ISLAMABAD: By-elections for National and Provincial Assembly seats will be held in East Pakistan from November 25 to December 9, the Election Commission announced today [Sept 19].

An Election Commission Press note, issued here said these elections will be contested for 78 National Assembly and 105 Provincial Assembly seats which have been declared vacant as a result of the disqualification of the defunct Awami League members. For National Assembly, nominations will be invited on Sept 29, their scrutiny will take place on Oct 1, and withdrawals will be allowed up to Oct 8. Nominations for the Provincial Assembly seats will be received on Sept 30, scrutinised on Oct 2, and withdrawals will be up to Oct 8, the Press Note said. — News agencies

[Meanwhile, as reported by the staff correspondent in Peshawar,] The floods and cyclones in East Pakistan, drought, widespread disturbances … had adversely affected the economic activity in the country, resulting in considerable slow-down in the growth rate, according to the Annual Report of the State Bank of Pakistan….

Decrease of Gross National Product from 6.6 per cent in 1969-70 to 1.4 per cent, decline in agricultural and industrial production, expansion of monetary assets, difficult price situation of wheat and rice, deficit in the overall exchange reserves, marked the strains to which the country’s economy was subjected during the year.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2021

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