Preservation of historical monuments stressed

LAHORE (Staff Rporter): Punjab Minister for Industries Shiekh Allaudin has said that the government is serious in preserving Pakistan’s cultural heritage and architects can play an important role in helping the state to fulfil this aim. While addressing the participants of IAPE-2017 seminar organised by Institute of Architects Pakistan, the minister praised the services and work of many leading architects present on the occasion. IAP (Punjab) Chairman Sajjad Kauser appealed fellow architects to throw light on the importance of preservation of historical monuments of the country in light of ongoing Orange Train project. The speakers pointed out that the architects have no problem with modern development and broadening of roads that benefit the common man. They said similar projects have been taken up around the world around centuries old structures. They said care is taken that modern development does not damage the cultural heritage of the country.

They hoped that such precautions are being taken in Pakistan while executing development work near protected heritage sites.

Architects deplored that though the law mandates that there should be a qualified architect in every TMO office but even Lahore Development Authority is functioning without an architect. They said the blames for faulty town planning and approval of flawed construction designs could not be passed on to the architects when they have no say in planning and approval.

The speakers also pointed out that there is acute shortage of housing in Pakistan and most of the existing residences are built without providing for proper ventilation and sanitation because the designs were approved by draftsmen that are not qualified for this. The claimed that liveable low cost houses could be designed by the architects if the government desires so.

IAP General Secretary Yousuf Ghauri pointed out that Lahore is very dynamic city rich with culture and vibrant architecture revealing stories from all times. As the city of Lahore moves towards mega-city scale and culture, there is a need to focus, record and preserve its heritage sites and same is true for other cities in the country.

He said Pakistani architects are making efforts to revive Bhama Stupa that is a ruined national heritage site near Haripur. Bhamala monastry is unique and different in terms of form. Dating back to 4th century it is shaped like a pyramid. The three-day exhibition showcased quality building materials from renowned companies and attracted large crowd.

 SECP's VOSS portal becomes functional

 LAHORE (Staff Rporter): The modified Virtual One-Stop Shop (VOSS) portal for integrated company and tax registration with the SECP and FBR has become functional. The SECP assumed the ownership of the VOSS project in September 2016, and 446 companies registered under eServices were allotted national tax numbers between March 6, 2017 and April 4, 2017, on the basis of data provided by the SECP to FBR through VOSS. VOSS is aimed at reducing the turnaround time for business start-ups, facilitating investors, and enhancing coordination of activities among the regulatory authorities by enabling mutual sharing of information through a unified web portal. The project was launched on the basis of recommendations made in the World Bank Starting a Business Report, which highlighted the need for unified registration process for major government agencies in Pakistan. Earlier, after facing various technical issues in the VOSS software, the SECP modified the VOSS portal for resolution of the issues, and developed the web-services for utilisation by FBR and EOBI in November 2016.

The NTN registration has been a stand-alone procedure under the ‘Starting a Business’ indicator of the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, but pursuant to the successful integration of eServices with the FBR system for NTN registration, the said procedure shall be combined with company registration.

This integration will not only provide facilitation to the investors, it will also reduce the number of procedures for business start-up as outlined in the 2017 World Bank’s report, which is likely to improve the doing business ranking of the country in the coming years.

 Indus Motor declares PAT of Rs10.2b

 Karachi (Staff Reporter): Indus Motor Company on the basis of un-audited accounts of the company declared profit after tax of Rs10.2 billion for the nine months and quarter ended March 31, 2017, as against Rs8.8 billion achieved for the same period last year. According to Indus Motor CEO Ali Asghar Jamali, “The combined sales of CKD and CBU for the nine months period ended March 2017, was down 4 percent to 46,216 units against 48,004 units sold in the same period last year. The reduction in production quantity was primarily due to modification of our production facility for the introduction of two completely new models of the Fortuner and Hilux Revo and some challenges faced in operational efficiencies due to prolonged and sustained overtime and some electricity breakdowns. We were, however, able to maintain our market share at 27 percent.”  Based on these results, the Board of Directors declared a third interim dividend of Rs30 per share for the quarter ended March 2017 which, on cumulative basis, added up to Rs80 per share compared to Rs60 per share for the same period last year.

The company’s net sales revenues for the nine months ended March 2017 increased by 6 percent to Rs84.3 billion as compared to Rs79.7 billion for the same period last year. The Board of Directors were of the view that demand for automobiles remained strong due to positive consumer sentiments, availability of reasonably priced auto finance and a general feel good factor due to the improved economy and infrastructure spending by the government. The increase in revenues and profits was due to new product launches, strategic change in sales mix and substantial improvement in parts and oil business.

 SNGPL posts earnings of Rs2.5 billion

 LAHORE (Staff Rporter): The Sui Northern Gas Pipe Line Limited (SNGPL) posted earnings of Rs2.5 billion in 3QFY17 up from Rs217 million in 3QFY16, driven by higher capex and operating profits. Operating profits for the company improved by 217 percent to Rs4.8 billion in 3QFY17 as company continued to undertake major capex for the completion of LNG pipeline. Another major trigger driving operating profits were lower UFG (Unaccounted for gas) losses as UFG losses came to less than 8 percent in 3QFY17 as compared to over 9 percent during same period last year. SNGPL operates on return on asset formula hence its profitability is directly proportional to its assets expansions and status of UFG losses. Profitability of the company is anticipated to remain strong going ahead on the back of construction of 2nd LNG pipeline and expected revision in UFG benchmark.