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January 15, 2021

Gwadar Port development continues to advance: Cheng Xizhong

Gwadar Port development continues to advance: Cheng Xizhong

Gwadar Port development continues to advance: Cheng Xizhong

BEIJING (App - 14 Jan 2021): The development of Gwadar Port is forcefully driving the economic development of Balochistan and even Pakistan as a whole.

Moreover, Gwadar Port will become the nearest sea port for Afghanistan, Tajikistan and other Central Asian inland countries, and become a regional logistics and shipping center.

Gwadar Port will also become an important logistics, trade, emerging industries, science and technology, culture and education center in southwest Pakistan, Cheng Xizhong, visiting professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law said on Thursday.

On January 6, President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi visited Gwadar and underlined the need to utilize Gwadar Port free zone area for transit trade with regional countries including Afghanistan.

At a briefing on progress work about the master plan of Gwadar City and operationalization of Gwadar Port, the president said that the speedy flow of traffic at Gwadar Port must be ensured.

He urged the authorities to accelerate development activities and remove all hindrances in this regard through consensus-building and consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

He particularly thanked the Chinese Government for constructing state-of-the-art China Business Centre (CBC) in Gwadar.

President Dr. Arif Alvi’s visit has fully demonstrated that the Pakistani leadership attaches great importance to continuously promoting the construction of Gwadar Port, a shining pearl of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said in his article published by China Economic Net (CEN).

To speed up the construction of the related projects in Gwadar Port, relevant departments of China and Pakistan held the fifth meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) through video link on November 30, 2020, in which both sides reviewed progress on projects related to Gwadar Port, road and air infrastructure, provision of water supply and sanitation facilities.

Since early 2020, China and Pakistan have jointly strived to overcome the impact of novel coronavirus pneumonia and promote the stable and healthy construction and operation of the series projects in Gwadar.

Relevant Chinese enterprises have undertaken an enormous amount of work in the fields of joint operations against the pandemic and social livelihood, and won wide acclaim and appreciation from all walks of life in Gwadar. Gwadar Port has become a bright spot of successfully balancing pandemic prevention and project construction during the CPEC development in 2020.

Now in Gwadar Port, five container cranes have been added. A stack yard of 100,000 square meters has been built. The seawater desalination equipment and container scanning devices have been added, and the port function has been fully restored. At the moment, the terminal can accommodate two 50,000 DWT freighters at the same time, and can handle bulk cargo, container and roll on-roll off cargo, with full operation capacity.

Telecommunication Authority (PTA) issues statement on WhatsApp privacy policy

Telecommunication Authority (PTA) issues statement on WhatsApp privacy policy

Telecommunication Authority (PTA) issues statement on WhatsApp privacy policy

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Wednesday issued a statement regarding WhatsApp's new terms of service following growing concern regarding the messaging service.  

In a series of Tweets, the telecom regulator shared a clarification by Facebook and WhatsApp in view of the "concerns by general public".

The PTA stated that WhatsApp has announced that the privacy policy will come into effect on February 8, of this year.

"The rationale for the changes in the WhatsApp privacy policy is to make it easier for people to both make a purchase and get help from a business directly on WhatsApp," explained the PTA citing the messaging service. 

The authority assured the citizens that the new terms of service "do not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family. It added that WhatsApp remains end-to-end encrypted.

"WhatsApp shares certain categories of data - including account registration information (e.g. phone number), how users interact with others (including businesses), and the user’s IP address-with Facebook for purposes such as promoting safety and integrity, fighting spam improving infrastructure & delivery systems, & providing integrations which enable users to connect their WhatsApp experiences with other Facebook Company Products and personalizing content (including ads & friend suggestions) across the Facebook Company Products," said the PTA quoting the company. 

The regulator citing information from WhatsApp said that through the new terms of service WhatsApp is making it easier for people to both make a purchase and get help from a business by communicating directly on WhatsApp. 

realme manifested to improve picture quality through innovation by introducing 64MP camera

realme manifested to improve picture quality through innovation by introducing 64MP camera

realme manifested to improve picture quality through innovation by introducing 64MP camera

realme has launched some best camera phones in the market. They have matched all the requirements of the customers. The increasing quality and features have threatened the competition as well. realme has constantly improved and advanced the camera pixels in their mobile phones. Every year, they introduce remarkable mobile phones that focused on providing innovative solutions for a top-quality camera. The journey of realme regarding transformation from 48MP to 64MP camera is inspiring. realme 5 Pro had two variants that had a 48MP camera which dominated the markets. Then came along realme XT, X3, 7 Pro, and 7i. These mobile phones had 64 MP cameras which established new standards in the market.

The realme 5 Pro had two variants that supported a 48MP AI quad-camera. It had a 119° ultra-wide-angle lens that enhanced the quality of the phone. It proved to be an amazing addition that was loved by the users. It added value to the quality of the camera as well. It was powered by the Sony IMX 586 sensor which resulted in ultra-high resolution. Also, it at F1.8 large aperture that increases the technical depth of the product. Photography enthusiasts benefitted from these features. It had amazing sensors and large pixels. In addition, there was a super clear nightscape feature that created high-quality pictures even in low-light areas.

In a short time, the shift from 48MP to 64MP camera jolted the market. People eagerly anticipated its arrival and after its launch, it fulfilled all their expectations. The realme XT had a 64MP camera which had ultra-clarity and flagship-level sensors. The camera was an AI quad-camera, ultra-wide-angle with a macro lens. It can take 9216×6912 ultra-detailed photos. It produced 119° ultra-wide angle and 1.5 times wider view. Another 64MP camera mobile phone was the realme X3 which had all the above-mentioned features but had a spectacular 60x Super Zoom camera with a periscope zoom lens.

Another exquisite mobile phone was the realme 7 Pro which had a 64MP camera with an ability to capture amazing pictures in low light. Also, it had 3 fun filters (cyberpunk, modern gold, and flamingo) which appealed to the general audience. Furthermore, the realme 7i also had a 64MP camera which had night filters and Super NighScape features. It has a UIS max video stabilization and cinema mode.

These mobile phones illustrate the innovative journey of realme from augmenting the camera quality from 48MP to 64MP. The plethora of features and AI inclusion has further improved the value of the camera. Hence, realme strives for betterment through innovation and fulfill customer needs.

TEVTA Initiates Pakistan's 1st ISIC Duly Endorsed By UNESCO: Ali Salman

TEVTA Initiates Pakistan's 1st ISIC Duly Endorsed By UNESCO: Ali Salman

TEVTA Initiates Pakistan's 1st ISIC Duly Endorsed By UNESCO: Ali Salman

LAHORE, (App - 14th Jan, 2021): Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) Chairperson Ali Salman Siddique on Thursday said that TEVTA initiated Pakistan's first International Students Identity Card (ISIC) duly endorsed by UNESCO for its students,faculty members for financial inclusion, traceability and international transactions through Bank Accounts/Wallets.

While addressing a meeting at TEVTA Secretariat, Ali Salman said that these digital cards would enable TEVTA students to make domestic and international payments through this Union Pay Powered Cards which would aid in registering digital economic footprints and contribute in national economy.

He further added that TEVTA also inked a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ISIC Pakistan to provide 200 cards initially as pilot project with rest over 250,000 students and faculty to be benefited in later stages.

He said that the card would provide discounts in nine different fields including education, travel, entertainment, food, electronics and health facilities for students of TEVTA in Pakistan.

Chairperson further said that Pakistan was 4th largest freelancing community in the world with TEVTA contributing through various e-learning demand based short courses to facilitate youth for self employment and empowerment opportunities and these cards would facilitate them through international transactions.

A $12 billion loss for 2020, Delta Air Lines is cautious in early 2021

A $12 billion loss for 2020, Delta Air Lines is cautious in early 2021

A $12 billion loss for 2020, Delta Air Lines is cautious in early 2021

WASHINGTON (AP 14 Jan 2021): Delta Air Lines closed the books on a disastrous 2020 with a comparatively small fourth-quarter loss, and executives expect a few more rocky months before — they hope — widespread coronavirus vaccinations and testing might salvage something of the upcoming summer travel season.

Delta on Thursday reported a quarterly loss of $755 and $12.4 billion in losses for all of 2020. It is the largest annual loss in the history of the airline, which dates to the 1920s, and the global pandemic ended a decade in which Delta churned out a profit each and every year.

The fourth-quarter numbers likely would have been worse but for a December increase in air travel that likely contributed to another surge in virus infections as millions crossed the country to spend time with family and friends during the holidays.

Delta is the first major U.S. airline to report year-end financial results and the numbers suggest more big losses to come as other carriers post quarterly results. U.S. air travel in the fourth quarter was down more than 60% compared with the previous year, as travel restrictions and fear of contracting the virus kept most travelers grounded.

Much like most of last year, the 2021 outlook for Delta and other airlines is intertwined with how quickly the United States and other nations can vaccinate enough of their citizens against the coronavirus so that travel restrictions can be eased.

Delta predicts that first-quarter revenue will fall 60% to 65% from the same period in 2019 — almost the same as the 65% decline in the fourth quarter. It expects to lose $10 million to $15 million a day in the next three months. After that, however, Delta sees things getting.

CEO Ed Bastian is sticking to a prediction that Delta will reach break-even in the second quarter.

“Hopefully the vaccines will be distributed at a much heightened level, that the virus will be much more contained, and that people will be ready to get on with their lives,” Bastian said.

People will soon be planning summer vacations and, Bastian said in an interview, Delta expects bookings “to start opening up again.”

However, international travel and business trips, two lucrative sources of revenue for the Atlanta airline and its rivals, are expected to recover more slowly than less-profitable domestic leisure travel.

Bastian said he expects that international travel this summer will be better than 2020, “a very low bar,” but will take another 12 to 18 months to fully recover. And by the second half of this year, business travel will still be only 25% to 50% of what it used to be, he said.

So far in January, air travel in the U.S. is down nearly 60% from a year ago. While that is a huge improvement over last April, when travel fell 95%, public health officials are again asking people to avoid travel.

Christmas and New Year’s gatherings might have contributed to a recent increase in reported cases of COVID-19. The seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S. rose over the past two weeks from about 182,000 to 249,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Excluding some one-time gains, Delta’s fourth-quarter loss amounted to $2.53 per share. That was close to Wall Street expectations. Analyst polled by FactSet were looking for a per-share loss of $2.50.

Revenue plunged to $3.97 billion from $11.44 billion a year earlier, when the pandemic was just beginning to affect U.S. travel. The figure was $30 million more than expected in the FactSet survey. Service between the U.S. and both Asia and Europe were particularly hard hit, down nearly 90%.

The average flight was 42% full in the last quarter compared with 86% a year earlier.

Delta slashed its flight schedule, which helped it save $1.3 billion on fuel. Buyouts and early retirements allowed the company to cut spending on wages and benefits by $1 billion.

For all the grim travel statistics since the pandemic started, there is less talk lately of possible bankruptcy filings by U.S. carriers. Helped by two rounds of government aid, plus billions more from issuing new debt, Delta ended 2020 with $16.7 billion in liquidity.

Delta shares rose rose almost 4% at the opening bell.

North Korea unveils 'world's strongest weapon' at military parade

North Korea unveils 'world's strongest weapon' at military parade

North Korea unveils 'world's strongest weapon' at military parade

Wearing a giant furry hat, black leather jacket and a beaming smile, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un introduced “the world’s strongest weapon” – a new submarine-launched ballistic missile – at a nighttime parade on Thursday in Pyongyang.

The display of North Korea’s military might followed a rare congress of the ruling Workers' Party, during which leader Kim denounced the United States as his country's “foremost principal enemy” and vowed to strengthen the North’s nuclear war deterrent.

On Friday, the reclusive regime’s state media released 100 photos of a mass celebration of the national armory, including tanks and rocket launchers, all flanked by rows of marching soldiers, noticeably not wearing masks. Military aircraft were illuminated by LED lights as they flew overhead in formation.

“They’d like us to notice that they’re getting more proficient with larger solid rocket boosters,” tweeted Ankit Panda, a North Korea expert and author of ‘Kim Jong Un and the Bomb’, as the parade unfolded in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung square.

As the spectacle reached its climax, the military rolled out what analysts said appeared to be new variants of solid-fuel short-range ballistic missiles – which are more quickly deployed than liquid-fuelled versions - and four Pukguksong-class submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

Submarine launched ballistic missiles were showcased at the parade - AFP

“The world’s most powerful weapon, submarine-launch ballistic missiles, entered the square one after another, powerfully demonstrating the might of the revolutionary armed forces,” state news agency KCNA reported.

North Korea has already test-fired several SLBMs from underwater, and analysts say it is seeking to develop an operational submarine to carry the missiles.

State media revealed the new SLBM was labelled Pukguksong-5, a longer version and potentially an upgrade over the Pukguksong-4 that was unveiled at a larger military parade in October.

The new SLBM emphasised “continued progress in development of better solid propellant missiles," Mr Panda told NK News in an interview.

“The SLBM is larger and improved than the one displayed in the Workers’ Party Parade in October last year. It looks like North Korea is really bolstering its submarine missile-launching capabilities,” Edward Howell, a lecturer in politics and North Korea expert at the University of Oxford, told The Telegraph.

Kim oversaw the procession, waving to enthusiastic crowds. The hawkish display came just days after his powerful sister lashed out at South Korea’s military chiefs as “top-class idiots” and said their close tracking of the North’s parades proved Seoul’s “hostile approach” towards its neighbour.

Military equipments are seen during a military parade to commemorate the 8th Congress of the Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Kore - Reuters

The performance, and Kim’s bellicose statements over the past week, offer a preview of the challenges ahead for the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden as it seeks to find a path through the current impasse in nuclear disarmament talks with Pyongyang.

Kim initially had a fiery relationship with Donald Trump, the outgoing US president, before a diplomatic détente heralded a series of unprecedented face-to-face summits. Their subsequently warm relationship did little to prevent the North Korean leader bolstering his nuclear and missile capabilities.

“Despite the economic constraints imposed by sanctions and the Covid-19 pandemic, North Korea is making a clear statement to the US: it will keep going down the nuclear route even as the US transitions to the Biden administration,” said Mr Howell.

“With each successive US President, the list of policy options towards North Korea shrinks,” he added.

“If Biden does not engage at all, Pyongyang will not show any willingness to make any concessions. Kim Jong Un has repeatedly asserted how he is prepared to “live with” sanctions imposition after all,” he said.

“Yet, given Biden’s focus on human rights, too, he may have to make an unpalatable decision and start talking with the DPRK to avoid already stagnant US-DPRK relations stalling further.”

Unlike the October parade, Thursday’s event did not showcase North Korea’s largest intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which are believed to be able to deliver a nuclear warhead to anywhere in the United States.

The piece de resistance of the autumn event was the North’s largest ever ICBM, presented on a transporter vehicle with at least 22 wheels.

Professor Vipin Narang, a nuclear policy expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, stressed the importance of this omission, adding that the parade was largely for domestic consumption and not intended to rock the boat with the US for now.

“If Kim really wanted to send a message to the incoming Biden Administration, he could have paraded the new heavy ICBM or, worse, tested it,” he said.

Thousands of troops marched alongside the weapons, none of them wearing masks - KCNA/Reuters

“The fact that he didn’t suggests he is willing to lay low and let the Biden Administration, at least right now, figure out what it wants to do on North Korea and go from there.”

He added: “His speech on North Korean nuclear developments over the past several years, and more concerningly, where they may be headed—a de facto North Korean Nuclear Posture Review—said everything that needed to be said: I’m a nuclear weapons power and I have no intention of giving them up.”

Adoption of digital banking surged in Pakistan during COVID-19 pandemic

Adoption of digital banking surged in Pakistan during COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only impacted but rather transformed almost all aspects of our lives. The year 2020 witnessed countries being brought to the verge of collapsing health and economic systems, and with the beginning of the New Year, the problems are far from being solved. While most industrial sectors struggled to survive the pandemic induced challenges, the whole world witnessed a huge surge in the adoption of various technologies. The global banking sector was center stage in the pandemic-induced technological revolution, and the Pakistan banking industry was no exception. According to the SBP statistics, the number of registered online banking users in Pakistan increased by 36% to 13.22 million users between July and September 2020 compared with the same period last year. This translated into a 139% increase in the volume of mobile banking transactions and a growth of 55% in the volume of internet banking transactions in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s banking industry has played a pivotal role in continuing the country’s economic system through this pandemic, which can be mainly attributed to the digital banking revolution. As a nation, Pakistan witnessed the tipping point towards the adoption of digital banking during the past year. Whether it was the easy, timely, and secure transmission of monetary assistance to the underprivileged masses of the country through the Pakistan Government’s “Ehsaas” program, or the provision of loans to the pandemic struck industrial sectors; Pakistan banking industry played an instrumental role due to the successful and timely integration of digital solutions and platforms. Consumers were welcomed in the world of digital banking through e-banking transactions, ATM transactions, internet banking transactions, mobile banking transactions, e-commerce, and cashless Points-Of-Sale (POS) transactions through the use of credit or debit cards. The COVID-19 slogan of “Stay Home, Stay Safe” was only possible due to the digital banking solutions being provided to all the customers. Standing on the shoulders of the digitalised banking industry, many businesses were able to keep their operations running even during the days of the COVID-19 lockdown.

However, the journey towards a digitalised, resilient, and proactive financial system is by no means over. Instead, we are just at the beginning with a heavy cash-dependent economy caused by the majority of the consumers still using cash for daily transactions and avoiding digital banking solutions due to a lack of knowledge or security fears. Globally, the banking industry is leaps and bounds ahead of Pakistan’s banking industry in terms of technological advancements. Consumers are being offered financial services through Smart Bank branches offering 24/7 bank services through self-service machines, such as printing new ATM cards, cheque books, statements of accounts, etc. By adopting advanced technologies, the banking industry is integrating what it offers with various other sectors such as health care, Government departments, etc. on a real-time basis. Banks that are behind this trend will start to struggle due to structurally uncompetitive economics.

It is essential to understand that the new word for survival during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the post-COVID-19 scenario is “digital”. Technological advances in every aspect of our daily lives are a substantial part of this new age. This pandemic has pushed us past the digital revolution’s tipping point, which can create promising exponential impacts on the economic productivity and growth of Pakistan. However, without the proactive and efficient digitalisation of the country’s banking system, this transformation can be endangered. Pakistan’s banking industry needs to move forward and build upon the momentum generated due to the conditions imposed by this novel pandemic. A need exists to evaluate and reengineer the aging processes across all industries and harness partnerships based on real-time connectivity and information sharing. The banking sector also needs to work on pragmatic digital banking models and build a more dynamic digital presence across all stakeholders. Pakistan’s banking system should respond to the opportunities arising out of these challenging times and lead the country towards the era of true digitalisation.

(The writer is GM Supply Chain & Procurement and CIO at Bank AL Habib)

Pakistan loss 44 billion rupees due to Illegal cigarette yearly

Pakistan loss 44 billion rupees due to Illegal cigarette yearly

Pakistan loss 44 billion rupees due to Illegal cigarette yearly

Despite FBR’s all-out efforts to clamp down illicit trade of cigarettes in the country, illicit cigarette trade is causing a loss of at least 44 billion rupees every year to the national exchequer.

On the other hand, measures to curb illicit trade pale in comparison. In 2019 non-duty paid cigarettes worth of PKR 1.8 Billion were confiscated. This is less than 2% of the total illicit market. Moreover this resulted in zero convictions nor any legal action taken against the culprits and does not serve as a meaningful deterrent.

“These tax-evading illicit cigarette manufacturers resort to violation of government ‘s tobacco control policies, by selling below the government mandated cigarette pack price, as well as, offering incentives to consumers, all of which is strictly prohibited by the law. In addition to this, these manufacturers copy other brands or under-declare their own production to gain an unfair advantage as a means of increasing their sales (and in turn furthering tax-evasion),” said a source.

It is pertinent to mention that the tax paying cigarette industry that provides PKR 115 Billion in just 2018/19 to the national exchequer, is shrinking every year. All the market share lost by legal tax paying sector was captured by non-tax paid and underpriced cigarettes.

“Tobacco Control advocates must understand the counterproductive repercussions of policies such as higher taxes, plain packaging and other measures that are exploited by illicit manufacturers to their advantage,” he reasoned.

“It is, therefore, imperative that all steps taken to curb cigarette consumption are made with groundrealities in view, as well as, efforts are taken to speed-track the implementation of tax stamps which will definitely enhance FBR’s ability to tackle illicit trade in Pakistan,” he added.

It is pertinent to mention that the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has also identified in a speech, “Only two tobacco companies, with a market share of around 60% contribute 98% of the tobacco tax collection, whereas all other tobacco companies operating illegally contribute only 2% to the national exchequer despite having a market share of about 40%.”

“Government should take strict measures to counter the menace of illicit trade of cigarettes as it is not only hurting the economy but also nullifying Government’s efforts for tobacco control,” he added.

Source: The Frontier Post 15 Jan 2021

Bank of Khyber (BoK) transforms to Temenos Core and Digital Banking Platform

Bank of Khyber (BoK) transforms to Temenos Core and Digital Banking Platform

Bank of Khyber (BoK) transforms to Temenos Core and Digital Banking Platform

PESHAWAR (January 13, 2021): Bank of Khyber (BoK) which is a leading bank in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, with network of 179 branches & 11 Sub branches, successfully went live with Temenos Transact the next generation core banking, Temenos Infinity digital banking platform, Financial Crime Mitigation and Analytics. The implementation was carried out by Temenos’ Middle East implementation partner based in Pakistan, National Data Consultant (“NdcTech”).

Temenos’ technology will support the bank in offering differentiated retail, SME and corporate banking products, including accounts, time deposits and loans for both Islamic and conventional banking. Temenos’ agile and fully integrated architecture enables Bank of Khyber to quickly roll out new functionality and services. NdcTech’s expertise in the Pakistan market helped to comply with local requirements and best practices. Temenos’ digital banking platform supports Bank of Khyber’s strategic objectives to increase its market share and drive sustainable growth by optimizing its banking operations and reducing operational costs. Temenos open API technology will help Bank of Khyber to provide digital experiences to its customers.

Also Read: Bank of Khyber launches its first mobile banking application for customer convenience

Bank of Khyber selected Temenos and NdcTech as its partners for its strategic initiatives to accelerate its digital transformation process. Temenos’ and NdcTech expertise in Pakistan Model Bank approach delivers pre-configured, localized functionality and best practices, reducing the need for customization and decreasing timescales for delivery.

Temenos partner NdcTech worked closely with Bank of Khyber to deliver a hybrid onsite/ remote implementation, providing expert support and consultation to ensure a smooth implementation and successful go live for the bank despite the Covid-19 emergency. The implementation of Temenos core and digital platforms involved the integration of Bank of Khyber’s legacy systems and was concluded timely after a complex migration and thousands of functional tests had been carried out on the new system.

Mr. Ihsan Ullah Ihsan, Managing Director, The Bank of Khyber remarked on the occasion, “We are delighted to have joined hands with Temenos / NdcTech for Digitalization of bank of Khyber. Temenos has a global reputation for providing robust, innovative financial software solutions and has an extensive presence in all over the world. This implementation will provide the leap forward we need to enhance our market share and deliver better services and products for our customers in the 21st century. Our partner NdcTech who also helped us to tailor the product to the specific requirements of our bank. The roll-out had been so well prepared beforehand that we were able to execute it flawlessly. I would also thank and appreciate my colleagues, staff and especially IT team for their dedication for working around the clock to complete the implementation with professionalism and excellence”.

Mr. Azfar Latif CIO of Bank of Khyber added, “We are proud that in less than 15 months with Global pandemic restrictions, Bank went live. We have demonstrated that commitment with reliable technology partner like NDCTech can overcome any challenge that comes along the way be it like COVID-19. We could not have achieved a go-live without the commitment and professionalism of Bank Management team and Technical Resources. Everyone knows that a core banking upgrade is always challenge especially in distributed environment, but we were confident of ourselves and NDCTech who carried it out seamlessly.”

While highlighting the business objectives of the deployment, Ammara Masood, President and CEO, National Data Consultant (NdcTech) said, “We are proud to work together with bank of Khyber. BOK is a very successful public/private partnership and through innovation will now be able to deliver hyper-personalized experiences to its customers. The team and management of the bank understands the power of technology, and the importance of leveraging the best practices and latest technological advances. We are delighted to be there partner in this strategic digital transformation and will continue to help the bank achieves greater strides.”

Jean-Paul Mergeai, MD – ME & Africa, Temenos, commented: “Congratulations to Bank of Khyber for its Temenos go live with NdcTech. Temenos has a strong presence in the Middle East and a track record of success in deliver digital banking transformation for banks in the region. We are delighted BOK has selected our platform and proud to support them as it seeks to leverage Temenos’ open and API-first technology to deliver world-class digital experiences for its customers and achieve market-leading cost-income ratio to drive sustainable growth and market-share.”

Bank of Khyber launches its first mobile banking application for customer convenience

Bank of Khyber launches its first mobile banking application for customer convenience

Bank of Khyber launches its first mobile banking application for customer convenience

PESHAWAR: The Bank of Khyber launches Digital Mobile App – Chairman Board of Directors BOK Additional Chief Secretary Govt of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mr. Shakeel Qadir Khan Inaugurated BOK mobile application BOK Digital in a ceremony held at BOK Head Office Peshawar, the occasion was attended by Mr. Atif Rehman Finance Secretary Govt of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along with MD Bank of Khyber Mr. Ihsan ullah Ihsan and senior officials of the bank.

The launch of the app will help the bank achieve its corporate goals such as increasing market share, improving the bank’s operational efficiency and reducing operational costs along with achieving sustainable development. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s most stable bank with 190 branches has successfully shifted its banking operations to the latest banking technology.

Through the app, the bank is now able to provide a variety of banking products and services to its customers through the digital platform. The Bank of Khyber customers will be able to benefit from the bank’s best products and services through the digital platform.

Also read: Bank of Khyber (BoK) transforms to Temenos Core and Digital Banking Platform

More than Two Hundred Fifty thousand customers will be able to benefit from the mobile application. The new application will provide all the facilities like instant transfer of funds, balance check, mobile top up, & online shopping.

Mr. Shakeel Qadir Khan, Additional Chief Secretary Govt of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chairman Board of Directors Bank of Khyber said that the bank’s move to digital app in a short span of time is a great achievement and now its benefits must be provided to the general public.

Mr. Atif Rehman, Finance Secretary Govt of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said that despite the challenges of the global Pandemic (Covid-19), we have moved the bank to modern technology in less than fifteen months, which is an achievement in its self.

The Managing Director of Bank of Khyber congratulated his staff on the transition to new technology and subsequent launch of the app and said that we are happy that the bank has crossed an important milestone in a short period of time by moving to digital technology. And specially thanked Additional Chief Secretary Govt of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for his efforts for the digitization of the bank.

CDC successfully processes 1st cash dividend through RAAST of “Pak Datacom Limited”

CDC successfully processes 1st cash dividend through RAAST of “Pak Datacom Limited”

CDC successfully processes 1st cash dividend through RAAST of “Pak Datacom Limited”

As a historic milestone in the country’s payment landscape, Central Depository Company (CDC) has successfully processed the Cash dividend of “Pak Datacom Limited” through State Bank’s RAAST payment gateway. It is indeed a moment to celebrate for both CDC and Pak Datacom Limited as both the companies were the first entities to utilize the services of Pakistan’s new and fastest payment gateway of RAAST (inaugurated by honorable Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, 11th Jan 2021).

CDC is working with SBP on this project for the last 1 year to make this possible. CDC is now connected with all major Banks on RAAST, and will process all dividend payments more efficiently and cost-effectively. Speaking at the occasion CEO CDC, Mr. Badiuddin Akbar, said, “It is indeed a landmark achievement that Raast has now been launched and operational with CDC on-board for the processing of all Dividend Disbursement transactions which will extend valuable process improvements in terms of transparency, security, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. We are confident that with the help of Raast, there would be a complete transformation of the payment landscape of Pakistan.”

CDC is thankful to SBP and SECP for their continued support and patronage in achieving yet another milestone in its market transformation journey. CDC is already processing thousands of transactions related to Roshan Digital Accounts in Stock Exchange, where again SBP placed its trust on CDC to act as the bridge between Banks and Capital market entities and to become the gateway for non-residents Pakistanis to invest in Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). Around 2000 Roshan Digital Account holders are efficiently investing in PSX with an estimated worth of around PKR 375 million (around USD 2.5 million) through this arrangement facilitated by CDC.

Wahaj Ali’s Dil Na Umeed to Nahi and Fitoor to Hit the Screens This Month

Wahaj Ali’s Dil Na Umeed to Nahi and Fitoor to Hit the Screens This Month

Wahaj Ali’s Dil Na Umeed to Nahi and Fitoor to Hit the Screens This Month

Karachi,14th January, 2021: After garnering praises for his performance in Ghisi Piti Mohabbat, Wahaj Ali is ready to take over the screens in the cause-based drama ‘Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi’ alongside the talented Yumna Zaidi, and another tale of love, ‘Fitoor’, alongside Faysal Quraishi and Hiba Bukhari.

‘Dil Na Umeed to Nahi’ is a socially relevant drama, tackling multiple issues including human trafficking and child abuse. Wahaj Ali will be seen starring in the role of ‘Jamshed’ – a sensitive guy who ends up distancing himself from the people he loved the most, and the positivity he has despite his bitter surroundings. With two strikingly different, but socially moving roles in Bikhray Moti and Ghisi Piti Mohabbat, the actor is once again ready to star in an emotionally moving and issue-focused drama. Whereas, ‘Fitoor’ on the other hand, is a story of love that transcends all. It is based on a newfound love that is constantly under the shadows of the past.

“As an actor – I believe in being a part of stories that would make a difference, and ‘Dil Na Umeed to Nahi’ is exactly that kind of a story. I think all of us have a responsibility of standing with the truth and bringing issues like these to light. ‘Fitoor’ is also a dream project to work on and I can't wait to work alongside all the talented and experienced cast members. I think everyone will thoroughly enjoy watching both dramas and will learn a lot from them too”, commented Wahaj Ali, talking about his upcoming projects.

‘Dil Na Umeed to Nahi’ has been made in collaboration with Kashf Foundation, and is directed by Kashif Nisar and penned down by Amna Mufti. The power-packed cast also includes: Yumna Zaidi, Noman Ejaz, Yasra Rizvi, Samiya Mumtaz, Omair Rana, Nadia Afgan, Anvid Shahzad, and Noor ul Hassan. ‘Fitoor’ is directed by Ali Faizan, of 'Raaze Ulfat' and 'Ramze Ishq'. Scripted down by Zanjabeel Asim, and co-produced by Abdullah Kadwani and Asad Qureshi of 7th Sky Entertainment. The ensemble cast consists of Faysal Quraishi, Hiba Bukhari and Kiran Haq.

Wahaj Ali has been in the industry for quite a while now, his most distinguished performance being one of the four main leads in Ehd e Wafa. Since then, the astonishing artist and his work have managed to gain massive popularity among critics and audiences alike. His latest projects are another step on the ladder of success for this cause-based actor who has always shone brightly with his choice of scripts and performances.

TV ONE’s ‘Dil Na Umeed to Nahi’ will be on air on the 18th  of January 2020, on PTV HOME and PTV ONE and 7th

Sky Entertainment’s ‘Fitoor’ will air on the 14th of January 2020 on Geo Entertainment.

Amar Khan’s ‘Shy Samra’ Wins the Audience Over in ‘Qayamat’

Amar Khan’s ‘Shy Samra’ Wins the Audience Over in ‘Qayamat’

Amar Khan’s ‘Shy Samra’ Wins the Audience Over in ‘Qayamat’

 Karachi 14th Jan, 2021: Amar Khan is both an ambitious writer and talented actor who emotes her talents through her riveting performances; most recently in Qayamat. 

 Playing the role of the simple and amiable Samra, who has a rather timid temperament, the audience already fears her outcome when her match is being decided in an episode 2 promo with Ahsan Khan’s rather roguish  ‘Rashid’. The execution of her performance is impeccable as without much dialogue, the Dil-e-Gumshuda actress shows us the soft-spoken and easily spooked Samra, who has no intention of marriage and has an innocent crush on her friend’s brother ‘Saad’ who seems to harbour reciprocal feelings. 

Throughout the first episode, we see how Amar Khan is embarrassed by her sister Ifrah, played by Neelam Munir. Ifrah’s boisterous and extroverted nature contrasts with Samra’s meekness. However, despite her wishes not to marry, it seems Samra is keen on Saad, who mirrors her good nature. An obedient girl to her parents, Amar Khan shows her diversity as an actor, playing the role of a shy, sweet and intelligent girl who often cares about how others perceive her, as she gently reprimands Neelam Munir’s Ifrah for teasing her. With her younger sister trying to pair her up with her alleged love interest, Amar Khan’s captivating performance as the bashful, dutiful daughter comes into play beautifully, making the audience slowly grow quite fond of her.  

With a distinct appearance contradicting Qayamat’s thrilling teasers, the audience is rendered speechless, waiting in anticipation for how Amar Khan’s character will face what is yet to come. As we see her laughing and interacting with her family and friends, we are made aware of the endearing qualities the Dil-e-Bereham star has shown us about Samra in the very first episode. 

Amazon faces class-action lawsuit over eBook pricing

Amazon faces class-action lawsuit over eBook pricing

Amazon faces class-action lawsuit over eBook pricing

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc was slapped with a class-action lawsuit on Thursday accusing the e-commerce giant of inflating the prices of ebooks in collusion with some publishers.

The lawsuit alleges that Amazon and the five largest U.S. publishers, collectively called the 'Big Five', agreed to price restraints that cause consumers to overpay for eBooks purchased from them through a retail platform other than Amazon.com. (https://refini.tv/2MXXVqs)

The lawsuit comes a day after Connecticut said it was investigating Amazon for potential anti-competitive behavior in its business selling digital books.

Amazon declined to comment.

About 90% of eBooks are sold through Amazon, the largest U.S. eBooks seller, the lawsuit claimed.

Law firm Hagens Berman, bringing the case, in 2011 filed a similar lawsuit against Apple Inc and the 'Big Five' over ebook prices.

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

7th Sky Entertainment Ready to Enthrall Viewers with new drama ‘Fitoor’

7th Sky Entertainment Ready to Enthrall Viewers with new drama ‘Fitoor’

7th Sky Entertainment Ready to Enthrall Viewers with new drama ‘Fitoor’

Islamabad:- 7th Sky Entertainment, spearheaded by Abdullah Kadwani and Asad Qureshi, is a renowned name in Pakistan's media industry, and is now bringing forth another story of fate and love starring an ensemble cast in the lead.

'Fitoor' is a story of love that transcends above all, making one forget about their past and become short-sighted about their future. It revolves around a young architect, named Saif, and a beautiful, young girl, named Dilnasheen. Saif, despite being successful in his field, feels as if he lacks something, as he lives on with memories of his past love. Dilnasheen, who hails from a middle-class family, is in love with her best friend's brother, Hamza. When Saif and Dilnasheen cross paths, Dilnasheen's life takes an unexpected turn, and the question arises whether both will be able to overlook their past, and settle down peacefully in the present.

This saga of love and fate is directed by Siraj ul Haq, of 'Ramz e Ishq' and 'Raaz e Ulfat' fame; two of 7th Sky Entertainment's biggest hits. Penned down by Zanjabeel Asim, and produced by Abdullah Kadwani and Asad Qureshi, the drama is expected to hit up on the charts, and stars Hiba Bukhari, Faysal Quraishi, Kiran Haq and Wahaj Ali in the lead.

With many spectacular and block-buster dramas like 'Raaze Ulfat', 'Deewangi', 'Muqaddar', 'Bandhay Ek Dour Se', and Fitrat' 7th Sky Entertainment explores distinct genres targeting all kinds of audiences, and hence, has become a household name in Pakistan. Through feedback from the audience, it has proven that it simply never disappoints its viewers in any project it takes on.

Twitter says White House Twitter accounts will be transferred to Biden admin

Twitter says White House Twitter accounts will be transferred to Biden admin

Twitter says White House Twitter accounts will be transferred to Biden admin

(Reuters 15 Jan 2021) - Twitter Inc on Thursday said it will transfer institutional White House Twitter accounts to Biden administration when the U.S. President-elect swears in on January 20.

Twitter said https://bit.ly/3icNB9E it will facilitate transfer of institutional White House Twitter accounts including, @WhiteHouse, @POTUS, @VP, @FLOTUS, and @PressSec, adding those accounts will not automatically retain the followers from the prior administration.

January 14, 2021

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Ministry of IT Seeks Feedback to Finalize '#DigitalPakistanPolicy2021'

Ministry of IT Seeks Feedback to Finalize '#DigitalPakistanPolicy2021'

Ministry of IT Seeks Feedback to Finalize '#DigitalPakistanPolicy2021'

ISLAMABAD (Aapp - 13th Jan, 2021): The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has invited civil society, private sector and public to give their feedback for improvement in the draft of "DigitalPakistanPolicy2021" by January 21.

In a message on its official twitter account, the ministry said it believed in an inclusive approach for effective policy, therefore, civil society, private sector and public at large were invited to provide their feedback through the online survey from available at its official website https://moitt.gov.pk/survey/DigitalPakistanPolicy21.

The ministry is determined to update the policy draft with active participation of all stakeholders in best interest of the countrymen.

The policy would help Pakistan's digital transformation to improve its citizens' quality of life and economic well-being by ensuring availability of modern, affordable and reliable digital services, the ministry further said.

Foreign investors spend 16 billion rupees on CSR initiatives in Pakistan

Foreign investors spend 16 billion rupees on CSR initiatives in Pakistan

Foreign investors lead the CSR initiative with investment of 16 billion

Karachi, January 13, 2021: About 100 of the leading foreign investors, members of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), actively participated in support of the GOP’s effort to fight the pandemic of COVID-19, without stepping back from their continuing commitment to CSR activities which benefit the marginalized communities across the country. OICCI members invested PKR 16 billion in different CSR activities and for containment of the negative impact of Corona virus. In addition to monetary contributions the CSR activities of OICCI members included investment of their employees’ time in different value adding social activities across Pakistan with the underlying commitment to uplift the underprivileged strata of the society and support them during this most challenging time in recent memory brought about by the advent of the Corona pandemic.

Haroon Rashid, President OICCI applauded “OICCI members who have been leading the contribution towards CSR initiatives and are recognized as a role model to motivate other businesses and affluent individuals“. “Over the last few years, there has been a noticeable enhancement in the sustainability and CSR initiatives by the OICCI members through a proactive engagement between business and all stakeholders in society. OICCI members have adopted the best CSR and Sustainability practices, largely in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) to meet the growing needs of the society” Haroon added.

The annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report 2019-2020 brings out the essence of the CSR activities of about half of OICCI members who during 2019-20, collectively, invested about PKR 8 billion on CSR related activities, excluding those on COVID-19 mentioned above, and reached out to around 62 million direct beneficiaries throughout Pakistan. OICCI members and their employees spent around 1.5 million man-hours and partnered with 160 social and development sector organizations in fulfilling their unique CSR programs. The reach of the CSR activities touched all provinces and the geographic distribution was 29% in Sindh, 26% in Punjab, 14% in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 12% in Baluchistan, 6% in FATA, and 8% each in Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

In terms of specific UN SDGs, 79% of the OICCI members focused on (i) Health and Well-Being and (ii) Quality Education, especially new primary and secondary school facilities and vocational training programs for skills development. Many of the members also actively supported health and nutrition related initiatives through donations to reputable hospitals, medical care camps and health awareness campaigns.

OICCI in a statement highlighted that the March 2020 pandemic challenge to OICCI members, and their stakeholders, was enormous and is still continuing. However, due to international outreach of OICCI members, they led from the front and shared the best practices for protecting the health and wellbeing of their employees, business partners and other stakeholders. None of the OICCI members laid off their workers due to slow down in the business activity at the outbreak of the pandemic.  Most of the OICCI members positively responded to the Government of Pakistan’s call for support in containing the spread of the pandemic, protecting the health and supporting economic needs of the underprivileged populace in the face of COVID-19 immediate challenge, and contributed about PKR 7.8 billion to various pandemic focused containment causes.

It is pertinent to mention that 63% of the members were focused on Gender Equality in support of ‘OICCI Women’ initiative which is gaining momentum since its launch in 2017. “We believe the OICCI Women initiative could become a motivating factor for other businesses in Pakistan to raise the level of women participation, thereby contributing towards a rapid economic growth of the country,” M. Abdul Aleem, Secretary General OICCI commented.

OICCI Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report 2019-2020 released yesterday gives details of the contributions of the member companies, working across the country, in a number of diverse social sectors. OICCI is the collective body of top 200 foreign investors in Pakistan, belonging to 35 countries, who are also the largest contributor to the economy of Pakistan besides being the largest foreign investors.

Engro Elengy Terminal sets new industry records in five years of successful operations

Engro Elengy Terminal sets new industry records in five years of successful operations

Engro Elengy Terminal sets new industry records in five years of successful operations

Karachi, January 13, 2021: The first Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal of Pakistan operated by Engro Elengy Terminal (EETL), a joint venture between Engro Corporation and Royal Vopak of the Netherlands, has set new industry records during its five years of safe and reliable operations to ensure energy security for Pakistan.

Since the start of its operations in March 2015, EETL has completed the transfer of over 20 million metric tons of LNG by handling over 322 cargoes. This is the highest volume handled by any floating LNG terminal in this time frame. The Terminal has also achieved another milestone through the send-out of more than 1000 billion cubic feet (BCF) of natural gas, equivalent to energy required to generate around 175 million MW. EETL utilizes the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) Exquisite, which is co-owned by Excelerate Energy LP (Excelerate) and Nakilat.

Built in a world record time of 332 days, EETL is recognized as one of the fastest built and most utilized regasification terminals in the world. The terminal has a storage capacity of 150,900 cubic meters and peak regasification capacity of up to 690 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd). It currently fulfills as much as 15 percent of Pakistan's domestic daily natural gas requirements. As a result, more than USD 3 billion of savings have been generated for the national exchequer through import substitution of expensive furnace oil.

Sharing his thoughts on the achievement of new milestones, Ghias Khan - President & CEO of Engro Corporation, said that, “Engro pioneered investment in Pakistan’s LNG terminal sector to help solve one of our most pressing issues of energy shortages. Today, we have put Pakistan on the global map of LNG market and paved the way to attract more investment from new entrants in this sector. EETL is committed to continue to play a pivotal role to meet Pakistan’s growing energy needs by developing the first open access onshore LNG terminal at Port Qasim to ensure long-term energy security for Pakistan.”

Yusuf Siddiqui, CEO of Engro Vopak & Elengy Terminal Ltd, added that, “In partnership with Royal Vopak, we remain committed to deliver on our promise of operational excellence and expansion plans to fuel the country’s economic growth and prosperity.”  

Following Economic Coordination Committee’s approval, EETL and its partner Excelerate have secured a larger and more technologically-advanced FSRU Sequoia, which is poised to arrive at Port Qasim in 2021 after all regulatory and SSGC approvals. This will increase the terminal’s capacity by more than 150 mmscfd and storage capacity by more than 25,000 cubic meters to help reduce the gas supply shortfall. As a result, Pakistan can potentially save more than USD 45,000 per day in state-run LNG supply chain costs, with the private sector assuming risks and making investments under a Third-Party Access Framework (TPA). Once the sector opens under the TPA regime, an Onshore LNG asset is the next step towards evolution of the Pakistani gas market. In this regard, Engro and Royal Vopak have already announced a project targeting final investment decision in the next 12 – 14 months. The investment friendly policies of the PTI government will enable investments of up to USD 600 million by Engro and its joint venture partner Royal Vopak in Engro Elengy Terminal and Engro Vopak Terminal.

January 13, 2021

Khawaja Asif ‘made Rs120 million transactions to Kashmala Tariq’ NAB probe takes new turn

Khawaja Asif ‘made Rs120 million transactions to Kashmala Tariq’ NAB probe takes new turn

Khawaja Asif ‘made Rs120 million transactions to Kashmala Tariq’ NAB probe takes new turn

LAHORE (mvt Web Desk 13 Jan, 2021) The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has launched investigation into alleged transactions of millions of rupees by PML-N bigwig Khawaja Muhammad Asif to Kashmala Tariq, who is currently serving as Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplaces.

The anti-corruption watchdog found evidence about dubious transaction while probing an asset beyond means case against Asif, who is already in the custody of NAB. 

Reports in local media say the former foreign minister transferred Rs120 million to account of Kashmala Tariq through his frontman. 

According to details, an amount of PKR 70 million was transferred into the bank account of Kashmala Tariq in January 2015. She she withdrew PKR 50 million in May 2015 through five transactions. Similarly, PKR 50 million were transferred through an online payment system. Kashmala withdrew PKR 30 million in March and PKR 40 million in August of 2016.

The reports cited sources as saying that Kashmala Tariq also operated a joint account with a woman named Farida Yasin. The joint account was used to transfer hefty amount to Punjab Enterprises, a firm registered at the name of Asif’s frontman, identified as Javed Warraich.

Sources further revealed that Kashmala Tariq transferred a huge amount of money into an account of Punjab Enterprises, which has been registered in the name of Warraich.

Khawaja Asif was arrested on the 29th of December, 2020 by NAB officials for allegedly having inordinate wealth compared to income sources.

Master Changan unveils Pakistan’s 1st Euro-5 Smart Sedan - for price open this link

Master Changan unveils Pakistan’s 1st Euro-5 Smart Sedan - for price open this link

Master Changan unveils Pakistan’s 1st Euro-5 Smart Sedan - for price open this link 

Master Changan debuted the Changan Alsvin on 11th December via digital video at a large scale press conference at Marriott Karachi, followed by the start-of-production at their plant in Karachi on 14th of December. Exactly one month from the debut, Master Changan is starting bookings and announcing the retail price today on the 11st of January 2021.

Introducing the vision behind Changan Alsvin, Danial Malik, CEO Master Changan said 

“Our next car is the essence of the same win-win philosophy where the customer doesn’t have to compromise on their dreams. A car that can bring unparalleled value to our customers, our dealers, auto-parts manufacturers and the nation overall.”

“This is a car that will transform the landscape of the Pakistani automotive industry by bringing features and technology to the customers in the segment that they could previously only have dreamt of,” he added.

Unveiling the retail price of the Changan Alsvin; a “smart sedan”, Danial said “it is not a cheap car, but the value that is being offered is much higher than its price. The Alsvin brings the Pakistani consumer international level built quality and safety standards, from our state of the art plant which has been designed to become the RHD export hub for Changan vehicles from Pakistan to the world”.

The 1.37L 5-speed Manual Transmission is priced at Rs 2,199,000, 1.5L 5-speed Dual-clutch Automatic Transmission at Rs 2,399,000 and the top-of-the-line 1.5L LUMIERE at Rs 2,549,000. All prices are ex-dealer which means customers in Peshawar and Karachi both can buy at the same price, without paying any extra freight cost.

Commenting on the pricing strategy, Shabbir Uddin, Director Sales and Marketing said “The starting price is even less than many hatchbacks available in Pakistan whether locally assembled or imported from Japan. Whereas the price of 1.5L DCT LUMIERE is around the same as the stripped down models of other subcompact sedans assembled locally”.

“The additional features offered in 1.5L DCT Lumiere edition compared to the highest price of comparable alternate cars in this segment are Sunroof, Cruise Control, TPMS, Start-Stop Technology and Heated side mirrors. Such features worth at least Rs 200,000 above the comparable alternate model which is priced at around 3,000,000. In that sense the Alsvin offers the value of a 3.2m at a price of Rs 2,549,000.” he added.

Cars in Pakistan are heavily taxed. The retail prices are loaded with 17% Sales Tax and a 5% FED on retail level in addition to custom duties. So the retail price of the Alsvin 1.5L DCT Lumiere edition of 2,549,000 is actually only Rs 2,075,000 without Sales Tax and FED. The government should consider reduction of taxes to make automobiles more affordable for the masses and increase total volumes which would in turn result in higher revenue generation for the government.

“Company has taken several measures to avoid investors jumping into the buying spree. One of those is one vehicle per CNIC. Lucky draw of 1,000 customers from a total 17,000 pre-bookings received and offering them the first chance to book during 11th to 13th January. In addition, we will offer the free maintenance for 1 year to the genuine customer who pre-booked in his name, makes payment himself and registers the car in his name.” he added.

Master Changan Motors Limited acquired Greenfield status under the Auto policy 2016-2021 and entered into a joint venture with Changan automobile with an initial investment of $100 million – the largest investment of its kind by an OEM in Pakistan’s history. The company established a plant in Karachi with an annual production capacity of 30,000 units. The JV further invested $36 million to introduce the Alsvin in Pakistan and aims to bring in a couple of more exciting models by June 2021.

Changan is China’s No.1 domestic automotive brand consecutively for the last 10 consecutive years. The company invests 5% of its annual revenues in R&D giving it the best capability in automotive technology that has allowed them to introduce level 3 autonomous driving in China. Changan has a wide range of beautifully designed and high-quality sedans, SUVs, MVPs, LCVs and is well on its way to electrifying all its models by 2022. In their next phase, Master Changan Motors plans to introduce these electric vehicles in Pakistan as well.

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