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Showing posts from June 18, 2020

Belt and Road meansbig data and facialrecognition, too

PETER LAYTON China is exporting the same social control technology it employs to monitor its own population. Huawei headquarters in Shenzen, China (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images) Published 19 Jun 2020 06:00 China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which aims to grow the Chinese economy through facilitating extensive trade across Eurasia and Africa, is now so large it is shaping how China engages its near region and the wider world. Some  126 countries  and 29 international organisations have signed cooperation agreements, more than 3000 projects are listed under the BRI umbrella, and some 60% are underway. BRI countries are not all investment destinations without complications – some have social conflicts, civil unrest and incipient insurgencies. As more Chinese companies invest in these weak states, security concerns are growing, with an increasing number of attacks on Chinese worksites and w

Gwadar port accord: Senate panel grills secretary for not sharing details

National Mehtab Haider June 19, 2020 ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Thursday grilled Secretary Maritime Affairs for not sharing full and final disclosure about concessional agreement of Gwadar Port with members... ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Thursday grilled Secretary Maritime Affairs for not sharing full and final disclosure about concessional agreement of Gwadar Port with members of parliamentary panel. Secretary Maritime Affairs Rizwan Ahmed took stance that confidentiality clauses barred him to bring concessional agreement between Singapore Port Authority and Chinese company into public domain. However, he agreed to allow reading of the confidential agreement between two parties on coming Tuesday when Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Finance Senator Farooq H Naek decided to hold in-camera meeting. The secretary also said that he would get back agreement copies at the end of the meeting. The Senate panel, which held its meetin

Work on CPEC projects gains momentum: Asim 10 hours ago Our Staff Reporter       ISLAMABAD - Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, General (Retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa, on Wednesday, said that the pace of work on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had been increased during recent days. In a tweet, rejecting the false impression about slowing down of the mega project, he said “some detractors are giving false impression of CPEC being slowed down. Not only the pace of work on the projects under CPEC has picked up recently, ground work of CPEC phase-II has also started recently”. Asim Bajwa who also heads CPEC project informed that the mega US$7.2 billion railway up-gradation project of mainline (ML-1) was also going to be launched soon besides two hydel power projects with an investment of $3.5 billion. The advisor said work on number of other projects such as Special Economic Zones and those belonging to agriculture sector would also be materialized soon.

Gwadar agreement: No clause for 40-year tax holiday

By  shahbaz rana  Jun.18,2020 Maritime affairs secretary admits original concession deal offers 20-year tax relief ISLAMABAD:  In a stunning disclosure, the maritime affairs secretary admitted on Wednesday that the original Gwadar Port concession agreement offered only 20-year – not 40-year – tax holiday to port operators and there was no provision for extending the tax concession to sub-contractors. Ministry of Maritime Affairs Secretary Rizwan Ahmad made the disclosure in a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, which had called the top bureaucrat to come and produce the Gwadar Port concession agreement with China. The standing committee had asked the maritime affairs secretary to appear before it as a day earlier the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) told the committee that it proposed up to 40-year tax holiday for Gwadar Port operators, its contactors and sub-contractors on the recommendation of the maritime affairs ministry. But the statement made by the maritime affair

Plan to establish mineral exploration company approved

THE NEWSPAPER'S STAFF CORRESPONDENT QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani chaired a high-level meeting on Tuesday to review the proposed plan for establishing the Balochistan Mineral Exploration Company (BMEC). The meeting decided to appoint the secretary for Minerals and Min­­eral Development as its int­e­rim chief executive officer and app­­ro­ved a seven-member board of directors for the proposed company. It was agreed at the meeting that Balochistan would have 90 per cent shares in the company and the remaining 10pc would go to the federal government. T he head office of the company would be established in Quetta while a branch office would be set up in Islamabad. The meeting agreed to include experts from the minerals sector in the board of directors. It was also decided that a Chagai Foundation would be set up with the aim to develop the economic and social sectors in the Chagai district. Provincial Finance Minister Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, Chief Secretary