ISLAMABAD: An agreement was signed between Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Economic Affairs Division for $60 million financing — $39 million in loan and $21 million in Lives and Livelihood Fund (LLF) grant – for Pakistan’s polio eradication programme. Acknowledging the bank’s support for the programme, EAD Secretary Noor Ahmed said that the agreement was a celebration of Pakistan’s long-standing partnership with IsDB. Between 2013-2021, IsDB provided Pakistan $487 million to strengthen vaccination operations, surveillance, procurement of vaccine, social mobilisation and communications. Pakistan’s polio eradication programme implements high quality vaccination campaigns that aim to reach out to each and every child across the country. During the event, the IsDB representative underlined the importance of vaccination in the fight against the crippling disease.
January 06, 2021 15:45 UTC
ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday gave a go-ahead to remove 2pc additional customs’ duties on 152 tariff lines. According to details, the Ministry of Commerce had presented a summary regarding removal of 2pc additional duties on 152 tariff lines, mostly raw material, on horizontal basis under the National Tariff Policy 2019-24. The ECC approved the summary with a direction that the budget cycle must be observed while planning important incentives for businesses and industries. The ECC approved additional wheat allocation of 200,000MT for KP, 80,000MT for AJK and 220,000MT for USC from PASSCO as requested. The committee also approved the import of additional wheat to buffer up stocks till the arrival of fresh crop after seeking detailed input from all concerned.
January 06, 2021 14:59 UTC
The market was buoyed by strong investors’ interest, which lifted trading volumes to 664.5 million shares. Bulls reigned supreme and stock investors welcomed the government’s decision on partial settlement of circular debt with the independent power producers (IPPs). In the morning, stock trading began with a spike and the uptrend continued for the rest of the day. Byco Petroleum was the volume leader with 97.6 million shares, gaining Re1 to close at Rs9.79. It was followed by Pak Refinery with 87.3 million shares, gaining Rs1.12 to close at Rs25.52 and Kot Addu Power Company with 31.1 million shares, gaining Rs0.56 to close at Rs34.34.
January 06, 2021 14:37 UTC
Global equity markets also showed a positive trend, whereas crude oil prices continued to move uphill; WTI crude price appreciating 0.64pc to $50.26 while Brent crude price surging 1.01pc to $54.21 (as at 3:56pm PST). “International crude oil prices jumped significantly on the conclusion of agreement among OPEC+ countries, which became the basis for an uptick in E&P stocks. Among other indices, the KMI-30 Index accumulated 1,194.11 points to close at 73,830.39, while the KSE All Share Index added 364.42 points, ending at 31,630.58. Sectors that painted the benchmark index green included banking (+110.03 points), oil and gas exploration sector (+106.95 points) and cement (+60.76 points). Among the companies, Meezan Bank Ltd (MEBL +62.64 points), Dawood Hercules Corp Ltd (DAWH +46.44 points) and Pakistan Oilfields Ltd (POL +46.02 pts) remained the top contributors.
January 06, 2021 13:34 UTC
Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the key suspect in Pearl’s slaying, remains in custody in a jail in Karachi, despite the acquittal. Pearl’s family and the Sindh government have appealed the acquittal to the apex court, which resumed its hearing this week. The lawyer, who is not related to Sheikh, said he also wants three other co-accused suspects freed. The Pearl family’s lawyer, Faisal Siddiqi, said that he will oppose the petition, adding that he was confident Sheikh would not be freed. Sheikh had been convicted of helping lure Pearl to a meeting in Karachi in which he was kidnapped.
January 06, 2021 12:45 UTC
Bose kicks off 2021 by unveiling its much-awaited wireless Sport Open Earbuds. Most of the earbuds out in the market sit inside the ear canal but Sport Open Earbuds are designed to follow the natural curve of your ear, reports Engadget. New Bose Sport Open Earbuds don’t cover your ears for an entirely open, entirely new listening experience. pic.twitter.com/FfcsdBnmh8 — Bose (@Bose) January 5, 2021The earbuds are intended for sports hence they are equipped with an IPX4 water-resistant rating, relatively lightweight 14 gram per bud weight and eight hours of battery life. Sport Open Earbuds are now available for pre-order at $200 and will start rolling out the device in mid-January with a protective carrying case, charging base, and the Bose Music app.
January 06, 2021 11:59 UTC
“We have become tired of picking up the bodies of our people,” Syed Agha Raza, a Shia Hazara political leader, told Reuters. Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani also requested the protesters to “not link the burials [of the miners] with Prime Minister Imran’s visit”. Bukhari and Zaidi arrived in Quetta late Tuesday night on the directions of the prime minister to hold talks with protest organisers. Zaidi, who spoke after the chief minister, too appealed to the Shia Hazara community to bury the deceased miners. Quetta is home to nearly 600,000 Shia Hazara, largely confined to two fortified enclaves, and checkpoints manned by paramilitary personnel.
January 06, 2021 11:16 UTC
Anti-terrorism court (ATC) judge Raja Jawad Abbas accused on Wednesday the investigation officer (IO) in the murder case of 22-year-old Osama Satti of colluding with the suspects. The ATC granted a week-long physical remand of the five police officers arrested for the youth's murder in Islamabad. The accused include Mudassar Iqbal, Shakeel Ahmed, Muhammad Mustafa, Saeed Ahmed and Iftikhar Ahmed. “Did the bullet enter through the roof and go inside the seat?” the judge questioned asking if they were shot at by Satti. When he was returning, the police officials intercepted his vehicle in Sector G-10 and fired at him from all sides.
January 06, 2021 09:33 UTC
Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazl Pecuho said on Tuesday that there had been no transmission of the variant of Covid-19 - discovered in the United Kingdom (UK) and stated to be around 50 per cent more transmissible than the previously dominant strain - within Sindh yet. "The genotyping shows 95 per cent match of the new variant from the UK," the health departments said. Later, the National Institute of Health confirmed on January 4, 2021 the presence of the UK Covid-19 variant in two people who had recently returned to Pakistan. The United Kingdom had reported the detection of a variant of Covid-19, called B.1.1.7 in December 2020. The new strain of the virus has spread to at least 31 countries so far, besides Pakistan.
January 06, 2021 05:37 UTC
A resident of Gulberg area has started a rooftop vegetable garden after a surge in vegetable prices. Abdul Majeed has grown seasonal vegetables and flowers in the rooftop garden of his three-storey, five-marla house. He also exercises in the small rooftop garden instead of going out for a morning walk amid the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme was discontinued later but vegetable seeds can still be bought from the offices of the department or a shop. On one part of the roof there is a small garden with several kinds of flower and fruit plants.
January 06, 2021 04:52 UTC
The performance of investigation officers (IOs) of 30 police stations in the Rawalpindi district remained poor as they filed charge-sheets in less than half of the cases registered during 2020 and that too in less severe offences. Most of the charge-sheets were related to cases of kite flying, alcohol consumption, drugs, gambling, violation of the labor Act, etc. However, the challans in many serious criminal cases pertaining to murder, robbery, kidnapping, and rape were not submitted in the courts. Another expert of criminal law, Advocate Najaf Al Hasnain said that for speedy justice, the challans in serious criminal cases must be promptly submitted to the courts. However, the practice is not followed and in a number of cases, the charge-sheets remain non-submitted for months.
January 06, 2021 03:56 UTC
A paramedic uses a swab to take a nasal sample as he conducts a novel coronavirus test at a roadside testing facility in Islamabad. PHOTO: NNIThe novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is silently waning in the garrison city as the infection rate dropped from nine per cent to five per cent on Tuesday. She hoped that the infection rate would further go down in the coming days. He said that as many as 117 cases were reported on Monday while 126 were reported on Sunday. He further stated that 38,395 cases and 428 deaths have been reported from the federal capital so far while 35,253 patients have recovered completely.
January 06, 2021 03:56 UTC
The Joint Investigation Committee (JIT) probing Osama Nadeem Satti’s murder has recovered four weapons from the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel who shot dead the 22-year old youth. JIT has seized the pistol from the ASI and three sub-machine guns from the four arrested constables. The CTD cops killed Osama with proper planning which was a terrorist act, the FIR further stated. Younus said that it was a test case for the Islamabad administration as he asserted the act was committed deliberately. Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2021.
January 06, 2021 03:45 UTC
It was proposed that 5% regulatory duty may be removed on cotton yarn till June 30, 2021, by the time the situation of cotton would be reviewed again. PHOTO: REUTERSValue-added textile exporters are highly perturbed about the unavailability of quality cotton yarn despite getting huge export orders. “Our cotton yield is drastically low this time that’s why we are not only facing shortage of cotton but also cotton yarn,” Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) former vice president Sheikh Sultan Rehman told The Express Tribune. To ensure the availability of yarn, the value-added textile exporters had earlier demanded that the government allow duty-free import of cotton yarn to facilitate the sector in achieving the milestone. Owing to unavailability of cotton yarn, the prices of 30/1 yarn were Rs235 per pound during October 2020 and now in January 2021 they were Rs260 per pound.
January 06, 2021 03:43 UTC
According to brokerage houses, sales of petroleum oil products surged 16% to 1.59 million tons in December compared to 1.37 million tons in the same month of previous year. “Total POL (petroleum, oil and lubricant) sales rose...with growth witnessed across all major fuel segments,” JS Research analyst Ali Zaidi said in a commentary on Tuesday. The greatest rise was seen in the demand for black oil with 0.24 million tons of furnace oil sold during December 2020. In this regard, it would be fair to assume that sales of this deregulated segment would continue to impress at least during the winter season, he said. Sales of motor spirit (MS/petrol) grew 5% to 0.67 million tons while high-speed diesel (HSD) sales enjoyed double-digit growth of 13% to 0.62 million tons during the month under review compared to the same month of last year.
January 06, 2021 03:33 UTC