Pakistan’s oil industry faces collapse amid liquidity crunch
Pakistan’s oil companies have warned that the industry is on the “brink of collapse” as the dollar liquidity crisis persists and their cost of doing balloons due to the Pakistani rupees (PKR) devaluation.
To meet the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) demand, the government removed the dollar cap, resulting in the rupee falling to a historic low of 276.58 PKR in the interbank market, Geo News reported.
In a letter to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and Energy Ministry, the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) said that the “sudden depreciation” of the local rupee has caused losses worth billions of rupees to the industry as their letters of credit (LCs) are expected to be settled on the new rates, “whereas the related product has already been sold”.
The government has also restricted LCs due to dwindling foreign exchange reserves, which fell to $3,086.2 million as of January 27, and are enough for just 18.5 days, Geo News reported.
Pakistan is facing a balance of payments crisis and the plummeting value of the rupee is pushing up the price of imported goods.
Energy comprises a large chunk of Pakistan’s import bill.
Pakistan typically meets more than a third of its annual power demand, using imported natural gas, prices for which shot up following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
These losses, the OCAC said, not only have an impact on the profitability of the sector, which is already under severe pressure, but also on its viability since these setbacks in some cases might exceed the “entire year’s profit for the sector”, Geo News reported.
“It is requested to urgently revise this mechanism and ensure that exchange losses of the sector are fully reimbursed if the viability of the industry and supplies to retail outlets are to be ensured,” the OCAC told the authorities.
The letter mentioned that OGRA has adopted the practice of not fully passing on the impact of the rupee depreciation and instead putting an immense burden on the sector.
Due to the challenges still being faced by the sector of previous exchange rate adjustments and the enormous impact of the current depreciation, the OCAC said it is crucial that OGRA passes the impact of the exchange rates in one go and not stagger this compensation, Geo News reported.
The council added that due to an increase in oil prices and successive depreciation of the Pakistani rupee over the last 18 months, the trade finance limits available from the banking sector to the industry have become inadequate.
As a result of the recent devaluation alone, the LC limits have overnight shrunk by 15-20 per cent, the OCAC said.
Israeli PM sacks Defence Minister who urged a halt to judicial overhaul
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has fired Defence Minister Yoav Gallant after the latter called on the government to halt its contentious judiciary overhaul plan.
Netanyahu’s office issued a short statement late Sunday saying he decided to remove Gallant from his position, without citing any reasons, reports Xinhua news agency.
The move was largely seen as an indication that the Prime Minister’s coalition tries to push through key reform bills that are expected to be brought to parliamentary votes later this week.
Gallant responded in a tweet that Israel’s security “has always been and will always remain the mission of my life”.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israeli national security minister and a staunch supporter of the reforms, welcomed the dismissal of Gallant.
Opposition leader and Chairman of the centrist Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid criticised Netanyahu for firing Gallant, warning swift moves to overhaul judicial system are a threat to Israel’s security.
In a televised speech on Saturday, Gallant called for dialogue with opposition parties, and postponement of government efforts of pushing ahead with the plan until the Knesset reconvenes from its Passover holiday on April 30.
He was the first minister in Netanyahu’s far-right cabinet to break ranks and call for a freeze of the divisive plan to weaken the Supreme Court.
Gallant, a senior minister with Netanyahu’s Likud party, said that the overhaul plan has triggered turmoil in the Israeli society and military that poses a threat to national security.
Gallant was followed by two other Likud lawmakers and a minister, who issued similar calls to freeze the controversial plan.
The plan has sparked massive protests across Israel, and growing discontent in the Israeli military, with thousands of reservists with elite units, including combat pilots, intelligence officers, and cyber experts, announcing in open letters over the past weeks that they will not show up for duty if the reforms are passed in Parliament.
Netanyahu says the overhaul is needed in order to curb the “overly activist” Supreme Court.
Critics of the overhaul plan worry that the reform would undermine checks and balances within Israel’s political system, and that the Prime Minister, who is on trial for fraud, breach of trust, and accepting bribes, is in a conflict of interests.
Atif Aslam, wife Sara welcome baby girl in holy month of Ramzan
Pakistani playback singer Atif Aslam, who is known for chartbusters such as ‘Aadat’, ‘Bakhuda’, ‘Jeena Jeena’, ‘Jaane De’ and several others, has become a proud faher as he and his wife Sara Bharwana welcome a baby girl.
The ‘Tajdar-e-Haram’ hitmaker took to his Instagram on Thursday to share the news of his baby’s arrival with his fans. He posted a picture of his daughter wrapped up in pink colour baby sleepwear.
The baby is named Halima.
He wrote in the caption: “Finally the wait is over. The new queen of my heart has arrived.”
“Both baby and Sarah are fine Alhamdulilah. Please do remember us in your prayers. Ramadan Mubarak from Halima Atif Aslam 23/03/2023.”
He also added #Ramadan in the caption.
Atif has sung many songs in Bollywood films including ‘Tere Sang Yaara’ from ‘Rustom’, ‘Tu Jaane Na’ and ‘Tera Hone Laga Hoon’ from ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’ and ‘Tere Bin’ from ‘Bas Ek Pal’.
FIRST ROZA ON THURSDAY IN SAUDI ARABIA & JERUSALEM OR PALESTINE
JERUSALEM: The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Mohammad Hussein, declared that Thursday, March 23, will be the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.
RIYADH: The crescent moon was not sighted on Tuesday evening in Saudi Arabia and Thursday, March 23, will be the start of the holy month of Ramadan, the Kingdom’s Supreme Court has said.
The court called on all Muslims in the Kingdom to look for the Ramadan crescent on Tuesday evening that corresponds to Shaban 29, 1444.
The Ministry of Justice announced it has launched an electronic system for crescent sighting “with the aim of automating and governing the moon sighting processes, and unifying work procedures between the courts of first instance and the Supreme Court.”
The service aims to unify the data source of the observatory through a robust electronic system that provides speed and integration with the relevant authorities, raising the quality of the observatory operations, and speeding up the issuance of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding new moon sightings.
More than 1.9 billion Muslims around the world will mark the holy month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn until sunset.
Mira Bhayandar: 266 properties sealed as MBMC struggles to meet ₹200 Cr property tax collection target
Delhi HC stays FIR registration against Max Group owner’s son
Disrespect of national anthem complaint: Bombay HC refuses to grant relief to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
Mumbai: As IPL begins on March 31, bookies look to make a killing; online websites, apps under police surveillance
Mumbai: Shelar calls for SIT to probe ₹12,000 Cr BMC scam
First roza in Mumbai on 24th March: All india Sunni Jamiyat e ulama
MMRDA budget approved: 154th Authority Meeting MMRDA Chaired by Hon CM & attended by Dy CM and senior officials
Maharashtra bypoll results: BJP takes lead in Chinchwad assembly, Congress at Kasba Peth
FIRST ROZA ON THURSDAY IN SAUDI ARABIA & JERUSALEM OR PALESTINE
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