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Weekly SPI Increases by 0.98 Percent

July 10, 2020 (MLN): The Weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the Combined Group increased by 0.98% during the week ended Jul 09, 2020 while the SPI increased by 11.02% compared to the corresponding period from last year.

According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) the Combined Index was at 133.62 compared to 132.32 on Jul 02, 2020 while the index was recorded at 120.36 a year ago, on Jul 11, 2019

Out of the 51 monitored items, the average price of 18 items increased, 11 items decreased whereas 22 items registered no change during the week.

The weekly SPI percentage change by income groups showed that SPI increased across all quantiles ranging between 0.86% and 1.27%.

The Lowest Income Group witnessed a weekly increase of 1.27% while the highest income group recorded an increase of 0.86%.

On an yearly basis, analysis of SPI change across different income segments showed that SPI increased across all quantiles ranging between 9.43% and 14.33%.

Yearly SPI for the Lowest Income Group increased by 14.33% while the highest income group recorded an increase of 9.43%.

The average price of Sona urea stood at Rs.1637 per 50 kg bag which is 0.37% higher than last week’s price and 16.69% lower when compared to last year.

Meanwhile, average Cement price was recorded at Rs.551 per 50 kg bag, which is 0.55% higher than the previous week and 12.4% lower than prices last year.

 

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Nishat Chunian gets the approval for Scheme of Compromises,...

July 10, 2020 (MLN): Nishat (Chunian) Limited (NCL), via notification to Exchange has informed that the Honorable Lahore High Court has approved the Scheme for Compromises, Arrangement and Reconstruction between NCL and its wholly owned subsidiary NC Electric Company Limited (NCECL).

However, the notification stated that two of the changes that were resolved in Extra Ordinary General Meeting were inadvertently left out in the Court Order and in this regard, management has filed an application for correction of the order. Changes resolved by the shareholders were as follows:

  1. The effective date of merger be changed from July 1st to 30th June 2020.
  2. The authorized Share Capita of NCECL be merged with Authorized Share Capital of NCL

 

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PIA – An earth bound misfit?

July 10, 2020 (MLN): Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) ‘fake license’ controversy has taken a surprising yet much-deserved toll on the aviation sector, as several countries have reacted to the scandal by imposing restrictions on the national carrier’s international movement.

For the unversed, the government had discovered as many as 262 out of the total 860 pilots to have fake licenses, the information of which was made available to the public. Following this revelation, the government had dismissed around 28 pilots, with stern disciplinary and criminal proceedings ongoing against the remaining fake license holders. 

While the motive to openly publicize the fake license scandal was to show the citizens how the government was doing its best to revive the national carrier, the gesture quickly backfired as not only PIA, but the government too saw itself at the receiving end of an endless backlash from domestic as well as international spectators.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) was the first international body to react to this controversy, as it barred PIA from flying into most of Europe for the next six months. The ‘validity of the Pakistani pilot licenses’ and ‘incapability of the state of the operator to certify and oversee its aircraft as per international standards’ were some of the reasons put forth by the EASA for banning PIA into its district.

Not only this, several countries that had hired Pakistani Pilots in their national airlines, such as Malaysia and Vietnam, also took strict actions and grounded their Pakistani employees over the fake license case. Similarly, the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority withdrew PIA’s permit to operate from three of its airports, whereas the United Arab Emirates sought to verify the credentials of its Pakistani pilots and engineers.

The latest country to follow the suit has been the United States, as the U.S. Department of Transportation has revoked permission for PIA to conduct charter flights to the country, citing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) concerns over Pakistani pilot certifications.

Despite the backlash and strict actions that have transpired out of this situation, the Prime Minister Imran Khan has been lauded by many for being on the front foot and tackling the problem of corruption heads on, to ensure the sanctity of the aviation industry and safety of the passengers.

It may have gone unnoticed by many that the state has handled the embarrassment part very smarty, by giving it a political angle. The concerned authorities, while putting forth the facts pertaining to the issuance of fake licenses, pointed out that most of the suspected cases were issued licenses from 2012 to 2018, a time when Imran Khan was not even the Prime Minister.

Some of the prominent figures within the cabinet have even tried to cover for the Prime Minister by stating that the ‘probe was not a leak, but something that the PM wanted to correct to ensure aviation safety for the citizens’.

On the other hand, some believe that the scandal has put the jobs of several Pakistani pilots across the globe at stake. The sudden urge to free PIA from years of embedded corruption comes hardly two months after the infamous plane crash, which shows how desperate the government is to distract the citizens from the main issue.

Sor far, the actions that have been taken by the Aviation Ministry, besides the dismissal of the fake license holders, include suspension of five CAA officers who were responsible for issuing the fake licenses. The investigation over the case is still underway, and the ministry is doing its utmost best to ensure PIA’s compliance with international standards.  Whatever the case may be, the country has indeed suffered a lot in terms of global humiliations and restrictions, something that would take a lot of time and effort to fix.

Several concerns are also being raised over PIA’s financial well-being and future earnings, as the scandal may have definitely steered away many of its exiting as well as potential customers. Now with the restrictions by some of the largest economies across the globe in place, the decline in earnings for at least the next six months is inevitable.  

It is pertinent to mention that PIA had earned an operating profit of Rs. 5 billion during the first quarter of the current year, i.e. 37% higher as compared to the corresponding period last year. The growth in the company’s earnings was a result of the deployment of extra capacity in high yield markets such as the United Kingdom, which also helped in negating the impact of additional costs arising from an increase in fuel prices and suspension of flights to India and the Far Eastern countries.

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ICCI for promoting industrialization

Jul 10, 2020: A delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) led by Muhammad Ahmed Waheed President called on Mathar Niaz Rana, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Planning and Development and discussed with him various proposals for promoting industrialization in the region.

Tahir Abbasi Senior Vice President ICCI and Malik Sohail Hussain Chief Coordinator UBG FPCCI were in the delegation, said a press release.

Welcoming the delegation, Mathar Niaz Rana, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Planning & Development briefed them about the various initiatives of his ministry and shared detail of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects that offered a great opportunity for JVs and investment to the private sector.

He said that ICCI could play role to bring more investors from the private sector in order to exploit the potential opportunities of business partnerships in CPEC projects.

He said an Industrial Zone has been planned in Islamabad under CPEC project and desired that ICCI should share its proposal for the industrial zone that would be given due consideration. He further said that sector-specific industrial clusters were required in Islamabad to facilitate the potential foreign and local investors in exploring JVs and investment opportunities in such clusters.

Speaking at the occasion, Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that ICCI had been making efforts since long for the establishment of a new industrial estate in Islamabad to promote industrialization as there was no more space in existing industrial areas to setup new industries due to which the potential investors were facing problems.

He urged the Planning Ministry to cooperate for materialization of this important project that would give boost to industrial activities and create plenty of new jobs in the region.

Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said that ICCI should be taken on board for the establishment of industrial zone in Islamabad under CPEC project and added that ICCI would send its proposal for the said project to make it an industrial zone that could exploit the comparative advantage and human talent of the area and emerge as a hub of industrial activities in the region.

Tahir Abbasi Senior Vice President ICCI and Malik Sohail Hussain Chief Coordinator UBG FPCCI also shared various proposals for industrial development in the region.

APP

Gold ends 5-day winning streak

July 10, 2020 (MLN): Breaking its five-day rising streak, gold price declined by Rs 200 to Rs 108,900 per tola in bullion markets. The precious yellow metal of 24-Karat had closed at Rs 109,100 per tola on the last day.

According to the Karachi Sarafa Association, the price of 10-gram gold also witnessed a decrease of Rs 172 to settle at Rs 93,364 against Rs 93,536 on the last trading day.

On the other hand, the silver prices remained flat at Rs 1,060 per tola.  Similarly, 10-gram silver stayed stagnant at Rs 908.78.

In the global market, gold prices inched lower by $6 to clock in at $1,808 per ounce while silver was valued at $18.76 per ounce.

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