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Pakistan mineral potential should be exploited, says Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel Sr. Vice Chairman, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said a massive quantity of iron ore is available in Sindh which should be exploited.

He said that Pakistan has vast natural resources which are awaiting exploitation while iron ore is available in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but we are spending over three billion dollars to import iron and steel.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said large quantity or iron and steel is also smuggled into Pakistan from Iran and Afghanistan which can be stopped.

The former minister noted raw minerals are being exported to other countries which are sold at high prices by adding value to it as the business community is not inclined towards value addition.

He said that a stone known as yellow marble is available in Thatta, Sindh which is exported in raw form to China which can fetch good income if processed locally.

Recently, huge quantity of iron ore deposits have been found some 400 km away from Pakistan Steel Mills which can be utilized locally and exported to China which is importing almost one billion tonnes of iron on an annual basis.

He noted that the ratio of locally produced iron could not jump beyond two or three percent while whole demand was met through imports when Pakistan Steel Mills was working.

PSM can produce around one million tonnes of iron and steel while the local demands stand at eight million tonnes, therefore, eight steel mills will be needed to stop imports to save foreign exchange and provide employment to thousands, he said.

He said that once Australia was a poor country which climbed the ladder of success through its mineral deposits.

A huge loss for academia

IBA Karachi grieves on the sad demise of Prof. Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui, founding Vice Chancellor of Sukkur IBA University, who passed away here on Monday.

He is also a prominent educationist, former bureaucrat and a scholar. Late Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui died at the age of 76 and left 3 sons and 4 daughters as mourners.

In the condolence message, the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi grieves with the Sukkur Institute of Business Administration (IBA) University on the sad demise of its Vice Chancellor, Professor Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui. He was a legendary educationist who took the University to new heights of excellence in the last 16 years. His services to academia, the Institution and to the province of Sindh will always be remembered. IBA Karachi’s thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and Sukkur IBA University.

Both institutions share a cherished history; Sukkur IBA University was affiliated with IBA Karachi from mid-1990s to 2009. We sincerely hope Sukkur IBA University will carry forward his vision for change and a better tomorrow for the students of Sindh and Pakistan.

May the departed soul rest in everlasting peace and Allah Almighty grant him higher place in the heaven.

Careem becomes the region’s multi-service, everyday super app

Careem, the leading internet platform for a rapidly growing region extending from Morocco to Pakistan is now the region’s first everyday Super App. As a Super App, Careem will provide multiple services alongside its core business of ride hailing.

From the end of June 2020, an expanded range of services will be available to all of Careem’s 33 million registered users and 1.7 million Captains across 13 countries and over 100 cities. Careem began expanding its core business initially with food and delivery in 2019 and is now offering services across three areas: Mobility of People, Mobility of Things and Mobility of Money.

“The move from offline to online commerce is a secular and significant opportunity, one that has accelerated as a result of the global pandemic. Careem’s Super App supports this acceleration by bringing together people’s essential, everyday services in one place, with a single sign-on and integrated payment system. We are tailoring products and services to local needs so that people with busy lives can get right to the services that are important to them when they need them”, said Mudassir Sheikha, Co-Founder and CEO of Careem.

Careem’s Super App reduces the time a person will spend looking for the right app, whilst making it simple and easier for customers to use multiple services. According to research from Apptopia, ride hailing and food delivery apps are amongst the top 10 most used apps – often used on a daily basis. Combining the two will allow users to combine tasks more efficiently.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO Uber said: “The Super App is Careem’s big bet for the wider Middle East region, and we’re excited by the positive, early signs we’re seeing, as people increasingly adopt digital services in their daily lives. I’ve been hugely impressed by the Careem team, as they have moved fast during the pandemic to innovate and meet changing consumer demand.”

On the Careem Super App, customers can now arrange a ride with one of Careem’s Captains, order food from over 10,000 partner restaurants across the region, and order daily essentials from supermarkets, pharmacies or other businesses. The Super App user can also choose a business not yet on the Super App and have goods purchased and picked up by a Captain and delivered to wherever they are. Every customer has access to Careem PAY – making it simple to pay for all services in a secure way. People can also transfer credit via Careem PAY to pay back family and friends or easily split a bill. Careem has also expanded its Rewards scheme.

Super App customers now earn rewards points on every ride and order. Rewards points can be redeemed for discounts on rides, food, partner services or donated to a wide range of charities.

Captain’s — both car and bike — experience changing demands throughout the day. Increased demand across the Super App will provide Captains greater earnings and opportunities to serve more customers in more ways — this is particularly relevant during the Covid-19 pandemic. By spending less time waiting for rides and more time earning, Captains will get more out of their time with Careem.

The Super App enables merchants to partner with Careem and expand their business by expanding their customer base, payments and logistic capabilities. Partners will gain access to Careem’s 33 million registered users, Careem PAY payments infrastructure, along with a fast growing network for last mile delivery (LMD).

Careem’s purpose is to make people’s everyday life simpler, so that they can realise their potential and spend time on things they care about most. Becoming a Super App and simplifying the lives of people in the region in more ways is aligned with its purpose and is a natural evolution of the business to stay ahead of customer demands and market capabilities.

From a business performance perspective, Careem expects to see increased revenues, lower customer acquisition costs and improved customer retention metrics through cross selling and customer use of multiple products and services. Over time, Careem will open its Super App to 3rd parties and developers to build their own services to live on Careem’s Super App platform.

The roll-out of Careem’s Super App started in March 2020 and is expected to complete by the end of June 2020.

Transfast partners with HBL for global remittances

Transfast, a leading cross-border payments service provider with presence in over 140 countries, has partnered with Habib Bank Limited (HBL), the largest commercial bank with over 1700 branches in Pakistan, to facilitate expatriates around the globe to send money to Pakistan.

The remittance facility between Transfast and HBL is now available to the Pakistani expatriates globally. This partnership further strengthens Transfast’s network in Pakistan and provides an option to customers to receive money from over 1700 branches of Habib Bank across Pakistan.

“HBL is one of the most esteemed financial institutions in Pakistan and it is an honor to partner with them. Transfast is fully committed to offer competitive pricing, fast transfer of funds and personalized customer engagement,” said Samir Vidhate, SVP & MD, Transfast. “Through this partnership we will provide our Pakistani customer base with more convenient and accessible ways to collect money from any branch of HBL in Pakistan and to send money to any bank account in the country.”

Faisal Noor Lalani, Head International Banking, HBL remarked ‘’I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Vidhate for coming to Pakistan. I look forward to giving full support to the entire teams of both the institutions in my capacity, to make our partnership fruitful. This is a proud moment for HBL as this new arrangement will be beneficial to all the customers who look to make fast international money transfers to HBL Pakistan. Together, we look forward to providing excellent services to our customers with commitment to banking excellence for a better tomorrow.’’

Remittances account for 6% of Pakistan’s GDP and the government has offered several incentives to encourage even more cash flow into the country. According to initial estimates from the State Bank of Pakistan, the country received a record $21.84 billion in remittances in 2019. That number is expected to go up as analysts predict that more than eight million overseas Pakistanis will continue to send money back home with remittances poised to hit $23 billion.

FPCCI president, business community term budget as anti-business
  • Virus has wreaked havoc with the majority of businesses: Khurram Ijaz
  • Rice exporters, CNG, ginning and commercial importers are new victims of budget: Mian Zahid Hussain

Leaders and representatives of over forty chambers of commerce and trade associations have expressed serious reservations over tax, revenue and expenditure targets in the budget and termed it anti-business. They said that businesses need support for their survival as coronavirus has damaged economy to a great extent but it seems that authorities are bent upon punishing the business community.

This was observed during a meeting held with Chairman of FBR’s Advisory Council of FPCCI Mian Zahid Hussain in chair.

Those who participated included VP FPCCI Khurram Ijaz as host, Saquib Fayyaz Magoon, Shabbir Hassan Mansha, Dr. Jassumal, Amin Balgamwala, Ikraam-ul-Haq Qureshi, Rehan Chawla, Dr. Shahla Javed, Aadil Ghaffar, Om Parkash, Sameer Hussain, Shahid Laghari, Arif Kapoor, Imran Ghani, Rehan Ellahi and President Multan Chamber Sheikh Fazal Elahi.

They said that pandemic has damaged travel and tour operators, religious tourism, Hajj, and Umrah operators, overseas employment promotion, restaurants and other hospitality businesses which should be bailed out.

Virus, lockdown, and budget has also dented CNG, paper and tire importers, and cotton ginning as well as fertilizer industry has slipped in red threatening thousands of jobs.

The business leaders noted that rice exporters and women entrepreneurs are also feeling the brunt of misdirected policies. They demanded that small and medium businesses should get up to five million in loans without collateral and their bank cheques should be accepted as collateral.

Khurram Ijaz said that hotels, motels, homes and huts at tourist spots are vacant since months while Saquib Fayyaz Magoon said that the tourism industry has suffered losses to the tune of 195 billion dollars while the whole year losses have been estimated to be 1.2 trillion dollars. The pandemic is threatening 10 to 12 million jobs worldwide in tourism sector, he said.

He said that around 22 percent tourist locations have witnessed some relaxations, rest are still close and most of the easing has been seen in the Europe.

Shabbir Hassan Mansha said that tourism should be opened as millions of people depend on it but there should be no compromise on human lives.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that taxes are necessary to run the government but good environment is equally necessary to run the economy and businesses.

The government must help the business community reduce cost of doing business, energy tariff should be reduced and NIC condition should be abolished.

He said that budget has given a message to “do more” without expecting anything and that nothing has been done to enhance buying power of the masses which will hit the demand which is already at the lowest ebb.

All the participants lauded the efforts of President FPCCI Mian Anjum Nisar to promote the cause of business community.



The Pakistan and Gulf Economist (PAGE) team, states its thoughtful condolences over the passing away of Chaudhry Nazir Ahmad, Chairman All Pakistan Akhbar Farosh Federation and President Akhbar Farosh Union, Lahore.

He is was a thorough gentleman, as during our long-time professional working experience with him we found him having good communication skills with determination, flexibility and true nature of help to promote business relationship.

PAGE team thoughts and prayers are for the departed soul and with the grieving family and enthusiasts.

This is a great loss of Chaudhry Nazir Ahmad and we remember him in prayers that he may rest in peace in the arms of Allah the Almighty.

Daraz First Games launches gaming week of worthwhile prizes

In order to meet a growing demand among its customer base for digital entertainment during a period of social distancing, Daraz, the leading ecommerce platform, launched Daraz First Games, marking its entrance into the country’s gaming industry. The newly-launched platform offers customers the opportunity to connect digitally with friends and play tournaments and provides entertainment for homebound millions.

To boost user engagement and increase the entertainment quotient, Daraz has also launched Gaming Week which will be live till June 28th and offers users the opportunity to play games everyday for a chance to win prizes such as a motorbike, an iPhone and a diamond ring. Customers can also register to participate in the Ludo Lakhpati tournament and win cash prizes up to PKR 100,000. This is the second Ludo Lakhpati tournament on Daraz First Games since the platform launched earlier this month.

Daraz First Games has received an overwhelming response from users. The primary driver for the platform’s success is the varied range of gaming titles it offers. With 19 gaming titles on offer across multiple genres including sports, cards, tournaments and trivia currently – and hundreds more set to be available in the coming weeks – Daraz First Games is designed not just for pro-gamers but for casual gamers, too and eliminates the need for users to download different apps.

Constantly exploring inventive ways to enrich user experience beyond retail, gamification has developed as a strong area of innovation at Daraz since 2017 and DFG is set to become a leading entertainment channel in Pakistan, offering a gaming experience adapted to all gamer profiles. DFG is also set to launch a redemption centre through which users can exchange the points they have won for services.

The platform has been launched during a time when the demand for at-home entertainment has increased exponentially, exemplifying the customer-centric innovation that Daraz has always prioritised.

Global halal webinar series announced

Halal Research Council (HRC) in association with AlHuda CIBE is organizing Halal industry webinar series to learn with Halal industry experts around the world from June-July, 2020. These webinars will contribute to enhance the knowledge of the participants. Participants will be attending the webinar series from different parts of the world and will secure the opportunity to learn latest trends and opportunities in Halal industry. The series will also include the current COVID-19 situation under Halal industry. Further, participants may interact with each other to avail the opportunities from the Halal industry as well.

Mr. Muhammad Zubair Mughal- Chief Executive Officer, Halal Research Council said that Halal industry gaining momentum and securing prominent place in the globe especially after COVID 19 pandemic. The emergence of Halal industry is high as Halal products are Tayyab as well. Earlier, the Halal Food was only consumed by Muslims but now it has gained attention of other communities too due to its cleanliness, safety, and hygiene factors. People now prefer Halal Food in many countries including India, Australia, Japan, and Brazil, etc. After the discovery of COVID-19, the demand of Halal Food has also increased.

The webinar series are consisting on 9 variant interactive and latest topic sessions of 90 minutes each. The first sixty minutes are allocated for presentation whereas the last thirty minutes for question and answers session. The participants attending all nine series of webinars will be given e-certificates which you can include in your profile to enhance the visibility amongst industry professionals.

Halal industry experts around the world include, Dr. Saeed Akhtar the Director, Nippon Asia Halal Association, Japan with the topic “Basics of Halal Certification, locally in Pakistan and Globally” on 22nd June, 2020; Prof. Dr. Faqir Muhammad Anjum, Vice Chancellor, University of the Gambia, Gambia with the topic “Impact of Covid-19 on Halal Industry” on 27th June, 2020; Dr. Syed Muhammad Ghufran Saeed, AP — Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Karachi, Pakistan with the topic “H & Hygiene Emerging Science: Islamic Perspective and Contemporary Look” on 30th June, 2020; Mr. İhsan ÖVÜT – Secretary General, The Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC), Turkey with the topic “OIC/SMIIC Standards on Halal Issues and Halal Quality Infrastructure” on 4th July, 2020; Mr. Ateeq Ur Rehman Memon — Director General, Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC), Islamabad – Pakistan with the topic “Importance of Halal Accreditation” on 7th July, 2020; Mr. Tayeb Abdul Habib — EU Halal, Portugal with the topic “Importance of Halal Certification” on 10th July, 2020; Mr. Fazal Bahardeen — Founder & CEO, Crescent Rating and Halal Tips, Singapore with the topic “Challenges for Halal Tourism Industry in View of Pandemic COVID 19” on 14th July 2020; Mr. Muhammad Zubair Mughal — Chief Executive Officer, Halal Research Council, Pakistan with the topic “Global Overview & Potential of Halal Industry” on 16th July, 2020; Ms. Annamaria Aisha Tiozzo — President, WHAD – World Halal Certification Center, Italy on 18th July, 2020.

Important notice for UBL customers

There are rumours circulating on various media platforms about an alleged cyber security threat at UBL. The Bank would like to assure its customers and all stakeholders that these rumours are fake and unfounded.

UBL has always invested in robust systems and state of the art security measures. Furthermore, to address these rumours, all possible measures are being taken by the Bank, including seeking assistance under the relevant laws.

JAZZ contributes Pkr 38 million to the PM’s covid-19 relief fund

Upholding its promise to support the government in the ongoing relief efforts, Jazz has deposited PKR 38 million to the Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. This is the second tranche of payments under the company’s Matching Grants program, through which all donations made by subscribers and employees of Jazz to the relief fund were doubled.

For this second round of donations, PKR 8.5 million was raised by Jazz’s employees, while PKR 10.5 million was donated by its subscribers via SMS and JazzCash. In effect to this Jazz matched PKR 19 million, totaling 38 million rupees.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought Pakistan to a standstill, shut down businesses, and cracked down on the country’s slow-growing economy. Infographics show that Pakistan has been severely hit by the pandemic with 148,921 confirmed cases as of today, further dampening the health and welfare sector of the country. The vulnerable part of the population is relying heavily on the welfare support to help prevent and ameliorate their suffering.

In this continuing situation Jazz played a role of country’s digital leader announced Matching Grants program in April which has been a huge success in active participation by subscribers from across Pakistan. In less than two months of its commencement, this program has seen Jazz donate a total of PKR 58 million to the PM’s COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Jazz’s CEO Aamir Ibrahim said, “When faced with a crisis, one must jump in and take the challenge head-on. Rather than being complacent in this situation, Jazz invoked its national spirit and stepped up to contribute at a time when many couldn’t afford to do so.”

Jazz has pledged to provide PKR 1.2 billion in the form of COVID-19 relief in the shape of short to mid-term initiatives revolving around vulnerable communities, and health and welfare organizations. Under this pledge, the company has already donated PKR 50 million to the PM’s COVID-19 Relief Fund back in April of this year. The company has also been working closely with the health and welfare departments to provide medical facilities with testing kits, personal protective equipment, and other life-saving equipment, as well as carrying nationwide food distribution activities.

The purpose of the relief plan is to encourage more people to donate to meet the imminent health and economic challenges, and Jazz has fulfilled its promise. As we move forward, Jazz hopes to receive more contributions from customers and employees and then further doubling the contributions. Jazz expects to continue with its efforts in health and food sector to extend support to those who are severely impacted by the pandemic.

Subscribers willing to contribute to the Matching Grants program can send an SMS to 6677 (for a PKR 20 amount), use their JazzCash accounts to donate through the app or dial *786#, or make the payment via the COVID-19 relief website portal on Jazz.com.pk/PMFund.

Jazz began establishing nationwide awareness campaigns even before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, that allowed the country to focus on preventive measures from the coronavirus.

Transferring the entire burden of circular debt on masses unacceptable: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel Sr. Vice Chairman, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said some politicians and bureaucrats played a central role in ruining power sector but masses are being punished for it since decades.

The policy of continued increase in the power tariff has damaged GDP and now plans has been made to shift the entire burden of circular debt which is around Rs1900 billion on masses which is unacceptable, he said.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the decision will hit masses and damage the fragile economy and it could prove more disastrous than the coronavirus.

The former Minister noted that the move will increase the price of almost everything as the business community is already uneasy over the decision to boost revenue without a plan which indicates a mini-budget in the offing.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that decision to tackle the infamous debt by burdening industrial sector and masses will leave thousands of businesses bankrupt.

He noted that power theft and losses are almost one billion rupees daily which is not being controlled but policy of tariff hike is preferred which is against the national interests and according to the aspirations of the IMF.

The government has planned to announce the decision in the budget but was delayed due to some legal issues and now decision has been made to impose a new surcharge for which NEPRA Act may be amended.

Reduction in economic activities have resulted in surplus in the national grid, therefore, the government is pressurizing textile millers to stop using their own electricity and buy costly energy from them which is exploitation, he informed.

The concessional power tariff for the export industry should be extended otherwise exports will go down at a rapid pace, he warned.

IBA Karachi revises admission process for its undergraduate programs

In the wake of COVID-19 constraints, the IBA Karachi has decided to overhaul the admission process for its undergraduate programs. The aptitude test scheduled for July 5, 2020 for BBA, BS Accounting & Finance, BS Economics and BS Social Sciences & Liberal Arts programs has been substituted with an Alternative Assessment Criteria.

The revised process includes shortlisting of candidates based on prior academic qualifications, co-curricular activities, social internships, achievements and the personal statements by the candidates. Announcing these policy changes, IBA Executive Director Dr. S. Akbar Zaidi said that the quick movement and pragmatic changes are set out as a necessity to adhere to public health and safety guidelines issued by the government and for the safety of all stakeholders. The IBA Karachi aims to start the next academic year on time and therefore, all candidates are encouraged to apply for admission and complete all the requirements preferably before the deadline to avoid any inconvenience at the last moment.

Khushhali Microfinance Bank donates rs one million to PM’S covid relief fund

As the government enforces measures to contain the spread of coronavirus in Pakistan, Khushhali Microfinance Bank Limited (KMBL) is playing its part to contribute to these efforts and taking steps to ensure the safety of its customers and employees amid the pandemic.

In light of that, Khushhali Microfinance Bank has contributed PKR 1 million to the Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund, to support the government in the fight against COVID-19.

In an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, Khushhali Microfinance Bank has been playing an active role on multiple fronts. This includes running COVID awareness campaigns, disinfecting branches on a regular basis, and ensuring availability of hand sanitizers and temperature gauges at its operational branches. Khushhali Microfinance Bank made sure to implement all SBP guidelines at its branches and offices. To ensure employee safety, Khushhali Microfinance Bank reduced work timings, closed cafeterias and has been regularly dispatching emails with safety guidelines. In line with social distancing protocols, Khushhali Microfinance Bank has enabled online transactions for clients by recently introducing mobile banking so customers can conduct their financial activities from their homes.

With 113,702 confirmed cases and more than 2000 COVID related deaths across the country, the need of the hour is to provide hospital beds to the patients, PPE to the doctors and other medical equipment to the frontline workers. As an institution dedicated to giving the best to humanity, Khushhali Microfinance Bank wants to contribute towards these efforts through monetary help amid the escalating health crisis.

President & CEO KMBL, Ghalib Nishtar said, “Khushhali Microfinance Bank has been dedicated to lifting vulnerable populations out of poverty in normal times. With the nation fighting against the corona virus, our contribution towards the PM’s COVID fund sits with our mission of helping those in need in this crisis”.

Keeping in view the hardships faced by infected individuals from the low-income households and communities, the donation by Khushhali Microfinance Bank reflects the philosophy of sustainable development and growth.

Khushhali Microfinance Bank Limited has continued to provide banking services to its customers during the lockdown while enforcing safety measures at its branches. Founded in 2000, Khushhali Microfinance Bank is a forerunner in the microfinance sector in Pakistan.

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