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Kabosu, the face of cryptocurrency Dogecoin, dies at 18, owner says

The Japanese Shiba Inu passed away while sleeping, her owner Atsuko Sato wrote

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Waishington (Reuters):  Kabosu, the Japanese dog that became a global meme and the face of alternative cryptocurrency Dogecoin has died at 18, her owner announced in a blog post on Friday.

The Japanese Shiba Inu passed away while sleeping, her owner Atsuko Sato wrote.

Kabosu became recognizable as the face of Dogecoin, an alternative cryptocurrency that began as a satirical critique of the 2013 crypto frenzy.

But the token jumped in value after Tesla boss Elon Musk, a proponent of cryptocurrencies, began tweeting about it in 2020. Since then the billionaire has repeatedly promoted the coin.

Dogecoin added as much as $4 billion to its market value last year when the billionaire, who bought social media site Twitter in 2022, briefly replaced Twitter's blue bird logo with an image of Kabosu. Musk subsequently renamed Twitter X.

With a market capitalization of around $23.6 billion, Dogecoin is now the ninth biggest cryptocurrency, according to data site Coingecko.com.

“The impact this one dog has made across the world is immeasurable,” Dogecoin posted on social media site X on Friday.

 

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IMF may challenge Pakistan's power tariff subsidy for AJK

The domestic consumers, in AJK,  pay between Rs3 to Rs6 per unit, while in other regions, the rates start at Rs6.72 and can go up to Rs35.26 per unit while  users in AJK are charged Rs10 to Rs15 per unit, compared to Rs40.8 to Rs46.56 per unit elsewhere in Pakistan

Published by Hussnain Bhutta

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Lahore: The IMF may express concerns to Pakistan over the Prime Minister’s recent announcement to provide relief to AJK residents by subsidizing their power tariffs, which are significantly lower than the rest of the country.

In AJK, domestic consumers pay between Rs3 to Rs6 per unit, while in other regions, the rates start at Rs6.72 and can go up to Rs35.26 per unit. Commercial users in AJK are charged Rs10 to Rs15 per unit, compared to Rs40.8 to Rs46.56 per unit elsewhere in Pakistan.

These substantial disparities are worrying. Economists suggest the Pakistani government should properly brief the IMF to avoid issues. Dr. Naved Hamid, Director at the Center for Research in Economics and Business (CREB), believes the IMF might accept this disparity if Pakistan meets its primary goal of preventing an increase in circular debt. This means consumers in Punjab may have to bear higher power tariffs to subsidize AJK, as other regions like KP and rural Sindh often default on power bills, and Karachi operates outside this system.

Dr. Nadia Tahir mentioned that the finance minister aims to reduce the fiscal deficit by 1.5 percent in the upcoming budget through strategies such as imposing a petroleum levy, expected to generate Rs1.1 trillion, and selling state-owned enterprises. She emphasized that the Prime Minister’s relief package of Rs23 billion (about $8.2 million) for AJK is manageable for the federal budget and represents overdue water usage payments from 2018.

In 2023, the government increased the average generation tariff from Rs4.96 per unit to Rs3.85 per unit. AJK residents demand their water use charges and refuse to pay for federal inefficiencies. The Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project, supplying 969 MW to the national grid since 2018, underlines AJK's claim to a share in net hydro profits. The regulator’s decision to increase AJK’s water usage charges to Rs5.44 billion from Rs712 million in FY22 supports this claim.

Dr. Qais Aslam noted that the IMF’s main demands are revenue targets and controlled circular debt. While AJK is technically not part of Pakistan, and Pakistan does not pay it for water usage that generates electricity, the country can justify reduced tariffs for AJK. However, Dr. Qais argues that this is politically unfair to Punjab, which bears the highest taxes and power tariffs, while other provinces have higher power theft rates and often criticize Punjab.

How the IMF will handle this issue remains to be seen, especially given their recent statement from Washington criticizing Pakistan for not meeting agreed conditions. Dr. Qais suggested a uniform tariff across the country to ensure fair treatment for all regions.

 

 

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Pakistan

KPK unveils Rs1,754bn surplus budget for 2024-25

The government prioritizes affordable and quality healthcare, dedicating significant resources to this sector

Published by Hussnain Bhutta

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Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday announced a surplus budget of Rs1754 billion for the fiscal year 2024-25.

The government prioritizes affordable and quality healthcare, dedicating significant resources to this sector.

The budget session, which commenced two hours late, was chaired by Speaker Babar Saleem Swati.

 Finance Minister Aftab Alam presented the budget in the presence of KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur.

In his speech, the Finance Minister noted that the people have given a clear mandate to the PTI in the recently held election. He highlighted the PTI's commitment to providing equitable and accessible health facilities, expanding educational institutions, and launching various programs to enhance education quality. According to Alam, these initiatives have steered the economy towards development.

Alam mentioned that under the NFC award, the annual share for the merged districts is Rs262 billion, although the province receives less than its fair share each year.

The budget also proposes a fixed sales tax rate for marriage halls while offering significant relief in property taxes.

Specifically, the property tax on factories remains Rs2.5 per square foot, with a proposed increase in the property tax per kanal from Rs10,000 to Rs10,600. Alam pointed out that income from tobacco should go to the province rather than the federal government following the 18th amendment.

The budget document reveals a surplus of Rs100 billion, with a total budget exceeding Rs1600 billion and over Rs600 billion allocated for salaries.

The KP government is expected to receive Rs1,212 billion from the federal government, including the share for the erstwhile FATA region. The province aims to generate Rs93 billion from its own resources, with a tax target of Rs63 billion. The share for the merged districts is projected at Rs72 billion, and an additional Rs55 billion is anticipated from federal grants.

Proposed allocations include Rs34 billion for health facility cards and Rs26 billion for the wheat subsidy. Additionally, Rs9 billion is earmarked for providing free books to students, Rs3 billion for the BRT subsidy, Rs2.5 billion for relief activities, and Rs12 billion for various programs under the Ehsaas initiative, including the Rozgar, youth, and talented programs. The Ehsaas Apna program, which aims to construct 5,000 houses, is allocated Rs3 billion.

 

 

 

 

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