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Government & Politics

Morning Buzz for August 18, 2011

Karachi: Current account deficit narrows to $75m in July

According to MR Securities,

Pakistan’s current account deficit narrowed to $75 million in the first month of the current fiscal year compared to $631 million in July last year, central bank data showed on Wednesday.

PIBs auction: bids worth Rs 41.2 billion accepted
The State Bank of Pakistan on Wednesday conducted auction of Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) and accepted bids worth Rs 41.2 billion with a realised amount of Rs 38.31 billion. The SBP received Rs 67.217 billion with a realised value of Rs 62.233 billion worth bids for the sale of 3-, 5-, 7-, 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year bonds.

Al Meezan announces dividend for MBF
The meeting of Board of Directors of Al Meezan Investment Management Limited (Al Meezan), Asset Management company of Meezan Balanced Fund (MBF) Meezan Islamic Fund (MIF), Meezan Islamic Income Fund (MIIF), Meezan Cash Fund (MCF), Meezan Sovereign Fund (MSF) and Meezan Capital Protected Fund-I (MCPF-I matured on June 29, 2011) was held on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 to approve financial results for year ended June 30, 2011.

MoF, PD oppose MNCs”, dealers” margins hike
The Ministry of Finance and Planning Division have reportedly opposed upward revision of profit margins of the oil marketing companies (OMCs) and petroleum dealers–for different reasons–sources told Business Recorder.

PQA in process of awarding second oil terminal without tendering
The Port Qasim Authority (PQA) is in the process of awarding second oil terminal to Fotco, without open tendering, according to a complaint received by Transparency International-Pakistan. The complaint pertains to the alleged ‘illegal award’ of oil terminal, on BOO basis, to Fotco in 1992 and efforts to award second oil terminal to the same party without open tendering.

CNG industry threatens strike
The associations of people associated with compressed natural gas business have threatened a complete strike, if the government continues with “victimising this business”.

Margin raise for OMCs, refineries cheer up investors
The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) surged on Wednesday as shares rallied across the board after the government increased profit margins of oil marketing companies and dealers, emboldening investors to look at other profitable firms as well, traders said.

Businessmen concerned over rise in unemployment
Businessmen have expressed concern on the ever-increasing unemployment that is not only due to the inability of the economy to absorb two million youth that enter workforce every year, but also due to massive retrenchment of existing jobs, analysts said on Wednesday.

‘Agriculture sector facing acute urea shortage’
Agriculture sector is facing an acute shortage of urea due to continuing gas outages and curtailment on fertiliser manufacturing plants across the country, according to a research paper on Wednesday.

Technical faults become regular in PIA aircraft
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has damaged its position severely due to frequent technical faults developing in its aircraft, depicting inadequate maintenance that some circles allege is being done to create justification for purchase of new aircraft.

International body offers help to Pak SMEs
The International Council of SMEs (ICSMEs) has said that it would help the Pakistani Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector acquire advanced technology, a statement said on Wednesday.

Pakistan Steel repairs its blast furnace
Hundred percent productions has been made possible after the repair of blast furnace, a Pakistan Steel statement said on Wednesday.

Amendments to the Finance Bill: RGST chief claims his proposals were altered
The dissenting notes made by a Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) official to proposing amendments to the Finance Bill for the current fiscal year approved were allegedly altered before they reached the table of the chairman FBR, by using correction fluid, The Express Tribune learned on Wednesday.

Textile industry: ‘Give me electricity or I will move to Bangladesh’
Faced with a chronic energy crisis in Pakistan, many textile manufacturers in Faisalabad – the country’s textile hub – are voting with their feet and moving their manufacturing units to Bangladesh.

KESC unveils coal conversion project
The Karachi Electric Supply Company Limited (KESC) is developing a project for converting the Bin Qasim Power Station (BQPS) to the country’s first-ever coal-fired power generation from the current natural gas or furnace oil mix.

Landmark achievement: FBR, SRB finally resolve issues
In a major breakthrough on sales tax collection on services, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) on Wednesday held successful negotiations regarding sales tax on services sector while the SRB agreed to give its consent, authorising the FBR to collect sales tax on telecom and financial services, advertising services, construction and franchise services.

FBR to process all unpaid claims of SED drawback
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to process all unpaid claims of special excise duty (SED) drawbacks paid on export following clearance of the Sales Tax Automated Refund Repository System (STARR), a system used for processing sales tax refund claims.

MoF, PD oppose MNCs’, dealers’ margins hike
The Ministry of Finance and Planning Division have reportedly opposed upward revision of profit margins of the oil marketing companies (OMCs) and petroleum dealers–for different reasons–sources told Business Recorder.

Amendments to the Finance Bill -RGST chief claims his proposals were altered
The dissenting notes made by a Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) official to proposing amendments to the Finance Bill for the current fiscal year approved were allegedly altered before they reached the table of the chairman FBR, by using correction fluid, The Express Tribune learned on Wednesday.

Bhatta mafia: Extortion reaches new highs in guise of Zakat, Fitra
The holy month of Ramazan brings both good news and bad news for businesses in Karachi. Good news because it is the annual season for sales and bad news because the „bhatta’ mafia steps up its activities in this month.

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