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UIT Students to Participate in Microsoft Imagine Cup Finals in US

Usman Institute of Technology (UIT) affiliated with NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, is proud to announce that students of Final Year Project, UIT have earned 1st position in Karachi and 2nd position in Sindh for their project ’vertical farming’ presented at Microsoft Imagine Cup 2019 which was recently held at Higher Education Commission (HEC), Islamabad. For the past 17 years, the Imagine Cup has been the world’s premier student technology competition. Since 2003, Microsoft has provided a global platform for students to turn their dreams into reality. Students from across the globe build amazing teams to bring their biggest, boldest ideas to life. Working with mentors and industry leaders, they get feedback to further hone and develop their projects.

This year there were 50 plus universities and 306 teams that participated from all over Pakistan. Among them were 48 National Finalists which were selected out of which the UIT students who participated for the first time earned top positions. Their project ’Vertical Farming’ supervised by Engr. Muhammad Asad Hussain and students Talal Ahmed, Muhammad Hammad, Muhammad Mujtaba and Nabeel Baig achieved top ranking. The winning team will now represent Pakistan at the upcoming worldwide finals to compete among global teams for a USD $100,000 prize. Imagine Cup continues to foster innovation among students and enables them to transform their ambitions into reality.

UIT stated that – “We congratulate Team Herbgiz (Vertical Farming) and their supervisor for this remarkable achievement and hope that we will continue to achieve such milestones in the future. We will continue to support the vision of the Director and will take UIT to the next level in Project Based Learning that leads our student to establish their own startups and become successful entrepreneurs. Imagine Cup is one of Microsoft’s many efforts to transform skill development, nurture budding technologists and foster collaborative and innovative spirit. This global technology competition boasts several success stories emerging from the competition. It is a vibrant platform to innovate, get recognized and eventually get enabled to bring about a positive change.”

TPL Maps Pakistan’s No.1 In Car Navigation Software

TPL Maps, Pakistan’s first and largest mapping company and the country’s most trusted automotive navigation solution is the highest selling navigation product in the country. TPL has been empowering auto industry with accurate and precision driven maps in more than 37 languages including Urdu, English and Chinese.

Some of the known brands that trust TPL Maps include Toyota Hilux, Fortuner, Corolla, Honda Civic 1.5 and Suzuki Swift. These constitute 70% of the vehicles manufactures in Pakistan that comes with built-in Navigation option.

TPL Maps is the only local navigation company providing maps licensed by the Survey of Pakistan and offers a host of features including Voice Guided Navigation, Housing Address Search, maps in over 50 languages including Urdu and Chinese with 2D and 3D models for better visibility. The company’s long-term strategy is to further dominate the automotive vehicle space by Working on HD mapping and defining parameters for driverless cars.

TPL Maps are powered by global navigation software giant SYGIC, the world’s most downloaded offline navigation application with more than 100 million users in 115 countries, which ios the global leader in in car navigation systems. TPL has been exclusive partners with Sygic for the last six years of association with Sygic.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Adeel Hashmi, Head of Maps, said “TPL Maps is working with leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with over 70% market share in the industry and is the exclusive navigation software supplier for the country’s top 2 OEMs including Indus Motor Company, Pak Suzuki with inroads in other OEMs as well.”

Bringing more innovation in the navigation domain TPL has aligned themselves with global mapping player, Here Technologies, to bring improved navigation solutions for high-end vehicles in Pakistan. TPL is also the exclusive partner of What3words, the top mapping startup in the world and being used by Mercedes and Ford and Inrix, World’s largest traffic data company based out of USA which shows TPL Maps’ commitment to bring innovative technology to Pakistan.

TPL Maps is a wholly owned subsidiary of TPL Corp. Pakistan’s first and most comprehensive digital mapping solution and was launched in 2016. TPL Maps has the largest location-based data collection of Pakistan along with Location based platform and solutions for other industry verticals. For more information, visit www.tplmaps.com.

C100 Think Tank Holds Event
‘Pakistan to Become $2 trillion Economy by 2047

The C100 Think Tank – one of Pakistan’s largest think tanks working towards actionable socioeconomic policy initiatives – brought together the country’s top corporate leadership for a dialogue on shaping the future of Pakistan. The event was held at a local hotel in Karachi where the thought leaders exchanged views on steps Pakistan must take to become a strong and confident upper middle-income country by the time it turns 100 years old in 2047. The event opened with the remarks of President & MD C100 Think Tank, Mr. Zeshan Afzal who assured the audience that C100 Think Tank will make all possible efforts to ensure that Pakistan achieves its dream of becoming a $2 trillion economy by the year 2047. This was followed by a brief presentation of a recent World Bank report titled ’Pakistan@100: Shaping the Future’ by Mr. Mr. Patchamuthu Illangovan – Country Director for Pakistan at World Bank and talks by Mr. Shabih Ali Mohib – Program Leader for World Bank and Mr. Hans Timmer – Chief Economist for South Asia Region. The event concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Mr. Zeshan Afzal while the panelists included such prominent figures as Mr. Patchamuthu Illangovan – Country Director for Pakistan, World Bank, Mr. Shabih Ali Mohib – Program Leader for World Bank, Mr. Hans Timmer – Chief Economist for South Asia Region, Mr. Munir Kamal – CEO KSBL & Former Chairman PSX, NBP, Mr. Kamran Nasir – CEO JS Global, Mr. Atif Bajwa – Former President & CEO Bank Alfalah, and Ms. Moneeza Butt – Partner KPMG. Sharing his views on the event, Mr. Zeshan Afzal, President & MD C100, said: “We realize that after 70 years of its creation, Pakistan is still mired in suchchallenges as weak economy, population spurt, poverty, and environmental degradation. Resolving these challenges could take Pakistan to a $2 trillion economy by the year 2047. This calls for dialogues like the one we are having here today with top corporate leaders of the country exchanging views on how to rise to the challenges ahead and usher in a period of reform that transforms Pakistan’s socioeconomic outlook. We will be working closely with the World Bank and Pakistan’s corporate leadership to encourage such dialogue across the country.” The talk largely centered on the findings of a recent report titled ’Pakistan@100: Shaping the Future’, a major component of The Pakistan@100 Initiative which is a World Bank effort to engender more vibrant policy debates on what the future should hold for Pakistan. The Pakistan@100 Report is meant to provide an overview of major issues that Pakistan has to grapple within the coming decades. The Pakistan@100 initiative seeks to identify the main changes that will be necessary if Pakistan is to become a strong and confident upper middle-income country by the time it turns 100 years old in 2047. C100 and World Bank look to further this partnership and work together towards creating meaningful impact economically and socially for Pakistan. Being one of Pakistan’s largest think tanks, C100 looks to highlight, assist and take actionable steps towards understanding and creating an impact on the social, economic landscape of the country. This initiative recognizes over 400 corporate executives of Pakistan, many of whom are heading multibillion companies, and that represent various local and multinational corporations working in Pakistan. The main objective of C100 is to use the corporate sector to combine its cumulative intellect and suggest key policy changes (Taxation, Capital Markets, Governance, Islamic Banking, Education, EODB and International Relations) for betterment of socioeconomic development of Pakistan.

Reon Announces 10 MW Solar Project at Bhit

Reon Energy Limited announced its latest 10 MW captive Solar Power Project for Eni New Energy Pakistan at Bhit, Sindh.

The 10 MW photovoltaic project is expected to produce approximately 20 GWh (Gigawatt hours) annually. The output energy will be used on site, reducing gas consumption and avoiding around 140.000 Tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions in the next 10 years. The project aims to integrate the new photovoltaic project with the existing power generating facility. Once operational, it will allow the shutdown of one the existing gas turbines and consequently to cut down on operational costs as stated by Eni.

Mujtaba Haider Khan, CEO, Reon Energy Limited said “I would like to congratulate Eni New Energy Pakistan for starting this project of strategic importance for the country as it saves precious gas currently being used for on-site power generation. The 10MW Photovoltaic project shall secure an additional energy source for Eni New Energy Pakistan.”

The project located near Bhit Gas Field is expected to complete by October 2019.

PSO honours Pakistan Day celebrations at the ’Green Pakistan fest 2019’

Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the country’s leading oil marketing company, will honour Pakistan Day with great zeal and enthusiasm on March 23. PSO has collaborated with Evenz09 to organize the “Green Pakistan Fest 2019î from 22 to 24 March. To mark the occasion a flag hoisting ceremony will take place on March 23, 2019 at the Beach Park, Clifton, Karachi, followed by tree plantation by Mr. Yacoob Suttar, DMD Finance/CFO, PSO. Senior officials from the company, the organizers and dignitaries from various walks of life will be present at the occasion.

The “Green Pakistan Fest” is a festival to initiate the ’Green & Clean Pakistan Drive’ which includes tree plantations and arrangements for water conservation. The event partnership of PSO with Evenz09 is also in line with the Prime Minister’s Clean and Green Pakistan initiative. Using the opportunity PSO is extending the plantation drive across its network of facilities in the country.

The festival itself will welcome people from all walks of life during 22 to 24 March in the largest metropolis of Pakistan, Karachi, and will provide participants an opportunity to showcase the national spirit and patriotism. It will also feature Ali Azmat as the lead performer and other artists in live music concert during the festival period besides offering food and fun for the participants.

Speaking about the initiative, Mr. Jehangir Ali Shah, MD&CEO, PSO, said:

“The Green and Clean Pakistan campaign’s aim is to make Pakistan pollution free and counter the effects of climate change. We need to save the planet for our future generations. We also need to conserve water and protect our environment. . Clean and Green Pakistan is a behavioral change movement which involves rethinking our relationship with nature. I appreciate this initiative and the organizer for their efforts towards green and clean Pakistan.”

“PSO believes in taking practical initiatives to support social and environmental issues and has always believed the fact that by doing a little individually; we can all do a lot collectively. Furthermore, PSO has also contributed Rs. 30 million to the Supreme Court and the Prime Minister of Pakistan fund for Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dams, as a contribution towards building water resources in Pakistan”.

The organizer of the event, Mohammad Omar Farooq, also said:

“We are proud to have collaborated with PSO on this Green Pakistan initiative and become part of one of Pakistan’s biggest food and music festivals in Karachi. As Pakistan is our lovely homeland and home must be clean and green. With success of this event, we will be able to launch more initiatives for a green and clean Pakistan with socially responsible entities, like PSO. We will welcome all from Karachi to come and enjoy the exciting activities and program during the dates of the Festival”.

1Link partners with golootlo to provide discounts on paypak unionpay co-badged cards

Decagon Pakistan (Private) Limited (owners of Golootlo) and 1LINK (Private) Limited signed an agreement to offer discounts and promotions on PayPak UnionPay co-badged cards. Mr. Fahad Mehmood CEO-Decagon, Mr. Najeeb Agrawalla CEO 1LINK, Mr. Han Wang GM Middle East-UnionPay International and Mr. Majid Bashir Director-Decagon chaired the occasion.

Commenting on the partnership, Fahad Mahmood, CEO of Golootlo said “Golootlo is a customer engagement platform which acts as a nucleus to banks, customers and merchants. With discounts at over 6,000 plus Golootlo merchants ranging from restaurants, salons, airlines to healthcare & more, partnerships with Bank Alfalah, National Bank of Pakistan, Dubai Islamic Bank and with 10 other banks in the pipeline, Golootlo is poised to transform the industry. I would also like to thank UnionPay and 1LINK who have been an integral part of our journey” Mr. Najeeb Agrawalla, CEO 1LINK further expanded on partnership with Golootlo and mentioned that this initiative reflects 1LINK’s commitment to the industry and will encourage both banks and customers alike to opt for co-badged cards. He praised banks that have already partnered with PayPak and said that the partnership with Golootlo and UnionPay International is a winning combination for all stakeholders that can further expand PayPak’s market. He said that he was looking forward to the alliance and the benefits it can bring to the PayPak UnionPay co-badged customers in Pakistan.

Ceremony was ended with the shields distribution to the esteemed guests for their participation and support. About Decagon: Decagon brand Golootlo is Pakistan’s fastest growing merchant and customer engagement platform. Golootlo has over 6,000 plus merchants offering discounts in over 64 cities across Pakistan. As a customer engagement platform Golootlo has held concerts, sponsored sporting events and festivals. Golootlo’s partner include PayActiv, Inc USA. Golootlo branded debit cards in partnership with UnionPay International are being issued by National Bank of Pakistan, Bank Alfalah, Dubai Islamic Bank and with “e-discounts” available to EasyPaisa customer and Golootlo app users. Find out more: www.golootlo.pk

About 1LINK: Pakistan’s first PSO/PSP, largest payment and switch system, 1LINK (Private) Limited is committed to administering and evolving a strong e-payment network in the country to enable efficient, real-time transactions. Along with providing diverse online banking services, 1LINK is also involved in the development and operations of the Inter Bank Network. Find out more: www.1link.net.pk About UnionPay International: UnionPay International (UPI) is a subsidiary of China UnionPay focused on the growth and support of UnionPay’s global business. In partnership with more than 2000 institutions worldwide, UnionPay International has enabled card acceptance in 174 countries and regions with issuance in 52 countries and regions. UnionPay International provides high quality, cost effective and secure cross-border payment services to the world’s largest cardholder base and ensures convenient local services to a growing number of global UnionPay cardholders and merchants.

Entrepreneurship success of ESS

Entrepreneurship means to professionally work on your ideas and to develop a work field to turn all of your visions and dreams into reality. In a world where fulfilling necessities becoming difficult with every passing day, people usually keen to complete education and find a job to get them secured in terms of basic finances. Well, there is no doubt that it takes a lot to be an entrepreneur but what you get in return (if you successfully strike it to the top) is not even nearly comparable from what you are going to get from a lifetime job as a famous saying is: “Start working to build your own empire or help someone in building theirs.”

Entrepreneurship in Pakistan is, even more, a difficult idea as the circumstances are not familiar and there is a hurdle on every step you take. But declaring that there is no scope of business initiatives in Pakistan will also not be fair. There are several examples which can be quoted who made an example by stepping up in the field of entrepreneurship. There are people who left glowing opportunities abroad and came back to their own country to become someone which is not at all easier in the given playing field in Pakistan. Let me give you a brief introduction to an organization started in recent years in Pakistan.

In 2015, ESS (Expert System Solution) started its journey in Pakistan. Founder of this marketing firm and software development company is a young entrepreneur Umar Malik who came back from the United States of America completing his master’s degree to initiate his own business in Pakistan. After completing his degree, (Masters in Business of Administration in Marketing and Minor in Leadership- Grand Canyon University-USA) he was offered a job which was supposed to pay him more than the US$80,000 annually but he refused and opted to return to his homeland to work hard and to build his own business empire.

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean success only; failures are the most vulnerable weapon for the people wants to grow in business. Failure may take a few from your side but gives you the experience that has the potential to turn the tables on so many occasions in the future. So, to be a successful business figure, one must work to fight the fear and after comes of failure. That’s what the chief executive of ESS did. He started a few companies in the United States of America as well as in Pakistan turning out to be a complete failure but the ambition he was carrying to glow in professional life was “to amend the mistakes and work again to rise” and the same ambition took him where he is today.

ESS, being a success, in the field of marketing and software development is not something to settle for; vision is to grow with the help of advancing ideas with every passing day. Vision is to aware the people of our country regarding the importance of entrepreneurship. Vision is to convey the concept of ‘CEO’ that what it takes to be the one. And to achieve this vision, the whole team of ESS is working for days and nights.

METRO Pakistan Celebrates Its Success with Business Partners

METRO Pakistan celebrated its vision “YOUR SUCCESS IS OUR BUSINESS” with its business partners by organizing one of the biggest Supplier Conferences in its 13 years of business in Pakistan.

The conference was held in which H.E Martin Kobler (Ambassador of Federal Republic of Germany to Pakistan) was invited as chief guest and around 500 METRO suppliers were invited from all across Pakistan. The theme of the conference was “History Meets Future” which also explained the purpose of the conference that was to celebrate the 13 years of history with business partners while also sharing future business plans because METRO strongly believes in building strong relationships to grow business and impacting the local economy. The suppliers were given the opportunity to experience what makes METRO unique by giving them a tour of the core and future operating pillars of METRO such as Sourcing which tells the story of product journey, Logistics which tells the operating efficiency of supply chain and Future Expansions which tells METRO is here to stay and grow.

The conference commenced with a breathtaking performance from Leo Twins followed by a welcome speech by Mr. Marek Minkiewicz (Managing Director METRO Pakistan), where he recognized and appreciated all the business partners, Ambassador Kobler and the entire METRO team for gracing the occasion and also shared that “METRO Pakistan’s future commitment”.

H.E Mr. Martin Kobler (German Ambassador) also took the stage where he was presented with a shield by Mr. Marek Minkiewicz followed by his speech in which he not only congratulated METRO for completing 55 years of business across the globe but also appreciated METRO Pakistan’s effort towards setting up the Modern Retail landscape in Pakistan and recognized the business partners without whom this success would not had been possible.

The event was concluded by Mr. Marek Minkiewicz by recognizing different suppliers for their 13 years of consistent support by inviting them to the stage and presenting them with a recognition shield.

’Urban Water Dialogue’ by KUL held at IBA, Karachi

Karachi Urban Lab (KUL) at IBA, Karachi organized its second Water Dialogue, part of a series of lectures that aim to critically interrogate Pakistan’s water scarcity problem, titled Urban Water Dialogue. This event was attended by students, faculty, activists and media representatives.

KUL’s director and City and Regional Planner Dr. Nausheen Anwar started the event by introducing her organization and contextualizing the needs of having such a dialogue in a city where water and land are tied not only to ecology, but also to many conflicts and institutions. Assistant Professor Anthropology, IBA Dr. Abdul Haque Chang moderated the discussion between esteemed panelists: geographer and founder Hisaar Foundation and co-founder Pani Pakistan Ms. Simi Kamal; writer, historian and social activist Gul Hasan Kalmati; retired bureaucrat KWSB Mr. Kaleemullah Lashari; and General Secretary of KWSB’s Labour Union Syed Mohsin Raza.

Ms. Kamal approached the topic of water distribution in urban Karachi through a gendered lens, pointing out how women in households bear the responsibility when it comes to managing and conserving water, which sometimes even puts them at the risk of domestic violence if there is scarcity.

Mr. Kalmati’s presentation historicized Karachi’s water woes and explained how discussions about water scarcity often privilege urban centers but elide over their effects on peripheral regions; a point he illustrated by talking about the famous Dalmoti water wells of Malir, and how Karachi’s gradual expansion and acquisition of Malir as a district has led to a massive loss of its agricultural land and water along with its ability to self-sustain.

Mr. Lashari talked about how the lack of a master plan for water distribution has left KWSB underperforming and incapable of dealing with the sheer population of Karachi. He also added that a new trend in governance has come about in which public sector entities such as the KWSB look for “development” projects that are externally funded which leads to a declining quality of work on projects that do not have bigger profit margins.

Finally, Mr. Raza explained how the dynamics of land and water are intertwined in Karachi, and that most of the water that is extracted illegally is often sold to residents in private housing complexes such as DHA City or Bahria Town.

The panelists ended the session by reflecting on how the institutions involved with extracting, managing and distributing water are often fragmented in terms of what they consider their goals and duties to be. Ms. Kamal suggested that maybe what we need is a whole new social contract that focuses on just and equitable distribution of water for all citizens.

 

Jami to contest legal proceedings against him

Jami to contest the legal proceedings against him, with full fervour as the Court passed an interim order dated 26.03.2019 for both the parties to maintain status quo. The Court on the 5th hearing observed that no one had been named or identified in the social media post under litigation and that the Plaintiff had taken it upon himself to institute proceedings against Jami. Despite the counsel for the plaintiff vehemently arguing the removal of the subject post, the court was pleased to direct the parties to maintain status quo. We have full faith in our justice system, and the court order further instils our faith in the sanctity of truth. This is just the beginning of our fight for the countless victims of sexual abuse who suffer in silence. The victims have reposed their faith in the Court after yesterday’s Court Order and they are now coming forward in public and will also now initiate their own legal proceedings against their predator. Moreover, truth is a defence to defamation and we will take this opportunity provided to us by Sohail Javed to unveil the truth in the legal proceedings initiated against Jami. We will further continue to fight for a just, safe and an inclusive Pakistan.

IBA Karachi and Unilever Pakistan ink MoU

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi and Unilever Pakistan signed a MoU to establish an endowment fund of Rs.14 million for the National Talent Hunt Program (NTHP) students. The objective of the fund is to empower underprivileged and meritorious students in acquiring higher education.

This will be a needs based scholarship; the two parties agreed to use the returns from this endowment fund to sponsor at least 1 student every year.

In the ceremony, the IBA was represented by Acting Executive Director Dr. Sayeed Ghani, Director Finance Moeid Sultan, Director Talent Hunt Programs Dr. Zeenat Ismail, Head of Alumni Relations, Graduate Placement, Resource Mobilization and External Relations Ms. Malahat Awan, and Manager Resource Mobilization Mr. Zohaib Faizi. While Unilever Pakistan was represented by CFO Mr. Sohail Baig, Director Finance Mr. Aly Yousuf and Finance Manager Mr. Bilal Khan.

Marking this momentous occasion, Dr. Ghani said, “It is heartening to have conglomerates like Unilever invest in worthy initiatives such as the NTHP to make education accessible to the deserving students.”

IBA organizes an open house sessions for its prospective students

IBA organized two open house sessions – one for undergraduate programs and the other for graduate programs – for prospective students at the IBA, city campus. IBA faculty, staff and around 600 guests attended these sessions. The objective of the session was to provide a unique opportunity for prospective students and their parents to visit IBA and learn more about the Institute.

The acting Executive Director, IBA, Karachi, Dr. Sayeed Ghani in his address welcomed the guests and thanked them for attending the session. He spoke about the values of the Institute including truth, discipline, creativity, tolerance, integrity, merit, humility and team work.

The guests virtually explored IBA through a video, followed by a detailed presentation about the programs being offered at the Institute including their employability and uniqueness. Currently, six undergraduate programs are being offered including BBA, BS Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, BS Accounting and Finance, BS Economics and Mathematics, BS Economics, and BS Computer Science. Moreover, eight graduate programs are offered including MBA, Executive MBA, MS Computer Science, MS Economics, MS Mathematics, MS Islamic Banking and Finance, the newly offered MS Management and MS Journalism.

The session shed light on IBA being more than a Business School; an institute that inculcates skill sets that help in the development of students’ personality. The Institute encourages diversity, and one such program that helps in this mission is the National Talent Hunt Program that reaches out to deserving, yet meritorious students across Pakistan.

In the end a question and answer session was held in which Chairpersons, faculty, students and alumni from different departments answered queries related to their programs.

HASCOL, TOTAL Reach Joint storage

HASCOL Petroleum Limited and TOTAL PARCO Pakistan Limited entered into Joint Storage Agreement for Sahiwal & Daulatpur. The Agreement was signed by Mr Mumtaz Hasan Khan, Chairman Hascol and by Mr Oliver Sabrie, CEO, TOTAL PARCO in a ceremony held at Hascol’s Thalian Depot on 25th March, 2019. The arrangement between the two Companies is on equity participation basis which will have a significant impact on the optimization initiative for storages and infrastructure. The Management of both the companies remained committed to strive for safe and reliable business operations and thanked all the project team members for having reached a milestone in the Petroleum Sector for the betterment of the Country.

Easypaisa Salary Disbursement Solution Implemented at Artistic Fabric & Garment Industries

Easypaisa has entered into an agreement with Artistic companies, Artistic Fabric & Garment Industries Pvt. Ltd. (AFGI) and Artistic Apparels (AA) for salary disbursement through Easypaisa Mobile wallet services. Artistic is one of the biggest names in denim manufacturers in Pakistan, supplying denim products to leading multinational brands globally.

The Easypaisa Salary Disbursement solution offers both a cost effective and time efficient solution for salary disbursement to employees in remote locations and those employees who do not have a bank account. The salary is instantly disbursed to the employee’s mobile account and an SMS is received by the customer confirming the same. Employees have the convenience of withdrawing salaries from over 75,000 Easypaisa locations and 1Link ATM’s across Pakistan. Furthermore, the solution allows employees to withdraw salaries in any denomination, transfer funds to family or friend’s mobile account and pay utility bills.

Sharing his thoughts on the development, Aslam Hayat, Acting CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank, said, “We are glad to extend Easypaisa’s Salary Disbursement Solution to support AFGI & AA. Easypaisa, with the help of its expansive network of agents all over the country, will be instrumental in facilitating smooth and convenient salary disbursement. The agreement comes in connection with Easypaisa’s commitment to facilitate everyday transactions as part of its long term socioeconomic empowerment goals. We will continue to develop partnerships and support interoperability to enhance financial inclusion in Pakistan.”

Speaking on the occasion, Executive Director Mr. Ahmed Javed at AFGI, said, “At AFGI we believe in always investing in our team and finding new ways to interact with our employees. Through Easypaisa not only are the payments easier, but our staff now also has easy access to micro loans, that go a long way in securing our workers’ future. Through digital wallets, we aim to elevate the lives of those at Artistic into a new era of automated convenience.”

ACCA and Board of Investment agree to work together on ’Ease of Doing Business’ reforms

During a meeting with Helen Brand OBE, Chief Executive, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Haroon Sharif said that the government is focused on addressing the structural problems in the economy to ensure export-led development and achieve stabilisation through development of human resource in the country.

Highlighting some of the structural issues, the BoI chairman said that the professional bodies such as ACCA has a significant role to play in the development of human resource in the fields of corporate management, particularly corporate finance. Helen Brand highlighted that ACCA is training professionals on the line of fulfilling the requirements of digital age and is inculcating the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.

“We are looking for tangible partnerships with private sector to bring in their knowledge and expertise to get the desired results.” – Haroon Sharif, Chairman, Board of Investment (BoI)

The ACCA team also shared some of the insights on ’Ease of Doing Business’ and overall business environment in Pakistan. Haroon Sharif appreciated the efforts of ACCA in finding the gaps in the policy and implementation and asked them to share concrete recommendations with the BoI, which is the Secretariat for ’Ease of Doing Business’ reforms in the country.

Earlier, Helen Brand OBE called on the Chairman of Audit Oversight Board (AOB), Mr. Tariq Iqbal Khan in Islamabad to explore opportunities for future partnerships. Senior representatives from the AOB, including Usman Hayat, Chief Executive Officer and Shahid Karim FCCA, Chief Regulatory Officer were also present at the meeting.

Helen also met with Zia ul Mustafa Awan, President, ICMA Pakistan to discuss greater collaboration between both the professional accountancy bodies in developing the accountancy profession in Pakistan. Helen was also joined by Alan Johnson, Deputy President, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and Chair of ACCA’s Accountants for Business Global Forum.

Helen Brand OBE was in Pakistan to attend the third edition of Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit. Powered by ACCA’s award-winning Professional Insights and featuring business leaders and luminaries from around the world, ACCA joined the summit as a Knowledge Partner.

On the sidelines of the summit, Helen also attended different sessions hosted by country’s top leadership, most notably the sessions hosted by Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Dr. Arif Alvi and General Zubair Mahmood Hayat NI, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

NBP Hold 70th AGM

Financial Statements and other Agenda items approved unanimously

The 70th Annual General Meeting of National Bank of Pakistan was held in Karachi on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The meeting was attended by all the Directors of the Bank and was chaired by Mr. Arif Usmani, the President / CEO of the Bank.

The shareholders were apprised that maintaining its position in the industry, in 2018, the Bank had recorded solid growth in terms of both balance sheet size and revenues. Despite a generally difficult year for the banking industry, the Bank has achieved the highest ever revenue in its history of seven decades, which is also highest in the industry for the year 2018. Total revenue of the Bank amounted to Rs. 96.9 billion which is 13.6% higher than Rs. 85.3 billion of previous year. While net interest/mark-up income increased by 11.8% to Rs. 60.7 billion (2017: Rs. 54.3 billion); a 16.7% growth was also achieved in non-interest / mark-up income which stood at Rs. 36.2 billion.

Profit before provisions amounted to Rs. 41.0 billion which is 11.4% higher than Rs. 36.8 billion for the year 2017. During the year, the Bank recognised significant increase in loan-loss & other provisions which amounted to Rs. 11.3 billion as against Rs. 1.2 billion in the prior year. This is mainly due to default by a single borrower group which has been fully provided for. Therefore, the after-tax profit for the year ended lower by 13.1% against previous year and amounted to Rs. 20.0 billion (2017: Rs. 23.0 billion). This translates into earnings per share of Rs. 9.41 (2017: Rs. 10.82). Pre-tax and after-tax return on average equity stood at 21.8% and 14.7% respectively.

The Bank also recorded a healthy growth in balance sheet size as total assets stood at Rs. 2.8 Trillion depicting a 11.7 % growth YoY. The Bank’s gross loans & advances crossed the Rs. 1 Trillion mark and increased by Rs. 202.5 billion. The Bank’s deposits also crossed Rs. 2 Trillion mark as the same increased by Rs. 284.3 billion during the year. For better liquidity and rate-risk management, the Bank maintains a healthy portfolio of investment in low risk securities.

The CEO apprised the shareholders that 2019 marks the Bank’s 70th year of service to the Nation. NBP is continuously expanding its market outreach through adding to its product range, restructuring its business model, and adopting modern-day delivery strategies. Provision of services through Alternate Delivery Channels and Customer Service Quality are also key focus areas of the Bank. The CEO emphasised for strengthening compliance & controls, upgrading technology infrastructure, digitisation of business, improved customer service and better loan quality.

The shareholders, after detailed deliberations, unanimously approved the Annual Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2018 and all other items on the Agenda of the meeting.

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