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Netherlands reaffirms support to Pakistan at FATF

February 18, 2020: Netherlands has reaffirmed support to Pakistan at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Ambassador of Netherlands to Pakistan Willem Wouter Plomp extended the support during a meeting with Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser in Islamabad today.

The envoy appreciated the steps taken by Pakistan to check money laundering and terror financing.

He said there is great scope of cooperation between Pakistan and Netherlands in the area of agriculture.

He said his country can assist Pakistan in enhancing production of potatoes, dairy farming and cultivation of flowers on commercial basis.

Willem Wouter Plomp said the investors of his country are also interested to invest in Pakistan.

Radio Pakistan

Pakistan gets highest-ever $200 mln grant to redress environment...

February 18, 2020: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam has said Pakistan would initiate work on multiple projects under $ 200 million grant by Green Climate Fund (GCF) to mitigate environmental degradation in the country.

He said Pakistan has formally had received grants of around $200, adding "The GCF funding given to Pakistan is the highest ever international amount."

He said the GCF grants would help finance crucial projects, including installation of 40 monitoring stations in the Northern Areas’ glaciers, Zero Emission Metro Bus project Karachi and Climate Smart Agriculture, aimed at reducing the devastating impacts of global warming and increased greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

Amin said the glaciers of Northern Areas were melting apace and had developed numerous glacial lakes that required urgent attention to have proper monitoring, besides issuing early warnings to the local communities for optimum disaster preparedness and management.

He noted that the Zero Emissions Metro Bus Karachi was the world’s first project with least emissions that would be established as a model of biogas fuel using buses plying on 30 kilometers route.    

The Adviser specifically mentioned that the Climate Smart Agriculture project would be implemented in collaboration with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). A memorandum of understanding was recently signed with FAO to implement the project in 8 districts of South Punjab and Sindh, he added.

“It will be a pilot project whereas the study/consequences of project would be implemented across the country to transform our agriculture sector on climate change resilient and adaptive terms”, he said.

He also admired the people of Kohistan for their sacrifices and cooperation for a national cause and said that construction work of all components was in progress at a rapid pace and would be completed by earlier-2025.

Earlier, during the visit of the dam site, WAPDA Chairman also reviewed the construction activities at main access tunnel leading to the power house, the two diversion tunnels, project offices and colony where the project management briefed the Chairman of the progress on main civil and preparatory works in the project area.

APP

Dasu Hydro Power Project to start power generation by...

February 18, 2020: WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (R) on Tuesday said that after completion of Dasu Dam it would stabilize the economy of the country by generating low-cost hydel electricity and bring prosperity.

While addressing the Dasu Dam affectees he said this project besides leading to a new era of socio-economic development would also bring affluence in the region.

Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (R) stated that with a huge amount of 4 billion rupees we would start developmental schemes in the Dasu Hydro Power Project affected areas and would also fulfill the genuine demands of the project affectees.

He also admired the people of Kohistan for their sacrifices and cooperation for a national cause and said that construction work of all components was in progress at a rapid pace and would be completed by earlier-2025.

Earlier, during the visit of the dam site WAPDA Chairman also reviewed the construction activities at main access tunnel leading to the power house, the two diversion tunnels, project offices and colony where the project management briefed the Chairman of the progress on main civil and preparatory works in the project area.

APP

The woes of Habib Bank Ltd

February 18, 2020 (MLN): The State Bank of Pakistan has imposed a penalty of Rs. 12.8 million on Habib Bank Limited, as a result of procedural violations on the latter’s part.

According to the details provided by SBP, the violations were made in the area of Customers’ Due Diligence (CDD) and Know Your Customer (KYC).

Back in December, SBP had imposed a monetary penalty worth Rs. 219.138 million on five banks due to violation of SBP’s rules and regulations.

It seems that Habib Bank has been experiencing quite rough phase, not just because of the constant penalties imposed by SBP, but also because of the various glitches has been embroiled in lately.

Earlier, the Bank had informed about its plan to close down its New York branch, that too voluntarily. The decision to wipe out operations in New York ensued after Department of Financial Services (DFS) accused Habib Bank of more than 53 counts of grave misconducts.

A detailed report released by DFS in this regard investigated serious deficiencies identified in the New York branch ranging from Anti Money Laundering (AML) compliance, including the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) to terrorist financing.

Subsequently, the Bank reached a settlement with the New York State Department of Financial Services through a consent order under New York Banking Law, under which the former was asked to pay a hefty penalty of $225 Million.

Following the closure of the branch, which is expected to take place on or before March 31, 2020, HBL will no longer operate any bank branch in the United States.

In yet another shocking affair, the Middle East operations of the Bank got accused by a renowned media house of displaying “significant irregularities” in dealings with politically exposed clients and screening some transactions.

These claims were made on the basis of an inspection by the South Asian nation’s central bank that took place more than a year after the lender was shut out of the U.S. financial system.

However, HBL was quick to give a befitting reply to these claims, stating that “in 2017 few weaknesses were identified at HBL UAE which contravened its processes and standards. This should never have happened”.

“Over the last two years, we initiated a business transformation program which is now largely complete. A new senior leadership team is in place. We have transformed our control and compliance process to ensure that they are in line with international standards. All staff have undertaken additional training as a reminder of our robust compliance and control processes and their responsibilities”, it added.

Copyright Mettis Link News

Pakistan Post to become largest banking network

February 18, 2020: Pakistan Post (PP) would become the largest banking network of the country by December.

An official of Pakistan Post said that PP has been linked with 15,000 kiosks of NADRA for bio-metric verification and it would be helpful in disbursing remittances, Ehsaas program payments and other essential services.

He said during current month, a home delivery service would be introduced by Pakistan Post and 125,000 franchise post offices would be set up in two years to provide employment to a large number of people.

He said a loss of Rs 52 billion of Pakistan Post had been brought down due to reforms taken by the incumbent government. 

The reforms included introduction of live tracking of shipments, EMS plus survey for sending parcels to any destination in the world in 72 hours, entry into e-commerce sector, tapping the financial tech market of Rs 200 billion market, using network of 12,000 post offices in the country to deliver remittances at no charge, same day delivery in major cities of Pakistan and improvement in UMS Service.

APP

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