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May 23, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Govt mulls reduced working days to save fuel
• Amid rising oil consumption and import bill owing to higher international prices, the government is examining the possibility of fuel conservation through reduced working days a week. It hopes to save an estimated annual foreign exchange of up to $2.7 billion.
• The estimates are based on three different scenarios in terms of working days and fuel conservation prepared by the State Bank of Pakistan for foreign exchange saving of $1.5bn to 2.7bn.
• Pakistan`s total oil import during the first 10 months (July-April) of the current Fiscal year (FY22) has gone beyond $17bn, showing a massive 96pc growth compared to the same period last fiscal year. This includes import of petroleum products worth $8.5bn and petroleum crude of $4.2bn, showing 121pc and 75pc surge, respectively
2. Elahi scuttles no-trust move; PML-N resubmits motion
• In a shocking move for the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz, Punjab Assembly Speaker Parvez Elahi managed to survive a no-confidence motion on May 22, 2022 afternoon by getting it disposed of even before the mover could enter the house, compelling the ruling party to resubmit another no-trust motion against him in the evening.
• The nine-minute session, convened at a short notice of less than 24 hours, was put off without taking up an equally important agenda item: no confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Mohammad Mazari.
• On Saturday afternoon, Speaker Elahi had rescheduled the PA session from May 30 to May 22, but its two-point agenda was issued only on Sunday morning, thus allowing minimum time to the ruling PML-N and individual MPAs to ensure their presence in the assembly chamber
3. FM hopeful China ties will deepen in many areas
• Pakistan and China on May 22, 2022 reiterated commitment to cementing bilateral relations in the fields of defence, trade, economy, investment, health, agriculture, science and technology and CPEC to the mutual benefit of the two counties.
• The two sides made these commitments at a meeting of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during the former`s maiden visit to China.
• According to the Foreign Office, the visit coincided with the 71st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Pakistan.
• The two leaders held in-depth discussions on the entire gamut of bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of shared interest. The talks were conducted in a warm and friendly atmosphere, in line with the finest tradition of mutual trust and cooperation between the two countries
4. Balochistan receives 17pc less rainfall
• Balochistan has received 17 per cent less rainfall over the past four months, causing a drought-like situation which badly hit Chagai, Kharan, Nushki and Washuk districts of the province.
• Data released by the Meteorological Department said Balochistan had received 17pc less rainfall from January to April this year and the lowest rainfall was recorded at 89.3pc in February, 68pc in March and 79.6pc in April.
• `The western and southwestern parts of the province depend on rainfall,` the report said. However, due to heatwave, severe drought has affected Chagai, while drought conditions are also prevailing in Kharan, Nushki and Washuk
5. Pakistan among countries exposed to war in Ukraine
• The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) has listed 12 countries of the region, including Pakistan, which are classified as countries in special situations, and are deemed more exposed to the ongoing war in Ukraine than others.
• A policy brief on `the War in Ukraine: Impacts, Exposure and Policy Issues in Asia and the Pacific` which was made available online on Sunday feared that these 12 countries could be hit harder because their economic structure and conditions are more exposed to higher energy and food prices, smaller external financial inflows, rising financial costs and a sudden shif t in business sentiments.
• The countries are: Armenia, Cambodia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, the Maldives, Pakistan, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan and Vanuatu