Ignoring agriculture sector amount to suicide, says Mian Zahid Hussain
Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said the agriculture sector is being ignored since decades and further closing eyes to the problems of this sector will amount to suicide.
The continued fall of agriculture has added to the problems of masses and it has put the integrity of the country at stake, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that sixty percent population and the majority of exports are lined to agriculture while hundred percent population is dependent on this sector for their food needs.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that agriculture is the largest employment providing sector and its plunge is hitting production and exports as well.
Masses are uneasy over food insecurity while billions are being spent on import of food items which should not be an issue in the country having the best canal system in the world, he observed.
Apart from the apathy on the part of policymakers, the agriculture sector is also facing problems like the increased role of loan sharks, middlemen, fake fertiliser, medicine and substandard seed, hiking cost of energy and scarcity of water.
The business leader noted that the critical decisions regarding this orphan sector are taken by those who have no exposure to this sector and farmers are never taken on board which frustrates major initiatives.
Benefits of different packages and loans find their way to the influential and the matters of support price also discourages farmers many of whom switch to other crops resulting in food insecurity.
Highly influential people are running industries which are fully dependent on agriculture who manoeuvre policies to their benefit on the cost of masses and farmers, he said, adding that water scarcity is the most important problem of all which should be addressed on priority basis otherwise country will become a desert.
UBL introduces whatsapp banking services
UBL, Pakistan’s Best Digital Bank 2020 (as declared by the Pakistan Banking Awards) is always ahead of the curve in terms of the technological finesse of its products and services. The Bank is proud of the many innovations it has been able to bring forth to serve the financial needs of the people of Pakistan.
In keeping with its brand attributes of being the country’s leading progressive and innovative bank, UBL, in collaboration with Infobip, has introduced another financial convenience for its over 10 million customers – WhatsApp Banking. This is a self-service option for all of its customers in order to deliver an interactive customer solution for all their banking queries, on their most preferred communication channel.
Through this most convenient channel, UBL customers can now get financial assistance at their fingertips. UBL WhatsApp Banking will assist the customer, among other features, to enquire about a product, register for a complaint, trace UBL Branches, get information about a specific topic & much more.
Commenting on the launch of the service, Mr. Sharjeel Shahid, Group Executive Digital Banking said “UBL has, time and again, introduced products and services which offer customers maximum expediency. With our digital footprint and technological know-how, we want to bring the ultimate banking experience for our customers. This new service is another step in that direction.”
State-of-the-art jazz digital house Quetta inaugurated
Jazz, Pakistan’s number one 4G operator, and the largest internet and broadband service provider has inaugurated its state-of-the-art office, the ‘Jazz Digital House,’ in Quetta.
In continuation of Jazz’s commitment to employee wellbeing, this office aims to provide a comfortable and inspiring environment, enabling employees to be more productive and creative. From breakout rooms, project rooms’ to sit-stands, and ergonomic seating, the office not only offers individuals ample space but also encourages teamwork with the place fully-equipped to cater to virtual team collaborations, a critical part of the digital workplace strategy. Moreover, this office seeks to expand Jazz’s digital footprint in Balochistan, especially in rural areas.
Speaking on this occasion, Aamir Ibrahim, Jazz CEO, said, “This Digital House is a testament to Jazz’s values and caters to the rapidly changing workplace dynamics. In line with our commitment to provide a healthy working environment, we hope that this next-generation workplace promotes continuous learning, nurtures wellness, and fosters innovation.”
Jazz is recognized as an employer of choice with a conducive work culture encouraging a greater work-life balance. At Jazz, wellness is central to ensuring productive and energized employees who are committed to accelerating the company’s progress towards a ‘Digital Pakistan.’
IBA Karachi and PSO collaborate to support deserving students
- Sudents to be chosen across Pakistan through IBA-NTHP
The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi and Pakistan State Oil (PSO) have joined hands through the PSO CSR Trust to help talented students from underprivileged backgrounds pursue their educational aspirations. The selected students were chosen by the IBA Karachi from across Pakistan through the National Talent Hunt Program (IBA-NTHP).
During a ceremony held at PSO’s head office in Karachi, Managing Director and CEO, PSO, Syed Muhammad Taha, presented a cheque to the Executive Director, IBA, Dr. S. Akbar Zaidi, to sponsor the higher education of five undergraduate students for four years. An agreement was also signed by Chairperson, PSO CSR Trust, Mr. Babar H. Chaudhry and Dr. Zaidi.
Sharing his views at the occasion, Syed Muhammad Taha said, “We have integrated corporate philanthropy into our core business strategy and it is our constant endeavor to encourage and inspire young people while fueling their professional growth. By spending one third of our CSR budget to further quality education in our country, we aim to energize future generations, providing them the education and skills they need to transform Pakistan.”
Dr. Zaidi echoed Mr. Taha’s sentiments and remarked, “The IBA is grateful to PSO and its CSR Trust for their continued support in ensuring that deserving and meritorious students get a chance to study without any financial restraints. We hope that this relationship between two leading organizations will be fruitful and enduring for students, society and Pakistan.”
PSO and IBA continue to play their respective roles to support the youth in pursuing education in business and allied fields based on merit irrespective of ethnicity, gender, religion or financial means.
Gas crisis blocking new investments in the country: Mian Zahid Hussain
Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said the gas crisis is not only hitting economy and employment but it has also blocked new investments.
Industrialist community is protesting all over the country which will also discourage foreign investors, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussian said that CNG sector is paying the highest tariff for gas and paying highest taxes but it is facing the ire of authorities while the influential sectors getting subsidised gas are being promoted which is astonishing.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the environmentally friendly sector of CNG is being targeted since 2012 and now the number of CNG stations in Punjab has dropped from 2,800 to almost one thousand wasting investments worth billions.
This sector is consuming only four percent of the gas but it is always first to get closure notice in case of scarcity as some officials have close ties with influential oil mafia who are hell-bent on destroying this sector.
The government provided relief to influential industrial sectors following pandemic but this sector was ignored as it is being operated by middle-class investors, he observed.
The tax structure for this sector is modified in routine adding to the problems of investors, he said, adding that this sector should be allowed to operate for a few hours so that machinery remain operable and jobs remain intact which will provide some relief to masses and revenue to the government.
The business leader noted that closure of CNG outlets has left thousands unemployed while it is adding to urban pollution and oil import bill, therefore, the decision to suspend supply of gas to this sector must be reconsidered.
Kashmir day cup horse-racing 2021 fully enjoyed
District Governor 3271 Prof Dr Farhan Essa Abdullah and Rotary Club Karachi New Central held a grand fellowship event here at Karachi Race Course, Malir on February 8 (Sunday).
Commemorating Kashmir Day, which was on February 5, the event featured horse-racing, an exciting sport that has received very little media coverage in Pakistan was titled Kashmir Day Cup 2021.
Invitees largely comprising Rotarians and their friends and family, and social, print and electronic media enjoyed a fun day at the race course. The event took off with speeches by president Rotary Club Karachi New Central, Alia Hasan followed by DG 3271 Prof Dr Farhan Essa Abdullah, who highlighted the importance of promoting this sport in Karachi, which provides wholesome entertainment in fresh air and could also draw tourists, like anywhere else in the world.
After a sumptuous traditional brunch, the horse-racing began which was enjoyed by one and all.
Codebase technologies and payment components enable open banking and payments capabilities in MENA
Codebase Technologies (CBT), a leading Global Open API Banking Solutions provider, and PaymentComponents, a global leader in B2B payments and fintech solutions, have entered into a strategic alliance to further drive the Open Banking initiative in the Middle East and North Africa.
As regulators around the world implement new open banking frameworks and initiatives, banks and financial services providers in the MENA region are developing new ways to utilize open banking to evolve how robust use of customer data can enable more innovative products and services to better serve customers.
This partnership is the evolution of CBT’s drive to empower current and future Digibanc customers in the MENA region with a more expansive range of open banking components and solutions through its association with the MENA Open Banking Working Group. CBT’s strategic alliance with PaymentComponents will enable current and existing Digibanc™ customers with a wider range of Open Banking and payments APIs that include Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), SWIFT connectivity services, and simplified operations through Account Aggregation capabilities.
Commenting on the partnership, Raheel Iqbal, Managing Partner & Global Product Head at Codebase Technologies, said, “Codebase Technologies’ latest partnership with PaymentComponents will unlock new opportunities for our customers, owing to the combined innovations in Open Banking that we can now offer together. We are excited to embark on this partnership and will continue to keep our customers at the heart of everything we do.”
Zoe Kioustelidou, Strategic partnership manager at PaymentComponents, said, “Open Banking APIs allow banks and financial institutions to enrich customer experiences and bet on new revenue streams. Collaborating with a tech pioneer such as Codebase Technologies allows us to boost our position as a comprehensive fintech solutions provider in the region. The combined strengths from Codebase and PaymentComponents will offer customers exclusive prospects that they can take to market effectively.”
About Codebase Technologies
Codebase Technologies is a leading Global Open API Banking solution provider, at the forefront of enabling banks and financial institutions (both Conventional and Islamic), as well as the emerging Fintech ecosystem to Demystify Digital Financial Services. We help organizations create and deliver Innovative and Intuitive experiences across customer lifecycle.
With presence and customers across 4 continents, Codebase Technologies with its award-winning suite of products, including the innovative Digibanc™, a comprehensive one-stop ‘Bank in box’, helps its customers unlock the true potential of the next generation of the digital financial eco-system.
PaymentComponents is a global B2B solution provider for the Open Banking age. It provides open and light software components in payments, financial messaging and open banking that can transform your business. Our solutions are the necessary ingredients for more than 60 Banks and Financial Institutions spread across 20 countries, to help them innovate and become digital champions.
Metro Pakistan bags top employer award for the 4th time
METRO Pakistan has been certified as the ‘Top Employer – Pakistan 2021’, for the 4th time in a row. Pakistan is the only METRO market from Asia to receive it for four consecutive years, and is the pioneer of the global certification trend in the country.
Celebrating the win, the Managing Director METRO Pakistan Mr. Marek Minkiewicz expressed his joy and said “METRO Pakistan is a new entity comparatively and is competing with more mature markets and organizations across the globe to offer best practices to its employees. The certification is in continuation to METRO’s tradition to value its employees first at all times.”
The international certification program, managed by The Employers Institute, is an annual international audit that recognizes the leading employers around the world by assessing the participants through their global HR Best Practices survey. In order to be certified, organizations must successfully achieve the required minimum standard as set out by the Top Employers Institute.
METRO is a leading international wholesale company with food and non-food assortments that specializes on serving the needs of hotels, restaurants and caterers (HoReCa) as well as independent traders. Around the world, METRO has some 24 million customers. METRO in addition also supports the competitiveness of entrepreneurs and own businesses with digital solutions and thereby contributes to cultural diversity in retail and hospitality. The company operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide including Pakistan.
Jahangir Khan becomes Roshan Digital Account ambassador for Habibmetro Bank
HABIBMETRO signed squash world champion Mr. Jahangir Khan as the ambassador for its Roshan Digital Account (RDA). The agreement was signed between Mr. Jahangir Khan and Mr. Mohsin Ali Nathani, the President and CEO of HABIBMETRO Bank.
While speaking at the ceremony Mr. Nathani said, “Mr. Khan is a legend not only in Pakistan, but throughout the world and it is an honor for HABIBMETRO and Habib Bank AG Zurich to have him as a satisfied client as well as an ambassador for our Roshan Digital Account.” He added that RDA will be a game changer and will prove to be a great step for the banking industry and the entire country. “HABIBMETRO takes great pride in serving Pakistanis with declared assets abroad as well as Non-Resident Pakistanis who are an integral part of the country’s economy,” he said.
While expressing his thoughts at the event, Mr. Khan said, “I have enjoyed a banking relationship with HABIBMETRO and Habib Bank AG Zurich for the last 40 years. I am honored to be representing the Group for the launch of their Roshan Digital Account and to be one of the founding account holders of the RDA at the Bank.”
Roshan Digital Account is a major initiative of State Bank of Pakistan, in collaboration with commercial banks operating in Pakistan. This account provides innovative banking solutions for millions of Non Resident Pakistanis (NRPs), and Resident Pakistanis (RPs) with declared assets abroad, seeking to undertake banking, payment and investment activities in Pakistan.
NRPs can open Conventional and Islamic Banking Roshan Digital Accounts digitally from anywhere in the world and use the same to make bill payments, fund transfers and investments in Pakistan, remotely.
HABIBMETRO Bank operates with a growing network of 400+ branches in more than 135 cities across Pakistan. The Bank is a subsidiary of Habib Bank AG Zurich, which has a global presence in 10 countries across 4 continents.
Fragile economic confidence early in 2021
- South Asia showed a marked improvement in confidence and orders in Q4, after exceptionally weak Q3 survey results
- Accountants and finance professional experts say economic confidence in Q4 2020 stalled and remains fragile heading into 2021, finds the latest ACCA and IMA Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS).
- Tracking confidence and fear indices, the global survey of more than 3,000 senior professionals with 201 in South Asia including Pakistan reflects the outlook and experiences of the thousands of businesses they advise.
The results for South Asia show:
- South Asia has been hit hard by the pandemic as economies reliant on services and tourism are prevalent in the region.
- The Q4 survey shows signs of recovery with a rise in all the main activity indicators, including orders and employment.
- But any growth revival will be fragile and subject to avoiding renewed COVID infections.
- The ‘fear’ indices — concern about suppliers and customers going out of business – fell back in Q4: the former remains elevated but the latter is close to its long-run average.
- South Asia recorded the biggest jump in orders in Q4,,recovering after a big drop in the Q3 survey.52 percent of respondents in South Asia expect a significant economic recovery in the second half of this year or later – the highest among the major regions.
Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan says: ‘The impact of COVID-19 on the global, South Asia and Pakistan economies has been significant. However, respondents across South Asia appear reasonably confident about the year ahead, looking to a recovery, perhaps spurred by policy responses and the news of vaccines being available. 2021 presents a long road to recovery ahead, and one in which accountants will be playing a key role.’
The global 2020 Q4 findings reveal the ‘fear’ indices — concern about customers and suppliers going out of business — edged lower in Q4 but remain elevated. This clearly underlines the extreme uncertainty in the global economic outlook at the start of 2021. The confidence measure fell back in North America, having surged in the previous Q3. By contrast there was a big improvement in Middle East confidence, buoyed probably by continued recovery in oil prices. Inflation concerns remain negligible with concern about costs staying close to an all-time low.
Outlook For 2021
Looking ahead, over 50% of respondents in Asia Pacific, North America and South Asia expect sustainable recovery in the second half of this year. The most optimistic in this respect is the Middle East, where 54% expect recovery during the first half of the year.
Michael Taylor, Chief Economist at ACCA says: “Last year was the worst for the global economy for several decades. 2021 will see recovery but precisely when and how strong it will be is very uncertain. We anticipate a weak start, followed by a recovery gathering momentum through the second half. Much depends on the evolution of the COVID virus and variants relative to the progress of vaccination programmes and there is great uncertainty surrounding these developments.
“Since our polling in December, many countries have seen increased COVID-19 infection rates, prompting governments to re-impose restrictions including national lockdowns. This means that global economic prospects early in 2021 have deteriorated since the Q4 survey. At the same time there has been progress on the approval of vaccines, raising hopes of a permanent improvement in economic conditions later this year.’
However, ACCA and IMA highlight that, unemployment rates will be rising in many countries, potentially undermining consumer confidence and limiting the strength of a rebound.
Raef Lawson, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, IMA vice president of research and policy, said: “The pandemic has forced millions into extreme poverty as emerging markets suffered recession for the first time in decades last year. Policy responses to the pandemic have left the public finances of most economies in a perilous state with budget deficits in the range of 10% to 15% of GDP in many countries with debt to GDP ratios well over 100%.’
He added: “All this presents a big test for policy makers in terms of when to withdraw policy support and when policy should be tightened to rebuild public finances. Policy mistakes would risk derailing economic recovery.’
Fieldwork for the 2020 Q4 survey took place between 20 November and 8 December 2020 and attracted 3086 responses from ACCA and IMA members, including over 300 CFOs.
GECS can be found here:
ACCA is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. We’re a thriving global community of 227,000 members and 544,000 future members based in 176 countries and regions that upholds the highest professional and ethical values.
We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society that supports both public and private sectors. That’s why we’re committed to the development of a strong global accountancy profession and the many benefits that this brings to society and individuals.
Since 1904 being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. And because we’re a not-for-profit organisation, we build a sustainable global profession by re-investing our surplus to deliver member value and develop the profession for the next generation.
Through our world leading ACCA Qualification, we offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. And using our respected research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing us for tomorrow.
Price hike in food, electricity, petroleum and other items may push another wave of inflation: Mian Zahid
Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said the price of food and other essential items and services have seen an average increase of 31 percent during the last two and a half years.
The new high prices are stabilising but a new wave will hit country soon as a result of seventeen percent hike in the price of petroleum products and electricity, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that masses will have to brave further problems as the IMF is preparing to impose the so called stabilisation policies while will render many sectors of the economy lifeless.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that there is no reduction in the food prices and there is no chance for any relief as the government has failed to reduce prices.
Coronavirus coupled with uncontrolled prices have damaged the buying power of masses and they are compromising on health and education while mediocre are moving to cheap houses to handle rising prices.
Rates of edibles have crossed all limits at a time when the average incomes have decreased which is not enough to escape from hunger. This time around they are finding it hard to fulfil even their food needs from their meagre incomes.
Failure of the departments to collect taxes as per the IMF targets has resulted in the imposition of indirect taxes of poor while the lender is pushing the economy into further trouble for which masses will have to pay while it will damage the vote bank of the government, he warned.
PPL organizes eye camps in Sui, Dera Bugti
Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) in partnership with Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital organized two free-of-cost eye camps in Sui and Dera Bugti, Balochistan to reach deserving local communities around its flagship Sui Gas Field. Surgical eye camps are an annual feature of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Programme.
The three-day eye camp at Dera Bugti was held at District Headquarters Hospital between January 28 and 30, while the other one was held at PPL-funded Public Welfare Hospital, Sui between February 1 and 3.
Overall, the camps provided free-of-cost consultation, treatment and medicines to over 3000 patients. Among these, more than 1,500 were given optical glasses and over 355 patients underwent cataract surgeries.
These eye camps, organized by PPL around its producing fields, for over a decade, have benefitted local communities in remote areas through provision of quality consultation, latest onsite surgical technology and medicines.
NBP signs kaspersky endpoint security solution, implementation and support with supernet
Data is one of the valuable assets a Bank holds in trust —and to lose it or lose access to it or for it to be compromised can result in increasingly dire consequences, not only from a cost or regulatory perspective but, more crucially, from the standpoint of erosion of the trust our customers place in us to keep their data secure and private.
At the same time the digitalization of business processes, products, services that normalized mobile and remote computing, often over insecure public and personal Wi-Fi networks and devices, has resulted in a complex and evolving threat landscape with an increasingly vulnerable and blurred perimeter that, if not secured, exposes this asset. A multi-layered cybersecurity strategy is one facet of NBP’s response to the cyber threat and Kapersky’s End Point Protection solution is the product the Bank has employed to secure the ‘perimeter’.
NBP recently signed Kaspersky End Point Protection solution that offers state-of-the-art antivirus, encryption and antimalware protection to ensure threat detection and response offering real-time threat protection to endpoints and sensitive data & applications on servers.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Amin Manji, SEVP/CTO National bank of Pakistan remarked “Kaspersky will form an integral part of NBP’s cybersecurity posture that will reduce and secure the Bank’s attack surface. Ensuring the security and safety of the Bank’s and customer’s data is core to our mission and National Bank of Pakistan is committed to provide safe and secure banking to its customers.”
Endpoint security is often seen as cyber security’s frontline, and represents one of the first places organizations look to secure their enterprise infrastructure. In order to move towards the goal of improved cybersecurity posture and delivering secure financial services to its customers.
Supernet has been awarded a 5-year contract by National Bank of Pakistan for providing endpoint security solution to 11,500 nodes across the country. It is one of the largest projects awarded in banking industry for endpoint security when it comes to the size and scale; CEO Super Secure & Director Supernet, Mr. Jamal Nasir on this occasion commented: “Our security solution is designed to seamlessly integrate with their existing environment for threat detection, automatic response, real-time alert and data export. The centralized application, web and device controls will protect their sensitive data on each and every endpoint including PCs, Virtual Workstations and servers. It is a great achievement by the company to deliver critical information security services to one of the leading commercial banks in Pakistan.”
These are some of the prominent capabilities Kaspersky Endpoint Protection will provide NBP:
- Machine-learning classification to detect zero-day threats in near real time
- Advanced antimalware, ransomware and antivirus protection to protect, detect, and correct malware across multiple endpoint devices and operating systems
- Proactive web security to ensure safe browsing on the web
- Data classification and data loss prevention to prevent data loss and exfiltration via USBs
- Integrated firewall to block hostile network attacks
- Actionable threat forensics to allow administrators to quickly isolate infections
- Insider threat protection to safeguard against unintentional and malicious actions
- Centralized endpoint management platform to improve visibility and simplify operations
- Endpoint, disk encryption and file integrity monitoring to prevent data exfiltration and Zero-day attacks.
TDAP hosts soft launch of first international virtual textile exhibition in Pakistan
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) organized a soft launch of the 1st International Virtual Textile Exhibition in Pakistan, TEXPO, at Cafe Aylanto. The chief guests at the event were Advisor to the Prime Minister, Mr Razzak Dawood, Secretary at Ministry of Commerce Mr. M. Sualeh Faruqi and Chief Executive at TDAP, Mr Arif Ahmed Khan. The soft launch was attended by the who’s who of the fashion and showbiz worlds including designers and textile giants from renowned Pakistani fashion houses.
Pakistan’s largest and most prestigious platform, TEXPO, to exhibit textile-based products is going live from 1st to 5th February on an exclusively created virtual platform.
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan is dedicated to broadening the export base with a technologically driven, forward-looking approach. TEXPO is an initiative of TDAP which was conceptualized in 2016. Due to the pandemic and the resultant limitations on physical events, TDAP took the mammoth step of digitizing the four-day event that hosts foreign delegates from around the world.
The products in focus are high-end fashion apparel, ready-made garments, home textiles, fabrics and pandemic-relevant products like personal protective equipment (PPE) and face coverings. With TDAP’s unfaltering efforts, guests from across the globe will be attending the event online and local exhibitors will be showcasing their products in virtual stalls.
Advisor to the Prime Minister, Mr. Razzak Dawood said speaking about TEXPO, “With the support of the local business community and untiring efforts of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan we have successfully created a platform that caters to convenience of all stakeholders which is no small feat.”
Secretary Ministry of Commerce, Mr M. Sualeh Ahmed Faruqi said, “learning from the realities of COVID-19, TDAP has been able to muster international support and garner strength from the all over the country and the best of our exporters who will be participating with full vigor and the best of their products in full form. It will also provide immense opportunity of interaction between international buyers and interested houses to interact with Pakistani companies and the relevant government agencies to aid the process of matchmaking.”
The purpose of this international exhibition is to open doors for the local textile manufacturers, houses and SMEs to connect with the international community and foreign buyers and grow together. The past editions of TEXPO have hosted scores of local visitors and foreign delegates resulting in a large number of B2B and B2C connections.
Virtual TEXPO 2021 will be live 24 hours for five days to accommodate different time zones of the foreign guests that will be attending. A digital reception has also been conceptualized to provide technical solutions for attendees and exhibitors.
In an effort to deliver the learning experience that previous editions of TEXPO have provided in large auditoriums, TDAP developed Virtual Workshops with Maestros of Pakistan’s fashion industry. Leaders from the fashion world will be speaking and sharing their experience and wisdom garnered over decades of contributions to the textile and fashion industries.
Platinum Sponsor for Virtual TEXPO 2021 is Gul Ahmed Textiles Mills, Gold Sponsor is Interloop and the Silver Sponsors are Soorty, Chen One, Masood Textile Mills and Bari Textile Mills.
TEXPO was conceptualized as an initiative to boost Pakistan’s textile exports and open opportunities for local businesses to connect with the international business community and grow. It was the first product-specific exhibition to be held of its kind. In May 2020, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan announced TEXPO would be adapted to a virtual format to counter restrictions arising due to the pandemic.
KE committed to keeping industries powered up
Following the Federal Cabinet’s approval of moratorium on gas supply to industrial units for self-generation of electricity, K-Electric (KE) continues to remain fully committed to facilitating Karachi’s industrial customers in line with the Ministry of Energy’s (Power Division) direction to expedite fresh electricity connections and improve power supplies.
KE is closely engaged with the industrial associations and customers, through dedicated contact points to assess their needs and has collated accurate power demands of the sector. Based on this, a comprehensive roadmap has been developed to enable the shift of captive industrial electricity demand to the power grid in the swiftest way possible. Industries where KE metering points already exist will be prioritized for load-enhancement while concurrently the power utility will be establishing industrial helpdesks to ease new connection applications for those industries where electricity metering points are yet to be installed.
Reaffirming KE’s will and ability to serve the captive industrial demand, Moonis Alvi, CEO KE stated, “Based on the survey conducted by our team with industry support, we have estimated that up to 300 MW energy demand can shift from captive to the power grid in the near-term and KE is fully prepared to progressively serve this demand. In fact, we have already begun to process the applications that we have been receiving over the past few days. In addition, around 600 MW of power demand is expected to shift to the power grid by December 31st, 2021, following completion of the New Connection process and requisite enhancement of power equipment. Based on requirements, the power utility will undertake grid, substation and associated equipment installations and augmentations as a pre-requisite for serving energy demand. We are confident that we shall meet the December 2021 timelines set by the GoP and look forward to expeditious support for land and construction permits and Right of Way (RoW) approvals from city administration in this regard. It is important to highlight that the shift of captive power demand to the grid is a pivotal development and we request the support of all our stakeholders including SSGC, GoP, CPPA and NTDC in the timely conclusion of on-going discussions around fuel commitments, power availability from the national grid and the connection of KE’s natural gas transmission pipeline for its 900 MW BQPS-III power plant to the tie-in Point, SSGC Custody Transfer Station, as these underpin reliable supply of electricity and are critical to ensuring Karachi’s power security.”
Since privatization, KE has invested over PKR 330 billion in upgrading Karachi’s power infrastructure across the generation, transmission and distribution verticals. Compared to 2005, over 75% of Karachi is now load-shed free, underpinned by almost doubled transmission and distribution capability and generation capacity which has improved by around 1,400 MW through both self-generation and power purchase agreements. With KE’s flagship 900 MW RLNG-fired power plant and new power grids expected to come on-stream in 2021 and work progressing swiftly on interconnection capability to draw upto 450 MW additional power from the national grid through existing interconnections, the power utility remains committed to serving the enhanced industrial demand through expedited investments and infrastructure upgrades.
KE has always prioritized services to Karachi’s manufacturing sector, fully realizing their vital contribution to the national economy; the power utility was Pakistan’s first Distribution Company to exempt industrial zones from scheduled load-shed and KE’s efforts to ease access to energy under the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business framework, resulted in Pakistan being acknowledged as one of the world’s top six business climate improvers and moved up the country’s global rankings for investment friendliness.