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Traders in Lahore staged a strike on Saturday to press the government to drop the 0.3-percent advance adjustable tax on banking transactions which is worth over Rs 50,000. A survey conducted by Business Recorder says all the major markets were largely shut. The markets included those on the Mall and Hall Roads, the Abid and the Currency Markets, Wahdat Road, Icchra, Ferozepur Road, Azam Cloth Market, Akbari Mandi, Shah Alam Market, Rang Mahal, Brandreth Road, the Jail Road, Liberty, Hafeez Centre, Karim Lock, Loha Market, Defence and Township Market.

The talks between government and All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA's) to postpone the latter's strike call of August 7 failed to produce results on Saturday after the Finance Ministry refused to accept industry's demand for withdrawal of recently imposed surcharges on electricity along with Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC).
New Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour called for unity in the movement Saturday in his first audio message since becoming head of the group that faces deepening splits following the death of longtime chief Mullah Omar. Barely a few hours after Mansour's appointment was announced on Friday, powerful rivals within the fractious Taliban questioned the selection process, saying it was rushed and even biased.
The Taliban Saturday denied reports of the death of the founder of Haqqani network, its allied militant group blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan. Some Pakistani media reported the death of Jalaluddin Haqqani, said to be in his 70s, on Friday when his son Sirajuddin was announced as one of the deputy chiefs of the Taliban following the death of its longtime leader Mullah Omar.
The appointment of Mulla Akhtar Mansour as the successor to Mullah Omar has fuelled divisions within the ranks of Afghan Taliban with many prominent Taliban reportedly challenging his appointment as the new chief of the movement. Sources close to Afghan Taliban claimed that a number of insurgent commanders are challenging the criteria of appointment of Mulla Mansour and are in favour of Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the eldest son of the late Taliban chief Mullah Omar, to take over the Taliban movement.
Imposition of three surcharges, higher energy consumption due to a heatwave and Ramazan, as well as the cessation of refund of Fuel Price Adjustment (FPA) in June 2015 are the major reasons behind doubling of electricity bills of consumers. Well-informed sources told Business Recorder that Power Distribution Companies (Discos) have sent higher bills to consumers primarily because around Rs 3 per unit surcharges were made part of regular tariff. Additionally, the government did not pass on to the consumers the impact of Fuel Price Adjustment (FPA).
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has imposed a fine of Rs 10.7 million on 12 Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) for overcharging the consumers during petrol crisis of January 2015. The Ogra on January 15, 2015 while taking serious notices of the petrol shortage which crippled upper parts of the country for almost two weeks, issued show-cause notices to OMCs which according to law were bound to keep at least 20 days stocks of the commodity.
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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyJuly 23, 2015
Reserves $18.677 bln