ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Planning and Development has started a new initiative – Cluster Development Based Mineral Transformation Plan – to improve productivity in mines and mineral sector and enhance exports.
The initiative, costing Rs62.21 million has been launched under Vision-2025 and would increase value addition and create jobs in mineral sector.
Nature has bestowed Pakistan with enormous and diversified world-class mineral resources, coal, copper, gold, building stones, industrial raw materials, gemstones, etc.
Both public and private sectors are working to exploration and development. As per Annual Development Plan (ADP) 2018-19, the mines & mineral contribution towards GDP growth was 0.09 percent in 2017-18 while Vision 2025 and 12th Five Year Plan envisage fundamental improvements for mineral sector.
Moreover, Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) has designed a number of annual field programmes and projects likely minerals investigation, geological mapping, geophysical exploration, exploration and evaluation of coal, geochemical exploration of precious metals, geo-environmental & groundwater studies, exploration of iron ore, geohazard assessment & geotechnical projects, geochemical analysis and medical geology for next year.
An area of about 12800 sq. km is planned to be geologically mapped in different parts of the country. Around 200 samples will be taken in this time period while conducting this survey and geochemical analysis will be carried out.
Even though the operational funds provided in the regular budget are short to meet the project expenses, GSP aims to achieve technical targets in the upcoming financial year within the available resources.
The efforts will be concentrated towards mineral exploration and Geological mapping projects including iron ore, coal, copper, and gold in areas of Punjab and Balochistan province, while Lead-Zinc-Barite investigations will be carried out in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Sindh. There are great reserves of coal in Pakistsn.
It is assumed that there are over 25 Million metric tons of coal deposits. At current times, we are getting 20 thousand metric tons of coal yearly from these mines.
SECP amends PSX regulations governing brokers’ offices
ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in the meeting chaired by the Chairman SECP has accorded its approval for crucial amendments to the Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited (PSX) Regulations governing the opening of offices and branch offices by the securities brokers.
The amendments introduce stringent eligibility criteria for the opening of new offices/branches by securities brokers, said a statement issued by SECP here on Thursday.
In the earlier PSX Regulations, apart from the procedural and operational requirements, there was the absence of checks on a brokers’ compliance history and track record.
The amendments introduced by the SECP aim to address the apex regulators’ foremost concern that the frontline regulators instill stronger mechanisms for investor protection.
The regulations now require that any broker opening a new office/branch office must have an impeccable track record and compliance history in dealing with complaints and arbitration awards up to the satisfaction of the PSX.
The broker must also have no significant disciplinary action against it by the SECP, Exchange or CDC during the last three years for any material violations in relation to misuse or unauthorized use of customers’ assets or improper segregation of customers’ funds; or where it has been found that an unregistered or unauthorized person was involved in dealing with customers on commission basis for trading through the broker.
The amendments also require that any sponsor, director or senior management officer of the broker has not been engaged in the capacity of sponsor, director or senior management officer with any other broker declared defaulter by Exchange or NCCPL or whose TRE Certificate has been forfeited or canceled by the Exchange due to non-compliance of any applicable rules, regulations, notices, procedures, guidelines, etc.
The amendments also require periodic offsite monitoring of the offices/branches of securities brokers by PSX along with empowering PSX to take further appropriate actions in case of any violation/non-compliance of the Regulations.
The compliance officer of the broker has been obligated to conform to the Exchange on a bi-annual basis that the office or branch office of the broker is/are in compliance with the applicable regulations of SECP and Exchange. In case of any non-compliance, the compliance officer shall report the same to the broker, exchange, and SECP.
Most importantly, the revised regulations now require PSX to visit the brokers’ office prior to granting certificate of registration to confirm that the office/branch office fulfills the regulatory requirements including sufficient infrastructure, appropriate number of qualified personnel, sufficient systems for transmitting clients’ records to head office and the additional eligibility requirements mentioned in the regulations.
Over 162,471 intending pilgrims reach Saudi Arabia from Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: The pre-hajj flight operation is nearing completion as a total of 162,471 Pakistanis including 104,565 hajj aspirants of Government Scheme and 57,906 aspirants of Private Scheme have so far reached Saudi Arabia to perform the sacred religious ceremony of Hajj.
According to a Whatsapp message received from the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony over 2,183 Muavineen were busy in providing assistance to intending pilgrims.
The ministry had already established a toll-free helpline for the facilitation of pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.
Both governments as well as private scheme pilgrims can register their complaints on a toll-free dedicated number 800-1166622.
Call agents working on the helpline are working round the clock to facilitate intending pilgrims.
Hajj medical mission, set up by the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA) in Makkah Mukarramah, is catering to the healthcare needs of Pakistani pilgrims.
The helpline has so far received over 1352 calls of government and private scheme intending pilgrims, seeking guidance during their stay in Saudi Arabia.
The ministry has so far received over 674 complaints, out of which 485 have already been resolved up to the satisfaction of the complainants. The helpline has also received over 113 complaints regarding the quality of meals, out of which 100 were addressed promptly, work is continuing to resolve other complaints. 22 hajj aspirants have so far died, 12 pilgrims, have sustained injuries in various accidents. They have been buried in Jannat-ul-Baqi of Madina Munawwara and Sharai graveyard of Makkah.
Services of the Saudi king, leadership for Hujjaj highlighted!
JEDDAH: Saudi Minister of Information Dr. Awad bin Saleh Al-Awad thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, for the continuous efforts exerted by the Government of the Kingdom to provide the best services, security and safety for the Hujjaj during the current Hajj season.
The minister expressed these views Thursday during his visit to various media centres, set up in Hajj venues for coverage of Hajj 2018.
He specifically mentioned the harnessing of all the resources and facilitate for the performance of pilgrimage and access to the holy places for all Muslims without any discrimination.
Al-Awad pointed out that Saudi Arabia welcomes all Muslims in the world to perform the religious obligations, stressing its categorical rejection of attempts to politicize the Hajj or use it for purposes of disturbing this worship.
The visit was focused to find out the preparations to receive the local and global media for the great scene to the world at the headquarters of the Ministry of Radio and Television and the Saudi Press Agency and information centers in Arafat, Muzdalifah and Mina.
Al Awad said that the ministry has equipped several media centers in Makkah and holy places this year to serve its guests from journalists and media professionals from inside and outside the Kingdom, and provided them with all the services required for the press, technology, communication networks, computers and studios.
He pointed out that the Kingdom is hosting more than 800 media professionals from outside the Kingdom to cover the Manasik Hajj and highlight them in a professional manner, commensurate with the status of this great imitative and the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Al Awad added it is a great effort to host the great number of guests of the Lord and facilitate their obligatory performance, with six official radio stations and 10 international broadcasters in 10 languages, providing news bulletins and daily programs on Hajj, and 16 direct digital publishing channels in 6 languages, working around the clock covering the pilgrimage season in a creative, fast and innovative way.
Dr. Awad Al-Awad said that in recognition of the Ministry of Information’s effort of the importance of digital media and its influential role in the world of modern technology and the speed of its information delivery, it launched last year the International CIC and its account on Twitter @CICSaudi.
In order to strengthen relations with the international media, and to pursue a more open policy to the world public, and begin to broadcast information and documented data on the events and facts, humanitarian work and services performed in several languages, primarily in English, French and German.
The digital media for government communication center is to document the digital creative work of government agencies, and to highlight its efforts, and the dissemination of the media message of the Kingdom locally and internationally, and media work of government under a single platform template professional, in addition to the existing platforms bodies of the Ministry.
Al Awad reviewed the efforts exerted by the ministry’s departments and sectors to cover the pilgrimage with more than 1,000 administrative, media, technical staff, a number of media centers and studios in Makkah Al-Mukarramah, Madinah and the holy places.
The media centers have been equipped with a number of Saudi technicians, media professionals, editors, photographers and designers who have been invited to provide support and support to their fellow Arab and foreign journalists involved in Hajj coverage for conducting interviews with their guests.
The Minister of Information pointed out that the ministry chose its slogan for this year “the world in the heart of the Kingdom”, which derives its spirituality from the prayer of the father of the prophets Abraham (peace be upon him).
This slogan derives its credibility from the Kingdom’s achievements in expanding the two holy mosques and the development of the surrounding urban area, and the huge constructions and infrastructure in the holy sites.
Al-Awad praised the performance of the system of government agencies that work for the success of the Mecca Road Initiative, which comes in line with the direction of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Highness the Crown Prince, for the development that will facilitate the performance of the pilgrimage and upgrading the services provided to pilgrims.