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Economy

Debt Debate and Robert Smith’s gift to graduates

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AMERICAN BILLIONAIRE

NEW YORK: When the American billionaire Robert Smith announced to students graduating from historically black Morehouse College that he would pay off their student loans, he put himself at the center of one of the 2020 US election’s key issues.

While the cost of Smith’s surprise gift announced on Saturday to Morehouse’s 396-strong class of 2019 is not yet known, the body’s student debt is thought to reach $40 million.
Smith, a Texas businessman who is the wealthiest African-American, has been applauded for his generosity, but his gift also generated jealousy among the many Americans struggling with huge student debts.
“Can a billionaire pledge to pay off my student loan debt? I’m glad for the graduating class, but also envious,” one Twitter user wrote, reflecting a sentiment common on social media.
Already, several Democratic challengers to President Donald Trump in next year’s elections have proposed ways to reduce the nearly $1.5 trillion American student loan burden, and even politicians who aren’t running have weighed in.
“People shouldn’t be in a situation where they depend on a stranger’s enormous act of charity for this kind of liberation to begin with,” tweeted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a rising Democratic House representative who was elected last year in part on the promise of free university education.
– Mobilized billionaires –
More than two-thirds of American graduates were in debt in 2016, the Institute for College Access and Success said in April, with their burden averaging $29,650.
Paying off the debt often weighs heavily on young Americans’ lives through their 20s and 30s, delaying the starting of families and the purchase of cars and homes.
All of that affects the US economy, and Smith isn’t the first billionaire to take notice.
Last November, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, from which he graduated in 1964.
The donation aims to make education at the elite school more affordable to low- and middle-income students, who would otherwise have to face fees and living costs totaling about $72,000 per-year.
Another billionaire, Kenneth Langone, gave $100 million to the New York University School of Medicine last year to make tuition free for its current and future students.

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Asia

Sino-Pak automobile companies hold B2B meetings

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China Pakistan Flags

LAHORE: Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) on Tuesday conducted various business-to-business (B2B) meetings in the automobile sector at the Punjab Agri Expo 2019.
The PCJCCI initiated the meeting with Shifeng and Dailuda, a leading Chinese agricultural machinery and automobile manufacturing company. Various companies like Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers, Guard Group, Master Motor Corporation, Jaffer Brothers, Rimtaj Industries and Sazgar Engineering Works Limited were part of the meeting.
On this occasion, PCJCCI Secretary General Salahuddin Hanif, and Everest International Expo CEO, Fa Wen Yen said that such B2B meetings would help develop smooth bilateral trade between Pakistan and China.
During the inauguration of B2B session, Salahuddin Hanif said, “These sessions will open new vistas of opportunities for Pakistani investors and their Chinese counterparts.” He especially mentioned the keen interest of Dailuda and Shifeng which was exhibiting products like tractors, truck, three-wheelers, diesel engine, and electric vehicle and other automobile products at this expo. He was of the view that counseling with the Chinese business community was mandatory to increase the quantum of trade and investment opportunities in Pakistan.
He claimed that the PCJCCI expedited the efforts to hold business-to-business exhibition with the aim to provide a one-stop shop for all industry products from processing technology to the finished products, which would help develop bilateral relations between Pakistan and China.
Mr. Niu Zhi, representative of Shifeng and Dailuda Company said, “We want to introduce innovative contemporary technology of Europe to Pakistan.” He mentioned that new construction machinery from China was equivalent to the price of used and old construction machinery at the moment being imported from Europe.
While PCJCCI Executive Committee members Daud Ahmad and Farooq Ali Khan Sherwani said that China had been an incredible support to Pakistan at all times. The continuous assistance of China would do wonders for the emerging economic status of Pakistan and these B2B meetings would certainly have a positive impact on the business community, they observed.

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Asia

Bears growl at Hong Kong bourse

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Bearish bourse

HONG KONG: Shares fell more than one percent Tuesday, hit by concerns over rising  Iran-US tensions and as investors await this week’s crucial trade talks between  Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.
The Hang Seng Index sank 1.15 percent, or 327.02 points, to 28,185.98. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.87 percent or 26.07 points,
to 2,982.07, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, lost 0.99 percent, or 15.63 points, to 1,560.46.

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Economy

Asset declaration scheme: No extension to be granted!

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tax amnesty

ISLAMABAD: PM has warned that there would be no extension in the 30th of June deadline, therefore, people should legalize their undeclared assets.

He was speaking on Monday (24th of June) about the asset declaration scheme. He said that the country stood at the crossroad and every citizen would have to play his role in ameliorating the economy of Pakistan. Maintaining that the country could not move forward unless taxes were collected, Imran Khan held that nation and government could work together for the success of the scheme. 

He told that modern technology would be introduced in the tax system and a helpline would also be set up for facilitation of public.  PM pointed out that the first time Baynaami laws had been enacted to bring the undeclared wealth into the tax net.

He said measures were being taken to augment income and reduce loans. He further pointed out that Govt. was implementing austerity drive to reduce expenditure. He lamented that half of the income goes to repay interest on loans. 

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