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June 24, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. 43pc foreign-funded projects found to be `problematic`
• The Ministry of Economic Affairs said on June 23, 2022 that 43 per cent of about $35 billion worth of foreign-funded projects were problematic either not progressing well or unable to deliver the desired outcomes.
• At a review meeting of the National Coordination Committee on foreign-funded projects, the ministry reported that it was managing an ongoing portfolio of $34.8bn such projects of various sectors of the economy. `Out of the total portfolio, $15bn (43pc) is considered as problematic,` it added.
• On top of that, the meeting was informed that the `share of federal energy projects is about $3.3bn, of which $2.3bn (or almost 70pc) is rated as problematic`, an official statement said. No wonder then, the energy sector is emerging as a challenge to the country`s stability, an official said, referring to over 17pc losses and 10pc short recoveries in the power sector and 10-17pc system losses in the gas sector
2. Cabinet approves new local govt bill
• The Punjab Cabinet on June 23, 2022 approved the Punjab Local Government Bill (PLGA) 2022 with an enhanced quota of reserved seats for the youth to empower young people.
• Under the PLGA-2022 bill, nine metropolitan corporations will be established in five large cities, including Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and Rawalpindi and four divisional headquarters including Sargodha, Bahawalpur, Sahiwal and Dera Ghazi Khan.
• The government will also establish 14 municipal corporations in rapidly-growing cities including Sheikhupura, Ferozewala, Jhang, Okara, Rahim Yar Khan, Kasur, Burewala, Chiniot, Hafizabad, Kamoke, Muzaffargarh, Jhelum, Muridke and Sadigabad.The town administration will be restored in five major cities of Punjab including Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan and Rawalpindi to ensure parity of basic municipal services across the city
3. Central business district set up in Gwadar
• The government has established a `central business district` over an area of 2,500 acres in the port city under the Gwadar Master Plan, while a 280km road network has also been constructed.
• The Director General of Gwadar Development Authority, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Qambrani, disclosed this while speaking at the Gwadar National Conference held here on Thursday.
• He said that a 150-bed Pak-China Friendship Hospital is under construction in the port city at a cost of $30.5 million, which would be completed soon to provide best medical facilities to the people of Gwadar district.
4. Pakistan fails to attract bidder for three LNG slots
• Amid widespread electricity shortages, Pakistan failed to find a bidder for three LNG slots and received the highestever rate for another slot for the last week of July as European customers lap up spot market quantities to compensate for Russian supply disruption.
• State-run Pakistan LNG Ltd (PLL) floated a tender on June 16 for four cargos -one each in the first and second weeks, and two in the last week, of July. No bidder came up for July 2-3, July 8-9 and July 25-26 delivery windows.
• This was the third futile attempt by PLL to have an LNG cargo in the first week of July.
• The earlier two tenders issued on May 31 and June 7 attracted two and one bidder, respectively, but none was technically responsive.
5. Xi criticises sanctions `abuse`, Putin scolds West
• Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 23, 2022 criticised `the abuse` of international sanctions, while Russian President Vladimir Putin scolded the West for fomenting global crisis, with both leaders calling for greater BRICS cooperation.
• Xi called on Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) to take up the responsibility conferred by their economic clout, and said they should stand up for a truly multinational international system based on the United Nations.
• `We must abandon Cold War mentality and block confrontation and oppose unilateral sanctions and the abuse of sanctions,` Xi told the BRICS summit through a translator