August 25, 2017

Bank Alfalah bags two awards at the 12th Annual Consumer Choice Awards


KARACHI : Cementing its standing as the customers’ first preference, Pakistan’s leading banking institution, Bank Alfalah has been recognized for its innovative cards services at the 12th Annual Consumer Choice Awards held by the Consumer Association of Pakistan. Bank Alfalah won awards in the categories ‘Best Credit & Debit Cards Proposition’ and ‘Best Product in Category of Innovation’ for Ultra Cashback Card.
The awards ceremony was held at the Governor House, Sindh, and was presided over by the Governor Sindh, Muhammad Zubair. Mr. Khurram Hussain, Group Head Retail Central & North and Consumer Banking received the awards on behalf of Bank Alfalah. Sharing his thoughts on the awards, he said: “We are very proud to be awarded by the Consumer Association of Pakistan in these categories. It is an acknowledgement of Bank Alfalah’s efforts towards providing first-class services to its customers, through innovative and efficient solutions.”
The Consumer Choice Awards are an initiative of the Consumer Association of Pakistan, a non-governmental, non-profit organization to promote sustainable retail businesses in Pakistan. It works as a strategic partner of the State Bank of Pakistan on financial consumer protection. Nominations for the awards are obtained in several business categories and reviewed for finalization through a comprehensive and objective survey conducted by volunteers.

Bank Alfalah has won the main award for the fourth year in a row, further strengthening its commitment to its customers by providing the best and most innovative financial solutions in the country.


August 25, 2017

KCCI asks Education Minister to take strict notice of school fee hike by private schools

KARACHI: President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Shamim Ahmed Firpo has requested Sindh Minister for Education & Literacy Jam Mehtab Dahar to take strict notice of the looting being carried out by most of the private schools, who have substantially raised school tuition fee by around 10 to 16 percent, making it almost impossible for the lower middle class and middle class segments of the society to meet their kids’ schooling expenditures.

In a statement issued, President KCCI said that a delegation of perturbed parents visited the Karachi Chamber to complain about the massive looting being carried out by private schools, responsible for exorbitantly raising the school fee as per their desire against the honorable Sindh High Court’s decision which allows 5 percent increase.

While requesting KCCI to convince the authorities to take stern action against such schools, the parents said that exorbitant fee hike by schools has gone beyond their affordability, forcing them to discontinue the education of their children.

They said that parents recently staged a demonstration to strongly condemn the rise in school fee by private schools but to no avail as no action has been taken so far which was the basic reason why they felt it necessary to knock KCCI’s doors for assistance.

President KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo, after listening to the grievances being faced by perturbed parents in the ongoing era of inflation, said that the unprecedented annual increase in tuition fee was a sheer violation of the court’s order that prohibits raise in tuition fee by more than five percent.

He mentioned that last year in October, the Sindh High Court, while rejecting the petition of city’s private schools for increasing their fee by more than five per cent, directed Sindh Education Department to enforce the restricted increase in fee and submit quarterly audited accounts report of the private schools in the court.

Shamim Firpo stated that Karachi city was well-known for being a city of Educated People but it appears that these private schools want to transform this city from an educated to illiterate city. “In the ongoing era of inflation, parents are striving really hard to get their kids educated in better schools but if the situation goes on like this, it will be impossible for parents to send kids to such expensive schools where imparting education has become a lucrative business”, he opined.

He cautioned that a new trend has emerged nowadays which is really disturbing as parents were preferring to only send boys to a better school whereas the girls are being sent to inexpensive schools where quality of education was really pathetic. “In some cases, girls are even disallowed to go to schools as their parents are unable to afford the schooling expenditures of three to four kids which is really worrisome as it promotes gender discrimination”, he added.

Shamim Firpo said that the future generations are going to face a lot of tough time if situation goes on like this therefore, the Sindh government must act sensibly and issue strict directives to private schools to refrain from substantially raising the school fee. “I am not saying that the private schools should never raise school fee. They have the right to increase school fee in order to maintain the schooling standards but it should only be raised by 5 percent in compliance with the court order”, he added.

“Sindh government must ensure that our kids get high-quality education at an affordable fee which is in the larger interest of the country. Karachi Chamber strongly believes that only an educated Pakistan will be able to move forward otherwise, we will be left way behind and the country will continue to face crises”, opined KCCI President.