sop to stay: Populism has prevailed over pragmatism. Bowing to pressure exerted from across the political spectrum, Union finance minister Jaswant Singh has rolled back the proposed hike in prices of fertilisers, which he had announced while presenting the Union budget. The minister had suggested that the price of urea be increased by Rs 12, and that of di-ammonium phosphate and muriate of potash by Rs 10 per 50 kilogrammes.
2-stroke phase-out: Pakistan's environment protection department has formulated a five-year action plan to reduce vehicular pollution in four major cities of Punjab. A ban has been proposed on the import, manufacture and grant of route permits to two-stroke engine vehicles used for public transport. The programme lays special emphasis on autorickshaws in Lahore, Multan, Islamabad and Faisalabad.
in the loop: Afghanistan, which was cut off from the rest of the world during the regressive reign of the Taliban regime, is striving to bridge the digital divide. Till recently, the Internet was officially banned in the country. But now Afghanistan is set to inaugurate its .af domain for local websites and e-mail addresses. The .af suffix is equivalent to a country code for telephone numbers, and will be reserved for private and official e-mail in the country.
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