Top universities from Pakistan unveiled their hand-built fuel-efficient vehicles for the Shell Eco-marathon Asia at a launch ceremony held at NUST in Rawalpindi. The event has put Pakistani teams on track for the competition at the Sepang F-1 track in Kuala Lumpur in July 2013. There, they will compete with over 130 teams from 16 countries to see whose vehicle can go the farthest on one litre of fuel. Teams from NUST, UET-Peshawar, UET-Jamshoro, NED, Air University, GIK, PNEC and FAST are registered to compete in the event at Malaysia. Some of these teams were present at the NUST launch event to showcase a range of new and improved vehicles, running on a variety of fuels. On the occasion, Shell Pakistan Limited Managing Director Omar Sheikh said, “Pakistan and the world face an energy challenge, and Shell is well positioned to help people meet their energy needs through efficient and performance-driven products. Competitions like the Shell Eco-marathon are opportunities for students to be a part of the dialogue and the solution to our energy challenges.” A panel of judges from academic, media, industry and government sectors inspected the vehicles at the launch event. Awards were given for Safety to UET-Peshawar for their Prototype vehicle; for the best mileage to NUST for their Urban Concept vehicle; GIK’s prototype vehicle won an award for reducing their ecological footprint the most, while the innovation prize was awarded to UET-Peshawar’s Urban Concept vehicle. Two novelty awards were given to AIR University and HITEC for their out-of-the-box designs. Major General Obaid Bin Zakria, commandant NUST College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering added, “Today’s event is a chance for Pakistani teams to test their vehicles and ensure they are well-prepared for a tough competition at the Shell Eco-marathon in Malaysia this year. The students have already displayed a great deal of drive and creativity in transforming innovative ideas into reality, and we hope they continue to display the same enthusiasm as they represent Pakistan and their universities.” Pakistan was the first country from the subcontinent to represent teams at the Shell Eco-marathon in Berlin 2009, followed by 20 teams in the 2010 Kuala Lumpur competition, the highest from Asia. In 2012, for the first time, two Pakistani teams were top performers; a team from NED came at fourth position in the Ethanol Prototype category, while a team from NUST came eighth in the Urban Concept gasoline category. In 2013, 13 teams from Pakistan will participate in the Kuala Lumpur event.
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) on Monday issued a new schedule for supply of gas for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations and the industrial sector of Punjab. Earlier on Sunday, the SNGPL had announced to provide gas to the industrial sector for two days. Later, it reviewed the decision and decided to restore the old schedule according to which the industrial sector and CNG stations would be provided gas for three days. In accordance with the new schedule, the supply of gas to CNG stations in Faisalabad, Sargodha, Bahawalpur and Islamabad was restored on Monday while the industrial sector would also be supplied gas for three days. The change in schedule has been brought after people from different walks of life had protested against cut of supply to the industrial sector. At this, the management decided to continue the supply of gas to the sector for three days.
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As part of its ongoing drive to further strengthen business relations with retailers and distributors, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) organised a retailers’ conference in Karachi. Attended by more than 300 PTCL retailers, business partners and distributors, the conference included various team-building sessions, and provided participants an exciting opportunity to share their observations and experiences regarding PTCL’s products and services. Appreciating the support of retail partners, PTCL Executive Vice President (EVP) Business Zone South Zaman Gulzar said, “Our retail partners are the backbone of our distribution network and we fully acknowledge their loyalty, hard work and collaboration in the company’s success.” “Telecom is a rapidly changing industry, with new practices and products emerging at a fast pace. This conference is designed to provide a better understanding to our partners about our evolving product portfolio and also serve as a platform to develop and share ideas that drive future growth,” he added further. Zaman assured retailers and distributors of PTCL’s commitment to create a mutually beneficial partnership which strengthens the existing business partnership built on commitment and team work. The top performing partners were presented with certificates and attractive prizes. The participants also enjoyed a highly entertaining musical performance.
Foreign bulls on Monday catapulted Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) above the 20,800 mark, a massive rally wherein the benchmark index of the apex bourse piled up a solid 277 points. The Benchmark KSE-100 Index ended 1.35 percent, or 277.11 points, higher at 20,814.14. Reports of an early resolution of circular debt helped Pakistan State Oil Company Ltd close at its upper cap. The Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDCL) also closed higher, dealers said. OGDCL rose by 5 percent to Rs 220.65 and Pakistan State Oil Company Ltd (PSO) was up 5 percent at Rs 256.49. In the currency market, the rupee ended at 98.39/98.45 against the dollar, stronger than Friday’s close of 98.45/98.50. Overnight rates in the money market remained flat at 9.40 percent.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Engineer Shaukatullah said after a decade-long unrest, peace has been restored in the province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas(FATA)and thus businessmen should come forward to invest in the areas to generate economic activities both for mutual benefit and in the larger interests of the country. Inaugurating the second meeting of the managing committee of the Federation of the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) which was hosted by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) at its premises on Monday, the governor further said, “We have been facing problems in KP and FATA for the last decade but now we have entered into a new phase and are on the path of revival”. The ceremony was attended by leading businessmen and industrialists from across the country besides incumbent president of FPCCI, Malik Zubair and was also addressed by the vice president of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Iftikhar Ali Malik. Appreciating the holding of the session at the federal capital, the governor said, “I have come to Islamabad to invite the business community to invest in FATA as the situation has improved there,” adding that the government would be providing security if required. In this connection, the governor also mentioned the marble city which is being established near Peshawar and pointed out that work on developing industrial plots is carrying on expeditiously. To ensure stable electrification system, WAPDA has also been asked to establish a grid station at the marble city, he said. The ground reality is that a huge quantity of marble is wasted due to use of old technology and if properly explored, the mineral sector of the country alone has the potential to run the economy of the country, he added. Shaukatullah urged the need for expanding the tax net instead of putting further burden on the existing taxpayers. The irony of the matter is, he said, that out of the total Rs 0.8 million tax money, Rs 0.5 million is paid by government employees while the remaining 0.3 million comes from businessmen. Rather than putting further burden on the businessmen, there is a need to take measures to broaden the tax net ambit, he said. He further said there was a need to simplify the overall tax system to make it user friendly. Speaking on the occasion, vice president SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Iftikhar Ali Malik, who is also the co-Chairman of FPCCI, stressed the importance of ensuring a conducive atmosphere in KP and FATA to encourage foreign investments. “We have to create an atmosphere to facilitate overseas Pakistanis to come here and invest in various fields of the economy,” he said. Earlier, ICCI President Zafar Bakhtawari stressed the need for broadening the tax net also. He said political stability is the key to economic development and described the upcoming scenario a good omen for making this possible.
Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Monday sought a report on comparative data of international and domestic petroleum prices from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) by June 19 on a petition seeking details of taxes levied on the petroleum products. The order was passed on a petition filed by Muhammad & Ahmad, a public interest litigation company, through its counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique. Earlier, OGRA’s counsel appeared before the court and said OGRA determined oil prices on directives of the federal government whereas it did not have the authority to fix petroleum prices. The chief justice adjourning the matter till June 19 sought a report from OGRA. The petitioner through his petition prayed that the government should be directed to give details about the method of determination for revising prices of petroleum products vis-à-vis the cost of production and cost of supply including charging of different levies, duties and taxes and further disbursement of above collections to different heads. He further prayed that OGRA be directed to supply the audited accounts of all respondents connected with the production and supply of petroleum products specifying category-wise details with complete profit and loss accounts through certified audited accounts.
The business Community of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) received renowned business leader Tariq Saeed, chairman Business Panel Group, former president FPCCI and vice president of Confederation of Asia Pacific Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) at Islamabad airport where ICCI chief Zafar Bakhtwarai, addressing a gathering said the new government must focus on good governance and political stability if it wanted to ensure economic growth. Bakhtawari said there must be continued process of table talks between representatives of public and private sector and the government should give weight to the voice of the private sector, which is the main engine of economic growth. The ICCI chief also urged the upcoming government to build confidence of businessmen by ensuring supply of basic ingredients that are required to keep the wheel of economy turning and accelerates trade and investment in the country. Bakhtawari of the ICCI lauded the efforts of Tariq Saeed whose lifetime services, he said, had earned him unparalleled respect on national and global level. He said it was Tariq Saeed who united the business community and served their interests selflessly which helped him earn admiration as well as confidence of all stakeholders. He stressed that the new government should give top priority to improving the economy as Pakistan could not make sound progress without turning around its economy. He said the new government should focus on good governance and political stability which are a must for economic stability and investment in the country. Addressing a huge gathering of the business community, Tariq Saeed said no one can ignore the importance of the business community as it generates revenue for the government, provides employment to the masses and earns foreign exchange. He said the business community should be consulted in the upcoming budget making process as they are the real stakeholders of the country. He expressed hoped that the new government would give priority to the economy and pursue an effective economic policy to put the country back on track. He reposed confidence in PML-N’s team of economic experts which he believed could tackle economic challenges effectively.
The Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has launched what it termed as `Fuel Smart Cards’. A pompous ceremony to this effect was organised in Karachi on Saturday evening attended largely by corporate executives and others. It was pointed out on the occasion that the PSO has reached yet another technological milestone by introducing the first of its kind `chip-based smart cards’. These, it was stated, have been introduced with the objective of providing increased convenience for PSO card customers and that the fuel cards incorporate added security features in the form of chip-based encryption technology which secures all customer information residing in the chip from unauthorised access and that the usage of these cards will benefit corporate customers by facilitating administrative supervision, economising fuel expenses and selection of customised cards options. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of PSO, Naeem Yahya said that through the launch of this Smart Card, the PSO has further underlined its standing as a customer-centric company which is continually introducing new products and services to provide ever greater benefits to the consumers at large. He said that the PSO has embarked on the path of innovation in order to make a rapid headway. “We are on the rise, we are going forward”, he remarked while he stressed the significance of technology and said that the PSO is working in this very area. Naeem Yahya said that in two years’ time the PSO intends to become the number one company in Pakistan and in four years a regional player and later on a global company. PSO’s General Manager Marketing, Arif Nasim, also expressed his views on the occasion.
Managing Director Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) Riaz Ahmed Khan held a meeting with the delegation of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) to discuss energy situation in the country. The ICCI delegation was led by its president, Zafar Bakhtawari. Riaz Ahmed Khan said that OGDCL is Pakistan's largest Exploration and Production (E&P) company. It has become the leading provider of oil and gas to the country by increasing exploration and production domestically. "OGDCL is going ahead with its mission to fulfil the country's energy demand and its recent discovery will go a long way in this regard,” he said. “OGDCL will meet the expectations of its stakeholders through best management practices and by the use of latest technology,” he added. Bakhtawari expressed concern about the prevailing energy situation in the country and said that the future of Pakistan lies in attaining energy sufficiency. He informed Riaz Ahmed Khan that ICCI had already organised an energy seminar in which various representative of E&P companies discussed efforts that have been made to overcome the power and gas shortage in the country. Bakhtawari said that the government should launch a serious companies for adopting energy conservation measures by promoting energy efficiency programmes. He said there is a need to evolve a new policy to attract private sector investment in electricity generation to overcome the gap between the demand for electricity and its supply. He said the main reason for the growing electricity shortfall is not just the increase in demand but also the declining capacity to produce electricity because of inconsistent policies.