Important Business News 21th May, 2020

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01. WEF’s Covid-19 Action Platform Very serious situation for Pakistan’s economy: PM Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed upon the world leaders to forge a global response the coronavirus spectre. 01 Business Recorder
02. CPEC: Wells reiterates criticism of China Alice Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia at the US Department of State, Wednesday reiterated her country’s position on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and hoped that China would renegotiate the “predatory, unsustainable and unfair” lending and create a “fair and transparent” deal for the people of Pakistan. 01 Business Recorder
03. SC terms Covid-19 additional burden on economy The Supreme Court Wednesday noted that the Covid-19 has come as an additional burden on the federal government, and the manner in which this virus has started spreading in Pakistan, has set the alarm bells ringing. 01 Business Recorder
04. Train services resume after nearly 2 months Passengers train operation resumed partially on Wednesday after some eight weeks of continual suspension in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic. 01 Business Recorder
05. Rozgar Refinance Scheme SBP allows reimbursement of wages, salaries The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has allowed reimbursement of wages and salaries paid by businesses from their own sources during the April and May, under its Rozgar Refinance Scheme. 01 Business Recorder
06. PM inaugurates Telehealth Portal  Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his apprehension on Wednesday that the people may have to live with the virus for at least a year or as long as a vaccine was not made. 01 Business Recorder
07. Profit-taking sets in on PSX BRIndex100 retreats Pakistan Stock Exchange Wednesday witnessed a negative trend as investors opted to book profit. 01                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Business Recorder
08. ECC sets aside Rs10bn for Sukuk-II interest payment  A meeting of the Economic Coordin-ation Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has set aside Rs10 billion from Corona Relief Package for power sector’s energy Sukuk-II interest payment for a period of six months. 01 Business Recorder
09. Sukuk issue Rs200bn raised at less than Kibor rate: Power Division The Power Division Wednesday said that it has raised Rs200 billion though Islamic Sukuk at less than Kibor rate (minus Kibor). This was done though competitive book-building at Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) though an open and transparent process. 01 Business Recorder
10. Bank holidays The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and all banks will remain closed from 22nd to 27th May, 2020 (Friday to Wednesday) on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. 01 Business Recorder
11. Domestic flights PIA extends baggage limit  Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in order to facilitate domestic passengers during Eid-ul-Fitr has extended maximum allowable baggage limit to 35 kilograms from 20 kilograms on domestic flights. 02 Business Recorder
12. BRT project completion CM aide declines to give deadline Special Assistant to KP CM on Local Govt & Rural Development (LG&RD), Kamran Khan Bangash has declined to give deadline for the completion of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Peshawar project. 02 Business Recorder
13. Contractors, machinery on site to initiate construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam  Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda on Wednesday said the contractors and machinery had reached Chilas city in Gilgit-Baltistan to formally begin construction work on Rs1.4 trillion Diamer-Basha dam. 03 Business Recorder
14. Coordinated steps being taken to eradicate locust: Fakhar Minister for Food Security, Syed Fakhar Imam Wednesday said coordinated steps are being taken at the federal and provincial levels to eradicate locust. 03 Business Recorder
15. Newspaper holidays  The All Pakistan Newspapers Society said on Wednesday that it will observe two closed holidays on account of Eid-ul-Fitr. 04 Business Recorder
16. FPCCI budget proposal FBR urged to withdraw discretionary powers vested with tax officials  Mian Anjum Nisar, President and Zakaria Usman, Convener, Budget Advisory Council of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to withdraw the discretionary powers vested with the tax officials to avoid their misuse, provide relief to the taxpayers, simplify taxation law and restore the diminishing confidence of the assesses in the taxation laws – a pre-requisite for success of any scheme. 05 Business Recorder
17. Hub SEZ expected to create 90,000 jobs  Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Hub, Balochistan, is expected to create 90,000 jobs in 211 industrial units. 05 Business Recorder
18. Removal of IRSA members unconstitutional: Murtaza Spokesperson for the Sindh Government and Advisor on Law, Environment and Coastal Development Murtaza Wahab has said that the Sindh government has declared the decision of the federal cabinet to remove three IRSA members unconstitutional. 05 Business Recorder
19. Budget 2020-21 CGO 12 to be amended to dispose of seized cigarettes  To control the consumption of smuggled cigarettes, the government is planning to remove a major distortion in the customs laws during budget (2020-21), by amending a Customs General Order (CGO) 12 of 2002, which allows confiscated/seized smuggled cigarettes to be offered to the PIA/Duty Free Shops on appraised value with 25 percent discount. 15 Business Recorder
20. COVID-19 cases FBR bars tax men from closing offices sans approval The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Wednesday strictly barred field formations from unilaterally closing offices due to the coronavirus without taking prior approval of the headquarters. 15 Business Recorder
21. Transport Reduction in fares can help subdue inflation: Pasha The rate of inflation may come down to 6 percent from the current 8.5 percent if transport fares come down fully to reflect the saving in fuel costs of over 30 percent after reduction in the petroleum prices by the government since end of March, said renowned economist and former finance minister Dr Hafiz A. Pasha. 16 Business Recorder
22. Report on sugar crisis Special cabinet meeting today Prime Minister Imran Khan has convened a special cabinet meeting on Thursday (today) on much-awaited sugar report prepared by Sugar Commission. 16 Business Recorder
23. PTI MPA Shaheen Raza dies of coronavirus PTI MPA and member of Punjab Assembly Shaheen Raza passed away here at Mayo Hospital after having tested positive for the coronavirus. 16 Business Recorder
24. GST, FED payments for April Deadline extended till May 29 The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has extended the date for payment/submission of sales tax and federal excise duty for the tax period of April 2020. 16 Business Recorder
25. Wapda chief eyes dam diversions’ completion in three years Amid the launch of the construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam, the government on Wednesday said the decision to build it as a ‘roller compact concrete (RCC)’ structure was based on 20-year intensive scrutiny of technical and geological reports and feasibility studies by an international panel of experts. 03 Dawn
26. Rs432bn loan payments deferred so far: SBP The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Wednesday that Rs432 billion of principal repayments of loans have been deferred under its refinancing scheme for protecting businesses from the impact of Covid-19. 09 Dawn
27. Gwadar has transshipment potential: Razak Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Adviser Razak Dawood on Wednesday asked relevant stakeholders to reduce dwelling time of cargo handling at ports to facilitate trade. 09 Dawn
28. Competition Commission of Pakistan support sought to check anti-competitive practices Taking serious note of rising prices of essential items in urban areas of the country, the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) on Wednesday sought the support of Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to check anti-competitive practices. 09 Dawn
29. SECP to conduct hearings online The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) on Wednesday decided to conduct appellate bench hearings through video conferencing to facilitate companies and ensure health and safety. 09 Dawn
30. Aab-i-Pak Authority’s PC-I approved The Punjab Aab-i-Pak Authority’s board on Wednesday granted approval to authority’s PC-I and other administrative matters. 13 Dawn
31. Cambridge cancels face-to-face lectures until next summer Britain’s Cambridge University became one of the first in the world on Wednesday to announce that its lectures would be delivered online over the next academic year because of the coronavirus outbreak. 12 Dawn
32. NFC award The heated controversy between the federal government and opposition leaders on the seventh National Finance Commission (NFC) award raising the share of the provinces from the divisible pool of taxes to 57.5 percent (with a concomitant reduction of the federal share that, so it is argued, has disabled the centre from meeting its two major expenditure items 14 Business Recorder
33. Currency exchange rates   Countries  
U.S. U.K EURO CHINA SAUDIA ARABIA Symbol   $ £ ¥ ﷼, SR Rates   160.80 196.50 174.50 22.59 42.25
09 Business Recorder

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