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Nov 162017
 

Expats can apply online to get multiple cards issue resolved, The Express Tribune has reported

Overseas Pakistanis can now apply online for getting DUP clearance after the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) revised its relevant policy to facilitate the expatriate community.

A citizen obtaining two or more identity cards or certificates with different identity numbers is marked DUP in the NADRA database.

NADRA provided the online application facility in view of the hurdles faced by overseas Pakistani in getting their multiple identity cards issues resolved.

Talking toThe Express Tribune, Hafiz Ahsaan Khokhar, senior adviser law and grievance commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis, said that the Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman)’s Secretariat had issued letters to all Pakistani missions abroad, requesting them to display guidelines and information for all those facing the issue.

He said over the past many years, the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat had received a huge number of complaints from the overseas Pakistanis holding multiple identity cards with different particulars.

“Due to this, millions of overseas Pakistanis, especially living in USA and European countries, were facing numerous issues for the issuance of passports, visas or nationalities,” he said.

The Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat would now monitor the entire process and help overseas Pakistanis in the process, he said.

 Posted by at 9:43 am
Sep 082017
 

PR

Due to the intervention of Overseas Pakistanis Commission (OPC) Punjab, as many as 34 Properties worth 240 million rupees have been retrieved from illegal pocession during the last two weeks. Vice chairperson OPC, Shaheen Khalid Butt while giving details in this regard revealed that the properties situated in Lahore, Gujranwala, Multan, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad Divisions were under illegal occupation. OPC with the assistance of relevant District overseas Pakistanis committees got the said properties vacated and handed over to original owners. He said the OPC is a flagship initiative of Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and under his dynamic leadership; OPC is pursuing a vigorous policy to address the issues of expatriate Pakistanis. Shaheen Khalid Butt further said that DOPCs are also playing an active role to address the issues faced by overseas Pakistanis and they can contact OPC anytime for the solution of their problems.

 

The Mechanism of complaint redressal is stated below:

Overseas Pakistanis can lodge their complaints to OPC through any one of three modes:

  • OPCComplaint Portal, from anywhere in the world.
  • OPC 24/7 Helpline, UAN: +92 42 111 672 672
  • OPC Helpdesk established in OPC office at 1- Club Road, GOR-I, Lahore

Once the complaint is received at OPC complaint portal it is scrutinized whether;

The complainant is an Overseas Pakistani as defined in Punjab Overseas Pakistanis Commission Act, 2014.

Complainant has provided/attached all the relevant documents/information necessary for complaint processing.

If any of these two requirements are not met, complainant is asked to provide the missing details through phone, email and User Feedback box of OPC complaint portal. The complaint remains pending till the complainant provides the required details.

Depending on the issue involved, a complaint received to the Commission may be referred for redressal either to a Government Department or District Overseas Pakistanis Committee (DOPC). It is the prerogative of the Commissioner OPC to decide where a complaint is to be referred. The Director General OPC also enjoys this right.

After the required documents/ information is provided the complaint is “Referred” online to the concerned District Overseas Pakistanis Committee (DOPC) or Government Department for its redress in a month time, with an initial response time of 7 days. The complaint is assigned to a “Dealing Officer” (an officer of OPC) who is responsible for tracking the progress of complaint redress process and coordinates between complainant and the DOPC/Department.

The District Overseas Pakistanis Committee or the department processes the complaint, calls in reports from field formation, summons and hears both parties in its meeting to resolve the issue.

A report is submitted to OPC and complaint is “Referred Back” on the complaint portal after finalization of the complaint redress process.

Performance of DOPC/Department is reviewed constantly and reminders are issued if complaint is not resolved in stipulated time.

The final report by the DOPC/Department is scrutinized by the OPC and if the complainant is satisfied and confirms that his/her grievance has been redressed, the complaint is tagged as “Resolved”, by the Commissioner.

If OPC or complainant feels that District Committee or Department has not done enough and complaint is not redressed, it is again referred to DOPC/Department.

In the whole process of redressal the complainant can remain updated through, User Feedback box of OPC complaint portal. Overseas Pakistanis are also welcome to visit the OPC office for this purpose.

 

 

 Posted by at 2:54 pm
Aug 312017
 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s economic managers are all set to launch a major scheme for luring commercial banks to establish joint ventures with hundreds of branches of international banks operating at selected destinations in Gulf, Europe, USA, Malaysia and others to boost up remittances from overseas workers through official banking channels.

The government will bear the cost to incentivise the commercial banks to ensure speedy delivery of money in each nook and corner of Pakistan. These commercial banks will have to establish joint ventures with branches of hundreds of international banks located at desired destinations in a bid to reduce the patronage of Hundi and Hawala businesses.

The country’s remittances from overseas Pakistanis stood at $19.303 billion in the fiscal year 2016-17 against $19.917 billion in the previous fiscal, indicating that the growth in remittances almost got choked.

In the wake of rising current account deficit and choking of remittances growth in recent years, the Ministry of Finance and State Bank of Pakistan are working together for finalising a scheme to boost up remittances from selected destinations where Pakistani workers in the range of around 8 million are working and remitting money from abroad. “There will be cost involved in this proposed scheme and a few billion rupees will be utilised to increase the workers’ remittances in the range of $2 to $3 billion on annual basis,” top official sources confirmed to The News here on Tuesday.

The approval of Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar is awaited for moving ahead with this proposal, the official said and added that Gulf region, European Union, USA, Canada and Malaysia would be given top priority. The major attractive destinations are Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and other parts of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Pakistan’s remittances had reached $ 14.1 billion during July-March FY2017 as compared to $14.387 billion and registered a negative growth of 2.3 percent as compared to the last year. Year on year basis remittances inflow dropped marginally by only 1 percent, however on month on month basis March-February about 20 percent of increase is recorded.

The trend was projected to continue in coming months. The major share of remittances originate from Saudi Arabia 29.01 percent (US$ 4,078.07 million), UAE 22.23 percent (US$ 3,124.40 million), USA 12.3 percent (US$1,729.60 million), other GCC countries 12.14 percent (US$1,706.04 million), UK 11.77 per cent (US$1,655.06 million), EU 2.37 percent (US$332.54 million) and other countries 10.19 percent.

Remittances during July-March FY2017 have declined by 6.23 percent from Saudi Arabia, 2.5 percent from the UAE, 8.5 percent from United Kingdom, 3.8 percent from other GCC countries, and 6.9 percent from USA, while from other countries and EU countries it increased by 29.17% and 16.29%, respectively compared to the same period last year. However, during July-March FY2017, remittances declined due to inflows drop from all the three major corridors — the GCC, US and UK. Decline in remittances from Saudi Arabia along the GCC was on account of slow economic activities in these countries along with fiscal consolidation due to decline in oil prices. Due to seasonal factors like Ramadan and Eid, the flow of remittances increased as workers remit more money due to which remittances declined in the first quarter. This will be offset by growth in remittances during coming months.

For the US, it was the tightening regulatory environment for anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) that has contributed to lower inflows. The main reason for the decline from the UK was the Pound’s depreciation against the US dollar following the Brexit vote on June 23, 2016; this had led to a significant drop in the dollar value of remittances sent from the UK.

However, Pakistan’s official circles believed that the development activities under Saudi Arabia’s vision 2030 which provides a roadmap for Kingdom’s development and economy for next 15 years, the FIFA world Cup 2022 in Qatar and Expo 2020 in Dubai would create more labor demands for Pakistani workers thus remittances could boost up in months and years ahead. The News

 Posted by at 11:23 pm
Aug 282017
 

The Habib Bank Limited has announced its decision to wind up operations in New York following intimation from the state’s financial regulator as it seeks to impose a hefty penalty of nearly $630 million on the bank, it emerged on Monday.

The fine is going to be imposed for violation of the compliance programme, according to the NYDFS.

The bank management has informed the Pakistan Stock Exchange of the incident and pledged to immediately seek recourse from the concerned authorities. After the decision of imposing the fine, the bank has decided to voluntarily close down its operations in New York.

“HBL has voluntarily decided to close its operations in New York in an orderly manner and DFS has allowed HBL to submit a voluntary application for the orderly winding down operations in New York,” said the letter from the bank management to the PSX.

The letter termed the civil monetary penalty of up to $629,625,000 “outrageous”.

“HBL shall vigorously contest this in the scheduled administrative hearing and the courts of law in the US as being unjustified, capricious, unreasonable not supported by facts or law and as being time barred.

There will be no material impact on HBL’s business outside of the US and HBl will continue to service the requirements of its domestic and international customers, including US dollar business,” the letter states further.

The bank has also lodged an appeal against the decision with the DFS, which has accepted the application for winding down the branch.

The bank has also released a detailed response to the incident.

It clarified that a penalty has not been imposed but it is, in fact, a ‘notice of hearing’ that seeks to impose a civil monetary penalty. “Payment of penalty is subject to the approval of the State Bank of Pakistan,” it said.

It explained that the timeline of withdrawal of business in New York will be determined in consultation with the regulators.

 Posted by at 2:56 pm
Aug 222017
 

Pakistanis working abroad will no longer be required to sign up for a National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP), officials from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) told lawmakers on Monday.

An amendment to the NADRA Ordinance to remove the condition for Pakistanis working abroad has been sent to the interior ministry for approval, NADRA officials informed the National Assembly’s Committee on Overseas Pakistanis during a briefing.

The fee to obtain a NICOP will also be reduced, the committee was told.

Obtaining, modifying or renewing a NICOP can cost over Rs10000 according to the fee structure currently imposed by NADRA available on its website. Dawn report

 Posted by at 1:26 am
Jul 292017
 

Mayor of Islamabad and Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA), Sheikh Anser Aziz has approved new SOPs to ensure the allotment of plots to the affectees of Islamabad in a transparent manner.

“ New SOPs will guarantee the genuine rights as well as the process for allotment of plot to the affectees in transparent manner so that the real issues of these affectees could be addressed,” the CDA chairman Sheikh Ansar Aziz said.

The CDA chairman had imposed ban on allotment of plots to the affected people in order to ensure transparency in the process. During the period of ban, the CDA chairman also faced immense pressure from some political circles including some parliamentarians but he continued with his decision.

Talking about the new SOPs, Mayor of Islamabad and Chairman CDA, Sheikh Anser Aziz said that he has taken serious notice of irregularities reported in allotment of plots to the affectees in the past. He further said that detailed inquiry has been conducted about these irregularities in Land Directorate, adding that action could be taken against officers and officials involved in irregularities.

Sheikh Anser Aziz said that reforms have been introduced in Land Directorate and officers and officials have been transferred who have been working in Land Directorate for a very long tenure saying the group of these officers and officials was a mafia. The purpose of imposition of ban on allotment of plots, was to work out a transparency to minimise the difficulties faced by the affectees of Islamabad, he added.

He said that the role of affectees in the development of Islamabad is vital, which cannot be neglected. He said that under new allotment policy, deserving people will get their genuine rights and there would be no chance of irregularities.

Sheikh Anser Aziz said that under the new allotment SOPs, responsibilities from dealing assistant to Member Estate have been defined to hold a specific person responsible involved in any irregularity.

As per new SOPs, the affectees and legal heirs of deceased affectees / attorney will personally submit the application addressed to Director Land and Rehabilitation for allotment of plot, which will contain attested copy of CNIC (to be verified from Nadra), fresh farad of land from Revenue Department of ICT, copy of ‘Qabza-e-Wasool’ attested by Assistant Director Land, copy of Naqsha-II attested by Assistant Director Land, two photographs, an affidavit and undertaking with signature /CNICs of two witnesses declaring wherein that no rehabilitation benefit has been received earlier and possession of land being considered has been handed over to CDA. In case of legal heir ship, copy of ‘warasatnama’ and succession certificate attested by Assistant Director Land and attested copy of electricity bill verifying the record. Further process will include, Revenue report with detail of total quantum of land/with previous report if any, Nadra verification, concerned dealing assistant report for previous allotment if any, vetting of all documents / report from CDA counsel and Deputy Commissioner, CDA and possession report from ‘patwari’ and affidavit from the owners.

As far as the cases of Build-up Property (BUP) are concerned, Mayor of Islamabad and Chairman CDA, Sheikh Anser Aziz further informed that the affectees / legal heirs of deceased affectee will submit the application addressed to Director Land Rehabilitation for allotment of plot, which will contain attested copy of CNIC, attested copy of award list, attested copy of ‘Qabza-i-Wasool’, two photographs, an affidavit and undertaking with signature and CNICs of two witnesses declaring wherein that no rehabilitation benefit has been handed over to CDA.

In case of legal heir ship, copy of ‘warasatnama’ / Succession Certificate attested by Assistant Director Land and Deputy Commissioner, CDA. As far as further formalities are concerned that include demolishing report along with pictures of houses before and after demolishing with land owner and Patwari of CDA clearly visible in the pictures, Patwari report and stamp paper of land owner, payment report, Nadra verification report, concerned dealing Assistant report for previous allotment if any, vetting of all documents / reports from CDA counsel and Deputy Commissioner, CDA and removal report of electricity bill from Wapda.

Mayor of Islamabad and Chairman CDA, Sheikh Anser Aziz further informed that after principle approval of case from Member Estate, Director Land and Rehabilitation will return back the case to Additional Director Land and Rehabilitation / Estate Affectee for inclusion in the list for earmarking of plot number through manual open balloting in the presence of two members of CDA Board, date of which will be advertised in at least three leading newspapers.

He further said that record of vacant plots will be kept with Director Land and Rehabilitation and Land Survey will assist / update the same. After balloting, dealing assistant will prepare allotment letter as per balloting result and submit the same to Deputy Director through AOR for signature, he said. He added that after the allotment letter is signed/embossed and dispatched, case file will be forwarded to Estate Affectees Section for red entry in record and further process as per policy.

, Sheikh Anser Aziz informed that a balloting committee will comprise Director Land and Rehabilitation as its chairman, director security and deputy commissioner, CDA as members of the committee and deputy director concerned as member-cum-secretary. He said that earmarking of plot will be made through manual balloting by the above proposed allotment committee on fortnightly basis in the presence of two members of CDA Board.

He further told that all the already approved cases / files by the ex-DDG Land are to be re-processed and get fresh approval from Member Estate after completing all formalities in accordance with new policy. The mayor expressed his hope that new allotment policy will control irregularities and affectees of Islamabad would get their genuine rights in a transparent manner.

The News

 Posted by at 2:10 pm
Jul 202017
 

ISLAMABAD: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has upgraded its academic faculties for the overseas Pakistanis, particularly those living in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Sultanate of Oman and Bahrain.

The AIOU is the only public sector institution in the country that has been providing educational facilities to the Pakistani citizens abroad for the last many years, through distance learning system, a press release Wednesday said.

Some of the programmes have been upgraded as per the directives of the Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui. Accordingly online learning system is being introduced that is compatible with international standard.

The programmes are being offered include Allisan-ul-Arabi (Basic Arabic Course),`Arabic Bool Chal’, Secondary School Certificate (Metric), Higher Secondary School Certificate (FA), bachelor degree and short-term courses.

Admission in these programmes will start from August 1. Aspiring candidates would be able to download admission forms from the university’s official website.

The Pakistanis stationed in these countries could submit their admissions forms along with the prescribed fee in foreign currency within the stipulated date. Last date of the admission will be September 5.

According to the Directorate of Overseas Education, as per the directives of the vice chancellor the overseas Pakistanis are being provided maximum facilities in admission, examination and books’ mailing process. – APP

Please click below link for more details;

//olive.aiou.edu.pk/overseaswebsite/instruction-for-filling-online-admission-form/

 Posted by at 9:23 am
Jul 082017
 

An impressive yet simple groundbreaking ceremony of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Business Hub was held on Friday at DHA Phase 8.

DHA Administrator Lahore Brig (r) Zafar Yaseen Babar graced the occasion as the chief guest.

The ceremony commenced with the recitation of the Holy Quran followed by a welcome address by the DHA director (Special Projects).

In his speech, DHA Administrator Brig Zafar Yasin Babar said that the DHA Lahore had been expanded from 34,000 kanals to 300,000 kanals which in turn had boosted the business activities. “The Business Hub is a virtual one-start-shop for local and foreign businesses and entrepreneurs. It is a milestone, which the DHA has achieved to facilitate its residents and the general public to provide them with the golden investment opportunities.”

He added, “Realising the remarkable expansion of the community, business standards of the 21st century and DHA’s commitment and passion; the project of Business Hub at Commercial Broadway (Phase-8) was planned to meet the requirements of modern business culture, environment and ethics and to add towards ambiance and stunning architecture.”

“Planned at the prime location of Commercial Broadway, the DHA’s owned Business Hub is envisaged to provide modern and luxurious facilities to our business community, which include penthouse offices with designated lifts, corporate offices and office workspaces of varying sizes and layout, grand entrance and reception lobbies, business lounge, combined lounges with perfect corporate environment for business meetings, corporate meeting rooms, video conferencing rooms, gaming zones, gym and cigar lounges, rooftop garden, complete wooden deck rooftop, sky lounge, open roof cafeteria and a car parking of approximately 300 cars. He went on to say, “To conceive and implement the project, we have selected renowned consultant Amad Anwar and Partners for designing the iconic project, and Kingcrete Builders for its construction.” The DHA Lahore, he said, had started many projects of international standard. He remarked that he was engrained by the wonderful efforts of the DHA Special Projects branch in achieving and maintaining high standards of construction and business development projects.

A large number of dignitaries, heads of multinational enterprises, renowned business firms, DHA residents, real estate developers and dealers, and officials of Amad Anwar and Partners, Kingcrete Builders and senior officers of DHA Lahore attended the ceremony.

Daily Times

 Posted by at 11:14 pm