Friday, December 2, 2016

Karachi Railways Division makes steep revenue gains

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Pakistan Railways has made great strides in its revenue earnings with Karachi railway division alone having achieved amazing targets with total revenue earnings rising from Rs 4172.468 million in 2011-12 to Rs 15,615.820 million in 2015-16.

The statistics showed that railways’ revenue earnings stood at Rs 2326.312 million in 1988-89 and soared to Rs 4726.668 million in 2012-13 but shot up to Rs 15,615.820 million in just 2 years 2014-16. 

"The earnings of the division stood at Rs 12,158 million in 2014-15 as against the target of Rs 9304.276 million and went up to Rs 15,615.820 million as against the target of Rs 12,732 million in 2015-16,”Engr Nisar Memon, the Divisional Superintendent Railways Karachi Division, informed in an interview. 

Giving head wise earning position, he revealed that from July 2016 to October 2016, the railway's passenger earnings touched a record Rs 2126.150 million as against the target of 1978.068 million and on the goods side it stood at Rs 3161.55 million as against the target of Rs 2941.462 million. 

According to him, the passenger earnings of Karachi Division stood at Rs 575.817 million in 1988-89 which entered into four figure when for the first time railway earned Rs 1064.570 million in 1995-96 and shot up to Rs 3102.947 million in 2012-13 after the present regime came into power registering a steep rise to Rs 4081.624 million in 2014-15 and a record Rs 5779.633 in 2015-16.

On the freight side, Nisar Memon stated that the earnings stood at Rs 1,610 .906 million in 1988-89 which soared to Rs 6391.714 million in 2013-14 and rose to a record Rs 9151.506 million in 2015-16 thus carrying the total earnings from both passenger and freight sides to Rs 15,615.820 million. 

He observed that these targets were achieved primarily because of the leadership provided by the Federal Railways Minister, Khawaja Saad Rafique who has made tremendous efforts to eradicate corruption from the organization which in the past badly devoured its resources. 

He remarked that the minister's appreciation of their performance had provided them a boost to their efforts to make Karachi Division the highest revenue earning Division of Pakistan. 

The minister, he said, has directed that the facilities being provided to traveling passengers be further improved and Karachi Railway Division is working on various projects in this regard. 

As a result of the efforts made the trains’ punctuality rate has increased to over 80 percent for Down trains and almost 100 percent for upcountry trains.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

LUMS students learn about Railways operations

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A six-member group of students of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) visited the headquarters of the Pakistan Railways in Lahore to acquaint themselves with the infrastructure, operation and working of the railway system.

The group consisting of four girls and two boys, called on the Chief Personnel Officer, Shoaib Adil, at his office and had an in depth interaction with him about the railway affairs. 

The CPO briefed the visitors about the railway working in greater details and specially the efforts being made by the Railways Minister, Khawaja Saad Rafique, for the railway's turn around to make it Pakistan's prestigious organization. 

He explained to the students the railway's soaring revenue income, the addition of new locomotives and carriages and the working of different cadres of the railway staff besides other things. 

The LUMS students pitched a volley of searing questions especially about the steps taken for increasing the railway's revenues, the hiring system for the employees, the train operations, the safety and security measures for passengers. 

Shoaib Adil informed that since the present leadership took over, the efficiency of the railway staff has went up manifold which brought amazing changes in the organization leading to achievement of remarkable results. 

He said as of today any hiring is made on total merit and more focus is paid on their training particularly with regard to provision of travelling facilities, safety and security of travelers and related aspects.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Alpha opens with a bang as Tesco lands in Karachi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Alpha opening in the basement of Ocean Mall, Clifton, on September 10 was quite a memorable event. 

It was an evening to remember as Karachi finally had the presence of Tesco, a reputed British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer. 

As anticipated the launch of Alpha turned out to be a phenomenal success with the large turnout, a clear indication of the project generating immediate attention to the extent of creating waves among the potential customers. 

It’s the fulfillment of yet other cherished dream of Nadeem Hussain, Founder and Coach at Planet N Group of Companies, having earned accolades in the financial services industry of Pakistan through his impossibly gifted talents.

Living to the reputation of being very passionate about whatever he ventures into, the former Citi Group country chief in Pakistan has now got his Planet N Group off to a flying start with the launch of Alpha and obviously there is a lot more to follow. 

A firm believer of giving back to the society while pursuing his corporate goals, Nadeem Hussain has believed in setting examples, having been a naturally gifted leader, who always has a vision and a strategy to implement and achieve his objectives. 

Now he’s being lauded for bringing Tesco in Karachi, the commercial hub of the country. 

He had signed exclusive rights for Tesco for Pakistan, opening the doors for the third largest retailer in the world measured by profits and the second-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues.

Historically Tesco was founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen as a group of market stalls. 

The Tesco name had first appeared in 1924, after Cohen purchased a shipment of tea from T E Stockwell and combined those initials with the first two letters of his surname and the first Tesco store opened in 1931 in Burnt Oak, Barnet. 

Originally a UK grocery retailer, Tesco has diversified geographically since the early 1990s and into areas such as the retailing of books, clothing, electronics, furniture, toys, petrol and software; financial services; telecoms and internet services.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

SSUET budget for 2016-17 passed

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, has passed its budget for the financial year 2016-17.

The budget, passed in a meeting of Board of Governors, was chaired by Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi, brought in its folds two gladdening news for the university’s employees and staff. 

The Board approved the revision of pay scales, an issue which was pending for the last many years, and also announced the launch of health insurance for the employees. 

The approval of these two benefits was the fulfillment of commitment made by Chancellor Jawaid Anwar in his very first speech made after having assumed the office. 

Chancellor Jawaid Anwar had announced to work for upgradation of the university to highest levels under a well conceived planning. 

The board also gave go ahead for purchase of additional lab equipment and carrying out various development schemes. 

Funds were also approved for award of scholarships, Faculty development/new campus, financial incentives to Faculty for carrying out research projects. 

Allocation has also been made for the SSUET’s Research Innovative and Commercialization Centre, which has now been made fully functional under Dr Rabia Inam.

Monday, July 6, 2015

US think-tank develops report on Pakistan economy

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Heritage Foundation, a US think tank, has developed a detailed document on the economical conditions of Pakistan and what actions the government of Pakistan must immediately take to revive the economy.

The document has been authored by Huma Sattar, a visiting Pakistani scholar, and James Roberts, senior analyst at the Heritage Foundation, with the title of the special report being ‘Pakistan’s economic disarray and how to fix it’ whose launching event was held on July 1 at the Lehrman Auditorium in Washington DC. 

Huma Sattar remarked on the ocassion that corruption, poor rule of law, regulatory inefficiencies among the myriad of problems that ail the Pakistani economy today have hindered sustainable growth and will continue to do so until the government implements structural reforms to overhaul the tax system and deregulate sectors such as the power sector. 

A large number of experts academia media people and others attended the event and talked about the report. 

Marc Schleifer, Director of Eurasia and South Asia, Center for International Private Enterprise Michael Kugelman, Senior Program Associate for South and Southeast Asia, Woodrow Wilson Center Mark Karns Multi-Sector, Advisor to the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs of USAID, were other experts to have shared views in the panel discussion. Lisa Curtis conducted the programme.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SECP initiates 86 show-cause proceedings against compamies

The SECP’s Enforcement Department— while enforcing compliance of corporate and allied laws— initiated 86 show-cause proceedings and concluded 54 proceedings against chief executives, directors and auditors of companies in February and March.

While facilitating companies to strengthen their capital base, the department allowed three listed companies to issue shares by way of otherwise than right at a discount and at par.

 In order to strengthen the existing regime of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting, the SECP has joined hands with the ICAP for the external assurances of the CSR reports.  CSR reports assist organizations in understanding and communicating their vision of combining a company’s profitability with social responsibility and environmental care. Both the SECP and the ICAP have reaffirmed their commitment to developing a framework for external assurance in accordance with prominent international assurance standards, and within a mutually agreed time frame.

In March 2014, the department organized a joint SECP-ICAP meeting. The issues regarding adoption of the IFRS for SMEs, conversion of ICAP’s Financial Reporting Guidelines into standards for NGOs, accounting issues relating to mutual funds, reforms in practice management regime, and revision of the format of the auditor’s report were discussed in detail. Joint SECP-ICAP committees were formed for further action. Furthermore, a strategy was developed to harmonize the corporate governance regime in Pakistan.

The department accorded approvals and relaxation from certain provisions of laws and rules. The approvals pertained to appointment of cost auditors under the 1998 Companies (Audit of Cost Accounts) Rules, filing of consolidated financial statements, changing the venue of annual general meeting (AGM), printing of computerized national identity card (CNIC) number on dividend warrants, and registering as a group.

In addition, 72 investor complaints pertaining to non-issuance of shares, non-verification of transfer deeds and non-payment of dividends were resolved. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

SECP takes action against KASB Securities, DJM Securities

The development of transparent and efficient securities market is one of the prime objectives of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). Accordingly, Securities Market Division of the SECP took enforcement actions and penalized the market participants for non-compliance with the regulatory framework during the month of March.

Subsequent to the onsite inspections, enforcement actions were taken against three brokerage houses of the Karachi Stock Exchange Limited. A penalty of Rs500,000 was imposed on KASB Securities Limited primarily for failure to maintain segregation of clients’ assets by the brokerage house. Moreover, a penalty of Rs100,000 was imposed on DJM Securities (Private) Limited  because of  irregularities identified in the calculation of net capital balance. Furthermore, a warning letter was issued to Time Securities (Private) Limited in the same context.

In addition, 12 orders were passed for late filing of returns of beneficial ownership, while directors/beneficial owners of 9 listed companies were penalized under Section 224 (4) of the Companies Ordinance 1984.

During the month, 3 complaints pertaining to listed companies were also resolved. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Criminal proceedings against YS Securities initiated

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has filed a criminal complaint in the court of an additional sessions judge, Lahore, against Farooq Younas Khan, director/chief executive, Muhammad Junaid Ahmed, director, and Muhammad Zulsham Younas Khan Sherwani, former director, of the YS Securities and Services (Private) Limited, a former member of the Lahore Stock Exchange.

The complaint has been filed under Section 28 of the 1997 Central Depositories Act and Section 32(5) of the 1997 Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan Act, 1997. After examining documentary evidence and recording of the witness statement, the court has summoned the accused for February 22, 2014.

The SECP received numerous complaints against the YS regarding non-payment of funds, non-transfer of shares and closure of its offices without any notice to the LSE. Taking cognizance of the matter, the SECP directed the LSE to take appropriate action against the accused. The governing board of directors of the LSE suspended trading rights of the YS on April 9, 2012, with immediate effect. Subsequently, the board terminated its membership with effect from April 23, 2012.

In exercise of the powers under Section 21 of the Securities and Exchange Ordinance, 1969, read with Section 29 of the SECP Act, the SECP ordered an enquiry against the YS on May 11, 2012, and assigned officers to look into the matter. Moreover, SECP forwarded the names of the accused to the relevant authorities to be placed on exist control list.   

The enquiry report established the fact that the accused did not conduct trading in the clients’ accounts despite receipt of the payments from them. The accused provided false statements to its clients and dishonestly showed their respective shares as “available”, however as per the CDC’s record, the said shares were not available in investors’ accounts.
The accused also moved shares from clients’ CDC-sub-accounts to benami accounts without their authorization, and subsequently misappropriated them in violation of Section 24 of the 1997 CD Act. Furthermore, the accused failed to provide the record and appear before the enquiry team, despite repeated notices issued by the enquiry team under Section 21 of the ordinance and under Section 32 of the SECP Act. As per the enquiry report, 984 complaints/claims of Rs342, 706,769 were filed against the YS with the LSE and the SECP.

Apart from the above, the SECP has also forwarded case to the NAB for action against the accused, and is also providing full assistance to the NAB in this regard.   

Friday, December 27, 2013

Karachi Stocks closes slightly up

With year-end right around the corner, participation remained dull at the bourse. The benchmark index rose by mere 3 points to close at 25370.03 level compared to 25366.69 points of the previous day.
Equity dealer at Topline Securities Asad Siddiqui said positive momentum continued in the cement sector and specially in FCCL, out of 17 listed stocks in the sector 12 closed in the green zone while one remained unchanged. 
On the other hand, profit-taking was seen in oil and gas sector while some pressure was seen in fertilizer stocks barring Engro, which closed with gains of 3pc. FCCL, PTC and PAEL made up for the top 3 volume leaders with trade of 16.7m, 10.2m and 9.7m shares, respectively. KSE-Allshare index shed by 30.02 points or 0.16 percent to end the day at 18690.70 points, KSE-30 share index off by 8.19 points or 0.04 percent to close the day at 18941.99 points while KMI-30 share index misplaced 69.59 points or 0.16 percent to end the day at 42739.21 points.
The day turnover of market climbed to 191.970 million shares from 146.610 million shares due to low participation volume settled at Rs 6.331 billion compared to Rs 5.507 billion of a day earlier. Capitalisation of the market stabled at Rs 6.071 trillion after opening at Rs 6.089 trillion. 
Analysts said bullish global stocks and renewed institutional interest in cement and textile stocks on strong earnings outlook on EU grant of GSP Plus status and rising local cement prices played a catalyst role in positive close at KSE. Concerns for rising trade deficit, rising government borrowings and limited foreign interest impacted the sentiments.
During the session out of 401 companies 241 closed in positive and 138 in negative while the value of 22 stocks remained intact. 
Unilever Foods led the downhill trend decreased by Rs 500 to Rs 9500 followed by Nestle Pak off by Rs 399.99 to Rs 7900.01. Siemens Pakistan and Sanofi-Aventis toped the gainers list up by Rs 37.47 to Rs 1444 and Rs 31.56 to Rs 662.82.  With the turnover of 16.664 million shares Fauji Cement led the active list off by Re 0.08 to Rs 15.30. PTCLA was on the seconds position with 10.211 million shares shed by Re 0.43 to Rs 30.87. It was followed by Pak Elektron Ltd with 9.689 million shares as it closed at Rs 20.15 after opening at Rs 19.80, Maple Leaf Cement with 9.535 million shares decreased by Re 0.40 to Rs 26.68 and DGK Cement with 8.248 million shares grew by Re 0.34 to Rs 85.23. (Nation)