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Circular Debt Can Only Be Dealt Through Privatization Of Discos: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

Privatization of distribution companies is the only solution to curb circular debt which currently has swelled to a staggering figure of PKR 573 billion. Transmission and Distribution losses due to power theft is the major cause of rising circular debt which should be immediately addressed.

During an interview on a private TV channel Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi shared these views. Citing the example of K-Electric, he said “Out of all distribution companies operating in Pakistan, privatized K-Electric is the only distribution company which regularly pays for the electricity provided by the government, while all other DISCOs have defaulted.”

Industry experts believe that circular debt has been affecting Pakistan’s power sector for years now and there is an urgent need for DISCOs’ turnaround. “While the country has attracted significant private capital in Generation and Transmission, by offering adequate returns to the private investors, there have been no progress on private participation in ex-Wapda DISCOs. Therefore, a significant quantum of power which is expected to be added to the national grid will not be distributed to the end consumers due to supply bottlenecks at distribution level.”

As the government is seeking private sector participation in the power distribution landscape, it should incentivize DISCOs’ tariff in terms of realistic benchmark setting, extending business risk protection and offering reasonable returns. This is the only scenario which can support the agenda for DISCOs to attract private capital in line with government’s overall vision to create a more efficient and private competitive market.

Pakistan, Russia Set To Sign $10b Offshore Pipeline Deal: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain Said last week that Pakistan is suffering from 40 % of shortage of total gas demand in the Country. ISGS is also working on the $10-billion Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline to connect South and Central Asia. It will not only suffice the local gas demand of the country but will positively strengthen the regional ties amongst the neighboring countries.

These projects are called a game changer for Pakistan as they will not only lead to regional connectivity, but will also meet growing energy needs of the country.

The veteran businessman while talking to the business community said that Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS) – a state-owned company of Pakistan established to handle gas import projects and is already working on gas pipeline schemes like (TAPI), has been nominated by Pakistan to execute the offshore pipeline project of $ 10 billion along with Russia’s leading energy company Gazprom, on the basis of memorandum of understanding deal signed between Pakistan and Russia.

The former minister said ISGS is already working on $ 10 billion project of (TAPI) on which work is in progress in its Iranian and Afghanistan parts, while in Pakistan the construction work will be started in March next year. Pakistan eagerly needs new project of energy and water in order to fight back with the crisis being faced.

Mian Zahid Hussain said Russia is eager to supply its huge gas reservoirs from Turkmanistan and Iran through Gwadar to Pakistan and India and planned to work on Karachi to Lahore gas pipeline. Through this project Russia may attain other benefits including reaching to the hot waters of Arabian Sea through Gwadar port. The industrial sector of the Country after getting the requisite gas will timely supply the export orders thus increasing exports will bring stability to the Balance of Trade of the Country and economy of Pakistan will get prosper. According to Gazprom, gas flows to Europe and Turkey, excluding ex-Soviet states, hit a new daily record at 621.8 million cubic meters. After establishing, operating and managing of special economic zones under CPEC cheap energy requirement will further increase in the country. This project will be a game changer for not only Pakistan, but for the entire region.

Scarcity Of Water Is Predicted In The Near Future In Pakistan: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain last week said that Pakistan is basically an agricultural country and it is obvious that agriculture is based on availability of water. Pakistan lacks in the water reservoirs and no new dams has been established since decades.

The veteran businessman while talking to the business community said per capita water quantity has decreased from 5000 cubic feet to 1000 cubic feet, increasing the need of more water reservoirs required more financial resources. This goevrnment has secured 10 percent of the total development program for water development and first time ever in the history has created a water policy; work on Bhasha dam has started which will have the capacity of storing 10 million cubic feet of water.

The former minister said the K-IV water project need to be completed on early basis, after completion, 650 million gallon water to supplied to Karachi through 3 canals from khejar lake thus the scarcity of water in Karachi can be resolved. The systematic uses of different categories of water is required in addition to the construction of new dams, he added. Like the developed countries there should be different portions of water for drinking, agriculture, cleaning and other purposes, respectively, which will save the clean water. Due to insufficient water treatment plants across the Country, our rivers, canals and seas contain polluted water affecting our environment and our agriculture and industry is in dire need of water.

Mian Zahid Hussain said Pakistan lacks in storing the clean water, due to which the clean water obtained through natural resources get wasted without any positive usage. In Pakistan only 30 percent population has access to the clean drinking water, while according to UNICEF 50 percent school going children do not have clean drinking water. WHO reported that the water of river indus is best to drink but due to no proper reservoirs, it get wasted. He urged the Government to take early measures to save water, in order to save our Country’s each sector and our coming generations.

Js Bank Partners With Nizam Energy For Js Smart Roshni

JS Bank, one of Pakistan’s fastest growing banks has joined hands with Nizam Energy, a leading solar energy solution provider for JS Smart Roshni – a smart solar panel financing solution.

Designed to reduce dependency of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on the electrical grid, JS Smart Roshni allows customers to avail financing of up to Rs 10 Million at a minimal mark-up of 6%. This collaboration will allow businesses to reduce operational energy costs by availing solar panels and technical services through Nizam Energy and attractive financing solutions through JS Bank.

Speaking at the ceremony, Babbar Wajid, Head of Product Development & Business Management – JS Bank said, “Our partnership with Nizam Energy reflects our commitment to provide customers with responsible solutions for their energy needs, while creating medium to long-term savings. This initiative will help our clients increase operational efficiency in an environmentally responsible manner, and help reduce load on the national grid.”

Usman Ahmad, CEO – Nizam Energy commented “Our partnership with JS Bank will help us further reduce the country’s overall carbon footprint. With easy and low cost financing solutions provided by JS Bank, we can further enable customers across Pakistan to avail solar power generation solutions with financing support.”

By undertaking such partnerships, JS Bank remains committed towards its role as a catalyst in the responsible entrepreneurial ecosystem of Pakistan.

Need To Fully Address Poverty Alleviation Stressed

Rickshaw distribution ceremony at Governor House Peshawar held

A rickshaw distribution ceremony was held at Governor House Peshawar which was attended by Mr. Iqbal Zafar Jahgra, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Mr. Saeed Ahmad, President National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Principal Secretary to Governor, Ms. Saima Rahim, Regional Head, Islamic Banking NBP, Shaukat Mahmood, Group Head Quality Assurance Group, a number of tribal Masheran (elders) and the recipients of rickshaws from Mohmand Agency.

The Governor in his address thanked the President NBP and his team for the kind gesture and love with the people of KPK. He appreciated the efforts made by NBP in promoting Islamic banking which according to him was the preferred choice of the people of the province in general and tribesmen of tribal agencies in particular. He urged the President NBP Mr. Saeed Ahmad to open Islamic banking branches almost at every agency headquarter to cater to the financial needs of the tribesmen in compliance with their religious faith. He acknowledged the efforts of Regional Head Ms. Saima Rahim and the President in this respect. He said that NBP’s initiative is a gesture, which is meant to help, serve and provide work for alleviation of poverty in the community as a whole. He hoped that this journey of love and affinity between NBP and tribal people will continue and will go together for a long time.

President NBP thanked the participant and said that NBP is a ’Nation’s Bank’. “Our objective in opening branches in far flung areas mainly under Aitemaad Islamic Banking banners is to address the preference of the local communities and also to increase financial inclusion”. He stated whenever he visits branches at length and breadth of the country, he sees the underserved and less-privileged segment of the population. He feels that NBP should play its further role in alleviating poverty and providing conducive environment to make lives better. He said that a small gesture is better than no action at all. He quoted a Hadith that “one should not look down upon a good act (ma’roof) just because its small”. He urged that we should all participate in helping our poor fellow citizens even if we are able to do it at only a small scale.

He further said that this goodwill gesture of NBP is not based any commercial consideration. It is only and only for the benefits of the unemployed tribesmen and assured the participants that National Bank of Pakistan will continue with such activities being a responsible corporate citizen.

On behalf of the delegates and tribal people, the Masheran (elder) thanked President of NBP and Governor KPK for this kind gesture and also opening of Islamic banking branches in the unbanked tribal areas. He said this initiative of NBP will help the needy and generate self-sustainable employment activities in FATA area.

Principal Secretary to the Governor requested President to support youth population of the agency in creating employment opportunities by providing loans at low markup rates and easy terms. He cited the example of Akhuwat. The President informed that NBP is already working with Akhuwat in implementing their loan schemes. He explained salient features of the bank’s PM Youth Business Loan Scheme and its importance and effectiveness, if followed and availed in true spirit. He also pointed out that NBP is keen to promote SME sector for which State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) refinancing scheme is available to banks and which has a markup rate of 6 percent for borrowers for a tenure of up to 10 years. There are special schemes for female borrowers.

Ms. Saima Rahim, the Regional Head of Aitemaad Islamic Banking of NBP said that she is addressing a popular demand in financing solar panel which are badly needed in tribal areas to address the power shortage. She said that NBP is working on introduction of special schemes for this purpose at reasonable profit rate.

At the concluding remarks, the President also mentioned about his initiative for the people of KPK for which an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with Provincial Housing Authority (PHA) for financing for low income housing scheme of KPK Government (KHPAL KOR) both by conventional banking as well as using Shariah compliant Islamic mode of financing.-PR

TPL Maps Adopts Multi-Award Winning Global Location Technology ‘what3words’

Pakistan’s first digital mapping company – TPL Maps has signed a MoU with what3words, a global multi-award winning location technology company, to introduce the system to Pakistan. The partnership will enable Pakistani consumers to navigate to precise and accurate locations, through the deployment of the most advanced technologies.

What3words is a location technology company which has divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares, and assigned each a unique 3 word address. The 3 word address for TPL’s head office, for example, can be found at ///chatters.nutrients.hubcaps. what3words makes it easy to talk about a precise location; and is being used by navigation apps, governments, logistics firms, travel guides and NGOs. Now, everyone, everywhere, can accurately find and share a location quickly, easily and with less ambiguity than any other system.

The collaboration between TPL Maps and what3words intends to promote the benefits of using simplified 3 word addresses to facilitate various industries in Pakistan, mainly automotive, navigation, logistics and Ecommerce, travel and tourism and GIS. For TPL Maps, it will be accessible to users through 3 channels: navigation app, web-maps and its In-Dash product, whilst enabling forward and reverse geocoding. Users will soon be able to enter a 3 word address, and use TPL Maps to navigate them to that location – this could be as exact as a side-door or parking place.

Speaking on the occasion, Tom Blaksley, Partnerships Manager Middle East at what3words, said, ìwhat3words is revolutionising the way people talk about location. The world is very poorly addressed, and talking about a precise place can be very difficult. Now people can navigate to any place on the planet using just 3 words.”

“We are thrilled to have partnered with TPL Maps, Pakistan’s second largest mapping company. The collaboration paves the way for both B2B and B2C expansion nationally,” he added.

Commenting at the occasion of this breakthrough alliance, Adeel Hashmi, Head of TPL Maps said, “Innovation and disruption is at the core of everything we do at TPL Maps. We are pleased to be partnering with what3words. The integration of 3 word addresses into our maps will substantially benefit us to reach more users, even those in difficult to access locations.”

TPL Maps’ integration of the technology into its system demonstrates its commitment towards investing in innovative solutions to not only enhance its business operations, but also ensuring accessibility of maps for consumers in Pakistan.

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