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Pursukoon holds children’s educational and fun activities at governor house gardens

Children of all ages and sizes could be seen thronging Governor House, Karachi all day, taking part in the many educational and fun activities designed for them by Pursukoon Karachi. The event was meant to provide opportunity to the children of Karachi from all cross sections of society to come together and celebrate the diversity of the city in a secure and beautiful environment.

Various activities took place at the festival’s four pavilions, through the day. These included numerous theatre performances by well-known artistes at Tamasha Ghar pavilion; interactive activities based on scientific principles, latest inventions and environment at Science ke Khel; book swapping, paper making, story reading sessions, singing, and recitation of poems at Aao Suno Kahani; and art and craft activities, building of large murals and exciting installations with communal organization at Funn-Kaar Gali.

Speaking on the occasion, one of the founders and organisers of the festival, Noor Jehan Bilgrami said “Through various creative interactions exploring Karachi’s cultural diversity, monuments, traditional crafts and arts, we hope to create an awareness of the environment, and encourage a sense of ownership of our beautiful city.”

The event will continue for another day, and witness similar activities taking place with adults and children alike participating with great fervour

One more gas thief sentenced 5 year imprisonment

Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has intensified its anti-gas theft operations in Sindh and Balochistan, as part of its Operation Grift campaign. In the latest round of raids conducted by Security Services and Counter Gas Theft Operations (SS and CGTO) and Customer Relations Department teams, a number of registered and unregistered customers were caught involved in underground and overhead theft from main supply lines in localities in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana and Quetta. The teams removed clamps, confiscated rubber pipes, filed cases and raised claims against the theft cases.

Meanwhile, SS and CGTO has continued with aggressive prosecution to put the culprits behind bars. In Karachi, two gas theft miscreants, Meanwhile, Gas Utility Court in Quetta sentenced gas theft accused Haris Khan to 5 years imprisonment and Rs. 1 lakh fine. A number of miscreants were also arrested in Karachi and Larkana and will now undergo trial.

The Company’s Joint load survey team comprising of the representatives of Measurement, Sales and SS & CGTO department have been regularly carrying out detailed inspection of a number of industries to check for any violation of Gas Sales Agreements and meter size.

Since 2018, SSGC has detected 121,975 theft cases that has helped to save gas volume of 9,800 MMCFD (Rs. 6,335 million in monetary terms). More than 20 individuals have so far been convicted with more than 380 trials in progress in gas utility courts.

Information technology to quote prices in dollar to overcome currency fluctuation

Major players of the Information Technology (IT) industry have decided to quote prices in US dollars considering the recent economic shifts Pakistan has been going through. A letter is circulated and signed by top players of the IT infrastructure industry and they have disseminated the notification to their customers as well informing them about this change.

The step has been taken considering the recent economic conditions due to which the whole industry has suffered heavily on account of rupee devaluation. IT Infrastructure industry is an import based sector, hence heavily dependent on the imports and exchange rates. As all the players are importing their services and products in US dollar and being paid in Pakistan rupee PKR, they are facing huge losses because the exchange rate is fluctuating and the difference is getting wider. To mitigate huge losses, it seems logical that the IT industry quotes the prices in dollars.

All stakeholders have been informed via direct letters that the IT hardware and software infrastructure industry will quote prices of products only in US dollars, which will be payable in Pakistani Rupees using the interbank conversion rate as on the date of payment.

The letter has been signed by the respective CEOs of all the major IT infrastructure companies of the country. All the players who have signed up on the new arrangement approves that this is a necessary move considering the currency fluctuation and value of imports.

In order to develop and work towards a thriving tech based economy, it is extremely important that the tech companies are moving forward in a progressive manner. Pakistan is still lagging behind in terms of technological developments and it is imperative that a favourable business environment is created for the IT industry. Addressing the issues would not only help the IT infrastructure industry to remain sustainable, but would also enable the companies to provide uninterrupted services to the customers.

UIT joins hands with Imran crown cork for career opportunities of students and alumnus

Pakistan’s premium technology institution, Usman Institute of Technology, has partnered with Imran Crown Cork (Pvt) Ltd for enhanced career opportunities for its students and alumnus. The MoU signing ceremony took place at the UIT campus in the presence of top management from ICC and UIT.

Through the partnership, UIT will be in close collaboration with ICC for industrial visits, recruitment drives, internship opportunities, and job placements for its students and graduates. Imran Crown Cork (Pvt) Ltd – which is a group of companies that includes the Ebrahim Group, Orient textile, and Igloo – will prove to be a good platform for UIT students to kick-start or advance their careers given the ICC’s large scale and industry dominance.

“We are always on the lookout for great career opportunities for our students and alumni, and partnership with ICC is a prominent development on that front,” said Director UIT Zahir Ali Syed. “We hope that our collaboration with Imran Crown Cork (Pvt) Ltd will improve career prospects of our students while also helping ICC meet its growth targets with our quality human resource.”

ICC is one of the biggest suppliers of crowns and closures to the beverage industry in Pakistan. The company has been in this business for the last 30 years and has the likes of Pepsi and Coca Cola in its extensive clientele. ICC supports the bottling industry and its customers with innovative solutions, latest technology process development, prime quality raw materials, and excellent after sales service.

USAID delegation visits NBP’S head office on revolving fund account

The Director Finance, Chief Financial Advisor, USAID, along with their team visited National Bank of Pakistan, Head Office. During their visit, the team briefed the USAID delegation about the system developed by NBP, under the guidance of State Bank of Pakistan; for handling of revolving fund account maintained by USAID in NBP branches. The Director Finance USAID, Ms. Charline Eastin, expressed satisfaction over the newly developed application which will reduce turnaround time and standardize the statement of account of USAID across NBP network. State Bank of Pakistan, National Bank of Pakistan and USAID have developed a combined training program for potential users of the system. USAID is currently working on multiple initiatives in Pakistan in education, health, governance and Social sectors.

Nayapay, an upcoming EMI, receives in-principle approval from SBP

Taking a major step forward in digitally transforming the economy, the State Bank of Pakistan has issued NayaPay (Pvt) Ltd, In-Principle approval to operate as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI).

As an EMI, NayaPay will enable Pakistanis to open E-Money accounts and make hassle-free digital payments to each other and to businesses. NayaPay places great emphasis on customer convenience and has partnered with leading banks and other aggregators to facilitate users with multiple avenues for cash withdrawal, loading and bill payment. Users will have ready access to their funds through the NayaPay app and associated debit card, accepted at any ATM across Pakistan as well as at numerous retailers. Users will also be able to pay NayaPay merchants instantly from their mobile phones using secure EMVCo. QR codes.

Danish A. Lakhani, CEO, NayaPay said: “E-Money will make financial services simpler, more convenient and accessible to the Pakistani user – the needs of whom have been overlooked for far too long. As a home-grown platform, NayaPay will continue to drive innovation and iterate to best address specific pain points of local users and businesses while strictly following international AML and CFT guidelines.”

The In-Principle approval, subject to terms and conditions mentioned therein, allows NayaPay to commence the pilot phase of transactions in a controlled environment and under the SBP’s supervision to seek approval for the commercial launch of its services.

Jazzcash introduces in-app bus ticketing feature

JazzCash, Pakistan’s fastest growing digital financial service provider, and Bookme, a leading e-ticketing platform for transport and entertainment, have launched Bus Ticketing services to JazzCash customers across Pakistan.

This service allows travelers to log on to their JazzCash app and complete end-to-end bus ticket booking for their journey. Users can use their mobile account balance to pay for the ticket and with real-time integration; they will be issued a ticket instantly, without the need to stand in queues.

Mariam Hussain Randhawa, Head of Consumer Products at JazzCash, commented on this partnership, “JazzCash is continuously expanding its offerings for its user base and is ensuring that their payment journey remains easy and seamless. This partnership with Bookme is another step towards realizing our vision of bringing ease in the life of Pakistanis. The extraordinary growth of our platforms is testament to the approval of our offerings.”

Faizan Aslam, CEO Bookme, remarked, “As the world shifts towards digitization and online payment services, customers demand greater convenience in terms of payment solutions. BookMe has disrupted the E-ticketing space in Pakistan to offer greater user experience to all customers and is constantly innovating on that front.

JazzCash is the leading digital payment services providers in the country and we are thrilled to partner with it to provide seamless online ticketing to all JazzCash users across Pakistan.

JazzCash Mobile Account is increasingly becoming popular in providing digital financial services to Pakistanis from all walks of life. With a simplified USSD interface and Mobile App that is available for both iOS and Android devices, the account can be accessed anytime, anywhere by customers across the country who can deposit and withdraw cash from over 80,000 plus JazzCash Agents. Since JazzCash app is zero-rated for Jazz Customers, customers can now also book their bus tickets without any data charges.

Bookme is among the largest e-commerce platforms in the country in terms of digital transaction flow as it is completely cashless. Bookme’s growth trajectory is well positioned to mimic the digital adoption curve in Pakistan.


International conference on Ijarah to be held in Dubai
Islamic leasing (Ijarah) innovative products can boost financial inclusion and out-reach: zubair mughal

International Conference on Islamic Leasing (Ijarah) will convene in Dubai-UAE on 14th-15th October, 2019 to explore and discuss innovative products of leasing under Shariah laws and financial inclusion strategies that can create clear pathways for growth and development of Islamic banking and finance industry. This Apex event is organized by AlHuda CIBE in Association with Uzbekistan Lessor Association and in partnership with multilateral organization for the Development of the Private Sector, ICD-IsDB. ICD-IsDB is one of the premier Islamic multilateral financial institution working for the development of the private sector including Ijarah industry.

Delegates from more than 25 countries will be participating in this prestigious event and eminent international speakers will be addressing in the event. Majority of the speaker are industry leaders and experts. AlHuda CIBE is striving for development of Islamic finance industry worldwide from last 14 years by providing advisory, consultancy, research and capacity building services and organized 7 annual events in different countries of the world. This event helps the industry practitioners to join the common platform and strengthen the networking for industry development in true and innovative ways.

Mr. Muhammad Zubair Mughal, the Chief Executive Officer of AlHuda CIBE said that International Conference on Islamic Leasing (Ijarah) will explore how new and effective strategies (according to Shariah compliant procedures) be formulated for economic sustainability and growth.

According to Mr. Mughal Ijarah (Islamic Leasing) have 24% substantial shares in Islamic finance industry followed by the dominant Murabaha (cost plus profit) product with the shares of 48% in global Islamic finance industry as mode of finance. While the Diminishing Musharkah (home financing) have its shares about 14%, Salam and Istisna (advance sale) have 5%, meanwhile Mudarbah and Musharkah (partnership based products) have about 2% and rest is belong to the other Islamic financing products.

Ijarah is very convenient product to launch in those jurisdictions where there is no proper legal and regulatory environment available to facilitate Islamic banking and financial products, he added. He argued that due to this feature Ijarah products can be introduced effectively and efficiently in European and American financial markets without introducing any additional legal and regulatory framework for enabling environment for Islamic finance products. By having Ijarah products in Weston conventional financial market, we can boost Islamic financial products a rapid pace and the overall share of Islamic finance can be reached at $3.0 trillion by the end of 2020. He also mentioned that Ijarah is a pure Islamic product and the leasing products were designed on the basis of Ijarah in 17th century to avoid the taxation and facilitate shipping industry.

While narrating the theme and core purpose of the first conference of its kind in Islamic banking and finance market, Mr. Muhammad Zubair resonated his thoughts that economic prosperity and well-being massively depends upon banking and financing sector in any country around the world. It is also noteworthy that those sectors are trailing forward. In this connection the Islamic Banking and Islamic Financing sectors have shown tremendous emergence globally by double digit growth from last several years. In order to include the people financially in Muslim and non-Muslim countries, a proper platform is needed to execute, valuing their cultural and social values, which is possible only through Islamic financing. Ijarah Sukuks are also one of its kind Islamic bonds with 157 issues are at the third position after Mudarbah and Murabaha Sukuk issues. The purpose of this conference is to gather the stakeholders under one platform, to find out the remedy to the financial potential problems to give a strong support to rapidly increasing Islamic finance industry. During the conference large variety of topics will be covered including; Islamic leasing (Ijarah), Financial Inclusion, Innovative product development, investment opportunities, Shariah Principles and General Economic Development.

The conference will be followed by One Day “Post Event Workshop on Islamic Leasing” dated October 15, 2019. This Workshop will cover a variety of allied topics.

Daraz announces initiatives to further empower sellers at 4th annual summit

Daraz, Pakistan’s leading online marketplace, hosted its 4th annual Seller Summit in Lahore on 29th September 2019. The event was attended by 2,500 sellers.

Bjarke Mikkelsen, CEO Daraz Group, addressing the sellers, spoke about the milestones achieved by Daraz over the past year and where they stand on their mission to make it easy to do business anywhere in the era of digital economy. He highlighted the contributions marketplace sellers have made towards the platform’s growth.

“In this past year we have rolled out a variety of features on the Daraz Seller APP to empower our sellers. The direct engagement between customers and sellers has been one of the key drivers of growth for the ecommerce industry,” said Mikkelsen.

A number of forthcoming initiatives were announced at the seller summit:

  • In October, Daraz is launching Forree, a hyper-local delivery model, for same day deliveries in major cities.
  • With the launch of DExports, a collaborative project with Alibaba, Daraz is providing complete support to sellers who wish to list their products on Alibaba.com and reach a global customer base.
  • Facilitation centers have been set up in 7 cities where Daraz agents will provide assistance to new sellers from the point of onboarding till they receive their first 60 orders.
  • Daraz Service Marketplace will be launched to assist sellers in improving their online retail businesses. They will be provided services in photography, design, advertising and packaging. Through the initiative, Daraz hopes to empower local freelance photographers and advertisers by creating business opportunities for them.

Empowering Daraz’ 30,000 marketplace sellers is the key to sustaining 100%+ annual growth of the industry over the coming years. Owners of small and medium enterprises comprise 95% of the seller community.

“The seller summit is integral to Daraz because it focuses on training sellers to source items, drive competitiveness, generate attractive content, and fulfill orders,” said Ehsan Saya, Managing Director, Daraz Pakistan. “Successfully achieving these fundamentals is the crux of e-commerce and Daraz ensures this through its various initiatives,” he added.

Daraz is already gearing up for the mega 11.11 sale event and the seller summit serves as an important avenue to engage the seller community that is provided with trainings on how to use the best-in-class technology that they will have access to during the sale.

SSGC continues to patronize 25 deaf children of fesf under its CSR program

Under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, few years back, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) took up the responsibility of supporting 25 deaf students by funding the entire yearly expenses related to their education. These 25 deaf children enrolled in Family Educational Services Foundation (FESF’s) Rasheedabad Campus, near Tando Allahyar belong to lesser privileged communities who were not able to continue their education due to lack of resources.

To present the facilitation cheque for these 25 deaf students, SSGC’s Corporate Communication Department team lead by its General Manager Shahbaz Islam last week visited one of FESF’s school in Karachi. FESF’s Director Ms. Anita Florijn gave a comprehensive presentation of foundations’ functioning and later took the SSGC team on a guided tour of the school where not only conventional education is being imparted but special emphasis is being given on vocational education for making these students self-reliant, once they step into practical fields.

SSGC’s team noted the exemplary level of commitment of teachers, with mostly deaf themselves imparting quality education with smiling faces in sign language. The team was highly impressed to see beautiful paintings and various articles artistically created by the deaf students through clay.

Mr. Islam while expressing his views lauded the committed efforts of FESF and said that it was a matter of soul satisfaction for him and his team to observe such high level of dedicated services for the lesser privileged ones. He said that SSGC takes pride in collaborating with NGOs like FESF, under its CSR program.

Ms. Florijn thanked SSGC for its continued support and patronage for these 25 deaf students and looked forward for a long-lasting relationship between the two organizations. SSGC’s CSR team comprised of Dy. General Manager Salman A. Siddiqui, Dy. Managers, Syed Irtaza Raza and Sadaf Abbas, Executive Zubia Sadiq and MTO Aamnah Khalid.

Pakistan Advertising Association names newly-elected CEC & Office-bearers

The Pakistan Advertising Association (PAA) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 28th September, 2019 to announce its election results for the year 2019-2020 and honor the newly-elected Central Executive Committee (CEC) and Office bearers of PAA for the year 2019-2020.

Mr. Waqar H. Haidri – Group Chairman of the Oktopus Group has been elected as the new Chairman of PAA, while Mr. Jawad Humayun – Chairman of Channel 7 Communications (Pvt) Ltd is the new Senior Vice Chairman and Mrs. Seema Jaffer — Chief Executive Officer of Bond Advertising (Pvt) Ltd won the election for the new Vice Chairperson.

All the newly elected members expressed their gratitude to the advertising, media and communications industry, for the confidence placed in their abilities and said that they are inspired and fully committed to serve the profession with the best of their abilities. After the appointment of these new members, a standing ovation was given to the outgoing Office Bearers for the preceding year 2018-19, to appreciate their hard work and remarkable contributions towards resolving the issues faced by the advertising agencies and accelerating the progress of this industry.

After these elections, PAA’s new Central Executive Committee will comprise of the following distinguished members; Ahmed Hussain Kapadia – Managing Director Synergy Group, Nadeem Akbar — Chief Executive Officer of Midas Communications Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, M. Hassan Ansari — Executive Director of Argus Advertising (Pvt) Ltd, Brig. (Retired) M. Zubair Rehan – Chief Executive Officer of Creative Junction (Pvt) Ltd, Wasiq Ali Khan — Chief Executive Officer of Manhill Advertising & Marketing (Pvt) Ltd, Syed Ali Raza — Managing Director of Adetude (Pvt) Ltd, Kanwar M. Rashid — Chief Operating Officer of Time & Space Media (Pvt) Ltd and Sohail Aziz — Chief Executive Officer of Message Communications, Tabish Waqar — Chief Executive Officer of Spider 360 Media (Pvt) Ltd. Mrs. Fatima Kisat — Chief Executive Officer of Mediad Communications (Pvt) Ltd and Bilal Tanveer — Executive Director of Maxim Advertising Co. (Pvt) Ltd.

ACCA and KTBA sign MoU to strengthen professional tax practice

The two organisations ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), formalising the commitment to working together to further the tax practice and profession in Pakistan. Specific areas of cooperation include achieving and promoting the highest professional, ethical and governance standards, upholding public interest, building tax culture and citizenship, and to support the taxation practice and profession by creating both capacity and capability.

The MoU was signed by KTBA President Mohammad Rehan Siddiqui, and the head of ACCA Pakistan, Sajjeed Aslam, who was in Karachi meeting with key stakeholders.

Recognising the value of promoting mutual cooperation for the advancement of their respective members, it was also agreed to make it easier for ACCA members to acquire the membership of KTBA.

Head of ACCA Pakistan, Sajjeed Aslam says that ACCA is incredibly excited to partner with KTBA and they will actively work together in producing valuable thought leadership for the policy makers. “We look forward to joint initiatives that will help to grow the national economy and support compliance with national and global standards and ethical practices. ACCA’s unique footprint of 104 offices around the world provides ACCA members and staff with access to a wealth of global resources and professional insights with which to support national stakeholders and partners. We believe that this is the start of an invaluable partnership.”

KTBA President, Mohammad Rehan Siddiqui says that it is indeed a matter of pride for KTBA to ink out the MoU with an organisation of international outreach. He showed his deep interest that membership of KTBA will reap benefits with the international experience of ACCA on the subjects of mutual interest. He also ensured the support of Bar to ACCA in its endeavour towards promoting tax profession and practice in the country.

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