Uber launches the affordable uberMOTO

Karachi, March 27, 2018 (PPI-OT): Uber, the global smartphone app that seamlessly connects riders to drivers, announces the launch of uberMOTO in Pakistan, which will be starting from Lahore. uberMOTO will give access to thousands of people to quick, convenient and affordable transport, at a push of a button through the Uber app, that will help them move around the city.

The service, already available in various countries around the globe, now entered the Pakistani market to provide affordable means of transportation to the people of Pakistan. The launch will also create new economic opportunities for motorbike owners in Pakistan, supporting Uber’s role as an economic contributor in the country.

As safety is a priority for Uber, a Safety Town Hall was held for the uberMOTO drivers, where the Uber team presented the Safety features available in the app for the drivers, as well as a series of tips and recommendations, like wearing helmets and encouraging riders to do the same. Uber is also distributing helmets for it’s uberMOTO riders.

Safee Shah, the General Manager of Uber in Pakistan, said: “Motorbikes are a fundamental part of Pakistan’s transportation network and as such this is a great opportunity to launch uberMOTO, which will provide more mobility options catered to the needs of people in Pakistan. uberMOTO continues to support our commitment to provide affordable safe and reliable means of transportation while also creating additional job opportunities in Pakistan.” Uber continues to showcase its reinforced commitment to Pakistan, developing range of services to meet riders, drivers and cities needs and standards.

For more information, contact:
Uber Pakistan
Email: support.lahore@uber.com
Website: www.uber.com/lahore

19th International Textile Asia Exhibition inaugurated

Karachi, March 27, 2018 (PPI-OT): The 19th International Textile Asia Exhibition has been inaugurated on Tuesday. Over 450 companies are showcasing 650 products at 800 stalls in the three-day exhibition. About 1200 foreign delegates, including from China are participating the exhibition. China, Korea, France, Germany, Italy, Vietnam, Turkmenistan are showcasing the items at the expo to attract the visitors. The exhibition has been organized by E-Commerce Gateway.

Federal Commerce Secretary Younus Dagha inaugurated the expo. While talking to media after the inauguration, the commerce secretary said that Pakistani products were facing high cost. He said that the government was considering to reduce gas and water tariffs to reduce production cost. The federal secretary said that Pakistan needs foreign investors for achieving economic targets.

Younus Dagha said that there were different opinions on rupee devaluation. But he said that the rupee depreciation would help in improving exports. He stressed the need that in order to capture regional markets the local manufacturers are required to modernize their industrial units. The federal secretary said that exports would reach $23 billion during current fiscal year.

Commenting on Pak-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) he said that due to rising interest of China in ASEAN countries, Pakistan had failed to avail benefits of the agreement. He said that Pakistan was reviewing FTA with China and meetings on next phase would be held next month. He further said that Pakistan was trying to overcome massive under invoiced imports from China. Younus Dagha said that high cost of business was major hurdles in improving exports. He said that the local textile products are unable to match quality of regional economies.

He, however, said that the value of the local currency would set pattern of future export growth. The federal commerce secretary said that local industry required upgradation. Without improving industrial capacity we will not able to capture market, he added. Younus Dagha said that the commerce ministry was working on five-year trade policy and it would be launched soon.

On the occasion Dr. Khursheed Nizam, President, E- Commerce Gateway said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had opened doors for foreign companies in Pakistan. Now foreign companies are taking interest in Pak exhibitions. Inamullah Khan, Secretary, Trade Development Authority was also at the event. Ms. LI Yang, vice division director, department of commerce, Zhejiang province, China at the exhibition said that CPEC was the true reflection of friendship between the two countries. She said that she witnessed the economic growth in Pakistan. She praised the textile products of Pakistan.

She said that at the exhibition Chinese companies would sign many deals with their counterparts. She said that the economy of Zhejiang province is about one trillion dollars. It is first time that over 150 companies from Zhejiang province are participating at the textile exhibition. Ms. LI Yang expressed desire to trade textile products in order to boost bilateral trade between the two countries.

For more information, contact:
Information and Communication Division
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP)
3rd Floor, Block A, Finance and Trade Centre,
P. O. Box No. 1293, Shahrah-e-Faisal,
Karachi 75200, Pakistan
UAN: +92-21-111-444-111
Tel: +92-21-99206487-90, +92-21-99201526
Fax: +92-21-99206461, +92-21-99201526
Email: tdap@tdap.gov.pk, farooque.memon@tdap.gov.pk
Website: www.tdap.gov.pk

National Bank of Pakistan opens Facilitation Desk for its retired employees

Karachi, March 27, 2018 (PPI-OT): Pensioners’ facilitation desk is one-window-solution and caters to Pensions, Provident Fund, Group Insurance, Benevolent Fund Grant, Gratuity, Post-Retirement Medical Facilities and other ancillary post-retirement facilities entitled to the ex-employees of NBP. The desk is opened at the Karachi Main Branch and it is yet another initiative from NBP for ease and convenience of NBP pensioners. It has been established with the view to serve those who have given their best years of life to NBP by making it one of the leading banks in the country.

Saeed Ahmad, NBP President, at the inauguration of Pensioner’s Facilitation Desk said, “I urge NBP staff to treat our pensioners with kindness, patience and make things easy for them while processing. This desk has been opened exclusively to facilitate them in a conducive environment and to recognize their contribution to the Bank. We need to facilitate them in every possible way. They should be given respect and their matters should be resolved on priority basis.”

This pensioner facilitation desk for NBP retired employees is part of the ongoing initiatives of the current management to improve the quality of services being offered to the stakeholders including depositors, borrowers, shareholders, employees both current and the past.

For more information, contact:
Vice President / Divisional Head (A)
National Bank of Pakistan (NBP)
Corporate Communication and Brand Management Division
Head Office, NBP Building, I.I. Chundrigar Road,
Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-99220773
Cell: +92-300-8202184
Fax: +92-21-99212734
Email: ibne.hassan@nbp.com.pk

KCCI criticizes government’s move to limit Sindh Food Authority to Karachi only

Karachi, March 27, 2018 (PPI-OT): President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Muffasar Atta Malik, while criticizing government’s move to limit the operations of Sindh Food Authority (SFA) to Karachi only, stated that this was likely to create a lot of problems for the business and industrial community as it seems that the Authority has been established in haste.

Referring to a press conference by Food and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro in which formal announcement was made about the establishment of Sindh Food Authority, President KCCI stated that SFA’s Board of Governors, being headed by Provincial Food Minister, mostly comprises of dozens of bureaucrats including Secretaries and Deputy Commissioners along with three nominated members of Sindh Assembly and a representative of Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “SFA Board should be made more balanced by enhancing the representation of business and industrial community, which would surely make it a vibrant regulatory authority”, he opined.

President KCCI categorically stated that the Karachi Chamber was not against the establishment of SFA as safe, hygienic and healthy food, which is the basic right of every citizen, has to be supplied to the masses at any cost but it was highly unfair to limit the Authority’s operations to Karachi only. “From the very beginning, SFA should have covered every nook and corner of Sindh because the food health and hygiene conditions in other cities, towns and villages across Sindh are way too miserable as compared to Karachi city”, he added.

Commenting on numerous tasks given to inspectors who will be authorized to inspect hotels and restaurants, food markets, departmental stores, food industries, bakeries, dairy and meat shops, bottled water companies and other such food-related outlets and industrial units, President KCCI stressed that strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have to be defined for these inspectors and the same must be widely publicized via all modes of communications with a view to raise awareness and ensure that no businessman was being harassed by any SFA inspector. “SFA Operations have to be made fully automated and transparent with online access in order to discourage bribery and minimize the hardships likely to be faced by concerned businessmen and industrialists”, he added.

He further suggested that massive awareness campaigns through seminars and advertisements have to be carried out about the quality and standard of food items and the Authority should refrain from taking immediate punitive action till such time when people are fully aware about the compliance standards. Afterwards, if SFA finds any food item unfit for human consumption, it should initially give a specific deadline and failure to comply after the deadline should lead to punitive action.

Muffasar Malik stressed that kickbacks must be discouraged at all costs whereas the relevant laws have to be defined for strict punishment and penal action not only in case an item provided by any businessman is found unfit for human consumption but also in case an SFA inspector attempts to take advantage of the situation by harassing someone to seek bribe. “The aim should be to improve and effectively regulate the food sector, not to open new avenues for corruption”, he added.

For more information, contact:
Director Press/Electronic Media and Public Relations
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road, Off Shahrah-e-Liaquat,
Phone: +92-21-99218001-09
Fax: +92-21-99218040
Email: info@kcci.com.pk, secretary@kcci.com.pk
Website: www.kcci.com.pk

ICCI calls for cut in high tax rates in next budget to improve tax revenue

Islamabad, March 27, 2018 (PPI-OT): Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) said that the high tax rates in Pakistan were major cause of promoting tax evasion in the country and emphasized that in the forthcoming federal budget, government should cut tax rates that would help in expanding tax base, improving tax-to-GDP ratio and enhancing tax revenue of the country. He was talking to MPA Raja Hanif Advocate during his visit to Chamber House. Zubair A. Malik Chairman Founder Group, Khalid Chaudhry, Dildar Abbasi, Iftikhar Sethi, Ashfaq Chatha, Muhammad Faheem Khan, Sai fur Rehman Khan, Nisar Langa and others were also present at the occasion.

Sheikh Amir Waheed said that government had imposed 3 percent super tax on income of 500 million and above as well as 4 percent super tax on income of banking companies in 2015 for rehabilitation of IDPs that was extended in 2016 and 2017. He stressed that in the coming budget, government should abolish super tax as there was no further justification for it.

He said 17 percent sales tax in Pakistan was almost highest in the region that has put extra burden on the common man and enhanced the cost of doing business in the country. He said in the next budget, government should reduce GST to single digit level that would provide significant relief to the common man, reduce cost of doing business and give boost to business activities.

He said the prevailing withholding tax regime has made taxpayers of private sector as withholding agents for FBR due to which business community has to spend sufficient time on collection of WHT for the tax department. He urged that in the next budget, government should streamline WHT regime and assign the responsibility of collecting WHT to FBR officials so that business community could fully focus on promoting business activities.

Muhammad Naveed Senior Vice President and Nisar Mirza Vice President ICCI said that the average rate of tax on corporate income in the region was less than 23 percent while in Pakistan due to multiplicity of taxes including 2 percent workers’ welfare fund and 5 percent workers’ participation fund, average tax rate on corporate income went up to 38 percent, which was not justified. They said that in the next budget, government should bring down average tax rate on corporate income that would encourage new investment and strengthen corporate sector in the country.

Speaking at the occasion, MPA Raja Hanif Advocate supported the proposals of ICCI Office Bearers for reduction in tax rates and stressed that government should finalize budget proposals in consultation with private sector. He said that business community was playing key role in the economic development of the country and their key issues needed to be resolved on priority basis.He assured that he would take up the highlighted issues with relevant authorities for redress.

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526, 2253145, 8432676
Fax: +9251 225 2950
Email: icci@brain.net.pk
Website: www.icci.com.pk

OPPO and Dolby Laboratories Announce Global Strategic Intellectual Property Partnership

Karachi, March 27, 2018 (PPI-OT): Dolby Laboratories, a world-leading expert and developer of audio, imaging and voice technologies, announced that it has formed a global, strategic intellectual property partnership with OPPO, the leading smartphone brand among young people. The co-operation will see OPPO collaborate on Dolby’s High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE AAC), JPEG-HDR and other audio and video technologies.

High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE AAC) is an international standard for audio encoding authorized for use by Dolby Laboratories to hundreds of companies around the world. JPEG-HDR is part of the static image encoding standard whilst also storing data in a highly dynamic range of more than 8 bits so users can sample the entire range during post-processing.

“OPPO, a leader in global consumer electronics, is well-known for its smartphones incorporating innovative technologies, and we are delighted to welcome them to our community of global partners,” said Andy Sherman, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Dolby Laboratories.

Mr. George Long, CEO, OPPO Pakistan said, OPPO is constantly seeking to utilize the most superior technology that is available to ensure our users have the best possible features and benefits available to them in their OPPO smartphones. The partnership will upgrade any audio experience for our consumers. Our partnership with Dolby feels like a natural fit as we know the younger generation, especially in Pakistan has such a deep connection to music.”

This year marks the 10th anniversary of OPPO smartphones. At the beginning of 2018, OPPO officially entered the Japanese market and will soon enter the European market, providing more young people with products that combine advanced technology and design.

For more information, contact:
OPPO Mobile Pakistan
Tel: +92-0800-06776
Media Queries: media@oppo.pk
Service: service@oppo.pk
Website: www.oppo.pk

The Mary McBride Band enthralls Karachiites

Karachi, March 27, 2018 (PPI-OT): The Mary McBride Band enthralled music lovers with a pleasant medley of American favourites here at the Pakistan American Cultural Centre (PACC) Karachi on March 26. Mary McBride and her band are visiting Karachi for the third time at the invitation of the United States Consulate General in Karachi.

“Tonight we are celebrating music and its power to bring people together,” said Acting Consul General John Warner. “Music allows us to experience the same emotions, no matter what language we speak, what colour we are, the form of our politics, or the expression of our love and our faith.”

During this visit to Karachi the band recorded a video of a fusion song, ‘Home’ with Sounds of Kolachi, and spent time with special needs children at Dar-ul-Sukun orphanage. They also conducted a music workshop for the students and faculty of the Karachi Arts Council Music Academy.

As a cultural envoy for the U.S. Department of State, Mary McBride and her band have performed in over 20 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Russia. Band members include John Kengla on guitar, Jon Spurney on keyboards, Armistead Wellford on bass, and Dave Scalia on drums with Mary McBride as the lead singer.

For more information, contact:
Consulate General of the United States of America
Plot No 3-5, TPX Area, Mai Kolachi Road,
Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35275000 Ext: 5242
Fax: +92-21-35275985
Cell: +92-302-8294015
Email: asmusbp@state.gov
Website: http://karachi.usconsulate.gov