Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tobacco claims more lives than terrorism in Pakistan.

Tobacco claims more than 100,000 lives annually in the country while this death toll is much higher as compared to the deaths caused by suicide attacks, terrorism, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other fatal diseases.

Health experts informed this while addressing a news conference at the Karachi Press Club on Monday under the banner of National Alliance for Tobacco Control (NATC).

Head of Pulmonary Medicine, AKU and NATC Chairman Prof Javed Khan said despite well-known dangers and destructive effects of tobacco, the profits from its business continue to soar and sales of cigarettes consistently increase. “The sale of cigarettes rose from 5,000 billion to 5,900 billion in 2009”, he informed.

“Smoking and other means of tobacco consumption kill more people annually than alcohol, Aids, accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined altogether. Tobacco was responsible for 5.4 million deaths in 2010 and this toll is expected to rise to 10 million by 2025 if it goes unchecked, he added.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Panasonic Corporation unveils 2011 range of products

Panasonic is one of the largest electronic product manufacturers in the world.It manufactures and markets a wide range of products under the Panasonic brand to enhance and enrich lifestyles all around the globe. Based in Osaka, Japan.

The company laid out its strategy and unveiled its product portfolio for the year 2011. Panasonic experienced very strong growth in all product categories in 2010 and this year the company aims to increase the sale of 3D TV’s and VIERA LED TV’s by 300pc across the region.
Panasonic also has aims to become the ‘No.1 Green Innovation Company’ in the Electronics Industry in Middle East as part of Panasonic’s group-wide global commitment to drive eco- innovation in the world by 2018, the 100th anniversary of its foundation. The Middle East is a key market for Panasonic, so large amounts of investment will be undertaken to bring in new technology and products. The conference also confirmed that Panasonic would be venturing into the African countries of Kenya and Angola. In both regions, the Middle East and Africa, Panasonic would double its sales of its eco-friendly products.
Together with speaking at length about the company plans, there was also an official launch ceremony of their new VIERA lineup as well as their LUMIX cameras. Mr. Fuji and Mr. Seiji Koyanagi, from Panasonic Gulf, inaugurated the~2011Iine-up of products. The VIERA BLACK is a state-of-the-art range of TVs that will encompass enhanced TV viewing experiences with interactive internet connectivity. In terms of enhanced viewing the TV will show clearer and more refined images in excessive light as well as darkness. The VIERA Connect internet facility that is offered in the VIERA BLACK range will allow the user to enjoy sports, play interactive games and experience other content through the use of a remote.

480 houses of Ashiana to be ready by July

Up to 480 houses of the Ashiana Housing Scheme will be completed by the first week of July and will be distributed to the deserving people, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Sunday.

Out of 3,000 houses of the housing scheme only meant for the poor, the first block of 480 houses would be distributed to the poor in July, Mr Sharif told reporters at Saroba Atari, the site of the housing project. He said the scrutiny of applications was under process and it would be ensured that only eligible get houses in the scheme.

He said the Punjab government had materialised the dream of the poor of having their own house through the project first time in the country, says a handout.

He said a permanent system should be evolved for the security, sanitation, maintenance of parks and provision of educational and medical facilities in the scheme. Punjab Land Development Company Chairman Sheikh Allauddin, Members of the Provincial Assembly Mian Naseer Ahmad and Khwaja Imran Nazir and Lahore division officers were also present.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

PTCL offers new international calling rates

PTCL introduced new cost-effective calling rates for several international eastern and western destinations with unmatched voice quality.
The newly announced calling rates have been categorised into European and Far East bucket. By subscribing to the Western Express Package (European Bucket) customers can avail 250 minutes per month for calling fixed line in Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and Norway, said a press release.
By subscribing to the Eastern Connection Package (Far East Bucket) customers can avail 250 minutes per month for calling fixed line in South Korea and Malaysia and both fixed line and mobile in Hong Kong. Subscription charges for each package are Rs 300 per month.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Desilting to prolong Tarbela Dam`s life.

Wapda, the Water and Power Development Authority, has decided to remove silt from the Tarbela Dam reservoir.

Official sources told that two multinational consultant companies would start studying the feasibility of the project next month. The World Bank has pledged $3 million for the study, the sources said.

Wapda conducted five such studies in the past but none was implemented for one reason or the other, an official said, adding that desilting would enhance the life of Tarbela Dam which is the biggest sources of hydel power generation in the country.

According to the official Wapda has engaged the consultant firms HR Walling Ford and Mott Macdonald Pvt Limited Pakistan for preparing a feasibility report on enhancing the dam`s life, the methodology of removing sediment, the volume of funds required should it be dredged or flushed out, and the time required for completing the project. The feasibility part of the project reportedly would be completed within 15 months.

Wapda`s annual report said sediment had been increasing in the dam because of rampant deforestation in the 65,500 square miles catchments of Indus River.

A delta that has developed three or four kilometers upstream is a lurking danger for the power house. The size of delta, according to official sources, was 50 miles long, 1 to 2 miles wide and its depth was estimated at around 200 feet.

The ever growing sediments in the reservoir have reduced the usable storage capacity to 6.77 Million-Acre Feet which was 9.68 MAF when this gigantic dam was constructed back in 1974. Tarbela Dam was built at a cost of $3 billion during 1968-1974 after inundating over 100 villages of Haripur district alone and displacing a vast population. Tarbela Dam is the biggest source of hydel power generation in the country and it contributes 3,478 megawatts of electricity from its 14 generating units. Work on the fourth extension project, commonly known as tunnel No.4, is also likely to start by the end of this year which would generate another 960 megawatts.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Generator prices soar by about 25percent

The domestic generators’ prices have increased manifold after continuous loadshedding and hot summer season. The domestic generators prices have increased about 25 per cent as compared to last year.
According to a survey of Brandreth Road, the wholesale market of generators, industrial and agricultural machinery in city, there were a large range of generators for customers. The mostly generators available in market are China made while Japan made generators are also being sold but their demand was very low due to high prices.
The different kinds of China-made power generators and their prices were as under: 500 watt Rs 7000, 2000 watt aluminium made Rs 20,000, copper made Rs 28,000, 2500 watt Rs 30,000, 5 Kilo Watt Rs 45,000 and 6 Kilo Watt Rs 50,000.

Utility Stores Corporation reduces prices of 133 item

USC has further slashed the prices of as many as 133 basic items by about 5.38 %.
This decision was made on the occasion of visit of Senior Federal Minister for Industries and Defence Production Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, President Pakistan Muslim League-Q Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, and Advisor to Prime Minister on Industries and Production Raja Basharat to the head office of USC on Thursday.
Managing Director USC Arif Khan briefed them about the performance of the Corporation and about the relief being provided to the general public.

Govt finalises budget with size estimated at Rs3.8trn

The government has finalised a consolidated budget of Rs3.854 trillion for the next financial year, envisaging a revenue of Rs2.787 trillion, fiscal deficit of Rs912 billion and provincial transfers of Rs1.224 trillion.

The budgetary allocations indicate that current expenditures of most of the federal ministries will be frozen at the level of the current year because of tight fiscal position.

Official documents available with Dawn show the government has set a tax revenue target of Rs2.1 trillion, 2.3 per cent above the current year’s revised target of Rs1.71 trillion. This includes a Rs1.952 trillion tax target of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) against current year’s revised estimate of Rs1.588 trillion. The non-tax revenue is estimated at Rs687 billion, up 30 per cent from this year’s revised estimate of Rs526 billion.

Of the total revenue of Rs2.787 trillion, the provinces would get Rs1.224 trillion and Rs1.513 trillion would be for the federal government.

The government had set a revenue target of Rs2.410 trillion for the current year, but it has now been revised to Rs2.235 trillion, because of a shortfall in FBR collection, non-introduction of RGST and slow economic growth.

The centre’s total expenditure has been estimated at Rs2.549 trillion, up from current year’s revised estimate of Rs2.314 trillion. The centre would extend Rs55 billion subsidies to the provinces.

The size of the federal Public Sector Development Programme has been estimated at Rs280 billion against current year’s original estimate of Rs270 billion which was brought down to Rs180 billion.

Another Rs35 billion would be spent for flood relief assistance, slightly less than current year’s Rs40 billion.

Pensions would require Rs118 billion against Rs107 billion this year. Likewise, federal government’s service delivery cost has been estimated at Rs200 billion, which is about Rs20 billion more than current year’s revised estimate of Rs180 billion – brought down from budgeted Rs221 billion.

SECURITY AND INTEREST: The government would earmark Rs495 billion for defence, about 12 per cent more than current year’s allocation of Rs442 billion. Another Rs340 billion would be made available through grants for security expenditure, up 19.3 per cent from current year’s Rs285 billion. Put together, security-related expenditures would amount to Rs835 billion against this year’s Rs727 billion, up by 15 per cent.

An almost equally a large amount of Rs786 billion would be paid as interest cost, which is about Rs60 billion or 8.3 per cent more than current year’s revised debt servicing of Rs726 billion. The government had earmarked Rs699 billion in the 2010-11 budget for debt servicing which has been revised to Rs726 billion.

About Rs50 billion would be allocated for the ministry of interior, up from current year’s Rs44 billion.

BUDGET DEFICIT: The federal government’s fiscal deficit has been estimated at Rs1.036 trillion that is expected to be reduced to Rs912 billion because of a Rs124 billion cash surplus to be provided by the provincial governments. For the current year, the government had envisaged an overall deficit of Rs685 billion (4.5 per cent of GDP) that has now been revised to Rs960 billion or 5.5 per cent of GDP. The provinces were expected to generate a cash surplus of Rs167 billion but it was revised to Rs112 billion.

The budget deficit would be met through Rs95 billion worth of grants, net domestic bank borrowing of Rs807 billion and net external borrowing of Rs10 billion.

PROVINCIAL FINANCES: The provinces would get Rs1.224 trillion, up 23 per cent from the revised estimate of Rs993 billion during the current year. At the time of budget announcement last year, the centre had promised net transfers of Rs1.034 trillion to the provinces, which has been revised to Rs993 billion, a reduction of about Rs40 billion.

The provincial governments are expected to generate a tax revenue of Rs78 billion next year, slightly higher than current year’s revised estimate of Rs67 billion. Provincial non-tax revenue is expected at Rs69 billion against Rs66 billion revised estimate of this year.

The total expenditure of the provinces has been estimated at Rs1.305 trillion against current year’s estimate of Rs1.056 trillion.

FEDERAL MINISTRIES: A total of 17 ministries have been devolved to the provinces and, therefore, there would be no allocation for them for current expenditure in the budget. The remaining 31 ministries have been given the ceiling of about Rs155 billion for their current expenditure.

Some of the key ministries that have been given major allocations include the interior ministry, Rs50 billion; cabinet division, Rs5 billion; establishment division, Rs1.4 billion; commerce, Rs4.8 billion; defence ministry, Rs6.8 billion; finance and revenue, Rs22 billion; foreign affairs, Rs12 billion; housing and works, Rs2.4 billion; Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, Rs8 billion; and States and Frontier Regions along with Fata, Rs16 billion.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

upcoming budget

The government is seriously thinking to increase the income tax threshold of Rs 300,000 to Rs 350,000 for salaried individuals in the upcoming budget 2011-2012, it has been learnt.
‘The Federal Board of Revenue and Revenue Advisory Council the other day agreed to increase the income tax threshold of Rs 300,000 to Rs 350,000 for salaried individuals in the upcoming budget 2011-2012’, said an officer of the FBR. However, he made it clear that it was not finalised yet.
He was of the view that the government would also expedite the processing of issuing notices of the non-taxpayers in the coming financial year.
The Income Tax Department has already identified 700,000 people who have assets but do not contribute a single penny to the kitty and government is expecting to recover billions of rupees from these non-filers in the coming financial year.
The government is trying to explore all possible ways to generate additional revenue for the coming year in order to make the expected annual tax collection target of above Rs 1900 billion a realistic one.
The government has already agreed with IMF that would eliminate the existing tax exemptions given to several sectors and commodities and would bring all these commodities under the General Sales Tax (GST).
However, basic food items and life savings drugs would be excluded from it. Sources told that the government is also considering imposing GST on poultry feed.
The government is facing criticism from the economists that it had fixed an unrealistic revenue collection target for the upcoming fiscal year.
They are of the view that the government has made Rs 1588 billion a base for above Rs 1900 billion target for the next financial year, however, the government could reach the target of Rs 1588 billion in the ongoing fiscal year.

Gas shortage may worsen in winter, committee told

The Senate Standing Committee on Interior was informed on Tuesday that the shortage of gas might worsen in winter because there was no possibility of additional gas coming into the system over the next two years.

Senior officials of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) told the committee that load management was being carried out only in Punjab.

The meeting presided over by Senator Talha Mehmood called for an inquiry into allegations that a senior SNGPL official owns a number of CNG stations and provides gas connections to housing societies in exchange of plots.

The committee directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to complete inquiries against the SNGPL and PIA as soon as possible.

LG Optimus 3D smartphone

LG Electronics (LG), in collaboration with augmented reality (AR) pioneer Wikitude, today announced the adoption of the world’s first three dimensional AR browser on its upcoming LG Optimus 3D smartphone, says a press release by the company.
The Wikitude 3D browser allows for better interaction with real-time user environments while 2D AR only displays overlapped objects, 3D AR shows places, landmarks and objects in 3D making them easier to distinguish. The browser allows users to discover details about their surroundings and access related Wikipedia articles and Twitter information. AR technology has been praised for its potential to replace the ‘abstract’ realities of standard mobile browsers with ‘actual’ reality streamed through the camera of the smartphone, said Dr Jong-seok Park, CEO and President of LG Mobile Communications.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Power tariff raised by Rs. 1.07

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has allowed Power distribution companies to raise the electricity tariff by Rs. 1.07 per unit, under the monthly fuel price adjustment formula.
At the hearing, Nepra officials examined figures provided by power distribution companies which had sought an increase of Rs. 1.07 per unit as part of fuel adjustment for April, 2011. NEPRA was informed that 43 Percent electricity was generated from furnace oil in month of March and increase in furnace oil prices had an adverse impact on the cost of power generation.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

City District Government Karachi releases cheques to 64 lucky employees for Hajj

City District Government Karachi (CDGK) on Monday released cheques of Rs 205,000 each, to its 64 employees under conditions, for performing Hajj.

It is pertinent to mention here that the CDGK had nominated names of its 64 employees through a lucky draw for Hajj but later halted the programme after the observation of the Supreme Court (SC) in regard with performing Hajj on the expenses of the government.

The issue was resolved on the interference of Sindh Information Technology Minister Raza Haroon. He discussed the issue with concern authorities and it was decided that the city government would release the cheques to the announced persons. However, they have declared in written that incase of the SC’s verdict against the matter, the government could cut off the amount from their salaries. Executive District Officer (EDO) Finance Amir Khursheed and EDO Municipal Services Masood Aalam distributed the cheques to lucky employees in the Civic Centre’s Committee Room.

Pirzada assures federal hospitals to remain in same status

Federal Health Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada on Monday reiterated that the federal government-run hospitals of the metropolis would not be transferred to the province under the 18th Amendment. He said this while talking to media after a meeting with the Joint Action Committee (JAC) office-bearers held at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) here on Monday.

JPMC Executive Director Prof Tasneem Ahsan, Joint Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali, also attended the meeting. Pirzada further said that the federal institutions were the identity of the federation so they should remain in the current status. The minister said international donor agencies approached the federal government for assistance, adding that many programmes and campaigns run by donor agencies would be affected due to the devolution. A part of health ministry would be handed over to the provinces under the devolution pursuant to the 18th Amendment, he added.

30 percent GST likely on commercial, industrial power

It has been learnt that the government is considering a proposal to increase the rate of GST from 17 to 30 per cent for industrial and commercial users of electricity in the upcoming budget to raise additional revenue.

Economic experts think that the move will boost inflation because industries will pass on the increase to consumers. It will also increase the cost of production and may lead to closure of some industrial units and this will create more joblessness. Finance ministry and tax officials who have proposed the GST increase estimate that it will yield an additional revenue of about Rs25 billion.

At present the FBR collects about Rs20 billion from GST on industrial and commercial users of electricity.

International Monetary Fund had expressed concern over the government move at a recent meeting in Dubai. “IMF officials informed the Pakistani delegation that the proposed increase in the GST rate for industrial and commercial users of electricity would be inflationary and would have more political cost,” the official said, adding that it would be a difficult decision for the government.

He said the proposal, if approved by the federal cabinet, would affect 4.3 million industrial and commercial units whose production had already declined over the past few years because of power outages. The large-scale manufacturing sector has also been witnessing a negative growth for a few years.

Monday, May 23, 2011

NICVD Karachi evening clinics got immense popularity

The evening clinics, started at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) in February this year has gained immense popularity among the heart patients of the city.

NICVD Executive Director Prof Khan Shah Zaman told APP, the other day, that these clinics have particularly helped in providing primary angioplasty support to the mid-income group patients.

“The essential and emergency medical support was provided to patients who were either suffering from heart attack or at high risk to the condition,” elaborated the surgeon in reply to a question.

He said the patients visiting or brought to the NICVD evening clinics mainly comprised white-collar people who were unable to visit hospitals in the morning hours, due to job constraints.

GST on more items is likely in budget

In what appears to be a move aimed at avoiding pressure from influential businessmen and land lords, the government has decided in principle to the impose general sales tax on more commodities in the next budget.

The understanding on these lines has been reached after marathon meetings held by the government’s economic teams headed by Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Shaikh, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Nadeem ul Haq, Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood and Revenue Advisory Council Chairman Dr Hafeez Pasha.

A majority of the team members have agreed to extend GST to new products, but they are divided over reintroduction of the wealth tax, bringing exporters into the tax net and increasing the rate of income tax on real estate owners, as they fear a political backlash.

Tax officials were tasked to evaluate revenue impact of raising GST rates for some products and to extend it to new products in the budget.Increasing the GST rate on domestic sale of textile products, carpets, and sports, surgical and leather goods is under consideration.

Terrorists attack Navy airbase in Karachi, destroy three aircraft

Armed militants stormed into a naval airbase here on Sunday night, destroyed three aircraft and killed at least five people — four navy personnel and a foreigner whose nationality could not be ascertained.

According to sources, 12 to 15 militants managed to sneak into the PNS Mehran base, which is used for naval aviation, from three directions and carried out a simultaneous attack on different targets.

It could not be confirmed if they had faced any resistance or had used some disguise while entering the premises.

The militants also took some Chinese personnel hostage in a building inside the base, which was subsequently surrounded by naval commandos, the sources said.

The PAF Museum located near the base is visited by a large number of people on Sundays.

The militants either placed detonators on the aircraft present in hangars in PNS Mehran or used rockets to blow them up.

Witnesses said they had heard three or four explosions, but another blast took place in the base at around 1am, turning the
whole place into an inferno. The blast which was heard as far as Rashid Minhas Road spread panic among residents.

The fire and smoke were visible from the Sharea Faisal and intense gunfire was being heard.

Wind energy accord with S. Korea

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said the government is paying full attention to overcome power shortage by developing alternative energy projects. Besides planning an hydroelectric power project of 120 megawatts near the Sukkur Barrage, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with the Korea Southern Power Company (KOSPO) to establish wind power projects of 2,000 megawatts in the Gharo-Keti Bandar wind corridor, where a 200-megawatt power project would be made operational by 2014 and the entire project of 2,000 megawatts would be operational by 2018.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pakistan has 33 tcf tight gas reserves

Pakistan has an estimated tight gas reserves of 33 trillion cubic feet (tcf) which are more than the existing estimated natural gas reserves of 27 tcf in the country, said the Deputy Managing Director (operations) of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) Syed Hassan Nawab. He also said that the country will have sufficient natural gas if tight gas is explored with the help of advanced technology. He pointed out that the government has prepared the draft policy for tight gas and it is currently with the Council of Common Interest (CCI) and this will be approved soon.
DEFINITION: 1.Unconventional natural gas that's trapped in hard rock, sandstone or limestone formations that is impermeable and non-porous.
2.Gas found in sedimentary rock that is cemented together so tight that flow rates are very low. Extracting tight gas usually requires enhanced technology like"hydraulic fracturing" where fluid is pumped into the ground to make it more permeable.

Textile exports up by 32pc to $11.15bn in 10 months.

Pakistan’s textile exports have shown a significant growth of 32 percent to reach $11.148 billion in July-April, 2011 due to higher commodity prices in the international market, the official data showed on Wednesday.

The textile exports jumped 46.56 percent last month to $1.27 billion against April last year, according to the figures released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS).

Analysts attributed this increase to the phenomenal rise in cotton prices across the world, which helped exporters fetch a better price for their produce.

“Exports rose in value terms only because of costly cotton around the globe,” an analyst said.

During the fiscal year, the cotton producing countries faced serious problems such as floods in Brazil and export ban on cotton yarn by India, the analyst added.

The current pace of textile exports depends on the global cotton estimates for the next year, the experts said.

The flash floods in August 2010 also lowered the cotton output estimates for the current fiscal year from 14 million bales to 11.7 million bales, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said in a recently issued report.

Despite the fall in cotton output in the country the exports of the raw materials went up by 35.83 percent to $263.57 million from 194.05 million.

However, this is mainly due to higher prices in the international market because the exported quantity fell by 29 percent.

Analysts also attributed the rise in exports to higher demand of Pakistan’s finished and semi-finished products in the European Union and the United States economies after facing recession period during the last two years. Textile exports have shared around 55 percent in the country’s total exports of $20.154 billion during July-April 2010/11.

The SBP in its report said that the current trend of textile exports would help the country have record exports in the current fiscal year.

Pakistan may face severe water crisis

With Pakistan increasingly becoming water deficient, Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has drawn up plans for creating capacity to store an additional 20 million acre feet (MAF) of water on ‘war footing’ to keep the economy floating.

The Irsa finalised recommendations in this regard with input from all its members after a former chairman of the authority, Fatehullah Khan Gandapur, set off alarm bells by declaring that Indus Water Treaty (IWT) of 1960 was almost dead because of excessive losses in storage capacity.

Mr Gandapur wrote letters to the president and prime minister in which he said: “The IWT ceases to function as Tarbela and
Mangla reservoirs have lost 6.6MAF of replacement storage due to silting.”

He criticised the team of bureaucrats currently engaged in negotiating the country’s water rights with India and said the officials were simply incapable of handling “an issue of national survival”.

“Blatant violations of the treaty by India by building dozens of low and high dams on all the six rivers and tributaries has exceeded the allowable storage limit of 4.19MAF fixed in the treaty,” he said. So far, the dams have created 10MAF of dead storage and 25-30MAF of live storage, depriving Pakistan of its water rights for Rabi and Kharif crops.

More high dams are under construction.

According to the sources that on the directives of the president and prime minister, the government’s adviser on water and the Irsa members had a marathon briefing session with the former Irsa chairman early this week and finalised recommendations for creation of additional storage capacity. The recommendations would be submitted to the prime minister for approval.

The report on the recommendations says the situation will become worse in the next couple of years. That’s why it is imperative that an additional capacity of 20MAF be created on war footing to protect the agricultural economy.

YDA Sindh chapter calls off strike

Sindh Young Doctors Association President Dr Abbas Ali Shah has said the association had decided to call off the strike after being assured by government officials at a meeting that the demands had been accepted.
In the late evening hours, he said that the association had received an official handout signed by the provincial health secretary stating that their demands had been accepted and that the chief minister would announce this on his return to the country in coming days.

The association’s demands, he said, included a uniform salary package for all doctors across the country, appointment of medical officers in the health personnel pay scale 18 through the public service commission, allowances for doctors on a par with the judiciary and the police personnel, regular service structure with time-scale promotion, and provision of medical
facilities and accommodation to postgraduate trainees, house officers and their families.

A delegation comprising Pakistan Medical Association’s Sindh members also met Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah, the head of the government committee on young doctors’ issue, in the presence of the secretary health and special secretary health, according to Dr Samrina Hashmi, PMA-Sindh president.

“The government officials have reassured us that the demands of young doctors relating to salary and service structure as is in place in other provinces and special incentives of higher grade on the basis of time-scale would be met in the budget 2011 and the relevant announcement would be made within a week once the chief minister returns from abroad,” she said, regretting that if the government had talked to the YDA and taken them into confidence earlier, patients wouldn’t have suffered on Wednesday.

Pakistani footballers break into international scene

Two Pakistani football players Naveed Akram and Mahmood Ali of Wapda FC have become the first two footballers in over four decades to accept offers to play in foreign football leagues.
Both Naveed and Mahmood have signed two-month loan contracts with Saraswoti Youth Club (SYC) of Nepal for the 2011 Nepal Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League campaign which is already underway.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tetra introduces new Evero Aseptic

Tetra Pak, the world leader in food processing and packaging solutions has launched the Tetra Evero Aseptic 1 litre, the first aseptic carton bottle for milk. Employing market driven insight and breakthrough engineering techniques, Tetra Evero Aseptic for white milk combines the easy handling and pouring of a bottle with the environmental and cost advantages of a carton.
“Tetra Evero Aseptic is a new carton shape that delivers ease of use, high impact branding and cost effectiveness,” said Charles Brand, Tetra Pak Vice President of Marketing and Product Management. “This is a unique packaging concept that brings benefits to producers, retailers and consumers all.”

Punjab Kabaddi championship from May 26,2011.

Punjab Kabaddi Championship will be held from May 26 at Faisalabad.

Secretary Punjab Kabaddi Association, Mehmood Ahmad Bhatti said here on Wednesday that teams from all Punjab are participating in the four-day event.

Tayyab Gillani, Secretary, Faisalabad Kabaddi Association will be the organizing Secretary of the competition which offers cash prizes of Rs 100,000.

Pakistan’s July-April surplus at $748 mln

Pakistan’s current account surplus for the July-April was a provisional $748 million, compared with a deficit of $3.456 billion in the same period last year, the central bank said on Tuesday.

In April, the current account had a provisional surplus of $716 million compared with a surplus of $230 million in March.

The current account deficit for the 2009/10 fiscal year was $3.946 billion, compared with $9.261 billion in 2008/09 fiscal year.

In April, current transfers amounted to $1.357 billion, out of these remittances from overseas Pakistanis totalled $1.030 billion.

Pakistan’s trade deficit narrowed to $870 million in April from $1.30 billion a year earlier.

China watermelons burst from excess chemicals

Watermelon fields in eastern China are a mess of burst fruit after farmers abused growth chemicals in an attempt to make extra money but ended up ruining their crops, state media reported Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Scientists find genetic link to depression

Scientists say they have discovered the first solid evidence that variations in some peoples’ genes may cause depression – one of the world’s most common and costly mental illnesses.

And in a rare occurrence in genetic research, the findings by a British-led international team have been replicated at the same time by another group from Washington University who were studying an entirely separate group of people.

The researchers said they hoped the findings would bring scientists closer to developing more effective treatments for patients with depression, since currently available medicines for depression only work in around half of patients.

“These findings … will help us track down specific genes that are altered in people with this disease,” said Gerome Breen of King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, who led one of the studies

Club launched to facilitate women in 40s

The Club 40, an exclusive club for women in the age group of 40, was launched here by the Pakistan Menopause Society in collaboration with the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) in a graceful ceremony held at a local hotel on Monday.

The club was introduced for the very first time in Pakistan to address the issues of women, who face or are at the risk of facing menopause. The initiative was a brainchild of Pakistan Menopause Society President Rubina Hussain who is also the founding president of the club. While addressing the inaugural ceremony, she said that the club was formed to address the issues of women from the Asia Pacific region. The problems of Asian women are quite different from the women of western world and unfortunately methods of western world are followed in our countries, she added.

Pakistan inks pact for OGDCL bonds sale

In an attempt to return to international capital market, Pakistan has inked financial services agreement for the sale of off shore exchangeable bonds of OGDCL to reduce the high ceiling financial tragedy and raising more than $500m.
The Privatisation Commission (PC) has entered into an agreement here on Monday with the consortium of Citibank, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and BMA Capital, for the appointment of Financial Advisory Consortia for the issuance of Oil & Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) exchangeable bonds by monetizing up to 10 percent of Government of Pakistan (GoP) shareholding (up to 430,000,000 shares) in OGDCL (Transactions).
It is not out of place to mention that in response to PC’s invitation, four consortiums comprising leading financial institutions and investment banks have already filed their Expression of Interests (EoIs) for acting as financial advisors for issuance of Oil & Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL)’s exchangeable bonds by monetising up to 10 percent shareholding.
The Secretary Privatization Commission, Imtiaz Kazi and Syed Sikander Zulqarnain, representative of the consortium of Citibank, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and BMA Capital, signed the Financial Advisory Services Agreement for OGDCL Exchangeable Bond on behalf of their respective sides. Citbank’s Chief Country Officer, Arif Usmani and Laeeq Sheikh, PC Board member, were also present as witness to the contract signing. Moreover, the representatives of State Bank of Pakistan, Ministry of Finance and OGDCL were also present in the meeting.
When contacted experts, they said, OGDCL is the national oil and gas company of Pakistan and the local market leader in terms of reserves, production and exploration acreage. It is listed on all three stock exchanges in Pakistan and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in December 2006.

Income of Rs300,000 to stay non-taxable.

In the upcoming federal budget income up to Rs300,000 will remain exempted from income tax while the proposal for increasing rate of tax on withdrawal of more than Rs25,000 from banks has been turned down.

According to the officials of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), in case of failure in the implementation of Reformed GST in the upcoming budget, the present 17 percent GST will be kept unchanged.If RGST is implemented, then the rate of GST is expected to be reduced to 15 percent.

Monday, May 16, 2011

John Kerry in Pakistan

The visiting US senator John Kerry Monday said that his country understands that the issue of sovereignty is critical for Pakistan.

Addressing the media here, John Kerry said Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan had given rise to a number of questions.

He said it was Osama bin Laden who violated the sovereignty of Pakistan.

John Kerry said only a handful of people knew about the Abbottabad operation, so much so that even General Petraeus had no knowledge of it until the last moment. The operation had to be kept classified in view of the safety of the US soldiers, he added.

He said President Obama did not want to lose Osama and added that Pakistan and America were facing a common foe in the shape of terrorism.

Osama bin Laden was responsible for the deaths of 35,000 Pakistanis and a mastermind violence that killed 3,000 Americans, John Kerry said.

He said he apprised General Kayani and Lt General Pasha of the apprehensions of the Americans. There is a pressure for suspending Pakistan’s aid, however the projects under Kerry-Lugar Bill will continue unaffected, he added.

The US senator was of the view that Pak-US relations held great importance. Pakistan people will not be left in the lurch … long-term relations will be maintained with Pakistan, he added.

He said Pakistan had rendered supreme sacrifices in the war on terror. We cannot forget that 35,000 Pakistanis sacrificed their lives in this battle, he said.

Non-stop power supply for high tariff

Due to current energy crisis in sight, the government has developed a ‘novel idea’ of providing ‘guaranteed and uninterrupted power supply’ to wealthy consumers who agree to pay high tariff for electricity produced by expensive power plants.

As a first step the scheme called “uninterrupted electricity supply tariff” would be introduced in industrial zones, but would also be available to consumers agreeing to forgo normal tariff and purchase electricity produced at high cost, a senior government official said in a statement.The scheme is expected to be made part of the new federal budget.

SSUET produces directory of its graduates.

Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) has produced a directory of its graduates, on the directives of Chancellor ZA Nizami.

It has been published in two volumes and contains the names of over 10,000 graduates who passed out from this university during the period from 1994 to 2007. Nizami stated that the directory would continue to be upgraded with addition of graduates awarded degrees in its Convocations every year.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gold prices fall

Gold price on Saturday fell Rs 400 to Rs 48,350 per tola in the local bullion market, while the international market prices also dipped to $1,495 per ounce as compared to last week’s $1,505 an ounce.

Similarly 10 grammes price was also down by Rs 343 to Rs 41,442. Metal experts said fresh drop in gold would keep an even pace with an initial target seen at $1,500 per ounce on international demand.

Lucky Cement promising plans

The Lucky Cement has planned to set up units in foreign markets to increase its export particularly to Sri Lanka, besides minimizing the cost.
According to the sources the company has also made an agreement with HESCO, to supply 20MW of electricity, which could be improved to 49MW, enabling the company to earn a revenue of Rs608 million. The company would also be a major beneficiary of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar to take place in 2022 with cement demand to augment after 2012 till 2019.
The latest data reveals, the company’s local sale will increase by 75 percent in FY11 on the basis of its performance in southern zone. It is expected the total capacity would increase to 71.5 percent in FY11 from 61 percent reported last year with total installed capacity of the industry being 44 million tons and operational capacity of 39 million tons approximately.
The company’s cost reduction would continue to take place as it is also in the course of building Refused Derived Fuel (RDF) plant, which will replace around 40 percent of the coal used in the Karachi plant with wood, used tires and rice husk etc, and will incur only minor maintenance cost, the management believes.
Furthermore, it would leave LUCK with surplus capacity of about 75 MW to 80MW which would give it room for additional expansions or revenue generation by selling it . LUCK is also attractive given the fact that it is one of the premier dividend payers in the cement industry.

Euratex opposes EU’s duty-free access to Pakistan

European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex) has strongly opposed changes to the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) proposed by the European Union (EU) Commission to grant duty-free access to Pakistan, in a statement issued recently.

Euratex believes the changes will increase the vulnerability threshold of the GSP+ from one percent to two percent, which will have a severe impact on the EU textile and clothing industry.

“This increase in the vulnerability threshold of GSP+ was tailor made in order to include Pakistan among the beneficiary countries,” said Alberto Paccanelli, President, Euratex.

“If this proposal is approved, Pakistan will be able to export to the EU without paying any duty.”

Euratex argues that this is not the first time that the EU has decided to grant duty-free access to Pakistan, with a change in the vulnerability threshold of GSP+ already under consideration last year and a waiver proposal, pending at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

“Pakistan is among the top world exporters in textile and the fourth EU supplier,”

Country’s first ferry service launched in Indus River near Attock

The Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) has launched the country’s first ferry service in public sector between its newly-renovated Kund Rest House near Attock in Abaseen River, commonly known as Indus River.

Chief Minister of KPK Ameer Haider Hoti inaugurated the Abaseen Ferry Service on Saturday and took a round in the ferry. He also saw the renovated rest house where a special gallery showcases the Attock and Kund region’s history through rare vintage images.

Praisng the initiative he said that the government might hand over more rest houses to the TCKP for tourism promotion.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

PTA develops map of telecom service coverage in Pakistan

PTA has developed an application enabling general public, telecom operators and investors to view availability of telecom services coverage all across Pakistan. This application named ‘Pakistan Telecommunication Coverage Footprint’ and it is available on its website www.pta.gov.pk

This is fully interactive application allowing users to zoom in and dynamically plot the coverage of telecom services in graphical format. This application has been categorised into four major services broadband, cellular, FFL (Fixed Line Loop) and WLL (Wireless Local Loop) which are further bifurcated into technologies and number of PTA licensees. This user-friendly application gives the flexibility to select any one of the telecom service like GSM, DSL, EVDO etc. Similarly user can view coverage of particular operator in particular city/area through the coverage map.

By using this application general public can view the growth in mobile and fixed line services all along the country including Azad Jammu and Kashmir. It will especially be helpful for those people who are planning to visit remote areas, whether coverage of the particular telecom service for particular operator is available in that area or not. It is worth mentioning that this type of applications is first in the public sector of Pakistan.

EU Parliament approves trade concessions for Pakistan

The passage of the proposal by the EU parliament is a good development for Pakistan.

EU remains hopeful of getting the waiver approved by the WTO as well.

It is pertinent to recall that the European Council in its meeting on 16th September, 2010 had decided to grant Pakistan Special Concessions to support the Pakistan Economy in the wake of destruction caused by the heavy floods.

Following the decision, the EU announced duty free access to Pakistan on 75 tariff lines subject to WTO waiver.

The total worth of export of these tariff lines is US $ 1.03 billion and the average tariff on these products is around 8.86 per cent.

Pakistan’s global export on these products is US $ 3.80 billion.

Solar plane makes first international flight

A solar energy plane made the world’s first international flight powered by the sun on Friday to show the potential for pollution-free air travel.

The Solar Impulse took off from an airfield at Payerne in western Switzerland on Friday morning and landed at Brussels airport after a 13-hour flight.

“The objective is to exhibit what we can do with existing technology in terms of renewable energy and energy savings,” project co-founder Andre Borschberg told Reuters by telephone during the flight.He believes that this solar-harnessing technology can be used to power cars and homes. “It is symbolic to be able to go from one place to another using solar energy,” he added.

In upcoming budget a new tax (10% levy) on use of gas and removal of subsidy to fertilizer sector

The government has decided in principle to impose in the coming budget a new tax (10% levy) on use of natural gas by all sectors on the pattern of the levy on petroleum products to generate an additional revenue of about Rs50 billion.

It also plans to withdraw Rs35 billion subsidy on gas supplies to fertiliser sector companies starting July this year. The combined revenue impact of the gas levy, withdrawal of subsidy and some other adjustments has been estimated at about Rs100 billions.

Rs1 billion for victims of violence in Kurram Agency.

The prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani directed the finance ministry to release Rs. 1 billion for payment of compensation to the affected families of sectarian clashes in Kurram Agency FATA and alsoset up a committee to develop a mechanism for quick processing of development projects for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.The committee will be headed by Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and includes parliamentarians from Fata and principal secretary and special secretary to the prime minister.

LSM(Large Scale Manufacturing) grows 6.75 percent in March

The Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) grew by 6.75 percent during the month of March this year as compared to the corresponding month period of last year, Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) reported.

The data compiled by the Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP) of all major industries showed a positive growth of 17.01 percent during March 2011 while the Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) monitored products showed nominal increase of 0.39 percent.

The data of 54 items collected by the provincial bureaus of statistics however showed negative growth of 7.52 percent during the month under review.

The overall production of LSM during July-March (2010-11) registered growth of 1.71 percent over the corresponding period of the last year.

Number of cellular phone subscribers on the rise.

The cellular phone subscription witnessed constant growth in the country amid intense price war and services by operators, crossing 105 million mark in February with addition of 2.37 million new users in the first two months of 2011.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) latest update statistics showed that total number of cellular phone SIMs has increased to 105.151 million by February with the tele-density reaching 63.2 percent. The cellular operators’ aggressive services offers with constant falling tariffs have attracted a number of new and old users to become subscribers of different networks. The total subscription of mobile operators in the current fiscal year registered a tremendous growth with the increase of 5.96 million on the networks of different operators from July to February.

On an average, 0.85 million SIMs were sold in seven months of current fiscal year, PTA figures reported.

Telecom analysts termed the market performance in terms of subscribers’ growth as tremendous because of better-than-expected increase in overall base by five operators.

They said the number of subscription has increased substantially compared with number of users as different calls and SMS packages attracted a number of mobile phone users to avail services of every operator.

Mobile phone user’s choice of purchasing connection of more than one cellular operator depends on quality of services, international and local call rates, SMS bundles, mobile Internet and friends and family packages, they said.

Karachi, HSC annual examination starts from May 16.

As many as 9,700 forms have been received till Thursday for the HSC Annual Examination commencing from May 16,2011. This was stated by an official of the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) on Thursday.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Netsol honoured with first IT firm achieving ISO20000 ITIL certification

NetSol Technologies Ltd has championed again the certification process in Pakistan by becoming first IT firm achieving ISO20000 ITIL certification.The Chairman and CEO of NetSol Technologies Mr Salim Ghauri received the certificate from the Managing Director SGS Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd Mr Farukh Mazhar in the presence of higher management from respective sides.
The ISO/IEC 20000 is the first international standard for IT Service Management. It was developed in 2005, by ISO/IEC JTC1 SC7. This certification confirms that the NetSol is capable to deliver IT services in accordance with international standards, following best practices. There are only 500 companies in the world having achieved this certification.
It is worth mentioning here that NetSol has already feathered its cap with world-acclaimed certificates including ISO0-9001, ISO-27001, and CMMI Level 2, 3, 4 and 5 after making persistent efforts for the last 5 years to achieve the ultimate certification of quality. Salim Ghauri, Chairman and CEO NetSol Technologies Ltd, said the achievement of ISO 20000 by the NetSol Technologies Ltd has brought Pakistan again to the limelight on the global IT map. He said the NetSol after having ISO20000 certification would be able to win contracts for software products worldwide.

19 additional judges of high courts confirmed

PresidenT on the advice of the prime minister, on Wednesday approved the confirmation of 15 additional judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC) and four additional judges of the Balochistan High Court (BHC). The LHC judges, who have been confirmed, include Nasir Saeed Sheikh, Sh Najamul Hassan, Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Sardar Tariq Masood, Ijazul Ahsan, Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Sheikh Ahmed Farooq, Chaudhry Shahid Saeed, Rauf Ahmad Sheikh, Ijaz Ahmad, Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan, Shahid Hameed Dar, Muhammad Anwarul Haq, Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan and Mazhar Iqbal Sindhu. Four additional judges of the BHC, who have been confirmed, include Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Tahira Safdar, Muhammad Noor Meskanzai and Ghulam Mustafa Mengal. The Parliamentary Committee on Judges’ Appointment in the superior court had earlier confirmed above nominations on the recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan.

Two-day Housing Expo & Conference to start on 24th May

A high-level Expo & International Conference of Experts is scheduled to be held in Lahore from May 24 to 25,2011.The conference will discuss various issues like housing needs and challenges in Pakistan, housing and urban development – new technologies, areas of profitable investments in housing and urban development sectors in developing countries, housing finance – opportunities and challenges.

Frauds due to parallel banking by bank staffers increased

Banking Mohtasib Pakistan Mansur-ur-Rehman Khan has revealed that the total number of formal and informal complaints received by Banking Mohtasib Secretariat under the category of frauds has reached an alarming level in 2010 due to the parallel banking operations of banks’ staffers.
There have been increasing instances of parallel banking and complaints about misappropriation of funds deposited by innocent customers.

No new taxes in next year`s budget: chiarman FBR

The chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue told the media on Wednesday that the government would get more than Rs130 billion by withdrawing more exemptions in the next budget and by sticking to special revenue measures announced in March.
“We will not levy any new taxes in the next budget. We will only withdraw the exemptions available to special sectors, through statuary regulatory orders,” Salman Siddique chairman FBR told .

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Google to launch online music service by Tuesday

Google the internet giant will launch an online music service as early as Tuesday to rival Amazon’s “cloud” service, which allows users to store digital music online, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper said on Monday that Google, like Amazon, has yet to secure licenses from the major record companies, and would limit users to a “streaming mode” in order to prevent piracy.
The Journal further reported that Apple is currently in talks with major record companies to launch a far more ambitious service than either that offered by Amazon or the new service planned by Google.

Deficit financing mounts to Rs783.3b

The country’s fiscal deficit mounted to Rs 783.3 billion or 4.5 per cent of the GDP in the first three quarters (July-March) of the ongoing financial year 2010-11. Meanwhile, the defence budget swelled to Rs 335.1 billion during the said period.
The Ministry of Finance Tuesday released the Fiscal Operation Report for July-March period of ongoing fiscal year. According to the report, the government’s expenditures went up to Rs 2,278.512 billion or 13.2 per cent of the GDP as against the total revenues of Rs 1495.254 billion or 8.6 per cent of the GDP.

Islamabad High Court service rules approved by the president

President on the advice of Prime Minister on Tuesday approved the Islamabad High Court Establishment (Appointment and Conditions of Service) Rules 2011.
The rules will apply to all persons “borne on the ministerial establishment of IHC and the civil and sessions court in the capital.
Article 208 of the constitution authorises the high court to make rules for the appointment of officers and servants of the IHC and for determining their terms of employment, with the approval of the president.

The European Union plans to shift tariff benefits to some poor countries including Pakistan

Brazil, Argentina, Russia, Saudi Arabia and some other relatively prosperous developing countries will be excluded from trade preferences under the plan, which must be approved by the European Parliament and the EU’s 27 member states.

The EU, the will instead focus on poorer countries it views as being in greater need of growth-oriented trade benefits, including Pakistan and Ukraine.

Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told in a statement, as he laid out reforms that are a broad reworking of EU trade policy.

Punjab government introduces very useful new straw chopper-cum-blower machine.

Punjab government introduced a tractor
operated wheat straw chopper-cum-blower
through local industry for improved
competitiveness of farming in WTO regimes
besides protecting the environment.It will help get extra 15 to 20 kg of wheat per acre and hence 4 to 6 thounds rupees per acre extra income to the farmers.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Apple overtakes Google as the most valuable brand of the world

Apple has overtaken Google as the world’s most valuable brand and ended its a four-year reign according to a new study by global brands agency Millward Brown.
Apple is now worth $153 billion and almost half Apple’s market capitalization is iPhone and iPad brands, says the annual BrandZ study of the world’s top 100 brands. Its portfolio of coveted consumer goods took it past Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable technology company last year 2010.

Package worth Rs5.2 billion for doctors and paramedics approved

Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has approved a package of Rs5.2 billion to meet all demands of doctors, paramedics, staff nurses and other employees of the provincial health department, Senior Adviser to Chief Minister Sirdar Zulfiqar Khosa told the press.

He further said that this amount had been allocated on the recommendation of a cabinet committee and it would be dispensed as per plan in this year’s budget. He said the package was announced in consultation with stakeholders like the PMA,MTA,YDA and representatives of paramedics and staff nurses.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hajj pilgrims will get training at Tehsil level.

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Khursheed Shah on Sunday said that training programmes for intending pilgrims will be arranged at Tehsil level this time.

He stressed intending pilgrims for getting training of Manasik Hajj. He said that Ministry of Religious Affairs has dispatched letters of felicitation to the successful candidates of government Hajj scheme.

Khursheed Shah also directed the intending pilgrims for depositing their international machine readable passports at their relevant branches of scheduled banks by May 30,2011.

He has also urged them for making necessary preparation for this sacred Hajj journey and to learn how to perform the Manasik hajj accurately.

He advised them for attending Hajj training workshops for this purpose.

He further advised them for taking enough money along with them for day-to-day expenditure in Saudi Arabia in the form of Saudi riyals.

WSPC Karachi,Call to help kidney patients

Kidney diseases equally afflict those who are privileged as those who are living in poverty. The treatment is expensive and long.

In order to make this treatment readily available for poor and needy patients the Welfare Society for Patient Care’s (WSPC) nephrology unit provides dialysis at a subsidised cost and if required, even free. Currently 100 patients from Sind Institute of Urology and Transplantation are being dialysed free of cost by the WSPC, a press release issued here on Sunday said.

The cost of haemodialysis per session is the lowest in the city. A patients’ treatment for one year requires approximately 104-dialysis session. In order to enable the provision of hygienic and uninterrupted treatment funds are constantly required for sponsoring patient’s treatment on a nominal cost.

WSPC is based at Zubaida Medical Centre, Dhoraji colony, and it houses a state of the art Dialysis Unit, which provides indoor medicine, surgery services, and a twenty-four hour department that provides emergency cover. Additional services provided by the WSPC are nutritional therapy, health awareness, music therapy and physiotherapy.

AIOU ATTC, PTC, CT, BEd exams start

Allama Iqbal Open University will hold examinations of ATTC, PTC, CT and B.Ed for Semester Autumn, 2010 from today ,May 9.

Controller of Exams AIOU said the exams would be held simultaneously across the country and roll number slips for had been dispatched to all the students by postal mail service.

The students who have not received their Roll No slips so far are advised to contact the nearest regional office of the university or Superintendent Teacher Education Section, Examinations Department, for issuance of the duplicate roll no slip.

To obtain duplicate roll no slip students are required to bring two passport-sized photographs duly attested by the gazetted officer.

Roll no slips along with date sheet have also been placed on AIOU website www.aiou.edu.pk for the convenience of the students.

AIOU advised all the students to read the instructions on roll no slip before entering the Examination hall.

Mobile phones could soon be charged by power of speech

Mobile phones could soon be charged by simply speaking into the handset.
For mobile phone users, a flat battery or a lost charger are among the frustrations of modern life. Now new research promises a way to recharge phones using nothing but the power of the human voice. Electrical engineers have developed a new technique for turning sound into electricity, allowing a mobile to be powered up while its user holds a conversation.
The technology would also be able to harness background noise and even music to charge a phone while it is not in use.
However, there could be a downside to the innovation, if it gives people a new reason to shout into their phones as they attempt to squeeze in every extra bit of power they can.
Dr Sang-Woo Kim, who has been developing the design at the institute of nanotechnology at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea, said: “A number of approaches for scavenging energy from environments have been intensively explored. “The sound that always exists in our everyday life and environments has been overlooked as a source. This motivated us to realise power generation by turning sound energy from speech, music or noise into electrical power.
“Sound power can be used for various novel applications including cellular phones that can be charged during conversations and sound-insulating walls near highways that generate electricity from the sound of passing vehicles. “The latter development would have the additional benefit of reducing noise levels near highways by absorbing the sound energy of vehicles.”

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lenovo is infusing its leading business laptops with more fun features

Lenovo was at the San Francisco headquarters of Dolby Laboratories this week to show off theater quality sound, rich viewing and quick graphics handling in a ThinkPad laptop computer line that has become a top choice for businesses.

“We are adding elements that are more relevant and interesting to consumers,” ThinkPad marketing director Tom Butler said while demonstrating new features that included audio enhanced with Dolby Home Theater 4.

Long popular with big corporations, Lenovo recently launched ThinkPad models aimed at small businesses whose operators tend to shop for gear at retail shops and whose employees increasingly make work computers part of home lives.

“We see a clear merger of consumer and business in the small business space,” Butler said. “At the same time workers are using systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he continued. “They are taking them home and checking personal email, searching the Web, playing music videos and other multi-media.”
Dolby software added to freshly released ThinkPad laptop models dramatically ramps up the quality of any audio from film soundtracks or music to Internet conference calls.

“Even though you are listening over stereo speakers we are able to create a virtual surround-sound experience,” said Kevin Brennan of Dolby. “We are trying to re-create the immersive, cinematic experience that you enjoy at the movies, but on your personal computer,” he continued.
All the computing hardware was built into a sleek 2.5-inch (6.4 centimeter) thick black monitor with a 21.5-inch (54.6 centimeter) screen boasting high-definition imagery. The starting price will be $699 with a “rich configuration” to be sold for $1,100.

Public instructed to exchange old Rs 500 note.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has instructed the general public to exchange the old-design and bigger-size banknote of Rs 500/- from the field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation and the branches of all commercial banks across the country by 30th September 2011. SBP has also advised all commercial banks to facilitate the general public and create awareness by placing announcements on the counters in accordance with their advertisement policy. It may be recalled that the federal government has already notified that the old-design banknote of Rs 500/- (introduced in April 1986) will cease to be the legal tender and will not be exchangeable with effect from 1st October, 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New luxury apartments scheme in lahore.

Due to changing market and growing community needs, City Developers brings to Lahore SITE 21H, luxury residential apartments in the city, says a press release.
A unique venture, this block of residential apartments is custom built to ensure its residents have maximum comfort and privacy. A total of 31 one, two and three bedroom apartments will all be fitted with modern and sophisticated amenities, state of the art kitchens and classy interiors. The building has been designed to cater a spacious and secure basement parking space, as well as a separate living quarters area for domestic help. All these have been designed and implemented keeping in mind the need for privacy and security of its residents at all time. Furthermore, residents will have access to a state of the art gym, 24 hour security and a rooftop garden, along with lifetime maintenance of the building.

PNCA Drama Festival starts next week.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) in collaboration with Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is all set to organise ‘Drama Festival-2011’ in twin cities from May 10 to19 to promote performing art in the country.

The 10-day festival will comprise of 10 stage plays from different theatre group of twin cities. The festival will kick off with a play titled ‘Tom & Jerry’ by BF Royal Production on May 10 (Tuesday) at PNCA auditorium at 7pm.

Non-life insurance sector profits up 49% in 1Q CY11.

The non-life insurance sector after declining 9 percent profitability during CY10, recovered well in 1QCY11 showing an enormous growth of 49 percent in net profits.

This is due to some stability in macro economic indicators, better equity values and higher interest rates.

On a sample of 21out of 22 listed companies, the topline (net premium) of the insurance sector increased by 11 percent, under which major growth was witnessed in the premium of PICIC insurance, which increased by 61 percent year-on-year (YoY). The claim ratio remained in the same range at 59 percent compared to last year’s level.

Iran deports 115 illegal Pakistanis.

Iranian authorities held 115 illegal Pakistani immigrants and handed over them to Pakistani officials on Taftan border on Friday. According to the Levies Force, these Pakistani nationals had entered Iran without possessing travelling documents. They were handed over to concerned official for investigation. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) will interrogate them in Quetta.

New townships to be taxed in KPK

In order to substantially boost its revenues, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is bringing new township schemes built over the last two years under the tax net, obliging households to pay tax against their property from the next financial year.

Electricity tariff raised by up to 27 paisa.

According to a power ministry notification, the increase will apply to consumers of all power companies, including the Karachi Electric Supply Company, except the lifeline consumers using less than 50 units per month.

The decision will generate about Rs1 billion a month and increases will follow in coming months.

A senior ministry official said the special surcharge had been imposed to cover a legal problem arising out of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) Act. As a result, the tariff will go up by an average 17 paisa, ranging between nine and 27 paisa per unit.
The tariff for the first 100 units has been raised by nine paisa per unit to Rs4.54 and for units between 101 and 300 by 13 paisa to Rs6.87.

The third slab of domestic consumers using 301 to 700 units will pay 21 paisa per unit higher to Rs10.78 and those using more than 700 units will be charged at 13.56 per unit, an increase of 27 paisa.

The tariff for bulk domestic consumers in housing colonies has been increased by 17 to 23 paisa per unit depending on categories.

PTA asks mobile users to visit customers service centres for data correction

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has advised the mobile phone subscribers to visit Customer Service Centres (CSC) of concerned mobile operator to get their SIM data corrected if there is any discrepancy in their antecedents.
PTA has requested subscribers’ cooperation in streamlining of SIMs data to achieve target of 100pc corrected data. In this regard, PTA has also directed cellular mobile operators to take all possible measures for the verifications of post and prepaid mobile connections of their subscribers within specified time period through “SIM information System 668”.
PTA introduced “SIM Information System 668” for the verification and correction of mobile SIMs data. Through this service subscriber can send his CNIC to 668 through SMS and in return he would receive detail of total SIMs against his CNIC along with name of the mobile company.
In case there is any discrepancy, the user would visit CSC along with original CNIC to get the data corrected. The SIMs not corrected would be blocked after May 17, 2011. This is part of PTA efforts to block all illegal SIMs and clean the data of mobile users.

No pay increase for govt servants in budget.

Making financial constraints an excuse, Chairperson National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Fouzia Wahab Friday made it clear that the government might not increase the salaries of the govt servants in the coming budget 2011-12, as she believed that the government does not have enough financial resources.
Talking to the media persons after chairing the meeting, the Chairperson said the government would introduce Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) in the coming budget to be presented on May 28,2011 which would increase the government’s resources. She further said the government was working to broaden the tax base, as more than seven million people are enjoying tax immunity, however the government would bring them in the tax net from the next fiscal year, she added.
“The government is planning to keep fiscal deficit at 4.5 per cent and the revenue collection target will be around Rs 1950 billion for the next fiscal year,“ She informed.
Talking to the media, MQM MNA Abdul Rasheed Godil said the government should bring agriculture sector under the tax net from next fiscal year.
Earlier, the officials of Finance Ministry and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) briefed the Standing Committee regarding upcoming budget. The committee welcomed the efforts taken by FBR to bring non-taxpayers into the tax net. The committee also appreciated FBR’s idea for including the National Tax Number under the head of National Identity Card Numbers in order to involve maximum tax paying people in the network to strengthen the collection mechanism. Meanwhile, the committee directed the FBR to take strict measures to overcome the flaws in the existing tax collection system of the country. Similarly, the committee also recommended that FBR should pursue their pending court cases effectively to get huge amount of taxes that is stuck due to absence of adjudication.
Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Salman Siddique gave a detailed briefing on the revenue collection in the current fiscal year and also on the revenue collection target for the next fiscal year. He was of the view that the government would be able to achieve the revised target of Rs 1,588 billion at the end of June.

Friday, May 6, 2011

CPI inflation continues upward trend.

The year-on-year based Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate in the federal and provincial capitals like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad exhibited a slight decline as stood at 11.3 percent, 9.0 percent and 10.4 percent respectively in the month of March 2011 over the same month of last year.
However, the rate of CPI inflation in other capital cities including Peshawar and Quetta remained higher, reaching 13.7 percent and 12.9 percent compared with 12.0 per cent and 11.4 percent during the corresponding month of previous year.
According to the city-wise inflation data released by the SBP here on Thursday, overall CPI inflation (YoY) rate in the five major cities continued to witness an upward trend as increased to 12.9 percent during March 2011 from 11.4 percent in March 2010.
The SBP data showed that On MoM basis, two big cities (Lahore and Peshawar) observed higher than overall (MoM) inflation.
Twenty three out of 35 cities recorded higher inflation than overall inflation (YoY), while the remaining 12 cities registered lower than average inflation during March 2011. The highest inflation (YoY) was recorded in Bahawalnagar at 18.2 percent, while Lahore registered the lowest inflation (YoY) at 9.0 percent, the data said.
The highest food inflation (YoY) was 23.1 percent in Kunri and lowest of 11.6 percent was in Lahore. Bahawalnagar registered the highest non-food inflation at 16.9 percent, while lowest non-food inflation of 4.6 percent was observed in Islamabad, it added.
According to the SBP figures, inflationary pressures strengthened during March 2011, as reflected by all price indices. Consumer price index (CPI) inflation rose to 13.2 percent on YoY basis in the month under review after easing a little during the last three months (December-February FY11).
Wholesale price index (WPI) inflation also jumped to 25.4 percent (YoY) in March 2011 from 24.4 percent in the preceding month. Similarly, SPI inflation (YoY) also increased slightly from 16.2 percent in the previous month to 16.3 percent. Several factors contributed to the resurge in inflation during March 2011, such as passing on the impact of rising international oil prices to the domestic consumers, and upward adjustment in electricity tariffs, it revealed.

Expo Pakistan 2011 from Oct 20.

The mega exhibition to showcase country's complete value chain, Expo Pakistan 2011 will be held at Karachi Expo Centre from October 20-23.

Similarly, a trade and investment multilateral conference is also being organized in collaboration with Board of Investment, a dozen of bilateral forums and trade associations to highlight five specific sectors of the economy for investment.

This was stated by the chief executive Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Tariq Iqbal Puri while addressing a press conference alongwith a prominent businessmen and president Pak-Japan Business Forum Abdul Kader Jaffer here Thursday.

He said that this time a thematic approach will be adopted in productdisplay in a best professional way with the help best exhibition designers. We have taken on board FPCCI, chambers and all product associations so that every product should get focus at the exhibition, he added.

Puri said that measures have been taken to invite potential buyers ofevery product on display on the basis of their size and buying potential and for this purpose there will be a list of buyers.

Similarly, all product exhibitors have been invited to display their products at Expo Pakistan 2011 and there will be no dearth of exhibitors this time, he added. He said that there will be a separate hall for agro products to showcase the potential of Pakistan in agriculture sector. Similarly, stones will have a special display particularly keeping in view the use of stones in construction.

Puri said that Expo Pakistan has been divided into various segments this time to professionally organize this mega event to make it economical and effective. TDAP had already floated a tender in accordance with PEPRA Rules to invite best companies for fulfilling their responsibilities in different segements.

He said that the security concerns of the foreign buyers will be over by October and they will take part in the exhibition. October is the best month for spring orders in the west, he noted.

To a question, he said country’s exports are touching $ 22 billion mark and 55 to 60 percent export was made to China and European Union altogether.

Abdul Kader Jaffer said that 12 to 14 business forums including Pak-Japan, Pak-German, Pak-China, Pak-France, Pak-Sri Lanka, Pak-Russia, Pak-Belgium, Pak-Italy, Pak-USA and Pak-Australia will extend help in inviting leading investors from their countries. Similarly, foreign diplomats will also be invited to the conference, he added.

He said the five sectors textile, dairy farming, energy and engineering, chemicals and pharmaceutical and mining and minerals have been selected for focusing during the half-day conference for foreign investors.

These sectors have a lot of potential for attracting investment and at the conference we will also highlight the incentives available for these sectors in the country.

"We have held meetings with the core five bilateral forums on the changing situation after the killing of Osama Bin Laden and they are hopeful that this conference will be a success", he added.

Parliamentary Secretary Health Dr Saeed Elahi has said the Punjab government is serious about meeting the ‘legitimate’ demands of doctors.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, he said a handsome pay raise would be given to the doctors in the annual budget as promised by the chief minister.

An announcement would be made by the chief minister after the budget, he said while urging the young doctors to refrain from adopting a negative approach for the acceptance of their demands.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

NUST announces Ph.D admission programme Fall 2011

for details visit www.nust.edu.pk

Lok Virsa all set to launch ‘National Database of Cultural Assets

ISLAMABAD: The National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting are all set to launch a ‘National Database of Cultural Assets’ in collaboration with UNESCO.Talking to the media, Lok Virsa Executive Director Khalid Javaid informed that the launching ceremony would take place on Saturday, May 7, 2011, at Lok Virsa Complex, Garden Avenue, Shakarparian.Lok Virsa was selected by UNESCO for creating this important facility among a number of other interested cultural organizations in view of its long standing, vast professional knowledge, experience and expertise in dealing with various components of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Pakistan. The database centre will store, maintain and update information on the country’s cultural assets by pooling up information from different sources including regional cultural bodies.

Moody’s says no risk to Pakistan’s rating, aid withdraw

Pakistan does not face an immediate risk of a withdrawal of foreign aid despite international accusations that it gave shelter to Osama Bin Laden, Moody’s Investors Service said on Wednesday.

Its sovereign credit rating also remained justified, at least for now, said Aninda Mitra, Moody’s sovereign analyst for Pakistan. Moody’s currently rates the struggling country’s debt as B3, or “highly speculative”.

“As worrying as some of the headlines may be on the nature of relationship between Pakistan and the US, I don’t see any huge near-term impact that could affect the rating,” Mitra told reporters on the phone from Hanoi. “There is enough unpredictability here for me to make a definitive comment as to what will happen one year from now or six months from now. But for now, we don’t think that the money is suddenly going to stop or the IMF programme is completely going to be disrupted. Nor do we see Pakistan completely walking away from this alliance.”

Many US lawmakers are demanding a review of the billions of dollars in aid that Washington gives to nuclear-armed Pakistan after US forces found and killed the world’s most-wanted man on Monday in a house near the capital Islamabad. He may have lived in the fortified compound in the military garrison town of Abbottabad for the last five to six years. On Wednesday, a local media report said all missions from international financial institutions, including the IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank had cancelled their visit to Pakistan on concerns that there may be a backlash from terrorists after the killing of Bin Laden.

Last month, a senior IMF official said he hoped to send a team to Pakistan in the next couple of weeks to assess its progress in meeting key economic targets, but said the fund has not decided yet when it is going to disburse the remaining two tranches of more than $3 billion from a $11 billion bailout programme that is helping to prop up the economy.

The IMF declined to comment, and no one was available for comment at the Finance Ministry. Pakistan’s stock market fell as much as 2.6 percent on Wednesday on concerns that that the killing of Bin Laden could lead to a delay in international aid, dealers said.

BoK inks MoU for wheat procurement in KP

PESHAWAR - The Bank of Khyber (BoK) has been playing an active role in the economic uplift and development of the province in particular and of the country in general for the last two decades.
By providing financial assistance in diverse sectors ranging from micro enterprises to giant corporations, The Bank of Khyber has always been available to support and boost the economy through its innovative, flexible and custom made business solutions and lending products to both the private as well as public sector entities.
This was stated by Bilal Mustafa, Managing Director BoK while addressing the MoU signing ceremony among BoK and Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for wheat procurement on Wednesday.
The ceremony was graced by Engr Muhammad Humayun Khan Minister Finance, Muhammad Shujah Khan Minister Food Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, while MoU was signed by Imran Samad Group Head Credits BoK and Syed Khalid Hussain Gilani Secretary Food Government of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa on behalf of their respective institutions.
Sahibzada Saeed Ahmed Secretary Finance Government of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, BoK Group Heads for Islamic Banking Arbab Riaz Ahmad, HRD Hamid Ayub apart from Senior Officer of BoK attend the signing ceremony.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Funds-starved CDA to launch another housing project

ISLAMABAD: Capital Development Authority (CDA) has announced Park Enclave- an environmental friendly model housing project in the heart of Islamabad- consisting of 700 houses in phase-I and other 600 houses in phase–II equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. The Park Enclave is located on Park Road and Chak Shahzad at intersection with Kurri Road.

The CDA Chairman announced this project on Tuesday at Jinnah Convention Centre. He said the CDA was expecting more than Rs 10 billion profit from sale of plots in the first phase. Prime of Pakistan Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani will inaugurate this project in the current month.

The CDA Member Finance Saeedur Rehman and Member Planning and Design Tahir Shamshad were also present on the occasion him.

The chairman said the scheme would be completed in two phases. In Phase-I, a gated housing community comprising of about 700 houses, will be developed. About 60% of area has been allocated for roads, green areas and other amenities, said the chairman.

Giving a background of the development of housing in the capital he said the Islamabad city comprised of five main zones. The total area of the city was 906 sq kms. Out of these zones, zone IV was the one covering the largest area of about 70,000 acres. The city was developed typically in 2 x 2 km sectors with a central commercial area or Markaz. The most populated zone in Islamabad was Zone-I and the last housing project proposed, approximately 20 years ago, were E-12 and D-12.

The chairman said in a recent development, Supreme Court of Pakistan had allowed housing in Zone-IV. Therefore, a zoning plan for Zone-IV had been prepared having sub- zones for different property uses, including residential use.

“The main concept given in regulations for housing in Zone-IV is to develop modern environmental friendly housing for sustainable development. The Zone-IV provides a suburban green field environment for its residents and the CDA intends to provide them modern civic facilities besides, they enjoy natural beauty of open greens and clean air,” Elahi apprised the civic panel bosses.

He said CDA being eco-friendly organization and trendsetter in the country, intended to plan, design and develop an environmental friendly model housing project in Zone-IV. The project would not only providing contemporary living but woul

QAU Alumni Association awards 15 scholarships

ISLAMABAD: Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) Alumni Association has awarded fifteen need-based scholarships for the students of QAU.

These scholarships would be additional to already awarded fourteen scholarships, which can be availed by the present students of QAU belonging to remote areas of the country in the fields of social and natural sciences. QAU Alumni Association Secretary General Murtaza Noor informed that the scholarships have been offered to the enrolled students belonging to different parts of the country.

The QAUsenior alumni members have donated these scholarships and the scholarship amount would help the deserving students over the tuition fee, hostel and mess charges. He believed that these scholarships would be greatly helpful in continuation of the studies of the scholarship holder students and would also enable them to solely concentrate their studies. He also appealed to the alumni members to support more students in bearing their studies expenses.

Vice Chancellor QAU Prof. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai appreciated the efforts and gesture of the alumni association for extending support to students of the University. He believed that both organizations would continue to work together for the benefit of the students of their alma mater.

Lahore and arsenic threat.

LAHORE – At last the Water and Sanitation Agency has comprehended its responsibility and decided to install arsenic removal water filtration plants in 21 localities across the City to save the residents from serious hazards of falling in lethal diseases.
The WASA has found high concentration of arsenic in underground water at 21 different places in the City, raising alarms in the power corridors and forcing the premier water supply and sanitation agency to take measures to save the Lahorites from serious health hazards.
At all these places, the level of arsenic is well over set standards of World Health Organisation and at certain points the concentration is so high that it is impossible for the laboratory equipment to measure.
According to the WASA officials, the process of installing arsenic removal water filtration plants at 21 identified tubewells would start during the current month to ensure supply of safe drinking water to the residents. The officials said that the Punjab government would provide a special grant of Rs 25.2 million for the installation of 21 plants, each costing Rs 1.25 million.
Arsenic removal water filtration plants would be installed at six tubewells each in the Walled City and Shahdara, three in Misri Shah and one each in Shadbagh, Anarkali, Ravi Road, Samanabad, Industrial Area and Baghbanpura.
The concentration of arsenic at Elahi Park Misri Shah, Food and Vegetable Market, Qila Lakshman Singh, Lorry Adda, Naser Bagh, Main Outfall Road and Pakki Thatti Samanabad is beyond range of calculation, Lady Safi Park 58.4 parts per billion, Gujjar Pura A-Block 49.92 ppb, Korgi House Misri Shah 55.02 ppb, Iqbal Park no2 66.27 ppb, Iqbal park no1 107.8 ppb, G T Road Shahdara 52.54 ppb, Saeed Park 46.74 ppb, Qazi Park 155.2 ppb, Ravi Cricket Ground Shahdara 56.91 ppb, Majeed Park 62.8 ppb, Paracha Colony 80.98 ppb, Industrial Area 56.75 ppb and Mehmood Booti 69.56 ppb. The WHO standard for arsenic concentration is 10 ppb

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

CIMA for enthusiasts eager to hit the top niche

With the ever-rising trend of hitting the top niche in the field of commerce, there dwells a bright scope for such enthusiasts with Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) - the world’s largest and leading professional body of management accountants having 183,000 members and students in 168 countries.

Daily Times interviewed CIMA Vice President and British national Gulzari Lal Babber in Lahore on Monday.

Born in Lahore before partition and well in spoken Urdu and Punjabi, Gulzari said that he was visiting Lahore after 64 years. “I was very eager to visit my birth place. Last night I tried to search for my house situated near Sowa Bazar near Badshahi Mosque, but I couldn’t find it because of a lot of renovation work and relocation of houses and buildings has changed the map of the area. I am still happy to be here,” he told Daily Times.

Gulzari, who is currently visiting Pakistan to launch their third office in Islamabad on Tuesday (today) in the capital city of Pakistan – Islamabad, said that last year in order to cater to the demand for qualification CIMA Lahore office was inaugurated by late governor Salmaan Taseer on June 30, 2010. He said that CIMA launched its Pakistan office in Karachi in April 2009 and since then CIMA has received an overwhelming response from business and finance students.

He said that CIMA Pakistan achieved 100 percent growth over 2008 registrations in year 2009 (1st year of operation). In 2010 CIMA Pakistan contributed 1,169 students to global recruitment growth and has so far registered 418 students since the beginning of 2011. We forecast a growth of 1,500 new registrations in 2011 in Pakistan.

He said Pakistani students were very sharp and leading as in November 2009 exams one of CIMA’s Pakistani students Hassan Siddiq secured first position worldwide in paper P07 gaining 95 marks and 3rd position worldwide in paper P01.

CIMA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ICMAP and under this memorandum ICMAP members may be eligible to gain advanced entry to CIMA through the CPGA accelerated route. On successful completion of one paper CPGA, ICMAP members are granted exemptions of 11 papers out of total 15 papers of CIMA.

About CIMA Global Business Challenge 2011, he said that the CIMA Global Business Challenge is an international competition designed to bring out the best in the young business leaders of tomorrow. Teams come from the UK, Ireland, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, India, Mainland China, Philippines, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, UAE and Australia. The winning team from each region in 2011 will compete in China in the final. Pakistan Final is on June 16, he said

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ballot for Aashiana applicants by Shahbaz Sharif

On Sunday computerised balloting of applicants for Aashiana housing scheme for low-income people has been carried out by Shebaz Sharif himself.He announced that in the next phases labourers would also be given quota in the balloting for houses.

Dealers abusing policy for used cars import

The relaxation in used cars import has paved way for corrupt practices for auto dealers who are violating the policies right under the nose of Government agencies with connivance of some officials.
According to details, the relaxation of age of used cars given under personal baggage and gift scheme are being fully abused by the trader mafia which has imported even 8 years old cars and sources believe same will be released under misdeclaring of age tactics used by these mafias after greasing some palms.
It seems that government has provided an ease to the local Auto Dealers in the form of relaxing the import policy on used cars allowing the import of used cars upto 5 years old as anecdotal evidence of a massive fraud has been reported and uncovered, an official said requesting anonymity.
Market sources said that auto dealers are abusing the relaxation policy on used cars’ import and heavy shipments are docked at the port containing hundreds of cars which are as much as old as 7 to 10 years or older.
They said that auto dealers are abusing the policy and shipping 10 year old or even older cars to Pakistan rather than following the relaxation in the policy strictly.
Moreover, despite being repeatedly warned by the experts, the government has allowed the import of 5-year-old vehicles once again but the policy facilitates only overseas Pakistanis to ship their personal used cars to their dear ones in Pakistan under personal baggage and gift schemes.
One can understand how this personal baggage and gift scheme is being exploited by the trader mafia who are purchasing used cars in bulk quantities and shipping to Pakistan. These indicators bring the fraud of auto dealers into light and it is obvious that Auto Dealers cannot commit this fraud alone.
They must have strong support of the forged documentation from the concerned authorities who are also making big profits at the cost of massive of loss in foreign exchange and mammoth cuts in revenue collection

Electricity shortfall

The electricity shortfall in the country on Saturday stood at 3,881 MW as the total power generation was recorded as 12,259 MW against the demand of 16,140MW during the last 24 hours.

According to the brief on daily power generation and load-management position, the hydel generation stood at 4,181 MW, WAPDA thermal 1,806 MW, IPPs 6,210 MW and Rental 62 MW.

As many as 710 MW was supplied to Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC), the report further said.

The rising shortfall has forced outages of power for long duration in different cities and localities. People have called for taking concrete steps to improve generation capacity to overcome loadshedding issue.(APP)

Osama bin laden killed

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed on Sunday in a firefight with U.S. forces in Pakistan and his body was recovered, President Barack Obama announced on Sunday.

"Justice has been done," Obama said in a dramatic, late-night White House speech announcing the death of the elusive mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the New York and Washington.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Petroleum prices increased

The hike in prices of petroleum products, which will be effective from Sunday, ranged between Rs1.80 and Rs9.32 per litre.

The price of high speed diesel (HSD), which is consumed by heavy vehicles and electricity generators, was raised to Rs97.31 — an increase of Rs4.42.

The price of HOBC went up by Rs1.80 to Rs99.92 per litre and that of petrol by Rs4.85 to Rs88.41. Kerosene price jumped by Rs5.60 to Rs89.70 and that of light diesel oil (LDO) by Rs9.32 to Rs88.30 per litre.
A spokesman for the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority said the automatic adjustment in oil prices in line with the global prices was in accordance with the law and policy laid down by the government.

He said the government could no longer afford to subsidise petroleum products.