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The voice of the valley (Kashmir)

“The children are dying through hunger strikes. The voice of the valley is crying because there is no food or drinking water the bullets rain kissing the hearts of the children. Ibn Adam daughters are violating on the street. The valley’s dream has shattered by Indian political leaders.”

Kashmir is one of the heaviest militarized regions of the world. For over 100 days, the Indian government has imposed a curfew, shut down telecommunications and internet, and arrested political leaders. Children are not allowed to go to their schools. People do not have access to the basic need of life — the Heaven of Earth (Kashmir) is under hellfire. Kashmir needs help. (Shajeel Rehman (a New York based artist)

ACCA’s new certificate PFM qualification to upskill public sector finance professionals

The new Certificate in Public Financial Management (Cert PFM) qualification by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is now available for public sector employees and those looking to work in the sector in future.

The global public sector is changing so it is critical that finance professionals working in the industry can manage it. Whilst the ACCA Qualification is a perfect fit for a career in the public sector, ACCA have developed the Cert PFM to help support and build strong public financial management in response to this demand from the industry.

Cert PFM is designed to equip people with stronger and more relevant budgeting, financial reporting and financial management skills specifically for the public sector. Delivering practical and broad-based knowledge of public financial management, the course covers the foundations of public sector finance and ensures public sector employees have a core understanding of what is involved in using essential information for those in public sector careers.

The course is built around the public financial management cycle including:

  • Planning and budgeting
  • Budget execution
  • Accounting and reporting
  • Audit, governance and oversight

Cert PFM includes both an online course and an assessment and it takes approximately 40 hours to complete.

Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan said, “We work with public sector organisations in Pakistan and across the globe to develop the accountants the fast-changing world needs – accountants who will help to build better societies, economies and nations. Many public sector organisations look to us to keep their teams up-to-date and future ready. They recognise the power of our qualifications and support, both for now and in the future. And this new qualification is another example of our commitment to this important sector.”

Judith Bennett, director of professional qualifications said, “We’re delighted to now offer the Cert PFM qualification worldwide. Given the pace of change and size of expenditure in the public sector, it’s critical that those working in the sector have the right skills to deal with the challenges ahead. We have developed this qualification in response to demand from the public sector and to help support and build strong public financial management. ACCA believes public finance professionals play a role as key enablers and supporters of innovation throughout the public sector.”

Alex Metcalfe, head of public sector policy adds, “ACCA has a long history of involvement in developing the finance profession that the public sector needs. Our 67,000 members and students working in the public sector organisations around the world demonstrates that the ACCA Qualification is fit for the public sector, but our capacity building work highlighted a need for introductory training in PFM. This new Cert PFM will meet that demand and provide public sector employees with the foundations required to excel in the public sector.”

Cert PFM is suitable for new entrants to the public sector, as well as staff with practical experience but without formal professional qualifications, and professional accountants moving into the public sector from the corporate sector or professional practice.

For those that already hold a professional qualification, Cert PFM can be a valuable source of continuing personal development (CPD) for members, offering an opportunity to top up existing competencies with specific knowledge and skills around public financial management.

First Women Bank Limited Declares Rates From 1st Jul To 31st Dec 2019
Declared rates from 1st Jul to 31st  Jul 2019 Declared rates from 1st Aug to 30th Sep 2019 Declared rates from 1st Oct to 17th Oct 2019 Declared rates from 18th Oct to 31st  Dec 2019
Special Notice Time Deposits
7 Days SNTD 1.50% 1.50% 1.50% 1.50%
30 Days 1.50% 1.50% 1.50% 1.50%
PLS Savings 10.25% 11.25% 11.25% 11.25%
Hyper Profit Scheme 10.25% 11.25% 11.25% 11.25%
Term Deposits
1 Month 11.25% 11.25%
3 Months 10.25% 11.30% 11.30% 11.30%
6 Months 10.40% 11.40% 11.40% 11.40%
1 Year 10.75% 11.75% 11.75% 11.50%
2 Years 11.00% 12.00% 12.00% 11.25%
3 Years 11.25% 12.25% 12.25% 11.00%
4 Years 11.50% 12.50% 12.50% 10.75%
5 Year 11.75% 12.75% 12.75% 10.50%
Senior Citizen/Pensioners
1 Year 11.55% 12.55% 12.55% 12.00%
2 Year 11.75% 12.75% 12.75%
Angeline Malik launches short film on child abuse to create awareness

A press conference was held here at Karachi Press Club to launch a campaign against child abuse initiated by actor/producer Angeline Malik to help create awareness against this evil in our society. The event was marked by the screening of promos in Urdu and English of a short film produced by Malik, on the subject.

Video shout-outs by various celebrities who spoke against the cause and also offered solutions to tackle the problem were also shown at the conference. Among those who had recorded their messages were Ushna Shah, Hina Bayat, Saman Ansari, Samina Ahmed, Bushra Ansari, Ahmed Ali Butt, Alyy Khan, Sarwat Gillani, Samiya Mumtaz, Rasikh Ismail, Salma Hasan, Suzain Fatima and Nida Yasir. A number of celebrities were also present in person to raise their voices against this issue and to show solidarity for the cause. Among notable attendees and those who spoke on the occasion other than Malik were Samina Ahmed, Bushra Ansari, Zeba Bakhtiar, Ally Khan, Faraz Khan (Advisory board member of Muhafiz) and Mehnaz Rehman (Auraat Foundation), who strongly advocated that it was everyone’s responsibility to stop child abuse.

Child abuse is one of the most ignored issues in Pakistan despite its crippling effects. The number of reported cases has been increasing annually which is why there is a dire need to take on this issue at a national level, and come up with workable solutions.

BankIslami extends strategic alliance with premier systems

BankIslami Pakistan Limited, one of the leading Islamic banks of Pakistan with a network of 330 branches in 114 cities, has extended its agreement for the year 2020, with Premier Systems (Pvt) Ltd. (Audi in Pakistan), Pakistan’s No. 1 luxury premium automobile brand.

With the successful completion of three years of Alliance, both BankIslami and Audi in Pakistan have reaffirmed their continued commitment to mutually serve the Automobile Industry of Pakistan and offer customized financing packages to Audi customers across the country through their featured product of Auto Finance.

Mr. Bilal Fiaz – Head of Consumer Banking, BankIslami and Mr. Muhammad Yasin Khan – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – Premier Systems (Pvt.) Ltd. (Audi in Pakistan), further fortified this successful partnership by signing the agreement in a meeting held in Karachi.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Bilal Fiaz, remarked “With the growing prosperity of our venture, this signing is another milestone for the organizations as well as the customers who will profit from our unique auto financing solutions.

Speaking at the occasion Mr. Muhammad Yasin Khan, Chief Financial Officer of Premier Systems (Pvt) Ltd, said “Driving away in an Audi has never been more easier. This Strategic Alliance between Bank Islami and Audi in Pakistan will enable us to offer unmatched offers to our valued customers, who can now avail exceptional deals in terms of competitive pricing, fast track processing, waivers in processing charges, priority vehicle delivery and exclusive coverage provided by renowned Takaful companies at competitive premium rates.


Jazz successfully conducts 5g tests

Jazz has successfully tested out the fifth generation of mobile technology. In its effort to lead the digitalization journey in Pakistan, the 5G trials of Jazz aimed to test the improvement in performance of the network as a result of this technology. When launched, 5G will meet the evolving needs of tomorrow’s customers.

These trials were conducted at Jazz’s Digital Headquarters in Islamabad, where average download speeds of 1452 Mbps and upload speed of 68 Mbps was achieved along with successful HD Voice & Video calls.

Jazz CEO Amir Ibrahim, talking about the successful 5G trials, said, “We are pleased with the initial 5G trials and are ready to fast track the technology across Pakistan, whenever the process gets initiated by the government. These trials showcase our commitment towards a digital Pakistan, which is why we have been the frontrunners in deploying the latest mobile technology.”

“Successful conclusion of these 5G trials is a matter of pride for us as we have always strived to provide the latest technologies to the masses,” said Jazz CTO Khalid Shehzad. “Our network is spread throughout Pakistan and once the pre-requisites are set for the commercial launch of 5G in the country, Jazz will ensure no one is left behind in attaining the benefits this next-gen technology will offer.”

Jazz is already Pakistan’s fastest mobile network, as certified by Ookla through their Speedtest Award™ which the operator has won three times in a row. These results were announced after Ookla compared user initiated tests taken on the Speedtest app from all major mobile operators in Pakistan. Moreover, Jazz is also spearheading the implementation of use cases for ecosystem development to benefit the masses.

On the back of these achievements, Jazz is clearly ready to offer 5G’s game-changing potential whenever the government allows for the commercial launch.

Jazz is Pakistan’s largest digital telecommunication company. Serving over 59 million subscribers across the country.

Mutual funds association of Pakistan lauds ‘cost of doing business reduction’

The Board and members of Mutual Funds Association of Pakistan (MUFAP) thank the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and its Policy Board for taking the bold initiative to reduce the cost of doing business for investors in mutual funds via reduction in SECP fee levied on mutual fund investors.

In a letter addressed to the SECP Policy Board, MUFAP shared that in the short span of five months since the introduction of the policy reforms, the industry size has grown by 20% to Rs. 692 billion from Rs. 578 billion whereas the retail investor’s investment size has risen by 24% from around Rs. 200 billion to Rs. 248 billion. Investment in Money Market and Income Funds has rise by 32% and in equity related Funds by 7%.

MUFAP also shared its future plans for increasing the low retail investor base in Pakistan. MUFAP is in the midst of developing a mass scale investor awareness program to educate and create awareness among the general public of benefits of savings via mutual funds. The Industry is also aggressively increasing the number of branches and sales staff to reach out to the retail investors. These will significantly help promote not just mutual fund awareness but also capital markets awareness and contribute to a widening of the capital markets Investor base which is highly necessary t promote a savings culture in the country.

The impressive growth of the mutual funds industry, which is presently, which is presently underway as a result of SECP Policy Reforms, will lead to higher saving and investment rate in the country, which will spur Pakistan’s economic growth rate, leading to higher government tax revenues and employment in the country. Mutual Fund Industry is thankful to SECP Policy Board and SECP for undertaking capital markets reforms, which were overdue for a very long time.

Policy of keeping interest rate at double-digit must change: Mian Zahid

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said the policy of discouraging imports and keeping the interest rate in double-digit should be changed during the new year.

Relaxing import policy and reducing interest rates to single-digit will trigger growth and increase revenue as well as employment in the country, he said.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader existing policies have contracted the industrial sector and overall economy which should be given a chance to progress.

The former minister noted that large scale manufacturing has contracted by eight percent while consumer financing which was Rs81 billion in 2018 has dropped to Rs40 billion in 2019 which indicate reduced demand.

He warned that continuity in existing economic policies will result in a further contraction in the economy which is not in the national interests.

The US-Iran tensions have resulted in increased oil prices while continued tensions will become a nightmare for the oil and gas importing countries, he added.

Mian Zahid Hussain noted that rupee fell by 31.7 percent against the dollar in 2018-19 resulting in serious problems for the business community while it regained some ground in 2019-20 but the pace of recovery is not satisfactory.

He noted that accountability, some judicial decisions and other issues have increased political temperature in the country unnerving the business community while the outcome of economic policies should not be ignored anymore.

He said that the business community is avoiding loans from banks while many of those who have borrowed are defaulting on obligations.

On the other hand, the banking spread which was 450 basis points during the last year has jumped to 622 basis points which is blocking economic development.

NBP partners with worldwide cash express limited

Mr. Rashed A. Al Ansari – General Manager, Worldwide Cash Express Limited (Cash Express) visited National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) on January 7, 2020 for the signing of a Home Remittance Agreement with NBP.

The signing ceremony was held at NBP Head Office, Karachi and was attended by Mr. Rashed A. Al Ansari – General Manager, Worldwide Cash Express Limited, Mr. Saad ur Rahman Khan – SEVP/Group Chief, International, Financial Institutions & Remittances Group and NBP’s Home Remittances team.

Headquartered in Abu Dhabi and present in 60 countries, Cash Express is one of the leading providers of money transfer services with a network of over 200,000 pay-out locations globally.

NBP is one of the largest banks in Pakistan, with 1510+ branches spread across Pakistan. NBP has also entered into an arrangement with Pakistan Post whereby 500 additional locations have been added to its current payout locations to facilitate home remittance payments across Pakistan.

Collaboration with Cash Express will further boost remittances by facilitating both remitter and beneficiary in Pakistan which is a key priority of the Government.

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