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Category Archives: Islamabad

28 May

ECP: (ECP introduces computerized electoral rolls at provincial offices)

By Web DeskIslamabad

Home » Islamabad

ISLAMABAD:Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has introduced computerized electoral rolls system at its provincial offices.

The Spokesperson of Election Commission has said that computerized rolls system will gradually be provided at district offices across the country in the next two months.

He said the new system will facilitate the people in registration as voters and it will also be helpful in preparation of electoral rolls for elections well in time.

He further said training process of all officials at district level has also been completed on the new system.

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28 May

Report: (Fed govt starts construction of Peshawar Expo Center)

By Web DeskIslamabad

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ISLAMABAD:The federal government has started work on the construction of Expo Center in Peshawar to facilitate traders and business communities of the province.

According to a report quoting official sources, the expo centre will be established at a cost of five billion rupees.

The centre will help enhance trade with Afghanistan and the Central Asian countries besides promotion of business activities and creation of job opportunities in the province.

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28 May

Most countries still not prepared to tackle Ebola and Zika diseases

By Web DeskIslamabad

GENEVA: Despite progress made since the Zika and Ebola crises, a report released today by the International Working Group on Financing Preparedness (IWG), established by the World Bank, shows that most countries are not adequately prepared for a pandemic, and the world is still doing too little to finance recommended actions to strengthen pandemic preparedness.

The report, entitled From Panic and Neglect to Investing in Health Security: Financing Pandemic Preparedness at a National Level, lays out 12 recommendations to ensure the adequate financing of the capabilities and infrastructure required to prevent, identify, contain, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.

Many countries chronically underinvest in critical public health functions like disease surveillance, diagnostic laboratories, and emergency operations centers, which enable the early identification and containment of outbreaks. So far, 37 countries have completed the rigorous peer-reviewed assessments, called the Joint External Evaluation (JEE), of their preparedness capacities to identify their gaps and needs. But that leaves 162 countries that have not. Moreover, only two of the countries that have completed this assessment have used the results to devise costed plans. The report urges national governments to prioritize financing preparedness in their domestic budgets, as should international donors.

Not investing enough in pandemic preparedness puts lives at risk and is bad economics.

A severe pandemic could result in millions of deaths and cost trillions of dollars, and even smaller outbreaks can cost thousands of lives and cause immense economic damage. The most conservative estimates suggest that pandemics destroy 0.1 to 1.0 percent of global GDP, on par with other global threats such as climate change. Recent economic work suggests that the annual global cost of moderately severe to severe pandemics is roughly $570 billion, or 0.7 percent of global income.

“Preparedness at a national level is the first line of defense against pandemic threats, and thus the foundation of universal health security. Yet we have underinvested in the capabilities and infrastructure essential for preparedness,” said Peter Sands, former CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, who is Chair of the IWG and now a Senior Fellow at Harvard University. “Given the scale of risk to human lives and livelihoods, the investment case for financing preparedness is compelling. We must make it happen.”

Pandemic preparedness prevents, detects, and responds to the spread of disease both in humans and in livestock that have close contact with humans. The last 30 years have seen a steady increase in the frequency and diversity of disease outbreaks. Just in the last few weeks, for example, Ebola has resurfaced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for the eighth time, with four possible deaths and 43 possible cases identified as of May 23. Importantly, DRC has had a strong track record of containing previous outbreaks.

“Pandemics can strike anywhere, and everyone is at risk – especially the poor and the vulnerable,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “We must finally break the cycle of panic and neglect in our response to grave threats from infectious diseases. We have to ensure we are prepared, so the next outbreak does not become the next pandemic.”

Failing to invest in preparedness is especially short-sighted given the low cost of preparedness relative to the devastating impact of a pandemic. In low- and middle-income countries that have calculated the cost of financing preparedness, the investment required is about $1 per person per year.

“Countries and international development partners all need to recognize the seriousness of pandemics and do their part to pay for preparedness,” said Recep Akdağ, Minister of Health of the Republic of Turkey. “If we don’t do this now, we will find ourselves losing decades of health and economic gains when we are hit with an infectious disease outbreak.”

The IWG, established in November 2016, puts forward 12 far-reaching recommendations, including getting all national governments to commit to conducting assessment of preparedness and animal health capacities by the end of 2019; ensuring the results of these assessments are translated into costed action plans, supported by financing proposals and investment cases; reinforcing tax resources, including earmarked taxes, to finance preparedness; ensuring donors fulfill their commitments, focusing development assistance on large one-off capital expenses that countries cannot afford, on regional initiatives and on fragile states; and ensuring the economic risks of infectious diseases are factored into macroeconomic assessments and investment decision-making, like other systemic risks are.

“Outbreak preparedness is chronically under-funded, and we have been waiting for bold thinking on financing since at least the mid-nineties,” said Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). “Implementing the IWG recommendations will ensure that every country mobilizes the resources necessary to prevent, detect, and respond to future outbreaks.”

The ultimate goal of robust pandemic preparedness is universal health security, which means protecting all people from threats to their health. Universal health security is an essential component of universal health coverage–where everyone can obtain the quality health services they need, while not being pushed into poverty by having to pay out-of-pocket for health care costs. Universal health security contributes to and depends on stronger and more resilient health systems, and is critical to achievement of the sustainable development goals.

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28 May

Minister: (PML-N holds constitutional institutions of country in high esteem: Marriyum)

By Web DeskIslamabad

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ISLAMABAD:Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb has said that PML-N holds constitutional institutions of the country in high esteem.

Talking to a news channel on Sunday, she said that the appearance of the son of an elected Prime Minister before the Joint Investigation Team has substantiated PML-N stance in this regard.

She said that Hussain Nawaz could have avoided the JIT notice but he appeared before it, although he has expressed reservations over two member of the JIT in his petition filed in the apex court.

Earlier, talking to media on his arrival at federal judicial academy, Hussain Nawaz said that he will present his stance before the JIT along with his counsel. He said he received the notice yesterday.

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28 May

Dipl: (5th Saudi-Pak Accountancy Symposium held in Riyadh)

By Web DeskIslamabad

ISLAMABAD:Continuing with its tradition, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan KSA Committee of Members (ICAP KSA), organized the Fifth Annual Saudi-Pak Accountancy Symposium at the prestigious Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh recently.

The theme of this year’s Symposium was “Vision 2030: Role of the Finance Profession”. The Chief Guest on the occasion was His Excellency, Mr. Tareq Al Sadhan, Director General, General Authority of Zakat & Tax (GAZT), says a press release received here on Sunday from Riyadh.

Other high profile guests and speakers included, Vice Admiral (r) Khan Hasham Bin Saddique, Ambassador of Pakistan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ahmad Almeghames, Secretary General of Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA) and Mr. Nadeem Yousuf Adil, President of ICAP.

The Chief Guest Tareq Al Sadhan, Director General, GAZT, said that “soon the detailed legislation for VAT will be issued. He also said that GAZT is open to any suggestions from professionals like you”.

Speaking on the occasion, the newly appointed Ambassador of Pakistan to KSA, remarked that “It was indeed a privilege to witness the august gathering of Finance professionals and the Pakistan Embassy is committed to continue with the patronage of the ICAP KSA Committee.

He also emphasized that “the Saudi and Pakistani accountancy professionals will continue to foster the spirit of sharing and learning, especially in the backdrop of opportunities that Vision 2030 has bestowed, which along with CPEC will Insha’Allah bring increased economic prosperity to the two brotherly countries”.

Dr. Ahmad Almeghames, Secretary General of SOCPA, Special Guest, dwelled upon the topic of “Accountancy Profession and Vision 2030”.

He highlighted that the Vision 2030 poses a big challenge for the Finance Professionals and hoped that they will meet the expectations gracefully. We as SOCPA are delighted to work with ICAP for the past six years with valuable contribution to the profession in the Kingdom.”

Mr. Nadeem Yousuf Adil, President of ICAP mentioned that “ICAP alongwith its KSA Chapter is proud to partner with SOCPA in achieving the Saudi Vision 2030 by organizing professional events in KSA and supporting SOCPA in their major projects”.

The extensive agenda of the Symposium also shed light on two important topics currently making headlines in the local media, namely: Transition to IFRS in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and VAT.

The panel session on IFRS transition was very well received by the audience and agreed with the conclusion that the professional skill is vital for effectively applying the principle-based approach to financial reporting.

Panellists and moderator were Fawaz Al-Fawaz, Global CFO TASNEE, Khalil Al-Sedais, Partner, KPMG Al-Fozan & Partners, Ahmed Abdelfattah, Director Assurance, Ernst & Young, Riyadh, Yves Graf, Head of Corporate Finance Almarai Group and Moderator, Moazam Ali Shah, Group CFO, Al Zamil Industry, Trade & Transport, KSA.

The panel session on VAT in the Kingdom was a very interactive that focused on the pre-requisites of the VAT implementation as well as the implications and the impact on the business in the Kingdom. Panellists and moderator were Alhaitham A.

Al-Ghothami, Economic Advisor, General Authority of Zakat & Tax, Nauman Ahmed, Tax Partner, Deloitte &Touche (ME), Chadi Abou-Chakra, Director Indirect Tax and Fiscal Policy, PWC, KSA, Irfan Jawaid Nagi, Group CFO, Tanmiah Foods Group and Moderator, Adnan Mufti, Tax Partner, Moore Stephens Shekha& Mufti.

Mr Tim Douglas gave a very interesting presentation on “Business Failure: Prediction and Prevention”. On this occasion, ICAP KSA bestowed the awards for the Most Valued Contribution to the Profession (MVCP)Mr. Tareq Al Sadhan, Director General, GAZT and Mr. Asher Noor, Group CFO and Chief Investment Officer of Al-Touq Group.

The Institutes, organizers and participants lauded their dedication and worthy contribution to the profession of accountancy and congratulated them on receiving the illustrious MVCP awards.

The Symposium ended with a workshop on VAT where detailed presentations were given by Mr Adnan Mufti, Tax Partner, Shekha& Mufti and Syed Asif Zaman, President ICAP UAE Chapter.

Concluding remarks were given by Sarmad Khan, Chairman ICAP Overseas Committee followed by a vote of thanks by Mr. Mohammad Iqbal, President ICAP KSA. Master of Ceremony of the Symposium was Mr Abdullah Akbar, senior member of ICAP and Senior Director KPMG Jeddah.

The symposium was attended by over 300 accountancy professionals; among them were business leaders, CFO’s of leading corporates, senior partners of audit firms, SOCPA members and a large fraternity of members of ICAP.

For the first time, ICAP KSA arranged live streaming of the Symposium which had a very active viewership of over 5000 through the website of ICAP KSA and mobile applications on Android and IOS.

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28 May

Sri Lanka floods, landslides: (Death toll rises to 146)

By Web DeskIslamabad

Home » Islamabad

ISLAMABAD:The death toll from Sri Lanka’s devastating floods and landslides triggered by monsoon rains has risen to 146 on Sunday.

According to reports, the Sri Lankan Disaster Management Center said, 112 people are still missing while 442,000 people have been affected due to the floods.

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered immediate relief to the victims and hundreds of teams consisting of armed forces, police and relief organizations are continuing search and rescue operations in the affected areas.

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28 May

Sehwan blast’s two victim families get compensation cheques

By Web DeskIslamabad

Home » Islamabad

NAUNDERO: The heirs of Sehwan blast’s two victims received compensation cheques – each amounting to Rs 1.5 million, here on Sunday.

Ratodero Mukhtiarkar Ghulam Hyder Samejo and Municipal Committee Chairman Allah Dino Bhutto handed over the compensation cheque of victim Peeral Khaskheli to his brother Talib Khaskheli. Another cheque of victim Bashir Khuhro was handed over to his uncle Punjal Khuhro and his brothers Mashooque and Sultan.

Bhutto told reporters that distribution of compensatory cheques had been expedited after PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari directed Sindh government to pay the amount to the martyrs of Sehwan blast tragedy without loss of further time.

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28 May

Minister: (Our nuclear capability not only pride of Pakistan but its’ for whole Islamic world: Aftab)

By Web DeskIslamabad

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ISLAMABAD:Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab has said that our nuclear capability is not only the pride of Pakistan but its’ for the whole Islamic world.

Talking to newsmen on the eve of Youm-e-Takbeer in Attock, he said the nuclear capability has contributed in a big way to make the defence of the country invincible.

He said the government wants to develop the country in every field and launched mega projects throughout the country for the welfare of the people.

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