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Italy supports Uzbekistan’s accession to the WTO | Instant News


(MENAFN – Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, December 25th

By Klavdiya Romakayeva – Trends:

Italy expressed its commitment to comprehensively support Uzbekistan in the framework of Uzbekistan’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Trend report with reference to the press service of the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov, and the newly appointed Italian Ambassador to Uzbekistan Agostino Pinna discussed the main topics of the bilateral partnership in the fields of investment, trade, economy and culture, and humanity.

The parties noted the untapped potential in the field of investment cooperation, and in connection with that agreement was reached on the intensification of business contacts in the fields of oil and gas, energy and chemical industries, agriculture, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering, and interactions. to attract major Italian companies to carry out projects in Uzbekistan.

According to the information, Italy stressed its readiness to continue providing assistance to Uzbekistan in obtaining the status of a General System of Preferences (GSP +) recipient country, which will allow duty-free export of more than 6,000 items of commodities to Europe. Union (EU) countries, as well as the signing of the Partnership and Enhanced Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) with the EU.

In addition, proposals were voiced and further actions were identified to sign an agreement on cooperation between the Samarkand region in Uzbekistan and the Lombardy region in Italy for the further development of the partnership between the regions.

Furthermore, the parties agreed on a number of bilateral events planned, including the holding of the seventh meeting of the Uzbek-Italian Intergovernmental Working Group on trade, economy and industrial cooperation in Tashkent in the first half of 2021.

Follow the author on Twitter: @romeva

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RUDA was given enormous powers to implement the Ravi Urban Development Project | Instant News


ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government has granted complete immunity to the Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA), its chairman and all its executives from all legal proceedings.

The RUDA law states that no lawsuit, prosecution or other legal action will be brought against him, its chairman, director general, members, officers, servants, experts or consultants in any matter that is done or intended to be done in good faith under it.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is trying to make Ravi’s Urban Development project the flagship scheme of his government and is involved in various aspects of its implementation.

The private owners of the land on which the project will be distributed have been protesting the acquisition by the government.

The RUDA law states that in the event of a conflict or inconsistency between it and other laws, this law will apply to the extent that such inconsistency or conflict occurs. Also, the jurisdiction of all courts and authorities to question the legality of anything done or any action taken in good faith by or at RUDA’s example has been removed.

RUDA has been empowered to determine the means of compensation in the form of cash, bonds, notes, annuities, adjustments, alternative land, developed sites or in a combination of these forms. However, if the compensation for immovable property obtained is in the form of a developed site, RUDA will not provide such compensation unless the immovable property is transferred or transferred in its name.

If RUDA is going to specify any type of compensation other than cash, the interested person will have the option of receiving compensation either in cash or in that mode or in both forms if so chooses by him. If the compensation is paid in cash, it will be determined by the collector. RUDA will not provide alternative land or sites developed under any scheme unless the scheme is acquired. The law further says: “If the provision of alternative land or a developed site is part of the scheme but for whatever reason, the developed land or site cannot be provided, RUDA will pay compensation in cash at a rate that can be determined through regulation. . RUDA may, through negotiation, buy, rent or exchange land or buildings or other property by entering into an agreement with the owner, or a person who is legally competent to sell, rent or exchange the property or enter into joint ventures for the development of sites, projects, buildings, and any scheme. “

The law adds: “For joint venture purposes, RUDA can enter into any joint venture as a partner with any national or international person, company, agency, authority or organization to manage, sell, develop, maintain, build and transfer land, plot, estate or property contained therein. Joint ventures can be implemented or arranged, if necessary, by the chairman. RUDA can outsource all of its activities including development work through any mode including public private partnerships. “

RUDA can implement methods and procedures for conducting public private partnerships under its laws and such prescribed means will exclusively regulate public-private partnerships with it. The law also says that subject to the opportunity of a trial, “the chairman or appointed official or person can quickly remove a person under illegal occupation from any land or property held by RUDA and possibly for such eviction using any force that may be necessary. He may , upon his own motion or at the request of the owner, quickly excludes anyone occupying the land or plot of land illegally in a housing scheme developed and controlled by RUDA and can, for the eviction, use any force that may be necessary. chairman to sue such a person on the grounds of an offense. “

If any building, structure, work or land is erected, constructed or used contrary to these laws and regulations, the chairman or a designated person can ask the owner, occupant, user or person controlling the building, structure, work or land. to remove, demolish or modify a building, structure or work or use it in such a way as to carry such construction or user in accordance with this law.

“If such an order is not fulfilled within the stipulated time, the chairperson may, after giving the person affected by the order the opportunity to be heard, remove, destroy or change any building, structure or work, or cease use of the land by sealing the building or land and, by accordingly, can use force that may be needed and can also recover costs, from the person responsible for the installation, construction or use of buildings, structures, works or land that is against this law. “

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Pakistani army prepares to gain Belt and Road authority | Instant News


KARACHI – Pakistan will pass a law that will place the supranational body overseeing the $ 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s main Belt and Road Initiative, under the control of the Pakistan Army which will also gain immense power. .

A parliamentary committee earlier this month passed the CPEC Authorities 2020 Bill despite strong opposition from some lawmakers. According to Junaid Akbar, chairman of the parliamentary committee, the bill will be submitted to parliament for a final vote in the second week of December.

The Pakistani government under Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan’s ruling party Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which are seen as aligned with military interests, have been working for months to get the bill through the committee. The proposed law seeks to restore the controversial CPEC Authority – which has been closed since the end of the presidential order in May.

If enacted, the law will shift control of the CPEC project from the ministry of planning and development run by the civilian bureaucracy to the CPEC Authority headed by retired army General Asim Saleem Bajwa. In addition, Bajwa will report directly to the prime minister instead of the ministry and replace the planning minister as co-chair of the joint Pakistan-China committee.

Even though the presidential order has ended, Bajwa continues to lead the CPEC Authority as chair, a situation that has led opposition legislators to question the legality of his position. In a briefing to the committee, the planning ministry denied having a chairperson of the CPEC Authority; they also denied that they gave Bajwa a salary or allowance.

Retired General Asim Saleem Bajwa is on the brink of gaining the power to carry out investigations into any incumbent he considers not cooperating with the CPEC Authority. © Getty Images

Outside observers say intrigue reveals a military proclaiming itself to be an attempt by the elected government to find its footing.

“Civil leadership [under Khan and PTI], who never held national power until winning the 2018 election, has struggled with public policy on multiple levels, “Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia program at the Wilson Center, a Washington think tank, told Nikkei Asia was seen in part as a play of military power to asserts greater influence over key projects that are believed to be more eligible for supervision.

“In Pakistan, retired military officers often stay close to their former employers, and the military can exert influence through these retirees. [officers]. So, while General Bajwa formally reports to the civilian leadership, one cannot ignore the influence his former boss will exert over his decisions and actions. “

The CPEC authority was originally formed in 2019 by a presidential order that passed through parliament, just before Prime Minister Imran Khan went to China for the third time in a year to appease China due to a lack of progress along economic corridors.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, left, greets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing in October 2019, right after the presidential order creating the CPEC Authority. (Photo courtesy of Government of Pakistan)

The CPEC project came to a halt for months after Khan took power in 2018, mainly due to allegations of corruption related to the handling of the project by the previous government. There are also accusations that the deal unfairly benefits Beijing. Khan’s government is struggling to overcome twin deficits and unsustainable foreign debt. Prior to his election, the former cricketer had been a vocal critic of the corridor, citing a lack of transparency.

But with Bajwa at the helm and Khan now making CPEC the cornerstone of its development plans for Pakistan, CPEC’s power and transportation projects have begun.

Since its inception, the CPEC Authority has drawn criticism from opposition parties, notably the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party, which advocate strengthening of the existing civilian institutions involved in CPEC.

Parties allied to the bill have also raised brazen opposition to the military’s role in politics. They have organized countrywide rallies under an alliance called the Pakistan Democratic Movement, alleging that the ruling PTI had framed them in a bogus corruption case with the backing of the army.

Supporters of the Pakistani Democratic Movement raise flags as they listen to their leaders during anti-government rallies in Karachi on October 18, 2020. © Reuters

The proposed law is controversial for two reasons: It grants CPEC Authority officials impunity, rendering them responsible for the tens of billions of dollars that would be spent on corridor projects and placing them outside the purview of Pakistani courts. In addition, the bill stipulates that if a public official does not cooperate with the CPEC Authority, the chairperson will have the power to order an investigation into the incumbent.

“The lack of oversight and regulation by civilian authorities is worrisome, as it allows the CPEC Authority to operate with impunity and is not accountable to elected officials,” said Kugelman. “Some might argue that taking CPEC’s portfolio from an inexperienced civilian leadership and putting it in military hands would make CPEC policy more efficient. Maybe so, but also make CPEC policy less democratic.”

“The military wants CPEC authority when the project starts [in 2015], but the PML-N government is against it, “said Ayesha Siddiqa, a researcher at the SOAS South Asia Institute at the University of London who has written extensively on the Pakistani Army’s business interests.” They argue that authority will add to the extra bureaucracy. Now, the CPEC Authority [under the army’s control] was established to streamline the share and control of the military. “

According to the Pakistan Army’s official website, the Frontier Works Organization, the construction and engineering armed forces, “has built 3,797 km of roads” in the last 30 years, “in addition to preparing 8 completely new and upgraded airfields.”

Said Siddiqa: FWO “has a contract for road construction as part of CPEC, and has also registered an interest in copper mining. So, any mining that will be carried out under the rubric of CPEC, the FWO will benefit.”

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Covid 19 coronavirus: How will the first available vaccine in New Zealand work? | Instant News


BioNTech and Pfizer’s mRNA coronavirus vaccines could be launched in New Zealand early next year, subject to final testing and approval. Photo / Provided

The mRNA coronavirus vaccine, which could arrive in New Zealand as early as next year, subject to final tests and regulations, will be the latest incarnation of the immunological revolution sweeping science. Professor Graham

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The PM urged a comprehensive strategy to address the energy challenge | Instant News


Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed the need for a coherent and comprehensive strategy to address the energy challenges facing the country.

Chairing a meeting on oil and gas exploration and production in Islamabad on Friday, he said the implementation of an Exploration and Production Management System would make it possible to benefit from low-cost oil and gas reserves.

The Prime Minister said using this system would also allow us to reduce the burden on state finances and make it possible to supply oil and gas to the public at a lower price.

He said technology must be used in all sectors to reduce the additional cost burden on society and also minimize the depletion of foreign exchange reserves.

On this occasion, the Secretary of Petroleum gave a briefing at the meeting on Exploration and Production Management Systems.

From the meeting it was informed that the application of this system will help increase the capacity of local oil and gas production in the country.

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