Print - 2020-03-31
'Don't lay off your employees,' PM urges industrialists

'Don't lay off your employees,' PM urges industrialists

Announcing the establishment of "PM Corona Relief Fund", prime minister Imran Khan on Monday stated that State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had decided to provide cheap loans to the industries who would not be laying off their employees.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
US, Russia agree to oil market talks as Trump calls price war 'crazy'

US, Russia agree to oil market talks as Trump calls price war 'crazy'

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed during a phone call on Monday to have their top energy officials meet to discuss slumping global oil markets, the Kremlin said, as Trump called Russia's price war with Saudi Arabia "cra
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Brent hits 18-year low, US crude dips below $20/bbl

Brent hits 18-year low, US crude dips below $20/bbl

Global oil benchmark Brent crude plunged to its cheapest in 18 years on Monday, while US crude briefly tumbled below $20 per barrel, on heightened fears that the global coronavirus shutdown could last months and demand for fuel could decline further.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
21 deaths reported across country so far: Zafar

21 deaths reported across country so far: Zafar

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Monday said that so far 21 deaths had been reported in the country, adding in the coming days the number of recovered coronavirus patients would increase.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Pakistan to see marked weakening in debt metrics: Moody's

Pakistan to see marked weakening in debt metrics: Moody's

Pakistan would see a marked weakening in debt metrics because of large gross borrowing needs that raise interest payments when borrowing costs rise, and/or narrow revenue bases that push fiscal deficits wider when interest payments rise, says Moody's Inve
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Exporters seek coordinated 'Plan B'

Exporters seek coordinated 'Plan B'

The country's exporters have urged the federal government to prepare a coordinated "Plan B" by taking them on board to deal with devastating affects of COVID-19 on economy instead of just issuing statements.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
KSE-100 Index tumbles: BRIndex100 flat
Stocks

KSE-100 Index tumbles: BRIndex100 flat

Pakistan Stock Exchange Monday witnessed a declining trend as investors remained on the selling side due to their concerns over the deadly coronavirus spread.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Rs 1.2 trillion stimulus package approved by ECC

Rs 1.2 trillion stimulus package approved by ECC

A special meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Monday gave approval to the fiscal stimulus package of Rs1.2 trillion announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Passenger train operations will remain suspended: Rashid

Passenger train operations will remain suspended: Rashid

Passenger train operations will remain suspended due to rising tally of coronavirus pandemic; however, freight trains will continue as usual in order to ensure smooth supply of essential commodities across the country.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
SC restrains courts from releasing UTPs till April 1

SC restrains courts from releasing UTPs till April 1

The Supreme Court Monday, refrained high courts and the provincial, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and the Gilgit-Baltistan governments, from passing further orders to release under-trial prisoners in view of the coronavirus pandemic until April 1.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
NSS investors: Cabinet may approve amendments in rules today

NSS investors: Cabinet may approve amendments in rules today

The Federal Cabinet, which is scheduled to meet on Tuesday (today) with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, will approve amendments in rules regarding nominee in case of death of investor in National Savings Schemes (NSS), well-informed sources told <
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Facebook offers $100m to help virus-hit news media

Facebook offers $100m to help virus-hit news media

Facebook said Monday it was donating $100 million to support news organizations globally hurting from the coronavirus pandemic, citing the need for reliable information about the crisis.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Revenue collection: FBR asks govts to exempt tax officials from lockdown

Revenue collection: FBR asks govts to exempt tax officials from lockdown

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has requested the federal and the provincial governments to make the FBR's field offices (Customs/Inland Revenue) fully operational and exempt the tax officials of the FBR from lockdown to maximise revenue collection in
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
SKMT board member appointed BoI chairman

SKMT board member appointed BoI chairman

The federal government has appointed a board member of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust (SKMT) as Chairman Board of Investment (BoI). Federal Cabinet through a circular appointed Atif Bokhari as Chairman BoI. Atif Bokhari is part of 12-member honorary board
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Coronavirus spectre
Letters

Coronavirus spectre

Economists and industrialists had termed the 75 basis points (bps) reduction in policy rate by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) 'nominal' and a 'joke' and not an appropriate response to deal with the coronavirus challenge and domestic ground realities. A
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Origins and challenges of coronavirus pandemic
Articles

Origins and challenges of coronavirus pandemic

The current COVID-19 illness gripping the world is caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the second severe acute respiratory syndrome virus to emerge since 2002. As a result of its rapid spread, whole cities, regions, even countries are in lockdown, with
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Coronavirus: Economic impact and relief package
Articles

Coronavirus: Economic impact and relief package

The Coronavirus has already spread to 199 countries. The worst hit countries have been the EU countries, the US, China and Iran. The consequences are that normal economic activity, both in the domestic economy of these countries and their external economi
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Not letting our guard down

Not letting our guard down

The coronavirus pandemic fatalities toll in Pakistan is still comparatively low at 21 deaths so far, especially compared to countries like China, Italy, Spain and the US. But this should not lull us into complacency since the number of cases is still risi
Updated 02 Apr, 2020 09:14am
RFI from IMF

RFI from IMF

Managing Director International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva in a statement on Pakistan pledged disbursement of its Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) that would allow the government to meet "additional and urgent balance of payments needs and s
Updated 02 Apr, 2020 09:14am
Situation in the wake of resumption of international flights reviewed

Situation in the wake of resumption of international flights reviewed

A high-level meeting at the Foreign Office on Monday reviewed the situations in the aftermath of possible resumption of international flight operations from the country's airports after April 4, besides other steps to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pa
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
FBR extends deadline for filing goods declaration
Taxes

FBR extends deadline for filing goods declaration

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has extended time period for filing of goods declarations from existing 10 days of arrival of goods to 15 days, for all Import General Manifests (IGMs) filed between March 17, 2020, and April 2020.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Afghan peace process facing yet another setback

Afghan peace process facing yet another setback

The Afghan peace process is facing yet another setback after Taliban rejected President Ashraf Ghani's 21-member negotiation team for an intra-Afghan dialogue aimed at ending the 19-year long conflict in war-torn Afghanistan.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
ICT Admn designates three more buildings as quarantine centres

ICT Admn designates three more buildings as quarantine centres

With the number of coronavirus cases soaring to more than 1,690 in the country and 51 in the capital city, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration on Monday declared three more buildings as quarantine centres and in addition to these centres,
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Murad orders withdrawal of FIRs against Imams of mosques

Murad orders withdrawal of FIRs against Imams of mosques

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the IG of police to withdraw all the FIRs registered against the Imams of mosques and others for allegedly violating the code of conduct devised for Friday prayers.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Dua Mangi identifies kidnappers before court

Dua Mangi identifies kidnappers before court

Dua Mangi has identified the kidnappers, who abducted her on November 30, last year, outside a restaurant in Defense House Authority, on Monday.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Over 5,000 drivers, helpers remain stranded on Afghan border

Over 5,000 drivers, helpers remain stranded on Afghan border

Despite the announcement of reopening of the Pak-Afghan border by Prime Minister Imran Khan on March 20, over 1,700 loaded vehicles are still stranded, increasing the chances of COVID-19 outbreak in the border areas.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Mayor fixes five graveyards

Mayor fixes five graveyards

Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar Monday fixed five graveyards of the city for those who die of the novel coronavirus, saying that only few relatives of the deceased would be allowed to attend funerals.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Covid-19: ADB approves further $2 million grant
Money & Banking

Covid-19: ADB approves further $2 million grant

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Monday approved a further $2 million grant to support the Government of Pakistan's efforts to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country, said a press release issued on Monday.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
PepsiCo launches 'Million of Meals' programme
Business & Economy

PepsiCo launches 'Million of Meals' programme

PepsiCo Pakistan Monday announced launching of 'Million of Meals' programme, an emergency disaster relief package, to meet essential nutrition needs of impacted people all over the country.Through this programme, PepsiCo is partnering with reputed charita
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
21 new cases of local transmission in Karachi

21 new cases of local transmission in Karachi

As many as 21 new cases of local transmission of coronavirus cases appeared in Karachi taking the tally to 535 of Sindh. According to the health department, some 41 patients of the deceases have been cured.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
ICT to install 20 sanitizing walk-through gates

ICT to install 20 sanitizing walk-through gates

The Islamabad Capital Administration (ICT) on Monday has decided to install 20 sanitizing walk-through gates at different prominent locations of the city to control the spread of coronavirus. The work on installation of sanitizing walk-through gates has b
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
IT, ITeS export remittances surge 26.24 percent
IT & Computers

IT, ITeS export remittances surge 26.24 percent

Pakistan's information technology (IT) and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) export remittances have surged to $887.470 million at a growth rate of 26.24 percent during the first eight months of the fiscal year 2019-2020, compared to $702.990 million during the
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Death toll in Lahore reaches four, seven in Punjab

Death toll in Lahore reaches four, seven in Punjab

The death toll on account of novel coronavirus has reached to four in Lahore, seven in Punjab and 20 across the country, as a 41-year patient died here at Mayo Hospital on Monday.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
COVID-19 diagnostic lab inaugurated

COVID-19 diagnostic lab inaugurated

Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad inaugurated a diagnostic laboratory to test samples of suspected patients of COVID-19 at Centre for Applied Molecular Biology (CAMB) here on Monday.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Businessmen want substantial package: FEBR
Business & Economy

Businessmen want substantial package: FEBR

The business community has expressed dissatisfaction over the financial package announced by the government to cope with the challenges posed by coronavirus, saying it must have taken more steps to give maximum relief to the poverty-stricken people.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Khokha owners multiply prices of cigarettes and paan

Khokha owners multiply prices of cigarettes and paan

The 'khokha' owners in the provincial capital have significantly increased the prices of both local and imported (duty free) cigarettes and paan after the government imposed a 14-day lockdown in Punjab amid growing spread of coronavirus outbreak.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
LGH to set up corona wards in private hospitals

LGH to set up corona wards in private hospitals

The administration of Lahore General Hospital has completed the pre-arrangements of setting up corona wards and ICUs in two nearby private hospitals and also finalised the duty roster of doctors and paramedics in this regard.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
2,400 medical stores go on strike in Balochistan

2,400 medical stores go on strike in Balochistan

More than 2,400 medical stores across Balochistan including Quetta shut down their businesses on Monday due to the complete strike in protest against sealing of three medical stores by the authorities in Quetta.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
An alternate sales tax refund system for exporters
Taxes

An alternate sales tax refund system for exporters

The current system of sales tax refunds for value added textile exports is not working. It has been over eight months that the government has devised a computerized refund system, which in theory should process the exporter's application in 72 hours witho
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Singapore eases monetary policy
Money & Banking

Singapore eases monetary policy

Singapore's central bank eased monetary policy Monday as the city-state, seen as a bellwether for the health of global trade, heads for a deep recession due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
France urges companies to not pay dividends
Global Business Economy

France urges companies to not pay dividends

France stepped up Monday its calls for firms using state aid to keep afloat during the coronavirus crisis to not pay out dividends to shareholders this year.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
London's Ritz Hotel sold to Qatari investor
Global Business Economy

London's Ritz Hotel sold to Qatari investor

Luxury London hotel The Ritz, currently shut owing to the coronavirus outbreak, has been sold to a Qatari buyer, lawyers overseeing the deal have confirmed, for reportedly just under $1.0 billion.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Lebanon banks halt dollar withdrawals
Money & Banking

Lebanon banks halt dollar withdrawals

Banks in cash-strapped Lebanon have suspended dollar withdrawals until the airport reopens, a banking source said on Monday, after authorities grounded flights to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
EU suspends slot rules for airlines
Global Business Economy

EU suspends slot rules for airlines

The EU on Monday suspended its "use-it-or-lose-it" rules governing slots at airports in an emergency measure for airlines already largely grounded by the coronavirus crisis.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Eurozone sentiment in record plunge
Global Business Economy

Eurozone sentiment in record plunge

Eurozone sentiment suffered its steepest ever monthly decline in March as the coronavirus led to declining confidence among consumers and all sectors of the economy, in many cases even before crippling lockdowns were imposed.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
China slashes rate, pumps $7 billion into market
Money & Banking

China slashes rate, pumps $7 billion into market

China's central bank on Monday cut an interest rate on loans to banks by the largest margin in five years and injected 50 billion yuan ($7 billion) into the financial system to help the world's second-largest economy weather the coronavirus impact.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
One dead, 127 hurt in China passenger train derailment

One dead, 127 hurt in China passenger train derailment

One person was killed and 127 injured when a passenger train derailed in central China on Monday after striking debris from a landslide that had fallen to the track, the state-run railway system said.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Greek resistance hero Glezos dies

Greek resistance hero Glezos dies

Greece's foremost anti-Nazi resistance hero Manolis Glezos died in a hospital Monday at the age of 97, state TV ERT said. ERT said the wartime icon, who had been hospitalised earlier this month with gastroenteritis and a urinary infection, had died of hea
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Somali governor killed in Al-Shabaab suicide blast

Somali governor killed in Al-Shabaab suicide blast

A governor in Somalia's Puntland has been killed in a suicide bombing claimed by the al-Shabaab jihadist group, police and hospital sources said Monday. Abdisalan Hassan Hersi, governor of Nugaal region, succumbed to his injuries after being rushed to hos
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Prince Charles out of virus isolation

Prince Charles out of virus isolation

Prince Charles, the eldest son and heir of Queen Elizabeth II, is no longer in quarantine after showing mild coronavirus symptoms, his office said on Monday. "Clarence House has confirmed today that, having consulted with his doctor, the Prince of Wales i
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Taliban kill dozens of Afghan forces in two attacks

Taliban kill dozens of Afghan forces in two attacks

The Taliban have killed about two dozen Afghan police and pro-government fighters, officials said Monday, in two attacks that come as the foes are supposed to be preparing for peace talks.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
AI tool predicts which coronavirus patients get deadly 'wet lung'

AI tool predicts which coronavirus patients get deadly 'wet lung'

Researchers in the US and China reported Monday they have developed an artificial intelligence tool that is able to accurately predict which newly infected patients with the novel coronavirus go on to develop severe lung disease.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Coronavirus deaths top 35,000 worldwide, most in Europe

Coronavirus deaths top 35,000 worldwide, most in Europe

More than 35,000 people have died worldwide from the coronavirus pandemic since it emerged late last year in China, most of them in Europe, according to an AFP tally at 1615 GMT Monday using official figures.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Turkey provisionally buys wheat
Commodities

Turkey provisionally buys wheat

Turkey's TMO state grain board has provisionally purchased about 175,000 tonnes of wheat in a series of tenders that closed on Friday, European traders said.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
CBOT soyabean futures firm
Commodities

CBOT soyabean futures firm

Chicago Board of Trade soyabean futures edged higher on Friday, supported by technical buying and worries that measure to curb the coronavirus pandemic could curb South American soya shipments, traders said.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
PMEX daily trading report
Commodities

PMEX daily trading report

On Friday at Pakistan Mercantile Exchange Limited, PMEX Commodity Index closed at 3,539. The traded value of metals, energy and COTS/FX was recorded at PKR 5.225 billion and the number of lots traded was 9,443.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Asia's naphtha dives; virus worries hurt gasoline
Energy

Asia's naphtha dives; virus worries hurt gasoline

Asia's naphtha crack dived 62% to end the week at a three-session low of $9.08 a tonne on worries that a bleak economic outlook could prompt crackers to keep their throughput at reduced rates.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Activities at Karachi Port and Port Qasim
Business & Economy

Activities at Karachi Port and Port Qasim

The Karachi Port handled 68,814 tonnes of cargo comprising 36,939 tonnes of import cargo and 31,875 tonnes of export cargo including 3,187 loaded and empty containers during the last 24 hours ending at 0700 hours on Monday.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Absence of growers may delay cotton sowing
Cotton & Textile

Absence of growers may delay cotton sowing

In the absence of required number of farmers and growers in the field may cause delay in cotton sowing, leading sources informed on phone on Monday. The official spot rate was unchanged at Rs8800, dealer said.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
CBOT corn futures lower ahead of USDA data
Commodities

CBOT corn futures lower ahead of USDA data

Chicago Board of Trade corn futures ended lower on Friday on position-squaring ahead of the weekend and the US Department of Agriculture's March 31 US planting intentions and quarterly stocks reports, traders said.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Euronext wheat futures rise on brisk demand
Commodities

Euronext wheat futures rise on brisk demand

Euronext wheat futures rose on Friday, supported by brisk export demand for European Union origins and a Russian proposal to set a grain export quota that kept attention on potential supply tensions from the coronavirus epidemic.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Japanese shares drop
Stocks

Japanese shares drop

Japanese stocks retreated on Monday as the coronavirus outbreak worsened over the weekend and more countries imposed or tightened lockdown measures, raising fears that Tokyo could also go into its first-ever lockdown.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
China shares down
Stocks

China shares down

China stocks ended lower on Monday as investor concerns over coronavirus-driven global shutdowns overshadowed an unexpected rate cut by the country's central bank. At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.9% at 2,747.21.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
FTSE 100 moves higher
Stocks

FTSE 100 moves higher

The UK's exporter-heavy FTSE 100 closed higher on Monday, helped by a jump in AstraZeneca's shares and a weaker pound, but the prospect of a prolonged coronavirus-led shutdown in Britain weighed on midcap shares.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am
Southeast Asian markets fall
Stocks

Southeast Asian markets fall

Southeast Asian stock markets closed lower on Monday as rising cases of the coronavirus in the region deepened fears of economic damage, with investors looking past moves by governments and central banks to combat the pandemic.
Published 31 Mar, 2020 12:00am