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TPL MAPS ROLL OUT PAKISTAN’S FIRST STREET VISION MAP

Users will now be able to virtually explore the streets of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad on their smartphone from anywhere they want.

TPL Maps has launched the Street Vision feature for Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The attribute will allow users to virtually view the streets of three major cities through their smartphones. This is the first of its kind feature being launched in Pakistan which is a technology breakthrough by any mapping company in the country.

The street vision comes packed with features which include 60,000+ images and covers a street network of approximately 3,000 kilometers across the three top cities of Pakistan. Consumers can now virtually see their favorite locations such as restaurants, hotels, residential areas, cinemas, parks and other popular public places from almost anywhere around the world via their mobile phones.

“Our Street Vision feature provides people in Pakistan with a unique experience to roam city streets without being physically present at the spot. The Street Vision feature is being launched for the first time in Pakistan and resides as part of our strategy of localization and providing exciting services to our consumers. Our enthusiasm is palpable as this service will be a game changer for students, business and start-ups across Pakistan,” said Adeel Hashmi, Head of Maps, TPL Trakker.

“With the launch of this feature, Pakistan can boast of being one of the few countries in the world to have a local street level view. No other mapping service in the country provides such comprehensive street level view experience. Our vision for this digitalization age in Pakistan is to bring continuous innovation in the mapping solutions to create value for individuals and business users of TPL Maps platform.” he added.

The Street Vision feature is expected to expand to other major cities of Pakistan in the future including Quetta, Peshawar, Faisalabad and other cities in the span of next few months.

TPL Maps already offers Satellite View and Night Mode options as part of the free app offering and with Street Vision feature being added, it intends to be the household mapping brand in Pakistan. Soon consumers will be able to add their favorite location on Street Vision which will generate a lot of interest and enthusiasm amongst the digital savvy youth populations of the country.

TARANG NOW OFFERS NEW ’UNPARALLELED’ TASTE

Tarang, Pakistan’s number one tea whitening brand, and a product of Engro Foods Ltd., has unveiled a new recipe of ’unparalleled’ taste. Since its launch 10 years ago, as the perfect complement to tea, Tarang has been delighting millions of consumers across Pakistan with its award winning taste and high quality. To celebrate this decade long relationship with its loyal consumers, and as part of its mission to provide the perfect cup of tea to every consumer, Tarang has revamped its recipe in its 10th anniversary year. To share this news with consumers, Engro Foods has announced a new TVC, inviting consumers to try the amazing new taste Tarang adds to their cup of tea.

“Tarang’s new unparalleled taste will allow ladies of the household to bond with their family over an unrivalled cup of tea,” said Ahsan Afzaal Ahmed, Director Marketing – Engro Foods Limited. “The change in taste is our way of thanking consumers for making Tarang the number one tea whitening brand in the country for the past 10 years.”

Prepared by the finest food experts, the Tarang’s new recipe is made with the highest quality ingredients from the best local and international sources. The recipe includes skimmed milk sourced from 100% pure milk, high quality vegetable fat, natural milk fat and sugar; creating the perfect match for the perfect cup of tea.

Tarang is approved and certified by Pakistan’s top national standards body, the Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) and is 100% safe for tea-lovers of all ages.

The TVC, releasing on mass media nationwide, stars Chef Mehboob alongside his wife onscreen, sharing a cup of tea with guests, which include his old friends, veteran film-maker Syed Noor, and his wife Saima. The advert showcases how the perfect cup of tea can leave loved ones amazed and delighted, leading not only to praise, but also quality bonding time.

MOU SIGNED BETWEEN BANK ALFALAH LIMITED AND IBA

Continuing with sheer dedication of playing their part for the betterment of the Pakistani society, Bank Alfalah Limited and the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi have signed a strategic partnership MoU on Thursday, April 13, 2017. Refreshing their commitment of working together on various fronts; the understanding involves Bank Alfalah to impart experiential learning opportunities to IBA students, to hold joint seminars, workshops & learning programs and faculty exchange. Special attention will also be given to bridging the gap between industry and academia. President and CEO of Bank Alfalah Limited, Mr. Atif Aslam Bajwa, was present at the event along with senior executives of one of Pakistan’s largest banking institutions. Bank Alfalah, IBA and the society at large, are set to benefit from this partnership, while IBA and Bank Alfalah are keen to strive together to overcome the numerous challenges that the Pakistani nation faces today.

During the ceremony, President and CEO Bank Alfalah Mr. Atif Bajwa said that it’s an honor for Bank Alfalah to create a strategic linkage with a prestigious institution like IBA, Karachi. He mentioned that Bank Alfalah is eager to create a strong framework of learning and entrepreneurial partnership with IBA in order to have best local and global practices for learning and development. He also said that this linkage will substantially help foster the development of human capital in both institutions.

During the event Dr. Sayeed Ghani, Acting Dean & Director, IBA said that he would like to congratulate Bank Alfalah in joining hands with IBA. This is one of a kind initiative and a very first corporate linkage of this nature for IBA, offering Open Enrolment Programs for Banks, Corporates, Family Businesses and other sectors in Pakistan. This initiative also involves faculty exchange for academic and non-academic programs. At the end he thanked and assured Mr. Atif Bajwa for effective execution of this joint venture in creating and developing Human Capital for the betterment of Pakistan.

PAKISTAN’S LIQUID FOREIGN RESERVES POSITION

The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at US$21,744.1 million on 07April 2017.

The break-up of the foreign reserves position is as under:-

i) Foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan: US$16,688.2 million
ii) Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks: US$5,055.9 million
iii) Total liquid foreign reserves: US$21,744.1 million

During the week ending 07 April 2017, SBP’s reserves increased by US$222 million to US$16,688 million.

During the week, SBP received multilateral inflows of US$317 million and made payments of US$118 million on account of external debt servicing and other official payments.

NBP, TELENOR & TELENOR BANK INK A STRATEGIC ALLIANCE

National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Telenor Pakistan (TP) and Telenor Microfinance Bank Ltd. (Formerly Tameer Microfinance Bank Ltd.) formed a strategic alliance to further financial inclusion in Pakistan at a signing ceremony held at local hotel in Islamabad. The strategic alliance is in continuation of the coalitions to promote financial inclusion that now cover almost the entire telecom industry of Pakistan.

The agreement was signed among Mr. Saeed Ahmad – President & CEO NBP, Mr. Irfan Wahab – CEO Telenor Pakistan and Mr. Yahya Khan – CFIO & CDO Telenor Microfinance Bank, in the presence of senior management from the three organizations including Mr. Mudassir H. Khan – SEVP/Group Chief CRBG, Mr. Azfar Jamal – EVP/Head – Payment Services, Mr Khawaja Asif – COO Telenor Microfinance Bank and MrRehan Akhter – Head of FS Karandaaz amongother delegates.

Under the ambit of this arrangement, multiple services will be leveraged upon including Telenor USSD Channel, Agent Network of Easypaisa, and NBP’s transaction base, to fulfil the needs of banked as well as the unbanked population of Pakistan including facilitation of P2G and G2P transactions. With this joining of hands between one of Pakistan’s largest Government-owned banks and one of the Pakistan’s leading telco operators along with its microfinance bank, the dynamics of the Digital Financial Services are sure to reach the next milestone.

After the ceremony Mr. Saeed Ahmad – President & CEO NBP stated that National Bank envisions creating concrete opportunities to promote financial inclusion through innovation driven by technologies and data, and with that; drive inclusive and sustainable growth in the formal banking sector. He added that combining the strengths of NBP, TP & TMBL together will broaden the vision of our industry to achieve the State Bank’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy. Mr. Saeed further shared that our 3 strategic alliances will contribute towards our country – NBP is a public institution and it is our mandate to develop a digital suite of financial services with an access to market players through any available digital channel for enhanced customer convenience with focus on enabling e-governance infrastructure.

Also talking at the forum, Mr. Mudassir H. Khan SEVP / Group Chief CRBG – NBP, said that “The Digital Financial Services industry in Pakistan took its first step back in 2009 and has now reached a stage where it needs to be taken to the next level. NBP is aggressively working to digitize services through partnerships with Mobile Money platforms and Government Institutions; we are setting the goal of financial inclusion in its true sense and will create the right environment for inclusive growth in the country”.

Sharing his thoughts on this, Mr. Irfan Wahab Khan – CEO Telenor Pakistan, said, “Fostering financial inclusion in the country has been the driving force behind Telenor Pakistan and Telenor Microfinance Bank’s expansive financial ecosystem in the country. Telenor Pakistan has been striving hard to bring financially excluded segments of the society into the fold of financial inclusion through a range of cost effective financial products and services. It is reassuring to join hands with Pakistan’s largest banking institution, National Bank of Pakistan, to achieve a shared vision for Pakistan. Together, we will be able to make long strides towards the cherished ambition.”

Commenting on the development, Mr. Muhammad Yahya Khan – CFIO & CDO Telenor Microfinance Bank, said, “It is heartening to be part of the collaboration between one of the largest commercial Banks in G2P and P2G space and the largest Branchless Banking organisation that is set to transform the country’s financial outlook through providing digital convenience for Payments and thus inclusion of marginalized segments into Pakistan’s mainstream banking and financial system. The collaboration with NBP will expedite our efforts by capitalizing on the strength of these two organisations. I am positive that together we will transform the country’s financial scenario

This new path of collaboration between large sized banks and the leading telcos is a tried and tested method of larger financial inclusion which coincides with greater local economic activity and decreased economic inequality at the macroeconomic level. The managements of the partnering organizations have the belief that the formal financial services, through digital payments, can have a positive impact on a variety of microeconomic indicators, including self-employment business activities, household consumption and wellbeing.

NBP HAJJ BALLOTING – 2017

National Bank of Pakistan conducted Hajj 2017 balloting for 25 employees (5 executives up to VP, 10 Officers up to Grade-I and 10 Clerical/Non-Clerical Staff) for performance of Hajj on Bank’s expenses.

NBP President Mr. Saeed Ahmad, presided over the Hajj balloting ceremony, Mr. Nausherwan Adil, SEVP/Group Chief, Operations Group, Mr. Mudassir H. Khan, SEVP/Group Chief, CRBG, Mr. Wajahat A. Baqai, SEVP/Group Chief, Credit Management Group, Mr. Muhammad Ehsan Qadir, EVP/Group Chief (A) HRMG, Mr. Mohsin Furquan, EVP/Divisional Head, Operations Group, representatives of CBA Union Syed Jehangir, Mr. Anwar Shah, Syed Saeed Haider and officers representative Mr. Mohsin Jamil, Secretary General, NBP Officers Welfare Association, Head Office also attended the ceremony. A large number of representatives of the unions and Bank’s employees were also present.

On this occasion the Bank’s President congratulated all the 25 lucky employees who were declared successful in the balloting and said that they were blessed by the Almighty Allah to perform “Fareezah Hajj”. He urged them to pray for the prosperity of the Bank and the country while visiting the holy places.

JS BANK AND EFU GENERAL INSURANCE LIMITED JOIN HANDS

JS Bank and EFU General Insurance Limited have signed an agreement for the sale and distribution of a unique insurance solution, covering ATM cash withdrawals and accidental death during snatching incidents. JS Bank, one of Pakistan’s fastest growing banks, is a leading provider of banking and wealth management solutions in Pakistan. EFU General Insurance is one of Pakistan’s most trusted institutions in the field of insurance.

Mr. Syed Salman Rashid, Deputy Managing Director EFU General Insurance, said “We are excited to enhance our partnership with JS Bank, and we expect this proposition to add tremendous value to customers of the Bank.” Mr. Kamran Jafar, Group Head Corporate and Retail Banking at JS Bank, said “JS Bank aims to create relevant and unique solutions for its expanding and evolving customer base. This partnership reflects our commitment to the well-being of our customers.”

JS Bank is one of the fastest growing banks in Pakistan, with 307 branches in 152 cities including one international branch, and is a leading distributor of insurance solutions. JS Bank is part of JS Group, one of Pakistan’s most diversified and progressive financial services groups. For more information, please visit http://www.jsbl.com.

FIRST NATIONAL DIALOGUE ON WRITING CENTRES

Illustrating a thought-provoking keynote address with images of letters and scripts from a range of historic and contemporary languages including Cunieform, Chinese, Arabic, Aramaic, Urdu, English and others, Professor Dr. Tariq Rahman, Dean, Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore stated that the use of literacy had often been used by a minority of persons to exercise power and control over people, resources and decisions that affected the vast majority. He also stated that, for example, the failure of a student in the IELTS English proficiency exam to qualify for overseas studies did not accurately reflect that same person’s intelligence or knowledge or potential with regard to his own culture, language and capability.

He was delivering the keynote address at the first National Dialogue on Writing Centres hosted by the Ardeshir Cowasjee Centre for Writing (ACCW) at IBA Karachi on Thursday, 13th April 2017. The Dialogue was largely attended by professors, linguists, scholars, students, and prominent citizens from universities and colleges in Qatar, Lahore, Jamshoro, Sukkur and several institutions of Karachi. The day-long event held at the IBA Main Campus also featured other principal addresses by Dr. Ishrat Husain, Professor Emeritus, IBA, Senator(r) Javed Jabbar, Honorary Chairman, ACCW, Ava Cowasjee, Trustee, Cowasjee Foundation which supported the holding of the Dialogue, Ms. Maria Hassan, Programme Director, ACCW, Dr. Maria Isabel Maldonado Garcia from Spain based at Punjab University, Lahore and Dr. Syed Noman Ul Haq.

Panel speakers included Neelam Hanif, FC College Lahore, Stephanie Lee, Habib University Karachi, Mohsin Tajani, Ruqaiya Hasan Writing Centre Karachi, Ms. Neihan Yaqub, and Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar. Two other panels included 3 senior student consultants: Wafa Fatima Ispahani, Muneeb Ahmad and Daniyal Channa of IBA Karachi; Dr. Sajida Zaki, Chairperson, Department of Humanities, NED University; Roger Smith, Director, English Language Enhancement, Aga Khan University, Dr. Habibullah Pathan, Director, ELDC, Mehran University of Engineering & Technology, Jamshoro; Prof. Nasreen Pasha, Kinnaird College, Lahore.

Commencing operations in Fall 2014, the ACCW at IBA Karachi has so far helped over 1035 students to improve their writing skills, critical, analytical thinking and self-confidence in articulation. Providing a one-on-one consultancy facility in sessions of about 40-45 minutes’ duration, students and consultants (senior students, lecturers etc.) review idea generation, structure of texts, grammar and syntax and complex stylistic concerns.

In his opening remarks, Senator(r) Javed Jabbar said that unlike some other mainly monolingual societies such as England, Pakistan was a vibrantly multilingual society. Arabic for religious texts, Urdu as a lingua franca, a rich range of regional and national languages and English as a language of wide common usage in NICs, driving licenses, number plates, advertising, media etc. indicated an extra-ordinary interaction and change, for better and for worse in language-use, both in social media and in mainstream media.

Dr. Ishrat Husain stressed that he had initiated the establishment of the Centre with a particular focus of English because in the current phase of globalization, English was the principal language of technology, science, research and international relations. Pakistani students seeking to acquire new levels of professional qualification in Pakistan or in overseas countries direly needed to enhance their proficiency in English to be able to benefit from new knowledge and obtain progressive employment.

Ava Cowasjee recalled her late father Ardeshir Cowasjee’s deep commitment to promoting high standards of education and communication skills. She said that the Cowasjee Foundation was glad to support the establishment of the Writing Centre at IBA to honour the memory of her father who had used his writings for over 23 years for Dawn to focus public and official attention on matters of vital concern.

Maria Hassan outlined the historical evolution of writing centres from “writing labs” in the USA into writing centres to help students become better writers rather than enabling them to only produce better papers. She pointed out that ACCW uses a flexible, student-centric approach which allows individualized consultation at any stage of the process as most of the writing at higher levels is done in a language — English — that is not the writer’s first language, Pakistani students face significant challenges to reach internationally demanded standards of academic and professional writing.

In the 3 panel sessions, speakers covered a range of issues such as aspects of the consultation process, critical thinking, whether the one-on-one model can be replicated to cover thousands or the tens of thousands who require guidance and support; the need for similar writing centres to promote proficiency in Urdu, Sindhi and other national languages; the vital importance of reading extensively and regularly in order to become proficient in writing.

Several speakers appreciated the convening of this first-ever Dialogue and expressed the hope that this would become a regular feature to facilitate exchange of experience and collective endeavours to advance the standards of writing in Pakistan.

FIRST WOMEN BANK WINS FIRST PRIZE IN SME MELA

First Women Bank Ltd. (FWBL) won the 1st Prize at the SME Mela organized by the State Bank of Pakistan, held at the Bahawalpur Chamber of Commerce. Ms. ’Qudsia Khokhar’ Branch Manager Bahawalpur Branch received the prize.

Last month FWBL also achieved first prize in SME Mela organized by the SBP in Sialkot on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.

FWBL has re-defined itself as a niche player with focus on “S” of SME Market Segment. The Bank is an active player of Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loans for financing loans and handholding support to women.

SEMINAR ON CPEC

Sindh University Campus Dadu is striving for quality education in Business, English and IT. Dadu campus organized one day National Seminar on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) opportunities and challenges for Sindh. One-minute silence was observed for the Shuhdae of Sehwan Sharif. Prof. Dr Fateh Mohammad Burfat chief guest of the seminar address the audience that CPEC will not only benefit China and Pakistan but will have positive impact on Iran, Afghanistan, India, Central Asian Republic and the region. Eminent scholars, businessmen, traders, professors, politicians and military officers attended seminar.

They discussed the CPEC impact of on Socio-economic development in the region. Talking on trade advantages to China- Pakistan, Prof. Dr Fateh Mohammad Burfat said that china imports 10.2 million barrels of oil of per day. He said that if it passes through Pakistan it would be about 95000 trucks per day. He said that toll revenue would be $ 18 million per day and total revenue $6.5 billion per year. He said that a same amount of merchandise is expected and china gain will be match able.

Dr Burfat said that through CPEC, the fast train system will be introduced and train speed will be increased from 60 km to 160 km per hour. He said that power/ energy sector would be improved. He said that total capacity of prioritized energy projects is 10400 MWs and total capacity of actively promoted projects is 6645 MWs and it total grant is 17045 MWs through the CPEC.

Dr. Syed Tahir Hijazi former Vice Chancellor UCP Lahore, MAJU Islamabad and former Member planning Commission Islamabad addressed the audience that CPEC will bring revolutionary development in energy sector. Providing the revised list of prioritized energy projects as: Sinohydro Resources limited & Al Marqib capital 1320 MWs, Suki Kinari Hydro Power station, Narran 870 MWs, Sahiwal (2×660 MW) coal Fired Power Plants 3120 MWs, Engro Thar (4×330) Coal- Fired power Plants and surface mine in block II of the Thar Coal field, 6.5 million tons per year 1320 MWs, Hydro China dawood 50 MW wind power farm 50 MWs, Gawadar coal Power project 300 MWs, Quaid e Azam 1000 solar Park 1000 MWs, UEP 100 MW wind farm 100 MWs, Sachal 50 MW wind Farm 50 MWs, China Sunec 50 MW wind Farm 50 MWs, Rahim Yar Khan 2×660 ( MW) Coal Fired Power project 1320 MWs, SSRL Power plant- Thar Coal block 1 power plant 1320 MWs, Karto Hydero Power station 720 MWs, HUBCO ( 1×660 MW) coal power plant 660 MWs, Matyari to Lahore Transmission line, Matyari to Faisalabad transmission line. Providing revised list actively promoted energy projects as: Gadani power project at district Lasbela, Balochistan (2×660 MW) 1320 MWs with Gaani-Jetty infrastructure, Kohala Hydel project AJK 1100 MWs, Wind Farm ( 2×50) 100 MWs, HUBCO (1X 660MW) coal power plant 660, Salt Range Mine Mouth Power Project including Mining 300 MW, Thar Mine Mouth Coal Fired power plant by Oracle ( 2×6 MW) 1320 MWs, MuzaffarGarh (2x 660 MWs) Coal fired project 1320 MWs, Gas power plant 525 MWs, he said that through these projects, the power crises will be decreased in Pakistan.

Prof. Dr Anwar Ali Shah G Syed, Pro Vice Chancellor of Sindh University Campus Dadu talking on silent features of CPEC said that there will be industrial estate in each province. He said that it will be 711 Km LPG pipe line Gawdar- Nawab Shah and it to be connected to Iran pipe line. He said that Port of Gawadar is 10 times bigger than Chabahar port. He said that Thar Coal reserves for 400 years and it would produce 5000 MWs electricity. He said that there would be a new Gawadar International airport. Talking on political impact, he said that new political block will emerge with support of Russia – China and new political party will emerge which will be pro-china. Talking on relationship between China- Pakistan, he said that formal Pakistan-China relations began in 1950. He said that relationship between the two countries grew steadily in the early years and since early 1960s, the two neighbours have forged an abiding close friendship.

He said that strategic alliance was formed in 1972 after construction of Karakorum highway. He said that PIA became the first air lines in the world to operate a service from China and Bilateral investment treaty was signed by the two countries in 1989 and joint investment company was established with an equal authorized capital of US$200 million in 2007. He said that Economic Corridor is being developed as part of the strategic partnership between the governments of China and Pakistan. He said that in addition, the corridor provides Chinese traders a link to deliver their goods to the international markets through Gawadar port.

Speaking to Seminar, Prof. Dr Faiz Mohammad Shaikh said that through CPEC the poverty will be alleviated by creating job opportunities in Pakistan. He said that the enhancement of Geographical linkages having improved road, rail, and air transportation system with frequent and free exchange of growth and people to people contact , enhancing understanding through academic, cultural and regional knowledge and culture activity of higher volume of flow of trade and business, producing and moving energy to have more optimal business and enhancement of cooperation win-win model will result in well connected, integrated region of shared destiny, harmony and development. Dr Shaikh said that through the CPEC, trade will be improved, Pakistan will be connected with other countries and Cultural Revolution will also come in Sindh.

On this occasion two books Managerial Communication and Management for 21st Century co-authored by Dr. Anwar Ali Shah G.Syed, Dr.Nadeem Bhatti and Dr.Faiz Muhammad Shaikh were launched. At the same time research Journal “Sindh Business Review” 4th issue (2016) published by Sindh University Campus Dadu was also launched.

The CPEC seminar ended with the recommendation to include Dadu in CPEC project for the socio-economic benefits for the area.

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