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NAB points questionnaire to developer of PU City III in ongoing investigation



LAHORE: On Monday, it was reported that the Nationwide Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore has expanded its investigation into monetary irregularities regarding PU City III (Jamia City). As a part of this, the bureau has issued a questionnaire to the developer, as revealed by dependable sources.

Background Data on the Mission:

The challenge often called PU City III (Jamia City) was initiated in 2016 by the Punjab College Tutorial Workers Affiliation (PUASA). The affiliation claimed that the challenge can be accomplished inside a five-year time frame. Their said goal for beginning this challenge was to handle the residential wants of the college group and supply land at concessional charges.

It must be famous that Mustafa City, Punjab College Staff Housing Society City I & II had been additionally undertaken by the identical affiliation. Nonetheless, these tasks had been unbiased of presidency funding and relied on the self-help efforts of the affiliation’s members.

The PUASA has asserted that the required land for the challenge was absolutely acquired in compliance with their membership’s wants and that the challenge was duly submitted to the Lahore Improvement Authority (LDA). Moreover, they obtained No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from numerous entities together with the Irrigation Division, Personal Housing Societies (PHS), LDA, Water and Sanitation Company (WASA), and the Land Income (District Officer Income) for land mutation in Jamia City.

In line with the PUASA, because of private disputes among the many companions of the earlier agency contracted for the event of Jamia City, the challenge administration committee terminated the previous contract. Subsequently, a brand new contract was awarded to a distinct firm. One of many former companions (from the dissolved partnership) has been submitting purposes to varied workplaces reminiscent of NAB, LDA, and others.

Contrarily, the Punjab College has said that it has no involvement or duty within the issues in regards to the housing challenge. In line with a college spokesperson, all PU staff had been formally knowledgeable by a letter dated March 8, 2021, that any requests or paperwork pertaining to these cities wouldn’t be thought-about or addressed by the Vice-Chancellor


Nonetheless, in April 2023, NAB initiated an inquiry into alleged monetary misconduct inside the Punjab College City III (Jamia City) housing challenge and issued a summons to the developer, Mian Javed. This was performed in response to quite a few complaints obtained relating to the alleged mishandling of funds totaling RS 2,700 million, collected from each most of the people and college staff.

It’s also pertinent to say right here that the Anti-Corruption Institution (ACE) had beforehand uncovered cases of embezzlement and unlawful actions associated to the acquisition and sale of land and plots inside the housing society established by the college.

NAB’s investigation focuses on accusations of acquiring financial benefits with out correct consideration, misappropriation, and the prison breach of belief.

Now in a latest improvement, NAB has issued a questionnaire to the developer of the challenge through which the entire file of the challenge has been sought.

Within the questionnaire, it’s stated that the small print of the dimensions of the plots within the society, the small print of the overall variety of plots and the small print of the quantities to be obtained had been supplied.

Equally, NAB officers have additionally referred to as for the small print of the allocation process of the plots and the grasp plan of the challenge.


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Careem launches Flexi Journey in bid to compete with Bykea, InDrive



Journey-hailing platform Careem has realigned its technique with the launch of a value bidding possibility for purchasers, as competitors within the ride-hailing business will get fiercer with the entry of Russian Yandex-group backed Yango within the nation. 

Careem already faces stiff competitors from inDrive, additionally a Russian origin firm. Issues usually are not helped by the entry of Bykea in car-hailing. Each firms permit customers to bid fares and provide them extra management over pricing. Yango additionally affords these rides at discounted costs. 

Which is why, in a current announcement, Careem launched Flexi Journey, within the firm’s new bid to permit for extra person flexibility. Careem has stored the unique mannequin of robotically generated fares with out the bidding possibility intact in all classes.

What’s Flexi Journey?

The Flexi Journey function is perhaps a brand new providing by Careem, however it isn’t a brand new idea in Pakistan. This function permits commuters to set their most popular value on the time of reserving, with a median fare initially displayed. 

Customers on the Careem app can solely bid fares 15% over or beneath the displayed common fare, whereas customers on Bykea and InDrive should not have any vary restrictions. The remainder of the method stays the identical, the place the person’s provided value is shipped to a number of drivers, who both settle for the fare or provide counter bids. When an settlement over the fare is reached, a driver is assigned, commencing the journey.

Careem’s justification for having a 15% higher and decrease cap for bidding vary is to forestall customers from providing exploitative fares to Captains and maintaining the costs honest. 

The brand new providing was piloted in Faisalabad and Multan in Spetember, the place it acquired a optimistic response, in response to the corporate, prompting its launch in Islamabad and Rawalpindi in November. The corporate plans to develop to different cities like Lahore and Karachi quickly. 

Imran Saleem, Basic Supervisor Journey Hailing at Careem Pakistan instructed Revenue, “We launched Flexi Journey as a result of we noticed an urge for food for it out there based mostly on surveys and routine join periods with the Captains and clients. Whereas the early adoption fee is promising, we’ll proceed to observe and see the way it progresses.” 

The corporate refused to share the precise adoption fee however knowledgeable Revenue that the brand new function has gained optimistic traction. 

Flexi Journey is presently accessible in three classes of rides, together with Flexi GO, Flexi GO Mini, and Flexi Bikes. GO Premium stays unchanged, and maintains the prevailing variable value market mannequin. Whereas Careem didn’t disclose the commissions charged to Captain, it was confirmed that commissions beneath Flexi can be decrease than within the authentic non-bidding fare mannequin. 

Lately, there have been complaints that Careem captains cannot earn sufficient from rides, as they’re charged hefty commissions between 30% to 40%.Which means from each Rs1,000 {that a} driver earns, anyplace between Rs300 and Rs400 will go to Careem. 

Careem was pressured to cost excessive commissions, as buyers demanded extra profitability from Careem’s father or mother firm Uber. 

Opponents akin to inDrive took benefit of the scenario, and began with no commissions. Now, Careem seems to be pressured to undertake the identical route by introducing the same providing and decrease commissions for drivers. 

Lately, Careem had additionally introduced that it might resume bonuses and incentives for its drivers, in a bid to prop up the provision of drivers which had fallen for the reason that pandemic.

However why would commuters, particularly ones choosing the smaller GO and GO Mini vehicles, proceed utilizing the unique mannequin when Flexi exists? Ought to Careem not have discontinued the earlier billing mannequin in GO and GO Mini vehicles as a result of clients and captains alike have larger incentive to go for the brand new value mannequin? 

A Careem captain, who requested to remain nameless, disclosed that the corporate is utilizing a number of incentives for captains to undertake the brand new mannequin. “Careem is charging much less service charges from Captains on Flexi Rides,” he shared, confirming that top commissions might need been a part of Careem’s troubles.  

With the brand new providing, Careem’s personal commissions may undergo, however the firm should succumb to market demand, particularly in right this moment’s extremely aggressive ride-hailing panorama.

The captain additionally instructed Revenue that in a briefing session for captains previous to the launch of Flexi Journey, a Careem spokesperson stated, “The thought behind maintaining each the Flexi (mounted) and market (variable) fashions operational is, to account for elements that affect the price of the experience. This fashion Captains have liberty to take rides on {the marketplace} mannequin throughout peak hours, whereas, clients preferring the unique mannequin as a result of any elements, akin to having a number of stops or longer journeys, however need a cheaper and smaller automobile also can go for it.”

It’s secure to say that this new function was launched to cater to extra value delicate clients, preferring having management over the fares they pay. Additionally it is secure to imagine that Careem was urged to introduce this new function with the intention to retain its market share in a extremely aggressive market, in order that it doesn’t lose its person base to alternate options like Bykea and InDrive.

In an interview with Revenue in 2022, Bykea’s CEO Muneeb Maayr stated, “We’re rolling out a hybrid between quick matchmaking that we do right this moment and a bid provide that inDriver does.” He added: “In a recession, we really feel that the hybrid of each of those goes to be one thing that the market goes to simply accept. It will each permit drivers to ship affords and even permit clients to ship bids, even when they’re low bids, particularly the shoppers that need to get monetary savings and need to wait after bidding for low fares.” 

Bykea assumed that motion won’t cease, however commuters might need lowered expectations of high quality and time. In essence, Bykea relied on the premise that the decline in disposable earnings, attributed to escalating inflation, coupled with the important must commute for work or college, will immediate people to commerce ready time for experience prices. This technique appeared to open the door for the inclusion of cheaper, lower-quality autos, additional lowering total costs and positioning Bykea to grab a bigger market share. One thing comparable is perhaps within the play for Careem as nicely.

Careem Pakistan appears to be shifting its focus away from segments which aren’t associated to ride-hailing. Simply over two months in the past, the corporate withdrew its digital cash establishment (EMI) licence from the State Financial institution of Pakistan (SBP), ending its plans to launch a cellular pockets. Careem’s meals supply service is also nowhere to be seen, hinting that the meals supply section might need succumbed to meals supply platform Foodpanda’s mammoth presence. 

As an alternative, adjustments at Careem, such because the introduction of Flexi rides, come on the again of a $25 million funding for the Pakistani market. The decrease commissions on rides implies that Careem’s focus has come again to ride-hailing. It has money and is able to spend it to regain its market share in car-hailing. 

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Internet hosting the HBL PSL anyplace however Pakistan will likely be a monetary catastrophe



The concept the ninth version of the HBL Pakistan Tremendous League (PSL) can be held exterior Pakistan was first soft-launched as early as Might this 12 months. Reviews started to emerge that the PCB, then beneath the managerial management of Najam Sethi, wished to shift the match to the United Arab Emirates seemingly to draw extra international gamers and minimize down on among the administrative and internet hosting prices concerned in conducting the match in pakistan. 

Unsurprisingly the franchises concerned within the HBL PSL weren’t notably enthused by this association. Already for the previous couple of years, there was rising resentment inside among the franchises over the match’s enterprise mannequin. A choice to shift the match to the UAE or another nation for that matter might additional improve the rift between the board and the group house owners.

How the cash is made 

It’s a fairly easy idea actually. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is the organising physique that operates the HBL PSL. Because the organiser, the PCB makes a giant chunk of their cash via franchise charges. Which means the board sells the rights to those groups to the group house owners who then pay a set annual payment. There are at the moment six groups within the HBL PSL with Multan having the very best franchise payment at a yearly $6.35 million and the bottom being Quetta Gladiators at $1.1 million per 12 months. General, the PCB rakes in $15.65 million a 12 months simply from franchise charges. 

Along with this, the match brings dwelling the bacon for the PCB by promoting tickets, promoting sponsorships, and promoting the broadcasting rights to the matches. In 2022, the cricket board offered the native broadcasting rights for the match to a consortium of ARY and PTV for the hefty value of $25 million for a two 12 months interval. Equally, the title sponsorship, which has belonged to HBL for the reason that starting of the match, was offered to them once more till 2025 for practically $22.5 million (and that is solely the title sponsorship, which implies the income from different sponsors has not been factored in.) For the final version of the match, the cricket board reported a revenue value Rs 2 billion which was cut up between the groups.

In trade for all of this the PCB is accountable for offering the venue and different organisational issues for the match to be efficiently carried out. However maybe one of many largest prices for the board is the supply of safety. Keep in mind, the HBL PSl began off by being hosted within the UAE and has step by step shifted fully to Pakistan. And whereas this has bolstered the match’s fame with followers filling up stadiums, the PCB has been growingly sad with the excessive prices they must pay for safety. A really public dispute with the Punjab Authorities over the last match over overlaying police prices illustrated this. 

Why the match wants to remain put 

This 12 months the PCB has proposed that the match, or not less than part of it, be hosted within the UAE. The rationale they’ve given is that elections are scheduled for February and offering safety throughout this time can be unimaginable. The unlucky half is that the worldwide cricket schedule is so tight the match can not simply be shifted to a distinct time and neither can the overall elections be postponed for that reason. 

On prime of this the PCB will likely be joyful as a result of the price of safety is not going to be as a lot of a problem. If the match is within the UAE or South Africa, the prices of hiring grounds and discovering employees will nonetheless not eclipse the price of offering satisfactory safety. The franchises, nevertheless, strongly disagree with this. 

For some time there was rising resentment inside among the franchises over what they see as an inequitable enterprise mannequin. To place this into context, in case you are an HBL PSL franchise you could pay the franchise payment to the PCB, pay your gamers, pay employees, and in addition spend on advertising. The cash you make in trade for this comes from model endorsements and different sources which can be largely advertising based mostly. In addition they earn money from a central income pool that the PCB manages yearly. Primarily, the entire earnings from broadcasting, media, and promoting are pooled collectively and divided between the groups and the PCB. There was a whole lot of backwards and forwards over this income pool however as issues stand 95% of this pool is split equally between the groups and the remaining 5% is pocketed by the PCB. 

However even that is proving troublesome to handle. A few of the larger groups like Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad which have larger prices and better franchise charges really feel that is unfair and have been advocating for a brand new enterprise mannequin that will make the income regional. 

Permit us to clarify. A few of the bigger groups are banking on the truth that the league will finally undertake a regional income mannequin the place every group collects the earnings from their respective areas. Which means that if, for instance, a match is hosted in Multan the entire proceeds from it’ll go to the Multan Sultans — every part from broadcasting to gate receipts and promoting. Equally if Multan goes to play a recreation in Lahore then the Qalandars will reap the rewards. 

In fact there are issues with this. Peshawar is much from internet hosting any HBL PSL matches proper now regardless of a push from Javed Afridi and Quetta is a continued downside. Recommendations have been made that Quetts play their dwelling video games in Karachi however that could be contested by the Kings administration. 

What we do have, nevertheless, is a situation during which many franchises are already sad with the PCB. Whereas the board would possibly need to shift the match to a distinct nation to chop prices this 12 months, it’ll price them dearly in the long term. The boldness of traders, which is what franchise house owners are on the finish of the day, is not going to be bolstered by this. And with contemporary auctions for group possession coming within the subsequent couple of years, the PCB would do nicely to recollect the HBL PSL is a long-term funding that must be run with an eye fixed on the long run. 

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CCP’s investigation into main automobile producer stalled



ISLAMABAD: The Competitors Fee of Pakistan (CCP) is as soon as once more grappling with obstacles in its ongoing inquiry into the car sector, particularly focusing on client exploitation encompassing premium funds (On cash), delayed car deliveries, and escalated automobile costs post-booking with full or partial funds. The investigation, initiated on 29 November 2018, encountered setbacks resulting from a courtroom order and the non-cooperation of Honda Atlas Automobiles (Pakistan) Restricted.

In response to accessible particulars, regardless of six letters from CCP requesting data between November 2018 and November 2022, Honda Atlas Automobiles (Pakistan) Restricted has failed to totally cooperate with the inquiry. In January 2023, the corporate obtained a keep order by way of a writ petition filed within the Lahore Excessive Courtroom, obstructing the investigation. 

Though the Lahore Excessive Courtroom permitted CCP to proceed with the inquiry in January 2023, it shunned issuing a remaining order. Honda, nonetheless, disregarded the courtroom order and refused to offer additional data for the aim of the inquiry.

The CCP’s investigation arose from observations of automobile producers, together with Honda, Toyota, and Suzuki, elevating costs for booked automobiles. Shopper complaints through the PM Portal additional fueled the inquiry, citing delayed deliveries and elevated costs even after clients made full or partial funds. Approved sellers had been accused of exploiting clients by imposing premiums (On cash) for early supply. The CCP expanded the investigation to incorporate different automobile producers coming into the market.

The result of the CCP’s inquiry hinges on the Lahore Excessive Courtroom’s remaining resolution concerning the dismissal of Honda Pakistan’s keep order, with the case scheduled for a listening to within the first week of December 2023. As of now, no adversarial findings have been made by CCP in opposition to any firm, and there’s no reported prejudice. Within the occasion of an adversarial order, cures for Honda embody an enchantment to the Competitors Appellate Tribunal and the Supreme Courtroom of Pakistan.

The CCP, with a historical past of actively intervening within the vehicle sector, imposed a considerable superb of Rs 140 million on the Pakistan Car Producers Approved Sellers Affiliation (Pamada) in 2015 for exploiting customers. In 2013, the CCP revised the phrases and circumstances within the Provisional Reserving Order (PBO) of automobile makers, prompting optimistic adjustments in practices by Toyota and Suzuki.

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