October 18, 2019: New labour laws in Qatar that allow foreign workers to freely change jobs and leave the country without the approval of their employers has been praised by the International Labour Organization (ILO), a UN agency, as “a momentous step forward" in upholding the workers' rights.
The ILO said the reforms, which will enter into force by January, mark the end of an employee sponsorship system, common across the whole Middle East, known as kafala.
The Gulf state has also endorsed a new law establishing a non-discriminatory minimum wage: a first for the region.
There are more than 1.9 million migrant workers in Qatar, about 90% of the country’s total population, according to the ministry of development planning and statistics. Most are from south and south-east Asian countries including Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and the Philippines.
“The ILO welcomes these reforms and recognizes the commitment of the State of Qatar to transforming its labour market. These steps will greatly support the rights of migrant workers, while contributing to a more efficient and productive economy,” ILO chief Guy Ryder said after the Council of Ministers unanimously endorsed the draft laws on Wednesday.
Under the new laws, workers will be able to change jobs following an initial probationary period. Previously, they required a no-objection certificate (NOC) from their employers.
The removal of exit permit requirements for all workers, except military personnel, means that they also will be free to leave Qatar, whether temporarily or permanently, without the permission of their employers.
The non-discriminatory minimum wage will apply to all nationalities and all sectors of the labour market. The level will be set later this year.
The ILO said it has been working with the Qatari authorities since November 2017 through a three-year technical cooperation programme. An ILO Project Office there, established in April 2018, has been supporting the labour reform agenda.
“Qatar is changing. The new tranche of laws will bring an end to 'kafala' and put in place a modern industrial relations system,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, which supports the partnership.
Oct 18, 2019 (MLN): The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) conducted an Open Market Operation on Friday in which it injected Rs.1,020.50 Billion into the market for 7 Days.
|Tenor||Type||Offered||Accepted||High - Low||Accepted||Offered||Accepted|
|7D||Reverse Repo (Injection)||1,020.500||1,020.500||13.36 - 13.29||13.29||18||18|
|OMO Settlement: same day October 18, 2019|
|*Amount in Billions|
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October 18, 2019 (MLN): The Ministry of Commerce has issued a notification to all shipping agents, forwarders, NLC and shipping associations, informing that the Infrastructure at Gwadar Port is ready to handle bulk cargo to and from Afghanistan.
The bulk cargoes imported at Gwadar Port for onward transit to Afghanistan will be transported in containers after stuffing/loading the same into containers of international specifications, the notification said.
The number of cargoes under Afghan transit trade has increased by 44 percent, as 93,732 containers were shipped in FY19 as against 60,516 containers in FY18.
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October 18, 2019 (MLN): FrieslandCampina Engro Pakistan Limited (FCEPL) has announced its financial results for the nine months ended on September 30, 2019. As per the results, the company incurred losses of Rs.808 million (LPS: Rs 1.05) as compared to the profits earned in last year.
During the period, the company’s net revenues were up by 19.91%, YoY, but more than a proportionate increase in the cost of sales (up by 27.15%) made the gross profits decreased by 12.12% from Rs. 4.4 billion to Rs. 3.8 billion. Therefore, the gross margin shrunk by 5 percentage points.
More notably, it bore 83.98% colossal finance cost from Rs. 471 million to Rs. 866 million when compared to the prior year owing to the higher interest rate. Moreover, the administrative and other operating expenses increased by 36.04% and 44.23% respectively.
Whereas, other income slumped by 15.99%, from Rs.396 million to Rs. 332 million, YoY.
Financial Results for the Nine Months Ended September 30th, 2019 ('000 Rupees)
Cost of Sales
Distribution and marketing expenses
Other operating expenses
Operating (loss) profit
(Loss)/Profit before taxation
Profit after taxation
Earnings per share - basic and diluted (Rupees)
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October 18, 2019: Sterling fell Friday as investors fret over Boris Johnson's chances of pushing his Brexit deal through parliament, while Asian markets were mostly down after data showed China's economy expanded at its slowest pace in nearly three decades.
The pound rallied almost to $1.30 on Thursday following news that negotiators had hammered out an agreement that would avoid Britain's leaving the EU without a divorce deal, a move many warn would be economically catastrophic.
However, the joy was soon tempered by the realisation that the British prime minister faces an uphill task in getting it past lawmakers, with opposition MPs and even some in his own Conservative party saying they were against it.
Most importantly, Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up Johnson's government, said it was "unable to support these proposals".