ISLAMIC VALUES IN TELECOM DEVICES

SYED ALAMDAR ALI
HAILEY COLLEGE OF BANKING & FINANCE LAHORE

Mar 03 - 09, 2008

It's over forty years since the dreams of thinking machines and post-industrial cornucopia gripped the world. Thinking about what has happened over the last four decades, this proposition seems counter-intuitive. After all, the international political and economic system has gone through a process of radical restructuring. The cold war ended. The Russian empire collapsed. American hegemony has declined. Europe became a single trading zone. East Asia has rapidly industrialized. Electoral democracy became the dominant form of politics. Consequently Economic globalization has opened limits for international autonomy.

The Islamic world also could not survive from the impact of the machines with artificial intelligence. A very recent example of it is the ilkone phones from ilkone mobile telecommunications, a company which has its head office in UAE. This product has several unique features duly certified by leading Islamic Schools of Thoughts like Al-Azhar University Egypt. The name "ilkone" is derived from the Arabic word meaning "universe".

Its salient features include:

* Provides automatic precise prayer times anywhere in the world. An alarm option can be set to sound before and after the call to prayer (Azan) and can comprise the actual voice of complete Azan; can be tailored to your personal preference.

* Establishes Qibla directions for more than 5,000 locations in the world. To do this, users select the country and city where they are in, and the phone will automatically point towards Mecca.

* Contains the full text of the Holy Quran with English translations, which are fully authenticated by Al-Azhar of Cairo.

* Has other useful feature, which is the Hijri Calendar Converters.

However, the developments such as these have been a part of the history. Every day we find a new invention that astonishes our imagination! Richard Barbrook of University of West Minster has expressed this view in his article "Imaginary futures: frozen and fluid time" in the following words:

"In the prophecies of artificial intelligence and the information society, ideology is used to warp time. The importance of a new technology lies not in what it can do in the here and now, but in what more advanced models might be able to do one day. The present is understood as the future in embryo - and the future illuminates the potential of the present. Every step forward in computing technology is further progress towards the final goal of artificial intelligence. The prophecy of the information society comes closer to fulfillment with the launch of each new piece of software and hardware. The present already contains the future and this future explains the present. What is now is what will be one day. Contemporary reality is the beta version of a science-fiction dream: the imaginary future."

INDUS MOTOR REDUCES VEHICLE PRICES

Indus Motor Company has reduced the prices of its vehicles following the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) notification of February 21, 2008 [SRO # 169(I) 2008], which has temporarily suspended the 2.5% Withholding Tax for a period of two months, commencing 21 February 2008 until 20 April 2008.

The company's revised ex-factory prices for orders of Corolla and Cuore vehicles placed during this period are as follows:

COROLLA

CUORE

Xli

910,000

CL

392,000

GLi

999,000

CL CNG

434,000

Altis MT

1,272,000

CX

454,000

ALtis AT

1,359,000

CX Met

459,000

2D

1,072,000

CX AT

484,000

2DSE

1,155,000

CX AT Met

489,000

2DSN

1.319,000

CX CNG

494,000

   

CX CNG Met

499,000

The domestic automobile industry which had showed impressive growth rates for last several years suffered its first half year drop in volume since 2001 primarily due to the uncertainty emanating from the political environment in the country and the imposition of 2.5% withholding tax from September 2007. The recent decision to temporarily suspend the 2.5% Withholding Tax is a welcome step and the auto industry hopes that this decision is permanent.


VSS COSTS PTCL RS40 BILLION FOR RETIREMENT OF 28423 EMPLOYEES

AMANULLAH BASHAR

Though the one time overheads worth Rs40 billion will erode the income of the PTCL which has accepted applications for 28,423 employees under Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) yet this will strengthen the profitability of company in the long run.

With total cost of VSS estimated to be PRs35billion, which has been further inflated to

Rs40 billion by PRs3-4bn for non-cash expenses.

The PTCL has charged only Rs15billion to the government at this stage it is learnt. It is estimated that PTCL's operating margins to improve by 1,100-1,200bp next year due to savings on salary expense as the cost of salaries constitute 42% of PTCL operating cost sources said.

The VSS has been one of the key restructuring initiatives undertaken by PTCL post privatization and with booking of the cost in the second quarter of financial year 2008.

PTCL, it may be recalled had a massive strength of workforce of around 65000 which is now reduced almost by 50 percent. It is yet to be seen whether the management was satisfied with the present strength or there might be more lay offs in future!.