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Rahman Baba train for poor travellers

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Trains' punctuality improved by 90%

ISLAMABAD: To facilitate low-income travelers from Peshawar to Karachi, Pakistan Railways will launch a new passenger train titled `Rahman Baba` on 23rd December.
“Around 90 percent work of the train has been completed while the work left will be completed before the launch of the train,” an official in the Ministry of Railways told APP on Wednesday.
He said all the racks of Rehman Baba Express had been ready and left racks would be completed soon as the railway workers were working day and night to complete it.
The official said the new trains were receiving very good response from the people especially poor were very happy and waiting for the launch of the train.
To a question, he said Railways had increased freight train from 8 to 10 and two more trains would be added in the system, one in December and the other by January end.
In this regard, Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had already established a task force on freight trains to improve its business which is working vigorously to enhance the number of food trains to overcome the deficit of the organization, he added.
He said Railways had already launched nine trains included Sindh Express, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai Express, Lahore-Faisalabad Non-Stop, Mianwali Railcar, Rawalpindi Express, Mohenjodaro Express, Rohi Express, and Dhabeji Express.

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Economy

IMF Executive Board approves FY2020–2022 Medium-Term Budget

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ISLAMABAD: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the fund’s administrative and capital budgets for financial year (FY) 2020, beginning on May 1, 2019.

According to IMF press statement received here Tuesday, the board had approved the budget on April 5, 2019 besides taking note of indicative budgets for FY2021–22.

The net administrative budget for FY2020, which covers all administrative expenses less receipts (primarily from external sources to help support capacity building activities and excluding lending income), has been set at US$1,158 million, it said.

The FY2020 budget represents an unchanged resource envelope in real terms for the eighth year in a row, measured relative to the IMF’s budget deflator, with the exception of a small (0.6 percent) increase in FY2017 to meet rising cyber and physical security costs.

The budget priorities for FY2020 include increased resources to country work, notably in low-income countries and fragile states, the work on governance and the fight against corruption, and macro-financial surveillance.

 

 

 

 

 

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Asian markets cautious ahead of major corporate earnings

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HONG KONG: Stocks were generally lower in Asian trade on Tuesday as investors move cautiously ahead of a deluge of corporate results later in the week.

Tokyo stocks were trading down with profit-taking before 10 days of holidays in Japan weighing on the market.

With many markets opening after an extended Easter break, Hong Kong Shanghai, Taiwan, Singapore were all down, while Australia and Seoul were trading up.

“Some of the world’s biggest technology companies are reporting earnings this week as well as a raft of the big European banks,” Nick Twidale, chief operating officer at Rakuten Securities Australia, said in a note to clients.

“Investors will be hoping for some better-than-expected results from both groups to keep the topside momentum in global equities, however if the data starts to show a significant slowing across these key industries then expect both stocks and risk trades to start to come under some heavy pressure.”

Major earnings releases expected this week include Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Exxon Mobil and auto maker Tesla.

Aerospace giant Boeing will report earnings on Wednesday for the first time since a deadly March 10 plane crash plunged the company into crisis-mode.

Financial analysts have already slashed their 2019 profit forecasts after Boeing announced earlier in April it was cutting its monthly production of the 737 by about 20 percent. Lower plane deliveries directly affect revenues.

Traders are also looking ahead to the first-quarter gross GDP data due Friday in the US.

 

 

 

 

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Macron all set to announce reforms to contain Yellow Vest protests!

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PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron will reveal his long-awaited response today (at 6 pm) to Yellow Vest manifestations in a reform plan that could prove decisive for his presidency and long-term political future.

Macron, 41, swept to power in 2017 on hopes he would be a youthful breath of fresh air for France. But since November he saw the momentum sucked out of his presidency by the weekly “yellow vest” protests against social inequality. 

He is scheduled to hold a Presser in order to announce a series of reforms drawn up after a vast listening exercise he launched in response to the protests.

Macron is expected to announce reforms such as tax cuts for middle classes, as well as the abolition of the ENA administration school. He is expecting that such reforms, which could not be termed as revolutionary, would assuage the unrest. 

 

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