SBC for curbing sale of substandard solar products

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): All-out efforts are being made for the promotion of solar energy at every level in Pakistan. Solar Business Community (SBC) would continue its struggle to eliminate the sale of substandard solar products either through local manufacturing or by importing genuine solar appliances. Speakers stated at a seminar organised by the SBC at a local hotel here the other day. Addressing the participants, SBC representatives Aftab Ashraf, Naveed Aslam, Mian M Shafiq and M Zaid said that the SBC has provided a platform which has not only deceased the sale and production of substandard solar products, but has also ensured the sale of genuine appliances on subsidised rates. For the purpose, regional offices have been established by the SBC in 10 big cities of Pakistan including Karachi, Rahim Yar Khan, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujrat, Lahore, Islamabad, Layyah, Peshawar and Burewala. They also urged the government to introduce an effective mechanism to end the production and sale of substandard solar products.


Oil nudges lower after Saudi-fuelled bounce

LONDON (AFP): Crude prices slipped Friday on profit-taking, following gains triggered by Saudi Arabia oil minister who hinted that producers could agree to limit production. Around 1100 GMT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in September was down six cents at $43.43 per barrel. Brent North Sea crude for October delivery fell 12 cents to $45.92 a barrel compared with the close on Thursday. Rumours have been circulating that global producers are mulling a deal to freeze output at current levels to help stabilise the market.  Saudi oil chief Khalid al-Falih was reported as saying Thursday that an informal meeting of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) countries next month would be the occasion for producers to discuss "any possible action". Prices soared more than four percent in reaction to the comments, which were seen as a positive development in a market grappling with a supply glut.

"Volatility levels on the oil market are currently extreme," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

"Prices are fluctuating by several percentage points on a daily basis, and are changing direction almost every day."

Thursday's rebound follows a drop in prices earlier this week after official US data showed a jump in crude inventories, taking by surprise investors who expected a drawdown in supply.

A monthly report from OPEC also showed Saudi Arabian oil production was at nearly 10.5 million barrels per day in July -- a record high, above peak levels seen the same time last year.

But markets remain cautious.

Meetings earlier this year failed to agree on any production ceiling, as key crude producers preferred to fight for market share.

"Khalid al-Falih hinted at possible cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC countries to curb production," said CMC Markets analyst Alex Furber.

"The likelihood of such an event, however, is questionable, given that the market was teased in a similar way back in April."

OPEC's informal meeting will take place on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algeria from September 26 to 28, ahead of a planned meeting due at the end of November.

Oil prices had entered a "bear" market last week on oversupply concerns, falling more than 20 percent and closing below $40 a barrel for the first time since April.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) meanwhile gave a mixed outlook for crude on Thursday.

The Paris-based IEA energy watchdog cut its 2017 forecast for oil demand growth because of a weaker outlook for the world economy following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

On the other hand, oil oversupply, which has again been weighing on crude prices since June, will disappear in the latter part of 2016, the IEA said.


FFC school students make history

ISLAMABAD (PR): Two of FFC Grammar School students from Mirpur Mathelo, Waqas Ali and Shahzaib Ishaq have raised the national flag with honour at the championships in Florida, USA, by bagging Bronze Medals in MS Word 2013 and MS Word 2010 categories respectively. MS Office Specialist World Championships are held under Centriport and Microsoft flag annually to bring together young students from across the globe in order to display their mastery in the most extensively used professional softwares. This milestone will serve as an inspiration for millions of students across Pakistan to follow the same path for global excellence and recognition. FFC Pakistan's largest fertilizer manufacturer is working extensively to promote young and emerging talent from across Pakistan through various programs. In 2016, FFC CSR joined hands with TEC Foundation to sponsor 250 students from district Ghotki and Rahim Yar Khan to participate in the national championships, with establishment of two testing centers for the championships at Mirpur Mathelo and Goth Machhi.


Weekly inflation down by 0.18pc

ISLAMABAD (APP): The weekly inflation for the week ended on August 11 for the combined income group witnessed a decrease of 0.18 percent as compared to the previous week. The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the week under review in the above mentioned group was recorded at 218.52 points against 218.91 points registered in the previous week, according to data released by PBS here on Friday. As compared to the corresponding week of last year, the SPI for the combined group in the week under review increased by 1.89pc. The weekly SPI has been computed with base 2007 2008=100, covering 17 urban centers and 53 essential items for all income groups and combined. Meanwhile, the SPI for the lowest income group up to Rs 8000 also decreased by 0.20pc as it went down from 210.40 points in the previous week to 209.89 points in the week under review. As compared to the last week, the SPI for the income groups from Rs 8001 to Rs 12,000 increased by 1.22pc, where as Rs 12,001 to 18,000, Rs 18,001 to Rs 35,000 and above Rs 35000 decreased by 0.20 per cent, 0.15pc, 0.15pc and 0.17pc respectively.

During the week under review average prices of 10 items registered decrease, while that of 12 items increase with the remaining 31 items' prices unchanged.

The items which registered decrease in their prices during the week under review included tomatoes, bananas, LPG cylinder, garlic, pulse mash, pulse moong, onion, sugar, red chilly and wheat flour.

The items which recorded increase in their average prices included chicken (farm), potatoes, eggs hen (farm), salt powder, gur, pulse masoor, pulse gram, rice irri-6, wheat, gas charges and vegetable ghee.

The items with no change in their average prices during the week under review included rice basmati, beef, milk fresh, curd, powder milk, mustard oil, cooking oil, vegetable ghee, tea, cooked beef, cooked dal, tea prepared cup, cigarettes, long cloth, shirting, lawn, gents sandal, chapal, ladies sandal, electricity charges, kerosene oil, fire wood, electric bulb, washing soap, match box, petrol, hi-speed diesel, telephone local charges and bath soap.