Author Archives: Ram zi

PIAF Expresses Serious Concern Over Rising Spending On Debt Servicing

PIAF Expresses Serious Concern Over Rising Spending On Debt Servicing


Ram zi | December 29, 2017 | category: Banking

PIAF Expresses Serious Concern Over Rising Spending On Debt Servicing. Pakistan Industrial & Traders Associations Front (PIAF) chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has expressed serious concern over the rising spending on debt servicing, saying high payments of foreign debt has already put a negative impact on the country’s liquid forex reserves, forcing the country to go for more borrowing from the international market.

Irfan Sheikh said that the federal government has recently borrowed some $2.5 billion through the auction for Sukuk and Eurobond in the international market to build its depleting forex reserves. In a joint statement along with senior vice chairman Tanveer Ahmed Sufi and vice chairman Shahzeb Akram, he said in the long-term, Pakistan may face some problems and need more foreign inflows to maintain its forex reserves, which surged to $21 billion in the first week of December after receiving inflows of $2.5 billion of Sukuk Bond and Eurobond.

According to State bank of Pakistan (SBP), the country’s total external debt servicing stood at $2.09 billion during the first quarter (July-Sept) of FY18. Total external debt and servicing includes $1.71 billion of principal and $383 million of interest payment. Similarly, on principal side, external debt servicing under public debt stood at $904 million, some $32 million on Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) guaranteed debt, $53 million on PSEs non-guaranteed debt and $ 51 million on private non-guaranteed debt. Some $671 million were paid on account of short-term debt servicing. Debt servicing on account of interest includes some $31 million to the IMF, $8 million to Paris Club and $90 million of multilaterals.

Chairman PIAF Irfan Iqbal says that the decline in the SBP reserves also reflects lower inflows and higher foreign payments. Inflows from donor agencies remained much lower than projections, while debt servicing moved up compared to last year, he added.

He said that country’s total external debt servicing exceeded $ 2 billion mark during the first quarter of current fiscal year (FY18).

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PIMS Purchases Medicines at Higher Rates in Return of Foreign Trips

PIMS Purchases Medicines at Higher Rates in Return of Foreign Trips


Ram zi | December 27, 2017 | category: News

PIMS purchases medicines at higher rates in return of foreign trips, PAC sub-committee told. The administration of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) has been purchasing medicines at higher rates from different companies and in return arrange foreign tours of doctors, was revealed in sub-committee of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) held its meeting here Wednesday.

It met here with Sardar Ashiq Khan Gopang in the chair here at Parliament House. The meeting expressed annoyance over giving vehicle to former CADD Minister, Naseem Gardezi by the PIMS. Member of the committee, Sheikh Rohail Asghar asked to take back vehicle from Naseem Gardezi.

Senator Azam Swati said that it was matter of shame that a minister was using vehicle of PIMS. Upon this, PIMS officials justified that Nasim Gardezi was using the vehicle with the discretion of PIMS. Member of the committee, Rasheed Godail posed a question that if someone asks for a vehicle will you provide him an ambulance.
The committee was told there are 138 ventilators for patients in PIMS while members of the committee said the numbers of ventilators are less than the requirement as most of the patients are forced to shift them to private hospitals.
It was further disclosed to the committee that there was no law regarding recruitment in the organization from 1976 to 2015 and for the first time in 2015 jobs were advertised. It was further told that hundreds of recruitments were made illegally. The committee instructed the officials of ministry of law to enact legislation for recruitments within one month.

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FPCCI Appreciates Appointment of Miftah Ismail as Finance Advisor

FPCCI Appreciates Appointment of Miftah Ismail as Finance Advisor


Ram zi | December 27, 2017 | category: News

FPCCI appreciates appointment of Miftah Ismail as Finance Advisor.Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Wednesday hailed the appointment of Dr. Miftah Ismail as Advisor to Prime Minister for Finance.

President of FPCCI Zubair F. Tufail, and senior leaders of the Federation S.M. Muneer and Iftikhar Ali Malik in a statement issued here today appreciated the decision of the government to appoint Dr. Miftah Ismail as Advisor to Prime Minister for Finance. They have acknowledged that the step taken by the Prime Minister to form a new finance team as it was the need of the hour.

The business leaders have congratulated Dr. Miftah Ismail on his new assignment and have hoped that since he is aware of the problems being faced by the trade and industry and the businessmen, therefore, he will immediately look into the issues and will try to resolve them. The FPCCI and business leaders have extended their full support to Dr. Miftah Ismail.

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PM Opens Hazara Express Way

PM Opens Hazara Express Way


Ram zi | December 27, 2017 | category: News

PM opens Hazara Express Way. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi has inaugurated the Hasan Abdal-Havelian Expressway (E-35), which was constructed with the support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID).

The E-35, also known as the Hazara Expressway, is part of the ADB/DFID’s Pakistan Economic Corridors Program to promote regional trade and economic growth in the country. The two institutions cofinanced the construction of the expressway for a total amount of $327 million. ADB provided a $205 million loan as part of its flagship National Trade Corridor Highway Investment Program, while DFID provided a $121.6 million grant for the project.

“The expressway will bring cost-effective transportation to millions of people in busy towns and deep valleys along the route,” said Xiaohong Yang, ADB Country Director for Pakistan. “It is an important step towards positioning Pakistan as a trading hub between Western and Central Asia by transforming adjoining towns and industrial zones into economic corridors.”

The new expressway is considered as the missing link in Pakistan’s transit route. It will link the northern mountainous region with existing north-south motorways to boost the connectivity within Pakistan and increase trade and commerce with the People’s Republic of China and other Central Asian countries.

“The expressway will connect Pakistan to its neighbors and important cities like Abbottabad, Haripur, and Northern region with the motorway network,” said Joanna Reid, Head of DFID Pakistan. “UKAid is pleased to have helped the Government of Pakistan provide better, safer, and faster transport connectivity so women, men, and children can access opportunities, markets, and basic services and develop their local economies.”

E-35, which is 59 kilometers (km) long with the inaugurated portion covering 45.5 km of the total, connects the existing M1 at Burhan to Havelian. The new road runs almost parallel with the existing N35 highway, which has encountered roadblocks and safety hazards due to high traffic volume and poor road conditions. The expressway will substantially reduce the travel time and cost from Islamabad to Havelian and beyond.

Other projects covered by the ADB/DFID partnership include the M4 – Motorway from Gojra to Khanewal; N50 – National Highway from Zhob to Mughal Kot; and N70 – National Highway of Qila Saifullah-Loralai-Wagham. The partnership also provides technical assistance for the development of a national transport policy, road safety, road asset management, and economic corridor planning to ensure that future infrastructure investments bring maximum economic impact. The two institutions also support the development of public-private partnerships to help Pakistan meet its infrastructure gap through sustainable private financing.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.

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Right Use of Indigenous Resources the Only Way to Say NO to Foreign Loans: Moonis Elahi

Right Use of Indigenous Resources the Only Way to Say NO to Foreign Loans: Moonis Elahi


Ram zi | December 27, 2017 | category: News

Right use of indigenous resources the only way to say NO to foreign loans: Moonis Elahi. Pakistan broke its begging bowl in 2007 due to PML initiatives in Punjab PMLN step-motherly treatment forcing farmers sell lands & orchards to real-estate developers. Pakistan wouldn't need foreign loans and pittances if its indigenous resources are properly harnessed.

The only time the nation broke the begging bowl was during PML 5 years. PMLN step-motherly treatment of agriculture is forcing farmers to sell land to real-estate developers. Moonis Elahi, PML central leader voiced these views today during a meeting held in  Lahore with a group of Punjab citrus farmers. Commenting on the country's current economic crisis, the PML leader said that Pakistan could turn into one of the richest nations of the world if only its
abundant natural & human resources were properly harnessed.

He emphasized the emergent need of maximizing the country's agriculture growth potential to minimize poverty and to reduce reliance on foreign loans & pittances. Citing the example of citrus  yield in Pakistan, he said that according to the UN Pakistan was the
world's 10th largest citrus producer with an annual harvest of over 2.4 million tons but its citrus export was only a few hundred thousand tons.

It amounts to throwing away our Kinnows in garbage even when we know that they can become our key foreign exchange earners, said Moonis Elahi. He accused the PMLN step- motherly treatment of agriculture as the main reason for forcing farmers to sell out their lands and orchards to real-estate developers, marriage halls & foreign investment groups. Moonis Elahi claimed that in Pakistan's 70 years the only time Pakistan was able to break its begging bowl was in 2007. He credited this historic achievement to the PML Kissan dost policies and economic initiatives adopted between 2002-2007 in Punjab.

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Pakistan Good Market for Manufacturing of Telecom Equipment:PBIF

Pakistan Good Market for Manufacturing of Telecom Equipment:PBIF


Ram zi | December 26, 2017 | category: Business

Pakistan good market for manufacturing of telecom equipment: PBIF. President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) Mian Zahid Hussain has said Pakistan is a good market for manufacturing of mobile sets, telecom and internet equipment. While talking to the delegation of businessmen ,on Tuesday he said that the investors seem more interested in importing these things rather than establishing manufacturing facilities.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that around fourteen crore people are using cellphones while 4.5 crore people are using broadband. He said that devaluation of rupee, an imposition of regulatory duty and discouraging smuggling has increased the prices of handsets in the market which is an opportunity for the local investors to establish manufacturing facilities.

The business leader noted that the prices of common mobile phones used by the poor have also been increased due to the steps taken by the government. The authorities should try to make the phones used by poor a little cheaper, he demanded. The number of users of 3G and 4G continues to increase while the users of portable internet devices are also increasing at a rapid pace.
The telecom and mobile companies need to improve their services so that more people can be attracted while the government can review the taxation regime.

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Quaid-i-Azam Inter-Provincial Games commence in Islamabad

Quaid-i-Azam Inter-Provincial Games Starts in Islamabad


Ram zi | December 26, 2017 | category: News

Quaid-i-Azam Inter-Provincial Games Starts in Islamabad. The 2nd edition of Quaid-i-Azam Inter-Provincial Games got underway with a grand opening ceremony at Liaqat Gymnasium, Pakistan Sports Board, Islamabad on Monday.

Senior political leader Senator Raja ZafarulHaq was the chief guest at the opening ceremony. Federal Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister RiazHussainPirzada, Director General Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) DrAkhtar Nawaz Ganjera, Secretary Sports Punjab Muhammad Aamir Jan and other top officials were also present during the grand opening ceremony.

Punjab’s 385-member contingent participated in the opening ceremony under the leadership of Secretary Sports Punjab Muhammad Aamir Jan. Director Sports Muhammad Anees Sheikh held the national flag during the march past. All the members and officials of Punjab contingent were clad in traditional Punjabi dress and won huge appreciation from chief guest and a large number of sports-loving crowds.

While talking to media, Secretary Sports Punjab Muhammad Aamir Jan said the holding of Quaid-i-Azam Inter-Provincial Games is definitely a remarkable achievement which should be appreciated at every level. “The sports culture will grow in the country after Inter-Provincial Games. The talented players from across the country will also get sufficient opportunity to express their abilities and skills at a big platform,” he added.

He informed that over 3000 players of eight sports boards of the country – Sports Board Punjab, Sindh Sports Board, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sports Board, Balochistan Sports Board, GilgitBaltistan Sports Board, Azad Kashmir Sports Board, FATA Sports Board and Islamabad Sports Board are taking part in the grand sporting activity.

“The culture of brotherhood will also be flourished among all the participating players through these competitions. The members of Punjab contingent are upbeat about their performance in the sports extravaganza. We are quite confident that Punjab players will defend their title comfortably by winning a bigger number of medals,” he explained.

Director Sports Muhammad Anees Sheikh, on this occasion, said: “Punjab players will prove their talent in the 2nd edition of Quaid-i-Azam Inter-Provincial Games and show the world that they are in toppers in every field”. It’s pertinent to mention here that Punjab players will take part in 19 different games during the mega event.

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Haji Ghulam Ali’s Candidature for President FPCCI Rejected

Haji Ghulam Ali’s Candidature for President FPCCI Rejected


Ram zi | December 23, 2017 | category: Business

Haji Ghulam Ali’s Candidature for President FPCCI Rejected. Nomination of Businessmen Penal (BMP) presidential candidate, former senator Haji Ghulam Ali, has been rejected for the election of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

Haji Ghulam Ali had filed his nomination papers for the election of FPCCI President against his rival Ghazanfar Bilor, the candidate of United Business Group but Ministry of Commerce’s Director General (Trade Organizations) had rejected his (Haji Ghulam Ali) nomination papers..

BMP presidential candidate’s nomination was rejected on the grounds that he was a big businessman but registered in the small trader members’ category of the FPCCI. Secondly, he had also been remained as the Federation’s President in the past, they said and asserted that one man’s again and again contesting of presidential election would usurp the other traders’ right to be elected as FPCCI President.

Haji Ghulam Ali’s rejection had now totally changed the electioneering for the FPCCI office-bearer-ship.It may be mentioned here that Ch Arfan Yousaf from Gujrat one of the VP candidate of UBG for Punjab had already returned unopposed.

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PM to Inaugurate Quaid e Azam Inter-Provincial Games on Monday

PM to Inaugurate Quaid e Azam Inter-Provincial Games on Monday


Ram zi | December 23, 2017 | category: News

PM to Inaugurate Quaid e Azam Inter-Provincial Games on Monday .Quaid e Azam inter-provincial games will commence from Monday. According to media reports, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will inaugurate the Inter-provincial games . World Kabbadi observer Muhammad Tayyab Gilani, hailing from Faisalabad will leave for Islamabad to attend Quaid e Azam interprovincial games.

He will do Punjabi commentary in Kabbadi Matches. These games will be started from December 25th and continue till December 28th in Jinnah Stadium Islamabad. Chief Guest of ending ceremony will be President Mamnoon Hussain who will distribute prizes among the winners.

Teams from Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, and Federally administrated tribal areas will take part in the tournament.

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Making of Anti Riot Force on Cards

Making of Anti Riot Force on Cards


Ram zi | December 22, 2017 | category: News

Making of Anti Riot Force on Cards. Preparations are underway for raising the Anti Riot Force in the federal police. In this connection on the directives of Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal , a team of officers has recently returned back from Iran after getting training. Reliable officer told Online that the new Anti Riot Force (ARF) is aimed at to make Islamabad sit in fee and peaceful city and provide security to the citizens and to protect the properties and lives of the people.

In this context in the police headquarters 550 youths are taking training. The officer further said that initially it has been decided to induct 2000 youths for training. Sources say former Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had sent a summary for induction of 1000 youths in the ARF to the then Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif but to no avail.

But later on Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal gave briefing to the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the law and order situation in the city a green signal was given for the induction of 2000 youth in the ARF which has been included in the agenda of an ensuing meeting to be held on December 26.
To a question by Online responsible officer said that this force will be used to combat sit ins and protests. With the passage of time in phases of training all police officers and personnel of Islamabad, the Islamabad police will turn to be an exemplary police force, he added. He said endeavours are underway to make the Islamabad police corruption free force.

To a question he said the reliable police officer said that ARF is being trained by the Punjab police officers recently returned from Iran.

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Punjab Government Awards Contract of Passing Vehicles to Foreign Company

Punjab Government Awards Contract of Passing Vehicles to Foreign Company


Ram zi | December 22, 2017 | category: Autos and Vehicles

Punjab government awards contract of passing vehicles to foreign company. Punjab government has awarded contract of checking fitness and giving appropriateness certificate to vehicles to a foreign company. Sources said that Provincial Ministry of Transport has assigned the task to “Vicks” a Sweden’s company and signed an agreement in this regard.

The agreement was made with an object to stop the corruption in Motor Vehicle Examiner Department. As per agreement, the new company would establish its branches in all districts of the province including Rawalpindi. The vehicles would be checked through modern equipment and machinery and then issue fitness certificates of vehicles.

Sources in this regard told Online that currently Punjab government is collecting over Rs 500 million revenue annually on account of passing and fitness certificates of vehicles through Motor vehicle examines department.

The provincial government had set targets for all districts and showcause notices were issued to those districts not achieving the target, however government would give subsidy to this company in case of not achieving the target.
“The Punjab government in 1987 had conducted this experiment and foreign company was awarded contract against Rs 2.5 million while ignoring the revenue of millions of rupees annually but this project had failed at initial stages and the government faced loss worth millions of rupees”, sources added.
Sources said that Motor vehicle examines has collected some Rs 8 million which are over the target set by the government. Currently, this annual ratio is Rs 40 million and Rs 50 million in Rawalpindi and Lahore respectively.
The transporters community of Rawalpindi and Islamabad has termed this project inapplicable. Ghulam Mustafa Khan, General Secretary United Transport Federation Rawalpindi/Islamabad told Online that transporters have no objection of awarding contract to foreign company and suggested that all national highways including Grand Trunk Road (G.T.Road) should be repaired and maintained.

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Ali Ahmad Khan Inaugurates State-of-the Art Lecture Hall at UVAS

Ali Ahmad Khan Inaugurates State-of-the Art Lecture Hall at UVAS


Ram zi | December 21, 2017 | category: Education

Ali Ahmad Khan Inaugurates State-of-the Art Lecture Hall at UVAS. The Managing Director Engro Foods Ltd Mr Ali Ahmad Khan inaugurates state-of-the art Lecture Hall renovated by Engro Foods at University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences UVAS Lahore here of Thursday in City Campus Lahore.

UVAS & Engro Foods have already signed an MoU for the promotion of science-based linkages between academia and industry offering mutual good to both entities and help to address challenges and create opportunities for the well-being of society. Engro Foods and UVAS agreed to further strengthen mutual beneficial relationship to provide financial and technical assistance to the talented students in terms of merit scholarship or gold medals for position holders, supporting research in dairy sector,student internships and to utilize technical capabilities in product innovation and improvement. Both the parties will also be collaborating in developing workable business model of Minimum Pasteurization Law for ensuring the safe milk and dairy products availability at households.

It is also worth mentioning that since being taken over majority share of Engro Foods by Friesland Campina, which is largest farmer owned dairy cooperative in world, Engro Foods has started paying much more attention on collaborations benefiting the dairy value chain in longer term.

Talking on the occasion, Mr Khan reiterated Engro Foods Commitment for aiding UVAS to produce professionally well trained human resource in dairy sector.UVAS Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Masood Rabbani thanked MD Engro Foods for visiting UVAS and collaborating for uplift the dairy sector in Pakistan. Earlier Ali Khan distributed scholarship cheques among talented topper students of UVAS.

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Banks and Stock Market To Remain Close on December 25

Banks and Stock Market To Remain Close on December 25


Ram zi | December 20, 2017 | category: Holidays

Banks and Stock Market To Remain Close on December 25. The government of Pakistan has officially declared public holiday on 25th December 2017 on the birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

All financial institutions of Pakistan including State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Stock Market,Banking Services Corporations will remain closed on 25th December,2017.

On 25th December Pakistanis commemorate the birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was the founder and first Governor-General of Pakistan.

On the other hand the minorities in Pakistan will celebrate the Christmas to remember the birth of Jesus Christ.

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International Conference on RACR Daytimes

2-day International Conference on (RACR) Begins at UVAS


Ram zi | December 19, 2017 | category: News

2-day International Conference on (RACR) begins at UVAS. The Department of Physiology of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Postgraduate Medical Institute Lahore (PGMI) and University of Cambridge UK organised 2-day “International Conference on Recent Advances in Clinical Research (RACR)”in UVAS City Campus Lahore.

Punjab Higher Education Commission Lahore Chairperson Prof Dr Mohammad Nizam-ud-Din presided over the inaugural session of the conference while Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha,Dean Faculty of Bio Sciences Prof Dr Habib-ur-Rehman, renowned neurologist Prof Dr Ahsan Numan, Dr Sohail Ejaz and renowned academicians, clinical researchers, neurologists and physiologists from public & private practitioners and students related to veterinary & animal sciences, livestock and medical sciences related to public health while experts from different countries, including the United Kingdome (UK), Philippine, South Korea, Malaysia, Russia and all over Pakistan attended.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Nizam-ud-Din said that we have to focus on research especially in the area of clinical discipline which has been a neglected area in medical sciences. He said universities all over the world are known as the hub of research and research is called the backbone of the institutions. He said it is direly needed to develop a data base anddo analysis regarding agriculture and clinical research even in the production of medicines for human and animals especially medicine impact and its side effects on the human bodiesand animals for the prevention of diseases.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Talat Naseer Pasha said that UVAS is focusing on result-oriented applied research, multi-level education and talent development by using its knowledge, resources and skills for growth of human resources and solving problems of allied sectors.He said that UVAS faculty members are executing 93 research projects of over a billion rupees won from the national and international funding agencies/organization. He said that the UVAS is working closely with Punjab government for the development of livestock and related sectors.He acknowledged therole of Punjab Food Authority and its step taken for the minimum pasteurization law to provide healthy milk and food to people. He spoke about UVAS facilities regarding diseases diagnosis, treatment and advisory services for the development of livestock sector in Pakistan.

Prof Dr Habib-ur-Rehman spoke about the objectives of the conference. He said clinical research is an important branch of medical sciences that determines the safety and effectiveness on NOVEL medications, devices, diagnostic products and treatment regimens intended for human use at a stage when other available product fail. He said that the clinical trials are globally conducted for the prevention, treatment, diagnosis orfor relieving symptoms of a disease at a stagewhere other medications fail, hence giving a new hope of cure for the patients and opening a new horizon for the treatment of a disease and to improve the quality of life. The conference comprises on four technical sessions, six keynote, 11 oral and 50 poster presentations while four satellite workshopsincluding simulation techniques in drug development, meta-analysis and systematic review, role of RT-PCR in molecular diagnostics and blood and tissue sampling from laboratory mouse will feature in the two-day event.

Theme of the conference will cover all the major areas of translational medicine and drug development, ethical concern in clinical research, meta-analysis and systematic review, handling of experimental animals and conduct of clinical trials etc.

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Traders Leaders ask Govt to Announce New Gas Mix Formula

Traders Leaders Ask Govt to Announce New Gas Mix Formula


Ram zi | December 19, 2017 | category: Business

Traders Leaders ask Govt to Announce New Gas Mix Formula. Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Tuesday said the government has decided to provide gas at uniform prices for industrial consumers across the country which is getting the mixed response from the industrial consumers.

The industries dependent on cheap local gas are opposing the move because they will have to pay more for the energy while the industrial sector using imported gas is welcoming the decision as they will see a substantial cut in the cost of doing business.

The industrial sector in Punjab is paying four times higher rate for the gas which is imported while the industries in other provinces are using local gas which is cheaper which has resulted in issues like increased cost of doing business for the Punjab-based industrial sector, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt.

The textile mills in Punjab have long been demanding uniform tariff for gas while the millers of Sindh are opposing this move, therefore, the government has decided to mix bother gases to bring uniformity in the energy prices, he added.

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Depreciation Will Not Attract Foreign Investment: FPCCI

Depreciation Will Not Attract Foreign Investment: FPCCI


Ram zi | December 19, 2017 | category: Business

Depreciation Will Not Attract Foreign Investment: FPCCI. The eroded rupee will not only hit the manufacturing sector but it will also take a toll on the country’s SME sector, an official of the FPCCI said Tuesday.

The SMEs which were already fighting for their survival in an adverse environment will face more troubles, therefore, authorities should take notice of the situation, he said.
The importance of the SME sector cannot be overemphasized as it is directly linked to the development of an economy and eradication of poverty, said Atif Ikram Sheikh, Chairman FPCCI Regional Committee on Industries.

SMEs have proved to be the engine of growth in several successful economies. These economies include Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and India. But Pakistan’s authorities have largely ignored the sector, he added.
Atif Ikram Sheikh said that the weakness of rupee will increase cost of machinery and raw material which will add to the problems of the manufacturing sector which has recently shown signs of some improvement,
He said that a falling currency will never attract additional foreign investment as the investors consider many more things before taking a decision.

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PIA Introduces EEC in its Flights for Umrah Pilgrims

PIA Introduces EEC in its Flights for Umrah Pilgrims


Ram zi | December 19, 2017 | category: Business

PIA Introduces EEC in its Flights for Umrah Pilgrims. PIA has introduced Executive Economy Class (EEC) in its flight for Umrah pilgrims.  According to PIA spokesperson Umrah pilgrims will be able to enjoy EEC in Jeddah and Madina Munarwa bound flights.

Business class facility will be provided to Umrah pilgrims in EEC wherein they will be served business class meal. The pilgrims will be allowed to take with them 5 kilograms additional luggage. PIA has also announced to operate extra Umrah flights besides scheduled flights for Umrah pilgrims from Pakistan.

According to PIA spokesperson 4 additional flights will be launched from Karachi, 3 Islamabad, 2 Lahore and one from Multan during the next two weeks.

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Finance Ministry Being Run by Fawad Hassan Fawad

Finance Ministry Being Run by Fawad Hassan Fawad


Ram zi | December 18, 2017 | category: News

Finance Ministry Being Run by Fawad Hassan Fawad. Following the removal of Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, who is facing corruption charges and now in London, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi took the charge of the Finance Ministry but the affairs of the Finance Ministry are being supervised by his Principal Secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad.

Reliable sources at the Prime Minister House giving details of the affairs being run by Fawad Hassan Fawad, said that he is taking the decisions on all the affairs of the Ministry of Finance after getting directions and instructions from former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi decided to keep the portfolio of Minister of Finance with him, only to ensure that all the decisions would be taken at the Prime Minister House with the consultation and directions from the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who is still have close liaison with Khaqan Abbasi.

The Finance Secretary Shahid Mahmood, who is already in grade 22 and going to retire in first week of next month is under pressure from Fawad Hassan Fawad, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, who had got grade 22 just few days ago.

The sources at the Ministry of Finance disclosed that as the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is the Incharge of the Ministry of Finance, therefore, the Finance Ministry has to wait for the approval of any summary from the Prime Minister House where Fawad Hassan Fawad is the real controlling authority and instead of discussing the things with the Prime Minister Shahid Haqan Abbasi, he first got the directions from the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and then conveyed to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi before sending the approval to Ministry of Finance.

The government has to disburse development funds in the third quarter of the financial year to be used before the next general elections, therefore, the Prime Minister House has taken over the charge of the Ministry of Finance so that the PML-N members and leaders could be given development funds before the next general elections.

The PML-N parliamentarians will be provided extra development funds in the next couple of months and keeping the control of the Ministry of Finance by the Prime Minister House will keep vigilance on the distribution of such funds to only like minded parliamentarians.

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CPEC Projects to Complete by 2030

CPEC Projects to Complete by 2030


Ram zi | December 18, 2017 | category: Business

CPEC Projects to Complete by 2030. The projects initiated under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will be completed by 2030 and China is providing full support and cooperation to Pakistan for the completion of these projects by that time.

This was stated by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Dr. Ahsan Iqbal while addressing a ceremony here on Monday to launch the Long Term Plan of CPEC projects in Pakistan. The Long-Term Plan for CPEC was released by Minister Planning Ahsan Iqbal and Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing jointly at the ceremony held here today.
The Minister speaking on the occasion said work on the CPEC projects is continue with a good pace and hopefully, all these under progress projects will be completed by 2030.

Ahsan Iqbal said China is investing US dollars 56 billion for the CPEC projects, and more than US dollars 27 billion has been invested on the ongoing projects while more funds are being provided by China by some other projects which will be utilized on other projects.

He said roads, energy projects, improvement of railway, construction of bridges and Gwadar are the important projects being constructed under CPEC with Chinese financial and technical support.He said through various projects of the CPEC, difficult routes in the country are being improved and making safe routes with the improvement of the existing roads and with construction of new roads. He said besides the improvement of the present railway system, some new railway lines are being added to the railway system of the country.

He said the CPEC is a symbol of friendship and cooperation between Pakistan and China and it will prove a long lasting step in further cemented the bilateral ties between the two countries.Ahsan Iqbal said former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visit China in 2013 soon after taking oath and taking over the government and started discussion in improving cooperation between Pakistan and China.

“We should follow the example of progress and prosperity of China,” he added.
Being close friend of Pakistan, China provided a chance to Pakistan through CPEC for the development and progress of Pakistan, he said.

He said when the government took the charge in 2013, Pakistan’s economy was in very bad shape and international financial organizations were talking about Pakistan’s economic collapse but with the vision of Nawaz Sharif, the country had made tremendous progress in all the fields especially in economic sector. He said former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed CPEC with China which will be fate changer for the region.

He said following the start of projects under CPEC and with huge Chinese investment in Pakistan, now the foreign investors are also satisfied with the performance of Pakistan and they are investing in various fields in Pakistan
Referring to importance of Gwadar, Ahsan Iqbal said it is one the most important project being completed by the support of China and added that it is being linked with Quetta through a modern road. He said the present traveling time between Gwadar and Quetta will be reduced from 40 hours to just eight hours.

He said Pakistan and China have very cordial relations and engaged in Long Term Strategy ties. He said present government made sincere efforts to engage China in long term development projects in Pakistan as all the previous governments failed to utilize Chinese investment in Pakistan.

He said the CPEC is symbol of friendship between Pakistan and China and it will further enhance all weather friendship into a strategic relationship. He said China has proven most trusted friend of Pakistan and during the time of external and internal crisis, China was the only country to support Pak and launched the game changer project of CPEC.
The Long Term Plan for CPEC is a plan approved by both the governments; Pakistan and China and will reflect the national and local plans of both the countries.

The Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao JIng while addressing on this occasion China will continue its full support and help to Pakistan in the completion of the projects under CPEC.
He said Pakistan and China are very cordial relations based on mutual respect, mutual cooperation and these ties are trustworthy. Under the LTP of CPEC, the projects under progress will be completed while many new projects will be initiated very soon and all these projects will be completed by 2030.

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Punjab Needs To Harness The Opportunities And Not Shy Away From The Challenges:Finance Minister Punjab

Punjab Needs To Harness The Opportunities And Not Shy Away From The Challenges:Finance Minister Punjab


Ram zi | December 18, 2017 | category: Business

Finance Minister Punjab Dr. Ayesha Ghous Pasha has said that “Punjab needs to harness the opportunities and not shy away from the challenges”. She said this while addressing the Launching Ceremony of Punjab Economic Report (PER) 2017 hosted by the Punjab Economic Research Institute (PERI), Planning & Development Department, Government of the Punjab at Local Hotel, Lahore.

Minister for P&D Malik Nadeem Kamran, former Federal Finance Minister & Eminent Economist Dr. Hafeez A Pasha, Dr. Ijaz Nabi Country Director IGC, Provincial Minister for Mines & Minerals Shair Ali, Minister for Population Welfare Dr. Mukhtar Berth, Minister for Women Development Zakya Shahnawaz, Capt. (R) Zahid Saeed Chief Secretary Punjab, Chairman P&D Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan, Secretary P&D Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, Director PERI Dr. Mumtaz Anwar, Country Director World Bank Patchamuthu Illangovan, all members P&D Board, Parliamentarians, Senior Government Officials, Economists, Academicians, Journalists and representatives from the Industry, Agriculture, Development organizations and partners also attended the Ceremony.

Addressing the Ceremony, Finance Minister Dr. Ayesha Pasha focused on the importance of the province in playing a crucial role in improving the lives of the citizens. She reiterated the significance of evidence-based policy making and was of the view that this report would be beneficial for devising strategic development goals. She explained how the province was making progress in achieving the targeted growth rate through improving the energy generation, fuel mix, and security situation of the province. She also highlighted that under the Growth Strategy framework, 2-million youth would be provided with adequate education and skills to ensure their employability.

Provincial Minister for P&D Malik Nadeem Kamran, appreciating the efforts of PERI and P&D on the completion of PER, hoped that the report would assess the current economic situation, key performance indicators and the strengths of the province and also assist the government by identifying key areas where the province needs more attention. Highlighting the Punjab government’s commitment to economic prosperity, he stressed that growth must be pro-poor therefore every effort is being made to optimally utilize the limited financial resources purely for the welfare of the underprivileged segment of the society. For this purpose, the province is covering a range of projects including maternal health projects, projects of access to clean water, the availability of infrastructure and environmentally friendly transport facilities for the deprived segment of the society. P&D Minister concluded by assuring the audience that major development projects are underway with the role of P&D being pro-active through appropriate scrutinizing and monitoring of the projects from beginning to the end.

Dr. Hafiz A. Pasha, Former Federal Minister Finance / Eminent Economist, highlighted that Punjab was on track to achieving a growth rate of 6% by the end of the year which would be the highest growth rate in eleven years. He said that Punjab has shown a growth rate of 5% in major crops in 2016-17, which was the highest in the last ten years. He emphasized that Punjab needs to focus on providing employment to the youth of Punjab in order to take advantage of the youth bulge in Punjab. He also highlighted the need to develop secondary cities in Punjab as part of its Urban Development strategy in order to reduce the burden on existing cities.

Earlier, Chairman P&D Punjab Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan, welcoming Cabinet Ministers, Experts, Government Representatives, Business Leaders, Academicians & Researchers to the launch of Punjab Economic Report (PER) 2017, said that the government has achieved the important task of holistically documenting the economy of Punjab. He acknowledged the efforts of the Punjab Economic Research Institute (PERI) that worked closely with the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in the preparation of the report. He said the province was focusing not just on accelerating economic growth but on achieving balanced, inclusive and sustainable economic growth which would improve the well-being of the citizens of Punjab. The 7th NFC award has shifted the fiscal balance in favor of the provinces and the 18th Amendment has given constitutional rights to the provinces to focus on human development in the provinces.

Dr. Ijaz Nabi, Country Director IGC, thanked the Chief Minister for providing an opportunity in first preparing the PGS 2018 and then subsequently PER 2017 in order to understand whether the province is on track to achieving the targets it has set for itself in its vision document. In addition to providing an assessment of the PGS 2018, the report also provides an assessment of the opportunities available to the province in terms of CPEC. He thanked Dr. Mumtaz Anwar, Director PERI, for his unrelenting commitments in the preparation of the report.

Senior representative of LUMS Dr. Turab Hussain presented the key highlights of PER 2017. He thanked PERI, P&D and the LUMS team for their efforts in the preparation of the report. He highlighted that the report was a compendium of the work done in all sectors over the last ten years. The report presented an overview of the economy on socio-economic profile (poverty, inequality, regional disparities), structure (agriculture, industry, services), social sector (health, education, WASH), Infrastructure and Urban Development, IT, Provincial Investment in Energy, and Public-Sector Resource Management. He highlighted that the most important challenge for the province was its youth bulge. This bulge could be turned into a boon by educating the youth and providing them with adequate healthcare facilities, or it could be a bane if this youth was neglected.

Moreover, allocations to the health and education sector have doubled which are reflective of the focus of the provincial government on the welfare of the people. Governance has improved in the province through stock takes by the Chief Minister, local government empowerment and initiatives like e-governance that have been crucial in improving the monitoring process in the province, he added.

The ceremony concluded with the unveiling of the report by the respected guests.

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