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September 14, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. PM vetoes another summary to raise prices of medicines
• Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on September 13, 2022 vetoed another proposal seeking an increase in the prices of 10 medicines up to 25 per cent, saying he cannot support such a move.
• However, a senior official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), wishing not to be named, said the majority of the medicines whose prices were sought to be raised were meant for rare diseases, while one was included on the directions of the Sindh High Court.
• Earlier on Aug 16 as well, the federal cabinet had rejected a summary presented by the NHS Ministry suggesting an increase in the prices of 35 medicines, and stated that the price of no medicine would be increased in the future without the approval of the cabinet
2. Festering food crisis worries Red Cross; Guterres terms floods `unnatural`
• International agencies have sounded the alarm over the acute food crisis expected to hit Pakistan in the wake of catastrophic floods as the UN chief declared that climate change impacts were `heading into uncharted territories of destruction`.
• The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned on September 13, 2022 that the number of acutely hungry people in Pakistan was expected to rise substantially, since at least 43 per cent of the population was said to be food insecure even before the floods hit.
• Some 21 million acres of crops were under water, and an estimated 65pc of the country`s food basket crops like rice and wheat had been destroyed, with over 733,000 livestock reportedly killed, the IFRC and ICRC said in Geneva on Tuesday
3. Six killed, seven injured in Swat, Kohat blasts
• Two districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were rocked by blasts within a span of a few hours on Tuesday evening, targeting a police station in Kohat and a former peace committee head and police officials in Swat.
• Six persons, including a former Aman Committee head and two policemen, were killed when a remote-controlled bomb struck their vehicle in the Ghlo Kandaw area of Kabal Tehsil in the Swat valley.
• Former peace committee head Idrees Khan, two police guards Ramail and Tauheed, and a child were on their way from Kotakay to Bandai village when the bomb, planted on a dirt road, went off, leaving the four people dead on the spot. Two pedestrians were also killed in the blast
4. Chinese firm contacted for repair of Rohri-Karachi section
• As the current deficit of the Pakistan Railways (PR) stands at Rs13 billion, it will take 15 to 20 years more to make it a self sufficient organisation, warned federal minister Khwaja Saad Rafique.
• Speaking with citizen representatives and the media here on Tuesday, Mr Rafique said a Chinese railway company had been asked to repair the Rohri-Karachi railway section first.
• The rickety section is notorious for causing a number of trains accidents claiming lives of passengers and frequent derailments.
• The minister, who is on a whirlwind five-day tour to inspect different railway stations in the backdrop of recent floods, said due to the current economic scenario, the PR had become a victim of financial crisis because its infrastructure was badly damaged in Sindh and Balochistan by the calamity
5. Italy to back Pakistan`s GSP Plus renewal bid
• Italy, on September 13, 2022, said it would support Pakistan for renewal of the EU`s Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus or GSP+ concession.
• Addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Deputy Head of Mission at the Italian Embassy Dr Roberto Neccia also suggested Pakistan to send sector-specific trade missions to Italy to explore untapped areas of mutual cooperation.
• Dr Neccia added that a trade section was being opened in the Italian Embassy that would boost bilateral ties between the two countries