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Op-Ed section will have latest editorial and analysis…

Economy in regional context

Participating in a panel discussion between Asia and Europe, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has pointed out the inherent resilience of the Pakistani economy which it has demonstrated on various occasions in the past and has successfully coped with security challenges, terrorism and natural calamities. According to him, Pakistan is trying to enhance regional cooperation and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project ... Read More »

Saarc forum needs to be revived

Economic integration in the Saarc region is a dream but is destined to become a reality anytime in the future. India has already enhanced its area of influence in various countries of the region, ignoring the most important country of the Saarc region, Pakistan. Without understanding the importance of international obligations and bitter realities of the region, India has signed ... Read More »

Industrial sector woes

The industrial sector of the country accounts for about 24 of the gross domestic product and has been growing at a marginal rate of three percent for the last 70 years despite inconsistent government policies, energy crisis and liquidity crunch. Unfortunately, the thrust of the government always remained on the urbanized industrial base and rural areas, which have vast potentials ... Read More »

Dream of regional integration

  Pakistan bashing has been the core policy of the Indian establishment and a permanent feature of its foreign policy for the last 70 years. The reaction is equally proportional to this policy and the life goes on as usual. The first casualty of the conflict is the regional integration. When the whole world is coming close for the sake ... Read More »

Saying good bye to foreign loans

Fiscal independence always leads to political independence, but vicious web of loans has not only plunged the country into financial quagmire, but also staked its political independence. The country had rid itself of the International Monetary Fund during Musharraf regime, but the present government again opted for a $6.7 billion loan under a three-year extended facility programme. The makeshift arrangement ... Read More »

Moody’s new rating

  Moody’s Investors Service has assessed the country’s credit profile in terms of economic strength as ‘moderate’, giving it B3 rating, which means the outlook of the economy is stable. However, the new analytic rating also points out various areas of concerns despite tall claims of the government that the economy has been put on the right track. The B3 ... Read More »

Perils of another loan plan

Official circles indicate that Pakistan is unlikely to enter into another assistance program of the International Monetary Fund once the current extended facility plan ends. However, the country is still looking toward a new loan from the World Bank. According to newspaper reports, the bank is considering offering $500 million in the name of budgetary support as it wants to ... Read More »

Stopping capital flight

There has been a plenty of mudslinging from both sides of the divide in parliament in a politically charged atmosphere over Panama leaks. The opposition parties blame the prime minister and his family for investment in offshore companies of the money which was allegedly looted from the country. Whereas the prime minister and his colleagues have out rightly rejected the ... Read More »

Economy vs low oil prices

According to the Asian Development Bank, Pakistan has failed to reap the benefits of reduction in oil prices in the international market. In its annual report, the bank says that various countries in the region have affected by the global economic slump as exports are diminishing and remittances are shrinking. Pakistan is also affected by slow economic activities and slump ... Read More »

Implications of Afghan Transit Trade

Afghanistan has apparently lost interest in signing a comprehensive transit trade agreement with Pakistan and weighing options to use the alternative route of Iran for its trade with India. According to newspaper reports, Afghanistan and India have finished negotiations on a trilateral transport and transit agreement to provide a legal framework to operate a trade corridor via Iran’s Chabahar port. ... Read More »

Trust deficit in tax collection

The tax-to-GDP ratio in Pakistan is the lowest in the region and the reason is trust deficit between the people and tax collection authorities. Mismanagement, financial indiscipline and misuse of official authority are a few other reasons to be mentioned for the low tax base. People fear that coming into the tax base will ruin everything which they have owned ... Read More »

Commonsense must prevail

According to newspaper reports, the government is injecting Rs600 billion annually into the public sector enterprises to keep them in operational mode and a report from the International Monetary Fund suggests that mismanagement costs Pakistan Rs 3.3 trillion a year. Irony is that the money is thrice the amount of the costly loans which the country has been receiving from ... Read More »

Economy and national pride

A euphoria grips the policymakers in Pakistan once the words of appreciation come from any side and they refuse to differentiate between praise and insinuation.The officials of the donor agencies are in the habit of issuing statements purely for diplomatic reasons and often with hidden meanings in utter disregard to the factual situations. Until recently, International Monetary Fund chief has ... Read More »

Prosperity without real growth

What this nation is going to make possible is to achieve prosperity without economic growth. The new housing projects in the private sector are pushing the construction industry to new heights, local, Japanese European brands cars have narrowed the streets of cities and markets are infested with imported consumer items, from smart phones to household electronics. The emerging middle class ... Read More »

Short term risks, long term benefits

A recent warning of the World Bank that Pakistan should try to develop consensus among all the stakeholders on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor needs to be listened carefully. In its report, ‘Fading Tailwinds’, the bank says that economic corridor could be a game changer for Pakistan, but is facing risks of political economy coupled with limitations of China to ensure financial ... Read More »

Undesirable foreign assistance

  According to newspaper reports, the United States has committed a $100 million assistance for small and medium enterprises in Pakistan with an aim to create jobs and bolster the economy through Pakistan Private Investment Initiative. It is yet to be clarified by the government that what were the circumstances which promoted the world power to extend this kind of ... Read More »

Economic growth in South Asia

According to the latest report issued by the World Bank, many countries in South Asia are recording a high growth of over six percent except Pakistan, which is growing at 4.5 percent in 2016, down from 5.5 percent in 2015. However, its growth is projected at 4.8 percent in 2017 due to good performance of the industrial and services sectors ... Read More »

Decline in export receipts

The State Bank of Pakistan has called the decline in exports receipts as worrisome despite the fact that the country has achieved macroeconomic stability, improved law and order and brightened up the prospects for foreign direct investment in projects related to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. However, the overall domestic environment can pave the way for sustainable growth in the ... Read More »

Moving toward TAPI gas pipeline project

According to newspapers reports, the shareholders of the Tapi Pipeline Company have signed an agreement to invest $200 million in the next phase of the gas pipeline project, covering feasibility of the engineering plans, environmental issues and social safeguards. The studies will lead the partner countries to reach a conclusion and manage risks and investment involved in the project, which ... Read More »

Question of real economic growth

At a time the government is trying to recover from the shockwaves of Panama leaks, another disappointing news has appeared in a section of the press that 60 million people are living below the poverty line in Pakistan. The startling fact has been revealed by none others but Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan ... Read More »