FBR set to implement SC order for IRAOs upgradation to BS-18

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): The FBR has assured Inland Revenue Audit Officers (IRAOs) for issuance of upgradation notification of IRAOs in BS-18 without delay. Sources said that a delegation of FBR Inland Revenue Audit Officers Association headed by M Afzal Malik, president of association, and Syed Abidullah Jan, general secretary, along with office bearers of association from all RTOs/LTUs across the country, met with Chairman FBR Nisar M Khan, Member (Admin) and Chief Management regarding implementation of their Supreme Court of Pakistan orders wherein the Court granted upgradation to IRAOs to BS-18. During the meeting, the management assured the IRAOs for implementation of orders of the apex court within a few days. The FBR authorities further assured to eliminate discrimination with IRAOs in field formations as FBR is committed to plan their career path after upgradation of their post to BS-18. More than 300 officers of sales tax approached the FBR on the issue of promotion without discrimination.


PIA inks contract with Sri Lankan Airlines for three A-330 aircraft

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Pakistan International Airline (PIA) is set to get three A-330 aircraft from Sri Lankan Airlines on wet lease after a contract to this effect was signed in Colombo on Friday. PIA CEO Bernd Hildenbrand and Sri Lankan Airlines chairman Ajith Dias signed the contract in the presence of Sri Lankan Airlines CEO Capt Suren Ratwatte. Under the contract, the first of these aircraft would be delivered during the next week, while the rest in following months. These aircraft are in brand new condition and would be used for PIA Premier service, allowing PIA to start regaining its market share. PIA Premier is scheduled to be launched on 14th August, initially only to London. There would be six weekly Premier Service flights to London, including three from Islamabad and three from Lahore. Later, with addition of more aircraft, the service would be expanded to other destinations. Chairman Azam Saigol appreciated the efforts of the PIA team led by Hildenbrand in finalizing this contract.


US economy grows at modest 1.2pc in second quarter

WASHINGTON (AFP): The US economy grew more slowly than expected in the second quarter of 2016, rising a modest 1.2 percent, according to an advance estimate released Friday by the Commerce Department. The department also revised first-quarter growth estimates for gross domestic product downward to 0.8 percent from 1.1 percent, reflecting results in residential investment, private inventories and exports that were poorer than previously reported. The second quarter results were well below analysts' expectations of 2.6 percent growth and could temper the cautious optimism expressed at this week's meeting of the US Federal Reserve. The Fed had left rates untouched but acknowledged a somewhat rosier economic picture, leaving open the possibility of rate increases in 2016 should conditions continue to improve. The results come in the middle of a hotly contested presidential election in which voters' economic prospects are a key issue.

"Today's report underscores that there is more work to do and the president will continue to take steps to strengthen economic growth and boost living standards," Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement issued by the White House.

The statement noted a strong rise in consumer spending at 4.2 percent.

The small rise in second-quarter growth reflected increases in consumer prices and exports and smaller drops in federal spending and non-residential fixed investment, according to the commerce department.

These gains were offset, however, by smaller spending from state and local governments as well as from companies.

- 'Reduced chance of rate hike' -

GDP is the broadest measure of the monetary value of goods and services produced across the economy, including consumer and government spending, private investment and exports.

Disposable personal income rose 3.1 percent to $106.3 billion, faster than the first quarter's revised estimate of 2.5 percent.

Personal savings were also down nearly 10 percent at $763.1 billion, according to the department.

Spending on national defense was down 3 percent, a lesser decrease than in the 3.2 percent seen in the first quarter.

The Commerce Department advance estimates are based on incomplete data and are subject to regular revisions.

"While no doubt disappointing, the GDP data are backward looking and whether or not the Fed hikes interest rates again this year depends more on the future data flow than what happened back in the second quarter," said Chris Williamson of IHS Markit.

"However, the ongoing softness of growth in the second quarter will no doubt add to calls for policymakers to err on the side of caution and as such greatly reduces the chance of any rate hike before December."

Analyst expectations had been wrongfooted by weaker-than-expected performance in businesses' fixed investments and private domestic investments, according to Michal Gapen of Barclays Research.

"The combined drag from these two items was about three times as large as we anticipated," he said in a research note.

"The picture from the corporate sector remains the same; weakness in manufacturing and energy, plus lackluster growth outside the US, has dampened the overall investment environment."

Nearly an hour into trading, Wall Street equities markets were less than exuberant, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down almost half of a percentage point at 18,377.08, the S&P down 0.22 percent at 2,165.20 and the Nasdaq down 0.15 percent at 5,147.42.


FFC announces Rs4.89b net earnings

ISLAMABAD (PR): Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC) has recorded half yearly net earnings of Rs 4.89 billion for the period ended June 30, 2016. According to a press release of the company, although the core business of the company witnessed significant decline due to adverse market conditions, however, the deficit has been bridged by highest ever dividend of Rs 2.27 billion received through associated companies. The company earned Rs. 3.85 per share, while declaring divided per share of Rs 1.55. The company created a new benchmark during the period in terms of highest ever urea production of 1.25 million tons with lowest shutdown periods which reflects operational excellence of our engineers and the management. FFC also achieved 12.6 million man-hours of safe operations without lost work injury. The rising inventory and high cost of production continue to pose substantial risk to the Company’s profitability. However, the management is committed to mitigate the negative impact of the current business environment through various strategies.