WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday made a shock announcement she had “no more in the tank” to continue leading the country and would step down no later than early February and not seek re-election. Ardern, holding back tears, said that it had been a tough five and a half years as prime minister and that she was only human and needed to step aside. And for me, it’s time.”A ruling New Zealand Labour Party vote for a new leader will take place on Sunday; the party leader will be prime minister until the next general election. New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson, who also serves as finance minister, said in a statement he would not seek to stand as the next Labour leader. She has demonstrated that empathy and insight are powerful leadership qualities,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Thursday.
Iftikhar Ahmed’s quick-fire half-century and Shan Masood's anchor innings took Pakistan to 159/8 in the high-voltage T20 World Cup game against India at the MCG on Sunday. Being put into bat, Pakistan lost both openers, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, early in the innings. Shan Masood (52), and Iftikhar Ahmed (51) triggered a fightback, followed by Shaheen Afridi’s little cameo helping Pakistan to post a fighting total. FOUR: Kohli pulls Shaheen for the third boundary in the over. Iftikhar departs for 51.3 months ago Business Recorder
EDITORIAL: Preparations are underway for the forthcoming maiden visit of Shehbaz Sharif to China as the Prime Minister and the wish-list seeking additional investment/support submitted by the relevant departments/ministries is getting rather exhaustive. It includes Karachi circular railway, Karakoram highway, 10,000MW solar power projects and hydropower projects. From the Chinese side there is considerable pressure to make the payment of dues to Chinese companies operating in Pakistan for projects constructed under the umbrella of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). And further the report notes that the debt shows that China is playing a role similar to the IMF’s in Pakistan by providing financing during balance of payment crises rather than World Bank-style concessionary project financing. There is, therefore, a need for the government to get input from sector experts as well as the generalists in our ministries/departments.3 months ago Business Recorder
Within six weeks, the PM resigned, and now economic decisions are driving the politics there. Back home, populist fiscal decisions taken by successive governments (since Feb 2022) have turned difficult exogenous circumstances into a full-blown crisis of solvency. First, the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) government deviated from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) programme and froze petroleum and electricity prices. From Dr Hafeez Sheikh, Hammad Azhar, to Shaukat Tarin, Miftah Ismail and now finally, Ishaq Dar. When Dar took over, it was said that he would negotiate with the IMF like an equal.3 months ago Business Recorder
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque on Wednesday said that the government will finalise new social media rules within a month. Briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on IT, which met under the chairmanship of Mir Muhammad Jamali, the minister said that the federal cabinet approved Social Media Rules in 2020. He assured the committee that the recommendation on Social Media Rules will be presented before the cabinet soon for the approval and further legislation. The committee urged the ministry to take in-confidence all the stakeholders and include their proposals for a better legislation on Social Media Rules. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) updated the committee on actions taken for the improvement of Cybersecurity and Social Media Rules.3 months ago Business Recorder
On the other hand, however, the record of the World Bank on providing funding that allows better effort in dealing with climate change crisis, has also come into question. A recent article ‘World Bank criticised over climate crisis spending’ published by Guardian pointed out: ‘The World Bank has come under fire for failing to show that its claimed spending on the climate crisis is real, in a report suggesting up to 40% of its reported climate-related spending is impossible to account for. This shift is also important for much-needed resilient global and local supply chains in the face of climate change crisis, and geo-political tensions like the war in Ukraine. A clear ‘strategy’ with challenging ‘missions’ to reach climate change-related objectives, and for reducing vulnerability needs to be the approach that the fast-unfolding climate change crisis requires. This year saw extreme weather events, from heatwaves to floods to hurricanes, among others, and this is on top of the ongoing pandemic, which in turn has strong roots in climate change crisis itself.3 months ago Business Recorder
The GSP-Plus status holds significant importance for Pakistan’s economy as it has played a vital role in expansion of multilateral trade. She was speaking at a meeting at the offices of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) here on Thursday. Pakistan will have to re-apply for the GSP-Plus status and the decision will be taken by the EU Parliament in four to five months. During this period of application, Pakistan will be enjoying all the facilities under the GSP-Plus status, she added. She said that continuity of the GSP-Plus status is subject to ratification of five to six new conventions related to environment and social standards, in addition to the remaining 27.3 months ago Business Recorder
ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Finance (MoF) has asked Power Division to expedite measures to satisfy Chinese lenders on the Protection of Economic Reforms Act (PERA) to avoid any dispute in future, well informed sources told Business Recorder. Hubco argued that the overdue receivables from CPPA-G to Hubco and Hubco Narowal as of now are Rs 37 billion and Rs 11 billion, respectively, totalling Rs 48 billion. It will create serious adverse implications for Pakistan, as well as, energy security in the country,” said Kamal in his letter. The project has also completed the major requirements of Project Completion Date (PCD) including compliance with the stipulated financial ratios. Government of Pakistan has not defaulted on a single debt payment commitment of any Pakistani Independent Power Producer in the past.11 days ago Business Recorder