IEEEP’s former head remembered

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Speakers paid rich tributes to the services of late Engineer Chaudhry Javid Akhtar, former president IEEEP, former Member (Power) Wapda & chairman NEPRA during a condolence reference held here on Friday. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Pakistan President Engr. Mohsin M. Syed described the late Javid Akhtar as an architect of the modern high voltage transmission system in Pakistan. “He was a dedicated engineer who sacrificed high positions for his principles.” He said that young engineers should follow his legacy for development of the country. Engr. Asghar Ali Randhawa, Ex. Member Power Wapda, shared memories of his association with the late Javid Akhtar and said that he was a man of strong commitment.

 Engr. Anwar Khalid, Ex. Member Power Wapda, also paid homage to the late engineering icon. Engr. Tahir Basharat Cheema, Ex. President IEEEP stated that he was a visionary engineer who emphasised on developing house expertise and local industry. Engr. Suleman Najib Khan, Vice-president IEEEP said that he was a consistent; a true intellectual with a very strong sense of curiosity who could speak on any subject of importance. Engr. Muhammad Daud and Engr. Shafiq A. Siddiqi lauded his meritorious service for engineering profession. Engr. Rana Abdul Jabbar, Hony. Secretary General IEEEP, announced that the IEEEP would recommend the government to award Sitra-e-Pakistan posthumously for Engr. Chaudhry Javid Akhtar in its forthcoming AGM.

Engr. Salman Akhtar said that his father (late Engineer Javid) remained determined throughout his life.

Global Islamic microfinance forum

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The 4th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum is going to be held on November 1-2 in Dubai to apply new standards in international Islamic microfinance organizations. The purpose of this forum is to generate new standards, dealing with Shariah issues, capacity building and empowering the manpower into this industry. Apart from other topics, role of IT in Islamic microfinance industry, rural development, Islamic micro insurance, employment opportunities, and micro entrepreneur will be the topics of discussion. This forum is organized by AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) and delegates from 25 countries are participating in this mega event.

Discussing the purposes of this forum, Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda CIBE said that Islamic microfinance is a dire need of today to fight against poverty in Muslim world. He added that non-Muslims can equally take benefit of Islamic microfinance with Muslims as this is neither a system nor a religion. It can be used as a powerful tool of financial inclusion. People remain restraint from interest in Muslim world so they lose the chance of financial availability.

MoUs for promoting olive products

ISLAMABAD (INP): Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) is strengthening and promoting the olive cultivation and use of olive products in Pakistan through olive promotional project.  In continuation of olive promotion activities, PARC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with M/s. Eastern Marketing Services (Olive-Pakistan) Lahore and M/s. Unique Value (Private) Limited Chakwal which are promoting olive products in Pakistan and making by-back arrangement of olive fruit from farmers. PARC has signed agreement with both companies for the assistance of farmer in disposal of their fruit. This will also help in timely processing of fruit for collecting extra virgin oil.

Both the parties will play their role for olive promotion as well as expansion of use of olive oil and other value added products of olive i.e.  olive cake, pickle, jam, murrabba, biscuits etc.

Dr Muhammad Munir, Member (Coordination & Monitoring) PARC and National Project Director Olive Project-PARC, Alla Ditta, Chief Eexecutive, M/s. Unique Value (Private) Limited Chakwal and an olive products market specialist Mr. Azam Nazir, Chief Executive M/s. Eastern Marketing Services (Olive-Pakistan) Lahore have signed MoUs whereas Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad, Chairman PARC, Sardar Ghulam Mustafa, Director (PR and Protocol) and other senior officers witnessed the ceremony at PARC (HQs) Islamabad.

As a result of these MoUs, olive products will be sold in the market with the logo of PARC as joint venture along with the companies. Products will also be available at PATCO retail outlets of PARC.

PARC will facilitate both the companies in purchasing of fruit, ensures maintaining the quality of products and quality testing facilities. Both the companies will also deposit 5pc of their income in the account of olive promotion project, PARC / PATCO as a financial benefit to the organisation.

Cement sector growth sluggish

lahore (Staff Reporter): The growth of cement sector remained sluggish at average 2.8 per cent during last 6 years, in line with low GDP growth of 3 per cent. However, the economists are expecting that the GDP to grow at 4.0-4.5 per cent in next 3 years, which could lift local cement sales by 7 per cent annually to reach 32mntpa by FY17. They said that focus of PML-N government on development programmes and start of mega projects like motorways, housing and dams, will help achieve decent growth in local cement sales. During pre-economic crisis (FY03-08), local cement sales were growing 15 per cent annually versus 6.2 per cent average GDP growth.

They said that local industry dispatches were likely to grow by 6.57% in FY15, as the post-winter period is likely to increase construction activities, while rehabilitation program after recent floods will provide additional support to domestic demand. However, the overall cement exports is likely to decline by 2.2% on the back of lower volumes to Afghanistan.

POL announces Rs4.2b earnings

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL) has announced 1QFY15 earnings of Rs4.2b (EPS Rs17.62) against Rs3.6b (EPS Rs15.25) in similar period year, up 15.5 per cent. Supported by 15% growth in oil production, company’s topline grew by 11.1% to Rs9.8b as against Rs8.9b in 1QFY14. However, lower-than-expected operating costs as well as amortization on development and decommissioning costs helped post 20.3% growth in gross profit. Moreover, lower amortization resulted in 18.6% decline in finance costs while absence of dividend income from its associate, National Refinery (NRL), resulted in 32.5% decline in other income.

Furthermore, lower effective tax rate helped net margins to stand at 42.3% versus 40.7% in similar period last year. On quarterly basis, POL posted 49.6% higher net earnings versus 4QFY14, mainly due to significant decline in amortization costs as well as dividend income from associates recorded in 1QFY15. Moreover, the company recorded 25.6% effective tax in 1QFY15 versus 27.7% in the previous quarter.