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Op-Ed section will have latest editorial and analysis…

Bitcoin as currency

According to national and international media reports, the Internet currency, Bitcoin, has set a new record breaking through the $6,100 barrier. The currency has reached a record valuation of $100 billion for the first time ever in its history. The rise of cryptocurrency is attributed to another upcoming split in Bitcoin known as a “fork” which again led to the ... Read More »

Another short-term loan

According to newspaper reports, the government has obtained a short-term loan of $450million from a consortium of local and foreign banks to arrest the sliding foreign currency reserves which have depleted by $4.4 billion in one year. However, it is yet to ascertain the interest rate which the government will pay on the short-term facility. Reports suggest that the loan ... Read More »

GSP plus status and exports

In 2013, the grant of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus status to Pakistan by the European Union was seen as the big achievement of Nawaz Sharif after he assumed powers as the prime minister. However, the country could not avail full benefits of the duty free access and the scheme is reportedly ending this year. At the time, 406 ... Read More »

Issue of macroeconomic risks

Asking the Pakistani government to address current risks, the World Bank has agreed to support economic reforms to achieve the development goals. Pakistan has been facing various economic issues for the last many years and needs to exploit human capital development, achieve macro-economic stability, enhance renewable energy and involve private sector in infrastructure projects. However, it is difficult to understand ... Read More »

Tariffs and trade

Apparently in its last-ditch effort to curtail the rising import bill and swelling trade deficit of the country, the government has massively enhanced regulatory duties on essential and luxury items, including cars.The shakeup of tariffs and duties will possibly generate additional revenues of Rs 40 billion, but experts believe it will open the floodgates of corruption and smuggling across the ... Read More »

Loss of fiscal consolidation

According to a report issued by the Institute for Policy Reforms, the government has missed all the economic targets for fiscal year 2016-17 and has lost fiscal consolidation which it had gained in recent years. In its Annual Review of the Economy 2016-17, the Institute claims the economy is losing balance in many sectors and the macroeconomic indicators are appearing ... Read More »

Attracting FDI

  The government is in the habit of making long terms plans for short term goals and short term plans for long term goals and every plan ends in fiasco after consuming billions of rupees taxpayers’ money. In its latest effort, the Board of Investment is going to launch an ambitious plan to attract $250 billion foreign direct investment for ... Read More »

PIA losses

The accumulated losses incurred by Pakistan International Airlines are factually disappointing and speak of the volume of mismanagement, corruption and administrative failure all combined together. The latest media reports suggest the mega organization is heading toward mega failure as the losses have soared up to Rs319.10 billion (or nearly $3 billion) this year and this amount is enough to launch ... Read More »

State of economy in light of SBP report

In its latest report on the state of economy, the State Bank of Pakistan has projected the growth rate between five and six percent for 2017-18 in the country’s gross domestic product which is almost the same growth target already set by the government. However, the ambitious target of six percent is achievable in the light of improvement in agriculture, ... Read More »

Issue of sky-high debts

Though it appears unceremonial for an army chief to speak on issues other than defence cadre, but General Qamar Javed Bajwa not only participated in a seminar on ‘Interplay of Economy and Security’ but also expressed concern over the country’s economic troubles and sky-high debts. His claim of improved security situation is on the record as the security forces have ... Read More »

Investment in desert

Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Tariq Pasha informed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance the other day that a host of unidentified Pakistanis have purchased $8 billion worth of property in Dubai during the last four years.The chairman also said that there is no agreement between the two countries to obtain details of the investment made by Pakistanis and ... Read More »

Pressure on rupee

The corporate and export sectors of the country as well as international financial institutions have been pressuring the government for the last couple of years to curtail rupee value. However, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has brushed aside any chances of devaluation and successfully maintained the value at certain level. The foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan ... Read More »

World Bank’s warning on macroeconomic risks

In its report titled the South Asia Economic Focus, the World Bank has warned Pakistan of the consequences of depleting foreign exchange reserves and increasing macroeconomic risks during the fiscal year 2017. The country is facing persistent current account deficit and micro economic indiscipline, affecting not only the reserves position, but also creating balance of payment problem. The bank, which ... Read More »

Increase in Consumer Confidence Index

According to reports prepared by international finance agencies and others, Pakistan has emerged as the third largest retail market in the world and its size of the middle class will cross the total population of various European nations. A consumer confidence survey suggests the consumers’ confidence on Pakistan’s economy has increased and a State Bank statement also claimed that the ... Read More »

Outlook of national economy

The Asian Development Bank has reviewed the rate of economic progress in various countries, including Pakistan and discussed the issues facing the nations. In its report ‘Asian Development Outlook 2017,’ the bank maintains projections for annual growth and inflation in Pakistan Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. However, the report says that current account deficit is ... Read More »

Potentials of agriculture sector

According to newspaper reports, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has stressed the need for establishing public and private partnership to strengthen and promote agriculture sector. In the view of growing population, which has increased by 57 percent since the last census held in 1999, the country needs assurance of food security which could only be achieved if the farming sector ... Read More »

Widening trade deficit

The State Bank of Pakistan expressed optimism about the economic progress of the country last week, but independent economists believe the recent increase in oil prices in the international market, depleting foreign exchange reserves and pressures on the government to devalue rupee could pose serious threats to the national economy. The bank, in its report last week, had expressed the ... Read More »

Fallout of inconsistent economic policies

According to newspaper reports, the Ministry of Commerce has admitted that inconsistent policies are responsible for continuous fall in the country’s exports as about 45 products have failed to compete in the international market. In a report presented in parliament, besides other reasons, the trade and monetary policies have been the principle factors since the current government took over in ... Read More »

Economy in political turmoil

  The political turmoil has put the economy of Pakistan in dire strain and reports emanating from various sources suggest the country would have to get another bailout package from the International Monetary Fund. With the national elections only a few months away, disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister has shaken not only the political system, but also economy ... Read More »

Rupee needs protection

The panic buying of dollars in open market not only shows frailty of the Pakistani rupee, but also incapacity of the government to implement its writ to keep the financial order intact. The recent indictment of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar by the National Accountability Bureau has increased uncertainty in the financial sector and the government’s assurances that the rupee will ... Read More »