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Op-Ed section will have latest editorial and analysis…

World Bank loan for energy sector

According to newspaper reports, the World Bank has approved a loan of about $500 million to increase reliability and efficiency of the national transmission system after the government assured the donor agency that it will set up an independent organization to support structural reforms and improve financial, technical and commercial performance of the power sector. The government has already fulfilled ... Read More »

Tax amnesty scheme

The government’s effort to bring one million potential taxpayers into the tax net is meeting a cold response as a majority of them is not willing to come under the tax net on easy terms. Only four days are left in the deadline for the non-filers to take benefits of the scheme without a visible improvement in tax collections and ... Read More »

Challenges to economy

According to a senior official of the State Bank, the country’s economy has been facing different challenges despite improvement in macro-economic indicators for the last one year. In its first monetary policy for 2016, the bank kept the policy rates unchanged against what the experts believed there was a room for cut in policy rates by 50 basis points. The ... Read More »

Say yes to foreign investment

The government is appeared to be in a quandary as if it does not know how to respond to the investment offers from various countries. When Finance Minister Ishaq Dar says that Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, China and other countries are willing to invest in Pakistan, it is true to some extent. But the area of concern is how to ... Read More »

Effects of low oil prices

According to newspaper reports, the country will not be able to achieve the annual growth target of 5.5 percent this year mainly because of decline in cotton exports. The international financial institutions have already projected the growth in the gross domestic product at around 4.5 percent despite the fact that oil prices have recorded a significant decline this fiscal year. ... Read More »

WHT and tax amnesty scheme

According to newspaper reports, the economic coordination committee of the cabinet has decided to extend the date for concessional rate of withholding tax of 0.4 percent on banking transactions for non-filers up to the second week of March. The controversy started when the government imposed 0.6 percent withholding tax on banking transactions in the federal budget. However, in the wake ... Read More »

Power sector woes

The shortage of electricity and circular debt are two chronic issues the nation is facing for the last many years. Electricity is the basic requirement for economic development but the official hierarchy is showing bleak performance both at management as well as operational levels. At the management level, the officials have failed to come up with a workable solution to ... Read More »

Reforming tax system

After years of travelling on the hackneyed path of omissions and commissions, the policymakers have finally reached a conclusion that a paradigm shift in existing tax system is indispensable for widening the tax net and increase revenue collections. According to newspaper reports, the government has decided to implement much awaited structural reforms in the federal taxation authority to arrest the ... Read More »

Tapi gas pipeline project

  The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project has been turning into reality after four nations have cleared the way for initial investment. The project will cost $10-billion after its completion and the agreement will cover the cost of a feasibility study and will mark the route of the pipeline through Afghanistan. Earlier in December last year, the leaders of the four ... Read More »

Money in Swiss banks

According to news reports, at least $200 billion has been stashed in Swiss banks allegedly by insincere politicians, tax evaders and corrupt bureaucrats, but the government has so far failed to bring it back to Pakistan. Switzerland, which was once a hub of black money deposited by criminals from all over the world, changed its 300 years banking secrecy rules ... Read More »

Agricultural sector needs attention

The nation was expecting a sharp increase in the Pakistan’s exports after the European Union granted GSP Plus Status to the country. Instead, it has been recorded a drastic downfall of 14.4 percent in exports during the current fiscal year. The exports of Bangladesh have increased by 8 percent during the same period. However, the economists still believe that Pakistan ... Read More »

Dilemma of structural reforms

The economy of Pakistan has been facing structural problems for the last many decades and needs structural reforms to move on the right track. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his first address to the nation after his faction of the Pakistan Muslim League won the elections, had said that his agenda was economy, economy and economy. Now consuming two third ... Read More »

Case of exorbitant wheat price

  The price of wheat flour is skyrocketing in Pakistan, registering an increase of more than 300 percent during the last 10 years. The question is why Pakistanis are forced to buy wheat flour at exorbitant price as compared to the other parts of the world when surplus wheat is available in the government stocks. According to the Pakistan Economy ... Read More »

Iron, gold and copper deposits in Chiniot

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called the discovery of the huge mineral reserves near Chiniot district in Punjab as the great treasure which could change the lot of this nation. He announced the presence of rich deposits of copper, iron and gold contrary to former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi’s claims that the iron ore found in Chiniot is ... Read More »

Dilemma of fake currency notes

Police have arrested a gang of criminals involved in printing fake currency notes of various denominations, including US dollars and UAE dirhams during a raid in Lahore. Earlier, Saeed Ahmad, acting governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, had warned of anti-state elements involved in circulating counterfeit Pakistani currency in the country not only putting the individuals, who happened to ... Read More »

Business with Iran

Pakistan and Iran have close cultural and religious relations, but the two countries are not too close to establish strong economic relations. Both have failed to reap the benefits of potential trade as well as investment opportunities knocking each other’s doors. The countries are geographically close, but economically apart. However, illegal trade between the two countries never stopped, rather it ... Read More »

Halal food market

Pakistan’s share is only around $28 million or just 0.5 percent of the total global halal food trade. A quarter of the world population is Muslim and Pakistan ranks 18th in the index of the halal meat production with a capacity to produce 650,402 tons chicken meat, 73,000 tons buffalo meat, 70,600 tons cattle meat, 270,000 tons goat meat and ... Read More »

Bailout package for leather industry

    The leather industry contributes five percent to the gross domestic product and about seven percent to the total export earnings whereas about 200,000 workforce is engaged with the sector in the country. Pakistan is a major producer of leather products, includingfootwear, garments, gloves, shoes and other miscellaneous goods. At least 2,500 tanneries and footwear manufacturing units are operational ... Read More »

Industrial units should be documented

According to newspaper reports, the government has no updated record of industrial units in the country, including its largest province Punjab, giving a severe blow to the efforts to document the national economy. No updated or official industrial directory has been prepared and the available record is void of any reasonable data which could help boost industrial activities in the ... Read More »

Tax reforms need of hour

The tax-to-GDP ratio in Pakistan is the lowest in the region, but the Tax Reforms Commission, in its final report, claims that the tax regime in the country is in favour of the elite classes. The report, which is completed in one and a half years, suggests that all the top office holders in the country should be taxed to ... Read More »