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Business & Economy

HEC Reviews Governance & Quality Assurance Mechanism of 100 Universities

  The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has constituted several Panels of Experts to review Higher Education Institutions across the country, with an aim to ensure adherence of universities’ policies and practices to the defined Quality Assurance criteria and guidelines for Good Governance. Complying with the special directive of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, HEC has so far reviewed quality assurance and governance mechanism of 100 universities, both in public and private sector, while 50 more universities will be reviewed in the coming week. It is hoped that current phase of this whole review will be completed by the end of March 2016. The initiative will not only improve quality of teaching and research in th...

February 6, 2016 at 2:38 pm | News Desk

Business community supports sale of PIA

Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and honorary Consul General of Ghana Shahid Rasheed Butt on Saturday said incumbent government has improved the economic situation which has bolstered the confidence of investors. Law and order situation has improved which has enhanced image of the country while bold steps aimed at reforms is being supported by the business community and the majority of the masses, he said. Talking to ambassadors and high commissioners of various countries and others during a recent reception, he said that Pakistan is progressing on fast pace and this country is becoming darling of the investors. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that business community unconditionally supports the right decision of the government t...

February 6, 2016 at 2:26 pm | News Desk

IMF Completes Review Mission to Pakistan

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff mission, led by Harald Finger, visited Dubai during January 26-February 4, 2016 to conduct discussions on the tenth review of Pakistan’s economic program supported by a three-year IMF Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement (see Press Release No. 13/322). The staff team met with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Ashraf Wathra, and other senior officials. At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Finger issued the following statement: “After constructive discussions, the mission and the Pakistani authorities have reached staff-level agreement on the completion of the tenth review under the EFF arrangement. The agreement is subject to approval by the IMF Management...

February 6, 2016 at 2:13 pm | News Desk

SECP notifies Licensed Persons Regulation 2016

ISLAMABAD, February 6: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has accorded its approval to the Licensed Persons (Obligations under voluntary winding up) Regulation 2016. The new regulations are in line with its efforts to strengthen the capital market and to safeguard the interest of investors. The Regulations prescribe the minimum requirements to be complied with by a licensed person prior to filing voluntary winding up petition. The requirements inter alia include settlement of investors’ claims and obtaining approval of the Commission. The new regulations are available on the SECP’s website www.secp.gov.pk .

February 6, 2016 at 12:22 pm | News Desk

UWatch – Stay Connected With Your Child

Ufone, Pakistan’s premier telecom operator, is primed to launch a first of its kind product that will bring parents some much needed peace of mind – the UWatch. UWatch keeps families connected in the way they want to be without the need to buy a young child a smartphone. UWatch is a wearable mobile watch designed specifically for kids in order for parents to keep in touch with their loved ones. This watch provides two way voice calling functionality i.e. the parent can dial into the watch and also the child can dial from the watch to the parent’s mobile number. Additionally UWatch also provides real-time location capability via GSM/GPS positioning so that parents can be aware of their child’s location. UWatch is securely c...

February 6, 2016 at 12:01 pm | News Desk

Appointments in OGDC made at hefty packages

Top management of Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) has made appointments on higher slots at hefty packages, which may spark controversy in coming days. According to officials, the hiring on top posts includes the chief financial officer and general manager security. They are said to be close relatives of the chairman board of directors and a member of the board. Now, officials said, the OGDC management is under pressure of the board chairman to appoint a blue-eyed boy as the external communication manager, but he had no relevant experience, which was in violation of the criteria set in the advertisement. The Pakistan Peoples Party has already come in for a lot of criticism for making questionable appointments during its tenur...

February 4, 2016 at 7:16 pm | News Desk

IMF approves $497m loan for Pakistan after bailout review

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund said on February 4 it had agreed to release a $497 million tranche for Pakistan after the latest review of a bailout package awarded in 2013, though the disbursement still requires IMF board approval. Once the latest disbursement is made the IMF will still have to release $1.1 billion of the total $6.7 billion loan agreed three years ago. IMF agrees to delay PIA sell-off for six months “After constructive discussions, the mission and the Pakistani authorities have reached stafflevel agreement on the completion of the tenth review under the EFF (Extended Fund Facility) arrangement,” the IMF said in a statement. Pakistan has shelved plans to privatise its power supply companies and wi...

February 4, 2016 at 7:08 pm | News Desk

Concern over delay in disbursement of US Coalition Support Fund

ISLAMABAD: The defence ministry has expressed concern over the delay in release of the $350 million tranche of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) by the US Congress for want of a certification by the American defence secretary that Pakistani counter-terrorism operations were disrupting the Haqqani Network’s sanctuaries on its soil. “The issues of the decrease in Coalition Support Fund and the economic difficulties in dealing with the crises of North Waziristan’s internally displaced persons also came under discussion,” a defence ministry statement said, after a meeting between defence secretary, retired Lt Gen Muhammad Alam Khattak, and US Ambassador David Hale. Under the US National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) for the fisc...

February 4, 2016 at 11:36 am | News Desk

Saudi Arabia fiscal reserves touch four-year low

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s fiscal reserves dropped to a four-year low last year as the government sought to finance a budget deficit cau­sed by plunging oil revenues, a report said on Tuesday. The reserves of the wor­ld’s largest crude exporter dropped to $611.9 billion at the end of 2015, the lowest level since 2011, down from $732bn a year before, the Saudi Jadwa Investment said in an economic report. Jadwa said it expected reserves to fall to around $500bn by the end of 2016, after oil prices fell by three quarters since mid-2014. The kingdom, the second largest crude producer after Russia, posted a record budget deficit of $98bn last year after oil income dived by 60 per cent to just $118bn. Riyadh also projected an $87bn ...

February 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm | News Desk

Protesting PIA employees will be fired, warns PM Nawaz

KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said protesting employees of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will be fired from service and can be sent to jail for a year, media reported. Talking to reporters during his visit to a coal power plant in Sahiwal, the premier went on to say that airline employees working during the strike will be given special rewards for their service. Nawaz accused PIA workers of politicising the privatisation issue by resorting to strikes, adding that such acts were costing PIA Rs100 million per day. In a move to stall the strike, Nawaz had already enforced the Essential Services (Maintenance) Act 1952 for six months, barring protesting members of the PIA from participating in any union activit...

February 2, 2016 at 7:36 pm | News Desk

Asian Development Bank Institute Ranked Second Among World’s Government-Affliated Think Tanks

TOKYO, JAPAN — The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) was ranked second among the world’s government-affiliated think tanks, after the World Bank’s Development Research Group. The2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, produced by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP), is the result of a survey of 6,846 think tanks and 4,750 journalists, policy makers, public and private donors, and functional and regional area specialists. ADBI also ranked second in 2014. ADBI has been improving in the rankings over time and is now recognized as a leading think tank in several categories. ADBI is ranked the 29th best think tank in the world, 20th best non-US think tank, 6th best international de...

February 2, 2016 at 7:30 pm | News Desk

Saudi Electricity gets a nod to set up a Sukuk Programme worth $1.5bn

DUBAI: Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) has received approval from its executive committee to negotiate for loan financing worth $2.3 billion and to set up a Sukuk Programme worth as much as $1.5 billion, the Gulf's largest utility said on Monday. The two-part loan, to serve as a back-up facility for the company, would be structured as a revolving credit facility and have a lifespan of between three and five years. One tranche would be worth up to 3 billion riyals ($800 million) and the other would not exceed $1.5 billion. The Sukuk Programme would be used to fund capital projects, the statement added without elaborating. Sources told Reuters in July that the kingdom's monopoly utility was in talks with local and international banks t...

August 31, 2015 at 2:46 pm | News Desk

Car sales surge ahead, cross 150,000 marks

Car manufacturers in Pakistan had a blissful 2014-15 as they saw sales jump to 151,134 units from 118,102 in the preceding fiscal year. The launch of new Toyota Corolla brought a big relief to its assembler, pushing up the company’s sales to 51,398 units from 29,087 and also making a positive impact in overall sales figures, Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) announced on July 10th. Uplift in overall sales came from Punjab government’s taxi scheme that helped sales of Suzuki Bolan rise to 23,582 units from 14,088 and that of Suzuki Ravi to 22,815 from 12,419. Even increase in car prices by the manufacturers did not dampen buyers’ enthusiasm. Moreover, a decline in interest rates to seven per cent from 10pc b...

August 21, 2015 at 5:35 pm | News Desk

World Bank, IMF launch joint initiative to strengthen tax collection

WASHINGTON: The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are launching a new initiative to help developing countries strengthen their tax systems, says an official announcement. Analysis associated with the two institutions suggests that many lower-income countries have the potential to increase their tax ratios by at least 2 to 4 per cent of their GDPs, without compromising fairness or growth. Raising additional revenues will allow developing countries to fill financing gaps and to promote development. Pakistan is top on the list of the countries that need to reform their tax systems. In a recent statement, the IMF mission chief in Pakistan urged the rulers to broaden the country’s tax base. The country’s tax-to-GDP rati...

August 14, 2015 at 3:07 pm | News Desk

The right lessons from Greece

THE implosion of the Greek economy, the rise of Syriza and the implicit blaming of Greece’s creditors for the country’s woes present important lessons that should be drawn upon. The danger is that many people, including in Pakistan, are preparing to draw the wrong set of lessons. Greece got itself into a mess by not taxing sufficiently its richest elites, and by overspending on a bloated, overpaid and underworked public sector. Poor choices by politicians for decades, fully supported by a complicit populace that was only too happy to condone the perpetual postponement of serious structural reform, have finally caught up. Despite the massive and heartrending current suffering of ordinary Greeks, the foregoing is the sorry story of the...

August 14, 2015 at 2:59 pm | News Desk

FBR to start inquiry against 122 businesses, industrial units

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to conduct inquiry against such businesses and industrial units which have deposited less tax this year as compared to the previous year. Sources in Regional Tax Office told Customs Today that the department has finalized 112 industrial units and these lists are already sent to the field offices. Sources further revealed that these units deposited less sales tax and the federal excise duty during this fiscal year as compared to the previous year, despite increase in their sales. Sources said that their statements will be thoroughly scrutinized and all information and statements submitted by these units will be examined by auditors. Sources further said that if these units found i...

June 29, 2015 at 2:41 pm | News Desk

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