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March 09, 2022: National Current Affairs MCQs
1. Bureau of statistics ready to consider Sindh plea for census extension
• The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) is learnt to have accepted a request by the Sindh government to extend the timeline of the ongoing Digital Housing and Population Census to address the province`s concerns over the exercise.
• Informed sources told Dawn on Wednesday that a PBS team, led by its chief statistician, held a two-hour meeting with Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at the CM House and assured the provincial government that a proposal to extend the census timeline would be laid before a monitoring committee, headed by Federal Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal.
• The PBS officials told the Sindh government once the proposal to extend the census timeline was approved by the monitoring committee, it would be sent to the Council of Common Interests for approval
2. Support for flood victims to continue, says UN
• The United Nations has assured Pakistan that it continues to support its efforts to recover from last year`s devastating floods that affected more than 33 million people.
• A UN report released on Tuesday noted that at least 1,700 people died in the floods, while eight million were displaced and 13,000 injured.
• Around one million livestock animals perished in the floodwaters, which damaged 4.4 million acres of agricultural land and 2.2 million houses.
• The floods also damaged critical infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, water and sanitation facilities, roads, bridges and government buildings
3. Arif Naqvi loses final appeal against extradition to US
• Arif Naqvi, the founder of collapsed private equity firm Abraaj Group, on March 8, 2023 lost his final challenge to an impending extradition to the United States, where he faces charges of fraud.
• US prosecutors allege that Mr Naqvi masterminded a plot to defraud investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the US government-run agency Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). He denies wrongdoing, but if convicted,could face a prison term of up to 291 years.
• Mr Naqvi had challengedthe approvalofhis extradition in 2021 in the London High Court, but Judge Jonathan Swift refused him permission to bring a judicial review against the 2021 approval ofhis extraditionby then Home Secretary Priti Patel. Ms Patel approved the extradition after a magistrate`s court earlier thatyearfoundnobarsto extradition
4. Raising policy rate was not IMF`s demand, discloses SBP chief
• In a surprise, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad told a parliamentary panel that the recent increase of 300 basis points in its policy rate was a decision of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the central bank and not done on the demand of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
• Testifying before the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, the SBP governorreported its latest foreign exchange reserves at $4.3 billion, following inflows of about $1.5bn over the past one and a half weeks. He said the remittances from overseas Pakistanis and exports had dropped in recent months and projected the average rate of inflation for the current fiscal year at about 26.5pc.
• The immediate increase in the central bank`s policy rate in line with the headline inflation was one of the key requirements of the IMF that had been widely reported in the national and foreign media for weeks even though the central bank kept publicly insisting to stick to its pre-set MPC meeting on March 16. It, however, had to suddenly advance the meeting by two weeks to March 2 to raise its policy rate by 300bps to 20pc
5. Saudi prince launches $100m tech house
• Prince Fahad bin Mansour Alsaud has formally launched the SaudiPakistan Tech House (SPTH) in Pakistan with the aim of creating more than 1,000 jobs at a total project value of $100 million in the IT sector over the next five years.
• A press release on Wednesday said the project aims to promote greater business in the IT sector in Pakistan and enhance its relationship between the two countries.
• The SPTH launch event was organised by the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad withAmbassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki as chief guest