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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi said that foreign fishing vessels are not being allowed to fish in Pakistan's exclusive economic zone to protect the interests of local fishermen and fishing market.

During the question-hour session of the National Assembly on Friday, the minister said that the deep sea fishing policy has been announced after consultations with the stakeholders.

He said the bottom trawling has been banned in Balochistan as it damages the marine life and ecosystem.

Parliamentary Secretary for Industries and Production Aliya Hamza told the house that the auto sector is witnessing an unprecedented growth.

She said that 21 new entrants have entered our auto market. She said that demands of vehicles are more than their production. She said that many companies have been shifted to online booking. She said that auto industries are boosting due to comprehensive automobile policy of the government.

She said the cement export has increased 64 percent over the last three years. Parliamentary Secretary for National Food Security Ameer Sultan told the house the government has launched programmes to enhance local production of oil seeds. He said currently 2.75 billion dollars are being spent on the import of oil seeds. He said the execution of these programmes will help us cut this import bill by 600 million dollars by 2024.

He said several endeavours are being made under the PSDP pulses project to achieve self-sufficiency in lentils.

At present, he said, lentil is cultivated on 3,000 hectares in Tank. Seed of high quality has been supplied in the area, so that better yield and production may be fetched. He said some areas in Balochistan have also been identified as provincial hubs for lentil production.

In a written reply to a question, Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bukhtiar told the house that Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) has faced a total of Rs35.8 billion loss during the last three years.

He said that the PSM has been non-operational since June 2015. And its loses are Rs16.55 billion in financial year 2018-19, Rs20.50 billion in 2019-20, and Rs8.75 billion in financial year 2020-21 (upto 31st December).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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