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Pakistan’s Maaz Masood Ansari wins ACCA’s regional advocate of the year award

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has recognised Maaz Masood Ansari, Executive Director Financial Advisory, Deloitte, with its Regional Advocate of the Year Award for Middle East and South Asia (MESA) region.

The ACCA member from Pakistan, Maaz, was lauded for his contributions to developing professional accountancy across Pakistan, particularly in supporting Deloitte trainees and employees at department level further develop and become ACCA members themselves.

“ACCA’s Advocacy Awards are not about career achievement but about the way that ACCA members give back to their communities, and help ACCA to develop the next generation of professional accountants. ACCA members in Pakistan are a driving force at the forefront of the accounting industry. Maaz has set a great example for all professionals in the country on how they can lead the profession into the future by dedicating their efforts to developing future-ready talent,” said Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan.

Stuart Dunlop, ACCA’s regional director – MESA said: “Maaz Masood Ansari is an active ACCA member and advocate that has supported ACCA Pakistan immensely with his personal and professional networks, most notably at Deloitte. The collaboration between Deloitte Pakistan and ACCA Pakistan has generated many opportunities for the recruitment of talent and connecting us with employers and members as well as hosting CPD events, conferences and more. Congratulations Maaz on your great achievements for ACCA.”

Commenting on his contributions, ACCA’s regional head of member affairs, Haroon A. Jan, said, “Maaz has been instrumental in collaboration between ACCA and Deloitte on holding the CPEC conference in Pakistan, which was a big success in creating awareness on the economic potential of CPEC for Pakistan. Initiatives like these are an example of working in the public interest, which is core to our membership fabric.”

“ACCA holds Pakistan Leadership Conversation annually which brings topical global developments to the professionals in the country. Once again Maaz played a key role in the building an exemplary partnership between ACCA and Deloitte, which was pivotal to achieving the objectives of the event. The impact of Maaz’s contributions was recognised by all the judges of ACCA’s Regional Advocacy Awards. The judging panel consisted of senior ACCA members from Middle East, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan,” he further added.

ACCA launched the regional advocacy awards in 2017 to recognise members who go above and beyond in expressing public support for the accountancy profession, embodying ACCA’s values. These advocates are also members who deliver public value, display ethical professionalism and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

The full list of ACCA Regional Advocate Award winners for 2019 are:

ACCA MESA Regional Advocate of the Year 2019: Maaz Masood Ansari from Pakistan

ACCA Emerging Markets Regional Advocate of the Year 2019: Rajeev Giri from India

ACCA ASEAN ANZ Regional Advocate of the Year 2019: Mariam Riza from Australia

ACCA Europe and Americas Regional Advocate of the Year 2019: Eilis Quinlan from Ireland

ACCA Africa Regional Advocate of the Year 2019: Victoria Abiola Ajayi from Nigeria

ACCA Greater China Regional Advocate of the Year 2019: Jennifer Tan from Hong Kong SAR.

In addition to their professional excellence and globally in-demand expertise, ACCA members are particularly focused on delivering public value in Pakistan. They are currently involved in numerous free-of-cost, public value projects such as promoting financial literacy among micro entrepreneurs, and helping small businesses with their scalability and sustainability.

Jazz implements mandatory work-from-home policy nationwide

In an effort to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, Jazz has mandated its 3000+ employee base to work from home – one of the most comprehensive work-from-home orders in Pakistan to protect employees and business partners. These orders are effective from 17 March, 2020 till 31 March, 2020.

Being Pakistan’s leading digital company, Jazz has directed employees and business partners to utilize existing digital tools to communicate, while staff critical for business continuity will continue to operate from the office.

Jazz’s Experience Centers, 20 in total, will also be closed, but customers can rely on alternative technical support mediums, such as the WhatsApp helpline at 03003008000; Jazz World – self-care application; call centers; online and social media channels. During this time the franchises will continue to operate as per usual.

“The wellbeing of our employees, business partners, and customers is our foremost concern during these challenging times. The idea behind this move is to contribute towards social distancing and play our role in ensuring the virus spread is slowed down,” said Jazz CEO Aamir Ibrahim. “All necessary arrangements have been made to ensure the continuity of our services to millions of Pakistanis who rely on us for their daily communication, entertainment, banking, and information needs.”

KE energizes new grid station at new Port Qasim

K-Electric’s Chief Generation & Transmission Officer, Dale Sinkler officially energized the new 220kV grid Station located in New Port Qasim which is the 10th 220 kV grid station in K-Electric’s (KE) fleet. This follows the recent construction and energisation of the 220 kV Surjani & 132kV Gulshan grid stations under the USD 460 Million TP-1000 transmission enhancement Project.

Reiterating the power utility’s commitment to strengthening power supply for its customers, Dale said, “We are progressing swiftly with the TP-1000 project which on completion, would upgrade KE’s transmission capacity through an additional 1,000 MVA. Thus far 940 MVA have already been added to our network and energising this 220 kV New Port Qasim grid, located at the heart of a key industrial zone in Karachi, is in line with our vision of driving Pakistan’s progress by powering Karachi’s industrial and commercial prosperity. ”

This is another milestone in an on-going stream of investments of over USD 2.4 billion undertaken by K-Electric since 2009 across the electricity value-chain. The constant upgradation of its transmission network would help meet the growing load demand of the city.

The USD 460 MN, TP-1000 project was initiated at the end of 2015 in collaboration with Siemens Germany/Pakistan and will enable K-Electric to transmit additional 800 MW through seven new grid stations. The project comprises of a new 220kV and 132kV network, an expansion plan for 21 existing grid stations and a Disaster Recovery Centre for emergencies. Six of the grid stations have already been energized in Federal A and Federal B area, Surjani, North Karachi, Liaquatabad and Valika while 27 power transformers have upgraded the grid stations in KDA, Defence, Gharo, Surjani, Jacobline, Landhi, Orangi, Jauhar, Malir, Old Town & Hub.

Trivial reduction in interest rates upset business community: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said the slight reduction in the interest rates by the central bank has left the business community disappointed. A 0.75 percent reduction in the policy rate against expectations of three percent cut is a joke which has frustrated the business community, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that Prime Minister Imran Khan should immediately take note of the situation and take corrective measures at the current interest rate will never allow the economy to come out of recession.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that dozens of countries have reduced interest rates substantially to combat coronavirus and stimulate the economy but nothing of the sort has been done in Pakistan.

The former minister noted that central bank has taken the economy as a hostage while its desire to attract hot money is damaging the productive sector, jobs and revenue. The actions of the State Bank is leading to massive bankruptcies while many are losing their jobs which should be noticed, he demanded.

He said that the government is trying to enhance exports and the SBP is choking economic activities while the monetary policy committee of the central bank seems unconcerned with the international and local developments.

He said that oil price collapse and reduction in the prices of most of the commodities that are imported has allowed saving at least ten billion dollars in the import bill, therefore, it should allow relief to the masses.

He noted that SBP has announced soft loans for establishing new industries without realising that it is closing down the established industrial sector. The high interest rate will add to the miseries of the masses which should be reconsidered he said.

Coronavirus damaging our fragile economy: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said coronavirus has started damaging the already fragile economy.

The central banks across the world have been cutting interest rates while the government are offering packages to boost economic activities but the situation in Pakistan is otherwise.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that now K-Electric has started asking the industrial sector for an additional sum of Rs5 billion under the Industrial Support Package Adjustment which should be noticed by Prime Minister Imran Khan as it will bankrupt the industries facing multiple problems.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that Karachi is supporting millions of people while contributing 50 percent of the exports and 54 percent of the indirect taxes which must be spared.

The former minister noted that industrialists are already under pressure and now K-Electric is asking for the electricity consumed July 2019 to December 2019 which is constitutionally and morally wrong as well as illegal.

He said that the global recession has reduced the demand hitting out export sector, therefore, the issue of excessive billion should be settled without delay as milking business community on one pretext or other should be stopped.

He said that closure of the industrial sector will result in heavy losses and massive unemployment.

The veteran business leader noted that import and export to Afghanistan is suspended while hundreds of containers are stranded on both sides of the borders creating problems for businessmen and creating shortages of important items.

Both the countries should initiate measures like spraying etc. and allow bilateral trade to continue to provide relief to the masses, he said.

National highway authority (Public Relations Directorate)
NHA undertaking precautionary measures against corona virus

National Highway Authority is undertaking pragmatic precautionary measures against Corona Virus spread throughout the country. To this effect, protective steps are being taken in headquarters of the National Highway Authority, its Zonal Offices located in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan, Sukkur, AJK and Gilgit Baltistan and also at maintenance units. Pamphlets and Brochures containing covering measures are being distributed at all the places under NHA control. Movement of visitors to NHA offices is being restricted to every possible extent. Besides cleanliness of wash rooms is ensured and anti bacterial soaps and sanitizers are being provided there. Masks and gloves are given to Booth Operators serving at Toll Plazas on motorways and national highways network. Further, banners are also placed at Service Areas and travelers are being persuaded to adopt careful measures against Corona Virus.

The employees of NHA are advised to consult doctor in case of Flu, Cough and Fever. The objective of such steps is to control the dangerous effects of the pandemic Corona Virus to every possible extent.

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