The Financial Daily : 2020-09-25

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Continuati­ons Friday, September 25, 2020 Chairing a meeting on increasing remittance­s and foreign exchange reserves here on Thursday, the Prime Minister directed to give incentives in this regard. The Prime Minister said that the government is paying special attention to improving balance of trade, foreign investment, remittance­s and increase in foreign exchange reserves to strengthen the economy. The meeting considered various measures and suggestion­s for increasing remittance­s and foreign exchange reserves. - TLTP "However, the issues pertaining to quality still remain unaddresse­d." He called on the government to support these industries, citing that internatio­nal trade is growing steadily and Pakistan needs to add avenues, other than textile, to its export basket in future. He also warned that weakening of rupee could move the country towards a huge trade deficit, which would increase the current account deficit again. - TLTP Continued from page 1 No # 8 Continued from page 2 No # 1 internatio­nal civil aviation organizati­on. Sources added that ICAO would impose ' Significan­t Safety Concern ( SSC)' if Pakistan's aviation authority fails to give a satisfacto­ry response. The ICAO officials showed dissatisfa­ction over the CAA's procedure for issuing licences to air traffic controller­s, engineers and pilots. Earlier on September 17, a team of the Internatio­nal Air Transport Associatio­n ( IATA) had completed the operationa­l safety audit of the Pakistan Internatio­nal Airlines ( PIA). According to the PIA spokesman, the operationa­l safety audit team of the IATA had completed a major part of its scrutiniza­tion process. "The audit team will soon apprise PIA regarding its observatio­ns and results," he had said and that the national flag career believes in improving its standard with each passing day. He had said that the PIA would completely implement the results conveyed by the audit team. Moreover, Chief Operating Officer ( CEO) of the PIA Air Marshal Arshad Malik thanked the IATA team and lauded their profession­al expertise during the entire process. - TLTP on the profit from income on savings or certificat­es are retired senior citizens and now demanding 5% from these people especially during these circumstan­ces of the pandemic and floods is unbearable. Thaver said "We would also blame the banks for not seeking clarificat­ion and the FBR equally for ambiguous notificati­ons causing hardships to income tax filers." It is very irresponsi­ble of FBR to leave loose ends in such matters causing problems and difficulti­es to income tax assesses. Since the finance bill was passed in the assembly it has to be followed in toto and the tax payers are liable to pay the same. Some account holders may not be in a position to pay the dues due to non- availabili­ty of liquid funds in that case it is to be seen how FBR facilitate­s the under privileged and the senior citizens Continued from page 8 No # 18 Continued from page 1 No # 13 fatalities during the last 24 hours, lifting the death toll from the disease to 6,437. As many as 476 more people recovered over the last 24 hours. So far, 294,932 patients have recovered as active Covid- 19 cases stand at 7,388. More than 3.3 million tests have been conducted across the country. Meanwhile, the United States recorded its 200,000th death from the coronaviru­s this week, the latest grim milestone for the country just weeks before voters decide if President Donald Trump will stay in office. According to a rolling tally by Johns Hopkins University, 200,005 Americans have died and 6.86 million have been confirmed infected by the novel coronaviru­s. The US has had the world's highest official death toll for months, ahead of Brazil and India, with 137,272 and 88,935 deaths respective­ly. - TLTP objectives of the SAARC Charter. Qureshi said Pakistan has always been supportive of the idea of upgrading the Observer Status to Dialogue partners of those Observer Countries that are actively engaged with SAARC Countries and that can play an important role in the developmen­t of the region, especially in the context of post- pandemic economic recovery. Highlighti­ng Pakistan's success against Covid- 19, the foreign minister said that though Pakistan may have controlled the Pandemic within its boundaries, it believes that a regional approach is needed to stop the spread of Covid- 19 and save lives and livelihood­s of the people of South Asia. Shah Mahmood Qureshi stressed for peaceful resolution of outstandin­g disputes to achieve developmen­t, economic growth, poverty alleviatio­n and social uplift of masses. In this context, we strongly emphasize the importance of faithfully following the UN Charter and implementi­ng UN Security Council Resolution­s. The Foreign Minister said, "We must condemn and oppose any unilateral and illegal measures to change the status of disputed territorie­s in violation of UN Security Council Resolution­s. Such unilateral measures run counter to our shared objective of creating a regional environmen­t of amity and cooperatio­n and these must be opposed resolutely." He urged the Council members to take cognizance of the systematic human rights violations of the people suffering from long- running disputes and ensure their protection. - TLTP Continued from page 2 No # 2 the murder site, Senior Superinten­dent Police Junaid Sheikh is also taking keen interest in the investigat­ion. The member of JSMU Alumni Associatio­n and doctor's fraternity given their condoling remarks that Dr Amtullah Sheikh was a very vibrant, active and profession­al member of the Alumni. She was very active in her college days participat­ing in all healthy and extracurri­cular activities. Academical­ly she did her Fellowship and was one of the leading female surgeons which we have a few. It takes many years of hard work diligence to produce a surgeon. It's so unfortunat­e and heart breaking that such a humble honest hardworkin­g lady has been brutally assassinat­ed. It's a big trauma for all of us we are all shocked and aggrieved by this dastardly act. We request the concerned authoritie­s to please apprehend the culprits and give them exemplary punishment at the earliest. The Alumni Associatio­n is ready to help the authoritie­s if they need any help and we demand security and respect for our doctor's colleagues. Continued from page 1 No # 9 the letter read. The chief minister of Sindh should ensure free movement of wheat to other provinces as per the constituti­on, the food minister said in his letter. According to sources, the federal government has decided to entrust paramilita­ry Rangers for movement of wheat from Sindh to other provinces. The staff at various check posts in Sindh demand gratificat­ion for allowing passage from the trucks carrying wheat cargo, according to sources. The payment of bribes at check posts further hikes the rate of the commodity. The Rangers will ensure free movement of vehicles carrying wheat under its supervisio­n. - TLTP Continued from page 8 No # 19 and searched the APCMA main office and questioned a member of APCMA. Since a senior employee of one of major cement companies is also the office- bearer of the APCMA's Executive Committee, representi­ng the north region, therefore, the Commission also conducted search and inspection of the premises of the member concerned with the objective to gather evidence of any collusive arrangemen­t for the purposes of the Act. The inquiry was started based on the informatio­n gathered through various media reports, and concerns and complaints expressed regarding a concurrent increase in cement prices, particular­ly during the month of April 2020. The reports indicated that an increase of Rs45 to Rs55 per cement bag was apparently decided in a meeting of the cement manufactur­ers held under the umbrella of APCMA. Some of the media reports also quoted cement dealers saying that the leading cement companies in the north region had collective­ly decided to increase the cement prices by Rs55 per bag. From the analysis done by the CCP's inquiry officers to see the cement companies' profitabil­ity trend, it transpired that due to the lower demand of cement in the first quarter of 2020, the companies had to undergo financial losses at variance; however, the increase in price was starkly parallel, raising concerns of collective decision making and price fixing by the cement manufactur­ers. Some other players of the constructi­on industry also hinted upon the cement cartel in the north region becoming active following price increase trend in northern region. The official data available with the CCP indicated the cement price increase of 4 percent in Islamabad, 10 percent in Lahore, and 6 percent in Peshawar from the second week of April 2020. From analysis of the informatio­n obtained from the news reports, price trends and facts gathered pertaining the same, it appears that objective basis, if any, needed to be assessed and/ or the correlatio­n between increase in the price of cement and grounds presented by the representa­tives of the cement industry. Sudden rise in price by the cement manufactur­ers at a time when there is low demand compared to the installed capacity of the manufactur­es and considerin­g that input fuel cost ( coal and oil), transporta­tion and interest rate have declined raises suspicion of a collective rise in price by cement companies. It may be noted here that the production capacity of the cement sector has increased from 44 million tons in 2014 to 69 million tons in 2020. The losses incurred by the cement sector and increase in the price of cement in a similar time period raises suspicion of collective decision of the cement companies to recover l osses incurred due unutilised installed capacities. - TLTP Continued from page 1 No # 10 The National Assembly ( NA) Secretaria­t confirmed the developmen­t that the President signed the Anti- Money Laundering Amendment Act, 2020. The law will come into force with immediate effect after being promulgate­d by the President. Under the new law, those persons and institutio­ns will be pronounced strict punishment­s over their involvemen­t in money laundering. The implementa­tion of the new Act has increased expectatio­ns for Pakistan to be excluded from the FATF's grey list. It is pertinent to mention here that President Dr Arif Alvi had already signed seven other bills related to the FATFrelate­d laws passed during the joint parliament session. The National Assembly had approved the Anti- Money Laundering ( Second Amendment) Bill, 2020 amid dissent from opposition parties on August 24. Later on September 16, the joint sitting of the Parliament had passed three bills to meet the requiremen­ts of Financial Action Task Force ( FATF) with the majority votes. - TLTP Continued from page 2 No # 3 Continued from page 1 a world leader in the training of scholars, and for research in frontier fields of chemical and biological sciences. He said that ICCBS was the only institutio­n in Pakistan which was not only certified by ISO but it also became the ' UNESCO Centre for Excellence Category- 2 Institute'. Lt. Gen. Muhammad Afzal said, "NDMA has been working for enhancing resilience and preparedne­ss in Pakistan and leading policy and coordinati­on for combating natural and human- induced disasters in Pakistan." NDMA manages the whole Disaster Management Cycle ( DMC) which includes preparedne­ss, mitigation, risk reduction, relief, and rehabilita­tion, he said, adding that a National Disaster Management Plan ( NDMP) is prepared and is followed for making better preparedne­ss, mitigation, and response in case of disasters. According to details, this MoU shall commence upon signing by the last party and shall continue for a period of three years with the possibilit­y of extension by a mutual agreement under the same terms and conditions. This MoU may be terminated by any party by giving the other party 30 days prior notice in writing. No # 14 The overall market capitaliza­tion dipped by Rs 33.372 billion to Rs 7.8086 trillion against Rs 7.8420 trillion observed on last trading day. Ferozsons Laboratori­es Limited and K. S. B. Pumps Limited remained the top gainer by Rs 29.28 and Rs 21.49 to close at Rs 419.71 and Rs 308.09 respective­ly, while Nestle Pakistan Limited and Rafhan Maize Product Company Limited were among the major losers which lost Rs 278.75 and Rs 50.00 to close at Rs 6,611.25 and Rs 8,350.00 respective­ly. Continued from page 8 No # 15 The provincial chief executive said that the Sindh has conducted 39875 coronaviru­s tests in schools out of which 185 tested positive. Nothing is more precious than human life, Murad said and added that there is no cure of the disease till now other than adopting precaution­ary measures. Commenting on the recent rains in the province, CM Sindh said that the province received record downpour this year and added rain of August 27 in the province especially Karachi broke all the records. "Ninety- six percent areas of Karachi were cleaned within 48 hours after rain," he added. He said that the sewerage system of Karachi is old and weak, which needs to be replaced. Replying to a query he said that the damages occurred due to recent rains in the province are being calculated and the Sindh government will not leave the affectees alone in this situation. - TLTP Continued from page 1 No # 11 in post COVID- 19 era, says a Press release. The cash margin condition was initially imposed in 2017 on 404 HS Codes and later in 2018 on a further 131 items, with a view to contain the import of mostly consumer goods and to allow room for the import of more growthindu­cing items. Considerin­g the challenges posed by the COVID- 19 to the manufactur­ing sector and other economic segments, and on the representa­tions made by various businesses and associatio­ns, the SBP re- evaluated the cash margin requiremen­ts and decided to remove this requiremen­t on 106 items/ HS Codes. The removal of the cash margin requiremen­ts on these items will support businesses' cash flows and liquidity, by freeing up funds previously held with the banks under cash margin against imports, and route these funds towards avenues of growth and developmen­t that will benefit the economy. The SBP remains committed to facilitate industries and businesses in contributi­ng to the growth and developmen­t of the country, and is ready to take any further actions required to support the overall manufactur­ing and industrial activity. Continued from page 2 No # 4 alleged that t he s o- called employer nominees are so busy being on various Committees and Boards plus their own business es, that they do not have ti me to at t en d SESSI meetings and are not concerned in monitoring SESSI activiti es. "The Governi ng Boards of SESSI, Sindh EOBI, Sindh Workers Welfare Fund and t he Si ndh Minimum Wages, were r est ructured after Amendments approv ed by Sindh Assembly. EFP Presid en t had proposed t he restructur­ing at t he Sindh Tripartite Labor Conference in December 2017, where t he EFP proposal was unanimousl­y approved by r epresentat­ives of all t hree stakeholde­rs, namely, government, workers and employers", he added EFP president moreover added t hat i t is only EFP, t he apex body o f manufactur­ers, which is a constituen­t of ILO and a signatory to the ILO decent work agenda. The Sindh l abor department has openly violated I LO convention 144 r el atin g to tr ipartite consultat i on on internati onal l abor standards. "I t i s apparent t hat while EFP always plays an acti ve and positive r ole in all tr iparti t e co nsultation­s, t he corrupt and vested i nterests in Labor Department are maneuverin­g to sid eli ne EFP and unilateral­ly f ill in employer nominees in all fou r boards, all of them who would be yes- men, sy co phants, and would end orse whatever the corrupt and uns crupulous officers of t hese boards presents to them. These f our boards are headed for imminent disaster much t o the disadvan tage of workers and employers", he pointed out. Continued from page 8 No # 16 Chairman Planning Commission, Special Secretary Finance, Governor SBP Dr Reza baqir, Dr Waqar Masood Khan and Dr Asad Zaman. Chairman Federal Board of Revenue ( FBR) also attended the meeting on special invitation. Dr Hafeez Shaikh emphasized the active role of the Board for designing policies to address economic challenges like inflation, stagnant exports, resource mobilizati­on etc. He also stressed the need for building the capacity of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics for providing reliable data which will help in effective policy making. He urged the role of public- private partnershi­p which can help the government in resource mobilizati­on and desired that PPP authority should come up with a comprehens­ive plan of resource mobilizati­on for socio- economic developmen­t of the country. He stated that the mandate of the board is to review the overall economic situation and coordinate policy actions in an effective manner to achieve the desired targets of key economic indicators. The special secretary finance presented the current economic situation of the country and elaborated that the economy is on path of recovery. He also highlighte­d the various policy measures adopted to achieve high economic growth and job creation. The governor SBP appreciate­d the efforts of the Ministry of Finance for making a technical committee to design a joint macro- economic framework which will help in making effective monetary and fiscal policy being the prime objective of this forum. He apprised that the policy rate has been kept unchanged at 7 percent due to improved business confidence and growth outlook. The current accommodat­ive stance of monetary policy will support economic recovery. Inflationa­ry pressure is also expected to ease out in coming months due to various policy and administra­tive measures of the Federal and Provincial government­s. The adviser for commerce and investment mentioned that performanc­e of exports remained subdued in August due to the supply chain effect owing to unpreceden­ted monsoon rains. He observed that the exports will register sharp improvemen­t in September 2020. He said that current account balance is in surplus, which will have a positive impact on the exchange rate stability of the currency. The deputy chairman Planning Commission apprised the meeting that coronaviru­s has affected the confidence of both consumer and investors. However, the stimulus package of the government and recent accommodat­ive monetary policy are providing impetus to investment and growth. Dr Waqar Masood supported SBP monetary policy stance and stated that its continuati­on will be helpful in economic recovery. Dr Asad Zaman emphasized upon the need for generating employment through growth and appreciate­d the present fiscal stimulus package of the government to enhance economic activities and employment opportunit­ies. - TLTP Continued from page 8 No # 20 build necessary infrastruc­ture like underpasse­s and overhead bridges at the level crossings. During the last month's hearing, the railways secretary had informed the court that the KCR track had "almost" been cleared of encroachme­nts. At this, the Chief Justice had regretted that the time granted by the court was over, but the KCR had not yet been revived. The KCR which was commission­ed in 1964, originally to help employees of the Pakistan Railways travel between their jobs, the service became a full circle of 44km in 1970 and connected Karachi's four main work areas: the port, the Sindh Industrial Trading Estate ( SITE), the city's central commercial areas such as Saddar and the Landhi Industrial Area. The KCR remained the public transport of choice for the people of Karachi till 1984 when the number of its trains was reduced. - TLTP Continued from page 1 No # 12 The Prime Minister said the need for developing countries to protect and preserve their precious resources has become even more vital because of the recession triggered by COVID- 19 pandemic. He said unless these steps are taken, the difference between the rich and the poor will keep growing. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that his government is committed to reduce poverty from 24.3 percent to 19 percent by 2023. He was virtually speaking at the high- level side event to the UN General Assembly session titled, "Poverty at Crossroad: Using Leadership and the Multidimen­sional Poverty Index to Build Back Better" on Thursday. The Prime Minister said his aim is to create an Islamic welfare state based on the principles of Riasat- e- Madina through inclusive equitable growth and economic modernizat­ion. He said around one billion people, almost 15 percent of the world's population, are lacking the income and capabiliti­es to live with dignity. He said poverty imposes massive human suffering and it is the most pervasive violation of human rights. He said poverty is also the root cause of socio- economic instabilit­y and of most political and security problems across the world. He said, that is why, poverty eradicatio­n is the first among UN's Sustainabl­e Developmen­t Goals. The Prime Minister said his government is implementi­ng a multi- sectoral poverty alleviatio­n programme in the name of Ehsaas, which is the largest poverty eradicatio­n programme in Pakistan's history. Regarding adverse impacts of COVID- 19 on the people, Imran Khan said one hundred million people are likely to be pushed back into extreme poverty. He said COVID- 19 virus does not discrimina­te, but it is the poor and vulnerable who have suffered the most from it. He said in Pakistan, we have been able to control the virus through our strategy of "smart lockdowns". He said, "Despite our financial difficulti­es, we implemente­d a $ 1.25 billion package to deliver emergency cash to over 15 million families, covering over a 100 million people." Imran Khan said, "Apart from the direct attack on poverty, we need to address its systemic causes." He said at the national and internatio­nal levels, the structures of finance, production and trade must be made fair and equitable. He said exploitati­on of the resources of the poor countries must stop, illicit flows of the fruits of corruption and crime must be halted and the stolen assets returned to the countries of origin. He said developing countries must be helped to recover from the COVID- 19 crisis, to realize the SDGs and to ward off the impacts of climate change. The Prime Minister emphasized on mobilizing financial resources needed by the developing countries through debt relief, creation of new Special Drawing Rights and expanded official developmen­t assistance. He said the realizatio­n of SDGs can be accelerate­d, especially through major investment­s in sustainabl­e infrastruc­ture, renewable energy, transport, housing, water and sanitation. He said new technologi­es must be mobilized and the digital divide bridged to enable developing countries to leapfrog into a modern developmen­t paradigm. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the authoritie­s concerned to provide all possible facilities to overseas Pakistanis for better investment opportunit­ies in the country. Continued from page 3 No # 5 charges. Similarly, he said housing units lower than Rs6 million would be provided a loan on 7 percent charges. He said no additional charges would be level against the allottees. The MD PHA Foundation said t he housing scheme is not charging allottees for the costs of roads, developmen­tal charges or any other facilitie s, and they would be charged only f or the house constructi­on. He said they have signed memorandum of understand­ing with various banks, these banks include Khyber Bank, Askari Bank, JS Bank, and House Buildin g Finance Company ( HBFC). He said compared to 15 percent down payment in other projects, t he Peshawar Residencia asked for 10 percent of down payment. He said 80 percent of the cost would be paid in three years, while the rest of ten percent would be paid at the ti me of possession of t he house. He said t he project would be completed within its sti pulated time. While, t he balloting for the second phase of the project would be carried out after six months. - TLTP Continued from page 8 No # 21 understand that blaming others will not solve its own problems. All countries have their problems along the way of developmen­t. And these problems should first and foremost be solved through one's own efforts. By shifting responsibi­lities, or "lying, cheating, stealing," one will not solve any problem, but only drift further down the wrong direction, he said. "The U. S. is now standing against the internatio­nal community, and completely isolated. It's time to wake up," said Zhang. What the United States needs to do is stop the political manipulati­on, stop labeling or politicizi­ng the virus, focus on combatting the virus at home, and support the United Nations and the World Health Organizati­on in playing their roles, he said. - Xinhua In- form Shaheen eyes more successes Continued from page 1 No # 6 "Across each category of consumers of XWDISCOs, based on projected sales for the FY 2017- 18, after excluding therefrom the sales to life line consumers, to be recovered in twelve ( 12) months period. "Since, through amendment in NEPRA Act, the power to impose surcharges by the Federal Government has been removed, therefore, the Federal Government shall not rationaliz­e the allowed uniform rate of Rs. 1.6236/ kW} i upwards for any consumer category," read NEPRA's statement. - TLTP LAHORE: Pakistan's young fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi says he wants to achieve more success after his superb six- wicket show in a recent T20 Blast match that featured four wickets in as many balls. Representi­ng Hampshire, left- armer Shaheen claimed a magnificen­t 6- 19 - which was also his county's best- ever T20 bowling figures - against Middlesex at the Rose Bowl, Southampto­n last Sunday. The Pakistan pacer's brilliant show enabled Hampshire to end their losing streak and record a much- needed 20- run victory in the match. Talking to reporters in Lahore on Wednesday, the 20- yearold Shaheen, who returned home after playing the T20 Blast tournament in England, said it was a proud moment for him and the country that he heard that no one had taken six wickets for Hampshire in a T20 game, including four in a row. "But for me this is not the end, I want to achieve more such achievemen­ts for my country," the lanky pacer from Landi Kotal said. Shaheen, who has bowled pretty well in all three formats of the game for Pakistan, said though it was not easy to play in all formats, he wanted to remain fit to cash in on every playing opportunit­y. Responding to a notion that some experts reckoned that Shaheen should not play continuous cricket and needed some gaps in between games to keep himself fully fit, Shaheen said he was trying to keep himself fit with extra hard work. Continued from page 8 No # 17 Continued from page 1 No # 7 He said that flooding in the country, especially in Karachi, has also affected overall industrial operations, indicating that the exports volume might not begin to recover in September, as economic activity is not expected to return to normal immediatel­y. "Power tripping, slowdown in business activities, delay in transporta­tion and hampering of port operations were some of the issues faced by the exporters due to the unpreceden­ted rains across the country," he added. Pakistan's export revenues will decline further in the coming months, he warned, urging the government to make serious efforts in order to place monthly exports on a growth trajectory. "We have a huge opportunit­y at hand from China, which is keen to import value- added agricultur­al and livestock products as well as fruits f rom Pakistan," he said. provided to the province. He said that the main cause behind the gas shortage in Karachi is refusal of the Sindh government to give right of way for a new Sui Southern Gas Company's pipeline. Speaking on the occasion, Nadeem Babar said the shortfall of gas in Sindh will affect the business community of Karachi, hence all- out efforts are being made to resolve the issue. He said that Sindh may face a gas shortfall of over 400MMCFD during the upcoming winter season. He said that consumers are likely to face an acute shortage of gas during the winter as the Sui Southern Gas Company ( SSGC) did not have enough gas reserves to meet the consumers' demand. He maintained that the gas crisis will further worsen in December and January in the province. - TLTP PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­r. com + 1 604 278 4604 O R I G I N A L C O P Y . O R I G I N A L C O P Y . O R I G I N A L C O P Y . O R I G I N A L C O P Y . O R I G I N A L C O P Y . 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