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March 27, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. With her Indian nightmare finally over, Sumaira returns to Pakistan
• Sumaira Rehman, a Pakistani woman who had been languishing in a detention centre at Bangalore in India for some four years, has finally returned to Pakistan along with her four-year-old daughter Sana Fatima.
• PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui, who had last week said Indian authorities have completed all formalities for Sumaira`s release, made the disclosure while talking to reporters here.
• Indian authorities handed over Sumaira and her daughter to Pakistani authorities at the Wagah border.
• Pakistani High Commission officials accompanied Sumaira from Bangalore to Wagah border
2. Saudi firm to help Pakistan assess Reko Diq gold, copper quantity
• Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, while defending a recently signed agreement on the Reko Dig copper and gold mining project with a Canadian company, has disclosed that a Saudi Arabian firm would set up a refinery in Gwadar to assess the quantity of minerals extracted from the site.
• `I have taken all political leaders, parties and public representatives into confidence before signing the Reko Diq project, which will prove a gateway for foreign investment in Balochistan as [Canadian firm] Barrick Gold Corporation will invest $10 billion,` he said during an interaction with senior journalists and newspapers editors at Chief Minister House on Friday night.
• He said the agreement clearly mentioned it `would be cancelled if the [Canadian] company failed to start work within three years at the site allotted for exploration and mining
3. Tax collection from sugar sector jumps to Rs26.5bn
• The revenue collection in the current sugar crushing season posted a robust growth of 33 per cent over the corresponding period of last year, which according to tax officials is mainly due to the introduction of an innovative digital monitoring system of sugar production.
• The sales tax collection reached Rs26.5 billion in the first four months -Dec 21, 2021 to March 22 -as against Rs19.9bn collected during the corresponding period in the last crushing season, registering an increase 33pc or Rs6.59bn.
• Besides the introduction of a digital system, the production of sugar also posted impressive growth in the current season
4. ADB asks Pakistan to boost savings, investments
• Pakistan`s economy remains vulnerable despite a stable debt outlook as investment rates have remained very low at 15.2 per cent of GDP in the last fiscal year, says the Asian Development Bank.
• The under-developed capital markets in Pakistan have contributed to the ineffective mobilisation of savings, leading to a wide saving-investment gap. The banks` own credit origination capacity was hampered by the ineffective role of the country`s capital markets, and the economy remained dependent on volatile foreign capital.
• The development of domestic capital markets can have the benefit of increasing the government`s access to local currency financing by issuing debt through domestic open market operations and thereby help manage foreign exchange risk and inflation better
5. Closed since 2019, Khunjerab to reopen for trade from 1st
• After remaining closed for more than two and a half years, a key land border crossing between Pakistan and China at Khunjerab is being reopened for trade activities from April l.
• Khunjerab Pass was closed in November 2019 to contain the transmission of the coronavirus between the two countries.
• The pass was temporarily opened in July and September 2020 and again in November 2021, only to facilitate the transportation of the containers loaded with goods that had been stranded in China.
• During the temporary opening of the border, stranded containers from China were unloaded at Khunjerab Top instead of the port at Sost