Pretty as a picture
July 18, 2009
Is Architecture for the people?
August 6, 2009

It’s August again. Pakistan will be celebrating its 62nd birthday this year. Looking back, I think 2009 has been the toughest year yet. No doubt, all businesses are virtually praying for this bad economic patch to be over…however, personally, I think it’s just the ‘perception’ thing...yes, our economic managers are not doing a good (management) job but that’s been true for the past 62 years so what’s changed? Our economy is always on the brink of bankruptcy when the old guard hands over the watch and is always climbing back up after the new guard is sworn in By Fareeha Qayoom

Eye Details

Photo by AHMED...

By Fareeha Qayoom

It’s August again. Pakistan will be celebrating its 62nd birthday this year. Looking back, I think 2009 has been the toughest year yet. No doubt, all businesses are virtually praying for this bad economic patch to be over…however, personally, I think it’s just the ‘perception’ thing…yes, our economic managers are not doing a good (management) job but that’s been true for the past 62 years so what’s changed? Our economy is always on the brink of bankruptcy when the old guard hands over the watch and is always climbing back up after the new guard is sworn in. In the meantime, our leaders are fond of taking on huge foreign debts to pay for their personal spending sprees and we end up paying for it all. This has been going on before I was born and will be true after I am dead and gone…But don’t forget, Pakistan’s economic fundamentals continue to remain strong during all these transitions and upheavals so there is no reason for all this panic and uncertainty.

You need to realize that our greatest assets are our natural resources including the human ones – we have one of the largest populations of young people in the world – and they are motivated enough to carve their own niche in this country and the world. Only the rich want to migrate but even they love this country when all the chips are down…there’s no place like home. Do not let yourself drown in all this virtual misery created by the media…take stock and you will realize that Pakistan is not Afghanistan or Iraq even though, we are being slotted with these war-torn countries and are in the process of being driven in a corner – in the words of U2’s famous song Acrobat, “Don’t let these b***ds grind you down!”…we are different because we are Pakistan.

Pakistan was created because of a particular ideology. There’s nothing wrong with that. It just makes us unique. What’s so bad about being different anyway? If the world is not big enough to tolerate some differences – we should be feeling sorry for this world. It should practice what it preaches. Human blood is precious anywhere in the world. Remember your Shakespeare, “If you cut me, do I not bleed?” We should stop apologizing for our religion. That’s not the problem with our economy anyway – our problem is a nationwide epidemic of hypocrisy and denial.

We need to snap out of it immediately…a friend of mine remarked the other day…”I don’t get it? How is this country still ticking over? Things are so bad but somehow things are still running! There must be a God I tell you!” I found this comment really funny. We may deny the presence of God in our lives but we are still mystified by the fact that we continue to survive despite all odds! Our only explanation – God is running the show in spite of our corruption, hypocrisy and dishonesty. Technically, our self-destructive behavior should destroy us all!

So, thank God for small mercies! Let’s celebrate another year of survival; 2010 will definitely be better – you know why? Because things can’t get any worse; the only way is up when you are all that way down! Pakistan Pa’aindabad! Long Live Pakistan!

Ps This is my last post from the platform of Valuemag – if you want to tune in at this frequency – drop by at www.tkfr.com and you are sure to catch up with Valuemag team one way or the other!

Au Revoir!

This is for you people out there! A song by Gloria Gaynor for the PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN and the politicians

At first I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights
thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along
and so you’re back
from outer space
I just walked in to find you here
with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid lock
I should have made you leave your key
If I had known for just one second
you’d be back to bother me

Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now
’cause you’re not welcome anymore
weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
Did you think I’d crumble
Did you think I’d lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as I know how to love
I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
and I’ll survive
I will survive (hey hey)

It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend
the pieces of my broken heart
and I spent oh so many nights
just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry
But now I hold my head up high
and you see me
somebody new
I’m not that chained up little person
still in love with you
and so you felt like dropping in
and just expect me to be free
But now I’m saving all my loving
for someone who’s loving me

Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now
’cause you’re not welcome anymore
weren’t you the one who tried to break me with goodbye
Did you think I’d crumble
Did you think I’d lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as I know how to love
I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
and I’ll survive
I will survive (oh)

Go on now go, walk out the door
just turn around now
’cause you’re not welcome anymore
weren’t you the one who tried to break me with goodbye
Did you think I’d crumble
Did you think I’d lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as I know how to love
I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
and I’ll survive
I will survive
I will survive…!

This article was originally published in the print edition of Valuemag, August 2009, issue 13, under the section ‘From the editor’s desk -August 2009’

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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
The publisher and editor-in-chief for Tkfr.com and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), Fareeha is currently working at a media company as Content development Manager (or as they call it, the managing editor); she also served as the managing editor for Valuemag (Jan 08-July 09 – Print editions Valuemag 1-13). She has over 15 years of solid management experience in managing products, brands, projects, processes, staff, customers, vendors and time, plus, she has a MSc degree in Economics (and Business Administration) from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA and BA from Kinnaird. She also freelanced for The News on Sunday (1994-95). Tkfr.com chronicles some of her work – editing, writing, reporting and print and online media management. (1994-to date).

142 Comments

  1. Faheem Aamer says:

    Hi Fareeha,
    After 14 days my mother, Pakistan is going to celeberate her 62nd Birthday. Needless to say that our motherland is our mother, drunk or sober, but very dear to us.
    I’ll only comment on “People of Pakistan and the politicians.
    Peeping into the history, I can see that a politician Muhammad Ali JInnah founded this country. But he his death is still a mystry and apparent suspects are military and Civil establishment. After him Quaid – e – Milat Liaqat Ali, another politician had to lay his life before thousand of people, witha service revolver, proving the clues about Quaid -e- Azam’s mistyrious death. After that it was all military from Ayub Khan till Musharraf. These military dictators, violate the constition only to save their authority. They feel themselves invested to rule over others and punish them who do not obey. Unlike politicians, they do not gain power through the people and thats how they are not answerable to the people. The are free to obey most respectfully whatever WTO asks them to do, no matter if a big industry of the country meets its end. They are free to rule till the people cick them out of their throne.
    I admit that the politicians sitting in the Parliment come from privileged elite of Fudals and big businessmen. But I strongly believe that a political cadre is in a process of building. Dictators stop political process as its the biggest threat to their self imposed power. Yet it never stops. I have a faith that if not us, our kids will see a better Pakistan through that political process.
    Lots of regards and prayers,
    Faheem Aamer

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    • hi Faheem,
      Thank you for your comments. They are certainly very interesting!
      Look forward to more of your writings…
      Best regards, Fareeha

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  2. Jan 28th 2010 – Thursday –

    Pakistan’s Budget Deficit May Exceed Target This Year (Update1)
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601091&sid=a.ROoHiP4vw0

    Pak economy is in stable condition: Tarin
    Upadated on: 27 Jan 10 09:52 PM
    http://www.samaa.tv/News16534-Pak_economy_is_in_stable_condition_Tarin.aspx

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  3. Economy to suffer revenue loss of Rs1.3tr
    By Kalbe Ali
    Friday, 29 Jan, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: The ministry of finance on Thursday informed the Senate standing committee on finance that the country was faced with serious fiscal gaps causing erosion of around Rs1.3 trillion per annum.

    The ministry further pointed out that the government had not been able to plug these losses but was needed to rationalise public sector procurement and spending.

    “The cost of PSDP project escalates by around 100 per cent at completion,” the finance ministry presentation said, adding that restructuring of public sector entities is essential for the economy.

    The committee meeting chaired by Senator Ahmed Ali ruled that the country needed to get away with state-owned entities (SOE) like PIA and Pakistan Steel, etc.

    Ahmed Ali opposed monetary grants to most of the SOEs unless these provide a workable objective plan to improve their efficiency and loss reduction strategy.

    The committee was informed that the revenue loss of Rs1.3 trillion amounts to around 8 to 10 per cent of Gross Domestic product (GDP) includes a tax gap of Rs750 billion, losses of the public sector enterprises at Rs250 billion, leakage in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and procurements at Rs250 billion to Rs300 billion.

    Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin told the committee that the country required additional funds up to Rs310 billion over and above the budget mainly due to Rs35 billion contingent liabilities and war-on-terror expenditures, Rs105 billion in additional subsidies, grants and loans, Rs35 billion on account of increase in salaries of defence services, Rs10 billion for increase in railways deficit grant and other factors worth Rs25 billion.

    The minister said that critical areas for reforms were good governance and strengthening of the institutions.

    “Pakistan needs to have strong regulators like NEPRA, AGPR, PPRA, FBS, OGRA etc., and even a more vibrant Planning Commission is required,” the finance ministry presentation said.

    The committee was informed that inflation was expected to decline by around four per cent in the next fiscal year to seven per cent, the CPI inflation in the current fiscal would remain limited to 11 per cent.

    However, the committee members contested the claims of finance ministry and said that the prices of non-perishable food items like wheat and sugar were less likely to decline in the next fiscal year.

    The committee was informed that tight monetary policy would continue to avoid hyper inflation in the country.

    Circular debt

    The committee was also briefed that the circular debt stood at Rs62 billion as on January 15, 2010, but the accumulated effect was serious and the finance minister said that for eliminating the debt the government was ensuring monthly fuel adjustment to the power sector.

    The committee was informed that the finance ministry had taken over circular debt of Rs216 billion from PEPCO, NTDC and Wapda and transferred to the Power Holding Company.

    Mr Tarin said that the long-term solution for power sector was to empower the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) and make them autonomous bodies with strong boards.

    “PEPCO should be like holding company and not an operator,” Mr Tarin said.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/13+economy-to-suffer-revenue-loss-of-rs1.3tr-910-za-13

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  4. My apologies – things can get worse. Year 2009 was not the worst year yet. That was my optimism speaking…! 🙂

    Fresh wave of price spiral on its way
    By Our Staff Reporter
    Tuesday, 02 Feb, 2010

    KARACHI: As the falling rupee has already made imports costlier, consumers are set to pay Rs0.50 to Rs2 per kg more as the direct outcome of over nine per cent increase in petroleum prices for this month.

    The rupee stood at Rs80 to a dollar in January 2009 which slipped to Rs84.50 in January 2010 and on Monday (Feb 1) it was changing hands at Rs85 in the inter-bank market.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/13+fresh-wave-of-price-spiral-on-its-way-220-za-09

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  5. Foreign investment falls sharply
    By Shahid Iqbal
    Tuesday, 16 Feb, 2010

    KARACHI: Pakistan’s net foreign investment suffered a sharp decline during the current fiscal year, and massive fall was noticed even in most attractive sectors, like telecommunications and financial business.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/13+foreign-investment-falls-sharply-620-za-03

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  6. Pakistan economic recovery picking up : IMF PDF Print E-mail
    WASHINGTON, Feb 17 (APP): Pakistan’s economic growth has started recovering despite security and energy challenges and the country met almost all targets under the International Monetary Fund program, the global financial institution said Tuesday.

    “Pakistan’s program is progressing well,” the Fund said in a statement following “constructive discussions” with Pakistani officials focusing on Pakistan’s recent economic performance, the outlook for the rest of the fiscal year.
    Adnan Mazarei, who met with the Pakistani officials in Dubai over the past week to initiate discussions on the fourth review under Pakistan’s Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), noted that Islamabad observed all quantitative performance criteria for end-December 2009, except for the budget deficit target, which was exceeded by a small margin.
    Listing positive trends Pakistan registered in recent months, the Fund said the exchange rate has remained stable at Rs. 84–85 per U.S. dollar and the international reserves position has strengthened (the banking system’s gross foreign exchange reserves, including the State Bank and commercial banks, reached US$14.3 billion in mid-February, of this total the State Bank held US$10.5 billion).
    The early signs of recovery in some sectors and the improved external position are encouraging, although there are risks and challenges to Pakistan’s economic program.
    “Economic growth in Pakistan is starting to recover; large-scale manufacturing output has started to increase, the improvement in the global economy has helped manufacturing exports, and private sector credit growth has picked up somewhat as businesses rebuild their working capital.”
    The IMF’s package for Pakistan – approved in November 2008-has been extended to $11.3 billion.
    Looking ahead, the IMF statement said, a resumption of higher growth is needed to raise living standards and will require improvements in the business climate to stimulate higher investment by local and foreign investors.
    The financial institution also noted that the “resolve of the Pakistani authorities to implement their stabilization and reform program is a key factor in deepening macroeconomic stabilization, despite the risks associated with internal security and uncertainty as to the pace of global economic recovery.”
    Emphasizing the need for stepped up donors support for the key anti-terror partner of the international communityy, the Fund said early disbursement of donor financing remains crucial to support Pakistan’s stabilization and reform efforts and laying the basis for a high and sustainable growth.
    The IMF mission staff will prepare a report on the fourth review under Pakistan’s SBA that is scheduled for consideration by the IMF Executive Board in late March.

    http://www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=96551&Itemid=1

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  7. IMF has realised our economic woes: FBR chief
    Sunday, February 21, 2010
    By By Hanif Khalid
    ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Sohail Ahmad has said that the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) forum has not provided aid to Pakistan in accordance with its pledges. However, the IMF has realised our economic difficulties.

    Talking to The News, he said realising the difficult financial environment Pakistan was confronted with, the IMF had okayed the financial deficit of up to 5.2 per cent of the GDP, instead of 4.9 per cent.

    There was zero revenue growth in the first three months of the current financial year, but 20 per cent growth in the tax recovery has been recorded between October 2009 and February 2010 against the corresponding period of the preceding year, he said.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=225388

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  8. Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin resigns from post
    Tuesday, 23 Feb, 2010

    KARACHI: Pakistani Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said on Tuesday he was stepping down to focus on his private business interests.

    Tarin’s resignation is not expected to destabilise the government but international donors will be keen to see a respected minister appointed in his place.

    Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani accepted Tarin’s resignation at the Prime Minister’s House later on Tuesday.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/13+finance+minister+shaukat+tarin+to+resign+officials-za-09

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  9. State Bank sees 9pc contraction in money supply
    By Nasir Jamal
    Tuesday, 23 Feb, 2010

    LAHORE: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) expects money supply to contract by 9.0 per cent during this financial year on the back of tight monetary stance being pursued by it to tackle price inflation.

    “Money supply had shrunk by 9.0 per cent last fiscal year and it is likely to contract as much this year,” SBP Governor Syed Salim Raza told reporters here on Monday

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/sbp-chief-sees-9pc-contraction-in-money-supply-320

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  10. Asia, Africa emerge as new trade partners
    By Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana
    Tuesday, 02 Mar, 2010

    KARACHI: The results of the 3-day Expo Pakistan–2010 has changed country’s trade profile by receiving higher business orders from Asian, South American and African buyers.
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/13+asia,-africa-emerge-as-new-trade-partners-230-za-05

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  11. Foreigners to continue investing in Pakistan
    By Our Staff Reporter
    Thursday, 04 Mar, 2010

    KARACHI: An overwhelming majority 74 per cent of foreign investors in Pakistan have shown interest in continuing to invest during the next two years.

    These findings came as part of the Perception Survey 2009 launched by the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) here on Wednesday.
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/13+oicci-survey-foreigners-to-continue-investing-in-pakistan-430-za-07

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  12. FBR may face Rs 17bn revenue shortfall in Feb

    By Sajid Chaudhry

    ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is expected to witness a revenue shortfall of Rs 17 billion for the month of February. The authorities were chasing a monthly tax collection target of Rs 109 billion and provisional tax collection by the end of February has been reported at Rs 89 billion and it is expected that final collection for the month is to reach Rs 92 billion.
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\03\04\story_4-3-2010_pg5_2

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  13. Pakistan’s economy stabilising, says Gilani
    Tuesday, 09 Mar, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday claimed that within a period of two years, important economic targets have been achieved and the economy is back on the path of stability.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/04-economy-gilani-qs-08

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  14. Gilani to visit Brussels for summit with EU
    By Baqir Sajjad Syed
    Tuesday, 09 Mar, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office announced on Monday that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani would travel to Brussels next month to attend a summit with European leaders, making it clear that he is the country’s ‘chief executive’.
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-gilani-to-visit-brussels-for-summit-with-eu-930-hh-01

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  15. Economy may improve by year-end, says Gilani
    By Our Staff Reporter
    Wednesday, 10 Mar, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: A meeting of federal ministers and senior finance ministry officials chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday was informed that the country’s financial position might improve by the end of the year because some friendly countries had indicated that they would provide funds for development projects.
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/04-economy-gilani-qs-08

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  16. No assurance given to IMF for VAT enforcement
    By Amin Ahmed
    Friday, 12 Mar, 2010
    ISLAMABAD: The government has given no assurance to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the enforcement of Value Added Tax (VAT) system in the country, chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Sohail Ahmad announced on Thursday.

    Addressing a representative meeting of the business community in Rawalpindi, he said that the government was convinced that the VAT should be enforced in order to broaden the tax net and enhance the tax-to-GDP ratio, which is currently at nine per cent, a low percentage as compared to developed and emerging economies, particularly in Asia and the Pacific.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/13+no-assurance-given-to-imf-for-vat-enforcement-230-za-01

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  17. Finally….(I always used to wonder why our rich folk in Pakistan don’t ever make the Forbes or Fortune list? Were they seriously not rich or what?)

    Mansha makes it to billionaires’ list

    LAHORE: Textile tycoon Mian Muhammad Mansha of the Nishat Group has become the first Pakistani to enter the Forbes world’s billionaires’ list for 2010, a private news channel reported on Thursday. Mansha has been officially recognised and ranked at number 937 on the Forbes list with an estimated net worth of $1 billion. The Nishat Group is Pakistan’s largest private sector employer and the biggest exporter of textile products. He sold more than half of his shares in a bank for $900 million in 2008. Mansha is one of the 97 newcomers to the list,
    out of which 62 are from Asia. daily times monitor

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\03\12\story_12-3-2010_pg1_10

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  18. Private sector may boost regional economy: report
    Updated at: 0800 PST, Friday, March 12, 2010
    ISLAMABAD: According to a report jointly conducted and presented by SAARC Chambers of Commerce and Asian Development Bank (ADB), the private sector could bring revolutionary boost to regional economy, Geo news reported.

    The report also stated the regional economy could be bettered by abolishing hurdles in issuance of visas, provision of enhanced facilities for custom and removal of non-tariff barriers.

    There are glowing chances of investment in sectors like Pharmaceutical, Textile, Information Technology and Tourism in this region housed by over 1.5 billion people, the report said.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/updates.asp?id=100535

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  19. Economy recovering despite challenges
    By A Reporter
    Wednesday, 17 Mar, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Syed Naveed Qamar has said that despite difficult challenges arise from global financial crisis and ongoing war on terror, the country’s economy is now on the path of recovery.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/13+economy-recovering-despite-challenges-730-za-05

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  20. Hafeez Shaikh appointed as new Finance Advisor
    Wednesday, 17 Mar, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former privatisation minister Abdul Hafiz Shaikh has been appointed as the new Finance Advisor by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, officials said on Wednesday.
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/03-shaikh-lead-contender-for-economic-advisor-ss-07

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  21. First secretaries’ meeting chaired by army chief
    By Khaleeq Kiani
    Wednesday, 17 Mar, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani presided over on Tuesday a meeting of key federal secretaries at the General Headquarters (GHQ) to finalise agenda for the upcoming strategic dialogue with the US administration.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-first-secretaries-meeting-chaired-by-army-chief-730-hh-06

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  22. Appointment of new finance advisor to give impetus to economy

    ISLAMABAD, Mar 19 (APP): Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Friday said appointment of an experienced economist as Advisor will give fresh impetus to the management of Pakistan’s economy.Welcoming the new Finance Advisor Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who called on him here at the PM House, the Prime Minister said his appointment at this juncture will send a strong signal to the investors, business and trade circles about the government’s commitment to economic reforms, financial management and growth that is beneficial for all.

    http://www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=98875&Itemid=1

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  23. ‘It’s the economy, stupid’

    Saturday, March 20, 2010
    Arif Nizami

    Finally, Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, a dark horse, has accepted the coveted job of adviser to the prime minister on finance, revenue and economic affairs. Better late than never, Pakistan finally has a finance minister. After the initial flurry to find Mr Shaukat Tarin’s successor there seemed little sense of urgency to fill the most important position in the cabinet second only to the prime minister.

    The original contenders for the job included Dr Hafiz Pasha who briefly served as the adviser on finance when Mian Nawaz Sharif was the prime minister, only to be replaced by his close friend, Ishaq Dar. Although he is a respected banker, the sole claim to fame of another contender, Mr Nasim Beg, rested on the fact that he is a close relative of Mr Anwer Majid, a trusted friend of the president. There was speculation in the financial circles that precisely for this reason the prime minister was not in his favour. However, it confounds logic that if Mr Beg was really the president’s man, how the prime minister could effectively block him.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=230091

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  24. Exemption to construction sector may go under VAT
    By A Reporter
    Wednesday, 24 Mar, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: Higher taxation is expected on the steel and construction sector after the implementation of Value Added Tax as all exemptions would be withdrawn under the new regime.

    A study paper prepared by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) over the success of VAT said there is a special regime for steel sector except for PSM, HMC and Peoples Steel.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/exemption-to-construction-sector-may-go-under-vat-430

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  25. Dr Hafeez Sheikh briefed on debt
    By A Reporter
    Wednesday, 24 Mar, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: The finance ministry higher-ups have informed Finance Advisor Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh that the country’s external debt will increase by $2 billion to $60 billion and the domestic debt by Rs424 billion to Rs4.57 trillion by the end of 2010-11.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/hafeez-briefed-on-debt-430

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  26. July-Feb: Govt earns Rs214bn from petroleum sector
    By Khaleeq Kiani
    Tuesday, 23 Mar, 2010
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/13+julyfebruary-govt-earns-rs214bn-from-petroleum-sector-330-za-03

    Capital market conference in NY to woo investors
    By Our Equities Correspondent
    Tuesday, 23 Mar, 2010
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/capital-market-conference-in-ny-to-woo-investors-330

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  27. Rupee gains over dollar amid falling imports
    By Shahid Iqbal
    Friday, 26 Mar, 2010

    KARACHI: The dollar fell to Rs84 on Thursday reflecting the lower demand with falling imports and sufficient availability of the currency.

    “The dollar was traded in the range of Rs83.95 to Rs83.98 in the inter-bank market on Thursday, which was the lowest of this calendar year 2010,” said Atif Ahmed, a currency dealer.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/19-rupee-gains-over-dollar-amid-falling-imports-630-hh-06

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  28. Divergent views of Senate, tax authorities on VAT

    By Sajid Chaudhry

    ISLAMABAD: Members of the Senate and tax authorities have divergent views on the impact of the value-added tax on consumers.

    While the authorities have proposed 15 percent rate for VAT, senators feel that VAT will have a total impact of 21 percent on consumers as it will cover the total supply chain till end consumers.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\03\27\story_27-3-2010_pg5_1

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  29. Pakistan Keeps Benchmark Interest Rate Unchanged (Update1)
    March 27, 2010, 7:26 AM EDT

    * Pakistan Central Bank Sells 81.4 Billion Rupees of T-Bills
    * National Bank of Pakistan Aims to Tap ‘War Chest’ of Bad Debts
    * Pakistan to Raise $500 Million From Oil&Gas Bonds (Correct)
    * Pakistan May Produce Record Cotton Output in 2010 as Rates Rise
    * Second-Tier Automakers in Play

    (Adds comment from central bank in the fifth paragraph.)

    By Farhan Sharif

    March 27 (Bloomberg) — Pakistan’s central bank refrained from cutting its benchmark interest rate as inflation of above 13 percent prevents it from reducing borrowing costs to spur economic growth.

    “Inflation is expected to stay on the higher side as commodity prices remain high and subsidies are ended,” Sayem Ali, an economist at Standard Chartered Pakistan in Karachi, said before the decision.

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-27/pakistan-keeps-benchmark-rate-unchanged-for-second-time-in-2010.html

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  30. More inflation
    Dawn Editorial
    Thursday, 25 Mar, 2010
    April looks set to be the cruellest month for Pakistanis. A report in this newspaper has suggested that the new month will deliver a double inflationary shock to consumers: electricity and petroleum prices are expected to rise yet again. It now seems certain that the government will again miss its target of bringing inflation down to single digits. To the extent that Pakistanis must learn to pay the actual price of goods they consume, adjustments for rising international prices are necessary, though unhappy, measures. However, the Pakistani government has a disturbing secret: it demands from consumers a higher price of electricity and petroleum products than what should be their, for want of a better term, ‘true price’.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/more-inflation-530

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  31. Another wave of price surge feared next month
    By Khaleeq Kiani
    Wednesday, 24 Mar, 2010
    ISLAMABAD: People are set to face another wave of price surge as the government is reported to have decided to allow about 5 per cent increase in prices of petroleum products and more than 16 per cent hike in electricity tariff from April 1.
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/another-wave-of-price-surge-feared-next-month-430

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  32. IMF to approve Pakistan tranche in April: official
    Monday, 29 Mar, 2010

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/13+imf+to+approve+pakistan+tranche+in+april+official-za-06

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  33. Nepra allows Rs1.02 hike in power tariff
    By Our Staff Reporter
    Monday, 29 Mar, 2010
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-nepra-allows-rs1.02-hike-in-power-tariff-930-hh-05

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  34. FROM THE PAPER > Front Page
    State Bank suggests reduction in government size
    By Shahid Iqbal
    Tuesday, 30 Mar, 2010
    KARACHI: The State Bank has suggested that the size of the government should be reduced because of a severe revenue shortfall, increased military spending and a strong build-up of external and domestic debts which could lead to a fiscal deficit in the range of 5 to 5.5 per cent for the current financial year.

    The second quarterly report of the bank issued on Monday said that the need for a cut in the Public Sector Development Programme and relaxation of the fiscal deficit target had been recognised at recent consultations with the International Monetary Fund. The report said the fiscal deficit was projected to be in the range of 5 per cent to 5.5 per cent of the GDP.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/state-bank-suggests-reduction-in-govt-size-030

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  35. OGRA increases petroleum prices
    Wednesday, 31 Mar, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority has announced an increase in the price of petroleum products. According to the OGRA, petroleum prices are being increased due to rise in oil prices in the international market.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/12-ogra+increases+petroleum+prices–bi-05

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  36. IMF expresses satisfaction over VAT bill
    Friday, 02 Apr, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund expressed satisfaction over the Value Added Tax legislation in Pakistan, but expressed concern over the rising budget deficit.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/03-imf-expresses-satisfaction-over-vat-bill-ss-07

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  37. ICCI slams OGRA for rising POL prices
    By Asad Cheema

    ISLAMABAD—Business community in a meeting at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has strongly criticized Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) for raising price of POL products from April 1, 2010.
    Chairing the meeting, Zahid Maqbool, President ICCI here on Friday termed it a very unwise decision because it was taken at a time when people were already facing extreme problems due to high inflation while thousands of industries were closing down on account of exorbitantly high cost of doing business.

    http://dailymailnews.com/0410/03/CityPage/CityPages7.php

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  38. Fuel price hike criticised
    Friday, April 02, 2010
    By By our correspondent
    LAHORE: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry rejecting the price hike of petrol and diesel said it will unleash a fresh wave of inflation.

    “Increasing rates of petroleum products will also increase the price of each and every product and service,” Regional chairman FPCCI Mian Muhammad Adrees and vice presidents FPCCI Hameed Akhtar Chadda, and Haji Aftab Ahmad Barlas in their joint statement issued here on Thursday.

    Most of people have lost their buying power, they said warning that the price hike of petroleum products could lead to mass protests in the country.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=232079

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  39. Imposition of VAT ‘to double prices of food items’
    Friday, April 02, 2010
    By Khalid Iqbal
    Rawalpindi

    Prices of all food items would shoot up to one hundred per cent, if the government tried to impose Value Added Tax (VAT), All Pakistan Poultry Association (APPA) Chairman Dr. Muhammad Aslam told ‘The News’ here on Thursday.

    He said that in case of imposition of VAT the price of chicken might reach Rs200 and mutton Rs500 per kilogram, adding that a common man would not be able to buy even food items.

    People belonging to different walks of life have condemned the policies of the sitting federal government that had already increased prices of the POL products. The government wants to snatch the last loaf of bread from the poor by imposing VAT on food items. At present, chicken is selling for Rs147 per kilogram, beef for Rs200-220 and mutton for Rs350-400 per kilogram, which is out of reach of the common man, people said.

    Dr. Muhammad Aslam warned that if the government tried to impose VAT then they would close down their farms and come on roads. He said this way rates of all food items would increase by 100 per cent. He said that like other countries food should be exempted from taxes in the best interest of the public. But unfortunately in Pakistan ever-increasing taxes have crushed the common man.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=232198

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  40. WB supports VAT introduction, expansion of power supply

    ISLAMABAD: World Bank Vice President for South Asia Isabel Guerrero here on Friday supported introduction of a national broad-based value-added tax (VAT) on goods and services and pledged continued support for Pakistan’s efforts to boost tax revenues and to expand the supply of power in the country.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\04\03\story_3-4-2010_pg5_19

    During a two-day visit to Pakistan, Guerrero called on President Asif Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and key officials, including the government’s economic team led by the Finance Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr Hafiz Sheikh to discuss the economy and vital reforms in the power sector and tax administration.

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  41. Review of Pakistan’s economy rescheduled: IMF

    ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the fourth review of Pakistan’s economy has been rescheduled for the first half of April in order to allow for the submission of VAT laws to the provisional assemblies, which have now been submitted. Disbursement of the funding will take place when the IMF Executive Board completes the review, said Gerry Rice, Deputy Director External Relations Department on Friday. To a question on Pakistan, Rice said I could tell you the IMF mission recently held discussions for the fourth review. Pakistan’s program is progressing well. All performance criteria for end-December 2009 were observed except for the budget deficit target, which was missed by a small margin. To another question, whether the regional assemblies actually have to pass those laws before the issue will go to the Board, Rice said he doesn’t have the details of the regional assemblies, however, the Board discussion for the fourth review is now rescheduled for the first half of this month in order to allow for the submission of those VAT laws to the provisional assemblies, which they understand have now been submitted. He also informed that the Managing Director would be in Amman, Jordan for meetings with the authorities on recent economic developments in the region and a town hall discussion with students from eight universities in the Middle East/North Africa and Pakistan on ways to address policy challenges
    facing the economies of the region and its youth. staff report

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\04\03\story_3-4-2010_pg5_20

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  42. Advisory Council apprehensive of economy
    By Amin Ahmed
    Sunday, 04 Apr, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: The Economic Advisory Council at its meeting held here on Saturday expressed concern over rising inflation, high fiscal deficit and pressure on money supply due to government borrowing and delays in external flows.

    Finance Adviser Dr Hafeez Sheikh chaired the meeting of EAC, which was constituted in May 2008 by the Prime Minister to provide independent advice to the government on the formulation of economic policies and reforms agenda.Speaking on the occasion, Dr Hafeez Sheikh said that the recommendations of the EAC would be given due significance in the formulation of economic policies.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/19-advisory-council-apprehensive-of-economy-440-hh-13

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  43. World Bank urges more economic reforms
    Saturday, 03 Apr, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s economy has made progress through tough reforms but still needs to boost tax revenues and increase power supplies to improve finances, the World Bank said on Friday.

    During two days of meetings with officials, including Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, the new Finance Adviser to the prime minister, World Bank Vice President for South Asia Isabel Guerrero noted substantial economic progress since her last visit in 2008.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/12-world+bank+urges+more+economic+reforms–bi-03

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  44. Financial difficulties
    Dawn Editorial
    Wednesday, 31 Mar, 2010

    Pakistan is more than halfway through the IMF’s standby arrangement deal, yet its economic troubles are far from over.

    Even with the implementation of harsh conditions attached to the IMF loan, the government’s financial difficulties refuse to go away. Its hopes of containing the gap between its income and expenditure to 4.9 per cent of GDP during the current financial year have been dashed. The deficit, the State Bank’s quarterly report says, is likely to swell to 5.5 per cent despite cuts in fuel/power subsidies and the Public Sector Development Programme, which was expected to spur growth and create jobs in the absence of private investment.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/financial-difficulties-130

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  45. Economic challenges
    By Shahid Javed Burki
    Tuesday, 30 Mar, 2010

    Pakistan has a new finance adviser, a man of exceptional background and many qualities. Included in his background is service with the World Bank and one of his assignments has been giving advice to Saudi Arabia.

    He also had very successful tenures as the finance minister of Sindh and minister in charge of privatisation. It was only palace intrigue that prevented him from becoming minister of finance in the second administration assembled by then President Pervez Musharraf.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/19-economic-challenges-030-hh-04

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  46. To raise or not to raise power tariff,govt to inform IMF today
    Saturday, April 10, 2010
    By By Khalid Mustafa
    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will inform the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank on Saturday whether it will increase power tariff by 6 per cent from April 1 or not and also brief them on the status of circular debt, which resurfaced and is about to suffocate the oil supply chain to thermal powerhouses.

    The team of economic managers is in favour of increasing power tariff by 6pc with retrospective effect from April 1, but the political leadership wants to defer it till the next fiscal year, keeping in view the fear of a backlash from the public, official sources said.

    Talks with the IMF began on Friday, but the two thorny issues of power tariff and circular debt were not discussed as the IMF wanted to take the World Bank on board, they said.

    “We have discussed the provisional data till March 31 on budget deficit, revenue collection and the VAT issue. We have told the IMF that the Value-Added Tax bill has been tabled in parliament and the four provincial assembles,” a senior official, who attended the meeting, told The News.

    Because of the delay in tabling the VAT bill in the four provincial assemblies, the IMF postponed its Executive Board meeting on April 2. Now it would be held either in the last week of April or in early May.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=233422

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  47. Govt will pursue economic reforms agenda: Zardari
    Tuesday, 13 Apr, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Tuesday that the government will pursue its economic reforms agenda for macroeconomic stability despite constraints.

    Talking to Mr. Adnan Mazarei, head of the IMF mission for Pakistan, Zardari said that Pakistan is taking all possible measures to accelerate progress in strengthening and extending the scope of the social safety net system.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/03-govt-will-pursue-economic-reforms-agenda-zardari-ss-06

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  48. Clearing the air: Conclusive talks with IMF mission today

    ISLAMABAD: The government of Pakistan needs to settle some important issues with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Asian Development Bank (ADB), a source informed Daily Times on Monday.

    The issues include passing on to the consumers increase in power tariff equivalent to Rs 45 billion, enforcement of integrated value-added tax and keeping budget deficit at 5.1 percent despite giving fresh subsidies on wheat exports. A two-member IMF delegation led by Assistant Director Middle East and Central Asia Department Adnan Mazarei that arrived here in Islamabad on Friday was supposed to conclude its talks with Pakistani authorities on Monday, has extended its stay for one more day.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\04\13\story_13-4-2010_pg5_12

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  49. IMF assures Pakistan of next loan tranche

    (AFP) – 3 hours ago

    ISLAMABAD — The International Monetary Fund will approve the next tranche of a 11.35 billion-dollar loan to Pakistan in May, the prime minister’s office said Wednesday.

    In a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani late Tuesday in Washington IMF officials said the “IMF Board in its forthcoming meeting on May 3 will approve the release of next tranche for Pakistan”, the premier’s office said.

    Pakistan approached the IMF in 2008 for a rescue package as it grappled with a 30-year high inflation rate and fast-depleting reserves that were barely enough to cover nine weeks of import bills.

    Gilani, in Washington for a nuclear security summit, briefed the IMF about his government’s efforts to keep the budget deficit close to 5.1 percent.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gIsGG8RTb5Xr3S0kwI6MzFadqZFg

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  50. Pakistan assures IMF about issuance of sukuks worth Rs100b

    ISLAMABAD, (SANA): The government held out assurance to International Monetary Fund (IMF) of issuing sukuk bonds worth Rs100 billion in order to take down the circular debts of various government departments.

    According to a private television channel, the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari also assured to play a role for Value-added Tax (VAT) in Sindh.

    The IMF increased its loan to $11.3 billion in July last year while the central bank received a fourth tranche of $1.2 billion on December 28.

    The channel said quoting the sources privy to Finance Ministry that the government’s negotiations with the IMF for fifth tranche of $1.2 billion proved fruitful.

    It was added that the working paper of the tranche would be presented to Pakistan in IMF’s Board of Directors’ meeting on May 4 in Washington.

    http://www.sananews.net/english/2010/04/16/pakistan-assures-imf-about-issuance-of-sukuks-worth-rs100b/

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  51. Pakistan seeks two waivers from IMF
    By Khaleeq Kiani
    Thursday, 15 Apr, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: Pledging to completely eliminate subsidies on electricity by August this year, Pakistan has sought at least two waivers from the International Monetary Fund for slippages in important macroeconomic targets in the first nine months of the current fiscal year and requested modifications in future programme milestones.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-pakistan-seeks-two-waivers-from-imf-540-hh-04

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  52. Current account deficit plunges as trade deficit drops

    By Mushfiq Ahmad

    KARACHI: Current account deficit of the country dropped to $2.702 billion during the first three quarters of current fiscal year from $8.379 billion in the same period of last fiscal year, registering a fall of 67.46 percent.

    Drop in deficits on trade of goods and services caused this fall in current account deficit. Deficit in trade of goods came down to $8.024 billion from $10.262 billion, a decrease of 21.80 percent. Deficit on trade of goods and services combined plunged to $9.931 billion from $13.213 billion, a difference of 24.83 percent. Trade deficit fell mainly because of decrease in spending on oil imports by the country.

    The increasing remittances too contributed in narrowing down the current account deficit. Money sent home by overseas Pakistanis rose to $6.551 billion in the first nine months of 2009-10 from $5.658 billion in the same period of last fiscal year.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\04\20\story_20-4-2010_pg5_7

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  53. Exports register 38 per cent rise in March
    By Our Staff Reporter
    Thursday, 15 Apr, 2010

    KARACHI: Exports grew by a record 38 per cent to over $1.8 billion in March 2010 indicating that the country has overcome global recession challenges and is poised to achieve better economic growth.

    According to Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, exports during March stood higher by 37.8 per cent at $1.807 billion as compared to $1.312 billion in March 2009.

    The export performance in the month under review has been the highest recorded in any month of the current year as well as for the corresponding month of last five years, say TDAP sources.

    The authority further claimed that exports during Dec to March of current fiscal have grown at an average of 28.3 per cent over the corresponding period last fiscal.

    Looking at the current pace of increased exports the TDAP believes that exports for the current fiscal will surpass the target of $18.8 billion and may even cross the $19 billion threshold achieved in the year 2007-08.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/19-exports-register-38pc-rise-in-march-540-hh-09

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  54. Country’s external debt, liabilities rise to $54.23bn
    Saturday, May 08, 2010
    By By Shahnawaz Akhter
    KARACHI: The stock of external debt and liabilities (EDL) of the country has registered an increase of 9.47 per cent to $54.235 billion during the first nine months (July-March) 2009/10 from $49.539 billion during the corresponding period last year, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Friday.

    However, the external debt and liabilities declined from $55.675 billion during the quarter ended on December 31, 2009, it said.

    The total amount of external debt, including public debt, public guaranteed debt, scheduled banks’ borrowing, IMF, etc, rose to $53.012 billion during the period from $48.265 billion during the corresponding period last year, the central bank said.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=238076

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  55. Rupee slips on import, corporate payments
    Saturday, May 08, 2010
    By By our correspondent
    KARACHI: The rupee on Friday lost 10 paisas against the dollar in the open market on the demand for import and corporate payments, dealers said.

    The rupee ended at 84.26 against the greenback against the previous dayís close of 84.16. Due to buying pressure of the dollar the market opened on the higher side. The early day buying from the banking companies for building up their reserves for import payments depreciated the rupee to touch the day’s high of 84.35, traders said.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=238085

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  56. IMF releases $1.13bn, waives two conditions
    By Anwar Iqbal
    Sunday, 16 May, 2010

    WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released $1.13 billion of loan to Pakistan on Saturday to help overcome its economic vulnerabilities and create room for urgent security outlays.

    The fund also accepted the government’s request for waiver of certain conditions in the current arrangement.

    In return, the government pledged to levy the value added tax (VAT) from July 1, as scheduled. It also had to accept some remedial actions proposed by the IMF.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/22-imf-releases-$1.13bn,-waives-two-conditions-650-aj-03

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  57. Govt adopts novel tactic to project higher growth rate
    By Khaleeq Kiani
    Monday, 17 May, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: The government has revised current year’s real economic growth rate at 4.1 per cent – much higher than the 3.3 per cent announced earlier – mainly because of a major downward revision in growth and production figures for the last two years.

    Informed sources told Dawn on Sunday that last year’s (2008-09) real economic growth (commonly defined as Gross Domestic Product) rate had been revised downwards to a paltry 1.2 per cent from two per cent announced and hitherto acknowledged by the government. Likewise, the real GDP growth rate for 2007-08 has also been brought down to 3.7 per cent from previous estimates of 4.1 per cent.
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/govt-adopts-novel-tactic-to-project-higher-growth-rate-750

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  58. Foreign investment drops by 22 per cent
    Monday, 17 May, 2010

    KARACHI: Net foreign investment in Pakistan fell 22 per cent to $1.73 billion in the first 10 months of the fiscal year 2009-10, compared with $2.21 billion in the same period last year, the Central bank said on Monday.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/foreign-investment-drops-by-22-per-cent-jd-04

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  59. Economy expands 4.09pc in FY10
    By Kalbe Ali
    Wednesday, 19 May, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: The National Accounts Committee (NAC) on Tuesday noted that the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.09 per cent in 2009-10 against the target of 3.3 per cent.

    According to the figures presented to the NAC, the overall manufacturing sector performed well and recorded a growth of 5.1 per cent this fiscal year compared with negative growth of 3.7 per cent in 2008-09.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/economy-expands-4.09pc-in-fy10-950

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  60. KSE recovers 48 pts on release of $1.13 billion IMF tranche

    KARACHI: The Karachi stock market regained its lost composure on Tuesday, after several hectic sessions of panic selling, as the release of International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) $1.13 billion tranche and recovery in global capital markets on ease in European debt crisis restored investor confidence.

    The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) 100-share index gained 48.28 points or 0.48 percent to close at 10,082.04 points as compared to previous session’s 10,033.76 points. The KSE 30-share index closed at 10,182.00 points with a rise of 81.06 points. The KMI 30 closed at 15,371.03 points with a surge of 137.66 points. The KSE 100 all-share index closed at 7,084.55 points with an increase of 30.65 points.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\05\19\story_19-5-2010_pg5_19

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  61. Five-year framework for microfinance sector soon: SBP

    KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan Deputy Governor Muhammad Kamran Shehzad has said that the central bank is formulating a five-year (2010-2015) strategic framework for the development of microfinance sector in the country. He said that this framework will serve as a roadmap for growth of the sector after its approval by the federal government.

    He was addressing a seminar on, ‘Programme for Increasing Sustainable Microfinance Accessing Capital Markets – Promoting Financial Inclusion’ organised jointly by Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) at a local hotel on Tuesday.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\05\19\story_19-5-2010_pg5_4

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  62. Pakistan gets $1.13billion IMF tranche
    Wednesday, 19 May, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: The Spokesman of State Bank of Pakistan Syed Waseemuddin said that Pakistan has received fresh installment of $1.13 billion from International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/pakistan-gets-$1.13-billion-imf-tranche-jd-01

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  63. Lahore Chamber Of Commerce And Industry Demanded The Post Pond Of VAT

    Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 11:42 am under Business News

    As we know new taxation system namely Value Added Tax will replace sales tax from July 2010. There are many concerns about VAT prevailing in citizens of Pakistan. The entirely new system will be implemented as it is directed by IMF. Pakistan has sanctioned loan from IMF so it has to work upon the working provided by IMF.

    http://www.apakistannews.com/lahore-chamber-of-commerce-and-industry-demanded-the-post-pond-of-vat-184440

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  64. Pakistan’s forex reserves fall to $15.05 bln
    Thu May 20, 2010 5:33pm IST

    KARACHI, May 20 (Reuters) – Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $15.05 billion in the week that ended on May 14 from $15.36 billion the previous week, the central bank said on Thursday.

    Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $11.27 billion from $11.55 billion a week earlier, while those held by commercial banks also eased to $3.78 billion from $3.81 billion, the State Bank of Pakistan said.

    http://in.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idINSGE64J0I720100520

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  65. RBS to sell off its Pakistan bank

    Page last updated at 17:32 GMT, Thursday, 20 May 2010 18:32 UK

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    The Royal Bank of Scotland is closing in on a deal to sell its operations in Pakistan, as part of the lenders attempts to shed many of its Asian businesses.

    The Edinburgh-based bank is reported to have agreed the sale to Faysal Bank in Pakistan, owned by Bahrain parent company, Ithmaar.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/scotland/10133868.stm

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  66. Sindh proposes option for VAT on services

    By Sajid Chaudhry

    ISLAMABAD: Sindh has proposed an option to the federal government for resolution of Value Added Tax (VAT) on services dispute.

    Secretary Finance Sindh informed Daily Times at the sideline of the Annual Plan Coordination Committee meeting that Sindh has proposed that the province would not withdraw from its constitutional right of collecting VAT on services, however, it has decided to accept federal VAT registration and federal VAT input tax adjustment mechanism to avoid any difficulty in the enforcement of integrated VAT on goods and services from July 1, 2010.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\05\22\story_22-5-2010_pg5_1

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  67. Pakistan’s GDP May Expand at Fastest Pace in 3 Years (Update1)
    May 21, 2010, 6:46 AM EDT

    By Khaleeq Ahmed

    May 21 (Bloomberg) — Pakistan’s economy may expand 4.5 percent next fiscal year, the fastest pace in three years, as manufacturing output increases and farmers grow more cotton and wheat, according to Planning Commission estimates.

    Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s government needs faster expansion to rebuild an economy hurt by inflation, terrorism and falling foreign investment. The growth projection comes as the government considers a second loan from the International Monetary Fund to help bridge the budget deficit.

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-21/pakistan-s-gdp-may-expand-at-fastest-pace-in-3-years-update1-.html

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  68. Impose VAT for IMF loan
    By Express

    May 22, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: The United States has urged Pakistan to impose Value Added Tax (VAT) from July 1 in order to get the next loan tranche from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), leaving Islamabad helpless in its efforts to convince the IMF to continue the $11.3 billion programme without VAT.
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/15204/impose-vat-for-imf-loan/

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  69. Kerry-Lugar aid mainly for ‘high impact’ project
    By Our Staff Reporter
    Saturday, 22 May, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: Infrastructure projects would be a key feature of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman (KLB) aid, whose disbursement is expected to begin next fiscal year.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/kerrylugar-aid-mainly-for-high-impact-project-250

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  70. Elimination of subsidies in coming budget strongly opposed
    Submitted 8 hrs 53 mins ago
    Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has shown great concerns over government’s move to eliminate subsidies on power tariff, fertilizer and sugar in the coming budget and termed it an unfavorable decision, especially in the given conditions as it will further hike inflation and cost of doing business in the country.

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Regional/Islamabad/22-May-2010/Elimination-of-subsidies-in-coming-budget-strongly-opposed

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  71. Import payments trim rupee’s value against dollar
    Saturday, May 22, 2010
    By our correspondent

    KARACHI: The demand of dollars for import payments lowered the rupee value against the foreign currency in the open market on Friday, dealers said.

    The rupee lost 15 paisas against the dollar to close at 84.55 from the previous day close of 84.40.

    Currency dealers said that the import payments jacked up the dollar demand and rupee remained on the lower side, as it opened at 84.50 and during the first session it eroded further to 84.70. The flow of remittances and exports proceeds eased the pressure on dollar, as rupee recovered to 84.55.
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=240576

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  72. EU to reduce duty on Pakistani products
    ISLAMABAD: The European Union (EU) has decided either to reduce or abolish the import duty from some of the products imported from Pakistan.
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/15207/eu-to-reduce-duty-on-pakistani-products/

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  73. World Bank gives 48-hour ultimatum to Pakistan
    Wednesday, 26 May, 2010

    KARACHI: Pakistan received a stern 48-hour deadline to take tough actions that include hiking of electricity tariffs by six per cent and implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT) from July 1. On failure to do so, Pakistan will not receive $300 million under the poverty reduction support credit, the World Bank (WB) said.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/wb-gives-48-hour-ultimatum-to-pakistan-jd-01

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  74. VAT a must to avert economic crisis
    By Shahbaz Rana

    May 28, 2010
    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s economy is vulnerable to external shocks and it should have a cushion to avoid crisis which is only possible when Value Added Tax (VAT) is imposed from July 1, said Paul Ross, Country Director of the IMF in Islamabad.

    He was delivering an address on a report titled Regional Economic Outlook, published by the Fund on Tuesday this week.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/16771/vat-a-must-to-avert-economic-crisis/

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  75. WB rejects report Pakistan was given ultimatum
    By Anwar Iqbal
    Thursday, 27 May, 2010

    WASHINGTON: The next IMF review of an aid package to Pakistan is scheduled in August, World Bank and Pakistan Embassy officials said while rejecting media reports that the bank has put Pakistan on a 48-hour notice.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-wb-rejects-report-pakistan-was-given-ultimatum-750-hh-03

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  76. VAT to jack up inflation by 5pc
    By: Imran Ali Kundi | Published: May 29, 2010

    ISLAMABAD – Contrary to Government’s claims that Value Added Tax will not increase inflation, it is feared that inflation will go up by around five percent in the next fiscal year, as VAT will be levied on food and other items, TheNation reliably learnt on Friday.
    As the Government is mulling to replace General Sales Tax (GST) with Value Added Tax (VAT) from the start of the next fiscal year at the rate of 15 percent and its total impact will be 21 percent on the consumers, as it will cover the total supply chain till end consumers. Therefore, the inflation rate would go up due to the imposition of VAT in the coming fiscal year, as manufacturers and retailers would pass VAT effects to the consumers.

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/29-May-2010/VAT-to-jack-up-inflation-by-5pc

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  77. Implementation of Value-Added Tax
    Saturday, May 29, 2010
    By By Aftab Maken
    ISLAMABAD: Punjab will get a lion’s share of 60 per cent in case of implementation of the Value-Added Tax (VAT) and the remaining 40 per cent would be transferred to other three provinces, a senior official said on Friday.

    Sindh opposes the idea to give VAT collection powers to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) mainly because the integrated system would result in drastic decline in its share to 24 per cent, a presentation prepared by a former IMF official Dr Ehtisham Ahmed and available to The News said.

    Of the annual expenditure of Rs1,025 billion in all the four provinces, the presentation revealed that Punjab spends Rs619 billion, or 60.39 per cent annually with Rs3,535 as monthly expenditure on services per household, whereas Sindh spends Rs243 billion, or 23.74 per cent annually with Rs3,454 as monthly expenditure on services per household.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=241798

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  78. Pakistan’s loans rise to $11.5 billion
    Upadated on: 31 May 10 03:25 PM

    Staff Report

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s debt hit the $11.5 billion mark in the last year, said sources Monday.

    Pakistan will have borrowed Rs 8922 bn from national and international sources this year by the end of June.

    Government will have to pay $8.5 bn as loan interest next year as stated in the budget and from 2010-2015, a loan of $10bn will have to be repaid.

    This excessive burden is due the IMF loan of $7.27bn issued last year.

    “Due to economic crisis in the country, the government will have to ask for more financial help in order to repay the IMF loan”, said sources. SAMAA

    http://www.samaa.tv/News20596-Pakistans_loans_rise_to_115_billion.aspx

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  79. Pak foreign, domestic loans cross figure of $100 bln
    Submitted 8 hrs 24 mins ago

    The country’s foreign and domestic loans have crossed the figure of $100 billion and in one year, increase of $11.50 billion was registered.
    A private TV channel while quoting Budget Documents, said that Pakistan obtained loan worth of $7.27 billion from International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1 year.
    Pakistan has to pay an amount of $8.5 billion as installment of loans in the budget of 2010-11 and the government has to pay $10 billion every year till 2015 under the head of loan. According to the documents, the government would get more loans to pay loans to IMF.

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Business/31-May-2010/Pak-foreign-domestic-loans-cross-figure-of-100-bln

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  80. * JUNE 4, 2010, 10:14 A.M. ET

    UPDATE:Pakistan Survey: Economic Growth Likely 4.1% This Fiscal Year

    By Haris Zamir Special to DOW JONES NEWSWIRES (Adds comments, details from survey)

    ISLAMABAD (Dow Jones)–Pakistan has raised its economic growth forecast for the fiscal year through June to 4.1% from a previous estimate of 3.3%, though it remains cautious about the strength of the recovery.

    “The recovery is still fragile and the stabilization needs to be consolidated so that the gains over the past two difficult years are not lost,” the government’s annual Economic Survey said Friday.

    The report–released a day ahead of the federal budget–highlights the need to support the economic recovery amid moves to shore up government finances.

    Growth in Pakistan slowed to 1.2% last fiscal year as the global crisis and violence in the country took their toll. Over the previous seven years, the south Asian nation had achieved economic growth averaging 6% a year.

    Growth this year will be driven by industrial output, expected to rise 4.9%. and by a 4.6% expansion in the services sector, the survey said. But it added that farm output growth will likely slow to 2% from last year’s 3.3%.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100604-707069.html?mod=WSJ_World_MIDDLEHeadlinesAsia

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  81. Foreign exchange reserves rise to $16.01billion

    Friday, 04 Jun, 2010

    KARACHI: Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves rose to $16.01 billion in the week ending May 28, up from $15.95 billion the previous week, a central bank official said on Thursday.

    Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan rose to $12.31 billion from $12.25 billion a week earlier while those held by commercial banks were flat at $3.70 billion, said Syed Wasimuddin, chief spokesman for the State Bank.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/foreign-exchange-reserves-rise-to-$16.01billion-460

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  82. Federal budget 2010-11: Harsh taxation, token relief expected
    Friday June 04, 2010 (1151 PST)

    ISLAMABAD: The next budget (2010-11) will unveil tough taxation measures, including hiking the standard rate of the GST by one per cent to 17 per cent from the existing 16 per cent, abolishing sales tax and income exemptions and increasing excise duty on cigarettes, air conditioners, refrigerators and other items.

    The federal government is going to present the next budget in the National Assembly tomorrow (Saturday) in which it will reiterate its commitment to impose Value Added Tax (VAT) in 2010-11 after evolving consensus among all stakeholders to fulfil the IMF/WB main condition for multibillion dollar financing.

    The federal and provincial governments’ representatives are going to hold another round of talks today (Friday) to iron out differences on VAT though it has been decided that no announcement in this regard would be made in the budget speech.
    http://paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?228242

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  83. Exports likely to settle above $19 billion

    By Tanveer Ahmed

    KARACHI: Country’s exports are likely to settle above $19 billion in the current financial year, the officials in Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) told Daily Times on Thursday.

    The exports are expected to come to $19.1 billion dollar by the end of current fiscal year, officials said, which would be well above the revised export target of $17.8 billion set for this fiscal. Earlier, export target of $18.6 billion was set at the start of this financial year, however the bad performance of the exports in the beginning compelled to government to revise the export target downward.

    But things changed dramatically for the export sector, and the export from country bagged big gains – thanks to soaring export of raw cotton and cotton yarn, among other products.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\06\04\story_4-6-2010_pg5_1

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  84. Federal Budget 2010-11: Businessmen confused over vague budget

    By Moonis Ahmed & Tanveer Sher

    KARACHI: The business community of the country has expressed dissatisfaction over the federal budget for the next fiscal year 2010-11 and said it is unclear and unfriendly to business, trade and industry.

    Terming the federal budget for 2009-10 as manipulation of words and figures, the business community and industrialists have rejected it and lashed out at the federal government for not announcing an industry friendly budget.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\06\06\story_6-6-2010_pg5_1

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  85. SALIENT FEATURES FOR THE BUDGET 2010-11
    Sunday, June 06, 2010
    INCOME TAX

    RELIEF MEASURES

    1. In order to provide relief to large number of taxpayers deriving their incomes from Salary and business, the limit of Basic Exemption is proposed to be enhanced from Rs.200,000/- to Rs.300,000/- in respect of Salaried taxpayers, while in the respect of Non-Salaried taxpayers it has been proposed to enhanced from Rs.100,000/- to Rs.300,000/-.

    2. For welfare of industrial & commercial consumers of electricity, the maximum rate of advance tax deductible under section 235 on monthly electricity bills is proposed to be reduced from 10% to 5%, on the amount of the bills payable by them;

    3. The Senior Citizens of the age of 60 years or more, are proposed to be eligible for relief of 50% of tax on their income, if their income does not exceed Rs.100,000/- as compared to previous maximum limit of Rs.75,000/-. However this relief shall not be available on income subject to Presumptive Tax Regime.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=243275

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  86. More taxes, less relief

    FED on natural gas up by 50 percent

    10 percent FED on ACs, deep freezers

    50% pay raise for govt servants

    15-20% increase in pensions

    By Tahir Niaz and Sajid Chaudhry

    ISLAMABAD: The federal government presented on Saturday the budget for the fiscal year 2010-11, with a total outlay of Rs 2.764 trillion, 12.3 percent higher than the Rs 2.462 trillion for 2009-10.

    The new budgetary taxation measures would fuel inflation, ultimately leading to a rise in the common man’s cost of living.

    Borrowings of Rs 685 billion have been ascertained to meet budget deficit. The huge internal borrowings in particular would fuel inflation, and the new tax measures, including an increase in GST from 16 percent to 17 percent to burden consumers with Rs 30 billion, would also result in an increase in prices. An increase in GST will also impact consumers of CNG, cell phone users, steel prices, the sugar price and all commercial imports.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\06\06\story_6-6-2010_pg1_1

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  87. Current account deficit projected at $6.5 billion
    Published: June 06, 2010

    ISLAMABAD (APP) – The Current Account Deficit (CAD) is targeted at US$ 6.5 billion or 3.4 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the new fiscal year 2010-11 while the remittances have been projected to be around nine billion dollars against 8.4 billion dollars estimated for 2009-10, revealed Annual Plan 2010-11, a budgetary document.
    On account of the global uncertainty, continuous energy shortages and uncertain security situation, exports for the year 2010-11 are projected to grow incrementally at US$ 19.9 billion against 19.2 billion estimated for the previous financial year. However, imports are expected to increase by six per cent to about 31.7 billion dollars from US$ 29.9 billion estimated for 2009-10. As a result, the trade account is projected to be in deficit by 11.7 billion dollars in 2010-11 or 6.1 per cent of the GDP.

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Regional/Islamabad/06-Jun-2010/Current-account-deficit-projected-at-65-billion

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  88. New budget highlights Pakistan’s “survival mode”
    Monday, 07 Jun, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: Wedged in by IMF demands for fiscal austerity, Pakistan’s civilian government has presented a budget that may fail to please both voters hit by tax hikes and investors wary about its optimistic economic forecasts.

    Saturday’s budget underscores how hard it will be for the government to appease frustrated Pakistanis hit by food inflation, unemployment and tax hikes seen as helping fuel an insurgency and discrediting civilian authorities.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/03-new-budget-highlights-pakistans-survival-mode-ss-03

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  89. People with low income given relief in budget: Minister
    ISLAMABAD (SANA): Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafiz Sheikh has said government has made every effort to ensure provision of relief to the people with low income besides taking steps to decrease price hike in the new federal budget.

    Addressing post budget news conference in Islamabad on Sunday, he said nothing has been concealed in the budget and every possible effort has been made to divulge full details with transparency.

    http://www.sananews.net/english/2010/06/07/people-with-low-income-given-relief-in-budget-minister/

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  90. Centre abolishes Capital Value Tax from July 1
    Monday June 07, 2010 (1118 PST)

    ISLAMABAD: The federal government has abolished the four per cent Capital Value Tax (CVT) on transaction of immoveable property up to one kanal from July 1, 2010 in the aftermath of the 18th Amendment under which the CVT imposition now falls in the provincial domain.

    The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is no more empowered to collect four per cent CVT on transaction of immoveable property. It is the right of the provinces to decide the ultimate fate of this tax.

    http://paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?228317

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  91. Tax exemption on daily use items not enough: traders

    Staff Report

    ISLAMABAD: The traders of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad Sunday rejected the budget 2010-11 terming the tax exemption on food items a trick to avoid criticism on increasing price hike.

    They were of the view that the government had failed to compensate the traders and commoners equally hit by inflation during the past two years.

    Talking to Daily Times, Rawalpindi Markazi Anjuman Tajran President Shahid Ghafoor Paracha said that the increase in General Sale Tax (GST) was unjustified and it would further burden the masses. The increase in GST should be reversed, he demanded.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\06\07\story_7-6-2010_pg11_1

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  92. Non-implementation of VAT

    No threat to IMF programme

    * Special secretary finance says finance minister hinted at reformed GST regime in his budget speech

    By Sajid Chaudhry

    ISLAMABAD: Three key officials of the federal government hinted at the introduction of reformed general sales tax regime from October 1, 2010 in case final round of consultation with provinces on value-added-tax on services failed. They were answering the questions of reporters at the parliament house here on Wednesday.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\06\10\story_10-6-2010_pg5_7

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  93. ‘Pakistan facing an education crisis’
    By Sumera Khan

    June 11, 2010
    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is facing an education emergency. The facts are shocking. Half the adult population – and two thirds of women – are illiterate, said Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary of State for International Development here on Thursday.

    He said Pakistan will be one of the highest priorities of new UK secretary of state for international development.

    Mitchell said he has identified education as one of his main areas of focus.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/20428/%E2%80%98pakistan-facing-an-education-crisis%E2%80%99/

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  94. Foreign Exchange Reserves fall to $15.87bn
    Friday, 11 Jun, 2010

    KARACHI: Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $15.87 billion in the week ending May 28, down from $16.01 billion the previous week, the central bank said on Thursday.

    Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $12.14 billion from $12.31 billion a week earlier, while those held by commercial banks rose to $3.73 billion from $3.70 billion, said the State Bank of Pakistan.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/foreign-exchange-reserves-fall-to-$15.87bn-160

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  95. Government rescues Steel Mills
    By Zia M Khan/ Sumera Khan

    June 12, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Friday approved Rs 25.1 billion bailout package for Pakistan Steel Mills, saying that the PSM will not close down as it is a national asset which has to be managed both professionally and commercially.

    The premier linked the bailout package to improved performance and said that politicisation of or interference in the affairs of the PSM will not be allowed.

    The proposal for the bailout package was given by the Ministry of Industries and Productions at a special meeting held at the Prime Minister’s House. The meeting reviewed various options available to the government to resolve the PSM crisis.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/20708/government-rescues-steel-mills/

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  96. Income tax slabs and rates
    FBR accepts proposal by Senate body

    By Sajid Chaudhry

    According to income tax slabs and rates proposed by the senators, when taxable income does not exceed Rs 300,000 there would be no tax or income up to Rs 300,000 would remain exempted from the income tax. The Senate body has proposed that where the taxable income exceeds Rs 300,000 but does not exceed Rs 500,000 income tax rate of 7.50 percent should be applicable on it. When the taxable income exceeds Rs 500,000 but does not exceed Rs 750,000 the income tax rate should be 10 percent. Where the taxable income exceeds Rs 750,000 but does not exceed Rs 1 million income tax should be charged at 12.5 percent on such income. Where the taxable income exceeds Rs 1 million but does not exceed Rs 1.5 million the income tax rate should be 15 percent on this income. When the taxable income exceeds Rs 1.5 million the income tax rate should be fixed at 25 percent on such income.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\06\13\story_13-6-2010_pg5_1

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  97. CVT on immovable properties reduced
    By Faryal Najeeb

    June 12, 2010

    KARACHI: The Sindh government, in the budget for fiscal 2010-11, announced on Friday the Capital Value Tax (CVT) on immovable properties would be two per cent for residential properties and 2.5 per cent for commercial assets.

    CVT has been returned to the provincial government by the federal government after the 18th Constitutional Amendment.
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/20684/cvt-on-immovable-properties-reduced/

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  98. Pakistan’s trade deficit falls by 9.35 per cent in 11 months
    Saturday, June 12, 2010
    By By Israr Khan
    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s trade deficit fell by 9.35 per cent to $13.88 billion during the last 11 months (July-May) of 2009/10 fiscal against $15.32 billion during the corresponding period last year, said the official data released on Friday.

    During this period, the country‘s exports were around $17.6 billion compared with $16.6 billion last year, while imports were at $31.48 billion — almost stagnant at the same level as of last year, the Federal Bureau of Statistics said.

    During these 11 months of the outgoing fiscal, exports grew by 8.9 per cent, while imports remained unchanged compared to the same period last year.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=244551

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  99. Monday, June 14, 2010
    Point Counterpoint
    Budget as the common man sees it

    Syed Fattahul Alim

    AS a matter of routine, we have our budget for the upcoming financial year. And, as usual, the post-budget reflections on this annual exercise are also on. The array of abstract figures that embellish a budget may reveal a lot of information to the enlightened ones and the experts; but those hardly carry much meaning to the majority of the population who are not experts. On the other hand, they usually look at the event of budget announcement with a bit of apprehension, if only because after each budget the prices of essentials invariably climb a notch or two higher up the price ladder. And the traders in these items, too, never miss the slightest opportunity to make the most of the fiscal measures to push the prices up.

    http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=142522

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  100. Pakistan a water scarce country
    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Islamabad

    Pakistan is a water scarce country and according to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report, most of the glaciers will deplete in next 50 years and if the situation was not arrested immediately it could lead to a catastrophe.

    “Glaciers melting are an alarming sign and there would be no water from glaciers after 2060, so there is a dire need of taking active steps to take the challenge,” said Chairman Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) on Sunday.

    The need to initiate rainwater harvesting not only in urban areas but in rural areas is the immediate remedy to deal with the emerging situation, he said. “Unless we want to avoid war on waters in future, we must preserve water for the coming generations,” he said.

    Water resources are shrinking at alarming pace, and the increase in population is also growing at high ratio, one can forecast the future water crisis. Thanks to weather that rain tends to shower as usual and dying water reservoir again started breathing. This is a high time to preserve rainwater at any cost and with immediate effect.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=244892

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  101. Why we will all be OK
    Wednesday, June 09, 2010
    Mosharraf Zaidi

    The writer advises governments, donors and NGOs on public policy.

    The seriousness of Pakistan’s problems is so severe that it is natural for people to be sick with worry about the future of the country. Pakistani blood is treated cheaply by terrorists, by other countries, but most of all, by the military, religious and political elite of Pakistan itself. Pakistani children don’t have enough schools, their schools don’t have enough teachers, their teachers don’t have enough training, and their training doesn’t have enough substance. Aspiring Pakistani mothers face dire social indicators, including high maternal and infant mortality rates, poor primary school enrolment rates and water-borne diseases that have no business being in business in the 21st century. Baby girls are raised to face a lifetime of gender-based discrimination. Politicians are corrupt, judges are self-righteous, and there is no electricity. A national obsession with symbolism that borders on the insane has made more of a mockery of faith and ideology in Pakistan than any cartoon or conspiracy ever could.

    Last Friday afternoon at the TEDx Karachi event, with the country as pregnant as it ever is with these burdens, a number of speakers did something that we all need to do a lot more of. They inspired hope. TEDx organisers Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Awab Alvi, Batool Hassan, Meher Jaffri, Hiba Ali Raza, Asad Rahman and Sumaira Jaffery should be proud of themselves. It is not easy to be hopeful and optimistic in this environment. They helped make it easy.

    TEDx Karachi speakers spoke from the heart, embraced the collective vulnerability of millions of Pakistanis, and infused their inspirational messages with the rigour and granularity of real-world success. They didn’t just do this by appealing to our rational best selves. They did it by appealing to the connectivity we all share as human beings. For one afternoon at least, I was forced to consider how important inspiration just might be, in the long, arduous and exhausting quest for a Pakistan that works for all Pakistanis, not just those that have captured the state using guns, God and giveaways.

    What rational reason did Abdul Sattar Edhi have to do what he has done for as long as any of us can remember? Edhi ambulances are almost the only certain thing in the uncertainty of Pakistan. So too is our comfort in making donations to his charitable work. The same Pakistan that we lament, Bhutto and Zia’s Pakistan, is the one that produced Abdul Sattar Edhi.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=243840

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  102. Senate recommends 74 changes in 2010-11 budget

    * Upper House unanimously passes recommendations of Standing Committee on Finance
    * Committee proposes withdrawal of one percent increase in GST
    * Senators recommend 60% raise in salaries of grades 1 to 16 govt employees

    By Zeeshan Javaid

    ISLAMABAD: The Upper House of the Parliament on Wednesday unanimously approved 74 budgetary recommendations and forwarded them to the National Assembly for their incorporation in the Finance Bill 2010-11.

    Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs Chairman Ahmed Ali presented the recommendations in Senate and informed the lawmakers that a total of 235 suggestions had been received from senators, out of which only 74 had been approved.

    Under the Constitution, the National Assembly passes the finance bill each year and the Senate can only submit its recommendations to the Lower House, which are not binding. Some of the important recommendations approved by Senate are: withdrawal of 1% increase in the General Sales Tax (GST), 60% increase in the salaries of government employees from grade 1 to 16, reduction in duty on crude palm oil, raising minimum wages from Rs 7,000 to Rs 9,000, increasing minimum pension from Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 and increasing pensions for widows of superior court judges from 50% to 75%.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\06\17\story_17-6-2010_pg1_10

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  103. GDP growth manipulation

    Saturday, June 26, 2010
    Fact-finding body bails out government

    By Khalid Mustafa

    ISLAMABAD: The fact-finding committee, set up by Finance Minister Dr Hafeez A Sheikh in an EAC meeting held on May 18, to probe into ‘Manipulated GDP growth of 4.09 percent’ for the outgoing financial year 2009-10 has bailed out the government from allegedly engineering the growth numbers but not with consensus decision.

    However, the committee has inconstancy in the trade component of the services sector as the exchange rate deflator has been used, which seems not consistent with the previous year’s deflator and has a variation of 20 percent. We are still investigating in this issue and within day or two because of this various, the projected DGP growth of 4.1 percent may tumble by 01 percent to 04 percent.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=29667

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  104. IMF warning

    PM requested to hold meeting on sales tax reform

    By Sajid Chaudhry

    ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance has requested the Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani to convene an emergency meeting with political leadership of the four provinces to settle the issue of reformed General Sales Tax, a senior official at Ministry of Finance informed on Saturday.

    This has been done keeping in view the strict warning received from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for mobilisation of domestic resources to enable the country to pay back IMF loans as well as meet its development needs by its own resources in medium term, explained an official at Ministry of Finance.
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\07\11\story_11-7-2010_pg5_5

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  105. Remittances hit record high at $8.9 billion
    By Shahid Iqbal
    Saturday, 10 Jul, 2010

    KARACHI: Overseas Pakistanis sent record remittances in fiscal year 2009-10 almost $2 billion more than the target helped the country to minimise its current account imbalances to the lowest level.

    The State Bank of Pakistan reported on Friday that the country received $8.906 billion remittances during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010, which is the record amount ever remitted by overseas Pakistanis.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/remittances-hit-record-high-at-$8.9-billion-070

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  106. Pak population to be 450m by 2050 if not checked
    Monday, July 12, 2010
    By By Our Correspondent
    LAHORE

    THE World Population Day 2010 was marked in the city by events and seminars raising awareness regarding hazards of multiplying population and ways to control it which made Pakistan the sixth most populated country of the world.

    The World Population Day is an annual event observed on July 11 which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987, approximately the date on which the world’s population reached five billion people.

    The main event in the provincial metropolis was held at a local hotel with the Chairman Family Planning Association Syed Kamal Shah as chief guest. The speakers at the seminar said if the county’s population kept increasing unchecked, the population of Pakistan would be 450 millions by the year 2050. They said Pakistan had planned population control pretty well but the implementation of these policies was of the lowest order.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=250215

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  107. Gilani cautioned on state of economy
    By Khaleeq Kiani
    Tuesday, 13 Jul, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: While the rest of the country was fixated on the face-off between the media and the PML-N, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was provided a reality check last week about the precarious economic situation in the country.

    He was warned by the finance ministry that with the fiscal deficit touching 6.2 per cent of GDP (Rs925 billion) last year, the government ran the risk of IMF backing out unless it earned Rs500 billion through additional revenue or reduce its expenditures drastically during the current fiscal year.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/govt-must-contain-expenses-pm-cautioned-on-state-of-economy-370

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  108. Economic mess
    Dawn Editorial
    Wednesday, 14 Jul, 2010

    Pakistan’s economy is a mess. Growth remains sluggish, not least because of falling investment, energy shortages, political instability and an unfavourable security environment.

    Inflation is resurging and the rupee showing signs of weakness. The fiscal deficit is estimated to have swelled to 6.2 per cent of GDP last year from an earlier official forecast of 5.1 per cent. Could these be the signs of reversal of the recent economic gains? That will be too early to say though the country’s future economic outlook remains precarious. The country’s economic future largely hinges on external capital flows. But, as things stand today, financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other donors is likely to get delayed due to Islamabad’s failure to hold down its fiscal deficit to the agreed level and implement Value-Added Tax (VAT). It is important that the government took convincing steps to show to the world that it is serious about fixing the economy. The curtailment of unproductive expenditure and increase in tax revenues will be a crucial step in this direction.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/economic-mess-470

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  109. IMF team arrives in Pakistan
    Upadated on: 14 Jul 10 11:40 AM

    Staff Report

    ISLAMABAD: A high-level delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has arrived in Islamabad today to hold talks with ministry of finance on the imposition of value added tax (VAT) in October.

    http://www.samaa.tv/News22774-IMF_team_arrives_in_Pakistan.aspx

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  110. Property tax system to be made easy
    Published: July 14, 2010

    RAWALPINDI – Secretary Excise and Taxation (ET) Punjab, Shumail Ahmed Khawja, said that the property taxation system would be made easy and traders and shopkeepers would be facilitated in that regard.
    He said this while addressing a meeting held at the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) during his visit, here on Tuesday.
    RCCI President, Kashif Shabbir, Senior Vice President, Syed Ali Raza Saeed Shah, Sheikh Muhammad Siddique, Malik Afzal, Asif Zafar Chaudhry and other members were also present on the occasion.

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Business/14-Jul-2010/Property-tax-system-to-be-made-easy

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  111. ‘Automakers should focus on exports’
    Wednesday, July 14, 2010
    By our correspondent

    KARACHI: Auto manufacturers should focus on exports, said Trade Development Authority of Pakistan chief executive Syed Mohibullah Shah on Tuesday.

    Government has provided tremendous supports and incentive to the local auto assemblers and manufacturers for several years but only Hinopak has started exports, he said speaking at a ceremony to mark the export of Hinopak busses to UAE.

    “Exporting vehicles will help build Pakistan’s image in global automotive market,” he said.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=250555

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  112. Country’s carpet exports shrink 69.8% in FY2009-10
    Staff Report

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s carpet exports have witnessed a decline by 69.8 percent during the last fiscal year 2009-10, as exports fell from their previous figures of $287 million to $120 million.

    A three-ember delegation of Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association led by chairman Akhtar Nazir Khan called on the Federal Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim Tuesday.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\07\14\story_14-7-2010_pg5_5

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  113. WB urges Pakistan to control budget deficit, expand tax base

    By Shahbaz Rana
    July 17, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: The World Bank (WB) has urged Pakistan to stay on the path of economic reforms to control the runaway budget deficit and widen the tax base, indicating that it will keep building the pressure to overhaul the tax system.

    The visiting World Bank Vice President for South Asia, Isabel Guerrero, underlined the “need for staying on the reform path and redoubling efforts aimed at reducing fiscal deficit and improving tax-to-GDP ratio,” which is the lowest in the region, compelling Pakistan to meet expenditures by borrowing money.

    During a two-day visit to Pakistan, Guerrero held meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari and other key officials, including the government’s economic team, led by the Federal Minister for Finance Dr Hafeez Shaikh.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/28380/wb-urges-pakistan-to-control-budget-deficit-expand-tax-base/

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  114. WB team assures Hafeez Shaikh of continued support

    Staff Report

    ISLAMABAD: World Bank (WB) delegation led by Isabel Guerrero – WB Vice President for South Asia Region was assured on Friday that Pakistan would ensure implementation of reforms agenda including tax reforms and power sector reforms.

    WB Vice President for South Asia Region held a meeting with Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Federal Minister for Finance and discussed the reforms agenda.

    WB delegation assured the bank’s continued support to Pakistan’s economy and stressed upon the government to ensure implementation of reforms for moving on the path of development with a vibrant economy.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\07\17\story_17-7-2010_pg5_8

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  115. ‘FBR to review tax targets after reformed GST implementation’

    ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would review its tax collection targets once the reformed general sales tax (GST) is implemented probably in October this year, a top FBR official said here on Thursday.

    “We will have to review the tax targets once the reformed GST is put in place,” FBR Chairman Sohail Ahmad said.

    He was of the view that the target of revenue collection of Rs 1.667 trillion during the current financial year was tough, however the board would utilise all of its potentials to achieve the target.

    Ahmad said that despite challenges the board collected taxes of Rs 1.325 trillion during the fiscal year 2009-10 as against the target of Rs 1.38 trillion, missing the target just by four percent.

    He said that the tax collection of the previous year stood at 96 percent of the set target and described it an achievement in a situation when the FBR had to exempt taxes and face losses of billions of rupees.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\07\16\story_16-7-2010_pg5_4

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  116. Banks refuse to honour Data Darbar compensation cheques
    KARACHI: Compensation cheques, given by the Punjab government to families of the Data Darbar attack victims have not been honoured.

    Sources revealed that banks have refused to entertain the cheques, even after the 15-day processing time. The reason given has been lack of funds in the Punjab government.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/28444/banks-refuse-to-honour-data-darbar-compensation-cheques/

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  117. PSO’s bank overdraft swells to Rs38b

    By APP
    July 17, 2010

    Cash-strapped Pakistan State Oil’s (PSO) bank overdraft on Friday swelled to Rs38 billion against the limit of Rs40 billion.

    “We have been scrambling for funds with oil stocks dwindling but official quarters are still unmoved to get released the entity’s receivables standing at around Rs131 billion, and we will not be in a position to continue smooth supply in such a bad situation for long,” an official of the PSO told APP here on Friday
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/28381/pso%E2%80%99s-bank-overdraft-swells-to-rs38b/

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  118. Attracting domestic, foreign direct investment

    Saturday, July 17, 2010
    By By Javed Mirza
    KARACHI: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has recommended eliminating all foreign ownership restrictions in the aviation sector to attract domestic and foreign direct investment (FDI) into Pakistan.

    In a study on ‘View through Efficiency and the Competition Prism on Aviation Industry in Pakistan,’ CCP said emphasis should be placed on the need to allow growth of existing carriers in Pakistan and the entry of new ones.

    “Capacity is lacking in the Pakistani aviation sector and with the Gulf expanding seat capacity exponentially and international carriers withdrawing from Pakistan, action is required. Otherwise, Pakistan will end up representing a country-spoke of the Gulf networks,” the Commission’s study said.

    CCP observed that fleet renewal was of utmost importance for PIA’s economic performance, which is 89 per cent government-owned. PIA’s current inhomogeneous fleet of 40 aircraft has an average age of 13 years compared with 5-6 years for Emirates and Singapore Airlines. And over half of the PIA fleet is older than 23 years.
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=251108

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  119. China to supply 75 locomotives to Pakistan in 45 months
    Saturday July 17, 2010 (1148 PST)

    ISLAMABAD: China will supply all of the agreed 75 locomotives to Pakistan within the stipulated time of 45 months as an agreement has already been signed with a Chinese bank to finance the project.
    According to the spokesman of the Railways Ministry, Pakistan had signed an agreement with Chinese firm Dong Fong Electric Corporation in December 2008.The government paid 15 per cent of the total cost while an agreement was signed with Chinese Exim Bank and the Letter of Credit is in process.

    http://paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?229667

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  120. No need for VAT if extended GST succeeds: FBR chief
    By Our Staff Reporter
    Monday, 19 Jul, 2010

    LAHORE: There will be no need left to introduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) if desired results are obtained through the extended General Sales Tax (GST).

    This was stated by Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Sohail Ahmad while talking to reporters after inaugurating a five-day integrated tax management system orientation for 16 officers of the Afghan tax administration here at the Directorate General of Training and Research on Sunday.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/12-no+need+for+vat+if+extended+gst+succeeds+fbr+chief–bi-02

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  121. ‘No Indian goods to be allowed to Afghanistan through Pakistan’

    ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Tuesday, that under the Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Arrangement (APTTA), only transport of trade goods from Afghanistan would be allowed and that to up to Wahga border only while no Indian goods would be transported to Afghanistan through this route.

    While addressing a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, he said that only a letter of understanding has been signed for this purpose so far.

    “Confusion is prevailing from the very first day in this regard and reports, editorials and special reports contrary to the facts and against the interests of the country are being published,” said the minister.

    “The letter of understanding has been signed for one way transit trade facility for Afghan goods up to Wahga border, and not for reverse trade from India. This would be a bilateral agreement under which Pakistan would allow Afghan goods export to India via Wahga border and Kabul will provide transit facility to Pakistani goods to Central Asians States (CARs),” he said.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\07\21\story_21-7-2010_pg5_9

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  122. Get your act together, IMF tells Islamabad
    ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has for the first time conveyed a strongly-worded message to Pakistan, asking it to get its act together if it wants to keep the Fund’s $11.3 billion programme on track – a tough task which involves achieving some unrealistic targets set in the budget.
    Finance ministry officials said that the strict warning was given by the visiting IMF Mission Chief for Pakistan, Adnan Mazarei, in a meeting with Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. The meeting started on a bitter note, as the minister could not make it to the venue on time, which made the IMF representative angry as he had to wait for over half an hour, said insiders.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/28625/get-your-act-together-imf-tells-islamabad/

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  123. Presidential order soon on GST collection
    By Khaleeq Kiani
    Monday, 26 Jul, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to issue a presidential order in a few days to continue collection of sales tax on major services in the central excise mode in the federal domain for the first three months (July-Sept) of the current fiscal year.

    Informed sources told Dawn that the need for the order had been felt because of a major anomaly in federal and provincial laws relating to general sales tax under which the GST on key services like telecommunication, banking and insurance was treated both as provincial and federal taxes.

    As a result, these services have become subject to double taxation ranging between 32 and 33 per cent (16 per cent federal and 16 or 17 per cent provincial), instead of a uniform rate of 16 per cent.
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/presidential-order-soon-on-gst-collection-670

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  124. Sugar crisis brewing
    Dawn Editorial
    Thursday, 22 Jul, 2010

    Yet another sugar shortage is looming large ahead of Ramazan due to the government’s inability to import the commodity according to national needs.

    It is difficult to say who is responsible: the Trading Corporation of Pakistan, the bureaucracy, business groups or people working on behalf of certain influential politicians? All players appear to have collaborated to manipulate the situation to their advantage and prevent the TCP from importing 1.2 million tons of sugar before the June 30 deadline. The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet, too, avoided pinning responsibility on anyone in its Tuesday meeting. Some very powerful people could be involved.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/19-sugar-crisis-brewing-270-hh-02

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  125. Pakistan Increases Key Rate on Inflation Outlook
    July 30, 2010, 9:09 AM EDT

    By Farhan Sharif

    (Updates with comments from acting governor in sixth and 12th paragraphs.)

    July 30 (Bloomberg) — Pakistan’s central bank unexpectedly increased its benchmark interest rate for the first time in four meetings as power and food costs add to inflationary pressures.

    Pakistan, which has one of the world’s highest benchmark rates, joins Asian economies from India to Malaysia in raising borrowing costs as the region leads the global economic recovery. The move comes even as Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani’s government stresses the need for low borrowing costs to support economic growth.

    “Government borrowings and expected pressure from tariff and commodity price may have convinced central bank to tighten the policy,” Asad Farid, economist at AKD Securities Ltd. in Karachi, said before the announcement.
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-07-30/pakistan-increases-key-rate-on-inflation-outlook.html

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  126. Power tariff may go up by another 24pc
    By Our Staff Reporter
    Saturday, 31 Jul, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: The government has decided in principle to increase electricity tariff by another 24 per cent this year, introduce reformed general sales tax (GST) on Oct 1, and cut federal and provincial expenditures by up to Rs280 billion.

    A finance ministry official said the government would increase electricity tariff by eight per cent after every quarter, with the first hike taking effect from Sept 1. He said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had estimated that a 49 per cent increase was required this year to bridge the power companies’ financing gap. The government had initially envisaged a 33 per cent increase.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-power-tariff-may-go-up-by-another-24pc-170-hh-08

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  127. Most fiscal targets may be missed, says State Bank
    By Shahid Iqbal
    Saturday, 31 Jul, 2010

    KARACHI: The State Bank increased its policy interest rate by 50 basis points to 13 per cent on Friday on the assumption that most of the government’s fiscal targets would not be achieved and its dependence on borrowing would continue during the current financial year and cause inflation and monetary expansion.

    Announcing the monetary policy at a press conference, SBP’s Acting Governor Yaseen Anwar said the decision had been taken to mitigate risks to macro-economic stability. Effective from August 2, the policy rate will apply for two months — August and September.

    The monetary policy says that a number of fiscal targets set by the government for the current financial year cannot be achieved because of various reasons. It said that average CPI inflation was projected to remain between 11 and 12 per cent in FY11 against the target of 9.5 per cent announced in the budget. The FY10 CPI inflation at 11.7 per cent was 2.7 percentage points higher than the target.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-most-fiscal-targets-may-be-missed,-says-state-bank-170-hh-03

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  128. Oil prices dip slightly
    Published: August 01, 2010

    ISLAMABAD – The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has introduced a slight decrease in the prices of petroleum products with Motor Spirit price was reduced by some 0.3 percent i.e. from Rs 67.95 per litre to Rs 67.74 per litre. Similarly the price of HOBC is reduced from Rs 80.61 per litre to Rs 80.34 per litre while the price of kerosene oil is reduced from Rs 65.38 per litre to Rs 64.85 per litre. The price of LDO is reduced from Rs 81.66 per litre to Rs 61.35 litre.
    The prices of petroleum products were decreased under import parity price formula approved by the Federal Government and the decrease was made owing to the slight decrease in the prices of Arab Gulf petroleum products over the month of July 2010.

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/01-Aug-2010/Oil-prices-dip-slightly

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  129. Bleak economic outlook
    Dawn Editorial
    Sunday, 01 Aug, 2010

    Businessmen are fuming over the State Bank’s decision to raise its policy rate by 0.5 per cent to 13 per cent. Their anger is not without justification.

    The decision will push the cost of doing business upwards and make their products dearer in the global markets. But did the bank have any choice? Not really. At stake is the eroding macroeconomic stability and wellbeing of the common man. The cash-strapped government’s failure to cut expenditure, increase tax revenues and fix structural flaws in the economy is jeopardising stability and growth. It missed most of the fiscal targets for the last financial year, lived on borrowed money and let the fiscal deficit swell and price inflation spike. This year is going to be no different unless the rulers mend their ways and learn to live within their means. That is unlikely to happen. Foreign creditors also understand this and are no longer ready to pay the bill for the lavish living of our ruling classes.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/19-bleak-economic-outlook-180-hh-08

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  130. My editorial for RTI Pakistan – August 2nd 2010

    Where does all the money go? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

    Lahore – Things are tough for Pak citizens – is there any doubt? Would any other nation want to walk in our shoes right now? Probably not.
    We are surrounded by incompetent leaders who were not even smart enough to pass their Bachelor’s exam without cheating so they went a step further and committed fraud to circumvent a law of the land. What a great role model for future generations!
    We are surrounded by leaders who don’t pay taxes and have no plans of ever paying taxes in this country. They make laws that shift burden of taxes on the poor and the middle classes. Yes, I am talking about GST and other indirect taxes that hit us in wallet every year but not them. The elected elite that run this country are all hi-tech farmers, (read: feudal lords that own big agricultural estates), real estate tycoons (they own mansions, palaces, shops and big country estates here and abroad), and industrialists and financiers (they own industries and banks). Why would they make laws to tax themselves? So VAT or GST or whatever new fancy name they come up with will remain a joke in this country. Poor IMF – they don’t understand that in a corrupt country like ours, it’s quite easy to cook the books – so where does that leave GST? The consumers might end up paying GST but producers, retailers, service providers and business owners don’t have to declare their income or numbers if they don’t want to…
    We are surrounded by leaders who are insensitive enough to go on foreign tours so they can meet visit family and party workers on government expense while Pak citizens are drowning and crying for help, not to mention, when one of the hosts they plan to visit have insulted them sufficiently by calling them ‘exporters of terror’ – strangely enough, not a single citizen of Pakistan has been caught ‘master-minding’ any terrorist activity anywhere. (Ajmal Kasab or Faisal Shahzad don’t count – they were just foot soldiers). May be I shouldn’t have said this? Now, some local master-minders (other than so-called ISI) will be manufactured and will start crawling out from the woodwork?!
    We are surrounded by leaders who are so busy looting the country that they don’t even realize the realities on ground – Pakistan is surrounded by hostile neighbors, economy is in shambles and people are committing suicide daily. The only organized government institution in this country is unfortunately the Army which is being pulled in all directions – to defend the borders, to contain the terrorists, and even fly to the rescue of the drowning folk while the world vilifies our only ‘working’ government institution to death. The rest of the institutions are too busy playing the proverbial fiddle while Rome burns.

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  131. Reformed GST and some pending issues
    EDITORIAL (August 03 2010): According to a Business Recorder exclusive, the Prime Minister has constituted a special committee, headed by Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Sheikh, to finalise all pending issues with respect to the levy of a reformed GST, widely regarded as the controversial value added tax, preparatory to its levy from October 1, the deadline given by Dr Sheikh in his June 5, budget speech.

    It is a source of deep and pervasive public concern that the government has not revisited the newly appointed Finance Minister’s insistence on imposing a tax that seeks to abrogate a constitutional provision. What has further flummoxed many an analyst is how a democratically elected Prime Minister has allowed himself to be convinced that meeting its commitment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is more important than ensuring that the constitution provisions prevail.

    http://www.brecorder.com/index.php?id=1087247&currPageNo=1&query=&search=&term=&supDate=

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  132. WB to provide $3.7 bn to Pakistan in four years

    Sunday, August 08, 2010

    By Mehtab Haider

    ISLAMABAD: The World Bank (WB) is committed to provide loans amounting to $3.7 billion to Pakistan for priority areas in next four years including $924 million for Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC)/public financial management, $850 million for energy sector, $275 million for water/ports and $1.115 billion for education sector.

    According to WB’s Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) which was officially released on Saturday, reads out that the priority lending programme amounts to an estimated $3.7 billion (IBRD/IDA), equivalent to about 60 percent of a total potential financing envelope of up to $6.2 billion (including MDTF financing) during the CPS period.

    For social safety nets the Bank will lend $300 million to Pakistanis well as it will also provide $100 million for rehabilitation efforts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Fata and Balochistan under the initiative of Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF).

    Dwelling upon Pakistan’s economy and its medium term outlook, the CPS states that total government debt (including obligations to the IMF) as a share of GDP is projected to rise from 59.3 percent in 2008/09 to 62.4 percent in 2009/10. About half of the debt is external and half domestic. Total debt is projected to remain over 60 percent of GDP in the medium term, but thereafter decline.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=30590

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  133. WB extends only half of promised loans
    ISLAMABAD: The World Bank lent slightly over half of what it had promised to Pakistan in the last four years due to worsening economic situation and this indicates it may not again meet its promise of extending $6 billion till 2013 with the economy entering a danger zone.

    The Washington-based donor agency had committed $8.7 billion to Pakistan from 2006 to 2009. However, the four-year programme could not remain on track and the bank lent $4.4 billion in four years, almost half of the total commitment, reveals the bank documents.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/37039/wb-extends-only-half-of-promised-loans/

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  134. Floods to hit economic growth: Finance Ministry
    KARACHI: Pakistan’s catastrophic floods means it will miss this year’s 4.5 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth target this year though it is not yet clear by how much, a finance ministry official said on Tuesday.

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday the floods, the worst in 80 years, will cause major economic harm as donor and investor concerns grow over the disaster’s impact on an already fragile economy.

    “It is too early to say the extent of damage and loss of crops. But yes, it is a major catastrophe and it will have a negative impact on economic growth,” said Finance Ministry spokesman Asif Bajwa.

    The government said it was assessing the damage but it would be substantial, especially in the agriculture sector which accounts for more than 21 per cent of GDP and employs 45 per cent of the labour force.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/03-floods-to-hit-economic-growth-finance-ministry-ss-04

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  135. Whose freedom are we celebrating?
    As August 14 rolls around, Pakistanis will witness yet another independence day steeped in the usual rituals of the nation state: the hoisting of the flag, national day parades, 21-gun salutes, loads of platitudes and clichés in print and the electronic media about the promised day, the struggles of Partition, the sacrifices given and the freedom gained.
    As our nation prepares to once again remember itself and reiterate the story of its birth, what is likely to be forgotten is the promise embedded in the new land. That promise was freedom: freedom for each and every one of its citizens — whether men or women, Muslim or non-Muslim, peasant or worker — to live a decent life underscored by all the freedoms and rights that are guaranteed in modern states.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/38051/whose-freedom-are-we-celebrating/

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  136. Inflation at 12.34 per cent in July, worst yet to come
    ISLAMABAD: Prices of goods and services increased by 12.34 per cent in July, compared to the same month in the previous fiscal year. Authorities are afraid that food prices may increase significantly in coming months due to disruption caused by floods to the supply chain.

    The Consumer Price Index, a key indicator of inflation, rose by 12.34 per cent in July over the same period of last year, according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS).

    The numbers validate the State Bank of Pakistan’s concerns about rising inflation. The central bank has estimated average inflation at 12 per cent by the end of the current fiscal year in stark contrast to the government’s understated estimate of 9.5 per cent. This is also the reason that the central bank increased its key interest rate by 0.5 percentage point to 13 per cent.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/38395/inflation-at-12-34-per-cent-in-july-worst-yet-to-come/

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  137. Major policy shift by FBR for registered taxpayers’ audit
    SOHAIL SARFRAZ
    ISLAMABAD (August 13 2010): A major policy change has been made for carrying out audit of registered taxpayers on the basis of parameters instead of random selection of cases through balloting which failed to produce the desired results. Sources told Business Recorder here on Thursday that the FBR will make a major policy shift by switching from random based selection of cases to parametric based audit.
    http://www.brecorder.com/index.php?id=1091010&currPageNo=1&query=&search=&term=&supDate=

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  138. FBR asked to cut duties to check smuggling
    By A Reporter
    Friday, 13 Aug, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: The ministry of commerce and the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance have called for reduction in the import duties to discourage smuggling of items into the country through the Afghan Transit Trade (ATT).

    Commerce Secretary Zafar Mehmood responding to the queries at the Standing Committee said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should examine the impact of the tariff rationalisation on smuggling-prone items as it would also provide an opportunity to save the local industry.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/business/19-fbr-asked-to-cut-duties-to-check-smuggling-380-hh-14

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  139. Wheat stock adequate to meet situation: Gondal
    By Khawar Ghumman
    Friday, 13 Aug, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: As the ‘super flood’ wreaks havoc on the country’s agricultural economy, the federal minister in charge sees a sliver of hope in these disastrous times and claims the government has sufficient reserves of staple food.

    Talking to Dawn, Minister for Food and Agriculture Nazar Mohammad Gondal said the government had two million tons of wheat in surplus and one million tons in strategic reserves.

    “I believe it is a blessing in disguise that the government couldn’t export wheat because of low prices in the international market,” Mr Gondal said.

    Now that the country has been struck with this unprecedented natural calamity, “we can use the reserves of wheat whenever and wherever required,” he added.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-wheat-stock-adequate-to-meet-situation-gondal-380-hh-08

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  140. Comment: Economic collapse
    By Cyril Almeida
    Friday, 13 Aug, 2010

    What could be worse than floods that have displaced millions, killed thousands and destroyed huge swathes of farmland, a catastrophe the country will take years to recover from?

    Some people think they know, and the answer terrifies them. Away from the political mishegoss in Islamabad, calculators are anxiously being pulled out and back-of-the-envelope calculations are furiously being made by the serious-minded folks.

    The numbers are numbing: even before the floods, Pakistan seemed to be heading for economic collapse; after the floods, that appears to be all but a certainty.

    Gone will be the days of loadshedding — because there will be no electricity at all in the grid. Inflation, which has stayed stubbornly high, will spike again — because a sustained budget deficit is forcing the government to borrow money, keeping the economy awash in surplus money, more cash chasing the same amount of goods.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/columnists/19-cyril-almeida-economic-collapse-380-hh-19

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  141. Deficit widens to $1.45b in July
    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s trade deficit widened by 24 per cent in July as import growth surpassed the growth in exports, and the State Bank may be compelled to take measures aimed at curtailing import demand if the trend continues.
    The gap between exports and imports widened to $1.45 billion in July, according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics on Thursday. The trade deficit was recorded at $1.17 billion last July.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/38731/deficit-widens-to-1-45b-in-july/

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