ERKF authorities urged to release grants for KP’s crisis-hit SMEs

peshawar (Staff Reporter):  Special Assistant to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister on Commerce and Industry, Abdul Monim Khan has urged the authorities of the Economic Revitalization of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA (ERKF) for immediate release of the grants approved for the crisis-hit SMEs under the project. He issued these directives while presiding over a meeting regarding ERKF Project here in the Regional Office of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) here on Wednesday. Besides, provincial chief SMEDA, Javed Iqbal Khattak, project director ERKF, Munir Gul Khan and other concerned officials of the SMEDA also attended the meeting.

The special assistant said that terrorism and devastated floods of 2010 have played havoc with the business activities in the province. He said that the provincial government is keen to provide maximum relief to the crisis-hit SMEs of the province and for this purpose, the ERKF project was launched. He directed the removal of all hurdles in the way of the release of the grants’ cheques to the affected SMEs in the province.

Earlier, the Provincial Chief, SMEDA, Javed Iqbal Khattak gave detailed briefing on the project to the special assistance and steps initiated under the authority for the promotion of small and medium entrepreneurship and revival of the sick industrial units in the province.

SECP issues unit linked products,

funds rules for insurance sector

islamabad(Staff Reporter): The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has issued the Unit Linked Products and Funds Rules, 2015, through S.R.O 343(I)/2015. The new rules have addressed the investment governance process of the unit-linked funds, net asset valuation methodology and the disclosure of investment risk to the insurance policyholders. Additionally, certain features of unit-linked life insurance products have also been addressed such as premium indexation, minimum financial protection and minimum policy term. The life insurance business underwritten in unit-linked form has increased considerably over the past few years reflecting overall increase in private life insurer’s market share.

A need had been felt to introduce comprehensive regulations/rules for unit-linked business to ensure the protection of policyholders’ interests as well as strengthening insurers’ internal controls over investment policy and processes. The growing popularity of unit-linked products is due to the flexibility that insurers have in the product design and relatively lower level of investment guarantees. This flexibility in the product design and low investment guarantees necessitated comprehensive regulatory framework.

The new rules require that the investment governance process must be well structured and documented. Under new rules the asset as well as liability characteristics of the insurance portfolio have to be considered. They also make the inclusion of the internal or the appointed actuary in the investment committee mandatory.

The investment policy shall explicitly mention the maximum allowable exposure to various asset classes, allowable exposure in a single entity, minimum rating or other investable criteria, ineligible asset classes, allowable exposure in related parties and investment performance monitoring frequency. The new rules also mention the manner of custody of assets to ensure segregation of policyholders’ funds and shareholders’ fund.

A statement of investment performance measurement has also been required. The rules also state that the quarterly statement of the unit account has to be sent to policyholders to improve the communication of insurance policy benefits to the customers. It is expected that the new rules will ensure the protection of policyholders’ interests and a reduction in the overall systematic risk in the insurance sector.

K-Electric on social media

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): K-Electric has announced that it has become the first ever power utility in Pakistan which now offers Complaint Ticket Generation on its Social Media network by integrating its SAP-CRM with Social Media. At the launch of this Social Care Initiative at the KE House, CEO KE Tayyab Tareen said, “We at KE do not only invest in our Generation, Transmission and Distribution network, but even in our Customer Care Services as they are of utmost importance.  Through this initiative we give our customers a service which would help them register complaints without any difficulty or effort”. Customers can easily avail the ‘KE Social Care’ services on KE’s Facebook and Twitter page.

 and after a one-time registration process, customers will be given the complaint number immediately as all their details will be mapped on their User ID through which they have logged in. This would help customers to get their complaints across via Social Media and KE would handle this vast database with ease through the integrated SAP model.

Earlier complaint registration was only being done on the Customer Care Helpline ‘118’, the 8119 SMS service and via emails, but now customers can easily get their complaints registered on KE’s Social Media network too.

Finance Ministry clarifies KASB issue

ISLAMABD (PR): The spokesman of the Finance Ministry here on Wednesday rebutted some media reports which were purporting that the Ministry was interfering with the affairs of KASB Bank. The spokesman clarified that SBP under section 47 of the Banking Companies Ordinance 1962 had requested the Federal Government for placing the operations of the KASB Bank under moratorium for a period of six months which was duly approved. Subsequent to the moratorium, SBP was dealing with all the ancillary matters related to the KASB Bank without any interference from Ministry of Finance. The Spokesman added that SBP was a fully competent statuary body established under SBP Act, 1956 and entrusted with the responsibility of being the chief regulator of the Banking Companies and Finance institutions.

Brand Pakistan moot concludes

ISLAMABAD (PR): The 2-day Brand Pakistan Conference concluded here on on Wednesday in the presence of well attended and passion packed grand audience at the Jinnah Convention Center. The event was aimed to build the right narrative for Pakistan both locally and at the global front.  Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform was the chief guest on the occasion, says a press release issued here. The event was divided into three focus sessions that deliberated, shared and inspired around success stories and leadership originating from within Pakistan. The conference strived to build momentum to launch the Brand Pakistan movement with the co-ownership of all the stakeholders from government, commercial, academic, cultural, media and other domains.

Speaking at the occasion, Ahsan Iqbal highlighted the importance of a common vision as Pakistani nation. He appreciated and recognized the timely relevance and situational aptness for the launch of the Brand Pakistan movement.

Brand Pakistan is an initiative to bring back the pride in being a Pakistani by celebrating and promoting the amazing success stories and opportunities in Pakistan.