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Gas supply situation in city normalized

SSGC categorically dispels the impression created in the media that a low gas pressure situation has developed over the past several days that has severely impacted the supply of gas particularly to the industries in Karachi.

The fact of the matter is that twice since the last five days, overall supply has been affected due to reduced supply from two gas fields, namely Kunar Pasakhi Deep and Naimat Basal fields, due to technical reasons.

On the 14th of September, the Kunar Pasakhi field tripped, reducing its supply to SSGC from the normal 200 MMCFD to 140 MMCFD. Again on Tuesday 17th September, 2019 the Naimat Basal field also tripped and maintained no supply for three hours that caused it to reduce gas supply to SSGC from 285 MMCFD to 240 MMCFD daily average, which in turn affected the system pressures. However, the Company managed load by shutting off supplies to the CNG sector as per load management plan for extra 12 hours on 17th September, 2019 that consequently improved the overall supply situation.

SSGC categorically dismisses the impression that it is causing a low pressure situation in the city when as a matter of fact, the issue is emanating from the supply side. On the contrary, the Company, as always, is playing its part to ensure equitable load management so that no category of customers suffers.

Oxford launches unique compilation of Manto’s writings

Oxford University Press (OUP) organized the launch of its new publication Poora Manto: Tehriron kay Mustanad Mutoon Jild- 4 compiled by Shamsul Haq Usmani. Saadat Hassan Manto made a deep and lasting impact on Urdu literature with his celebrated short stories.

Many of his post-Partition stories centred on the communal horrors of the period. This collection of Manto’s short stories differs from his earlier anthologies in that it contains the notes and references of the compiler in his efforts to ensure the accuracy of the text. The compiler has dug into the historical records to find rare and early editions which he has combined in this volume.

Professor Dr Shamsul Haq Usmani is a renowned academic figure of India. He has been teaching Urdu language at the Department of Urdu, Faculty of Humanities and Languages, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, since 1989. He is the author of six books. His articles have been published in various Indian journals. He has received the Uttar Pradesh Urdu Academy Award and the Delhi Urdu Academy Award. Dr Usmani has been a regular broadcaster at All India Radio.

The event featured an invigorating discussion between Amjad Islam Amjad, the celebrated Urdu poet and playwright; Khalid Sanjrani, Chairperson and Associate Professor, Urdu Department, Government College University; and Nasir Abbas Nayyer, literary critic and author. Raza Naeem, President, Progressive Writers Association, was the moderator of the panel. The conversation highlighted how this volume covers all aspects of Manto’s writings, making it his most complete and authoritative anthology.

Earlier in his welcome address, Fayyaz Raja, Sales Director North, OUP Pakistan, introduced the speakers and the moderator, and spoke about OUP’spublishing programme.

Islamabad literature festival 2019 ‘the focus is tomorrow: reflecting on the past’ ready to be held

The Managing Director of Oxford University Press (OUP), Arshad Saeed Husain, announced that the 6th Islamabad Literature Festival (ILF) will be held on September 27, 28 and 29, 2019 at Hotel Margala, Islamabad. The festival, centered around the theme ‘The Focus is Tomorrow: Reflecting on the Past’, will feature a line-up of over 150 leading Pakistani and international speakers, authors, academics, journalists, and artists. ILF’s programme has been curated by an Advisory Board comprising prominent literary figures such as Muneeza Shamsie, Harris Khalique, Iftikhar Arif, Mujahid Barelvi, Salman Tarik Kureshi, and Tahmina Aziz Ayub.

“Following its tradition, this year’s festival will bring something unique for everyone. Since the first Islamabad Literature Festival in 2013, which drew over 15,000 visitors, the festival has grown tremendously and continuing the heritage of this literary event, OUP expects a footfall of more than 60,000 at this year’s ILF.”

Arshad Husain further disclosed that “Navid Shahzad and Haseena Moin would be the keynote speakers at the ILF inauguration while the closing ceremony would be addressed by Ishrat Husain and Anwar Maqsood. There would be more than 50 sessions with speakers from around eight countries including UK, USA, France, Russia, Sri Lanka, Iran, Germany, and China.”

The 6th edition of the festival will feature talks, interviews, panel discussions, Urdu and English mushaira, sessions on Pashto and Punjabi writings, readings, author signings, performing arts, and documentary screenings. Moreover, around 9 book launches are planned this year which will be a treat for book lovers.

Aamer Hussein, Anna Suvorova, Bettina Robotka, George Fulton, Jochen Hippler, Julien Columeau, PatchamuthuIllangovan, Soniah Kamal, Vafa Yazdan Manesh, and H.E. Yao Jing are some of the international speakers participating in the festival. The local literary luminaries, academics, and intellectuals to be featured in the 6th ILF include Abdul Basit, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Afrasiab Khattak, Amin Gulgee, Arfa Sayeda Zehra, Asad Umar, Asif Yasin Malik, Asghar Nadeem Syed, Athar Abbas, Atiya Khan, Fasi Zaka, Fouzia Saeed, H. M. Naqvi, Hafiz A. Pasha, Haroon Khalid Akhtar, Hina Rabbani Khar, Huma Baqai, Humayun Saeed, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Kishwar Naheed, Maheen Usmani, Moeed Pirzada, Mohammed Hanif, Moneeza Hashmi, Nadeem Farooq Paracha, Nafisa Shah, Nasir Abbas Nayyar, NidaKirmani, Niilofur Farrukh, Noorul Huda Shah, Omar Shahid Hamid, Osman Khalid Butt, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Rasul Bakhsh Rais, Raza Rabbani, Salman Rashid, Sania Nishtar, Shabbar Zaidi, Shahnaz Sheikh, Taha Kehar, and Talat Masood.

Some of the exciting sessions planned for the ILF are: Iftikhar Arif: Life and Work; Kashmir: The Valley Seized; Teen Saltanaton ki Daastan (An Historical Chinese Novel) translated by Zahoor Ahmed; Striking Peace in a Nuclear Environment; Depicting the Woman in Literature and Drama; Pakistani Cinema: The Rise, The Fall…and the Rise Again?; Urdu Main Tareekhi Fiction Nigari: Quratulain Hyder, Abdullah Hussein, Intizar Husain; Satire in the Time of Tabdeeli; 1919: Jallianwala Bagh and the Century that Followed; and Potoharka Adabi Manzarnama. Two documentaries, ‘Indus Blues’ and ‘The QalandarCode’, will also be screened at the festival. Performing arts form an integral part of ILF. This year, the performances include Anand Taandav (Dance of Peace and Understanding) by Iftikhar Masih; 22 Crore: A Tribute to the revolutionary poet Habib Jalib by Dugdugi; Jahan e Sufi (folk and qawwali fusion music) by Bakhshi Brothers; Ghazal Night with Hamid Ali Khan; and stand-up comedy featuring Shafaat Ali.

Arshad Saeed Husain has invited the people of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad and the entire region to attend ILF and join in the festivities. Sponsorship support is being provided by K. Electric, FES, HUBCO, Martin Dow, Tehzeeb Foundation, Embassy of France, US Consulate, Millennium Education, PARCO, British Council, and Goethe Institute. Pathfinder Group is the event’s Security Partner and S. I. Global is the Technology Partner.

Nestlé Pakistan appoints new managing director

Nestlé Pakistan announced a change in its top management with the appointment of Samer Edmond Chedid as the new Managing Director in the country. He took over the responsibilities of Managing Director and CEO of Nestlé Pakistan on August 1 after the departure of Ms Freda Duplan.

Mr Chedid is an accomplished and top performing business leader, having served in Nestlé, in markets across the Middle East and West Africa. He comes to Nestlé Pakistan from Saudi Arabia, where he held the portfolio of General Manager. He has been with Nestlé since 1998. He moved to Nestlé Ghana as Managing Director, where he steered the turnaround of business in Ghana from 2008-2012.

Speaking to the employees of Nestlé Pakistan after taking charge, Mr Chedid said, “Pakistan is one of the world’s leading emerging economies and holds great potential. I am excited to take up this role and explore the country’s dynamic market and the challenges that come with it.” He added further, “Nestlé Pakistan has been and will continue to create shared value for all members of our value chain. We will keep coming up with innovative ways not just of doing business but also improving the lives of communities in which we operate.”

Khushhali Microfinance Bank exceeds annual tree plantation pledge to help the environment

Khushhali Microfinance Bank Limited (KMBL) has planted 11,000 trees across Pakistan as part of its tree plantation drive for 2019. KMBL had pledged to plant 10,000 trees in the country by the end of 2019 to elevate the environmental conditions. However, before even getting close to the year-end, KMBL has surpassed its target.

Initially 6,000 trees were planted in Changa Manga with the help of many staff volunteers from nearby KMBL area branches. As part of the drive, KMBL is responsible of maintaining the growth of trees for over 5 years from start.

Since the past two years, on the occasion of the Bank’s anniversary, a nation-wide tree plantation drive is initiated. This year 5,000 employees participated in this campaign. Each employee is given a plant a tree close to his or her vicinity and to take the responsibility of maintaining it till it grows to produce fruits for public. These fruit growing trees included those of Guavas, Amlok and Jamun. All employees fulfilled the duties given to them to help enrich the environment.

President KMBL, Ghalib Nishtar, expressed his views about the success of the drive “KMBL is proud to be an active participant of such CSR activities to address global issues like pollution and environment that direly need sustainable reforms. Our commitment towards greener and healthier Pakistan is quite evident by our efforts going beyond what we promise and how much we deliver.”

KMBL takes its responsibility towards the natural environment seriously. As such, it has been continuously engaged in CSR efforts to uplift the green spaces. Trees act as the natural air-purifiers and help keeping the environment clean. Therefore, KMBL has taken on the task to help create new forests to purify the environment, maximize the carbon capture, and control the soil erosion. Earlier this year, Khushhali Microfinance Bank Limited also planted trees at Trail 5 with collaboration of Islamabad Wild Life Management Board (IWMB) and sponsored removal of species that were hindering the growth of trees in Margalla Hills National Park.


JS Bank and JS Global dominate financial industry with 10 accolades in 2019

JS Bank, Pakistan’s fastest growing financial institution and JS Global Capital Limited (JSGCL), a JS Bank subsidiary and Pakistan’s flagship equity brokerage and investment banking company have been recognized for their performance at multiple national and international forums.

Amongst its awards, JS Bank numbers Pakistan’s Best Mid-Sized Retail Bank, Pakistan’s Best Consumer Finance Product, and Pakistan’s Best SME Bank received at the Asian Banking & Finance Awards 2019, the “Best Bank for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs)” received at the 2019 Asiamoney Awards and the “Best Payment Technology/Solution Provider” for its Digital Traffic Challan Initiative at the 2019 DIGI Awards.

“This is a record-breaking achievement not just for us but for the entire Pakistani financial industry. This recognition is reflective of the fact that our industry is able to not only meet but exceed high-performance international standards.”, said Basir Shamsie, President and CEO, JS Bank. “We are humbled by the appreciation at these prestigious forums and will continue to build and introduce convenient and affordable products that add value to the lives of our customers.”

On the other front, JS Global, a JS Bank subsidiary also set the bar high at the 16th Annual Excellence Awards Ceremony 2019 hosted by the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society Pakistan where it won an unprecedented record of 5 awards in the categories of Best Equity Brokerage House, Best Economic Research House, Best Transaction, Best Equity Analyst and Best Equity Trader.

During the ceremony Kamran Nasir, CEO JS Global said, “Never before in the history of the CFA Awards has one brokerage firm won these many awards in a single go. We would also like to extend our appreciation to the CFA association for undertaking such initiatives to recognize industry leaders and build market confidence.”

Committed towards their roles as catalysts of progress and prosperity within the national financial industry, JS Bank and JS Global are continuing their journey of impact by providing customers with innovative and value-added financial products and services designed to make their lives simple, easy and convenient.

BankIslami hosts an exclusive corporate dinner for its corporate clients

BankIslami held its annual dinner for its corporate clients at a local Hotel in Lahore. Hold

The dinner was hosted for Bankislami esteemed clientele from all over Punjab. Lahore city customers from all sectors – large corporate, public sector, commercial and SME customers all participated and graced the occasion. Presence of noticeable businessmen from prominent business houses was eminent.

Entire regional and country leadership team of Bankislami was present on the occasion to welcome the distinguished guests and exchange views on economy, business and above all to take important feedback directly from their customers for the betterment of the bank.

The event also provided an excellent opportunity to the customers from divergent sectors to mingle with each other for greater social and business ties.

This was also a perfect stage to showcase the half yearly financial achievements of the Bank. These achievements included over 8 times growth in profit in comparison to the same period last year, rise of 15.8 and 17.8 percent in the deposit and asset base respectively in comparison to the numbers posted in December 2018.

Speaking on the occasion, Syed Amir Ali – President & CEO BankIslami thanked the distinguished audience especially thanking people who travelled from other cities for the event and said: BankIslami is committed for sustainable growth and making major strides towards its achievement. Apart from achieving financial excellence, BankIslami is determined to play a leading role in promoting Islamic banking and finance throughout the country and is continuously working for introducing innovative Islamic products and services for its existing and potential clientele.

Appyversary sale: celebrating one year of the new Daraz app

Daraz, the leading online marketplace in South Asia, is celebrating one year of the new Daraz app with the Appyversary Sale. Live from September 16th to 23rd, the sale celebrates the extensive ground Daraz has covered in the space of one year.

“Over the past year, Daraz has worked tirelessly to enhance customer experience. The launch of the new app was a turning point for us. Since then we have transformed the ecommerce landscape in significant ways and will continue on this path, actively driving further change,” said Ehsan Saya, Managing Director, Daraz Pakistan.

Growing assortment & Shoppertainment

In the past year, the assortment on the Daraz app has grown from 1 million products to 7 million products. Spread out across more than 100 categories, Daraz’s catalogue offers everything from electronics, clothing, FMCGs and even cars. The platform sold its first car in March 2019 and five months later, during the Hari Bari Eid Sale, Daraz’s catalogue came to include cattle, as well.

More than 2 million products in the catalogue are sourced from international vendors and parked under Global Collections.

Over the past year, with innovation such as in-app gamification and features such as Shake Shake DarazMall, has grown to become the first shoppertainment platform in the country. The number of official brand stores on DarazMall has more than tripled since the launch of the new Daraz app – growing from 120 to 400.

Financial Inclusion

Daraz has worked actively towards financial inclusion over the past year, collaborating with leading banks to encourage users to move towards digital payments. With the launch of the Daraz Wallet, the platform witnessed an increase in digital payments from 10% last year to 30% this year. More recently, Easy Monthly Installments were introduced to make shopping on the app more affordable for customers.

Logistics infrastructure

Daraz has invested considerably in infrastructure development. Forty-seven Daraz shops have been set-up in 19 cities across the country and serve as important touch points within the platform’s growing logistics network, at the core of which stand four warehouses, located in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

With the development of Daraz Express (DEX), Pakistan’s first logistics company specifically designed for ecommerce operations, Daraz has been able to reduce delivery time by 1-2 days, resulting in a swifter order fulfillment process.

ACCA is highly regarded by employers in Pakistan
  • 91% of employers agree ‘ACCA is an organisation that champions professionalism and ethics’
  • 91% agree that ‘ACCA shapes the agenda of the profession
  • 87% agree that ‘ACCA is highly regarded in my market
  • 87% agree that ‘ACCA is an innovative and forward-thinking organisation

It is also one figure among many in ACCA’s 2019 employer survey that confirms ACCA’s relevance to the world of business. The respect and trust employers have for the ACCA Qualification and the people who achieve it are higher than they have ever been. This is not just among ACCA approved employers, but across a range of leading businesses around the world and in all sectors – corporate, practice, financial services and public sector.

The research found that employers have a higher than ever preference for recruiting an ACCA accountant, are satisfied with their relationship with ACCA, believe ACCA members bring relevant skills to their business, and are more likely than ever to want their students to study with ACCA.

The ACCA brand commands huge respect and trust among employers because it embraces our changing times, says ACCA chief executive Helen Brand OBE.

Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan, says: ‘We were delighted the survey showed employers appreciate the contribution ACCA and its members in Pakistan make toward building a strong profession and upholding public value and trust. Many employers say ACCA is the leading professional accountancy body, which is a tribute to the abilities and achievements of our members.’

The next generation of professional accountants will increasingly be expected to bring strategic insight as repetitive tasks become more automated. And not only will they need agility and resourcefulness, they must also bring an ethical and human dimension to leadership. Employers recognise that ACCA develops these qualities in its members – 86% agree that ‘the qualification delivers complete finance professionals with capability in finance management and strategic leadership’.

‘The perceptions of our key stakeholders are vital to our success. We have spent 114 years building and strengthening our brand. Since our earliest days, it has been based on enduringly relevant values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, accountability and integrity. We see these values as worth celebrating and promoting, and it seems employers do too – 93% agree that ‘ACCA is a world-class organisation’, said Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan.

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