Khushhali bank hosts event to mark World Women Enteprenuership Day

KARACHI (APP): Khushhali Microfinance Bank and Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy (PODA) jointly celebrated World Women Entrepreneurship Day, said a statement here Saturday. The event, held at Nara Mughlan Chakwal, aimed at to bring potential micro entrepreneurs, skilled women workers and microfinance experts to discuss ways that can help women enterpenuers build and expand  their business in Pakistan. Around 122 women from 14 villages participated in the event to discuss the way forward for women entrepreneurship in Pakistan. Regional Manager PODA Ms Naheeda Abbasi discussed various programs being hosted for women entrepreneurs by PODA. “At PODA we provide them with various training opportunities and connect them with different organisations that can help them provide opportunities to make their business profitable. PODA is not only providing women entrepreneurs livelihoods skills trainings but also giving them basic and functional literacy, civic and legal rights education so they are aware of their rights”, she said.

Khushhalibank beneficiaries Shagufta Mazhar and Rubina enlightened the audience with their experience.

As a major sponsor of the event, Khushhalibank strongly believes in eradicating poverty and giving access to banking services to people from all social classes in Pakistan. Khushhalibank’s core values include empowering low income households across the country through Microfinance.

 Need stressed to tap global potential in halal food

 ISLAMABAD (APP): Chairman of Punjab Halal Development Agency (PHDA) has said that Pakistan can become one of the top Halal food exporting countries for which government and private sector should join hands. “Our halal exports are dismally low which must be increased through collective efforts as quality of Pakistan’s meat is better than the quality of meat provided by world leaders in this sector like Australia and New Zealand”, he said. Justice Khalil-u-Rehman Khan said this while speaking to the business community at Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) here. President FPCCI Abdul Rauf Alam and others were also present on the occasion. He said that Malaysia wants to increase the volume of halal business with Pakistan which must be exploited by the local business community. Some countries including Malaysia wants to establish halal industries in Pakistan that are being facilitated, he informed. He informed that Halal products covers a wide range of items and Pakistan is taking only a nominal share of this huge export potential.

He said that Halal animals include buffaloes, sheep, goats, camels, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys; non-predatory animals such as deer, antelope, chamois, wild cattle; and non-predatory birds such as pigeons, sparrows, quails, starlings, and ostriches.

He further said all countries having export of Halal products had established their regulations bodies many years ago but here in Pakistan it was neglected area for a long time and hope that government will complete remaining legal formalities soon.

  Rs1,492b transacted through mobile banking in one year

ISLAMABAD (APP): An amount of Rs1,492 billion was transacted through mobile banking during 2015-16. This is testimony to the fact that transaction through mobile money has potential to expand reach of banking services to 85 per cent unbanked population of Pakistan. During October to December, 2015 the total volume of branchless banking was over Rs.486 billion while the number of branchless banking transactions surpassed Rs. 101.6 billion during same period. The amalgamation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and banking services can help in moving towards a fully documented economy which is necessary to improve the tax collection circle and achievement of 18 per cent tax to GDP ratio as stated under the goals of the Pakistan Vision 2025. As per data in Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)’s annual report, the telecom sector has contributed Rs. 157.8 billion during fiscal year 2015-16 to national kitty as compared to Rs 126.3 billion registered during previous year.

The comparison of growth between telecom revenue and telecom contribution over last fiscal year showed that the government collections have actually increased by 25 per cent whereas telecom revenues witnessed only 1.47% have raise during 2015-16.

The unprecedented collection during 2013-14 was mainly due to extraordinary deposits as a result of 3G and 4G spectrum auction. In reported period telecom sector continued to grow positively in terms of subscription, revenues and tele-density.

Broadband penetration has increased to 18.3 per cent from just 2 per cent in year 2014.

The ICT solutions, being offered on mobile broadband, are making a big difference in every walk of life. Hundreds of billions of rupees are being sent and received over the mobile money channels by people of Pakistan.

The innovative and cost-effective solutions are also being offered in e-commerce, online education, e-health, travel and governance sectors.

Due to such high demand for mobile broadband services, Telenor Pakistan acquired 4G spectrum for US $ 395 million during 2015-16. Furthermore, the government collections will also increase from other sectors of economy due to broadband and ICT proliferation. It may be further added that one component of overall government collections i.e. GST was decreased but there could be a number of factors behind this decline.

For example, the Federal government and the Government of Punjab have exempted GST on internet/data services whereas the Government of Sindh is charging reduced rate on internet/data services.

Resultantly, the share of tax-exempted data revenue in total telecom revenues increased to 29 per cent in 2015-16 as compared to 19.3 per cent in 2013-14.

However, the trade-off between GST collection and internet/broadband development turned out to be a wise decision by the Federal, Punjab and Sindh governments.

 Emirates Skywards joins hands with Careem

 ISLAMABAD (PR): Emirates Skywards, the award-winning frequent flyer programme of Emirates airline, has signed on Careem as its latest partner. Emirates Skywards is the only frequent flyer programme to offer both accrual and redemption opportunities with the region’s leading car booking app. The exclusive partnership provides Emirates Skywards members with even more affordable redemption opportunities within the travel space. Careem is one of the fastest growing companies in the region and is currently available in 9 countries. Members can accrue or redeem Skywards Miles when using Careem services in the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan, Kuwait and Morocco. Members can pre-book or request a car instantly via the Careem mobile app. To earn Skywards Miles, members must add their Emirates Skywards membership number to their Careem account, using the same name as their Emirates Skywards account. 1 Mile will be earned for every $2 spent on Careem.

Miles can be redeemed for Careem Credit via with redemption values offered in blocks of US$ 25 equivalent to 4,500 Skywards Miles.

Emirates Skywards is in its 16th year and has over 16 million members. In addition to special offers with partner airlines, hotels and retail brands, members also enjoy special access to global sporting, arts and cultural events.