Ramadan is the holy month. It is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is the month of blessings. It is a period of prayer, fasting, charity-giving and self-accountability for Muslims. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Quran during Ramadan. Ramadan is also a month for acts of charity. Some Islamic centers and organizations actively take part in charity events and activities such as giving basic necessities, including food and clothing, to the homeless or donating school equipment to schools. The month of Ramadan traditionally begins with a new moon sighting, marking the start of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. Muslims abstain from food, drink, and certain other activities during daylight hours in Ramadan. Ramadan ends when the first crescent of the new moon is sighted again, marking the new lunar month’s start. Eid-ul-fitr is the Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.
Forex reserves fall by $245 million
The country's total liquid foreign exchange reserves declined by $245 million to $21.550 billion during the week ended March 31, 2017. During the week, forex reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) decreased by $264 million to $16.466 billion. The decrease has been mainly attributed to external debt servicing and other official payments. The net foreign exchange reserves held by commercial banks, however increased by $19 million to $5.084 billion during the week.
ADB projects 5.2 percent GDP growth
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected GDP growth for Pakistan at 5.2 percent in fiscal year 2017, a rate that has been downgraded by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to five percent, and 5.5 percent in 2018 against six percent projected in the budget, but maintained that regulation remains burdensome, requiring more reform to provide an enabling environment that facilitates business and fosters investment. In its latest Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2017, ADB forecasts higher growth, with inflation and current account deficit edging up on higher oil prices and substantial imports for a major investment project. Continued economic reform is essential to reach a high growth trajectory.
Preserve economic stability gains, IMF tells government
The International Monetary Fund has urged Pakistan to strengthen its export and manufacturing industries and to fix its electricity supply or face putting hard-won economic gains at risk. The IMF said recent reforms, including cutting costly subsidies, privatising some loss-making state companies and building up foreign reserves, had strengthened Pakistan''s economy and set it on a path to higher growth. Pakistan''s economic position has improved sharply since it came close to default in 2013, but the IMF warned "a number of challenges in the fiscal, external, and energy sectors could affect hard-won stability gains in the period ahead". Boosted by a $6.7 billion bailout package, it has completed an IMF reform programme and set in motion $57 billion worth of infrastructure projects connected to the Beijing-funded China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
LSM figures clouded by doubts
Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) growth, a contributor to the Gross Domestic Product growth rate of the Country, is collected from different Associations or Chambers who reportedly are not providing accurate figures, a perception shared by officials and independent economists. According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the overall output of LSM increased by 3.48 percent for July-January-2016-17 compared to the same period of 2015-16.
Cement sales climb to 30.3m tones
Cement despatches soared to record 30.304 million tonnes during the first nine months of the current fiscal year. The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) on Thursday reported a seven per cent increase in overall sales during July-March period of 2016-17 over the corresponding period of last year with domestic consumption rising 11pc, but exports declined by 15pc.
Registered Hepatitis C drugs available at lowest prices in the world: DRAP
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), in a statement issued in the backdrop of a recent press conference organised by the Pakistan Young Pharmacists Association and Pakistan Drug Lawyers Forum, has asserted that Hepatitis C medicines of 19 pharmaceutical companies were registered and the said drugs are freely available in the market.
SSGC plans Rs64.9bln pipeline project to transport 1.2bcfd gas
Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) has approved Rs64.9 billion worth of project to develop a 1.2 billion cubic feet/day (bcfd) capacity pipeline for the transportation of re-gasified liquefied natural gas to Lahore, it emerged on Thursday. The SSGC’s board of directors approved the 370-kilometre long and 42-inch diameter pipeline project with an expected completion in October 2018, an official document said. The government wants to import more liquefied natural gas for the upcoming terminals in the country. Keeping in view the diminishing indigenous gas resources, there is an immediate need to develop addition pipeline capacity from Karachi to Lahore.
Dar asks German companies to benefit from SEZs in Pakistan
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday suggested the German companies to explore the possibility of benefitting from the opportunities available in the special economic zones (SEZs) being established in Pakistan. Ishaq Dar held a meeting with the visiting German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dr Gerd Muller on Thursday at the PM House in Islamabad. Matters of mutual interest with particular focus on bilateral development, cooperation between Pakistan and Germany were discussed during the meeting.
The cricketing flagship of Pakistan recently took a turn for the best when the Champions Trophy 2017 surfaced from the ashes of a four-year absence. In events that occurred throughout the tournament, no one will ever forget the extent of shocking results that changed the course of cricketing marksmanship for decades to come. In such an event, Pakistan Cricket Team took it upon themselves to fully entertain the global cricket fans by performing one of their greatest stints in recent history. In events that clocked various surprises along the batting and bowling line-ups, Pakistan defied all the odds and arrived at the highest level to defeat and dethrone India from the Champions’ Trophy.
Events followed and parties happened, yet one of the biggest gestures from the Pakistani citizens was the communal togetherness and affection showered upon Team Captain Sarfraz and his players. Since the team came back to their homes, the people took it upon themselves to welcome them by gathering up outside their homes and singing songs in their names to show how happy they all are.
It is a big achievement for the Pakistani team; defeating India these days is more of a dream for most of the teams around the world, yet even the odds arrive to defy the statistics of their cricketing in the shape of a transformed Pakistan cricketing line-up. Records were broken and new priorities were set; a major shout out the Indian team for displaying an exceptional performance throughout the tournament. You guys are an amazing bunch of individuals and are surely poised for great success in the future. But only after Pakistan!
To throw a cherry on top off a bulging creamy cake, Pakistan took it upon itself to gift those who represent the country’s intent. In a show streamlined ‘Geo Khailo Pakistan’, Cricket Captain Sarfraz was called upon stage, congratulated by the audience and presenters, but the surprise was the most eye-catching of them all. As a token of appreciation and growing confidence among many, Sarfraz was gifted a BMW X1 live on the show.
The gift was apparently sponsored by JS Bank’s very own Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, who himself couldn’t get over the entire feeling of Pakistan’s victory over their arch rivals.
In his message to the Pakistani Cricket Team, said, “We at JS Bank would like to congratulate Pakistan Cricket Team for an ecstatic performance in the Champions Trophy 2017. This is a landmark achievement for our cricketing fantasy and is bound to open new doors towards a promising sporting prospect for our country and eventually for the entire cricketing world. Congratulations Sarfraz, congratulations Pakistan!”.