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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Ufone Tower holds awareness session about Breast Cancer

Ufone Tower holds awareness session about Breast Cancer

Ufone Tower holds awareness session about Breast Cancer

October 23, 2019: Over 10.2 million women in Pakistan are at risk of Breast Cancer with every year 40,000 women dying due to the disease. In an effort to raise awareness about Breast Cancer, Pakistani Telecom Company, Ufone collaborated with Pink Ribbon Pakistan to organize an informative session for its employees at its headquarters in Islamabad. 

The session addressed common problems associated with the disease along with shedding light on the importance of early detection through self-examination. 

Despite being a curable disease, a lot of misconceptions have been associated with the term due to which diagnosis is done at a much later stage. Experts revealed during the session that timely detection of the disease could increase survival rate up to 90 percent. 

After the session, Ufone tower was illuminated with pink lights to show solidarity with the patients and survivors. It has been an unrelenting tradition of Ufone to support such initiatives and play a vital part in being a socially responsible organization, highlighting issues which have a direct impact on the life of an average Pakistani citizen. 

Speaking about the importance of Pink Illumination and increasing awareness amongst masses, Omer Aftab, CEO Pink Ribbon Pakistan said, “We lose thousands of precious lives every year due to ignorance, late diagnosis and myths related to breast cancer. So, awareness is the only key to survival.” 

October is internationally celebrated as ‘Pinktober’ – the Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During this month, Pink Ribbon not only spread awareness among young female students through information material, but also organized various events to sensitize women and girls at the community level through direct interaction. Through conducting awareness sessions at multiple levels, myths could be broken down, enabling communities to put up a stronger fight against the disease. 

خوبصورت اردو شاعری : وہ کہ خوشبو کی طرح پھیلا تھا میرے چار سو

خوبصورت اردو شاعری : وہ کہ خوشبو کی طرح پھیلا تھا میرے چار سو

فاصلے ایسے بھی ہوں گے یہ کبھی سوچا نہ تھا

فاصلے ایسے بھی ہوں گے یہ کبھی سوچا نہ تھا
سامنے بیٹھا تھا میرے اور وہ میرا نہ تھا

وہ کہ خوشبو کی طرح پھیلا تھا میرے چار سو
میں اسے محسوس کر سکتا تھا چھو سکتا نہ تھا

رات بھر پچھلی سی آہٹ کان میں آتی رہی
جھانک کر دیکھا گلی میں کوئی بھی آیا نہ تھا

میں تری صورت لیے سارے زمانے میں پھرا
ساری دنیا میں مگر کوئی ترے جیسا نہ تھا

آج ملنے کی خوشی میں صرف میں جاگا نہیں
تیری آنکھوں سے بھی لگتا ہے کہ تو سویا نہ تھا

یہ سبھی ویرانیاں اس کے جدا ہونے سے تھیں
آنکھ دھندلائی ہوئی تھی شہر دھندلایا نہ تھا

سینکڑوں طوفان لفظوں میں دبے تھے زیر لب
ایک پتھر تھا خموشی کا کہ جو ہٹتا نہ تھا

یاد کر کے اور بھی تکلیف ہوتی تھی عدیمؔ
بھول جانے کے سوا اب کوئی بھی چارا نہ تھا

مصلحت نے اجنبی ہم کو بنایا تھا عدیمؔ
ورنہ کب اک دوسرے کو ہم نے پہچانا نہ تھا

شاعر: آدیم ہاشمی 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Americana Group, signs a MoU with Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF)

The Americana Group, signs a MoU with Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF)

The Americana Group, signs a MoU with Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) 

Islamabad, Pakistan – Middle East’s largest restaurants group, The Americana Group, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) with the aim of hiring trained workforce from Punjab for their Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) business division, that operates 1,800 restaurants in the Region. The agreement was signed between Mr. Sai Gandhi, Chief People Officer, Americana Group and Mr. Jawad Khan, Chief Executive Officer, PSDF at the Americana Group Head Office, Sharjah, UAE.

The two parties are committed to creating a successful long-term partnership and give the youth from Punjab a chance to build their careers with one of the leading organizations in the Middle East. In accordance with the MoU, PSDF will fund the training of the workforce, while The Americana Group will employ the eligible candidates across their QSRs in UAE and KSA. 

Mr. Sai Gandhi, Chief People Officer, Americana Group said, “Our partnership with the Punjab Skills Development Fund is to attract young talent and grow our pipeline of talent in the Americana business.” 

Mr. Jawad Khan, CEO, PSDF said, “PSDF is playing a leading role in partnering with the best organizations in the Middle East and helping them meet their skilled workforce needs from Pakistan. After the success achieved with Atlantis The Palm and Rotana Groups in the hospitality sector, PSDF is very proud to partner with The Americana Group and meet their skills needs in the QSR space. We look forward to growing our mandate with Americana in other areas of their business.”

SBS Distribution Celebrates 10 years of Excellence & Launches New IT & Data Center Product Portfolio for Pakistan Market

SBS Distribution Celebrates 10 years of Excellence & Launches New IT & Data Center Product Portfolio for Pakistan Market

SBS Distribution Celebrates 10 years of Excellence & Launches New IT & Data Center Product Portfolio for Pakistan Market

Islamabad October 20, 2019:-Syed Business Distribution held a grand celebration in Karachion completing a decade of their successful operations in the IT sector. The company unveiled their new product line on this occasion which will be available for Pakistan’s IT & Security market. The new products include SuperMicro, Pivot3, Nexenta, Commvalut, Mobotix and Ajax. These innovative products will help IT & security market to enhance efficiency and plan their needs as per the new market demand.

The event was attended by many industry experts, SBS Management team and SBS employees. Mr Ayaz and Mr Shan, Founders of SBS Distribution lauded the team effort put in to enable SBS reach such a high point. Mr Shan & Ayaz said, “It is a moment of great pride for all of us here at SBS, the journey that began 10 years ago was not an easy one but through dedication and hard work we have reached a point where today we can claim to be one of the market leaders.” 

A new security division was also introduced by Director Security SBS Distribution, Mr.Yousuf Baig. The division has been established with an aim to prioritize the dissemination of secure products and ensure customer privacy at all times.

Director Products and Strategy, Mr Sohaib Irfan introduced innovative new Servers, Storages and Software Defined product range including SuperMicro& Pivot3 ,Nexenta along with launching new channel program. He shared the new support and plan strategy identifying key routes the company is likely to take in future to maintain their hegemony.

Mr. Khalid Shahzad Country Manager DLink presented the entire Network and Security Product line for Dlink and appreciated support of SBS through out the last one year with their brand . He also congratulated SBS on their continued success in IT Sector.

Representative from Mobitix, Mr Ahmed also graced the ceremony and joined in all the way from Germany to become a part of the celebrations. Mobitix is the world leading brand in thermal and security access camera and solutions, it is also a key partner company of SBS Distribution.

Mr Naveed Siraj , Country General Manager from Dell also shared his thoughts on how the country IT dynamics evolve and highlighted some key industry challenges , he further commented that there is a strong need of an alliance through which industry issues can be timely tackled. 

SBS Distribution has continuously evolved to deliver the best to customers across continents. Despite adverse economic environment, SBS has always strived forward, allowing them to carve a special niche for themselves in the market. Today the company has a strong footprint in UAE and Pakistan. In End of ceremony a formal cake cutting ceremony was conducted to mark he success in last 10 years of the company .

The organization is the authorized distributor & partner of the biggest IT brand and products in the region. Their commitment to the partners is unrivalled with the first preference always being their customers and partners. SBS Distribution provides effective and technical solutions, personal service, competitive pricing and fast delivery.

To add more flavor to night Winner of Pepsi battle of Bands ‘’ AUJ the band ‘’ performed with their band to entertain audience and received appreciation from IT and Tech Guru’s of the industry present in the evening.

Jazz and Afiniti to Enhance Customer Experience Using Artificial Intelligence

Jazz and Afiniti to Enhance Customer Experience Using Artificial Intelligence

Jazz and Afiniti to Enhance Customer Experience Using Artificial Intelligence

Jazz, Pakistan’s leading digital communications company, and Afiniti, a multinational advanced analytics company, have partnered to implement Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions in customer service contact centers across Pakistan, fostering significant gains in customer satisfaction and revenues.

As part of its long-term commitment to meet and exceed customer satisfaction, Jazz engaged Afiniti to use their AI powered contact center technology to optimize call outcomes at Jazz’s customer service contact centers. By analyzing call histories and other CRM data, Afiniti’s algorithm predicts patterns of interpersonal behavior and matches callers with Jazz’s contact center agents best equipped to serve them.

“Industries globally are advancing rapidly thanks to AI and we wanted to use this technology for the benefit of our customers,” said Aamir Ibrahim, CEO Jazz. “Afiniti’s solution is intuitive, seamless and measurable, and a part of Jazz’s broader customer obsession motto. It’s one of many ways we’re creating consistently positive experiences for our subscribers and driving revenue.”

“Afiniti is the world’s premier provider of applied artificial intelligence solutions, having delivered billions of dollars in measurable economic value to its clients around the world.  We are proud to partner with Jazz to deliver similar value and enhanced customer experience to the largest mobile provider in Pakistan.” said Zia Chishti, CEO Afiniti.

Afiniti uses AI to identify subtle and valuable patterns within human interaction to pair customers and employees out of sequence on the basis of behavior. Pairing in this way transforms the quality of interpersonal interactions, driving measurable increases in enterprise profitability and customer success metrics.

Typically, customers contacting a business are routed to the first available contact center agent regardless of fit. With Afiniti, callers are routed to the agent most likely to deliver a positive experience, in turn improving the company’s efficiency (average handle time, first call resolution), increasing revenue (sales conversion, up-sells and cross-sells, retention) and improving customer and agent satisfaction (NPS).

PSO to Support LUMS for Education of Next Generation of Leaders

PSO to Support LUMS for Education of Next Generation of Leaders

PSO to Support LUMS for Education of Next Generation of Leaders

Lahore: Pakistan State Oil Company Limited (PSO), the largest oil marketing company of Pakistan, has pledged PKR 10 million to LUMS. The donation will support meritorious undergraduate students currently enrolled under the National Outreach Programme (NOP), a prestigious scholarship at LUMS offered to underprivileged students across Pakistan with exceptional academic records.

An agreement signing ceremony between the PSO CSR Trust and LUMS was held at the University’s campus in Lahore. Mr. Shahzad Safdar, Trustee, PSO CSR Trust, and Ms. Tara Uzra Dawood, Member, PSO Board of Management, jointly presented the cheque to Dr. Arshad Ahmed, Vice Chancellor, LUMS. Officials from both organisations and the beneficiary students were also present at the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion Ms Tara Uzra Dawood, Member, PSO Board of Management said:

“At PSO, we believe that access to education can positively change the lives of individuals and their families. As such, education has the potential to transform the future of our country. I feel privileged to be present at the signing ceremony between the country’s two leading organisations. This initiative, along with the NOP programme at LUMS will go a long way in the lives of the beneficiary students and their families.”

Expressing his views, Mr Shahzad Safdar, Trustee, PSO CSR Trust said:

“As a responsible corporate citizen, PSO is committed to supporting sustainable social and economic development of Pakistan through philanthropic investment in various fields, including education. We continue to be in partnership with various leading educational institutions, including LUMS, in their mission to give access to quality education to those who otherwise do not hail from privileged backgrounds, and also those who come from some of the remotest districts of the country.”

Dr. Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor of LUMS, said:

“LUMS drives its strength from diversity represented by students from hundreds of villages, towns and cities across Pakistan. Constant support from PSO has been key in supporting the dreams and aspirations of the next generation of leaders.”

Under the LUMS’s scholarship programme funded by PSO CSR Trust, the company has sponsored 10 deserving students to help them pursue their higher education at Pakistan’s most prestigious university.

Shaikh Saadi's Quote - Best quote of the day - #quotesoftheday #quotes #urduquotes

Shaikh Saadi's Quote - Best quote of the day - #quotesoftheday #quotes #urduquotes

Shaikh Saadi's Quote - Best quote of the day - #quotesoftheday #quotes #urduquotes

Shaikh Saadi's Quote - Best quote of the day - #quotesoftheday #quotes #urduquotes

Shaikh Saadi's Quote - Best quote of the day - #quotesoftheday #quotes #urduquotes

Shaikh Saadi's Quote - Best quote of the day - #quotesoftheday #quotes #urduquotes

Shaikh Saadi's Quote - Best quote of the day - #quotesoftheday #quotes #urduquotes

Shaikh Saadi's Quote - Best quote of the day - #quotesoftheday #quotes #urduquotes

Coca-Cola and WWF-Pakistan collaborate with Pakistan’s first green TEDx event

Coca-Cola and WWF-Pakistan collaborate with Pakistan’s first green TEDx event

Coca-Cola and WWF-Pakistan collaborate with Pakistan’s first green TEDx event 

Group picture of TEDx Speakers and officials from Coca-Cola and WWF Pakistan at the TEDxLahore 2019 event

Lahore, October 22, 2019: As part of a joint initiative on tackling plastic waste pollution in Pakistan, Coca-Cola and WWF-Pakistan collaborated with Pakistan’s first ever TEDx green event held in Lahore following the theme of ‘Imagined Futures’. The event was organized at the Ali Institute on Sunday, October 20, 2019 and was attended by over 500 guests from all walks of life including students, teachers, professionals and experts from science and humanities. This was a ‘green event’ because all the carbon footprint generated through this event was planned to be set off by planting trees in partnership with Coca-Cola Pakistan. Moreover, all plastic beverage bottles at the event were also collected for recycling as part of Coca-Cola’s ‘Pakistan Without Waste’ program – to invest in solutions for plastic waste management.

A total of seven well noted speakers and one performer participated in the event curating ideas on various topics that can possibly influence or shape our future, including environment and plastic waste management. 

“This is a perfect example of establishing social partnerships to protect our combined future, with companies like Coca-Cola joining hands with social organizations like WWF-Pakistan and social advocacy platforms like TEDx, coming together to discover solutions and ideas that resonate to a wider audience and suggest ways of understanding the immediate threats to our environment more clearly and how we can tackle them as one team” commented Fahad Qadir, Director Public Affairs & Communications, Coca-Cola Pakistan & Afghanistan Region. 

Speaking about the event, Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF-Pakistan said, “This year's theme of TEDxLahore is Imagined Futures, which is relevant to the work we are doing for the past five decades in promoting environmental education and awareness as one of the key components of achieving our mission of conserving the environment in Pakistan. Looking back at how we have shaped the narrative of the environmental debate in the country reiterates the importance of platforms like TEDx.” He added that TEDx events share ideas, covering a broad spectrum from science to business to global issues. “Through such events, we aim to motivate people to think about nature conservation and explore ideas in protecting the Earth’s natural resources for a sustainable future.”

Talking about the event, Irteza Ubaid, Curator at TEDxLahore said, “In its tenth year, TEDxLahore is not only the oldest running TEDx event in Pakistan, but also, one of the first few TEDx events globally. Organized under license by TED, TEDxLahore has been instrumental in giving a platform to the community to share their ideas and stories and have successfully helped shape the local discourse in our community to move towards a more resilient and sustainable society. TEDxLahore is a platform for the community by the community”.

Apart from taking numerous initiatives to promote nature conservation, ecosystem management and sustainable practices, WWF-Pakistan promotes innovative ideas to tackle the environment issues of today. It regularly funds projects and research submitted through its Small Grants Programme as well as the Green Innovation Challenge. Through the partnership, it also aims to highlight the good work that is already taking place in the country and to encourage other innovators and change makers to come forward.

Monday, October 21, 2019

TECNO Launches CAMON 12 Air Exclusively On Daraz

TECNO Launches CAMON 12 Air Exclusively On Daraz

TECNO Launches CAMON 12 Air Exclusively On Daraz

Global premier mobile phone brand, Tecno Mobile has finally released its most awaited and most hyped phone; CAMON 12 Air exclusively on Daraz at an affordable price of 19,999. CAMON 12 Air (Full review) comes with impressive specifications featuring Punch-Hole Display, AI Max Triple Rear Camera and fashionable appearance.

CAMON 12 Air will be exclusively available at Daraz from 21st October – 31st October along with the voucher of PKR/-1000 as a cash back reward and can only be redeemed at Daraz.

General Manager Pakistan, Mr. Creek Ma said:- "We always wanted to make sure that our latest smartphone should be designed keeping in view our conscious users and the photography lovers who feel controlled by budget. The creation of Camon 12 Air showcases our strong consumer-centric innovation approach. The new Camon series member brings Display to a whole new level and incorporating triple rear cameras in minimal price range."

CAMON 12 Air takes the initiative to equip itself with revolutionary Punch-Hole Display for a cinematic viewing experience. With the remarkable 6.55 inch Display Size and 90% screen to Body ratio, the user would have unimaginably expansive viewing experience.

CAMON 12 Air has a Triple Rear Camera setup which comprises of 16MP primary lens with f/1.8 aperture that focuses on AI scene detection and AI HDR. The secondary lens of 5-megapixel captures 120°super wide angle shots and 2cm extreme macro photography experience in addition with 2MP depth sensor for Bokeh Effect and comes with quad LED flash for low light shots.

camon 12 air triple cameras

CAMON 12 Air has 4GB RAM & 64GB ROM, now users have more space for photos, music, videos and files and also 4GB RAM makes the system operations smoother and faster. The 4000mAh big battery allows a user more time connecting with the world and the phone is powered by 2.0 GHz Octa-core Helio P22 processor.

CAMON 12 air will be available in two exotic colors stellar Purple and Bay Blue from today onwards.

Call to make Glof-prone Chitral valleys resilient to disasters - Dawn

Call to make Glof-prone Chitral valleys resilient to disasters - Dawn

Call to make Glof-prone Chitral valleys resilient to disasters - Dawn

CHITRAL: Lower Chitral deputy commissioner Naveed Ahmed has said the region is highly vulnerable to glacial lake outburst flood (Glof) as it is surrounded by hundreds of glaciers.

He said the glaciers could not be stopped f rom being exploded by human ef fort, but their devastation could be mitigated by making the susceptible people resilient to the disaster.

Addressing the concluding ceremony of a workshop on `preparedness for Glof in Chitral` arranged by UNDP for the media persons, he said during the disaster of the type in Golen valleyin July,infrastructure of roads, drinking and irrigation water supply schemes was badly af fected, incurring a cumulative loss of Rs350 million.

The workshop was part of the second phase of the UNDP`s Glof project launched in August.

Mr Ahmed said the flood also damaged the 108MW Golen Gol hydropower station and it took three months to restore the generation. He said these losses could have been averted by designing the infrastructure resihent to the Glof threat.

He said the UNDP-funded project was need of the hour to create resilience among people by putting in place an early warning system, erecting safe havens and stockpiling of both food and non-food items.

He said the project should also impart training to those designing the physical infrastruc-ture in such vulnerable valleys.

In his presentation, Met department meteorologist Manzoor Ahmed said the phenomena of rainfall and snowfall had become quite irregular and anomalous over the past many decadescaused by climate change phenomenon. He said the abrupt and irregular rise and fall of atmospheric temperature triggered the outburst of glacial lakes and flash floods in the area.

MPA Maulana Hedayatur Rahman said the first phase of the Glof project had produced considerable results in Bindu Gol area in Upper Chitral where the devastation of floods was reduced due to the community`s preparedness.

He said the second phase of the project was launched after a gap of many years keeping in view the f requency of the glacial lakes outburst floods.

He suggested that the project should not be restricted to the Golen Gol valley only and should be extended to the other vulnerable villages, including Gohkir, Reshun, Sonoghur, Arkari and Sheshi Koh.

Provincial coordinator of the Glof project, Fahad Bangash and Chitralbased field officer Iqtidarul Mulkexplained the salient features of the project and said it was a community-based endeavour in which the experience and knowledge of the local people was also incorporated to make these ef fective.Correspondent


Hutchison Port Holdings announces $240m investment in Pakistan

Hutchison Port Holdings announces $240m investment in Pakistan

Hutchison Port Holdings announces $240m investment in Pakistan

  • ‘Investment will be used to build greater terminal capacity at Karachi Port’
  • ‘Hutchison Ports’ total investment in Pakistan has now reached $1bn’

ISLAMABAD (INP): Prime Minister Imran Khan has welcomed $240 million foreign investment from Hutchison Port Holdings, a Hong Kong-based port operator.

A delegation of Hutchison Port Holdings, led by its Group Managing Director Eric Ip, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday. Other delegation members included HPH Middle East & Africa Managing Director Andy Tsoi and Middle East & Africa Business Director Eric Ng.

Maritime Affairs Minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Special Assistant to PM on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Ambassador-at-Large for Foreign Investment Ali Jehangir Siddiqui and Board of Investment Chairman Zubair Haider Gilani were also present on the occasion.

Group Managing Director Eric Ip apprised the prime minister of Hutchison’s fresh investment into Pakistan approximating $240 million which will enhance the new container terminal capacity at the Karachi Port, and increase Hutchison Ports’ total investment in Pakistan to $1 billion.

The PM was briefed about the development of Hutchison Port Holdings, its parent company CK Hutchison Holdings, and the group’s commitment to playing a pivotal role in facilitating the economic growth of Pakistan, as well as supporting the development of Karachi Port into a major hub for trade in Asia.

PM Imran reiterated his government’s commitment and focus towards investor facilitation, saying that ‘ease of doing business’ in the country would ultimately result in economic growth and employment generation.

Ambassador Ali Jehangir Siddiqui on the occasion stated that as a result of a fairly priced currency, unit volumes of exports were increasing and there was a great need for additional container terminal capacity.

“As a result, this investment will support our export competitiveness and will also ensure greater revenue for both the federal exchequer and the Karachi Port Trust,” he stated. “This multimillion-dollar investment will be used to build greater terminal capacity at the Karachi Port, a much-needed initiative to help Karachi take its due place as a major trade hub internationally.”

K-Electric officials visits Korangi Association

K-Electric officials visits Korangi Association

K-Electric officials visits Korangi Association

KARACHI: CEO K-Electric Moonis Alvi and Chief Distribution Officer Amer Zia along with senior company officials met with the leadership of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) on Thursday.

President Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), Sheikh Umer Rehan apprised KE of the importance of the Korangi Industrial Area which is home to 4500 industries across multiple sectors and one of the largest contributors to the national exchequer. He stated that industrial and economic growth was only possible with the provision of a reliable, consistent supply of power. Chairman KATI Standing Committee on KE Danish Khan highlighted KE’s improved response times while also stressing upon the need for closer attention to improve operational efficiency to the industries. Zubair Chhaya, Chairman and CEO KITE Limited spoke positively about K-Electric’s increasing transparency in its processes, but also mentioned that there are some areas which have further room for improvement and investment.

CEO KE Moonis Alvi apprised KATI that K-Electric has exempted all industrial zones in Karachi from loadshed since 2010. He also mentioned that in the next 4 years, the company is working on an investment plan of USD 3 billion across the value chain to further improve the reliability of power supply. On the generation side, K-Electric is working to set up a 900 MW RLNG-based plant with an investment of around USD 650 million and also a 700 MW coal-based power plant to meet Karachi’s growing power demand. Simultaneously work is ongoing on the USD 450 million TP-1000 project to enhance transmission capacity. Chief Distribution officer Amer Zia further apprised KATI that the company is converting PMTs to Aerial Bundled Cables to reduce theft ratios. This collective investment has enabled K-Electric to exempt over 70% of the city from load-shed today including all industrial zones and strategic installations.

The impact of the recent rain spells on the city were also discussed at length. Amer Zia apprised KATI that the poor state of Karachi’s drainage system caused widespread waterlogging and forced the company to shut down areas in view of public safety. He mentioned that KE is committed to the safety of its citizens, but emphasized the need for cooperation between all stakeholders responsible for the city in order to jointly tackle the challenges in infrastructure.

Thousands of workers sent home amid plummeting sales, claim auto vendors - Dawn

Thousands of workers sent home amid plummeting sales, claim auto vendors - Dawn

Thousands of workers sent home amid plummeting sales, claim auto vendors - Dawn

KARACHI: Vendors have shown exit doors to thousands of daily wage workers, outsource employees and contractual workers from July until date following massive decline in sales in the overall auto sector.

Pakistan Association of Automobile Parts and Accessories Manufacturer (Paapam) Chairman Capt (retd) Mohammad Akram told Dawn on Saturday that he had received feedback from association’s 400 members across the country regarding layoffs of around 40,000 people in view of the steep fall in parts procurement by the car and other auto assemblers after massive sales drop.

He said there are around 1,500-2,000 other small and medium-size vendors who supply parts to the aftermarket. “I think they are not hit hard as aftermarket is going quite strong. We [Paapam’s] 400 vendors supply parts to the auto assemblers exclusively.

“I see more joblessness in case the sales slowdown continues in the next two to three months,” Akram feared while adding that the axe may also fall on permanent workers in the next phase of layoffs. He said the 1QFY20 had already ended in red for the entire auto sector while sales are likely to remain depressed until December.

On rising vehicle prices — especially cars, he cited low localisation in vehicles as one the main reasons. “What assemblers claim of achieving high localisation is wrong, I can prove it,” he said while adding that higher localisation would definitely have averted frequent increase in prices of cars on falling rupee against the dollar.

Akram also complained that assemblers have been persistently increasing vehicle prices but they hesitate in passing on price increase to vendors for parts procurement.

Former Paapam chairman Munir Bana said he had fired up to 300 employees (daily wage workers, contractual, supervisors etc) from July till to date. He added that contracts of those employees who over the age of 60 and were already on extension, were not renewed. “I still have 1,000 workers and staffers left,” he added.

He said after closing down the second shift, his company is now observing four Saturdays as holidays instead of two. Besides, due to lack of workload, the company has also stopped giving overtime as well.

A Balochistan Wheels Ltd official said the company has laid off 300 daily wage workers, workers, contractual and permanent staffers. He said the company has been observing non-production days from Oct 11-24.

“Many vendors are either unable to pay salaries or delaying payments to their workers and staffers due to cash flow problems,” he claimed adding that around 7,000-8,000 workers and staffers had lost their jobs in vending industries of Karachi and Lahore alone.

Contrary to this, the Indus Motor Company (IMC) — the maker of Toyota vehicles — has announced that there will be no layoffs of employees despite slowdown in production. The IMC resumed auto production at 50 per cent capacity from Oct 1 after shutting down plant for last 15 days of September.

The rupee depreciated by around 31.6pc in the last 12 months, but “by not laying off workers and staffers, we are absorbing this financial crunch,” IMC representative said.

Car assemblers have been struggling under rupee depreciation, reduction in car financing, imposition of 2.5-7.5pc federal excise duty, 7pc additional customs duties and 3pc additional sales tax on all imports.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2019

PPAF, AKRSP and KfW successfully installed 306 KW hydro power plants in Gazeen, Chitral

PPAF, AKRSP and KfW successfully installed 306 KW hydro power plants in Gazeen, Chitral

PPAF, AKRSP and KfW successfully installed 306 KW hydro power plants in Gazeen, Chitral

PPAF commissioned four Hydro Power Plants of 800 KW for communities in KP 

October 20, 2019: Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund in collaboration with Agha Khan Rural Support Program and German Development Bank (KfW) successfully installed 306 KW hydro power plant in Gazeen, Chitral, providing renewable energy to hundreds of households. The Hydropower Plant installed will benefit 335 households and impact five villages namely Gazen, Dubargar, Unawich, Skermud and Kurkun. This plant is one of the PPAF’s four hydro power stations recently commissioned for communities in remote areas of KP.

Inauguration of the new power plant in Gazeen was done by Federal Minister for Energy, Mr Omar Ayub Khan along with Mr Wolfgang Mollers, Country Director Pakistan, KfW and CEO Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Qazi Azmat Isa on Saturday. 

On this occasion, Federal Minister for Energy, Mr Omar Ayub Khan said, “PPAF has done a commendable job today; the success of this hydro power plant could change the lives of hundreds of locals. I would urge PPAF and other organizations to continue working towards empowering people in every corner of Pakistan. The need of the hour is to focus on building human skills development center to work on capacity building.” 

Wolfgang Mollers, Country Head KfW said, “KfW has always lended support to organizations working for improving the lives of underprivileged communities. I would like to congratulate PPAF on the completion of this monumental project and hope this is the beginning of a prosperous chapter for the region.” 

CEO PPAF, Qazi Azmat Isa shared his thoughts on the completion of the project and said, “PPAF started its journey 20 years ago and I am proud to claim that today our commitment ; towards improving the lives of the fellow citizens has been more strengthened. I am hopeful that with this hydro power project we will make a considerable impact on the lives of locals not only in terms of prosperity but by also inculcating new annals of women empowerment, literacy, entrepreneurship and skill development”. 

The project is funded by Federal Republic of Germany through the German Development Bank (KfW) whereas Agha Khan Rural Support Program is the implementing partner. 

Over recent years significance of small scale hydropower projects has increased manifold in northern districts of Pakistan, especially in Gilgit-Baltistan and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. PPAF’s recently commissioned four Hydro Power plants with an aggregate power production of around 800 KW will provide access to energy to 1500 households in six districts of KP, and more than 20,000 people will now have 24/7 access to off-grid environment friendly electricity.

So far through PPAF’s renewable energy project, 68 solar energy and 66 hydro power projects have been completed in rural areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, these include Chitral, Buner, Upper Dir, Swabi, Laki Marwat and Karak. The Hydro Power projects are implemented in Gazeen, Astore, Upper Dir and Chitral. The districts have been selected on the basis of their, Human Development Index, poverty ranking, and the potential for energy demand and renewable energy resources.

A 136 KW power plant in Astore will aid 79 households in 3 small villages namely Tori Astore, Astore and Tuhtonas. 200 kW plant is being implemented in village Bishoo by SRSP for the benefit of 555 households with the financial assistance of KfW/PPAF. This project will benefit 7 villages namely Bishoo Bala, Bishoo Payeen, Jikand, Thonay, Pingas, Chamkot and Siyasin and the surroundings. Five primary schools will also seek advantage from the current project. 125 kW is being implemented in village Pursat by SRSP for the benefit of 227 households with the financial assistance of KfW/PPAF. This project will generate electricity for four villages namely Pursat, Phorghal, Chainoor and Puretgole and the surroundings. 

The hydro power plants will help transform life of the marginalized communities living in the far flung areas where access to basic necessities of life can be difficult. PPAF has always worked diligently towards changing lives for better. In recognition of their efforts for improving life quality in remote areas of Pakistan, the organization has been awarded many national and international awards. PPAF has received three international awards for its outstanding and innovative work in empowering off-grid communities through the renewable energy projects. These include: 

• Energy Institute (EI) Award for Community Managed Micro Hydropower Projects (MHPs) in 2016
• Energy Institute (EI) Award for Community Managed Solar Mini-grid Projects in 2018 
• Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) Award for “Best Off-Grid Project” in 2018.

These awards are a testament of PPAF’s resolve and commitment for increasing access to energy to the most vulnerable and under-served communities in line with SDG-7 which focuses on enhancing international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy. 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Singapore becomes first country to ban ads on sugary drinks

Singapore becomes first country to ban ads on sugary drinks

Singapore becomes first country to ban ads on sugary drinks

Singapore is set to become the first country in the world to ban ads for unhealthy drinks with high sugar content in what it says is the latest move in its ongoing "war on diabetes."

The ban, which will apply to "the least healthy" sugar-sweetened beverages, will cover all media platforms including print, broadcast and online, said Edwin Tong, Senior Minister of State for the city-state's Ministry of Health.

He told reporters at a press conference on Thursday that the decision was made after a "public consultation" in the form of a survey.

Soft drinks, juices, yogurt drinks and instant coffee would all be affected by the new regulation, the ministry said in a press release.

The ministry also says it will continue to gather consumer and industry feedback in the next few months, before announcing further details on its implementation next year.

In addition to an ad ban, the ministry announced that sugary drinks would also be required to display a color-coded, front-of-pack nutrition label to list nutritional quality and sugar content.

Tong said the two measures were only the first steps in the city-state's efforts to combat diabetes. Two other proposals, including the possibility of introducing an excise duty or even an outright ban on high-sugar drinks, are still "on the agenda."

"We intend to study them more carefully," he added. "We want to find measures that are sustainable in the long-term, that shape not just market consumption behavior but also on the supply side to drive reformulation."

'War on diabetes'

High consumption of sugary drinks is associated with obesity and greater risks of developing chronic diseases like diabetes and heart diseases. According to the World Health Organization , people who regularly consume one to two cans of sugary drinks a day are 26% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who rarely drink them.

Furthermore, it is estimated that the worldwide prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.

A leading international financial center, Singapore has been faced with a growing aging population, which has prompted the government to explore ways to reduce its health care burden.

The city-state's obesity rate has been on the rise since the 1990s, and according to the International Diabetes Foundation , close to 1 in 7 adults in its population had diabetes in 2017.

Before announcing the new regulations, the Health Ministry launched a public consultation on reducing the consumption of sugary beverages late last year. Over 70% of its respondents supported setting up advertising regulations to influence consumer choices.

The ministry also urged drinks manufacturers to reformulate their products to provide healthier choices, while retaining the taste.

In a statement to CNN, the Singaporean arm of Coca-Cola said it welcomed the new measures to help reduce sugar intake, and said it expected them to have "minimal impact on our portfolio."

"We have been innovating to launch new lower-sugar and no-sugar drinks," it read. "Because while sugar in moderation is fine, we agree that too much of it is not good for anyone."

CNN has reached out to PepsiCo and to the Singapore Food and Beverage Management Association for comment.

Bank Alfalah's profit before tax up by 16%

Bank Alfalah's profit before tax up by 16%

Bank Alfalah's profit before tax up by 16%

Abu Dhabi, October 18, 2019: The Board of Directors of Bank Alfalah Limited in its meeting held on October 18, 2019, in Abu Dhabi, approved the Bank’s unaudited interim financial statements for the period ended September 30, 2019.

The Bank’s pre-tax profits grew by 16% from a year ago, amidst challenging operating environment.

The Bank earned post-tax profit of Rs 9.242 Bn or Rs. 5.20 per share, up from a profit of Rs. 8.629 Bn or Rs. 4.87 per share despite Super Tax charge levied for 2017 through the mini budget in 2019.

Revenue was up by 29% from a year earlier. Higher spreads along with improved average deposits, rising average advances and effective balance sheet management have contributed to a strong rise in net interest income. Fee and commission income stood 12% higher than same period last year. Gain realized on government securities last year and bearish stock market sentiments during the first half of 2019 are the reasons behind lower capital gains and impairment charge. 

Administrative expenses increased by 21% against the corresponding reporting period. Main factors behind this are technology, marketing, deposit protection insurance which is a new levy, new initiatives like branch openings along with overall impact of inflationary adjustments and PKR devaluation. The cost to income ratio of the Bank has improved to 53% from 56% for the same period last year, as a testament to Bank’s focus on cost control.

The Bank continued its focus on increasing no cost deposits with CASA mix improved to 80% as at Sep 30, 2019 compared to 77% as at Dec 31, 2018.

Credit performance remained strong across businesses. The bank’s gross advances were reported at Rs. 490.664 billion, down by 5% being seasonal impact.  Alongside, we continue to optimize our usage of capital and liquidity across the Bank.

At September end, the bank remains adequately capitalized with CAR at 16.87%.

Commenting on the Bank’s performance over the quarter, Nauman Ansari, CEO, Bank Alfalah said, “Although, the importance of the branch in attracting and retaining customers would remain, however, the retail banking industry is fast embracing a mobile-centric customer experience. Bank Alfalah’s investment in both, branches and digital technologies, has increased meaningfully due to consumers’ constantly evolving demands.” 

One died in road mishap in Chitral's Bernis area, this is second road accident in 3 days

One died in road mishap in Chitral's Bernis area, this is second road accident in 3 days

One died in road mishap, this is second road accident in 3 days.

CHITRAL (By Gul Hamaad Farooqi): AS well as another road mishap occurred at upper Chitral where one person died on the spot.  According to SHO police station Koghuzi a  driver of a car died after the vehicle plunged into Dalum Gol near Barenis on Chitral-Mastuj road on Friday, .XLI bearing registration number 6067 was on its way at Booni road when it fell down in deep ravine. 

The deceased was identified as Wahid Gul, son of Taza Gul, a resident of Khall village at  Dir Upper. It is yet to be ascertained where the XLI was going.

The body was sent to the native town of the deceased. The cause of the accident is believed to be absence of protection wall along the road. Mostly  of Chitral roads are in worsen condition and they passes through Chitral river where there is lack of parapet or protection wall. road have big ditches in its middle and heavy stones causing of road mishap. 

Eight people died and 10 others were injured in a traffic accident near Ragh on the same road on Wednesday. Social and political circle of Chitral have demanded from Federal and Provincial government for early construction of these roads as well as to release immediately fund of 370 million announced for beautification of Chitral and to repair worsen roeads of Chitral so as to save preciouis lives from  lost  in such road accidents. 

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