Showing posts with label Pakistan News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pakistan News. Show all posts

Monday, April 28, 2014

Khawaja Saad Rafiq terms new locomotives as lifeline for Railways

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
Pakistan News & Features Services

Federal Minister for Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, has said that after many years new locomotives are being inducted into the system as they are the lifeline for the Railway system. He briefed the media corps after formally receiving nine locomotives from China at the port in Karachi.

Five engines had arrived early this month while the second consignment of four engines arrived on April 27.

So far nine locomotives had reached here out of total 58 engines being acquired from China and the remainders would be supplied by the manufacturers by the end of the current year.

The Minister said that a team of 50 Railway officials had been sent to China for training to operate and maintain these locomotives which will also serve as the master-trainers to guide other staff.

He said that contract for these engines was signed by the previous government, adding that that a Chinese and an American companies had jointly manufactured these locos and assured that these are of high RPM capacity made of durable material.

A modern shed had also been built for them where the trained maintenance staff would look after them, he informed.

He said that in the next three to four years 400 more locomotives for goods and passenger train operation and another 100 exclusively for coal operation would be needed by then.

The Railway Minister about train punctuality said: "When I took the charge of his ministry it had dropped to 10 per cent but since then it had improved to 50 percent due to discipline.”

“The Railways was now focusing more on quality than quantity and decisions were being taken on administrative grounds and not for political considerations,” he remarked.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pakistan’s young parliamentarians visit Communist Party HQ in Sichuan

By Masood Sattar Khan in Beijing
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A delegation of Pakistan’s young parliamentarians visited Hangshui town in Sichuan province where they were briefed about grassroots structure of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The party building in the town was shown to the delegation and they also interacted with members of the local community.

Tang Wenjin, the Vice Secretary General of the CPC Sichuan Province, hosted a luncheon reception in the honour of the 15-member delegation, comprising of the young parliamentarians of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz).

Both sides discussed areas of mutual cooperation and discussed the current projects underway in Pakistan with Chinese collaboration.

Speaking on the occasion, Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, a Member National Assembly, observed that he overwhelmed by the warmth and affection extended to him and his delegation by the Chinese government and the Communist Party.

He remarked that the Chinese investment of $30 billion which was announced during Punjab Chief Minister’s recent visit will play a big role in prosperity of Pakistan and bringing the people of the two nations even closer. 

The delegation also visited Sichuan University and the Pakistan Study Centre based at this varsity. The professors and senior university staff members briefed the delegation about the cooperation between the University with various Pakistani universities including the Punjab University and the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

The delegation expressed gratitude to the university administration for taking such keen interest in Pakistan studies and for enrolling Pakistani students at the university. 

Vice Admiral Shafqat Jawed takes charge of KPT Chairman

Vice Admiral Shafqat Jawed
By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Vice Admiral Shafqat Jawed has taken over as Chairman of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) on April 23. 

Having a vast experience of Navy and marine operations, he is all set to steer the port to achieve goals and objectives assigned to him by the federal government and deal with the port affairs professionally. 

With he sort of experience he brings with him, Admiral Shafqat  is expected to  create new avenues true to its  potentials, particularly  Pakistan Deep Water Container Port which is likely to  attain completion during his tenure as Chairman KPT.

Before joining KPT,, Vice Admiral Shafqat Jawed was working as Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff (Admin) at NHQ. He has served at various Command and Staff positions including Commanding Officer PNS Shah Jahan, directing staff at PN War College, Director Naval Operations, Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Operations) at NHQ, Director Operations and Plans JSHQ, Commander Auxiliary and Marine Warfare Squadron, Mission Commander at China for F-22 P Project, Additional Secretary at Ministry of Defence, Flag Officer Sea Training and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Operations and Projects). 

His career started when he was commissioned in the operations branch of Pakistan Navy in June 1978. His professional course that he undertook during his illustrious career includes Naval Command Course (USA) and National Defence Course at NDU. In recognition of his meritorious services he was also awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military).

China’s film industry insiders call for 3D halt

By Masood Sattar Khan in Beijing
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Industry insiders at the ongoing Beijing International Film Festival 2014 are calling for an end to the 3D craze in China to ensure sound development of the market.

"The 3D film market has grown fast in China but many films lack quality," Yang Buting, Chairman of China Film Distribution and Exhibition Association and China Film Overseas Promotional Corporation, stated.

"If this kind of vicious competition is not contained, it will be a disaster for the 3D film market," said Yang, former chairman of the China Film Group Corporation, the largest film producer in the country.
Yang's remarks were echoed by Paul Anderson, director of the blockbuster series Resident Evil.
Anderson stated that some North American and European filmmakers should apologise for the bad 3D movies that have been released.

"China is one of the most vibrant 3D markets," he said, but so was America in 2010, and then it collapsed in four short years.
3D films, which enhance the illusion of depth perception, became more successful throughout the 2000s, culminating in the unprecedented success of Avatar in 2009.
In China, most big hits are 3D films, which cost between 100 yuan and 120 yuan (16 to 19 U.S. dollars) for a ticket. A 2D film costs about 70 yuan.
To increase profits, Hollywood has been promoting 3D films exclusively for the Chinese market.
The 2014 version of RoboCop, which debuted in February, was in 3D exclusively in China and in 2D in other parts of the world.
 RoboCop, with an average of 5.5 on U.S. movie review site Rottentomatoes.com, notched up 329 million yuan in China, or 20 percent of its global box office.
Some industry insiders said converting 3D movies was done merely to make more money, rather than create a better experience for moviegoers.
Many filmgoers have complained that so-called 3D films have poor effects and some only had 3D effects at the beginning of the movies.
For some, it is an annoying distraction wearing 3D glasses. For others, it even creates nausea and headaches.
"It's hard to enjoy true 3D films with good pictures and effects in Chinese cinemas," Yang Buting said.
“More than 20,000 movie screens in China can play 3D films and more companies are competing to sell their 3D projection equipment, which used to cost between 80,000 yuan and 150,000 yuan. Now equipment is no more than 20,000 yuan,” Yang added.

"This kind of vicious competition has lowered the quality and cost of 3D films, thus upsetting viewers," he said.

Paul Anderson told Xinhua that it is better to give audiences a choice.
"If you don't give them a choice and you deliver bad 3D products, eventually they will stop going to the cinema. American people are choosing to watch 2D rather than 3D films," he said.

As the largest movie manufacturer in the world with the best technologies, the U.S. should not just simply convert 2D films into 3D versions to make money, said Yang, as it was cheating consumers.
In order to improve the 3D film market, Chinese enterprises are beginning to seek partnerships with international players to produce high-quality 3D films.

Fantasy Media Group (FMG), a Sino-Canada joint venture, was set up in Shanghai's pilot Free Trade Zone this year to boost 3D production capability in the country.
"There is a lack of industrial standards for 3D film production in China and we are pushing for it," Ma Xiaorui, an FMG Asia regional manager, asserted.

Eric Deren, a U.S. senior stereographer, felt that there is a tremendous opportunity to grow 3D in China and not make the same mistakes as in other parts of the world.

China is in a very good position to be able to learn from all that and move forward and succeed tremendously in this area," he said.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pakistan’s young parliamentarians arrive in China

By Masood Sattar Khan in Beijing
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A group of young parliamentarians from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) arrived in Changdu, the capital city of Southwest China Sichuan province, on April 21

MNA Mohammad Junaid Anwar Chaudhry is heading the delegation that included members of the national and provincial assemblies.

The delegation comprising two women MNAs including Marvi Memon, Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly for Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage and Mariyam Aurangzeb.

At Chengdu, the visiting guests will inspect the party-building and the training of party officials school run by the ruling Communist Party of China. The plan also included addressing a seminar and a visit to Pakistan Study Centre.

The delegation’s schedule also included a visit to industrial parks and besides Giant Panda Preservation Centre. On the second leg of the tour of China, the delegation will reach Beijing on April 24.

The people of Sichuan have special love and affection for the Pakistani people as in 2008 when massive earthquake struck some counties of the province Pakistan had provided large quantity of tents and also established a mobile hospital for the affected people.

President Hu Jintao also visited Pakistan’s mobile hospital and lauded the service of the doctors and paramedic staff deployed there.

At that time, photographs of a Pakistani C13 cargo plane carrying tents for the affected people and the crew inside the plane standing to pave way to accommodate maximum space touched the hearts of the Chinese people. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bazm Sciency Adab honours Taslim Elahi Zulfi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Karachi University Graduates Forum, established in Canada, has proved its worth and is rendering a great service to the cause of Urdu literature.

This was stated by Ali Zafar Khan Afridi, President ‘Bazm Sciency Adab’ at a reception hosted to greet noted writer, poet, anchor and broadcaster Taslim Elahi Zulfi.

Zulfi is the Executive Director of Karachi University Graduates Forum Canada and is now on a visit to Karachi.

Afridi, who recently visited Canada, said the forum, which was established by Zulfi, is promoting the cause of Urdu and is visited by eminent people from world over.

He acknowledged the services of Zulfi, particularly in promoting the cause of Urdu literature and said that he has authored a number of books as well.

On the occasion, chief guest Taslim Elahi Zulfi, who is a recipient of Sitara-e-Imtiaz, presented his poetic contribution in a fascinating manner which was acknowledged with repeated applause.

He described Masood Ahmed Barkati, an eminent scholar, as his teacher and said that when he started writing he began it from Hamdard under the guidance of Barkati.

He said that he was also guided by noted poets Josh Malihabad and Rais Amrohvi who gave him the poetic name of “Zulfi”, because of his long hair. On the occasion he presented his poem on solar energy which he had written during his first visit to theBazm Sciency Adab many years ago.
The gathering was also addressed by Prof Dr Zahida Maqsood, Prof. Rais Alvi and Shugufta Shafiq while Aziz Ahmed Siddiqi, Dean Ziauddin University, presented his paper on “whether our nuclear reactors are safe”.

Ali Zafar Khan Afridi, on the occasion, also presented a set of books to Taslim Elahi Zulfi on behalf of the Bazm. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Photography competition held at Alliance Francaise

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Massive response was received to the Localens Photography Competition, whose lucky winners were awarded prizes at the Alliance Francaise, Karachi, on March 22.

It was an opportunity for the youngsters  who pursue photography as a hobby to demonstrate their creativity and talent. Nearly 14,000 entries were received and the judges, Jean-Francois Chenin, Director, Alliance Francaise in Karachi, Izdeyar Setna, a photgrapher, and Max Becherer, a freelance photo-journalist, had a challenge to meet while shortlisting 30 of these pictures which were put on display on the walls of the auditorium.

“I have nothing to hide, these pictures were beautiful,” Chenin was quoted as saying while pointing to the wonderful picttures he had to judge.

The participants were awarded certificates while cash and gifts were presented to the winners of first, second and third positions.

Sikandar Hayat's 'Paddy Crop' was adjudged first, Asfand Majeed's 'Roadside barbeque' second and Mehlum Sadriwala's 'The early morning walk' third.
The Gurumandir image captured by Asfand Majeed portrayed many of the things from streets to cars and barbeque on the roadside as the youngster desired glorifying Karachi, known for its food, with his stunning picture.

Mehlum Sadriwala won the third prize which the photograph he had clicked in November 2013 of Old Lahore. He believed that there’s an old world charm in the old Lahore city, near the Wazir Khan Mosque and  the picture he took of an old man walking past was done in a poetic way. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

SSUET’s 17th Convocation on April 10

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The preparations are in full swing for the 17th Convocation-2014 of the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, to be held at the Karachi Expo Centre on April 10.

The arrangements and related matters of the university’s annual colourful and graceful event were reviewed at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Chancellor, Engr Muhammed Adil Usman. Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid H Rizvi, Registrar, Syed Abrar Ali, and other concerned officials were also present on the occasion.

The Board of Governors of the University will also meet on April 9 prior to the holding of convocation. The convocation rehearsal for the graduating students will also be held on April 9 at 3 pm at the Expo Centre.

This year about 1100 graduates of six technologies of Computer, Civil, Electronics, Bio-Medical, Telecommunication Engineering and Computer Science besides having done their Masters will be awarded degrees.

The results of final year students have already been announced and displayed at the university’s website. The university has announced the names of gold, silver and bronze medal winners and those securing first three top positions.

Meanwhile, the university has directed all the graduating students to ensure attending the convocation rehearsal at the Karachi Expo Center at 3 pm on April 9.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lakhra to enhance power generation

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Upon the instructions of the Federal Government, the Lakhra Power Generation Company Limited (LPGCL) is assisting JICA for the feasibility study of state of the art 600 MW FBC Power Generation Plant at its Complex, located 31 kilometers off Jamshoro. 

According to the company sources, the objective is to enhance its present generation capacity from 30 MW to 60 MW by carrying out the rehabilitation work through essential major repairs of Unit 2 only at a cost of Rs 34 million during the next four months. 

Sources disclosed that LPGCL Complex has three Units of 50 MW each with a total installed capacity of 150MW, 31 KMs off Jamshoro with FBC technology, which burns low grade coal (lignite in this case) with the addition of limestone for power generations. 

In 2006 rehabilitation work was initiated by the Company for Units 1, 2 and 3 and only Unit 1 could be functional after rehabilitation. During the same year, the Federal Government decided to go for Lease Transaction of the 150 MW capacity plant and thus, the rehab work on Units 2 & 3 was grinded to a halt, forcing the Company to go for marginalizing its capacity to 30 MW from the only rehabilitated Unit 1. 

Sources further disclosed that stakeholders like the bidder and the others initiated legal proceedings in 2006, which culminated in the setting aside of the lease transaction by the apex court in August 2013. The company in quest to assist the Federal Government to overcome the energy crises has decided to go for the immediate functioning of Unit 2 at a cost of Rs 34 million. 

The company has also submitted a proposal to its mother concern i.e. the Office of GM, GENCO, for the rehabilitation of all the three Units at a total cost of 20 Million dollars, as only Unit 1 is working at declared de-rated capacity of 30 MW. The rehabilitation of all three Units shall enhance the capacity of 40 MW each to the national grid. 

It may be mentioned here that Units 2 and 3 were shut down from 2006 and 2008, respectively. The period of the job is expected to be completed within 18 months. The company will be able to recover 90 MW of capacity with an investment of 20 million dollars or 0.22 dollars per MW. The company is likely to reduce the current cost of Rs. 15.37 to below Rs. 09.50, when job done.

Friday, March 14, 2014

SSUET to start work on its 200 acres of land

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, has worked out a plan to develop its 200 acres of land in the Education City for its future needs and projects.

This was stated by Chancellor SSUET, Engr Mohammed Adil Usman, during a visit to the land site. He was accompanied by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi, Associate Dean, Prof Dr Najib Siddiqi, besides some members of Executive Committee of Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA).

The Chancellor said on the occasion that SSUET’s educational activities are fast expanding and development of the 200 acres of land to fulfill its future needs will have its priority.

He said that to start with, the construction of its boundary wall will be taken hand first and his total effort will be to complete it in the shortest possible time adding that further steps would be taken after consultation with the Aligarhian colleagues and experts.

“Our aim is to provide best possible academic facilities to both teachers and students,” he stated and added that efforts would be made to meet the financial requirements in this regard. He disclosed that only a few days back a few Aligarhias came to him and donated Rs one million.

Chancellor Adil Usman announced that the university plans to introduce “electrical engineering” program.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director Procurement, Mumtaz Memon, werlcomed the visiting Chancellor and others to the 200 acres land site while Director Planning and Development Shahid Saleem informed that this Education City concept was included in the Master Plan 2005.

He informed that a three-room site office has already been constructed while a parking area also developed.

It may be pointed out here that other allottees of land in the Education City including Ziauddin University, SIUT, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, Quaid-e-Azam Foundation School and Aga Khan University have already started work on their respective projects.

Abdul Latif Khilji informed that plantation work at the site was already progress since 2007.On the occasion Chancellor Adil Usman, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid Rizvi, the AMUOBA office-bearers and others also planted saplings. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Coal transportation strategy from ports to power plants finalized

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A high level meeting, held in Karachi on March 5 with Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Senator Kamran Michael in the chair, finalized the strategy for transportation of coal from ports to power plants.

The meeting which was attended, among others, by Secretary Ports and Shipping, Habibullah Khan Khattak, Director General Ports and Shipping, Chairman PNSC, Chairman PQA and Chairman KPT, briefed the Minister about coal-based power production with focus on improving handling of coal imports their storage and transportation.

The Minister was informed about allocation of three berths exclusively for coal handling at Karachi Port and its transportation to power houses through railway. He was told that terminal facilities have been upgraded making round the clock cargo handling and transportation possible.

It was pointed out that with reference to signing of agreements by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for setting up of coal-fired power plants,, preparations have been geared up at ports  speedy port operations. Energy Coordinator to Chief Minister Punjab, Nadeem Aslam Choudhry, specially attended the meeting in this regard.

On the occasion, the Minister was briefed about mega KPT projects including Pakistan Deep Water Container Port, Harbour Crossing Bridge and Cargo Village.

Later Senator Kamran along with Nadeem Aslam Choudhry, was taken on a harbor cruise to witness KPT's coal handling facilities.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Security plan for railway stations, tracks prepared: IGP Railways

IG Railway Police
 Syed Ibn-e-Hussain
By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Inspector General Railway Police Syed Ibn-e-Hussain has said that a plan for ensuring foolproof security of railway tracks, railway stations and trains has been prepared.

Addressing a news conference at the office of the Divisional Superintendent Railway Karachi, on February 18, he said that the security plan has been divided into three parts.

He said that the Railway police are getting assistance from local police, Rangers and intelligence agencies for ensuring the protection of travellers and trains.

Secretary Railway Board Aftab Akbar, DS Railway Karachi, Nisar Memon, DCO Railway Karachi Shoaib Adil, Shamim Shirazi, SP Railway Karachi and other officials were present.

The IG Railway Police said that special trollies are being prepared for patrolling by Railway police and other Railway officials on the tracks, which will be equipped with metal detectors.

The Railway officials will also be deployed on the trollies and they will be in contact with the district police, he added.

He said that this matter has been discussed with the Chief Secretary Sindh who has assured provision of facilities at the Railway stations for the checking of travellers. Sindh Bomb Disposal staff will assist the Railway Bomb Disposal unit, he added.

Ibne-Hussain said that the IGPs Sindh and Punjab have provided 200 policemen each for the patrolling of the railway tracks. While the DG Rangers Sindh has also assured full cooperation in this regard, he added.
He further said that intelligence agencies have also promised cooperation in information sharing. The IG Railway Police informed that the jammers are also being installed at the trains on trial basis. In the first phase, jammers will be installed in Jaffer Express which runs between Quetta and Rawalpindi, he added.

Ibne-Hussain said that advanced equipments are being purchased to further activate the Railway bomb disposal unit, and arrangements are also being made for the training of the staff.

He said that at all major railway stations CCTV cameras are also being installed, adding that commandos have been deployed at 10 trains and stations. He said that action will be taken against encroachments at railway lands, adding that police and Rangers will conduct search operations in the areas along the railway tracks.
The federal government had appointed Ibne-Hussain, DIG National Highways and Motorways Police, as IG Pakistan Railway Police in order to promote corruption-free, public-friendly, safe and service-oriented atmosphere. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Shoaib Adil deserves recognition after unearthing embezzlement, irregularities

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
Pakistan News & Features Services

The Karachi Railway Division authorities have unearthed Rs 0.7 million embezzlement at Mirpurkhas Railway station which led to the arrest senior reservation supervisor.

The supervisor was arrested following a discreet raid conducted by Divisional Commercial Officer (DCO), Shaoib Adil Mughal, who earlier had received a tip of the loss being caused to Pakistan Railway.

According to railway sources, the Mirpurkhas booking supervisor had not deposited the ticket sale amount of Rs 0.7 million and thus caused a revenue loss to the railway.

The sources pointed out that an Inspection Team from Railway Headquarter Lahore had visited Karachi Railway Division on November 22 and 23 and also inspected Mirpurkhas Railway station but did not report this fraud to Karachi Railway division authorities.

Shaoib Adil Mughal, after taking over as DCO on September 9, was credited to have unfolded two frauds of Karachi division inside a couple of months.

In year 2012, he was also instrumental in nabbing a gang of retired railway employees who were selling fake railway Paper card tickets in Karachi. A case was registered against them.

On that performance the Railway administration, headed by Anzar Ismail Rizvi, had recommended his name for bonus salary which was awarded to him besides the appreciation certificates.

This year, despite unfolded two frauds, he has not been rewarded yet and instead having been recommended for OSD which was quite frustrating and demoralizing for any civil servant who has performed very well during the Mid career Management Course at NIM Karachi which offered him to join NIM and render his services for NIM as Additional Directing Staff.

Since joining in September 2013, he has shifted at least a dozen staff on their irregularities and disciplinary action is underway against them 

Recently he raided 19 up at Ghadar station and in midnight Khyber Mail 1 up surprisingly from Kot and a STE in 1 up Khyber mail has been caught taking money from a passenger and he caught him on the spot.  He also conducted inspection of HDR-MPS section and caught minor irregularities and one major irregularity of a booking clerk at Tando Allahyar.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Aligarhians won to carry forward of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s mission

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Aligarhians have vowed to continue to carry forward the mission of great reformer and educationist, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who devoted his entire life for emancipation of Muslims of South Asia and Islamic renaissance.

The commitment of Aligarhians came in this regard on the occasion of Sir Syed Day marking the 196th birth anniversary of great reformer Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, observed under the auspices of Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA).

“The steps taken by AMUOBA and its members will continue to carry forward the mission of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan,” said Engr Mohammed Adil Usman, President AMUOBA and Chancellor Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology while addressing the Sir Syed Day function held at AMUOBA’s headquarters in Karachi.

He said that the AMUOBA observed Sir Syed Day every year to pay homage to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and to refresh the minds of younger generation about the life and achievements of the great reformer who brought a revolution among the Muslims of South Asia and which finally led to the creation of Pakistan.

“The objective is to continue with the struggle to further propagate the educational perception propounded by Sir Syed,” Chancellor Adil Usman said and added that the life of great reformer was rich with the implementation of mission for the aforesaid cause.

“He is our role model and will continue to be so and the AMUOBA will keep moving forward for the fulfillment of Syed’s mission and the implementation of his thoughts and ideology.” he declared.

Earlier noted intellectuals, researchers and writers in their speeches shed light on the life and achievements of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and said that today again the nation needs another Sir Syed who could emancipate it from its present day vows and tribulations.

They included Prof Waqar Ahmed Rizvi, Azad Bin Hyder, Mahmood Sham, Prof Sehhar Ansari, and Khawaja Razi Hyder.

Mohammed Umer Khan, a SSUET student earned big applauds when he spoke on the life and history of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and his contribution towards Islamic renaissance in South Asia.

Prof Waqar spoke at length about Sir Syed’s efforts for promotion of the cause of Urdu and particularly the establishment of Scientific Society which was reflective of his wisdom and farsightedness.

He pointed out that Sir Syed’s visit to London too was for the cause of Urdu  and where he conceived the plan for publication of  “Tehzib Iskhlaq” through which he later brought a mental revolution among the Muslims of South AAsia.

Azad Bin Hyder recounted the researches carried out by Muslims in the fields of science and medical and which was practiced by Europe.

He cited an example of Dr Hamidullah whom the French government assigned the translation of Holy Quran in French and the then President Gen De Gaulle approved unlimited budget for the purpose.

Noted Journalist and poet Mahmood Sham in his thought-provoking speech pointed out that the Aligarh Muslim University was established for the sake of a bright future of the Muslims and through his mission Sir Syed Ahmed Khan brought a change in the very complexion of sub-continent.

“Today we are remembering the great reformer at a time when we are again a victim of unfortunate conditions,” he pointed out adding that once again we need a Sir Syed who could lead us to emancipation.

He said the nation cannot get rid of selfishness and personal gains unless the very spirit of Sir Syed Ahmed is revived.

Prof Sehar Ansari described Sir Syed a revolutionary personality and said there could hardly be anyone who would not be aware of his greatness, farsightedness and services and his wisdom and foresight emerged as guiding principles for the Muslims.

Khawaja Razi Hyder said the sub-continent cannot brig to fore an example matching the achievements of Sir Syed. He said no one can envelope his multi-faceted personality. He promoted educational thinking and provided a thoughtful base.

On the occasion the SSUET students presented the “Tarana-e-Aligarh” which Aligarhians sung in unison.

At the end of his presidential speech, Engr Adil Usman recounted the services of late SSUET Chancellor and President AMUOBA, Engr Z A Nizami, and late General Secretary AMUOBA, Engr Zakir Ali Khan, for their contribution towards propagation of the mission and the cause carried forward by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and said that establishment of Aligarh Institute of Technology and Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology was reflective of their efforts made with the contribution from AMUOBA members.

The function ended with a vote of thanks presented by General Secretary of the AMUOBA, Mukhtar Ahmed Naqvi.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rotary to highlight global efforts on World Polio Day 2013

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Rotary International will highlight progress in the global effort to end polio on the occasion of the annual World Polio Day to be observed on October 24.

“World Polio Day 2013 provides a golden opportunity for Rotary and its partners to build public support for the historic final push now underway to wipe out this disabling viral disease once and for all,” Rotary International’s Pakistan PolioPlus Chair, Aziz Memon, remarked.

“In Chicago, where the humanitarian service organization was founded in 1905, Rotary and Northwestern University’s Center for Global Health will convene an international panel of experts to discuss the progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which Rotary co-launched in 1988. The event, World Polio Day: Making History, will be streamed live to a global online audience at endpolionow.org from Northwestern University’s John Hughes Auditorium, 303 E. Superior St., Chicago, beginning at 5:30 pm. CST on October 24,” he disclosed.

The confirmed panelists included Dr Bruce Aylward, the world’s leading expert on polio eradication and assistant director-general for polio, emergencies and country collaboration at the World Health Organization; Dr. Robert Murphy, director of Northwestern University’s Center for Global Health; and U.S. Paralympian Dennis Ogbe, a polio survivor and ambassador for the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life program. An executive with Brown-Forman Co, Ogbe is originally from Nigeria, one of only three countries where the wild poliovirus has never been stopped.

Also invited is Emmy award-winning actress Archie Panjabi, one of Rotary’s End Polio Now celebrity ambassadors. In 2012, Panjabi helped Rotary volunteers immunize children in India, where she spent part of her childhood. Once considered the nation facing the most serious challenges to eradication, India was removed from the polio-endemic list in January 2012. If Panjabi is unable to attend in person, the Chicago program will include exclusive video of her work in India.

“This year, World Polio Day fundraisers will have greater impact due to the new fundraising campaign, End Polio Now: Make History Today, recently launched by Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation will match two for one every new dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication up to US$35 million per year through 2018,” Aziz Memon revealed.

“World Polio Day provides an important and timely opportunity for us to let the world know that every dollar contributed to Rotary for polio eradication will work three times as hard,” Dr Robert S. Scott, MD, Chair of Rotary’s PolioPlus programme, observed in his message.

“Rotary invites everyone, private citizens, businesses, non-profits, to join us in this historic effort. Only one other human disease (smallpox) has ever been beaten. Now is our best chance ever to make polio the second,” he stressed.

Rotary clubs in every region of the world have planned an array of activities on or leading up to World Polio Day.

Rotary clubs in India planned a nationwide series of outdoor illuminations carrying Rotary’s “End Polio Now” message on World Polio Day. In January, India will celebrate three years of no new polio cases, a huge milestone for a country once considered to harbor the most serious challenges to eradication.

Scores of Rotary clubs worldwide working with local schools to organize Purple Clothes Days encouraged each student to wear a purple item of clothing and make a small donation to Rotary’s polio eradication program.

The concept began with Rotary clubs in England, inspired by the purple dye that health workers in polio-affected countries place on children’s pinky fingers to show they have received the oral polio vaccine. Similarly, many Rotary clubs in England, Kenya and elsewhere are selling fabric “purple crocus” lapel pins in support of polio eradication.

In Kenya, Rotary clubs will work with partnering agencies and the national government to use World Polio Day to launch the next round of national polio immunization activities in early November, a campaign deemed critical due to the recent outbreak of imported cases throughout the Horn of Africa.

Rotary clubs in Lagos, Nigeria, will be partnering with the Cycology Riding Club to do a six-hour relay bicycle ride to promote World Polio Day and the national immunization rounds set for early November. The event is reportedly Nigeria’s first-ever bike-a-thon.

In partnership with UNICEF, Rotary clubs in Pakistan, another polio-endemic country, on World Polio Day will begin distributing 5,000 copies of a 16-page “speaking book” that health workers and parents can use to teach young children the importance of polio vaccinations and basic hygiene. The audio version of the text is in the regional languages of Urdu and Pashto.

In Spain and Portugal, Rotary clubs are generating public support for polio eradication via the crowd-speaking platform, Thunderclap, in a campaign that concludes on World Polio Day.

Historically, Rotary had helped launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since then, Rotary club members worldwide have contributed more than $1.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to the polio eradication effort.

Overall, the annual number of new polio cases has plummeted by more than 99 percent since the 1980s, when polio infected about 350,000 children a year. Only 223 new cases were recorded for all of 2012. More than two billion children have been immunized in 122 countries, preventing five million cases of paralysis and 250,000 deaths. Polio today remains endemic in only three countries, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, although “imported” cases in previously polio-free areas, such as the Horn of Africa, will continue to occur until the virus is finally stopped in the endemic countries.

Rotary is a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary’s 1.2 million members hail from more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sindh Assembly approves resource mobilization for revenue targets

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sindh Government has issued strict directives that any new taxation should be enforced only if it does not affect the common man. 
"In this regard Revenue Resource Mobilization has been embarked upon in strict compliance of the government directives,” Sindh Information Minister. Sharjeel Inam Memon, stated.

It was pointed out that Sales Tax is a pass on tax on sales of services provided and should not be confused with Income Tax which is tax on profits of the operation of a business.

As per Finance Bill 2013-14 passed by Sindh Assembly the relief measures taken by the Sindh Government encompasses non enhancement in ST rate which is to remain @ 16% despite Federation and other Provinces increasing it to 17 percent thus bringing a financial impact Rs. (-) 1.34 billion on the provincial budget; abolition of Bed Tax on hotels with an impact Rs. (-) Rs.140 million,

According to Finance Bill, the tax on Utility Bills (NADRA) is being abolished to remove the anomaly of taxing utility bill collection service by NADRA as other providers of this service are not taxed. This will result in an impact of Rs. (-) 10 million on provincial exchequer.

The Finance Bill indicates new sectors for ST services as proposed in the budget at 16% which includes tax on advertising agents.

According to the Information Minister this tax is introduced to remove an anomaly as advertising service is taxed but not the agents. By introducing this tax the advertising agents will be taxed which will remove the anomaly, help in taxing the service provider and increase the tax. It will result in a positive impact of Rs.3 million)  

Beauty Parlours & Beauty Clinics, Gyms, Body Massage Centers, Pedicure & Manicure Centers are other areas having been included as service providers for the purpose ST Services with Hair cutting, Hair dyeing, Shaving, Plastic or Cosmetic Surgery, Therapeutic Massage and non-air-conditioned parlours and shops as being exceptions. This will bring another positive financial impact of Rs 30 milliojn.

Besides, ST services tax on Race Clubs will result in positive impact of  Rs.20 million, Security Agencies Rs.100 million, Freight Forwarding Agents Rs.20 million), Commodity Brokers Rs.100 million, Marriage Halls & Lawns with the exception of  Lawns under and upto 800 Sq. Yards (Rs.300 million), Public bonded warehouses Rs.100 million, 

Event Management Services, Event Photography services, Pandal & Shamina services (Rs.300 Million),  Tax on Services at Standard rate on Sponsorship   Services, Business Support Services, Management Consultants, Software and IT based Development Consultants, Market Research Agency, Surveyors, Management Consultants, Auto Workshops having annual turnover of more than Rs.3.6 Million, Workshops of Industrial and Construction Machineries,  Exhibition and Convention Services, Labour & Manpower Supply Services, Services provided in the matter of manufacturing or processing for others on toll basis bringing a positive impact of Rs.100 million, Internet Services with the exception for billing up to Rs.1500 per month, in order to provide relief to home users and students using the Internet resulting in a positive impact of Rs.300 million.  

As per Finance Bill the rate of Infrastructure has been changed to 0.90% to 0.95% from 0 .80% to 0.85% which was adjusted in 2008. It will result in a positive impact of Rs. 2 Billion

As on Property Tax, the Annual Rental Value (ARV) rate has been changed to 25% from 20% which was last revised in 2001 and will result in a positive impact of Rs. 370 million.

The Trade and Import of Potable Liquor License Fee is increased from Rs 6 to Rs 8 lacs and Retail Off Liquor License fee changed from Rs 3.5 lac to Rs. 5 lacs. The last revision in this license fee was carried out in 2008. This was result in a positive impact of Rs 23.3 million.

The Information Minister said it is the endeavor of our government to make, Sindh financially independent and increase its revenues by taking advantage of the devolution of power in the 7th NFC Award.

"At the same time we do not want to burden our people and businesses to suffer from negative impact of taxation. We have therefore decided to tax the following services at a lower rate of 4% after listening to the representations of the stakeholders".

The government agreed that in order not to burden constructors and construction industry which is provides stimulus for economic growth the tax rate will be at a reduced rate of 4% with no input adjustment. It will result in a positive impact of Rs.300 million.

Based on the policy increasing the tax net and to incorporate sales tax upon the recommendation of consultants it has been decided that Legal Practitioners and Consultants, Accountants and Auditors and Tax Consultants will be taxed at reduced rate of 4% with no input adjustments.  It has to be understood that this tax is a pass on tax for people and businesses using the services provider. Impact (+) Rs.900 million