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SECP revamps IPO regime to attract new listings

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The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has revamped initial public offering (IPO) regime to make the IPO process simple, cost effective and more efficient. The amendments in IPO Regulations 2017, have been made after thorough consultation with market participants with an objective to promote capital formation by facilitating issuers and safeguarding the interest of general public by enhancing disclosures. In the new set of regulations, the objective eligibility criteria for listing of companies have been simplified to promote capital formation through securities market.

Moreover, the issuers that have a track-record of less than three years and were not making profit from last two years are allowed to raise capital from securities market. However, such Issuers are required to submit a business plan and provide enhanced risk disclosures in the offering document for prospective investors. Further, with perspective of providing ease and reducing cost of IPOs, the requirement of submitting audited accounts has been reduced from 5 to 2 years. In addition, the time frame relating to submission of progress report by the Issuer has been increased from quarterly to half yearly basis. To safeguard the interest of the general public, certain parameters for green field projects (GFPs) have been introduced.

The said parameters include: (i) At least 51% equity contribution by the sponsors; (ii) successful business track record of the sponsors; (iii) experience and skills of the management to run GFP; (iv) mandatory financial close; (v)risk-based disclosure in the offering document etc. Further, an exit offer mechanism has been introduced to protect the investors in case of change in the principal purpose of the issue. In order to encourage foreign investment in the country, the Book Runner has been allowed to waive the margin requirement of the institutional investors including foreign investors.

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Moreover, related parties have been allowed to perform different roles in the same IPO Transaction. The new IPO regime is a shift towards disclosure-based regime. Disclosures pertaining to principal purpose of the issue, risk factors, share capital, financial information, management of the issuer, legal proceedings and overdue loans are made part of the prospectus. A new section Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan NICL Building, 63 Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad Tel: 051-9214005 titled summary of the Prospectus has been introduced to help investors better understand the offering document. Moreover, to facilitate small enterprises, startups and Greenfield companies that aspire to raise funds through capital markets, the SECP has already introduced an alternate board namely Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) at PSX. The GEM is in addition to PSX’s main board for listing and trading of equity securities.

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President Dr Arif Alvi has called for discouraging the culture of fake news

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President Dr Arif Alvi has called for discouraging the culture of fake news as it creates chaos in the society as well as misleads the people. He said that the media needed to play its role in promoting ethical and moral values and avoid spreading false information. He urged Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to improve standards of information, education and entertainment by optimizing the free flow of information.

He expressed these views while talking to the Chairman PEMRA, Mr. Muhammad Saleem Baig, who called on him, at Aiwan-e-Sadr, today. The Chairman PEMRA presented the Annual Report 2019-2020 to the President and briefed him about the role of his organization in facilitating and promoting free and independent electronic media in Pakistan.

He also highlighted the steps taken for promoting true and accurate information in the country. Talking to the Chairman PEMRA, the President said that the society was facing the challenge of false news and it was the responsibility of the concerned stakeholders to avoid disseminating fake news as it created many problems for the people.

He added that spreading false news was against the spirit of Islam and it was the moral obligation of editorial boards of Media Houses as well as Ulema to play their role in guiding and educating the people to overcome the challenge of false news. He urged Chairman PEMRA to ensure the dissemination of unbiased, accurate and verified information through electronic media so as to curb the scourge of fake news. The President appreciated the performance of PEMRA and assured the Chairman of his full support.

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Education

What is the future of education?

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               “Education is the question of Life and Death for us: –Quaid-e-Azam

Education is the backbone of any country and plays a pivotal role in shaping the future course of the nations in the world. Education builds the nation’s roots deeper and stronger and prepares them for the competitive and contemporary world. It is because of Education.

There is the debate that is the traditional approach to education still relevant in the age of Are traditional approaches to education still relevant in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Fred Swaniker. He negates the idea by saying don’t think so.

Fred Swankier: “It starts with recognition amongst all educators that the world is changing. To prepare people for the future, you need to design an education system that is forward-looking and not backwards-looking.”

According to educational experts that in today’s world, artificial intelligence, robotics and industrial revolution has bestowed the nations with tremendous growth and innovation in education and teaching methodologies. The rapid development is also caused by the advancement in science and technology and space engineering. Scientists have done a marvellous job in changing the landscape of the world with innovative inventions all because of imparting quality education especially the higher education in the universities. This requires a reorientation all the way from early childhood education to primary school to university education. It means encouraging flexibility rather than specialization. It requires training and retraining teachers, as well as redesigning education systems and curricula.

In order to have a futuristic outlook, we need to reimagine and innovate education with the support of ICT (Information Communication Technology that may reshape the future world of Education and make it paper free for the students by providing Digital Education that knows no boundaries at all.  We need to make the learning fun, excitement and interesting so that our parents may not force their children to seek education. Instead, the students go on their own and learn through gadgets.

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In this connection, there need to be overhauling at every level of education from primary to Secondary, College and University level buy designing futuristic course materials with help of experts and training the teachers in the lines of the future generation. Since the communication gateways are flowing like rivers and every person wants to quench his thirst for education with the standard dose of materials developed by the experts. The Startups and Business innovation Ideas should be promoted so that we can produce entrepreneurs for running businesses like Yahoo, Google, Apple, PayPal and Microsoft. We need more standard companies like these by young entrepreneurs so that they may create jobs and do not seek jobs. This approach will change the real face of the countries especially the developing countries.  

Education should be skillet based not just theoretical that destroys prime years of innovation. We need to bring the expert brains to the classroom that can teach the future generations the most latest and advanced Knowledge so that they may take the nation to heights of success.  The societal development should also be focused so that barriers to female education may clear and thus participatory development will boost the economy of the country. Education will help increase the knowledge economy and will definitely in taking informed forecasting and budgeting needs of the nations.

Finally, Education Never ends, it is a life long process. It helps you to focus on what is important for learning and what is not. Every Individual learns a lot from the experiences, schooling at classroom and projects they work on. So, it could be said that you learn a variety of things during learning. Even in a professional career, you attend training and workshop to boost your Knowledge and wisdom. So it is evident from the above discussion that Education is a lifelong process and the future of education bright and the world without education is like a room without light.

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Economy

PM says Tarin’s appointment aimed at boosting growth, containing inflation

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Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said cartels and monopoly as witnessed in the case of sugar mills resulted in inflation. The appointment of Shaukat Tarin as finance minister aimed at controlling inflation and increasing the growth rate. The prime minister made these remarks in a live telephonic call session with the general public. This was the third such interactive session titled ‘Aap ka Wazir-e-Azam, Aap ke Sath’, where the prime minister took questions from people through live phone calls and responded to questions.

On petroleum prices, he said the government had kept the price of commodity lower as compared to India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China, United States, Turkey, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Bhutan so as to avoid burden on consumers.

Worldwide, he said, the prices of commodities went up during the pandemic, including gas by 60 percent, food 29 percent, metal 41 percent, crude oil 84 percent, cotton 44 percent, palm oil 54.8 percent, soya bean oil 36.6 percent and sugar 14.5 percent. According to a Bloomberg report on food inflation and agricultural sub-index, Pakistan still kept the prices low, he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said with solid steps, the government had achieved remarkable economic growth in diverse sectors.

Through reforms the economic losses of public corporations had been reduced from Rs 286 billion to Rs 143 billion, the current account deficit remained in surplus for the last 10 months and the foreign exchange reserves increased to $15.6 billion.

“During the pandemic situation when the whole world is facing financial crunch, our government has saved the economy,” he said.

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He acknowledged that the financial assistance from Saudi Arabia and China also helped Pakistan gain the economic stability.

Imran Khan said now the rupee had strengthened against dollar at Rs 152, exports increased by 13.5 percent, the Euro bond helped gain $2.5 billion and the revenue of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) rose by 11 percent.

The textile and cement industries, he said, witnessed a boom, while the local car manufacturing was recorded at 18 percent. The Pakistan Stock Exchange showed a bullish trend by 66 percent increase as per Bloomberg and the information technology exports increased by 44 percent.

Imran Khan said incentives in the housing sector had encouraged economic activity and the banks were offering loans for the construction of houses. He acknowledged the role of courts in the passage of foreclosure law of banks, which, he said, had greatly helped in materialization of the low-cost housing project.

Responding to a caller who complained about delay in a housing project for government employees in Bhara Kahu (Islamabad), he advised his staff to note the matter for further pursuance.

To overcome issues of water shortage and sanitation, he said the government was making master plans of cities and had also allowed vertical construction to maximum accommodate the population. Imran Khan said lack of planning and civic infrastructure had led to improper expansion of metropolitan cities. Dams were being constructed to overcome water scarcity, he said, adding a special arrangement for water supply to Islamabad was in progress.

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