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As the Indian forces are slaying Pakistani civilians in unprovoked shelling along the working boundary, some Indian citizens are trying to save the life of a teenage girl from Pakistan who is admitted in a hospital in Mumbai.

Sixteen-year-old Saba Tariq Ahmed from Karachi is afflicted with Wilson’s disease, a rare genetic disorder, and Indian citizens are raising money for her treatment, disregarding the tension between the two countries.

Saba needs 1 million Indian rupees (approx Rs1.57 million), and our neighbours have so far contributed 400,000 rupees (Rs626,976).

Among the donors are Jayesh Vora and Mehul Doshi, who have donated 200,000 rupees (Rs313,559) out of their own pockets to Saba’s family.

Talking to The Express Tribune over the phone, Vora said he read in the newspaper that the family required money. “I have told Saba’s mother that we won’t let them go until Saba is fine.”

He said he wanted to convey a message to Pakistani citizens that Indians were just like them and that they were with them in their time of need, and to dispel the preconceived notions that ‘all Indians are like this and all Pakistanis are like that’.

Vora, a businessman, often goes to Dubai, where he has witnessed Pakistanis and Indians on good terms. Recalling an incident, he said that once when he was unable to drive, he called a Pakistani driver to come to Dubai and take him and his wife home. “He was in Sharjah but he reached us in only 20 minutes.”

Islamabad and New Delhi can call off their talks, but Vora believes that person-to-person contact should always remain among the two countries, which is stronger than any diplomatic ties.

Saba’s mother Nazia told The Express Tribune that she had received immense love and support from the Indians. “I’ve never felt that I’m away in another country. They always make me feel at home here (in India).”

Resident of Gulistan-e-Jauhar in Karachi, Nazia said Saba was a normal girl and had cleared her matriculation exams with ‘A’ grade.

However, a year ago she showed symptoms of the disease and was later diagnosed with it. She believes intermarriages in the family could have caused the disease. “There is no proper treatment of this disease in Pakistan, so we had to bring her to India.”

Nazia and her daughter first went to India back in May for 45 days. The mother said: “I was scared, as Indians don’t like us much. But my views changed. They are very loving.”

The mother and daughter arrived in India again last week. From getting her admitted in the hospital to taking care of other needs, Nazia is thankful to the Indians. “I hope more people contribute so that my girl can come back home fit and fine.”

Saba’s doctor, Dr Abha Nagral of the Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, where Saba is being treated, said the medicines needed for her treatment needed to be imported from the UK and the US, which was the reason for the delay in and the cost of treatment. “Her condition is stable but there’s room for improvement.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2015.

The post Humanity trumps talk of war appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Highlighting areas of cooperation, the US Department of State Desk Officer Beney J Lee has said the two countries should focus on energy, agriculture and educational sectors. She added that the US and Pakistan governments should facilitate entrepreneurs in order to strengthen mutual businesses.  

Lee, along with Economic Officer David Ryan Sequeira and Economic Officer and US Embassy Economic Adviser Nasir Hamid Rao, visited the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) to enquire about the bottlenecks restricting trade potential between the two countries and discussed ways and means to further improve bilateral trade.

“The US is encouraging its private sector to partner with Pakistani counterparts for investment and joint ventures,” said Lee. Lee said both countries should focus on developing sector-specific cooperation that would help increase two-way trade.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2015.

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The post Pak-US: Looking to enhance two-way trade appeared first on The Express Tribune.

The 14th International Textile Asia Exhibition, organised by the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), booked orders worth $150 million on the opening day, while deals worth more than $300 million were agreed to during the three-day mega textile fair. PRGMEA and Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan have also signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly conduct the mega textile event for the next five years in Lahore.

According to PRGMEA Central Chairman Ijaz Khokhar, around 55,000 people visited the exhibition. “This year’s show was dominated by Chinese companies, but next year we intend to invite companies from Germany as well as from across Europe to showcase their brands.

“The fair provided the local small textile industry the best opportunity as more than 350 international brands from around 29 countries displayed their products in more than 500 stalls,” said PRGMEA Vice Chairman Malik Naseer.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2015.

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The post Textile Asia exhibit: Orders worth $150 million booked appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Pak Elektron Limited, the maker of PEL appliances, recorded an 84% increase in net earnings during January-June 2015 over the same period last year, as it reaped the benefits of falling raw material prices and rise in demand of products like refrigerators.

Profit touched Rs2.13 billion against Rs1.2 billion in the comparable period of last year. The company also announced an interim cash dividend of Rs1.25 per share.

Besides homes appliances, which include refrigerators, air conditioners, deep freezers, microwave ovens and televisions, the company drives nearly half of its revenue from manufacturing power transformers, switchgears and other industry-use equipment.

While sales were up by a relatively modest 24%, the company maintained gross margin of 34%, indicating the continuous demand for electronic products. Financial cost was down 8.9% to Rs943 million, which analysts say was result of management’s attempt to restructure debt when interest rate came down. A heat wave that swept Karachi in June also increased sales of air conditioners and refrigerators.

PEL has seen a steady rise in its gross margins over the years as the company has solidified its position in the market for high-end equipment used by distribution companies and home appliances.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2015.

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The post Corporate results: Pak Elektron’s earnings increase 84% appeared first on The Express Tribune.

In a major breakthrough, a private company is planning to export 0.5 million tons of surplus wheat/flour to Afghanistan, but exporters are facing bottlenecks in receiving the subsidy announced by the federal government on disposing of the country’s surplus wheat stock.

Sources said that a private party, ‘Sunny Trading Company’, through the Foreign Office has expressed its willingness to export 500,000 tons of surplus wheat to Afghanistan after getting a formal order from the neighbouring country. The Foreign Office has referred the issue to the concerned ministries including the Ministry of National Food Security and Research and Ministry of Commerce to arrange and facilitate the party in this regard.

An official in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research said the private party had complained that wheat exporters were facing issues in getting the subsidy amount the central bank as per the directives of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).

It was learnt that the exporters particularly requested the authorities in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to take up the issue with the finance division so that the subsidy amount could be disbursed.

“I have to export 3,000 tons of wheat on a daily basis to Afghanistan and I would not have the sufficient cash flow to manage the transactions if the subsidy isn’t provided,” said the exporter. An officer in the Ministry of National Food security and Research feared that the opportunity to dispose the surplus wheat would once again be wasted.

“We have failed in exporting 300,000 tons of wheat since January this year despite all the efforts; this is an opportunity that should not go to waste.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2015.

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The post Private company looks to export 0.5m tons appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Systems Limited announced that it has posted an after-tax profit of Rs205.6 million or Rs1.9 per share in the first half of 2015, up 17% compared to Rs176 million or Rs1.6 per share in the corresponding period of the previous year.

The Lahore-based Information Technology (IT) company saw its revenues for the period increase by 28% to Rs1.2 billion compared to Rs897.8 million in the corresponding period of 2014.

Listed on the Karachi bourse recently, Systems Limited is not actively covered by market analysts. However, the stock market reaction indicates the results were better than what was expected.

The share gained close to 5%, closing at Rs74.4 compared to Rs70.9 at the end of trading on Friday. More than 3.6 million shares were traded on Monday, marking the highest volume for the stock this month.

“Systems is a growing IT company and getting a lot of contracts. It is not surprising to see the stock rally after the result,” said Zeeshan Afzal, who is Head of Research at Taurus Securities.

In a notice sent to the KSE in July, the company announced it won four contracts worth $1.5 million from the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government for computerisation of land records.

Incorporated in 1977, Systems Limited is an IT company that has been providing computing strategies and solutions, such as business process outsourcing (BPO) to the government and private organisations, says its website. The company has accomplished over 600 projects completed in the US, Pakistan, Middle East and Africa, it says. It was listed in the KSE in December, 2014.

However, the company’s quarterly profit dropped by 6.8% to Rs103 million or Rs0.94 per share in Mar-June period, compared to Rs110.3 million or Rs1 per share in the same quarter of 2014.

“The cost of sales increased due to expansion and capacity building in local and Middle East region,” the company said in its Director’s Review. Operating costs increased because the company started business in new markets and engaged in building new competency centres, which would allow the company to sustain future growth, it said.

The company has started operations in Australia where it has already signed up a contract with a large retail chain.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2015.

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The post Systems Limited posts profit of Rs205.6 million in 1HCY15 appeared first on The Express Tribune.

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