Tag Archives: construction

US German Envoy Urges Temporary Cessation of Nord Stream Link | Instant News

Photographer: Alex Kraus / Bloomberg

Germany’s coordinator for transatlantic relations has called for a temporary suspension of construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas link to Russia to give Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government time to work on resetting relations with the US.

Peter Beyer, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said the near-completion pipeline in the Baltic Sea was a “roadblock” in relations between Berlin and Washington. The project is subject to US sanctions and a source of long-term friction between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies.

“It’s not enough just to reject extra-territorial sanctions,” Beyer said in an interview with Bloomberg News on Thursday. “If we hope for a new start in transatlantic relations, we need to change our own position, “he said, adding that Germany and the US should hold further discussions to try to resolve the issue.

Beyer’s stance on the pipeline does not reflect the official lines of Merkel’s ruling coalition, although other CDU lawmakers have also called for a moratorium on the project.

related to US German Envoy Urges Temporary Cessation of Nord Stream Link

Nord Stream 2’s undersea link to Germany.

Merkel’s government has rejected US calls to stop Gazprom PJSCpipeline, arguing that the sanctions imposed by the administration of former President Donald Trump endanger national and European sovereignty.


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Switzerland- First fossils unearthed at the Bern train station | Instant News

(MENAFN – Swissinfo) Fossilized snails, bone fragments, teeth and jaw fragments have been found at a construction site in the Swiss capital’s main train station.

This content is published March 29, 2021 – 17:38 March 29, 2021 – 17:38 Keystone-SDA / ts

During the construction of the new Regional Transport Bern-Solothurn (RBS) underground station, the rock layers have become accessible that would otherwise be hidden, said the Bern Natural History Museum (NMBE) on the MondayExternal link.

This is a “unique opportunity” for museum paleontologists, he said. They were particularly interested in the Lower Freshwater Molasses, a rock layer formed about 20 million years ago, when Bern was in the subtropics.

The NMBE said construction projects like the one in Bern were fortunate when it came to researching the flora and fauna of that period. But “a keen eye is needed at construction sites to find potentially fossilized rock,” he added.

NMBE / Rodriguez

The collected rock is broken down again at the museum and examined for fossil remains. Any fossils are then carefully freed from the rock. Only then can they be analyzed in detail under a microscope and classified.

It has long been known that interesting discoveries are possible in the area. The first fossils were revealed in 1850 when convicts were working with picks on the construction of a road to the Tiefenau area. Fossils were also found and found at the Neufeld Tunnel construction site between 2006 and 2008.




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Construction projects are lagging behind target | Instant News


More than 1,000 construction projects worth Rs355 billion have so far registered during the first year of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s second tax amnesty scheme, as the government protects the income tax exemption of real estate investors for another three years.

There has been a steady increase in the number of schemes registered under tax amnesty schemes but that figure remains below the government’s target, according to government statistics.

So far, 1,016 projects worth Rs355 billion have been registered under the scheme, according to government statistics. This includes 274 projects that were implemented before the announcement of the amnesty a year ago and the reasons for granting the amnesty.

Read: FDI can spur the construction sector

In April last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced his government’s second ten-month tax amnesty scheme aimed at ‘boosting economic growth’ and minimizing the impact of COVID-19 on people’s lives.

This scheme allows people to invest in the construction sector without disclosing their source of income. The construction sector is the prime minister’s flagship project and he is betting on a revival for a boom in economic activity.

The government expects more than Rs1 trillion of projects to be registered by December last year. But the process took longer and the prime minister eventually granted a six month extension to the scheme.

Of the more than 1,000 schemes, the majority – 782 – were registered in December, which was the initial deadline for the scheme. The second highest number of projects was registered in October last year – 121.

These schemes are also being offered to projects that are under construction even before they are announced. The condition is that new and ongoing projects must mostly be completed by September 30, 2022 – the current deadline has been extended.

The government first announced a presidential regulation in April and then granted permanent legal protection to the scheme by making it part of the 2020 Finance Bill. Another regulation was issued in January to extend the scheme to June 2021. The government extended that date to start construction projects from December 2020 to June 2021 and the project completion period was also extended.

Under the terms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government has already withdrawn an income tax exemption of IDR 140 billion worth 75. But it has succeeded in protecting real sector concessions until 2024 in an effort to boost economic activity.

The government has protected a 50% reduction in tax liability in cases of public low-cost housing projects until 30 June 2024. Similarly, a 90% reduction in tax liability in cases of low-cost housing developed or approved by the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (RANAM) or under the Ehsaas Program also protected until June 2024.

In addition to the 1,016 projects that have so far registered under the scheme, another 285 schemes worth Rs78 billion are in the registration process, according to the government. These 285 projects have not met all the procedural requirements for utilizing the scheme.

Of these, the majority of 143 schemes worth Rs43 billion are in Punjab followed by 76 schemes with an estimated value of Rs18 billion in Sindh. Some 57 projects worth Rs17 billion are in the process of approval located in the Islamabad Capital Territory. There are nine projects located in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The IMF has banned Pakistan from providing further tax amnesty schemes over the currency of the IMF program after the Pakistani government Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) awarded a tax amnesty scheme in May 2019 to allow people to declare their money haram and black money. .

Also read: The NCC will send construction projects that are facing delays to NAB

The Federal Revenue Council (FBR) said that the construction sector tax amnesty scheme provides immunity from Section 111 of the regulations relating to disclosure of sources of income. It said there was no question about the nature and source of funds from investors who invested in new construction projects in the form of money or land, either as individuals, as associations of people or companies.

In the case of builders, the project should be considered completed by the date of completion of the gray structure. In the case of the developer, the project must be considered completed by the date when at least 50% of the total plots have been ordered on behalf of the buyer; at least 40% of sales have been received; landscaping has been completed; and at least 50% of the roads have been installed to the sub-grade level as certified by the approval authority or NESPAK.

Builders and developers who choose the proposed scheme are not required to withhold income tax on the purchase of building materials except steel and cement.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2021.

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New Zealand Economic Contract, Denting V-Shaped Recovery | Instant News

Photographer: Brendon O’Hagan / Bloomberg

The New Zealand economy contracted in the last three months of 2020, undermining its V-shaped recovery from recession caused by the pandemic.

Gross domestic product fell 1.0% from the third quarter, when it expanded a revised 13.9%, Statistics New Zealand said Thursday in Wellington. Economists were expecting a 0.2% increase. From a year earlier, the economy shrank 0.9% against growth expectations of 0.5%.

New Zealand now faces the prospect of a double-dip recession. The economy is recovering quickly from its initial slump, driven by a wave of fiscal and monetary stimulus and the country’s success in fighting Covid-19. But borders remain closed to foreigners, crippling the tourism industry during crucial summer months, and many businesses have put off investing and hiring plans.

GDP is now lower than last year

“A second recession is imminent as GDP is bound to fall in the first quarter,” said Ben Udy, an Australian & New Zealand economist at Capital Economics in Singapore. “Electronic card transactions fall in January and February, and that is it lockout for a week in Auckland in March means a decline in consumption is certain. “

The New Zealand dollar slumped soon after the GDP report before recovering to trade little changed. It bought 72.47 US cents at 11.18 in Wellington.

The sustainability of New Zealand’s recovery has been questioned in light of those borders closing and the slow distribution of vaccines. Six of 18 economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast contraction for the quarter while the Reserve Bank last month projected zero growth, saying that ongoing uncertainty is expected to limit business investment and household spending.

The central bank has cut interest rates and initiated quantitative easing and term lending programs to lower borrowing costs. That put a rocket under the housing market, with prices soaring to new records. The government is preparing a package of measures to control speculators, which are expected to be announced next week.

Other details

The fourth-quarter contraction was driven by construction, manufacturing and agricultural produce, the statistics agency said.

  • Manufacturing output fell 0.7% from the third quarter
  • Agricultural production slowed by 2%
  • Construction fell 8.7%, led by non-residential buildings and heavy engineering
  • Household consumption rose 1.1% as spending on services offset a decline in purchases of goods
  • Investment fell 1.4%, led by commercial construction, plant and equipment
  • Exports fell 1.1% reflecting reduced tourist spending, while imports surged 9.1%
  • GDP per capita decreased by 1.2%

(Updates with detail throughout)


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The silver liners of air travel in the pandemic era | Instant News

Can something good come out of it? In travel, yes, there are actually pandemic silver liners. Some technologies deploy faster. Some key airport projects have been accelerated to take advantage of the absence of passengers and planes. Some airline policies have changed in favor of aviators. The lack of cleaning on planes and at airports and hotels has been revealed. Cleanliness standards can be changed at least in the next few years. Partial elimination of change fees is one of the major pandemic-related changes for air travel, although, like so much with airlines, the fine print is eroding consumer value. The most prominent silver coatings are found in large, congested airport construction projects like Los Angeles International and New York’s LaGuardia. The disruption in these places has been a nightmare in the past for travelers and threatened to worsen before the pandemic. From now on, travelers will be spared from many disruptions. In some cases, when they return, they will find places they barely recognize. .

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