant Director on duty of FIA who all criminally remained spectator seeing all what was happening before their eyes. The real OPs, don’t’ need any one-window.   By going abroad on job, we the ordinary people have not become shaikhs.  We still are ordinary rather have become more ordinary.  If our family members living locally in Pakistan can for hours stand in long queues from one window to go to another window in Nadra office, then we would need just “one window” at airport”.  This could be the demand of a small elite percentage of OPs. The demand of real OPs are;

 

  1. Their properties are saved from mafia.  My life earned plot from OPF, I am today told has gone into litigation meaning, I have lost it forever.  Senator Tareq Azeem as Minister of Overseas Pakistanis addressed us in the auditorium of Pakistan Club Bahrain. He said most of the land purchases by OPF were under doubtful dealings there were blessing hands of “some” behind the scene mafia.  He told a portion of Housing Scheme (Azad Kashmir perhaps) is under encroachment. Whenever he arranged with authorities to visit the site with law enforcement agencies to get encroachments cleared, the mafia master pre-handed got information as someone from within the OPF passed on about this move to mafia beforehand.

 

  1. Some sound government investment scheme for our old age, whereas today we can’t open a bank account in Pakistan from abroad.

 

  • We are saved from being pickpocketed eg by Nadra which takes Rs. 2000 for a Card locally but for same card, consuming same material from an OP it charges Rs.16,000 and Mashallah our Grievance Commissioner so pleasantly sleeps on it.

 

  1. The OPF a few years back wrote to His Excellency the President of Pakistan that Muhammad Javed living in Bahrain and his wife both are habitual complainants.  Dishonest and mentally corrupts always dislike those who act on their still alive conscious, like this old fool, speak out following the Islamic teaching that those who remain silent on injustice, were themselves zalim.   Honest people appreciate such bold gestures of those who speak.  His Excellency the then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan on my writing him critically, under his own signature in a one-and-a-half page letter not just thanked this “habitual complainant” rather appreciated his good gesture; because, Ghulam Ishaq Khan was an honest man, leave political ideology aside.

 

 

 Posted by at 10:56 am
May 192017
 

Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

Most recently, President of Turkmenistan H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov decreed the “Concept of foreign policy of Turkmenistan for 2017-2023” which outlined strategic priorities during 2017-2023. He emphasized that Turkmenistan would actively participate in addressing critical environmental issues, matters of water resources management, prevention and mitigation of natural and man-made disasters. Furthermore, Turkmenistan will assist to attract the United Nations to a wide and effective solution of these problems.

Decree of concept of foreign policy of Turkmenistan for 2017-2023

Decree of concept of foreign policy of Turkmenistan for 2017-2023 also values Turkmenistan concerns for environmental issues and water diplomacy. Since Turkmenistan is Chairman of the International Aral Sea Fund (IFAS) in 2016-2019, it is necessary to make it the part of concept of foreign policy of Turkmenistan 2017-2023 which shows a strong political will and strategic vision of President of Turkmenistan H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for the further development of water resources.

Water is constantly declining and hostilities over water resources are on the rise in the Central Asia region. This crisis is not confined only to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan but it is also significantly affecting Afghanistan and China, the two other stakeholders in Central Asia’s precarious power and water sharing deals.

Global Water Stress Map (2016)

According to a global stress map produced by the Water Resources Institute (2016) Central Asia has one of the world’s highest water-stress levels. The region, with a population of 66 million, gets 90 percent of its water supply from two rivers, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya. Both river basins fall under the control of upstream countries Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and the downstream countries Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan are fight hard to get sustainable supplies of waters.

Agriculture in the Central Asia region consumes up to 75 percent of fresh water resources, much of which is lost to substandard irrigational systems. Better cultivation practices, higher quality seeds, and exchange of agricultural technology could create a new framework of cooperation between the Central Asian countries. Turkmenistan’s Chairmanship is taking all possible measures to initiate diversified programs for the further development of water resources in the region.

Turkmenistan’s Chairmanship of IFAS

Turkmenistan is Chairman of the International Fund for saving Aral Sea. Under Turkmenistan’s chairmanship all the member countries are trying their levels best to save the sinking Aral Sea. Being chairman Turkmenistan is striving hard to convince all the member countries to work jointly for water resources development in the region. Turkmenistan and all member countries along with international partners are working jointly under Country Water Partnerships [CWPs] of the GWP CACENA region.

IFAS: As a Regional Platform

Turkmenistan intends actively contribute to strengthening the institutional basis of the IFAS as a regional platform for Central Asian countries cooperation in the field of sustainable development. In this context, the activation of work on ratification and entry into force the Framework Convention (2006) for environment protection and sustainable development in Central Asia is foreseen.

Turkmenistan’s Chairmanship and its Associated Socio-Economic Benefits

Turkmenistan is Chairman of the International Fund for saving Aral Sea (IFAS). Turkmenistan’s water diplomacy is making difference in the further development of water resources in the Aral Sea Basin. Its rigorous water diplomacy is the way forward to develop and settle water issues among the founding members states. It protects environment. It cares about climate change. It works for massive regional cooperation and international partnership for the conservation of water resources.
Turkmenistan’s water diplomacy stresses the need to have close socio-politico cooperation and understanding to develop depleting resources of water in the region. It ensures equitable water sharing among the members states.

Turkmenistan’s Chairmanship’s Potentials & Utilities

Being Chairman of IFAS, Turkmenistan works hard to achieve an effective water agreements based on adaptive management structures, clear and flexible rules for water allocation and management, equal distribution of benefits, conflict resolution and enforcement mechanisms between the Central Asian Countries. It is striving for achieving a transboundary water agreement which may be shifted from a “rights based” stance to a “needs based” practical approach. It has been crucial to identify shared benefits in transboundary water agreements as was accomplished in the agreement between so many countries around the globe.

Turkmenistan’s Concept

Turkmenistan is the energy leader in the region which is blessed with unlimited resources. Since its inception, development of water resources has been one of its key strategic priorities. Turkmenistan has always been one of the main advocators and facilitators of water cooperation in the region. It has been considered and associated with its practical implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in the country as well as in the region.

Salient Features

Turkmenistan’s Chairmanship in IFAS has multiplier socio-economic effects. One of the main goals of Turkmenistan chairmanship in IFAS is the further development and strengthening of cooperation between the countries of the Aral Sea basin on improving the socio-economic and environmental situation in the Aral Sea region, rational water use and ensuring a high level of environmental protection in this region.

Strategic Priorities

(a) Development of a new Action Program to assist countries of the Aral Sea basin (ASBP-4)
(b) Strengthening the legal basis of IFAS activities and its legal framework in the field of water management and environmental protection in Central Asia
(c) Promoting regional programs and projects in the field of integrated water resources management, environmental protection and sustainable development
(d) Providing support in information exchange activities, as well as support in setting up unified regional information system and database of the Aral Sea basin and ASBP monitoring
(e) Provide support in activation and expansion of cooperation of countries in the region with the largest international organizations, primarily with the United Nations and its specialized agencies and institutions in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development.
(f) Promote the further enhancement of the international reputation of the Fund, its positive role in modern global processes on sustainable development.

Strategic Importance of Aral Sea Basin Action Plan (ASBP-4)

The Aral Sea, one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in the world is under serious consideration of the IFAS and Turkmenistan’s Chairmanship is working tirelessly to speed-up efforts to achieve the desired goals to this end.

At one point the Aral Sea was the fourth-largest landlocked body of water in the world, occupying an area of about 66,000km2 and a volume of 1,062 km3. Now it has split into two separate bodies: Little Aral Sea, which is in Kazakhstan, and Big Aral Sea, which is in Uzbekistan.

Achievements of IFAS

International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) was established in 1992 on the initiative of the Heads of the Central Asian States for the purpose of improving the social and economic, ecological situation in the basin of the Aral Sea.

IFAS was also created to attract funds from the five states needed to carry out projects and inform the international community about the crisis and gain its support in addressing it. Since its inception, IFAS has partaken in a number of projects, such as the 1993-1997 Aral Sea Basin Program. This project’s four main objectives focused on stabilizing and rehabilitating the surrounding area, developing better water management strategies, and increasing the ability for regional and national organizations to advance their projects. Another key initiative was the 1998 and 2002 Water and Environment Management Project. IFAS, in collaboration with the World Bank, attempted to create both a regional and individual strategy with the help of a group of neutral experts.

Turkmenistan with collaboration of other regional countries proposes the development of the new phase of the Aral Sea Basin Action Plan (ASBP-4), strengthening the political, legal and institutional components of the program. It will contribute to the implementation of initial initiative stage on “water diplomacy”. In this context, multilateral consultations, seminars and conferences are planned to be convened in Central Asia countries.

Turkmenistan’s Water Diplomacy

Right from the beginning, Turkmenistan believes in neutrality and dialogue to resolve any conflicting issue. Its water diplomacy is the extension of its strong political will to resolve the looming problem of water sharing and further development. It is a blue print of achieving better political understanding, social harmony and economic needs among all the regional countries on the burning issue of water sharing.

Under visionary leadership of President of Turkmenistan H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Turkmenistan has been staunch advocator of water diplomacy and moreover, Turkmenistan is the “pioneer of water diplomacy in the region too. Turkmenistan has also been highlighted the potential of “water diplomacy” and which needs to be promoted in the region.

Cross-Border Cooperation

Turkmenistan’s water diplomacy is based on cross-border cooperation on water and it considers the growing importance of water in maintaining peace and political stability. It is also crucial to promote dialogue and continued cooperation, and to contribute to peace and security in the region.

Turkmenistan’s Policies of Water Conservation & Restoration
Turkmenistan has been taking all possible measures for the conservation and restoration of water and other natural resources, combating desertification, land degradation and the last but not the least, climate change since its inception. It has been one of the key directions of international cooperation of Turkmenistan as the initiator of constructive solutions to global environmental problems for the well-being of present and future generations.
Turkmenistan’s Pledges Support to International Agencies & Forums
Turkmenistan supports the UN development program, UN on Environment Program, the global environment fund and other authoritative international organizations at the national and regional levels implemented dozens of programs and projects.

International Community Supports Turkmenistan Initiatives for Water Security

Turkmenistan has received immense support from the international community for its positive initiatives announced by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the international forums, including the United Nations Conference on sustainable development, Rio +20, the Summit on sustainable development for the period after 2015 year, held under the 70-th session of the United Nations General Assembly, (III) the UN World Conference on disaster reduction (Japan) and VII World Water Forum (the Republic of Korea).

H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov Keynote Speech to 7th World Water Forum

While addressing participants of the VII World Water Forum held in Daegu, South Korea in 2015 H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized that today water problems could not be considered in isolation from global development plans, environmental and food security and creation of an integrated system of sustainable energy.

Formation of High-Level Interactive Dialogue

Turkmenistan also considered it useful to hold high-level interactive dialogue dedicated to the International Decade for Action “Water for Life”, that took place recently at the United Nations Headquarters, the results of which can serve as a foundation for development of the long-term UN Specialized Program on Water Issues, the President added.

Turkmenistan’s Strategic Proposal

H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov shared opportunities for establishing a systematic multi-level dialogue to address all problems related to formation and restoration of water resources and their efficient use in the creation of a new political and diplomatic form of multilateral communication, which could be water diplomacy”. President of Turkmenistan expressed belief in that such a joint activity could be the foundation for a comprehensive document of the United Nations on water. The President proposed participants of the World Water Forum to consider the initiative put forward by Turkmenistan i.e. “Water Diplomacy”,

Access of Water

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also focused on such important moment as access to water. The Turkmen leader expressed support to the UN initiative on the recognition of water accessibility as a fundamental human right and noted that the water right and liability for efficient water resources management laid the foundation for this approach.

Strategic Importance of Water in CIS

“Water related issues are the major problems in Central Asia and in some cases a determining factor for development. Under such circumstances, obtaining consensus at the regional level is the only acceptable platform for effective cooperation between states. Turkmenistan has consistently supported this approach, in particular consideration and resolution of water and energy issues in Central Asia on the basis of universally recognized norms of international law, mutual respect interests of all states in the region with participation of international organizations”, said President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

Role of Climate Change and Water Issue

The President recognized that solution of water issues in a global scale was complicated due to climate change. He put forward an initiative on creation of a UN specialized structure the Regional Centre for technologies related to climate change under the auspices and with the active participation of the United Nations Organisation. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that water problems could be a separate area of work of the centre.

Environmental Degradation of the Aral Sea in Central Asia

Environmental degradation of the Aral Sea in Central Asia has caused a loss of livelihoods and led to resource competition over water amongst the states sharing the basin, especially Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The conflict over water has been non-violent and mostly diplomatic.

Being the Chairman of the IFAS and to realize the idea of water diplomacy initiates the development of Central Asian Water Strategy. It is also considered reasonable to consolidate in this document the basic principles and rules of the political and diplomatic cooperation of the Central Asian states on water issues that fully take into account the interests of all countries in the region. In perspectives, the Central Asian Water Strategy would serve as a basis for UN Global Water Strategy elaboration.

Revision of the Regional Action Plan for Environmental Protection of Central Asia (REAP)

Turkmenistan will also prepare and officially send to all founding member countries of IFAS proposals for the revision of the Regional Action Plan for Environmental Protection of Central Asia (REAP) adopted within the framework of the Interstate Commission for Sustainable Development of IFAS in order to include main provisions of this Plan as an environmental component to new Action Program for Assistance to the Aral Sea Basin Countries (ASBP).

Practical Implementation of Specific Initiatives of IFAS
Being Chairman of IFAS Turkmenistan will continue to advocate the practical implementation of specific initiatives of IFAS founding countries which are aimed at enhancing regional cooperation and development of systemic mechanisms for cooperation in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development. In particular, Turkmenistan will make all necessary efforts to promote the issues on the establishment of the Regional Centre for technologies related to climate change. In this regard, during the chairmanship in the IFAS Turkmenistan in cooperation with specialized agencies and UN institutions, will take all necessary measures to continue working on сenter establishment.

More Opportunities

The activities of Turkmenistan during its chairmanship in IFAS will also focus on creating good conditions for the countries of Aral Sea basin as well as providing them with more opportunities to consider jointly with the international community the issues on attracting investments for solving the problems of the Aral Sea.

Utility of Turkmenistan’s Chairmanship

Successful implementation of the Fund goals and objectives by Turkmenistan as a country-chairman will provide necessary conditions for the countries of the region in their active participation in strategic planning and implementation of regional and international policies aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

New System of Distribution of the Water Resources

After obtaining the Independence, the countries of the Central Asia created a new system for distribution of the water resources. The Ministers of water resources of the Independent state signed the Agreement on September 12, 1992, in which, the parties declared that joint management of the water resources will be carried out in accordance with the principles of equality and mutual benefit.

Formation of Interstate Organizations

Within period from 1992 up to 1994, these interstate organizations were established with the assistance of the donors: the International Fund to Save the Aral Sea (IFAS) with headquarters situated in Almaty city and Interstate Council for the Aral Sea Basin (ICAB) with the Executive committee under the chairmanship of the Minister of Water economy of Turkmenistan, having its headquarters in Tashkent city. Main role of the IFAS was to raising and accumulating funds and the ICAB was targeted at preparation and implementation of the Aral Sea Basin Program (ASBP).

Meeting of the Heads of the IFAS Founder-States

The meeting of the Heads of the IFAS founder-states in 1997 resulted in making fundamental decisions, which are connected with the restructuring and merging of the IFAS and ICAB.

Important decisions were taken regarding the chairmanship in the Executive Committee, its rotation, the whereabouts of the Executive committee and the amount of the payment to the Fund. The major objectives of the IFAS were determined: development of the draft proposals, which are aimed at working out a mutually acceptable mechanism for making complex use of the water resources and environmental protection, preservation of the biological fund of the Aral Sea region, decreasing the harmful impact of the ecological crisis on the environment and the main thing is to eliminate the impact on the people living in the region.
Ashgabat 1999
In April 1999, Ashgabat hosted the meeting of the Heads of the Central Asian States, at which, the Provision on IFAS and the Agreement on the status of the IFAS was adopted and Ashgabat Declaration was signed. By now the outcomes of the IFAS activity has become development, adoption and implementation of the three Programs on rendering assistance to the countries of the Aral Sea Basin (ASBP-1, ASBP-2, ASBP-3)

There are commissions operating within IFAS the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia (ICWC) and Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD) of Central Asian countries.

Strategic Utility of ICWC

The Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia (ICWC) was established by the countries of the Central Asia in accordance with the Agreement on cooperation in the field of joint water management and protection of the waters of the interstate water sources, signed on behalf of the sovereign states on the 18th of February, 1992 in Almaty city.

ICWC’s Main Purpose

The main purpose of ICWC creation is elaboration and approval of the limits of the annual water’s usage for each state according to the main water sources, modes of operation at the large water reservoirs and management of the water distribution under the conditions of the actual water content and the emerging situation in terms of water economy, also working out and implementation of the ecological programs related to the drying of the Aral Sea and depletion of the water resources, and setting up annual volumes of water supply to the river deltas and Aral Sea.

Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD)

Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD) was established as per the decision of the Interstate Council for the Aral Sea Basin (ICAB) (dated 19th July 1994, Ashgabat). At the Commission was entrusted with the mission of coordination and management of the regional cooperation in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development of the Central Asian states.

ICSD’s Main Goal

The main goal of the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD) is elaboration of the regional sustainable development strategy, management of the regional programs, action plans and project management in the field of environment and sustainable development, as well as coordination of the steps in fulfilling the obligations by the Central Asian states as concerns the implementation of the nature protection conventions that have trans-border aspect.

Concluding Remarks

Turkmenistan is Chairman of the International Fund for saving Aral Sea (IFAS). Under the visionary leadership of H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Turkmenistan has already taken meaningful initiatives for the further development of water resources including saving of Aral Sea. Water has a binding force and Turkmenistan is a pioneer country for water diplomacy in the region.

Turkmenistan is striving hard for the further development and strengthening of cooperation between the countries of the Aral Sea basin on improving the socio-economic and environmental situation in the Aral Sea region, rational water use and ensuring a high level of environmental protection in this region. Being Chairman of IFAS, Turkmenistan has many priority tasks which need to be completed for achieving desired goals of sustainable development.
Easy and smooth supply of water is directly correlated with the socio-economic prosperity of the CIS due to which Chairmanship of Turkmenistan is taking serious steps for equitable water sharing through rigorous water diplomacy. Water connects humanity and Turkmenistan is creating harmony in the distribution of water resources through its dynamic water diplomacy. Water ensures survival of humanity and being Chairman of the IFAS, Turkmenistan supports water diplomacy to resolve water issues in the region.

Water is life and energy too and Turkmenistan is trying its level best to maintain sustainable supplies of waters. Water is one the keys strategic asset for human survival on the planet and effective tool of achieving micro or macro socio-economic goals around the globe and Turkmenistan has many national, regional as well as international programs for further development of water.
From ancient civilizations to modern times of to-day, water has had been remained driving force for collaboration, integration, development, stability, sustainability, peace, and the last not the least green revolutions which is under the visionary leadership of Turkmenistan President H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov initiating workable solutions for the maximum utility, consumption and conservation of regional water development.

Equal water sharing is a complex phenomenon which requires a gigantic effort on part of all member countries for the further development of water resources which are given below as:

(a) There is urgent need of serious dialogue and sincere to improve governance to ensure equitable water distribution within the member countries so that all areas and all sectors of the population can benefit from a just and efficient planning mechanism
(b) Effective monitoring and regulation of any water sharing arrangement may be point convergence among the member states which must be an essential part of the national policy fully backed by legislative measures adopted through the support of the public representatives
(c) Holistic approach to merge these national policies in a broader regional framework with the support of the political leadership in the Central Asian States so that the system of successful water sharing could work successfully
(d) All agreements and efforts must be crystal clear and transparent and any arrangement thus achieved must be supported by regional organizations, civil society and the media giving it the necessary validity and political endorsement
(e) For achieving maximum socio-economic utility and benefits of an integrated water management system all member countries must try to make compromise and make some concessions for the larger public good
(f) Scope of bilateral arrangements could prove more effective and durable
(g) In view of divergent positions of States acceptable agreements could be promoted through third party mediation as a well-established world practice
(h) For improved efficiency in water use and management it is critical for Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Kyrgyz Republic to complete their IWRM plans and integrate them into national laws. On part of Turkmenistan’s government it has already taken all possible measures to integrate national laws according to the instructions and policies of IWRM.

(i) To find a solution to the Aral Sea and the overall water crisis effort ought to be made to strike a balance between economic growth and environmental rehabilitation
(j) Extensive reforms should be introduced to resolve the major water related issues and must include substitution of heavy water intensive crops like cotton by crops requiring

much less water. There is an urgent need to have an advanced agricultural system in all the member states
(k) Climate changes is a looming threat in the Central Asian States and all member states should seek the assistance of the Clean Development Mechanism from the Kyoto Protocol and other climate finance funds through the World Bank
(l) Formation of a pool of technical experts capable of handling the growing water related issues is must
(m) The 1992 Almaty Agreement should be revised to reflect current water levels and the water needs of each state
(n) Any long term water scheme must include Afghanistan as an important stakeholder in view of its increasing demand for water.
(o) Constant information sharing for monitoring water utilization, irrigated agriculture, watershed management, flood management and small-to-Medium hydro power options exploration is the need of the hour.
(p) Creation of an International Fund for the upkeep and strengthening of the infrastructure of water distribution among the member states
(q) An international group of water/climate/environmental experts, preferably from neutral states, be established to provide technical advice to the policy makers on all matters relating to water sharing and utilization in a way that cooperation and understanding are enhanced allowing for equitable and acceptable arrangements
(r) In view of the growing importance of water related issues and their political impact in the Central Asian region, it is advisable to create a multilateral organization with representation from all member states of the United Nations with the purpose of granting the Group of Experts the much needed political backing and its decisions necessary validity
(s) Expanded role of IFAS and SPECA be considered as a viable option and their interaction with the Group of Experts and the proposed multilateral body be encouraged
(t) Best potential of existing regional intergovernmental mechanisms such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and international and regional financial institutions should also be utilized for resolving existing and emerging problems among the Central Asian States on the issues of water
(u) Further diversification of economies of downstream countries along with adoption and implementation of more rational policies for water use and crop substitution along with adapting modern irrigation practices
(v) Comprehensive bilateral agreements among the member states i.e. South-South, North-South and triangular cooperation for water management should be fostered by sharing of experiences, best practices and lessons learnt as well as benefiting from environmentally sound technologies and technical expertise
(w) International donor community can incorporate water into the broader framework of development cooperation and focus on the often neglected water related components of the Millennium Development Goals

May 162017
 

Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

Water is life and Turkmenistan is trying its level best to maintain its vibrancy. Water is energy and Turkmenistan believes in a shared prosperity. It is one the keys strategic asset for human survival on the planet and effective tool of achieving micro or macro socio-economic goals around the globe. Turkmenistan has many national, regional as well as international programs for further development of water.

From ancient civilizations to modern times of to-day, water has had been remained driving force for collaboration, integration, development, stability, sustainability, peace, and the last not the least green revolutions which is under the visionary leadership of Turkmenistan President H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov initiating workable solutions for the maximum utility, consumption and conservation of regional water development.

Turkmenistan’s Chairmanship of IFAS

Turkmenistan is Chairman of the International Fund for saving Aral Sea. Under Turkmenistan’s chairmanship all the member countries are trying their levels best to save the sinking Aral Sea. Being chairman Turkmenistan is striving hard to convince all the member countries to work jointly for water resources development in the region. Turkmenistan and all member countries along with international partners are working jointly under Country Water Partnerships [CWPs] of the GWP CACENA region.

Turkmenistan’s Concept

Turkmenistan is the energy leader in the region which is blessed with unlimited resources. Since its inception, development of water resources has been one of its key strategic priorities. Turkmenistan has always been one of the main advocators and facilitators of water cooperation in the region. It has been considered and associated with its practical implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in the country as well as in the region.

Main Goals

Turkmenistan’s Chairmanship in IFAS has multiplier socio-economic effects. One of the main goals of Turkmenistan chairmanship in IFAS is the further development and strengthening of cooperation between the countries of the Aral Sea basin on improving the socio-economic and environmental situation in the Aral Sea region, rational water use and ensuring a high level of environmental protection in this region.

Priority Tasks

(a) Development of a new Action Program to assist countries of the Aral Sea basin (ASBP-4)
(b) Strengthening the legal basis of IFAS activities and its legal framework in the field of water management and environmental protection in Central Asia
(c) Promoting regional programs and projects in the field of integrated water resources management, environmental protection and sustainable development
(d) Providing support in information exchange activities, as well as support in setting up unified regional information system and database of the Aral Sea basin and ASBP monitoring
(e) Provide support in activation and expansion of cooperation of countries in the region with the largest international organizations, primarily with the United Nations and its specialized agencies and institutions in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development.
(f) Promote the further enhancement of the international reputation of the Fund, its positive role in modern global processes on sustainable development.

Strategic Importance of Aral Sea Basin Action Plan (ASBP-4)

Turkmenistan with collaboration of other regional countries proposes the development of the new phase of the Aral Sea Basin Action Plan (ASBP-4), strengthening the political, legal and institutional components of the program. It will contribute to the implementation of initial initiative stage on “water diplomacy”. In this context, multilateral consultations, seminars and conferences are planned to be convened in Central Asia countries.

Turkmenistan’s Water Diplomacy

Under visionary leadership of President of Turkmenistan H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Turkmenistan has staunch advocator of “Water Diplomacy” and moreover, Turkmenistan is the “pioneer of water diplomacy in the region. Turkmenistan has also been highlighted the potential of “water diplomacy” and the need to promote cooperation in the region.

Cross-Border Cooperation

Turkmenistan’s water diplomacy is based on cross-border cooperation on water and it considers the growing importance of water in maintaining peace and political stability. It is also crucial to promote dialogue and continued cooperation, and to contribute to peace and security in the region.

Turkmenistan’s Policies of Water Conservation & Restoration

Turkmenistan has been taking all possible measures for the conservation and restoration of water and other natural resources, combating desertification, land degradation and the last but not the least, climate change since its inception. It has been one of the key directions of international cooperation of Turkmenistan as the initiator of constructive solutions to global environmental problems for the well-being of present and future generations.

Turkmenistan’s Pledges Support to International Agencies & Forums

Turkmenistan supports the UN development program, UN on Environment Program, the global environment fund and other authoritative international organizations at the national and regional levels implemented dozens of programs and projects.

International Community Supports Turkmenistan Initiatives for Water Security

Turkmenistan has received immense support from the international community for its positive initiatives announced by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the international forums, including the United Nations Conference on sustainable development, Rio +20, the Summit on sustainable development for the period after 2015 year, held under the 70-th session of the United Nations General Assembly, (III) the UN World Conference on disaster reduction (Japan) and VII World Water Forum (the Republic of Korea).

H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov Keynote Speech to 7th World Water Forum

While addressing participants of the VII World Water Forum held in Daegu, South Korea in 2015 H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized that today water problems could not be considered in isolation from global development plans, environmental and food security and creation of an integrated system of sustainable energy.

Formation of High-Level Interactive Dialogue

Turkmenistan also considered it useful to hold high-level interactive dialogue dedicated to the International Decade for Action “Water for Life”, that took place recently at the United Nations Headquarters, the results of which can serve as a foundation for development of the long-term UN Specialized Program on Water Issues, the President added.

Turkmenistan’s Strategic Proposal

H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov shared opportunities for establishing a systematic multi-level dialogue to address all problems related to formation and restoration of water resources and their efficient use in the creation of a new political and diplomatic form of multilateral communication, which could be ‘water diplomacy”. President of Turkmenistan expressed belief in that such a joint activity could be the foundation for a comprehensive document of the United Nations on water. The President proposed participants of the World Water Forum to consider the initiative put forward by Turkmenistan i.e. “Water Diplomacy”,

Access of Water

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also focused on such important moment as access to water. The Turkmen leader expressed support to the UN initiative on the recognition of water accessibility as a fundamental human right and noted that the water right and liability for efficient water resources management laid the foundation for this approach.

Strategic Importance of Water in CIS

“Water related issues are the major problems in Central Asia and in some cases a determining factor for development. Under such circumstances, obtaining consensus at the regional level is the only acceptable platform for effective cooperation between states. Turkmenistan has consistently supported this approach, in particular consideration and resolution of water and energy issues in Central Asia on the basis of universally recognized norms of international law, mutual respect interests of all states in the region with participation of international organizations”, said President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

Role of Climate Change and Water Issue

The President recognized that solution of water issues in a global scale was complicated due to climate change. He put forward an initiative on creation of a UN specialized structure the Regional Centre for technologies related to climate change under the auspices and with the active participation of the United Nations Organisation. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that water problems could be a separate area of work of the centre.

Environmental Degradation of the Aral Sea in Central Asia

Environmental degradation of the Aral Sea in Central Asia has caused a loss of livelihoods and led to resource competition over water amongst the states sharing the basin, especially Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The conflict over water has been non-violent and mostly diplomatic.

Being the Chairman of the IFAS and to realize the idea of water diplomacy initiates the development of Central Asian Water Strategy. It is also considered reasonable to consolidate in this document the basic principles and rules of the political and diplomatic cooperation of the Central Asian states on water issues that fully take into account the interests of all countries in the region. In perspectives, the Central Asian Water Strategy would serve as a basis for UN Global Water Strategy elaboration.

Revision of the Regional Action Plan for Environmental Protection of Central Asia (REAP)

Turkmenistan will also prepare and officially send to all founding member countries of IFAS proposals for the revision of the Regional Action Plan for Environmental Protection of Central Asia (REAP) adopted within the framework of the Interstate Commission for Sustainable Development of IFAS in order to include main provisions of this Plan as an environmental component to new Action Program for Assistance to the Aral Sea Basin Countries (ASBP).

Practical Implementation of Specific Initiatives of IFAS

Being Chairman of IFAS Turkmenistan will continue to advocate the practical implementation of specific initiatives of IFAS founding countries which are aimed at enhancing regional cooperation and development of systemic mechanisms for cooperation in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development. In particular, Turkmenistan will make all necessary efforts to promote the issues on the establishment of the Regional Centre for technologies related to climate change. In this regard, during the chairmanship in the IFAS Turkmenistan in cooperation with specialized agencies and UN institutions, will take all necessary measures to continue working on сenter establishment.

IFAS: As a Regional Platform

Turkmenistan intends actively contribute to strengthening the institutional basis of the IFAS as a regional platform for Central Asian countries cooperation in the field of sustainable development. In this context, the activation of work on ratification and entry into force the Framework Convention (2006) for environment protection and sustainable development in Central Asia is foreseen.

More Opportunities

The activities of Turkmenistan during its chairmanship in IFAS will also focus on creating good conditions for the countries of Aral Sea basin as well as providing them with more opportunities to consider jointly with the international community the issues on attracting investments for solving the problems of the Aral Sea.

Utility of Turkmenistan’s Chairmanship

Successful implementation of the Fund goals and objectives by Turkmenistan as a country-chairman will provide necessary conditions for the countries of the region in their active participation in strategic planning and implementation of regional and international policies aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

IFAS

International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) was established in 1992 on the initiative of the Heads of the Central Asian States for the purpose of improving the social and economic, ecological situation in the basin of the Aral Sea.

New System of Distribution of the Water Resources

After obtaining the Independence, the countries of the Central Asia created a new system for distribution of the water resources. The Ministers of water resources of the Independent state signed the Agreement on September 12, 1992, in which, the parties declared that joint management of the water resources will be carried out in accordance with the principles of equality and mutual benefit.

Formation of Interstate Organizations

Within period from 1992 up to 1994, these interstate organizations were established with the assistance of the donors: the International Fund to Save the Aral Sea (IFAS) with headquarters situated in Almaty city and Interstate Council for the Aral Sea Basin (ICAB) with the Executive committee under the chairmanship of the Minister of Water economy of Turkmenistan, having its headquarters in Tashkent city. Main role of the IFAS was to raising and accumulating funds and the ICAB was targeted at preparation and implementation of the Aral Sea Basin Program (ASBP).

Meeting of the Heads of the IFAS Founder-States

The meeting of the Heads of the IFAS founder-states in 1997 resulted in making fundamental decisions, which are connected with the restructuring and merging of the IFAS and ICAB. Important decisions were taken regarding the chairmanship in the Executive Committee, its rotation, the whereabouts of the Executive committee and the amount of the payment to the Fund. The major objectives of the IFAS were determined: development of the draft proposals, which are aimed at working out a mutually acceptable mechanism for making complex use of the water resources and environmental protection, preservation of the biological fund of the Aral Sea region, decreasing the harmful impact of the ecological crisis on the environment and the main thing is to eliminate the impact on the people living in the region.

Ashgabat 1999

In April 1999, Ashgabat hosted the meeting of the Heads of the Central Asian States, at which, the Provision on IFAS and the Agreement on the status of the IFAS was adopted and Ashgabat Declaration was signed. By now the outcomes of the IFAS activity has become development, adoption and implementation of the three Programs on rendering assistance to the countries of the Aral Sea Basin (ASBP-1, ASBP-2, ASBP-3)

There are commissions operating within IFAS the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia (ICWC) and Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD) of Central Asian countries.

Strategic Utility of ICWC

The Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia (ICWC) was established by the countries of the Central Asia in accordance with the Agreement on cooperation in the field of joint water management and protection of the waters of the interstate water sources, signed on behalf of the sovereign states on the 18th of February, 1992 in Almaty city.

ICWC’s Main Purpose

The main purpose of ICWC creation is elaboration and approval of the limits of the annual water’s usage for each state according to the main water sources, modes of operation at the large water reservoirs and management of the water distribution under the conditions of the actual water content and the emerging situation in terms of water economy, also working out and implementation of the ecological programs related to the drying of the Aral Sea and depletion of the water resources, and setting up annual volumes of water supply to the river deltas and Aral Sea.

Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD)

Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD) was established as per the decision of the Interstate Council for the Aral Sea Basin (ICAB) (dated 19th July 1994, Ashgabat). At the Commission was entrusted with the mission of coordination and management of the regional cooperation in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development of the Central Asian states.

ICSD’s Main Goal

The main goal of the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD) is elaboration of the regional sustainable development strategy, management of the regional programs, action plans and project management in the field of environment and sustainable development, as well as coordination of the steps in fulfilling the obligations by the Central Asian states as concerns the implementation of the nature protection conventions that have trans-border aspect.

Concluding Remarks

Turkmenistan is Chairman of the International Fund for saving Aral Sea (IFAS). Under the visionary leadership of H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Turkmenistan has already taken meaningful initiatives for the further development of water resources including saving of Aral Sea. Water has a binding force and Turkmenistan is a pioneer country for water diplomacy in the region.

Turkmenistan is striving hard for the further development and strengthening of cooperation between the countries of the Aral Sea basin on improving the socio-economic and environmental situation in the Aral Sea region, rational water use and ensuring a high level of environmental protection in this region. Being Chairman of IFAS, Turkmenistan has many priority tasks which need to be completed for achieving desired goals of sustainable development.

Easy and smooth supply of water is directly correlated with the socio-economic prosperity of the CIS due to which Chairmanship of Turkmenistan is taking serious steps for equitable water sharing through rigorous water diplomacy. Water connects humanity and Turkmenistan is creating harmony in the distribution of water resources through its dynamic water diplomacy. Water ensures survival of humanity and being Chairman of the IFAS, Turkmenistan supports water diplomacy to resolve water issues in the region.