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OP&HRD Ministry starts implementation of expelled expat workers’ re-employment...

July 05, 2020: The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP&HRD) has started implementation of the action plan for re-employment of the overseas Pakistani workers, who had been expelled by their foreign employees in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The ousted skilled workers would be provided technical and financial assistance under the Kamyab Jawan and Ehsaas programmes, while Technical and Vocational institutions of the country would also be engaged in that regard, an OP&HRD Ministry official told APP.

He said the ministry had recently launched a portal to document the overseas workers, who had lost their jobs abroad due to the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 across the world.

“Around 40,000 expelled workers have registered themselves with the portal, indicating that the initiative receives overwhelming response from the skilled overseas workers,” he noted.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on OP&HRD Sayed Zulifkar Abbas Bukkhari, in a statement, said it was imperative to create job opportunities for the skilled workers, returning to the country after losing jobs in their host countries.

Efforts were afoot to offer financial assistance to such workers under the Ehsaas Programme, he said, adding,“We realize the problems of the returning workers in the trying times.”

He said special initiatives were being taken to facilitate Pakistani labourers and jobless, following the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“The safe repatriation and provision of livelihood to the Pakistani manpower is among the top priorities of the government,” he said, hinting at reintegration of such workers in the society.



Big Oil confronts possibility of terminal demand decline

July 05, 2020: Although crude prices have rebounded from coronavirus crisis lows, oil execs and experts are starting to ask if the industry has crossed the Rubicon of peak demand.

The plunge in the price of crude oil during the first wave of coronavirus lockdowns -- futures prices briefly turned negative -- was due to the drop in global demand as planes were parked on tarmacs and cars in garages.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast that average daily oil demand will drop by eight million barrels per day this year, a decline of around eight percent from last year.

While the agency expects an unprecedented rebound of 5.7 million barrels per day next year, it still forecasts overall demand will be lower than in 2019 owing to ongoing uncertainty in the airline sector.

Some are questioning whether demand will ever get back to 2019 levels.

"I don't think we know how this is going to play out. I certainly don't know," BP's new chief executive Bernard Looney said in May.

The COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing then with most planes grounded and white-collar workers giving up the commute to work from home.

"Could it be peak oil? Possibly. I would not write that off," Looney told the Financial Times.


CDNS achieves its annual target of Rs 377 bln...

July 04, 2020: The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) has achieved its annual collection of net annual target of Rs 377 billion in the current fiscal year by June 30.

CDNS has set Rs 352 billion annual collection target for the year 2019-20 as compared to Rs 350 billion for the previous year’s 2018-19 to enhance savings and promoting saving culture in the country, a senior official of CDNS told APP here.

The directorate has also revised and increased the gross target of Rs1570 billion for the fiscal year 2019-20, he said.

The senior official said due to the rationalization of CDNS certificates’ rates, the directorate had collected more savings than expected, therefore CDNS revised its target upward from Rs 224 to 324 billion for FY 2018-19.

Replying to a question on current revision of CDNS certificate profit rates applicable from June 02, 2020, he said CDNS has reduced the interest rate by 1 percent on the savings certificates investment due to lower rates of Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIB).

He informed that the CDNS interest rates are linked with the policy of PIB, set by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

Replying to a question on the reduction of CDNS profit rate, he said the rate of return on ‘Behbood Savings Certificates’ (BSC) reduced from 10.32 to 9.84 percent and as similarly Pensioner Benefit Accounts (PBA) recorded downwards from 10.32 to 9.84 percent.

The profit rates on ‘Shuhada Family Welfare Account’ also reduced from 10.32 to new rates of 9.84 percent applicable from June 02 of this year, he said.

He said the profit rates on ‘Defense Savings Certificates’ (DSC) was also reduced from 8.54 to 8.05 percent and interest rates on ‘Regular Income Certificates’ also downwards 8.28 to 7.44 percent according to the current market situation.

He informed that the profit rates on Special Savings Certificates (Registered)/Accounts was also reduced on all three categories of certificates from 1-5 Profit 8.00 to 7.10 percent , 6th Profit 8.60% 7.40 percent and Average 8.10 to 7.15 percent by June 02 , 2020.

The senior official said the Short Term Savings Certificates profit rates also reduced on different categories on months on month bases by 3-Months from 7.80 to 7.72 , on 6-Months certificates 7.50 to 7.36 percent and on 12-Months slightly increased from 6.95 to 7.30 percent.

He said the profit rates on Savings Account (SA) had also been reduced from 7.00 to 6.50 percent decided by last meeting held in Ministry of Finance.

Replying to a question, he said CDNS did not accept institutional investment, but only individual investment was encouraged to deposit for saving in the National Savings.



Mercedes dominate opening practice as F1 roars back

July 03, 2020: Defending six-time champion Lewis Hamilton topped the times ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas as Formula One roared back at Friday's opening practice at the belated and surreal season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.

Three months after the cancellation of the original campaign starter in Australia and six months on from the last race meeting, it was business as usual for the dominant black arrows with Max Verstappen third for Red Bull ahead of McLaren's Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz.

After a slow start on a damp surface at the Red Bull Ring, following overnight rain, Hamilton, sporting a new Black Lives Matter helmet to match his black race suit, was on the pace immediately in his W11 car of the same colour, repainted from silver this year to support equality and diversity.

It was as if the lengthy delay created by the COVID-19 pandemic had no affect on the teams, cars and drivers other than Ferrari whose new SF91 machine was, as forecast, unable to match the pace set at the front by Mercedes.

Ferrari plan to revise their car with updates for the Hungarian race in two weeks time following the second event in Austria next week.

Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, who is set to leave the outfit at the end of the year, struggled to 12th, two places behind team-mate Charles Leclerc, in the eerie surroundings of the fan-less circuit in the Styrian Alps where pit-stops were curiously controlled with all the mechanics in masks and protective gear.

In mild weather conditions, with track temperatures measured at 22 degrees Celsius compared to 57 degrees for last year's race, Mercedes had no cooling problems as Hamilton outpaced Bottas by three-tenths and was six-tenths clear of Verstappen.

Sergio Perez was fifth in Racing Point's 'pink Mercedes' ahead of Lando Norris in the second McLaren, Alex Albon in the other Red Bull and McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo of Renault. Kevin Magnussen was ninth for Haas.

The session saw Verstappen recover from a spin at Turn One and Daniil Kvyat of Alpha Tauri run off at the final corner, causing Williams' George Russell to take dramatic avoiding action while Romain Grosjean was stuck in the Haas garage with brake problems throughout the session.


OGDC starts commercial production of Gas and Condensate from...

July 03, 2020: Oil & Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) as operator with (50% share), Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) (33.33%) & Saif Energy Limited (SEL)(16.67%) in joint venture of Kohat Exploration Licence (E.L) has started commercial production of Gas and Condensate from its exploratory well Togh # 01, which is located in district Kohat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

OGDCL indigenously completed 8” inch dia, 3.5 Km flow line from |Togh Well # 01 to Sheikhan Well # 01. The well head assembly and other allied facilities including gathering area, separation facility, dehydration plant, storage facility, dispatch pumping station, gantry area and metering station were constructed using in-house resources.

On June 30th 2020 the first gas was successfully injected into M/s SNGPL network wherein OGDCL is committed to provide 9.0 MMSCFD gas and 240 barrel per day (BPD) of condensate.

OGDCL is aimed to intensifying field development activities, completion of ongoing development projects and utilization of latest production techniques to maintain and optimize oil & gas output.

The startup of commercial production would increase the oil and gas production of the Company and the Country thus helping in mitigating ever growing demand of domestic consumers and industry.


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