Shaista Bano new Chairperson of CCP

shaistabano CCP Chairperson

Corporate Ambassador/ISLAMABAD: Ms. Shaista Bano Gillani has taken charge as the Chairperson, Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP). The Finance Division on Monday issued a notification after the federal cabinet in its meeting held on 28 April 2020 approved the appointment of Ms. Shaista Bano as the Chairperson CCP, on acting charge basis.

Ms. Shaista Bano holds a Master’s degree in ‘Economics for Competition Law’ from King’s College, University of London and a Master’s in Business Administration with majors in Finance from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad. She is also an Associate Chartered Certified Accountant UK since 2006.

Ms. Shaista Bano served at the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan as the Deputy Registrar of Companies till 2007, and then joined CCP in 2007. As the Director General Cartels and Trade Abuse at CCP, she has led a number of key investigations, inspections, and authored various inquiry reports pertaining to wide-ranging industry and economic sectors such as telecommunications, electronic media, electricity generation and distribution, LPG, CNG, sugar, cement, stock exchanges, jute mills.

 

These investigations, searches and enquiry reports have resulted in unearthing some big cartels and abusive practices. In April 2019, she was appointed as Member CCP.

NBP joins hand with NBMFIs, PMN & PMIC to support low income households during COVID-19 pandemic

nbp ho image with new logo
Corporate Ambassador/KARACHI: National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) hosted a Virtual Roundtable meeting on 23rd April 2020 to discuss the issues and challenges facing the Non-Bank Microfinance Institutions (NBMFIs) and their customers as a consequence of the economic slowdown due to COVID-19 pandemic. The Roundtable was attended by the CEOs of Pakistan’s largest NBMFIs including the National Rural Support Program, Kashf Foundation, Damen Support Program, SAFCO Support Program, Thardeep Foundation, Rural Community Development Program and Agahi. The consultation was presided and initiated on the leadership of Mr. Arif Usmani, President NBP and included Mr. Zubyr Soomro (Chairman, NBP) and Ms. Sadaffe Abid (Director, NBP and Chair of Inclusive Development Committee NBP). Furthermore key sector players such as the CEOs of Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) and the Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC) were also invited to examine the state of the microfinance industry and explore opportunities to develop a sector wide approach.

The purpose of the Roundtable was to assess the nature, size and scale of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the microfinance clients income and well being. The microfinance sector reaches over 7 million borrowers across the country, 50% of whom are women. Mr. Zubyr Soomro, Chairman NBP in his opening remarks urged the microfinance players to take a long term approach, strengthen their lending standards, systems and manage resources efficiently.
The NBP leadership highlighted its inclusive development mandate and commitment to serve the nation through playing a leadership role in forging strategic alliances to help key institutions to manage their way through these times and increase their efforts to address poverty in the country. The dialogue will facilitate developing a holistic response for the microfinance sector in terms of the possible support required by the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This initiative was aimed at assessing the quantum and size of the NBMFI requirements as well as initiate a process of designing and implementing a twofold solution: firstly, to understand ways to ensure the NBMFI sector continues to be able to support its current client needs in the short and medium term during the present crisis, and secondly, to plan financing that would be required as the economy returns to a state of normalcy. .

The NBMFIs appreciated the action of the SECP (which regulates the NBMFI sector) for allowing them to defer loan payments from their borrowers to ease the financial burden on low income households.

All participants welcomed the initiative of the President (NBP) to organize this roundtable at this very critical juncture. The roundtable concluded with a commitment that the NBMFIs, PMN, PMIC and NBP would work together to help sustain and support low income households during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the economic well-being of millions of low income households intrinsically linked to the well-being of the NBMFIs a holistic approach must be undertaken.

Covid-19: Is it “Babay Mar Diyo” (Kill elderly) virus?

Special Report By J. Choudhry, Editor Corporate Ambassador

Islamabad, Pakistan

According to USA’s National Institute of Health report, the world’s older population continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Today, 8.5 percent of people worldwide (617 million _ 61 crore and 70 lac) are aged 65 years and over. By 2050, this generation will surge to 1.6 billion globally

Apart from catastrophic impacts of coronavirus on the global economy and the conspiracy theory whether America or China unleashed this deadly virus, different reports appearing in international media are indicating that the elderly people are the most affected by the COVID-19. For example, so far, China has conducted the biggest research of 72,000 corona cases which indicated that 81 percent of the victims of this virus were 50 years old and above and only 19 percent were between the ages of 15-49 years. Meanwhile, Italy had also reported that 95 percent of the victims of this virus were elderly Italians. Below of analytical graph of first 8,000 victims of this virus.

corona deaths graph

UK’s leading newspaper, Daily Mail report points out that elderly people are the most at-risk of developing severe coronavirus, but experts warn young, healthy people are still dying from the respiratory infection. Globally, more than 210,000 people in around 200 countries have been infected with COVID-19 since the outbreak began in China in December. Most of the first 8,000 fatalities recorded across the world have been people who were elderly or suffering underlying conditions, and have weakened immune systems. Chinese health officials carried out the biggest ever study on the never-before-seen strain of the virus, using data from 72,000 cases. They found that only 19 per cent of patients who died were below the age of 50 years. Thus, research shows that 81 percent of the victims of this virus were 50 years and above while rest victims were between the ages of 15-49 years. Many had underlying conditions like cirrhosis of the liver, hypertension, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Most spent more than a week in hospitals, with some undergoing treatment for a month or longer. But two died just four days after they were admitted.

While much about the virus remains unknown, medical experts found some positive signs in the fact that the disease did not appear to be killing young and otherwise healthy people. It was a somewhat reassuring sign, Dr. Lipkin wrote, that “the majority of fatal cases are elderly and/or have a chronic disease that would increase their susceptibility to infectious diseases.” Below is global data of Covid-19 (updated till May 3, 2020).

global corona data may4

A report published in America’s leading newspaper Washington Post stated that there seemed to be a real medical basis to this generational framing. In China, the fatality rate from the coronavirus for people ages 10 to 39 is less than 0.2 percent, and almost all children under 10 are mysteriously unaffected by the virus. Meanwhile, among Chinese patients over 80 years old, mortality has been 21.9 percent. Among the first 105 Italian fatalities, the average age was 81. If hospitals worldwide become overwhelmed, this effect is likely to be magnified as doctors perform a kind of wartime triage, in which scarce beds and equipment are allocated to the patients considered most likely to have a chance of survival. Already in some Italian hospitals, older patients are being denied treatment.

Situation of Old Homes in United Kingdom

Thousands of care homes across Britain were locked down last month to stop COVID-19 from spreading among their frail and elderly residents. For Jamshad Ali, 87, it came anyway. Ali and six other residents at Hawthorn Green Care Home in east London died with “symptoms consistent with COVID-19,” with 21 others also possibly infected, said a spokesman for the home. With growing reports of COVID-19 deaths and cases at other homes, experts fear the disease, caused by the new coronavirus, which has already ripped through the care sector in the United States and the rest of Europe is now doing the same in Britain.

My Observation

There is an intriguing aspect linked to the coronavirus fatalities. All the aged people dying of heart attack, acute diabetes, strokes and other problems, are being counted as corona victims in most of the countries in the world. Perhaps every country is trying to show as much corona-related casualties as is possible. Reports published in different media platforms, indicate that the corona virus infection test reports of scores of the deceased, who died, were not available, but the medical authorities declared them the corona victims.

Another important expect is that this virus has exposed the most powerful nations in the world, who neither have adequate facilities to combat this crisis nor control it immediately. Entire Europe, United Kingdom and America, known as the most powerful countries, have shown the highest rate of corona deaths and infections and these countries have reported shortage of beds in hospitals, ventilators and proper medication.

Why Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Gulf countries have low casualties

Different research articles and observations of ongoing corona problems in these countries indicate that the virus has affected badly in those countries where the temperature remained below 18 degree centigrade, while countries with 18+ temperature remained safe (far better than Europe, UK and USA). Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Gulf countries have reported lesser casualties than the world’s most powerful nations.

The case of Pakistan

When we talk about Pakistan, we must keep in mind that our countless people experience flue and fever every year when weather changes, especially in the winter season (during chilling weather). Thus, in other words, our people are used to face any flu-related virus, except the elderly people and those having chronic heart problems, diabetes, cancer and other deadly diseases. Despite being 5th largest populated country in the world, Pakistan’s situation is still not worrisome, except that the lockdown has paralysed every aspect of life, especially business and daily income of millions of people. Pakistan’s totally tally of deaths, so far, is still less than one-day casualties in the United States, Britain and many European countries. Below is Pakistan’s latest update on coronavirus, courtesy Dawn.com

Pakistan update may4

Here is top-10 most populated nations in the world.

top 10 most populated nations(Writer is a senior journalist, former Resident Editor of daily The Nation, Karachi, author of book “Who Bankrupted Pakistan” published in 2001 and TV/Social Media Analyst).

To Be Updated Soon

 

Serving Hands serves in Hyderabad

Ibne hasan serving hands

حیدرآباد( 23 اپریل) *کورونا وائرس سے بچاو ,احتیاط اور پولیس اہلکاروں کی جنرل صحت سے متعلق اسکرینگ کے لیے ایک آگاہی سیمینار سندھ پولیس اور سرونگ  ہینڈز آرگنائزیشن کے مشترکہ تعاون سے ایڈیشنل آئی جی آفیس حیدرآباد کے شہید وحید بخش لغاری آڈیٹوریم میں منعقد ہوا۔ آگاہی سیمینار میں ایس ایس پی حیدرآباد عدیل چانڈیو ،سی پی ایل سی کے دپٹی چیف مراد سوہنی،نیشنل بینک کے نائب صدر سیدابن حسن،مایاناز ڈاکٹرز کی ٹیم جن میں ڈاکٹر عیسی لیبارٹریرز اینڈ ڈائگنوسٹک سینٹرز کے پروفیسر ڈاکٹر فرحان عیسی عبد اللہ ، ڈاکٹر رمشا فرید ، ڈاکٹر سکندر علی شیخ و دیگر ماہرین ڈاکٹرز ، نرسز، پیرامیڈک اسٹاف اور بڑی تعداد میں پولیس حکام نے شرکت کی۔

serving hands2 آگاہی سیمینار.  سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے سرونگ  ہینڈز آرگنائزیشن کے صدر ڈاکٹر سکندر علی شیخ کا کہناتھا کہ ہمیں اپنے پیاورں کی حفاطت کرنی ہے جس کے لیے ضروری ہے کہ نا صرف ہم تمام ضروری احتیاطی تدبیر اختیار کریں بلکہ اپنے تمام احباب کو بھی اس ضمن میں آگاہی فراہم کریں۔انہوں نے کہا کہ وائرس کا یونانی زبان میں مطلب زہر ہے جبکہ کورونا وائرس کا سوائے احتیاط کے ابتک کوئی علاج نہیں اس لیے ہمیں چاہیے کہ ہاتھ دھوئیں، منہ کو ہاتھ نا لگائیں اور جہاں ہاتھ دھونا ممکن نا ہو سینیٹائیز کے استعمال کو یقینی بنائیں۔ انہوں نے کورونا وائس کی علامات بتاتے ہوئے کہا کہ سر میں درد ہونا، حلق میں خراش ہونا جبکہ خشک کھانسی کے بعد نمونیا اور پھر سانس لینے کی نالی کا بند ہونا کورونا وائرس کی آخری علامات میں شامل ہے جس کے بعد مناسب علاج کی سہولیات نہ ملنے سے اچانک موت واقع ہو سکتی ہے۔انہوں نے کہا کہ کورونا سے متعلق اگر کوئی بھی علامت ہو تو بھاپ لیں جبکہ لمیوں کا کھوہ اور وٹامن سی کا استعمال کریں۔انہوں نے مزید کہا کہ ہمیں گورنمنٹ کے اداورں کی بات مانی چاہیے کیونکہ وہ تمام باتیں آپ کے فائدے کے لیے ہی ہیں۔ ان کہنا تھا کہ پولیو دنیا بھر سے ختم ہوچکا ہے مگر پاکستان میں لاپرواہی کی وجہ سے ہم نے اسے گلے کا ہار بنا رکھا ہے۔ اس موقع پر نیشنل بینک کے نائب صدر سیدابن حسن کا کہنا تھا کہ ہمیں اپنے فرنٹ لائن میں کام کرنے والے ڈاکٹرز، نرسز، پیرامیڈکس ،قانون نافذ کرنے والے ادارے اور صحافیوں کی خفاطت کرنی ہوگی تاکہ اس عالمی وبا سے نمٹا جا سکے یہ ہی وجہ ہے کہ ہم اپنے فرنٹ لائن میں کام کرنے والوں کو ضروری اشیاء فراہم کررہے ہیں۔اس موقع پر ایس ایس پی حیدرآباد عدیل چانڈیو ،سی پی ایل سی کے دپٹی چیف مراد سوہنی,ڈاکٹر عیسی لیبارٹریرز اینڈ ڈائگنوسٹک سینٹرز کے پروفیسر ڈاکٹر فرحان عیسی عبد اللہ ودیگر نے خطاب کیا*۔

Serving Hands serve amid Corono crisis

serving hand01
سرونگ ھینڈز آرگنائزیشن کے ھیلتھ اسکواڈ ٹیم نے سندھ پولیس ڈپارٹمنٹ کے لیے عیسیٰ لیباریٹری کے تعاون سے اپنے تین روزہ فری میڈیکل کیمپس کے دوسرے روز سندھ بوائز اسکائوٹس ایسوسیشن آڈیٹوریم میں ” اپنی مدد آپ کورونا وائرس ھیلتھ سیفٹی پروگرام ” کا آغاز کردیا۔ ا

serving hand1س موقع پر DIG ھیڈ کوارٹر جناب امین یوسفزئی، SSP جناب عرفان بہادر، ڈپٹی CPLC چیف جناب مراد سونی، عیسیٰ لیباریٹری کے جناب فرحان عیسیٰ، نیشنل بینک کے نائب صدر و ترجمان سید ابن حسن ، ممبر CPLC جناب سہیل جاپان والا اور سندھ اسکائوٹس ایسوسیشن کے جج جناب حسن فیروز ، جناب اختر میر صاحب بھی موجود تھے۔ اس موقع پر سرونگ ھینڈز آرگنائزیشن کے ڈاکٹرز، نرسز، پیرامیڈیکس نے سندھ پولس کے جوانوں کا مفت طبی معائنہ کیا اور کورونا وائرس کے حوالے سے مفید حفاظتی مشورے بھی دیئے اور مشتبہ مریضوں کو مزید ٹیسٹنگ کے لیے ہدایات بھی دیں۔

serving hands111 اس موقع پر سرونگ ھینڈز آرگنائزیشن کے جنرل سیکرٹری جناب ارشد انور اور سینئر وائس پریزیڈنٹ سید ابنِ حسن نے “کورونا سیفٹی پروگرام “کی افادیت اور اہمیت پر روشنی ڈالی ۔ سید ابن حسن نے کہا کہ اس کرونا وائرس سے پوری قوم کو بچانا ھے ورنہ اس کے نقصانات کا اندازہ نہی لگایا جا سکتا ۔ حکومت اور قوم کو ملکر اس وبا اور اسکے نقصانات کا مقابلہ کرنا ھے ملک کے تمام اداروں کو اپنا کردار ادا کنا ھونگے ھماری فورسز قابل تعریف ھیں انکے علاوہ فرنٹ لائن پر ڈاکٹرز اور پیرا میڈیکل اسٹاف و دیگر شہباۓ زندگی کے لوگ کام کرنے والے قابل تحسین ھیں ھم اس موقع پر engro foundation
Pamco لاجسٹک کے تعاون کا شکریہ بھی ادا کرتے ھیں

srving hands22۔سرونگ ھینڈز آرگنائزیشن کے صدر ڈاکٹر سکندر علی شیخ
نے CPLC کے جناب مراد سونی اور SSP جناب عرفان بہادر کی جوانوں کے لیے احتیاطی تدابیر کی کوششوں کو سراہا۔ cplc کے ممبر جناب سہیل جاپان والا نے سندھ پولس کے لیے سرونگ ھینڈز کے اس خدمتِ انسانی اور پاکستانی جذبے کی تعریف کی۔ اس موقع پر جناب مراد سونی صاحب نے کہا کہ ڈاکٹرز، نرسز اور تمام فورسز کے جوان کورونا وائرس کی اس جنگ میں ہمارے صف اول کے محافظ ہیں انکی حفاظت دراصل ہماری قوم کی حفاظت ہے۔ انہوں نے مزید بتایا کہ پولس کے ساؤتھ، ایسٹ اور سینٹرل زونز کے لیے سرونگ ھینڈز آرگنائزیشن کے یہ فری کیمپس سندھ بوائز اسکاؤٹس ایسوسیشن آڈیٹوریم کراچی میں بدھ 15 اپریل تک جاری رہیں گے۔

NBP President inspects COVID-19 measures in branches

NBP President visits branches

Karachi: President/CEO NBP Arif Usmani visited various branches of the city to see first-hand preparations made by the branches for safety and security of the customers and employees of the Bank and evaluate the efficacy of the measures taken.
Mr. Arif Usmani appreciated the bank employees who in the face of all challenges are doing their work. The Bank is taking preventive and precautionary measures in the branches by ensuring social distancing and providing hand washing facilities /sanitizers to customers before entering the branches or using ATMs.

The presence of the President along with Senior Management amongst branch employees was a morale booster for all the branch staff who have been serving through these hard times. The President while acknowledging their invaluable services also advised that all necessary measures must be taken for safety of customers and employees. Mr. Arif Usmani while talking to customers in the branches highlighted NBP’s digital banking channels to avoid in-person branch banking as far as possible.
Mr. Arif Usmani said that all the staff of National Bank of Pakistan is committed to serving the nation in this distressful and difficult time.
Mr. Arif Usmani, President & CEO National Bank of Pakistan was accompanied by Mr. Tariq Jamali, SEVP & Group Chief, Centralized Operations & Administration Group and Mr. Karim Akram Khan, Group Head Logistics Support Group.

Except Iran, Muslim nations are nowhere in Top-20 corona victims

America emerges third largest victim of Coronavirus

Corporate Ambassador/J. Choudhry

Top corona countries

Except Iran, none of the other Muslim countries is seen among the top-20 coronavirus affected nations. In other words all the Muslim nations are in safe zone (except Iran) till March 25, 2020, as far as the corona havoc is concerned. So far, 422,913 people have been affected by corona virus worldwide, out of which 109,143 have recovered and discharged while 18,905 people have lost their lives while battling with this novel virus. Hence, rate of recovery is 85 percent while 15 percent died till March 25, 2020. At present 281,770 patients (96%) are suffering from mild corona condition while 13,095 (04%) are in critical condition. For mild condition, doctors are mostly using malaria-related medication, however, for the critical patients, no formula of medication is proving helpful.

corona data march25

China, Italy, America, Spain, Germany, Iran, France, Switzerland, South Korea, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Norway are among the top-20 nations that have reported highest number of corona cases by March 25, 2020, respectively. Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan are among top-30 nations facing corona challenge. Pakistan has reported only 7 casualties and around 925 patients while Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia have reported more deaths than Pakistan.

Why Muslims countries are safe from corona virus, there is no yet clear evidence, except talk of the town that Muslims eat Halal food and avoid ‘Haraam’ that Allah Almighty has disallowed in the Holy Quran.

Now a question arises as to why Iran, a Muslim country, is facing the havoc of corona? There is no clear evidence except that Iran has blamed America for hatching this conspiracy through biological attack on Iran. China has also blamed America, but, so far, solid evidence is not available that holds USA guilty.

Worth noting is that America has filed a damage case worth $20 trillion against China with a view that ‘China-virus’ has caused enormous damage to America. It means, China and America now will have to prove in the court that who is right and who is wrong in this war of blame-game.

NBP vows to promote women empowerment

NBP women day

Corporate Ambassador/KARACHI: An increase in participation of female work force in a holistic environment in which women can translate their ideas will contribute to higher economic growth,’ said Asma Shaikh, SEVP/Group Chief, HRMG, while addressing a large gathering of female employees at the Women’s Day Celebration at the NBP Head Office.

At the onset of the celebration, Ms. Asma Shaikh conducted an interactive session in which she asked the participants to speak up about their challenges and share their success stories with others. She encouraged all the females to learn to express, write and think no matter in whatever stage they are in their careers. Working women in Pakistan feel they face a number of challenges to make their voice heard in business environments. The two key challenges often identified by women in the workplace are sustaining a belief in their own ability and potential, and having the confidence to put themselves forward for senior positions.

Sadaffe Abid, NBP BoD, CEO, Circle Women Association, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest, she encouraged the participants with her motivational speech and urged them not to underestimate themselves, women need to be more courageous and stay in the game. She further said that when women are given the rights, the skills and the opportunities to succeed, it creates a powerful ripple effect. It is also very important that women raise their voice, think through the bottlenecks, and develop the confidence to talk about their issues. Like on social media, if you raise your voice, companies will pay attention. We have to build allies; networking is critical. Speak up, talk to people, say yes to opportunities, have faith in yourself. Men have lots of confidence, women need to do that too.

Sadaffe Abid wears many hats she is also an advocate of digital inclusion for women, and a businesswoman inspiring many to follow in her footsteps.

NBP’s income mounts to Rs 108 billion for 2019

nbp ho image with new logo final

Corporate Ambassador/KARACHI: National Bank of Pakistan has reported increase in its income to Rs. 108.11 billion in calendar year 2019, showing 11.5% increase over Rs. 96.92 billion income of prior year. Meeting of the Board of Directors (BoD) of National Bank of Pakistan (Bank) was held on February 28, 2020 at the Bank’s Head Office in Karachi. The BoD approved standalone and consolidated financial statements of the Bank for the year ended December 31, 2019.

The Bank recorded solid growth in terms of both balance sheet size and income generation. Despite a generally difficult year for the banking industry, net mark-up / interest income closed 18.5% higher YoY at Rs. 71.9 billion (2018: Rs. 60.7 billion). NBP maintained its non-mark-up / interest earning at Rs. 36.20 billion. Accordingly, total income of the Bank closed at Rs. 108.11 billion i.e. 11.5% higher than Rs. 96.92 billion of prior year.

Total expenses for the year amounted to Rs. 65.70 billion against Rs. 55.69 billion for the year 2018. This amount includes a total of Rs. 7.3 billion related to extraordinary items. Thus, the increase in operating expenses was only 5.0% and YoY growth in profit excluding extraordinary items and before provisions improved to 21%.

Reflecting the trend of asset quality deterioration observed across the industry this year, the Bank experienced a 11.4% increase in non-performing loans. During the year, the Bank provided against NPLs, diminution in investments and certain financial improprieties. Based on the above, provision charge amounted to Rs. 14.2 billion, and profit before tax stood at Rs. 28.00 billion, being 5.7% lower than Rs. 29.68 billion for the prior year. NBP has consequently focused on strengthening its Balance Sheet through this provisioning and through building contingency buffers for a total of Rs. 21.5 billion. Due to retrospective applicability of super tax, this year, the Bank’s tax burden amounted to Rs. 12.35 billion, resulting into the Bank’s profit after tax closing at Rs. 15.8 billion, 21% lower YoY. This translates into earnings per share of Rs. 7.43.

Total assets closed at Rs. 3,124.39 billion, depicting a 11.6% growth from Rs. 2,798.56 billion a year before. Gross advances increased by 8.7% to Rs. 1,151.31 billion, investment closed 12.1% up at Rs. 1,417.65 billion, and deposits grew by 9.3% to Rs. 2,198.05 billion.

The Bank is facing contingencies related to pensionary benefits of its retired employees, and has filed a review petition. Pending the decision for review petition, financial impact of the subject case has not been included in the instant financial statements as the Bank looks forward to a favourable outcome of the case.

The BoD is conscious of the fact that the shareholders look forward to receiving a dividend. The Board deliberated at length whether or not cash dividend should be recommended. Keeping in view the significance of the amount involved in the pension related case, the BoD considered it prudent to retain the profits for the time being to maintain & further strengthen capital base of the Bank. Accordingly, the BoD did not recommend any dividend for the year 2019.

Going forward, the year 2020 marks the Bank’s 71st year of service to the Nation. The Bank’s business strategy is evolving to ensure a focus on inclusive development through reaching and supporting underserved sectors including SME, Microfinance, Agriculture Finance, and finance for Micro-Housing on a priority basis.

Building a technology platform and digital banking capability will be a central part of this strategy as will the inculcation of a performance driven culture within the institution.

The emphasis for 2020 will be on building a strong platform in terms of processes and controls based on accountability and meritocracy.

Big decline in OPEC oil: Good news for consumers

OPEC $54 barrel
Corporate Ambassador/ISLAMABAD: OPEC crude oil price has further dropped to below $50 this week because of low-demand amid growing corona-virus problem globally. In comparison with OPEC oil price in Dec-2019, the crude oil price has declined by $18-20 per barrel by Feb-28, 2020. In Dec-2019 OPEC crude oil price was around $66/barrel. According to experts OPEC oil price can further drop and may fall below $45/barrel in coming days that will be a good sign for consumers and a blow to price hike.
As rupee value has improved in recent weeks, we must anticipate that government would reduce domestic oil prices by 15-20 rupees a litre from 1st March 2020 (midnight of Feb-29), to give relief to the people. Hope to hear a good news from govt on this front on the night of Feb 29, the last day of this month.
Screen shot of latest OPEC oil price is attached with this mail. On Feb 26, the OPEC website is showing average $54/barrel price, but the oil price in OPEC market has dropped to around $50/barrel till Feb 28. So, in coming few months, we will further observe decline in prices of essential commodities and cost of transportation in Pakistan and abroad.