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TPL Life Insurance opens Pakistan’s First Epidemic Based Digital Insurance Products

As another first in Pakistan, TPL Life has launched Pakistan’s first epidemic based insurance products which can be bought online from the company’s website – and all it takes is less than 3 minutes to make the purchase through TPL Life’s end to end digital processes. As an initiation, TPL Life has launched 3 Epidemic Insurance Products which offer financial assistance to the consumers in case of suffering from Mosquito Borne &/or Water Borne illnesses such as Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya, Yellow Fever, Cholera, Hepatitis A and E, Typhoid, Diarrhea and Naegleria Fowleri. The company has made it a point to keep the acquisition and claim processes as easy as possible and hence these products can be bought directly from TPL Life Insurance’s website, without going through the hassles of paperwork and unnecessary delays. TPL Life Insurance has a huge network of panel hospitals across the country inclusive of remote rural areas, where its customers can avail cashless claim services against their medical expenses. Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Faisal Abbasi, CEO – TPL Life Insurance said, “We understand today’s needs of our customers. Epidemics related to mosquitoes and water are a reality and people face them every now and then resulting in a lot of medical expenses. Our Mosquito Shield, Water Shield and Hybrid Shield are the answer to the growing demand of our customers. Anyone with access to internet can get insured in less than 3 minutes via our end to end digital processes.” TPL Life provides innovative life and health insurance products which adhere to international standards and address the divergent needs of Pakistanis. The company came into existence with a mandate of providing top-notch quality and affordable insurance solutions based on the strength of their seasoned professionals.

Further information about TPL Life Muavin can be gathered from the company’s website.

PTCL Razakaars undertakes philanthropic activities in 18 regions every quarter

PTCL Razakaar, the company’s in-house volunteer force, has made significant inroads since its inception in June last year.

The volunteer force is almost 600 employees who undertakes philanthropic activities simultaneously across 18 geographical regions every three months.

After a successful run of the Box of Happiness campaign and the magnanimous Blood Donation Drive, the PTCL Razakaar program recently concluded Move Mania for the children.

Movie Mania was a series of exclusive movie shows arranged for the children of PTCL’s frontline staff. PTCL Razakaars also invited kids from selected institutions like Saaya Trust, Pakistan Sweet Homes and Alkhidmat Foundation and held over 20 shows across Pakistan. The company managed to spread smiles across 2586 children facilitated by 177 Razakaars nationwide.

Expressing his views about PTCL Razakar, Syed Mazhar Hussain, Chief Human Resource Officer, PTCL said, “PTCL launched Razakar program last year to continue making significant positive impact in the community. I am pleased to see the enthusiasm and passion in our employees to give back to the society and contribute positively by undertaking a number of CSR initiatives. This exciting initiative was cheered by children, their parents and philanthropic institutions”.

PTCL has been serving the nation since its inception and has undertaken a number of CSR initiatives throughout its history as part of its contribution to the society.

NBP signs MoU with PHA of KPK to enable 200,000 low-paid employees to build their homes

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the National Bank of Pakistan and the Provincial Housing Authority of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at a ceremony held at KPK House Islamabad on Thursday, 12 April 2018. According to MoU, the NBP would provide financing for the construction of about 200,000 houses by the Provincial Housing Authority (PHA) KPK for the low-income provincial government employees at affordable cost and easy installments.

The President of National Bank of Pakistan Mr. Saeed Ahmad attended the signing ceremony along with Special Advisor to Chief Minister for Housing (KPK) Dr. Amjad Ali, D.G. Provincial Housing Authority Mr. Saifur Rehman Usmani, Executive Vice President, NBP, Khawar Saeed, Head of Consumer Banking, NBP, Ahmar Qadeer and other officials of the bank and PHA participated in this ceremony.

The DG Provincial Housing Authority Mr. Saifur Rehman Usmani paid rich tribute to Mr. Saeed Ahmad for his keen interest in the proposed project KHPAL KOR in KPK.

The President NBP while speaking on the occasion said “There is an estimated shortage of about 10 million housing units in the country. It is heartening to see that the Housing Ministry of KPK has come up with the scheme of social housing for the provincial government employees and others. This will fulfill dreams of many low-income employees who might not have ever thought to have a roof over their heads. My personal support would always be there whenever I am required to play my role. This MOU is just the beginning of NBP’s pledge to promote and make social housing related projects a success in KPK and across the country. It is a good opportunity for the low-paid individuals of government of KPK to fulfill their dreams of constructing their own homes at a price that is affordable. We are also working closely with private sector and companies such as Ansar who have actively contributed in promoting social housing in Pakistan. We realize its impact in overall growth of the economy and we assure, as a national institution, to play its part to provide shelter to less-privileged”

Mr. Usmani asked President of National Bank of Pakistan to include Islamic Modes of Financing for those who do not wish to avail the Housing Finance facility from Conventional Banks. Mr. Saeed Ahmad expressed his pleasure to know this and said that, “I am pleased to learn from DG Usmani that PHA would like Diminishing Musharka facility as Islamic Mode of financing to be made available to employees considering their faith based preference. As a matter of fact, the purpose of my coming to work in Pakistan was, indeed, to promote Islamic Banking”.

Addressing the participants, the Special Advisor to Chief Minister for Housing Dr. Amjad Ali expressed his appreciation on launching of this project in which the low-income KPK government employees, approximately 200,000, would get benefit in construction of their homes at very affordable installments. He appreciated NBP’s pledge to support the social housing projects and assured his personal support in promoting such initiatives in future. He thanked the President of NBP for his personal presence at this occasion.

He acknowledged that NBP has shown its commitment to the province by extending various facilities to a number of stakeholders. He stated that CM of KPK has travelled to Islamabad and wanted to welcome the NBP President on this occasion but he couldn’t attend due to some urgent official commitment. The advisor expressed the government’s commitment to the social housing sector and appreciated efforts of the DG Mr. Usmani and NBP team who worked hard to conclude the deal.

He thanked all the dignitaries for gracing this occasion. He said that the presence of all the dignitaries is a proof of his government’s pledge to support the less-privileged and promote the affordable housing in KPK province. He appreciated the efforts of NBP team and Mr. Saifur Rehman Usmani for his active participation and close interaction to make it happen.

MCB Bank and TCS enter into alliance for mutually beneficial services

MCB Bank Ltd, one of Pakistan’s largest private sector banks, has entered into an agreement with one of the country’s largest logistics services providers TCS Pvt. Ltd. for mutually beneficial services. With the collaboration, MCB customers will gain access to affordable holiday packages to premium destinations worldwide through TCS Intiana Travel and Tours services.

The MoU was signed by Mr. Nadeem Afzal, Group Head Consumer Banking Group MCB Bank and Mr. Syed Shauket Abbas, Country Head Consumer TCS in the presence of Mr. Wakeel Ahmed, Unit Head Credit Card Product MCB Bank, Mr. Imtiaz Z. Ismail, Director Commercial Travel Related Services TCS and senior executives from both organizations. The signing ceremony was held at MCB Tower, Karachi.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Nadeem Afzal, Group Head Consumer Banking Group MCB Bank said, “As one of Pakistan’s leading consumer centric Banks, MCB is pleased to collaborate with TCS to facilitate our customers on their future travel plans and trips abroad!”

Mr. Syed Shauket Abbas, Country Head Consumer TCS Pvt Ltd. added, “We are excited about this alliance with MCB, which is the first of its kind for TCS, and are looking forward to more such collaborations in future.”

JS Energy’ Partners To Inaugurate 50 MW Wind Power Project

JS Energy, a subsidiary of JS Group, in collaboration with its local and international partners successfully inaugurated a 50 MW wind farm under the name of Hawa Energy (Private) Limited. The launch of this wind farm has brought Pakistan’s total wind generation capacity to over 800 MW.

Located at the Gharo-Jhimpir wind corridor, the project was undertaken by a joint partnership of JS Energy, which provided project management and financial backing in association with Hawa Investments, Daelim Energy, Asma Capital and JCM Power. The project is also funded by Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a US government agency. The project’s execution was undertaken by Power China, a Chinese EPC contractor using 29 x 1.715 MW General Electric (GE) advanced wind turbines.

Speaking at the occasion, Farman Lodhi, Chief Executive Officer-Hawa Energy said: “This is an exciting moment for us and we are proud of the collaborative efforts undertaken by all stakeholders to make this dream come true. All 29 turbines are now online and are feeding power into the national grid to meet the needs of more than 20,000 households.”

Sharing his thoughts, Bruno Bucari, Chairman-Hawa Energy said: “This is a moment of joy for all of us and has significant emotional value to me as my idea of transition from fossil fuels to Clean Energy has become a reality with the completion of this project. Congratulations to each individual who worked on this project for their dedication and commitment. I would also like to extend my gratitude to all the stakeholders who came on board and supported this project all the way. I look forward to seeing this project bridging a part of the power supply-demand gap in the country.”

With power demands increasing rapidly across the country, Hawa Energy’s project highlights the importance of the private sector in increasing electricity generation capacity and boosting renewable energy generation.

Parliamentary Secretary on Climate Change meets with JS Group officials

Romina Alam Khan, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change visited the Central Offices of JS Group to meet with officials from JS Bank and the Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation (MJSF).

As per the Global Climate Risk Index 2018 report, Pakistan is ranked as the 7th most vulnerable country to global warming and climate change. In view of the country’s increasing vulnerability to adverse climate change, discussions were held on how JS Group and in particular JS Bank and MJSF can work together with the Ministry of Climate Change, to boost climate adaptation action and limit the impact of global warming. “Effective and continual climate action is the need of the hour.” said Imran Shaikh, Head of Marketing and Brand Management for JS Bank. Ali Charanya, COO of MJSF agreed that urgent steps must be taken in this regard and that MJSF is already working towards this end goal.

Appreciating the efforts of JS Group on the environmental front, Parliamentary Secretary Romina Alam stated that, “JS Group is amongst the few conglomerates of Pakistan who have undertaken sustained corporate social responsibility programs. I look forward to collaborating with the Group on climate change management.”

JS Bank is at the forefront of introducing environmentally and socially responsible banking solutions in Pakistan. This includes the conversion of branches on to solar power as well as implementation of the Green Office initiatives in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) through reduction of waste generation and power usage. MJSF is also working with communities across the nation to mitigate the impact of climate change in underprivileged areas as they are at greater risk due to changing weather patterns and natural disasters.

Breakthrough Natural Diarrhea Treatment Launched In Pakistan

Ferozsons Laboratories Limited, a publicly listed healthcare company has partnered with PanTheryx Inc. an innovative US life science company, to launch DiaResQ sachets, a breakthrough nutritional innovation for diarrhoea relief in children and adults. The product was included among the world’s 30 leading healthcare innovations that show promise in transforming global health by 2030, in the “Reimagining Global Health, Innovation Countdown 2030î report, produced by PATH, and supported by Bill & amp; Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway. DiaResQ gives physicians an option for a highly effective nature-based treatment of diarrhea, a disease that according to the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey claims around 53,000 lives of children under the age of 5 annually. However, most experts believe that the figure is much higher and hovers between 100,000-125,000 annual deaths.

Scott Hyman, the Senior Vice President of PanTheryx, Inc. said, “At PanTheryx, we believe that GI health is a basic right of all people, regardless of their socio-economic status and we are totally dedicated to insuring that even the poorest and hardest to reach populations have access to our products. Our partnership with Ferozsons and the launch of DiaResQ in Pakistan is atrue milestone for us as we work to fulfill that mission. As a company, they share our vision for the vast potential that nutritional interventions have to reduce the high number of deaths due to diarrheal disease, and to to dramatically impact the burden caused by diarrhoea improving the overall quality of life for families across Pakistan.”

DiaResQ supplements use of oral rehydration solution and zinc by providing nutrients for intestinal repair. Most children that suffer from diarrhoea in Pakistan are also reported to be malnourished. According to a study published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), demonstrated the efficacy of DiaResQ in treating acute childhood diarrhoea caused by the most common pathogens. Ninety-six percent (96%) of the diarrhoea cases resolved with one dose of DiaResQ taken for three days – it significantly reduced fifty-six percent (56%) diarrhea episodes at day 1 of treatment as well.

Osman Khalid Waheed, the CEO of Ferozsons Laboratories Limited said, “Ferozsons is a patient-centered company committed to introducing breakthrough therapies in a number of challenging disease areas in Pakistan. We have recently started working in mother and child health with international partners like PanTheryx, Inc. and are confident that such innovations will contribute to reducing child mortality and ultimately help Pakistan achieve its Sustainable Development Goals around health.”

DiaResQ is recommended for children above 6 months of age and is currently available across Asia and Africa in addition to the United States.

Bank Alfalah’s profit improves 17 percent YoY

The Board of Directors of Bank Alfalah in their meeting held on 19 April 2018, approved the Bank’s un-audited financial statements for the quarter ended March 31, 2018.

The Bank’s Profit before Taxation for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 was recorded at Rs. 5.075 Billion, as against Rs. 4.290 Billion, for the corresponding period last year, improving by 18 percent. Profit after taxation improved by 17 percent to end at Rs. 3.264 Billion for the quarter, as against Rs. 2.788 Billion for the corresponding period last year. This translates into earnings per share of Rs. 2.02 versus Rs. 1.74 per share for the corresponding period last year.

The Bank’s revenue for the quarter was reported at Rs. 10.419 Billion, improving by 5 percent from the corresponding period last year. This is arising from both components of Net Interest Income and Non Interest Income which have improved by 2 percent and 16 percent respectively as against the corresponding period last year. Administrative Expenses have remained in control, increasing by 6 percent as against the corresponding period last year.

Net recoveries against non-performing advances improved from Rs. 71 million for the quarter ended March 2017 to Rs. 193 million for the current quarter, mainly on account of lower specific provisioning charge for the period of Rs. 223 Million in 2018, as against Rs. 539 million for the corresponding period last year. Recoveries for the period were reported at Rs. 416 million, as against Rs. 610 million for the previous period. As at March 2018, the Bank’s coverage ratio stands at 89 percent. Our NPL ratio at the period end stands at 4 percent, and remains one of the lowest in the industry. As at March 31, 2018, the Bank’s ADR stands at 67 percent.

The Bank remains adequately capitalized. During the current quarter, the Bank successfully closed its first ever additional Tier-1 Capital in the form of listed, perpetual, unsecured, subordinated, non-cumulative and contingent convertible debt instruments. The Pre-IPO of Rs. 6.3 Billion had been successfully closed in January 2018, while the IPO of Rs. 700 million was closed in March 2018. The proceeds from the issue will contribute towards the bank’s additional Tier-1 capital and are intended to be utilized towards enhancement of the bank’s business operations.

APBF Budget proposals stress liberal investment policy, low tax ratio: Ibrahim Qureshi

The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) has proposed the budget makers to reduce tax rates with a view to widen the tax base and curtail parallel economy, also providing a competitive edge to Pakistan’s products in global markets. According to the budget proposals, the APBF has finalized sector-specific proposals for the federal budget 2018-19.

Unveiling the budget proposals, APBF President Ibrahim Qureshi said that the APBF has submitted comprehensive proposals for the upcoming federal budget with main objective to bring liberal investment policy, infrastructure development, broadening of tax base and creating jobs through industrialization. The budget proposals were compiled in an unbiased and transparent manner, incorporating feedback received from business community on hosts of sectors from all over the country.

The APBF leader pointed out that out of more than 4 million National Tax Number holders, the tax filers were 2.1 million in 2006-07, which fell to 1.39 million in 2017, which shows that the FBR has lost one million return filers over the last 10 years.

He said the APBF budget proposals cover recommendations, including proposals to incentivize investors, broaden tax net through documentation of economy, simplify tax system and reorganize FBR and many industry specific proposals. APBF concerned over excessively burdening the manufacturing sector that contributed 21% to the economy, having a share of 70% in tax payments. HE added that the APBF proposed a comprehensive action plan for the broadening of tax base and improving the tax-to-GDP ratio.

He added that promoting foreign direct investment, increasing the share of direct taxes and slashing the slab of indirect levies topped the proposals presented by the All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) for the federal budget 2018-19. He said that the APBF, in its budget proposals, also suggested that the sales tax slab should immediately be curtailed in order to reduce cost of production and inflationary pressures. The APBF urged the government to reduce sales tax to single digit and also cut corporate tax to make the upcoming budget business-friendly. Ibrahim Qureshi said that only political will and drastic steps can revive the economy, which should be grown significantly and constantly for visible impact.

A significant portion of the total budget should be allocated for Hydro power projects, he stressed. Reliance on costly thermal power has been jacking up the cost of production and the import bill as well. In order to tackle the energy shortages, maximum funds should be allocated for construction of dams or water reservoirs and tapping of Thar Coal. The country is in dire need of an urgent shift in its energy-mix in favour of Hydro power and local fuels, he added.

The APBF has given very detailed proposals for broadening tax base and identifying new potential taxpayers. It recommends that all income earners should pay taxes equitably, including on income from agriculture related activities and all kinds of government and banks saving schemes. All income earners without exception of any sector should be registered with national tax number (NTN). Tax authorities should ensure all NTN holders file annual income tax/wealth returns and wealth reconciliation statements. The government should avoid announcing amnesty schemes to encourage the honest taxpayers. It has been stressed in APBF budget proposals that the sales tax and income tax return forms should be made simple and standardised so that taxpayers do not have to face the hassle of new tax return forms on an annual basis.

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