Export sector becomes white elephant: PEW

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Exporters addicted to subsidies, bailout packages
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said the export sector has been relaying on government’s aid since long since becoming a burden.
The export industry has long been addicted to bailout packages, subsidies, tax breaks and other measures which put burden on the national exchequer to the tune of billions per annum, it said.
A little reduction in the government’s aid result in loss on the external front as export sector has never tried to become self-reliant or switch to value-addition, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement issued here today, he said that export sector is facing some problems but it should try to stand on its own feet. read more…

PEW welcomes widening trade deficit

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Deficit sign of investment in CPEC
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday welcomed widening trade deficit terming it a sign of heavy investments in the economic corridor which is a fate-changing project.
The situation will change after Pakistan start receiving return on investment in the economic corridor, it said.
Trade deficit swelled to 1.76 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal which was 1.08 billion in the corresponding period. The 63 percent jump in the deficit in due to falling exports, increased imports and outflow of money required to buy machinery for CPEC, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement issued here today, he said that this is for the very first time in the history of Pakistan that trade deficit which is bound to put pressure of balance of payments situation is a welcome development.

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India damaging Pakistan’s industrial base: PEW

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Pakistani products retreating in international market
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked the government to take note of the unholy designs of India which is now damaging our industrial base to bankrupt country.
India is bent upon destroying our textile sector which the backbone of economy which must be noticed, it said.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW, said that New Delhi is India is working on a strategy to damage Pakistan beyond repair after damaging Kalabagh dam project and initiating water terrorism.
He that India has been targeting economic corridor and now it has started industrial terrorism to damage Pakistan’s textile sector which shouldn’t be allowed. read more…

IMF, WB reports on economy distressing: PEW

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Wider than expected budget deficit expected
Broadened tax net to help reduce trade deficit

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Saturday said reports of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) about Pakistan’s economy are disturbing.
It asked the government to take steps to revive economy as exports, investment and remittances continue to fall threatening wider than expected budget deficit.
The multilateral lenders usually issue encouraging reports using highly diplomatic language but they also point towards serious issues between the lines, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that the latest reports about Pakistan indicates that things are moving in the right direction and growth is picking up which is expected to touch mark of 5.4 percent after half decade.

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Call to tackle gas sector circular debt: PEW

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Steps demanded for successful energy policy
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked the government to tackle gas sector circular debt before it put a question mark on the success of the energy policy.
He expressed concern over the gas sector circular debt that has touched the mark of Rs 12 billion.
The debt should be contained before it damage the gas sector like it has played havoc with the electricity sector, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that country is already faced with circular debt of Rs 650 billion and now Rs 12 billion of gas debt has added to it creating more uncertainty.
Government is buying LNG since April 2015 and such losses in a short span are not acceptable, he said, adding that the government has assured IMF that circular debt will be controlled but it couldn’t.

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Business community raising questions about benefits of CPEC

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Duty free equipment imports for CPEC deprive local industry of benefit
Arrangement not helping industrial expansion, job creation in Pakistan
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said business community has started raising questions about impact of CPEC on local industry.
Government has allowed import of all the machinery and other equipment without any duty and taxes for the project which has put local industry on disadvantage that is against the national interests, it said.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that cost of doing business is very high in Pakistan therefore locally produced goods cannot compete with the goods imported without any duty and taxes leaving local manufacturers high and dry.
In this scenario, he maintained, local heavy and cottage industry is not getting benefit of the 46 billion dollar investment which is impeding industrial expansion, revenue and job creation.

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Govt asked to cut taxes on POL products: PEW

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Masses should get benefit of reduced oil prices
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked the government to cut direct and indirect taxes on oil and gas and give benefit of reduced oil prices to masses.
Last year federal government collected 912 billion rupees as taxes while the collection of provincial governments is not included in it.
Government collections will surpass mark of trillion rupees as taxes on some petroleum products have been increased, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement issued here today, he said that overreliance on indirect taxes amounts to admission of the failure of FBR by authorities.

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Irani gas can support Pakistani economy for centuries: Dr Murtaza Mughal

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Pakistan-Iran FTA to be finalised in three months: Ambassador
Banking channel, greater aviation cooperation with Pakistan soon: Honardost
Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost has said that banking channels between Tehran and Islamabad will start working soon as the top officials of the central banks of the two countries are scheduled to meet within days.
Improved banking ties will boost bilateral trade between the two countries as the current volume of commerce does not reflect cordial ties while Banking relations are central to boost trade and investment ties, he said.
Talking to Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of the Pakistan Economy Watch, Mehdi Honardoost informed that a high-powered Pakistani delegation is to visit Iran during the next week to finalise Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
He informed that Iran has already forwarded final draft of FTA to Pakistani authorities with hope that FTA will be finalised within three months.

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Immediate FTA with Iran demanded: PEW

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Trade barriers benefitting smugglers
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday demanded of the government to sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Iran to boost trade and confidence.
Both the countries have enforced a number of tariff and non-tariff barriers which has resulted in reduction in legal trade while triggering smuggling, it said.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW called for initiating serious efforts to boost trade with Iran which is highly unsatisfactory.
He said that Pakistan and Iran can become good trading partner for which serious efforts have been initiated while an FTA would be an achievement.

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PEW for preferring reforms over loans

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ISLAMABAD – The­ on Thursday asked the economic managers to focus on reforms as emphasis on acquiring loans was against the national interests.
“Excessive focus on loans has pushed the foreign loans to $73 billion,” it said.
“Getting more loans and avoiding meaningful reforms amounts to enslaving the whole nation and the coming generations,” said PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal.
He said that despite announcement by the economic managers that foreign loans were no more required, a new loan of $800 million had been secured from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for power sector reforms.
“Our policymakers have agreed to all the conditions put forward by the ADB which is disturbing,” he noted. read more…

Stuck up refunds sinking economy: PEW

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Falling exports to widen trade gap
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said non-payment of refunds has resulted in falling exports which will widen the trade gap.
Stuck up refunds worth billions of rupees have inflicted harm upon exporter sector which calls for urgent action, it said.
Government has paid some sales tax refunds but majority of other refunds have not been paid which has left exporters in a lurch, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that in current scenario Pakistani products are retreating in the international market which is against the national interests. read more…

Nobility misusing cheap agri credit: PEW

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Agri sector cannot be left on the mercy of dishonest
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said landed nobility continue to misuse cheap agricultural credit which is barring growth of this vital sector.
As the banks pour more money in the agricultural sector the output reduces which proves misuse of loans by some major borrowers, it said.
Last year banks disbursed Rs598.3 billion as loans against the target of Rs600 billion among 2.4 million farmers but it failed to boost output, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that loan disbursement remained sixteen percent higher than 2014-15 while the number of borrowers also grew by two hundred thousand but it has failed to have an impact on the sector due to mismanagement.

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FM’s move to regulate real estate market welcomed: PEW

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Decision will significantly reduce size of black economy
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday praised the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for taking steps to regulate the realty market which will help government raise billions of rupees and increase the size of documented economy.
The decision is being resisted by the majority of the business community which amounts to help tax cheats as it will convert a good part of the informal economy to the formal one which is in the larger national interest, it said.
The Pakistan’s real estate sector has become a save heaven for the corrupt bureaucrats, politicians, criminals, terror financing and crook businessmen, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that the formal economy is shrinking since decades while the informal economy has been expanding over time and now it is bigger than the formal one.

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Govt asked to improve food security situation: PEW

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Food insecurity grave threat to national security
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday expressed reservations over government response to the looming food security threat.
It demanded increased investment to ensure food security for whole population many of whom are finding it difficult to get adequate food while the situation of food security in Pakistan has deteriorated since 2003.
Government must have full details of food security situation so that policymakers can plan on the basis of ground realities as food insecurity anywhere, threatens peace everywhere, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that global agricultural production must be enhanced by 50 percent by 2050 to feed nine billion people, as majority of world’s poor and malnourished lives in Saarc region.

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PEW wants immediate construction of KBD

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Steps suggested to combat water scarcity
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked the government to initiate immediate construction of Kalabagh dam (KBD) so that Pakistan can remain a fertile country.
It called for settling disputes to construct mega projects without which future of the country and coming generations will remain bleak.
Demand and supply gas for water has reached alarming levels which will make Pakistan a desert in a decade if immediate steps were not taken, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Talking to Chairperson of IWCCI Committee on Trade and Industry Tabassum Anwar he said that unholy alliance between tanker mafia and water officials has resulted in closure of hundreds of factories in Karachi which should be noticed.

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Govt delayed privatization to win elections: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said government has stopped privatization programme to win elections are it cannot afford tough decisions at this juncture.
The decision is not only violation of the agreement with the IMF but it is also discouraging investors while keeping much-needed local and foreign investment away.
Government should have preferd to sell bleeding companies wasting trillions annually before disposing profitable ones to please allies, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Talking to Tabassum Anwar, Chairperson IWCCI’s standing committee on trade and industry, he said that foreign investment has already dwindled while reforms in the bleeding enterprises and appointing professional management remained unimplemented.

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PEW seeks more relaxations for textile sector

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday lauded government’s move to provide facility of zero rating for the textile sector but termed it insufficient in the current scenario.
It asked the government for more relaxations so that Pakistan can regain its position in the international market.
Fourteen billion dollar textile industry which is playing critical role in the national economy is crumbling due to multiple reasons which need immediate government intervention, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that energy crisis, incoherent policies, regional competition, undue taxation etc. have taken toll on this industry providing jobs to 3.5 million people
He said that 57 percent exports are linked to textile industry, its share in manufacturing is 46 percent while it employs 38 percent of the urban labour.

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Steps demanded to improve energy efficiency: PEW

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Upgradation of energy infrastructure can boost production, exports
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Friday said government is pushing many new energy projects but it should also focus on upgradation of existing infrastructure.
Ensuring energy efficiency can help Pakistan save thousands of megawatt of electricity, millions of litres of fuel and around 40 percent natural gas, resulting in cheap electricity, it said.
China is consuming double electricity than Japan for production therefore the leadership of the country is spending 1.6 trillion dollar to improve energy efficiency while it is being ignored in Pakistan, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

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Economic indicators improving: PEW

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Additional taxes imposed due to falling exports
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said economic indicators are improving while additional taxes have been imposed due to falling exports/
Economy is on growth trajectory which has infused confidence of investors and international institutions but pace of reforms must be accelerated, it said.
Government has focused attention on energy, expanding tax net, reforming PSEs, stabilising prices, currency and reducing deficit which is laudable, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that country was on the brink of default when PML-N came to power and changed the situation.

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Steps demanded to combat climate change

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday demanded serious steps to combat threat of climate change which is poised to damage economy and hurt millions of people.
Climate change has become a great threat but concerned authorities seems not keen about it, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that climate change is to inflict more harm than any other problem but it is not a priority for the government which is busy in spending hefty amount on symbolic projects, he said.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that floods inflicting losses of trillions of rupees and leaving many homeless, melting glaciers, reducing water table, ill-timed rains and drought in some parts of the country is linked to climate change.

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Disagreement over mega dams resulting in huge losses: PEW

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Government least bothered about water policy, strategy
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said differences over construction of dams and lack of water storage capacity is inflicting an annual loss of 3.5 billion dollars to the national economy.
The dismal storage capacity of eight percent, water disputes and differences over mega dams has inflicted a loss of around 1.5 trillion dollars to the country in the last 45 years, he said.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that country will continue to brave losses as policymakers seems uninterested in a proper water policy and water strategy.

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Textile sector criticised for demanding devaluation of currency: PEW

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Eroded rupee to hurt whole population
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday criticised textile sector for demanding devaluation of local currency to boost exports.
Eroded rupee to make imports costly which are double than exports and hut every person in Pakistan, it said.
The government has accorded zero-rating status to the textile sector in the budget, reduced export refinance rate by 0.5 percent and promised to pay refunds but the textile millers are asking for more which is unjustified, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that devaluation of the currency to spur exports is an old-fashioned idea which is contrary to the national interests therefore government should refuse the demand.

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Govt shouldn’t compromise CPEC development

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Reduced allocation for CPEC criticised
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said government should provide all the required resources for timely completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Delaying the project to resource constraints is not acceptable and the masses will never allow it, it said.
One-third of the developmental budget has already been slashed to keep deficit under control but the government still lacks money needed for critical mega projects with loan appearing as only option, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In the last three years government has avoided meaningful reforms in the FBR and preferred to burden existing taxpayers which has left it with empty pocket, he added.

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IMF prepared the budget, Govt has to announce it: PEW

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Budget proposals by businessmen wastage of time
PEW demands tax audit of all MNAs
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said IMF has already prepared budget while government has to announce and impose it on the due date.
Trade associations are wasting time by submitting budget proposals while top officials are giving them assurances as usual, it said.
A pro-growth budget as claimed by the government functionaries in the presence of IMF programme is a pipe dream, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that how can government announce a pro-business and masses friendly budget when only one person out of 375 pay tax and a few thousand file return out of millions of professionals including doctors and lawyers.

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FBR blamed for dismayed growth, reduced exports: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday blamed FBR for choked growth and reduced exports which is taking toll on economy.
FBR continue to block export refunds to show improved collection in a bid to please IMF which is against national interests, it said.
The policy of FBR has left export sector reeling with lost competitiveness therefore government should consider abolishing refund system, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that exporters should be provided facility of zero rated regime as the withheld refunds continue to damage competitiveness of export sector.
Murtaza Mughal said that the continued fall in exports is threatening largest export earning sector of textiles which is also the largest employment provider afteragriculture.

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Symbolic projects getting more attention than energy ventures: PEW

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Money collected for gas import used on symbolic projects
Upward revision of tariff for gas-based power plants criticised
Masses burdened by Rs1 trillion to finance LNG pipeline

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday criticised government for preferring symbolic schemes over projects to contain energy scarcity terming it against the national interests.
Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) was imposed to finance gas import projects despite resistance by consumers but it was misused to finance Metro and Orange Line Projects, it said.
Decision to collect GIDC from gas consumers benefitted bureaucracy while it took toll on fertiliser, textile and many other sectors resulting in high cost of business, high inflation, and reduced exports and agricultural output, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that Rs183billion collected for gas pipelines were utilised for monumental projects leaving government with no option to burden masses with Rs110 billion to finance LNG pipeline.

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Action against pharma mafia demanded for artificial shortage of drugs: PEW

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Those playing with the lives of masses for money should face strict action
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Monday demanded forceful action against pharma mafia for creating artificial shortage of drugs to enhance profit.
Those playing with the lives of masses for the sake of money should be dealt according to the law, it said.
Avoiding any action against profiteers amounts to enmity with the masses which cannot be tolerated, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that around fifty drugs are not available in the market which include many essential and lifesaving drugs but authorities have decided to ignore the issue.
The drugs not available in the market for patients include that of TB, cough, respiratory disease, lung problems and mental issues which has created a big problem, he said.

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Pakistan cannot survive as a trading state: PEW

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Economic model of Dubai will not work in Pakistan
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said country is being transformed into a trading state which is against the national interests as it cannot survive by following the economic model of Dubai.
Pakistan must follow economic models of China, Korea or Taiwan to become a stable state, it said.
Industrial sector should not be discouraged but promoted as many industrialists have started preferring trading which is not heavily dependent on political situation, energy scasrcity and uncertain taxation, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

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Democracy in economic decision making process demanded

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Unilateral decisions hurting exports, economy
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday demanded democracy in the process of decision making regarding critical economic issues.
All the economic decisions are being taken by one person without regarding the opinions of others which is unnatural as a single mind cannot properly cover all the economic sectors, it said.
Decisions regarding economic matters should be taken after through consultations with all the stakeholders so that the same can be implemented swiftly without fear of failure, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that government has find refuge in obtaining loans from banks as exports and remittances continue to fall.
This practice is not sustainable as it is easy to get loans but very difficult to repay it, he added.

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Smuggling from Afghanistan, Iran threatening industrial expansion: PEW

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Under invoicing and misdeclaration going out of control
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said increased smuggling from Afghanistan and Iran has emerged as serious threat to industrial expansion in Pakistan.
Smuggling has been damaging various industrial sectors resulting in loss of revenue and unemployment which must be tackled on preference, it said.
Tensions among Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran should not be allowed to hurt trade and plans to explore central Asia and import energy, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that Pakistan and Afghanistan are big trade partners despite difference over issues relating to refugees, smuggling of drugs, arms and other things, supporting militants and way to handle terrorism.
Similarly, Pak-Iran trade has a great potential which has been overshadowed by the issue of Indian spy that should be tackled properly lest it damage bilateral ties.

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Senator Zaki lauds PM’s Iran initiative

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New chapter of cooperation in Pak-Iran relations opened
Former state minister for foreign affairs Senator Akram Zaki on Sunday said Pakistan and Iran enjoy strong political relations but economic relations are not satisfactory.
He lauded the efforts of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to cement economic ties with Iran which will benefit both countries and entire region.
Senator Akram Zaki said this while talking to President of Pakistan Economy Watch Dr. Murtaza Mughal.
He said that the visit of Hassan Rouhani can result in early completion of Pak-Iran gas pipeline project which has been delayed due to sanctions.
The visit of Iranian President is a welcome development while a 60-member trade delegation that arrived with him reflects inclination of Iran to take economic ties with Pakistan to new heights, he said.

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Perpetual dispute over KBD can make Pakistan a failed state: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said asked the government to forge consensus on Kalabagh dam (KBD) as unending disagreements on the project can make Pakistan a failed state.
Country is pocketing loss of around 300 billion per annum due to delay in construction of KBD which cannot be afforded for long, it said.
India has completed one hundred and seventy-one dams in disputed occupied Kashmir generating 28000 megawatt of cheap electricity while Pakistani politicians cannot agree on one dam, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that some elements opposing this project are dancing on the tune of India which is part of her policy to make Pakistan a desert through water aggression.

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Strict action against non-filers demanded: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked the government to stop extending deadlines for the tax amnesty scheme as it has failed to achieve the desired results due to opposition by trades.
It asked the government to take strict action against non-filers who are not ready to discharge national obligation by paying their share.
Falling exports and remittances are not sufficient to run the country therefore tax culture must be introduced otherwise government will have no option but to get loans to run the affairs, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that exports continue to fall; like all other sectors the services sector has also shown dismal performance through exports reduced by 5.96 percent in the first seven months of the current fiscal.

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PEW demands removal of distortions in wheat market

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Masses forced to buy costliest flour in the world despite self-sufficiency
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked the government to tackle distortions in the wheat market as forty percent population is living below the poverty line but they are forced to consume costliest wheat flour in the world.
Revisiting support price can improve the situation as annually surplus wheat worth billions is wasted due to improperds storage facilities, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement issued here today, he said that a former prime minister doubled the wheat support price due to sliding popularity of his party which boosted the production beyond control.
The bid to win elections failed and country lost competitive edge in the international market running out of all options but to export a little quantity and start donating the commodity.

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Oil and gas companies violating Ogra decisions: PEW

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Rights of consumers being violated for profit
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said oil and gas companies are violating decisions of Ogra to maximise profits on the cost of consumers.
Federal Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has started bypassing oil and gas regulator in favour of oil and gas companies which amounts to following the footsteps of the former petroleum minister Dr. Asim, it said.
Oil and gas companies continue to use energy crisis to mint money while the regulator has intentionally been kept impotent since long, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement issued here today, he said that Ogra quorum was kept incomplete for years while a number of incompetent officials were posted there to make it weak so that it could not impose critical decisions.

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Weak trade diplomacy behind dwindling exports: PEW

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Textile sector loosing sheen despite increased loans
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday blamed failed trade diplomacy behind dwindling exports which has forced government to borrow from international lenders to save country from default.
Fundamental changes should be introduced in the export sector otherwise government will have no option to borrow to keep forex reserves in respectable limits, it said.
Textile sector, the backbone of economy is going down while Aptma has projected a loss of 3.5 billion dollars by the yearend for which export managers are responsible, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

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Low oil prices can bankrupt developing nations

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Oil importing countries may collapse before oil-rich kingdoms
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said international community should unite to counter threat of low oil prices as it will bankrupt oil importing developing countries before the oil-rich nations paving way for another international crisis.
Pakistan should reduce expenditure, enhance exports and focus on value-addition as well as innovation otherwise it will not be able to thwart default even with the help of IMF, it said.
According to experts, oil exporting countries are running large budget deficits while Saudi Arabia having over 700 billion dollars in reserves can default by 2020 if the prices of oil remained subdued.

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Central bank’s statement disappointing: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday said the central bank’s recent monetary policy statement is away from the facts which has damaged the credibility of the institution.
The SBP should not act as mouthpiece of the government to mislead masses about so called economic success of the government, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement issued here today, he said that newly constituted independent monetary policy committee of the central bank has also failed to present factual picture of the economy.
The report praised increased income of the government and revenue measures ignoring that Pakistan tops list of countries with most petroleum and telecom taxes, he added.

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Govt misguided IMF on SBP autonomy: PEW

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Central bank becomes puppet of Government
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Monday said government misguided IMF on the issue of autonomy of State Bank of Pakistan which is evident from the recent monetary policy statement.
The central bank’s statement is based on concoction which has put its repute to question, it said.
The SBP should not act as mouthpiece of the government to misguide masses about so called economic success, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement issued here today, he said that newly constituted independent monetary policy committee of the central bank has failed to present factual picture of the economy and opted to misled masses.

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Burdening masses to finance gas pipelines illegal: PEW

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Masses subjected to double taxation to benefit elite
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said governemnt’s decision to put additional burden of Rs 110 billion on masses to build gas pipelines is highly discriminatory and illegal.
Trillions have been collected under the head of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) to finance pipelines during the last six years while Rs 145 billion are being collected in the current year but government has decided to punish masses thorugh double taxation to raise mor emoney, it said.
Masses deserves to know where the money collected under GIDC has gone as government has admitted having only Rs 200 billion under this head which is amazing, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

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Growth rate target achievable: PEW

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Reforms key to resolution of all problems
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said 5.5 percent growth rate target for the current year is unattainable in the current set of circumstances.
The government will have to revise it down like the targets of investment, exports and revenue and economic managers will come up with excuses as usual.
Government has improved growth rate, forex reserves and current account deficit but it has failed to widen tax base and reform bleeding public sector enterprises, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that manufacturing has improved due to additional gas provision to fertiliser sector, reduced prices of raw material and revival of construction industry while agriculture sector is braving heavy losses, notably that of cotton crop which has increased problems for textile industry.

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Continued deprivation in GB can hurt CPEC: PEW

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Collection of federal taxes from GB termed illegal
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday said depriving the people of Gilgit-Baltistan of their full rights as citizens of Pakistan is a grave injustice which can have a negative impact on fate-changing China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project.
The people of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) fought the army of Maharaja of Kashmir, got region liberated and opted to become part of Pakistan in a bid to get their rights which couldn’t become a reality after almost seven decades, it said.
FBR which has failed to expand tax net or boost collections has surpassed its legal limits and slapped federal taxes on people of GB which is unjust and illegal, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

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CPEC project falling prey to politics: PEW

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Steps demanded to de-politicise fate-changing project
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said unnecessary secrecy, unilateral decisions and authoritarian mind-set has made the fate-changing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project controversial.
Provinces continue to cry foul over the mega project due to lack of transparency and it is the responsibility of the central government to save project from falling prey to the politics, it said.
Government should take concrete steps to allay reservations of small provinces and that of Gilgit-Baltistan lest it endanger the project which can change the destiny of every Pakistani, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that the project enjoyed unprecedented support of the masses in the beginning but absence of consensus and some half-hearted steps by the government without taking stakeholders into confidence changed the situation.

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Merger of stock exchanges lauded: PEW

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Broker mafia a threat to local, foreign investment
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday lauded the merger of three stock exchanges of the country terming it necessary to improve transparency and discourage broker mafia.
The integration of the three exchanges is an essential step in that direction which will result in some stability but more needs to be done to restore confidence of local and international investors in the Pakistan’s stock market, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Talking to Patron of Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt and Chairperson Trade and Commerce Committee of Quetta Chamber Tabassum Anwar, he said that stock market has remained on the mercy of broker mafia who would orchestrate a crisis for plunder or deter government agencies probing their wrongdoing.

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Cement sector thriving on the cost of masses: PEW

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PEW calls to stop cement cartel from milking masses
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday called for some kind of control over cement sector which continue to thrive on the cost of masses and construction industry providing employment to millions.
Cement industry continue to increase prices without any justification which amount to plundering masses while Competition Commission of Pakistan and other concerned departments prefer to remain silent spectators, it said.
International prices of oil and coal have come down substantially but the cement industry has not provided any relief to masses rather it continue to increase prices, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Talking to the representatives of construction industry, he said that increasing cement prices pose a threat to economic corridor, mega project and construction activities.

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Govt’s asked to rationalise privatization policy: PEW

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Sales of assets before reforms impossible
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said that government’s privatization policy is not working well due to some flawed priorities.
Government has completed half of its tenure but it has not initiated reforms in state-run companies without which these units cannot be sold to save loss of Rs 500 billion per annum, it said.
Government had promised to sell inefficient units while signing $6.2 billion standby agreement with IMF but so far it has sold stakes in profitable banks while objective of sale of PIA, Pakistan Steel Mills and power distribution companies could not be realised, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement issued here today, he said that profitable ventures should not be sold before selling bleeding enterprises as it is against the promise of PML-N.

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PEW opposes tax amnesty scheme

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Amnesty to tax evaders’ termed temporary solution
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said tax amnesty scheme proves failure of the authorities to collect targeted taxes and broaden tax net.
It indicates that government has no intention to bring favourite sectors in the tax net, introduce proper asset-seizure laws to confiscate untaxed assets, and bring back looted money from abroad, it said.
Move to purify ill-gotten money amounts to encouraging corrupt elements with billions of illicit wealth which is detrimental for the society, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
The amnesty for tax evaders has been announced to fill the budgetary gap but the funds raised through this scheme will be insufficient, he said.
He said that such measures work in the short run but it is not a permanent solution to a budget gap; authorities should concentrate on permanently broadening the tax base and eliminate unjust exemptions.

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Gas utilities dumping Ogra orders: PEW

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Gas distribution companies promoting interests of brokers
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said gas companies continue to prefer interests of brokers over interests of consumers.
Gas distribution companies are reluctant to abide by the decisions on Ogra taken in the interests of masses, it said.
Gas utilities have not accepted any decision of the regulator since years and has recently refused to accept the gas tariff recently announced by the Ogra, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that all the directives to fix issues like overbilling have been ditched in favour of shareholders and some brokers.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that insistence of the gas utilities to increase UFG (theft and losses) is nothing but effort to benefit shareholders on the cost of masses.

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Decision to deregulate sugar prices opposed: PEW

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Artificial sugar shortage shouldn’t be allowed
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday opposed move of the government to deregulate prices of sugar terming it against the interests of masses as it will trigger price hike.
The decision to deregulate prices, allowing export of half million tonnes of sugar and an export subsidy of Rs 13 per kg should be reconsidered as it will put additional burden of Rs7 billion on public exchequer, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Talking to VP FPCCI Fahmida Kausar Jamali, Tabassum Anwar of QCCI, Chairman Coordination FPCCI Malik Sohail and Malakand Investor Iftikhar Khan, he said that sugar export subsidy for the last year was Rs10 and there is no justification for the hike.
Allowing export of half a million tonnes can result in shortage in local market therefore only 1,25,000 tonnes of sugar should be exported which will also save subsidy in billions.

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PEW detects corruption in PBC

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Govt should take note of bungling in Radio Pakistan
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked the government to take note irregularities in the financially troubled Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation.
An official of the institution is misusing authority and violating rules and regulations to benefit certain quarters which is put an additional burden of around Rs30 million on the public exchequer, it said.
Radio Pakistan issued an annual tender for provision of security services in June for the provision of 312 security guards and supervisors for its facilities stretched across country but the winning company was side-lined illegally, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that the company which was providing security to installations of Radio Pakistan since last five years quoted minimum rates as compare to other participating companies but the same was not awarded tender.

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