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August 18, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. SC tells ECP to go ahead with second phase of LG polls in Sindh
• The Supreme Court ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday to go ahead with the second phase of local government elections in Sindh.
• After three days of continuous hearing on a set of petitions, a three judge SC bench made a specific mention of an intervener Jamaat-i-Islami`s (JI) Karachi chief Naeem ur Rehman who had regretted that local polls were already behind schedule by over two years.
• While disposing of the matter, a short order dictated by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial said the process to hold the local government elections cannot be stopped at this stage
2. Gujrat notified as 10th division of Punjab
• The Punjab government on Wednesday formally notified Gujrat as a 10th division of the province.
• Gujrat division will consist of three districts Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin and Hafizabad as per a notification issued by the senior member Board of Revenue (BoR) after the approval of the Punjab governor.
• The new division has been created by bifurcating the existing Gujranwala division, the largest one comprising six districts, having a total population of around 16 million, said a senior administrative official.
• He gave credit for the creation of the new division to Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and MNA Moonis Elahi, who played a vital role in the upgrade of their hometown to divisional headquarters
3. UK inks deal to return `criminals` to Pakistan
• The UK signed a major deal with Pakistan on August 17, 2022, under which foreign criminals and immigration offenders from the UK can be returned to Pakistan.
• UK Home Secretary Priti Patel hailed the development on Twitter, saying that `I`m proud to have signed a new landmark agreement with our Pakistani friends to return foreign criminals and immigration offenders from the UK to Pakistan.
• This deal shows our #NewPlanForImmigration in action, as we deliver for the British people` `I make no apology for removing dangerous foreign criminals and immigration offenders who have no right to remain in the UK. The British public have quite rightly had enough of people abusing our laws and gaming the system so we can`t remove them,` the statement quoted Ms Patel as saying.
• `This agreement, which I am proud to have signed with our Pakistani friends, shows the New Plan for Immigration in action and the government delivering
4. New seeds approved to increase rice yield
• In a bid to increase the yield from rice crops, nine hybrid and one long grain variety of rice were approved on Wednesday for commercial cultivation during the next kharif season.
• The hybrid varieties have been developed by the private sector while the long grain variety was developed by the Punjab government`s Soil Salinity Research Institute, a research scientist at Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) said.
• The varieties were given the nod by PARC`s Rice Variety Evaluation Committee in a meeting headed by the committee`s Chairman Dr Imtiaz Hussain
5. Govt commits more taxes as IMF board meets on 29th
• The government has given an undertaking to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to raise the petroleum development levy (PDL) to a maximum of Rs50 per litre each on petrol and diesel by January and April, respectively, in 2023.
• In its Letter of Intent (LoI) sent to the IMF for formal approval of completion of the 7th and 8th reviews of the $7bn Extended Fund Facility (EFF), Pakistan has also made iron-clad commitments to build foreign exchange reserves to cover at least 10 weeks of imports by end of the current fiscal year from existing 5 weeks and not to use those reserves ever to support the exchange rate.
• IMF Country Representatives Esther Perez Ruiz on Wednesday announced that the Fund`s Executive Board meeting for Pakistan`s combined seventh and eighth reviews under the EFF has been scheduled for Aug 29
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