UN deputy chief advocates a ‘true global pact for development’

UNITED NATIONS (SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT): UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson has called for a “true global pact for development” during a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the UN World Summit for Social Development. “The year 2015 presents an historic test and challenge for the international community and national institutions. We are embarking on a voyage of transformative change affecting all sectors of our societies. This change must be built on universality, sustainability and acceptance of interdependence as a win-win proposition for both nations and people,” Eliasson said in opening remarks to the special meeting convened by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Held in March 1995 in Copenhagen, the World Summit for Social Development was the largest gathering ever of world leaders at that time. By putting people centre stage, the Summit pledged to make the conquest of poverty, the goal of full employment and the fostering of social integration overriding objectives of development.

“Today’s event gives us an opportunity for reflection on progress […] as well as on remaining challenges and the road ahead,” especially in promoting social progress, social inclusion and social justice. “Peoples’ needs, rights and aspirations are the glue that should bind together […] efforts at local, national, regional and international levels.”

Advances have been made in health and education, Eliasson said, while noting that a smaller proportion of the world’s population now lives in extreme poverty than 15 years ago.

“Yet, more than a billion people still live in extreme poverty”, he explained. “Inequality tends to be systemic and is in many cases widening to an alarming degree. Economic opportunities for women and girls are lacking in far too many places. Environmental degradation and climate change threaten the basis of healthy lives and even our survival. We certainly do not live in peace and harmony with Nature. We are endangering the lives of future generations.”

Unemployment remains high, observed the Deputy Secretary-General. Globally, he said, as many as 73 million young people are looking for jobs people, three times more likely than adults to be unemployed.

“When young people sense frustration and anger at a glaring lack of opportunity, they are more likely to lose faith in government and in institutions. In many parts of the world, this leaves young people receptive and vulnerable to marginalisation and radicalisation.”

That is why a set of new sustainable development goals, “universal, people-centred and cross-cutting in nature,” are needed, Eliasson said. After the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which was held in Sendai, Japan, last March, three major international decision-making processes are ahead before the end of the year: the Third International Financing for Development Conference in July, in Addis Ababa; a UN summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda in September in New York; and the UN climate change conference in December, in Paris.

“As was the case with the development conferences of the 1990s, the outcomes of these key meetings will affect global political, economic, social and environmental priorities and policies for many, many years to come. These processes must complement and support each other.“Let us use the lessons of the past to ensure a better future for all. No one must be left behind on our common voyage.”

SECP sets up board for

Shariah-compliant market

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): The SECP has approved the appointment of the Shariah Advisory Board of the SECP pursuant to section 9 of the 1997 SECP Act. The Board comprises three Shariah scholars and one technical member. Justice (R) Khalil ur Rehman, Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman, and Prof Dr Tahir Mansoori are the Shariah members, while Bilal Rasul, Head of Islamic Finance Department, SECP, is the technical member and Secretary of the Board. Justice (R) Khalil ur Rehman has been named Chairman of the Board. The Board will provide guidance to the Commission, and will be entrusted to provide Shariah opinion on the laws, rules, regulations agreements and documents, put forth to it for the purpose.

The guidance and advice of the Board will enhance the credibility of Islamic financial institutions and products of Islamic capital market. The SECP reaffirms its commitment to the growth and development of Islamic capital market by achieving the maqasid-al-Shariah (objectives of Shariah). The board shall also advise on the products, instruments, Shariah auditing and reporting standards, and business operations of the Islamic financial institutions, which include Islamic mutual funds, Islamic pension funds, takaful operators, and other financial institutions, to ensure their compatibility with the Shariah.

It is expected that the new Board will be instrumental in harmonising the Shariah-related business, operations and structure of the instruments of the Islamic capital market, in keeping with the international norms and practices.


PPA asks govt to withdraw ST,

import duty on poultry

LAHORE (APP): Pakistan Poultry Association (PAA) on Tuesday called upon the government to withdraw sales tax and import duty on poultry. Addressing a press conference at Lahore Press Club, Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA, Northern Zone) Chairman Dr Muhammad Mustafa Kamal said that poultry industry was playing an important role in the economic development of the country. He said that poultry industry was providing 40 percent of overall meat, adding that poultry was the cheapest form of meat. He said that sales tax imposed on poultry feed, and sales tax and import duty on soyabean which was important component of poultry feed was not good for the poultry sector.

He said that poultry industry had developed a lot in previous years. To a question, he said that poultry industry had the potential to grow which should not be taxed.

Later, PPA also staged protest outside Lahore Press Club. The protesters were carrying banners inscribed with their demands for the withdrawal of taxes and import duty on poultry.

Dolmen City REIT oversubscribed

KARACHI (PR): Pakistan Tuesday saw the successful launch of its first Real Estate Investment Trust – Dolmen City REIT. Book building portion of IPO was heavily oversubscribed. Against the offer of Rs 4.17 billion, the book runner received bids for Rs 7.14 billion. Strike price came at Rs 11. General public can subscribe units in the IPO on June 12, 2015 at the strike price. The price offers an attractive dividend yield of around 9% in the first year, which is expected to grow as REIT realizes rent escalation built into the tenancy agreements. Dolmen City REIT is a Shariah compliant, perpetual, rental REIT scheme. The REIT asset comprises of Dolmen Mall (Clifton) and The Harbour Front, which are regarded amongst the finest commercial real estate in the Karachi.

Dolmen Mall is home to top local and international brands while The Harbour Front, a state of the art office building is the preferred address for top local and multinational companies.

Pakistan IPO Summit 2015

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): South Asian Federation of Exchanges, (SAFE) in collaboration with Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad Stock Exchanges held the fifth Pakistan IPO Summit of the series started in 2011. The event was held with the apex corporate and securities market regulator, SECP, as Principal Patron. The Minister of State for Privatisation, Mohammad Zubair, graced the occasion as a Chief Guest, along with Akif Saeed, Commissioner SMD-SECP as Guest of Honor and other senior professionals from the capital market fraternity. The event started with the Inaugural ceremony wherein Aftab Ahmad Ch., MD LSE and Secretary General SAFE addressed the audience with opening remarks.

He stressed on the need for the exchanges to take up the efforts for encouraging further listings more vigorously and assume responsibility for leading the IPO market in Pakistan. He also presented certain suggestions to the regulator and exchanges to improve systems and regulation to facilitate the private enterprises in the listing process. His opening remarks were followed by a welcome speech by Nadeem Naqvi, MD KSE and Executive Board Member, SAFE.

In his speech Nadeem Naqvi presented some very realistic and innovative ideas to reform the IPO market in Pakistan and most articulately acknowledged the apprehensions of the private enterprises and strived to address criticism in this regard. Nadeem Naqvi also commended and praised the role of the present government in the recent boost seen by the Pakistan capital markets and highlighted the strengths and achievement of the stock exchanges in Pakistan.

Minister of State for Privatisation, Mohammad Zubair in his address was much appreciated by the audience. He stated the views of the present government in terms of economic development and commitment to the agenda of private public partnerships. He also explained the privatisation goals of the present regime and confirmed the timely and effective steps taken by Privatisation Commission to achieve the government agenda in fair, transparent and effective manner.

His address was followed by the special address of Akif Saeed who represented the agenda and commitment of SECP for the development of IPO market in Pakistan and commended the efforts of SAFE and the three stock exchanges for the regular series of IPO Summits since 2011.

The Awards were presented by Minister of State for Privatisation, Muhammad Zubair, who appreciated the Awards initiative and each winning entity.

The sponsors of the Pakistan IPO Summit 2014 included some of the leading capital market institutions like HBL, Allied Bank, OGDCL, Fatima Fertilizer, Summit Bank, Hascol Petroleum, AKD Securities, JS Global, Treet Corporation Limited, Summit Bank, UBL, MCB, ZIC etc. The IPO Summit 2015 showcased eight new potential IPO companies this year at least four of which shall present their IPOs in the market in the current year.