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Economic Affairs Editor

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Pakistan have a huge potential in solar: US energy experts

A US Energy expert delegation led by Mr. Jonathan Elkind Advisor to US Mission on Energy met Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Muhammad Asif in his office in Islamabad. In the meeting areas of mutual interest and cooperation in the field of energy sector especially in energy conservation and renewable energy resources came under discussion. It was apprised that Pakistan have a huge potential  in solar , wind and biomass energies resources and  US wants to share their best experiences with Pakistan to  exploit these resources and harness  the energy crisis the country is facing to. The delegation gave a comprehensive briefing on energy efficiency and development of the power grid system in the country. Highlighted the achie...

February 9, 2016 at 5:13 pm | News Desk

PM to visit Qatar from tomorrow

Nawaz Sharif will hold talks with Emir of Qatar and the prime minister of Qatar. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will pay a two-day visit to Qatar from tomorrow. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation. During the visit, the Prime Minister will hold talks with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and his counterpart Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani on promotion of bilateral relations in different fields. These include energy cooperation, trade and investment, defence and increase in employment opportunities for the Pakistani workforce in Qatar. The two sides would also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. A number of Memorandums of Understanding in the ...

February 9, 2016 at 3:35 pm | News Desk

Pakistan poised to become fast growing economy: WB

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim says Pakistan is poised to become the next fast growing successful economy due to important steps taken by the government over the past few years. Addressing a meeting on the country's economic performance in Islamabad on Tuesday, he pointed out the country has made significant strides to achieve micro economic stability and enhance its domestic revenues by introducing reforms in the tax system. He said the country has also undertaken a number of important steps to improve business climate. Yong Kim said Pakistan has an important geo strategic location and peace and stability in the country is imperative to the entire world. He said the World Bank, being a partner, will support the government's initia...

February 9, 2016 at 3:20 pm | News Desk

ADB provides $400 million to support Philippines CCT program

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $400 million loan to help the Government of the Philippines further expand its flagship conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, which provides regular health and education grants to millions of the country’s poorest households. “The support, which builds on ADB’s initial loan to the project of the same amount, will help the government support more families, now also including high school students,” said Karin Schelzig, Senior Social Sector Specialist in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department. “This is important, as impact evaluation shows that the CCTs are keeping vulnerable young people at school, opening the door to a better future.” The CCT program, kno...

February 9, 2016 at 2:44 pm | News Desk

ADB President Nakao Signs Partnership Framework with Australia

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao today met with Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, Minister for International Development and the Pacific Steven Ciobo, and other high-level officials in Canberra. He signed a new framework for cooperation to reinforce ADB’s partnership with Australia to reduce poverty and achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Asia and the Pacific. “I am delighted to be signing this partnership agreement with Australia. The country has been a strong partner in tackling the region’s development challenges over the last 50 years,” Mr. Nakao said. “In particular, Australia has strongly supported, through contributions to trust funds and cofinancing, A...

February 9, 2016 at 12:28 pm | News Desk

NADRA shuts down its online CNIC service

Pakistanis in the country, who wished to get their CNICs delivered to their doorsteps after applying for the same via NADRA’s online CNIC portal, are in for some bad news. The well-received and popular service has been shut down, without any explanation, for the locals residing in Pakistan. Overseas Pakistanis can still apply for their ID card online. The online CNIC Issuance and Renewal Service debuted in Aug 2015, to critical acclaim and reception by Pakistani citizens during the time. In the spate of half an year, the service has been indefinitely suspended. While NADRA hasn’t given any explanation detailing their reasons behind the ill-advised move, we anticipate that the Registration authority was unable to keep-up with the trem...

February 9, 2016 at 11:13 am | News Desk

Telenor and PTCL Sign MoU

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Telenor Pakistan through which Telenor Pakistan will be able to consume PTCL’s back-haul infrastructure till 2020. This MoU will facilitate Telenor to avail PTCL’s vast network footprint and infrastructure spread nationwide for their rapidly growing 3G subscriber base. Mr. Omar Khalid (EVP Carrier Services & Wholesale, PTCL) and Mr. Khurram Ashfaq (CTO, Telenor Pakistan) signed the MoU in a ceremony held at Telenor Pakistan headquarters recently. Signing ceremony was attended by senior management from both the companies, including Mr. Sikander Naqi, (Chief Business Development Officer, PTCL), Mr. Saad Warriach (Chief Techni...

February 9, 2016 at 11:05 am | News Desk

SECP appellate bench achieve zero pendency of appeals

ISLAMABAD, February 8, 2016: The Appellate Bench of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has disposed of 126 appeals during July 2015 to December 2015 and has achieved zero pendency. The Appellate Bench was reconstituted after the appointment of new Commissioners and it was aimed by the Mr. Zafar Hijazi, the Chairman SECP to expedite the disposal of appeals filed before the Appellate Bench under section 33 of SECP Act. There were 129 pending appeals before the Appellate Bench for the period July 1 to December 2015, which include a carryover of 113 appeals and 16 new appeals were registered during this period. A total 126 appeals were fixed for hearing and adjudication during July 2015 to December 2015. All appeals...

February 8, 2016 at 5:46 pm | News Desk

HEC, NBEAC organizing conference on Emerging Challenges of Business Schools

The National Business Education Accreditation Council (NBEAC) in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) is organizing two-day international conference on “Emerging Challenges of Business Schools” in Lahore from February 17-18, 2016. NBEAC’s Deans and Directors Conference is a strategic level event for determining the future of management education in Pakistan, where over 100 deans of business schools participate annually to share experiences and to discuss areas of mutual interest. This year the conference will focus on strengthening business schools through creating partnerships among the schools and with other key players influencing or being influenced by business education. The participants will also delibe...

February 8, 2016 at 12:13 pm | News Desk

Reduced corporate tax to increase revenue

Chairman of the United International Group Mian Shahid  lauded the determination of the government to broaden the tax base which is must for social and economic development. He also lauded the government for taking business community into confidence before taking critical decision which has a very positive effect. Mian Shahid asked the government to revisit tax administration and reduce taxes on some critical sectors to spur investment which will increase revenue and provide jobs. He said that telecom industry is paying 40 percent taxes which is blocking growth of mobiles and mobile internet that is directly related to national development. Similarly, he said, corporate tax has been brought down from 34 percent to 32 percent in...

February 8, 2016 at 12:04 pm | News Desk

Govt’s export deal to revive sinking rice sector

Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt on Sunday lauded the government for 4-year rice export deal with Indonesia which will bailout the troubled sector and stabilise prices at home. He demanded more long and short term agreements with other countries to boost the rice sector which is facing problems since some tears. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that export of rice to Indonesia will boost overall exports to 4.6 million tonnes which will be a record for which credit goes to the government. Pakistan’s export forecast has recently been raised by 0.1m tonnes in the wake of a deal with Indonesia. He said that reasons behind crisis in rice sector include high production cost, too much focus of exporters on profit...

February 8, 2016 at 11:57 am | News Desk

ADB, IFC to Help Extend Mobile Telecom Services Across Myanmar

YANGON, MYANMAR – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Finance Corporation—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group—are providing loans of $300 million to Ooredoo Myanmar for the rollout of a mobile telecommunication network across Myanmar, which will help extend affordable telecom services across the country, boosting economic growth and job creation. ADB and IFC are extending a loan of $150 million each to Ooredoo Myanmar, a fully owned subsidiary of Ooredoo Q.S.C, to expand a nationwide “greenfield” mobile telecom network using advanced 3G technology. “Myanmar has one of the lowest rates of telecom connectivity in Southeast Asia, with poor communities and women the least likely to have access to these inc...

February 8, 2016 at 11:47 am | News Desk

CDA’s Park Enclave-II Balloting on February 9

Balloting of plots of the unique housing project of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), Park Enclave-II would be held here on Tuesday the 9th February, 2016 at Pak-China Friendship Centre at 11:00 A.M. To ensure execute the balloting of plots of Park Enclave-II, Chairman CDA, Maroof Afzal has constituted committee headed by the Member Finance, Waseem Ahmed Khan. The committee is comprises of Deputy Director General (Land and Estate), Director Estate Management-I (East), Director Law, Director Public Relations, Director Regional Planning and Deputy Director-II (Estate Management-I) as its member. The committee, during its review meeting, finalized all the arrangements made for transparent balloting of plots of Park Enclave-II. ...

February 6, 2016 at 2:52 pm | News Desk

Weaknesses in agriculture structure a threat to GDP

President Society Watch Khalid Mehmood on Saturday said weaknesses in the structure of agriculture is keeping this sector fragile which is a threat to GDP growth rate. Masses continue to pay extra for food in the name of national interest which has not improved lives of the farmers but that of rural elite, he said. In a statement issued here today, he said that masses are forced to buy wheat at 40 percent inflated price as compare to rates in the international market while they pay 20 percent extra for rice and 30 percent additional money while buying milk. Khalid Mehmood said that despite getting heavy price the agriculture sector is in doldrums due to distortions which must be tacked to streamline things. He said that prices...

February 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm | News Desk

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 .

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