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Superyacht catches fire in British marina

No loss of life or injury was reported in the blaze

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Superyacht catches fire in British marina
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Fire ripped through a superyacht in southwest England on Saturday, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the sky and briefly releasing the burning vessel to drift across its marina.

Police and fire officials said the 85 foot (26 metre) yacht in Torquay, Devon, was "well alight" and the fire brigade said the vessel contained about 8,000 litres of diesel fuel, prompting local areas and nearby beaches to be cleared.

"Due to levels of smoke and fumes we are asking residents in the area to keep their doors and windows shut at this time," Devon & Cornwall police said. "Members of the public are also urged to avoid the area and beaches are being cleared by officers for public safety."

The police said no one had been injured in the fire and the yacht had since been secured after it broke free from its mooring. The police did not say who owned the yacht.

SOURCE: REUTERS

Pakistan

Pakistan Railways announces 30% reduction in train fares on Eid

Passengers facing difficulties due to late arrival of trains can fully refund their tickets from the nearest reservation offices. 

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Pakistan Railways announces 30% reduction in train fares on Eid

Islamabad: Pakistan Railways has announced a thirty percent reduction in the fares of all trains on the eve of Eid-ul-Adha.

According to the notification issued by Pakistan Railways, the passengers will be able to get benefit from this facility during the three days of Eid in all classes of trains including economy, standard AC, Business and AC Sleeper. 

Meanwhile, Pakistan Railways has also announced that passengers facing difficulties due to late arrival of trains can fully refund their tickets from the nearest reservation offices. 

The passengers having E-Tickets can also refund their tickets through mobile application. 

 

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Pakistan

PTI's five members Punjab Assembly take oath

Speaker Perviaz Elahi presided over the session.

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PTI's five members Punjab Assembly take oath

Lahore: Five new members of Punjab Assembly of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) took oath today.

According to details, Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Perviaz Elahi chaired the 41st session of the House. Speaker Punjab Assembly administered the oath to the newly elected lawmakers.

Five new lawmakers of the PTI, who had been notified by the Election Commission of Pakistan on reserved seats, took oath during the Punjab Assembly session.

The ECP on Wednesday had issued notifications for five reserved seats of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the Punjab Assembly following the Lahore High Court verdict.

The ECP had issued notifications for the PTI’s lawmakers Batool Zain Janjua, Saira Raza, Fouzia Abbas Naseem on the vacant seats for women and Habkook Rafiq and Samuel Yaqoob were notified as the lawmakers on the minority seats.

It is pertinent to mention that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on May 26 de-seated 25 dissident MPAs of the PTI who had voted for PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz in the election for Punjab chief minister, stating that they had defected from the party.

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Pakistan

SBP increases intertest rate by 125bps to 15pc

Acting Governor Dr Murtaza Syed says the "most important" objective behind the move is to control spiraling inflation

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SBP increases intertest rate by 125bps to 15pc

Karachi: The State Bank of Pakistan Thursday increased the interest rate by 125 basis points (bps) to 15 per cent.

After chairing the monetary policy committee (MPC) on the policy rate, the central bank's Acting Governor Dr Murtaza Syed addressed a press conference, saying the "most important" objective behind the move was to control spiraling inflation.

He attributed the rise in inflation to global reasons, such as the Russia-Ukraine war, and domestic developments, including a "very high economic growth".

Syed said that while a high economic growth rate was usually a good development, Pakistan's economy was structured in a way that it would start facing problems if the rate was six per cent for two years in a row.

 Inflation had risen because of fiscal expansion, he added.

"The environment is very complex and uncertain. We have seen this kind of inflation globally after 50-60 years."

The acting governor, however, expressed the hope that the country would get past the phase of high inflation in the same way that it had been successful in combatting the coronavirus pandemic.

Syed said that inflation would remain between 18 to 20pc in the current fiscal year, however, the SBP would try to make sure that it did not rise beyond 20pc.

If the SBP had not raised the benchmark policy rate, it could have led to a worse situation — hyperinflation and more pressure on the currency, he said.

The central bank acting chief said economic growth was expected to come in at 3 to 4pc in the current fiscal year, which would reduce the risk of a further rise in inflation.

"The inflation number will remain high but we will try that it does not increase. We will try to control month-on-month [inflation] but the year-on-year [inflation] will unfortunately remain between 18 to 20pc."

He emphasised the need to control food prices. "While the monetary policy cannot control this, the agricultural output can be increased and bottlenecks in supply distribution can be addressed."

Meanwhile, SBP Deputy Governor Sima Kamal said the Monetary Policy Committee had decided that the Export Finance Scheme (EFS) and Long-Term Finance Facility (LTFF) rates would be 5pc less compared to the interest rate.

"We want to keep supporting the exporter ... this is a very important step," she said.

The central bank earlier raised the benchmark interest rate by 150 bps to 13.75pc in May.

Later in a statement, the SBP said Pakistan was facing a large negative income shock from high inflation and necessary but difficult increases in utility prices and taxes.

"Under the MPC’s baseline outlook, headline inflation is likely to remain elevated around current levels for much of FY23 before falling sharply to the 5-7 percent target range by the end of FY24, driven by tight policies, normalisation of global commodity prices, and beneficial base effects," the statement added.

It underlined that headline inflation rose significantly from 13.8pc in May to 21.3pc in June, the highest since 2008.

"The increase was broad-based—with energy, food and core inflation all rising significantly—and more than 80 percent of the items in the CPI basket experiencing inflation of above 6 percent."

The SBP noted the three encouraging developments — the passage of budget based on "strong fiscal consolidation, $2.3bn commercial loan from China and robust economic activity — were overshadown by global inflation and other factors.

The SBP said the the current account deficit rose to $1.4bn in May, on the back of lower exports and remittances partly due to the Eid holiday. "Based on PBS data, the trade deficit rose to $4.8bn in June, more than $1.7bn higher than its February low."

It said the the current account deficit was projected to narrow to around 3pc of GDP "as imports moderate with cooling growth, while exports and remittances remain relatively resilient".

The central bank noted that expected completion of the ongoing IMF review will catalyse important additional funding from external sources that will ensure that Pakistan’s external financing needs during FY23 were met.

For fiscal sector, the SBP said the fiscal stance in FY22 was unexpectedly expansionary, with the primary deficit estimated at 2.4pc of GDP, which was "double that of the previous year and more than thrice the budgeted primary deficit of 0.7pc of GDP".

The SBP said the monitoring committee will continue to carefully monitor developments affecting medium-term prospects for inflation, financial stability, and growth and will take appropriate action to safeguard them.

 

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