Steps demanded to ensure food security: PEW

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Problem in Pakistan is not availability of food but its price
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday demanded steps to ensure food security as the problem in Pakistan is not linked to the availability of food but its prices which are out of the reach of many.
It expressed reservations over government response to the looming food security threat as global problems have exacerbated food insecurity across the globe.
Government should increased investment to ensure food security for the whole population many of whom are finding it difficult to get adequate food, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that Government must launch comprehensive food security survey so that policymakers can plan on the basis of ground realities.

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China’s OBOR project bringing world closer: PEW

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Pakistan will hugely benefit from Beijing’s initiative
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) project have so far brought 68 countries together across three continents.
Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America are coming closer which is a very good omen for world’s peace and prosperity, it said.
Chinese are focused on Asia with Pakistan and Central Asian states getting more benefits than others countries which is not acceptable for some countries, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that the Silk Road has existed for thousands of years, it enriched the countries it passed through and now it is being revived.

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Builders and developers cheated Govt on tax matters: PEW

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Immediate action against builders, withdrawal of special tax demanded
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday said the builders and developers cheated government on the issue of tax, therefore, an action should be taken against leaders of this sector.
Last year government imposed some taxes on this sector which resulted in massive protests after which the leaders of the construction industry assured the government that tax collections would be increased if their demands are accepted, it said.
Subsequently, the government accepted their demand to bring this sector into special tax regime as the builders promised to boost tax collection to 25 billion rupees, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

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SBP cheating masses to please government: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said State Bank continue to cheat masses to please the government which has dented its credibility.
It asked the State Bank of Pakistan to present true picture of the economy and refrain from issuing political statements.
The statement of the governor of central bank regarding country’s debt-servicing capacity, remittances and exports are questionable at best, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that confidence in the central bank is essential for the smooth functioning of the financial system therefore job of issuing rosy statements should be left to the politicians.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that the governor of SBP has termed fall in remittances and exports as temporary which widening deficit has been downplayed which is contrary to the ground realities.

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Chinese economic model to replace western model soon: PEW

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Globalisation has failed to improve the world
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said the theory of globalisation has failed as more and more countries are preferring protectionism over free market economy.
Chinese economic model which is not based on exploitation will soon replace western model which is based on exploitation, it said.
The One Belt One Road Project of which CPEC is an important component is the beginning of end of western dominance, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that globalisation has failed to achieve objectives like eradicating poverty while it worsened the problem by throwing world into acute crisis, he added.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that globalization failed to increase integration and interdependence of national, regional and local economies.

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Worries expressed over growing circular debt: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday expressed apprehension over rising circular debt which is to compromise growth and hit masses with power outages in the summer.
Circular debt has become a big threat to the image, credit rating and economic survival of the country which merits urgent attention, it said.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW said that circular debt is hitting industrial expansion, investment in Thar coal and other energy projects and pushing away investors.
Circular debt worth Rs414 billion has reduced power generation by private sector leaving them unable to but fuel to run power plants of repay bank loans which masses are suffering from heat.

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Food being wasted despite hunger in Pakistan: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said despite severe problem of food security tonnes of food is daily wasted in the country.
Government should ensure proper storage facilities and food waste management system in the country to overcome losses, it said.
Food is wasted in all the countries of the world which if saved through intervention can eradicate hunger from the globe, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that food grown over 1.4 billion hectares, an area larger than China, is wasted annually which also lay waste to all the investment.
He said that wastage of food also waste all efforts and around 250 cubic kilometres of water stoking global food insecurity and hunger.

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Govt should pay attention to hydel power: PEW

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Dysfunctional power sector damaging econom
yThe Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) of Tuesday said government should pay proper attention to the hydel power projects that generate cheap electricity.
Power plants using imported fuel generate costly electricity which fluctuations in the oil prices results in miseries of the masses, it said.
The energy sector has become dysfunctional because of the apathy of the successive government since Musharraf times, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that energy crisis in Pakistan is result of decades of indifference and it cannot be resolved any time soon and it will continue to damage masses and the economy.
He said that dysfunctional power sector continue to deprive 35 percent of population of grid electricity while the 65 percent have been facing loadshedding.

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Falling exports can result in another IMF loan: PEW

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Currency should not be devalued to support exports
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said exports, investment and remittances continue to fall hitting forex reserves which will result in another IMF loan.
Continued fall in exports since three years despite efforts of the government and private sector will result in lost export markets, it said.
Exports are falling while imports have gone out of control due to liberal import regime which is creating serious problems for economy, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
The export officials waste time and money and later blame energy crisis to absolve themselves of all the responsibility, he added.

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Thar coal best solution to overcome energy crisis: PEW

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Differences over KBD in Indian interest
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Monday said Thar coal is the best and cheapest solution to overcome chronic energy crisis in the country.
Difference over Kalabagh dam are against the national interests and in the interest of India that wants to destabilise Pakistan, it said.
Thar coal is the most economical solution for ensuring energy security therefore it should be exploited and Chinese involvement should be enhanced, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that extra attention should be paid to exploit the treasure buried in Thar as the economy continue to suffer due to power outages.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW said that Thar cola can ensure energy security, help cut oil import bill, earn forex reserves and provide jobs to millions of unemployed.

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Unnecessary secrecy on CPEC hitting national interests: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Monday said unnecessary secrecy on economic corridor is against the national interests as it is harassing the business community.

Government should trust its subjects and divulge full details of the project so that local and foreign investors can participate in it, it said.

Different Chinese companies are getting massive tax breaks which while there is so much concealment in the whole affair that a governor of the central bank had to speak in public about lack of knowledge about the project, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

He said that different Chinese companies have been given tax breaks for over two decades which include exemptions from income tax, sales tax, excise duty, customs duty, withholding tax etc.

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Govt asked to reform SBP, PSEs: PEW

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Central bank should autonomous
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said government should provide autonomy to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and install professional management in the bleeding Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) to guarantee economic revival.
PSEs have not been reformed despite the promises made by the top officials of the incumbent government while the SBP’s sole focus was to ensure provision of cheap loan to the government in violation of rules which took toll on economy, it said.
The central bank continue to cheat masses about various issues including agricultural loans on which ninety percent are distributed in one province, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that SBP triggered inflation and crowded out private sector which contributed to unemployment as record number of businesses were closed.

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Lifting ban on gas connections questioned: PEW

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Customers not enthusiastic about imported gas
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday questioned decision of the Cabinet to lift ban on new domestic and industrial gas connections terming it a flawed decision.
The decision has raised questions about the LNG policy and the efficiency of the power sector, it said.
Government has lifted ban on new gas connections which was imposed during 2011 as the supply of imported gas has increased while demand in insignificant, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that as a rule governments bound customers for purchase and then import gas but in Pakistan the LNG import deal was signed before finding the customers.
The imported gas is costly therefore customers are not using it willingly and delaying paying the bills which was resulting in circular debt therefore ban was lifted.

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PM Nawaz has ensured rapid economic progress: Kuchela

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No power can defeat Pakistan on economic front
Pakistan enjoys trust of international institutions
Prime Minister Nawaz has ensured rapid economic progress in the country which was on the brink of bankruptcy three years ago, a political leader said Wednesday.
Pakistan’s economy has been stabilised due to serious efforts and now no power can defeat Pakistan on the on economic front, said Muhammad Aslam Kuchela, former MNA and member of PML-N Provincial and General Council.
Talking to Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of the Pakistan Economy Watch, he said that many powers are against the economic corridor but it would be completed well in time which will be the beginning of a new era of peace and prosperity.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has introduced policies that are being lauded by dozens of international institutions which is a great achievement, he said, adding that irrespective of inherent weaknesses our private and public sectors have made great strides.

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Govt earning undue profit on petroleum products: PEW

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Nobility should be forced to pay taxes to win war against terror
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said unjustified taxes on fuel continue to hurt masses and economy therefore the same should be reduced.
High prices of fuel has become an incentive for smugglers who are thriving on low prices of oil and gas in Iran and Afghanistan, it said.
Border arrangements have failed to deter the smugglers as fifteen to twenty percent petrol consumed in Pakistan is said to be smuggled from neighbouring countries, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that smuggling of LPG continue to increase grabbing around thirty percent of the local market putting survival of local producers at stake as involvement of big fish cannot be ruled out.

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Local prices of petroleum products more than international market: PEW

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Fuel prices can be reduced if FBR start targeting nobility
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said prices of petroleum products in the country are far more than the international market which is hurting masses and every segment of the economy.
Petroleum prices can be reduced if FBR starts taxing nobility which will automatically reduce pressure on the poor masses, it said.
Government has no other option but to heavily tax the petroleum imports which is chocking the economic growth, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that all the important petroleum products are attracting double digit taxation which has penalised the masses. Situation can take a positive turn if corruption is reduced in the tax administration.

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Water scarcity a big threat to Pakistan: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said water scarcity is emerging as a grave threat to the survival of the country but policymakers seems to be unconcerned.
Pakistan is facing an acute water shortage and may hit masses, agriculture and industry soon, it said.
In last few years the defence budget has been significantly increased to combat terrorism ignoring the fact that water scarcity could be a bigger menace than terrorism, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement, he said that our country touched the “water stress line” in 1990 and crossed the “water scarcity line” in 2005 but it was not enough to draw attention of the policymakers.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that if steps were not taken to combat the situation country is likely to face drought-like situation in the near future.

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Gas companies plundering poor to benefit rich: PEW

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Ogra fulfilling objectives of stock brokers illegally
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday said gas companies are punishing masses with the help of Ogra by charging masses for the losses during gas distribution and theft.
Ogra has allowed gas companies to charge masses for 4.5 percent of their losses but now the companies are trying to push up the ratio of losses to nine percent to generate more profit for their shareholders, it said.
Ogra has become a tool in the hands of some of the directors of the gas companies who are also influential stockbrokers, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement issued here today, he said that gas companies should reduce corruption and stop penalising masses for their mismanagement.

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Poor man’s sector need government’s attention: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said government should focus on the agricultural development and the poor man’s sector should not be allowed to fall prey to profiteers.
Among all the main sectors of the economy, agriculture is the most neglected in terms of investments and development therefore farmers are among the poorest people in the country, it said.
of farmers who make a living by generating most of the country’s food supply and not supported to come out of the poverty, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
said that agriculture is one of the “real” sectors to which the society’s poorest belong but it has been ignored for long time.
contribution to the economy has continued to dwindle due to unequal distribution of investments which is one of the biggest mistakes of the successive governments, he said.

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FBR harassing business community: PEW

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Govt planning to introduce mini budget to cut deficit
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said that FBR is harassing honest taxpayers to meet the revenue target which should be noticed.
The tax authorities should be chasing those who enjoy princely lives and avoid paying any tax, it said.
Government is planning to introduce mini budget to fill the revenue gap which will be unfortunate, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW and his Senior Vice President Kashif Iqbal Gondal.
They said that mini budget will hit businesses, masses and the tax structure which is already working against the desire of the stakeholders.

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Govt should introduce appropriate energy conservation measures: PEW

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Technology to boost energy efficiency to help save billions
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday lauded the Government for paying proper attention to resolve the energy crisis.
Many new power projects are in the pipeline which is laudable but at the same time transmission and distribution system should also be upgraded, it said.
Govt should introduce proper energy conservation measures and get latest technology to boost energy efficiency which will help it save billions of dollars, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that energy efficiency can help save thousands of megawatt of electricity, millions of litres of fuel and great volume of natural gas as many nations are spending billions to become energy efficient.
Almost half of the electricity consumed in buildings can be saved for which we need to follow conservation laws adopted in the EU, he added.

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Action against registrar QAU demanded

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association of teachers of the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) has asked the administration to take action against registrar who was involved in gross violation of the rules and regulations.
Dr. Asif Ali, President FAPUASA, Islamabad Chapter and former President Academic Staff Association, QAU, Islamabad, has said that charges of corruption have been proved against Dr. Shafiq-ur-Rehman, the Registrar of QAU by the inquiry committee but the syndicate has set aside the findings of the inquiry committee which amounts to promoting corruption.
Talking to Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President Pakistan Economy watch, Dr. Asif accused that the syndicate did not bothered to even glance through the inquiry report.
Dr. Shafiq-ur-Rehman not only got illegal promotion in BPS-21 but was also illegally secured appointments for ineligible individuals on key positions in the university administration to strengthen his authority.

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Govt lauded for action against illegal chamber of commerce: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday lauded the government for taking action against illegal chambers of commerce terming it a great step in the right direction.
Some chambers of commerce are being ruled by families and groups where decisions are not taken on merit which must be discouraged, it said.
There are some chambers of commerce that discourage the real representatives of the business community, dishearten the genuine businessmen and spread false information which affects the economic development, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement issued here today, he said that Director General Trade Organisations (DGTO) has taken a bold step by dissolving the body governing Mardan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MWCCI).
He said that elections were never held in that chamber while the members were not submitting their tax returns while its administration had avoided paying government fees.

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Free eye care facility announced for Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust schools

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Services of Al Shifa Trust Eye Hospital lauded
Two bodies join hands to serve masses

Al Shifa Trust Eye Hospital President General (retd) Hamid Javed has announced free eye screening and treatment facilities for the students of schools being run by Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust.
The decision was reached in a meeting between General Hamid Javed and Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of Pakistan Economy Watch and World Columnist Club. Executive Director of the hospital Brigadier Rizwan Asghar was also present on the occasion.
AT the occasion, General Hamid Javed said that we are establishing a new hospital for the children suffering from eye-related problems at the cost of one billion rupees in which fifty surgeries would be carried out per day.

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Fresh Iran sanction to hit energy import plans: PEW

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US move can hit trade deals, peace in the region
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said fresh US sanctions on Iran can hit plan of Pakistan to import gas from Iran.
The Trump administration hit Iran with new sanctions following the test-firing of a medium-range ballistic missile, an action the White House says is in defiance of a U.N. resolution.
The American move can also hit trade deals between Pakistan and Iran and have a negative impact on the overall situation in the region, it said.

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Steps demanded to reduce wastage of food: PEW

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Food loss wasting billion of investment annually
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday demanded steps to reduce wastage of food as tens of millions of people including children and mothers continue to face food security issues in Pakistan.
Proper storage and food waste management system in the country can help increase income of farmers and feed the starving people, it said.
Tonnes of food is wasted in all the countries of the world including Pakistan which if saved can eradicate hunger from all the globe, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

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Discouraging imports can reduce ballooning trade deficit: PEW

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Export target will be missed again sans meaningful reforms
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday asked the government to discourage all imports except machinery for CPEC and industrial sector as half yearly trade deficit has jumped to 14.5 billion dollars.
Trade deficit has reached to an alarming level of 17.6 percent in the six months threatening annual target of 20.5 billion dollars, it said.
The deficit for whole year may hit the mark of 25 billion dollars due to falling exports and increased imports, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

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Textiles are going away from Pakistan: PEW

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Govt asked to help struggling textile industry
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said future of textile industry seems bleak therefore government should take urgent steps to save it from collapse.
Textile is very important sector of the economy, it is the largest forex earning sector which is providing jobs to million in urban areas while millions of planters are also linked to it, it said.
Top government functionaries have repeatedly promised provision of energy on reduced cost, payment of refunds and resolution of problems but to no avail, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that seventy percent of large textile units are located in Punjab and thirty percent of these units are closed due to scarcity of energy hitting exports and jobs which should be noticed.

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Pakistan has matchless wind, solar power potential: PEW

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Timely completion of gas-based power projects demanded
Petroleum Minister Abbasi termed a national asset

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said we have matchless potential to produce electricity with the help of solar and wind but it is not getting due attention.
Pakistan can not only produce electricity sufficient for national needs but also export power saving oil import bill and earning foreign exchange.
The world has entered in the golden era of gas therefore the share of gas in the energy mix should be enhances, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that government should take steps to keep at least twenty percent difference in the prices of petrol and CNG while all the projects to generate electricity from gas should be completed on a fast track.

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Govt decision to clip wings of regulators criticised: PEW

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Toothless regulators leave masses on the mercy of Govt, investors
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday said government decision to leave five regulators important will have an impact on the reputation of the country.
The decision to bring five key regulatory bodies under concerned ministries will raise questions about transparency, hit the image of the country internationally while striking the confidence of the investors.
Government has taken the surprising decision recently despite the fact that it had agreed with IMF and World Bank to give more autonomy to the regulators, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
The government promised additional powers to the regulators before getting loan and now it has taken a U-turn which will contribute to the deterioration in the institutions, he added.

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Islamabad Airport project being delayed: PEW

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Top officials asked to take note of the situation
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said multimillion dollar project of Islamabad Airport is being delayed which should be noticed by the authorities concerned.
The Prime Minister has announced to inaugurate to airport of on August 14th 2017 which will not be possible if serious issues were left unresolved, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement issued here today, he said that issues related to infrastructure like access road and water supply and treatment system have not been completed.

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Joint Action Committee formed to counter land mafia

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JAC resolves to continue to struggle till resolution of problems
Different associations linked to Quaid-i-Azam University’s (QAU) have joined hands to get outstanding problems resolved and counter the unholy designs of land mafia comprising influential businessmen and politicians.
QAU Alumni Association, Academic Staff Association and Employees Welfare Associations have formed a Joint Action Committee (JAC) to tackle issues like illegal encroachment on university land, illegal occupation and non-demarcation of university land by CDA which amounts to help influential land mafia.

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رائس ملز مالکان نے ملک گیر احتجاجی تحریک کا اعلان کر دیا

کاشتکاروں سے چاول کی خریداری بند، بینکوں کے اربوں روپے ڈوبنے کا خدشہ
کامونکے میں تین ہزار مالکان کا ہنگامی اجلاس طلب، پارلیمنٹ کے سامنے دھرنا دینگے
ملک بھر کے رائس ملز مالکان نے اپنے مسائل کے حل نہ ہونے پر ملک گیر احتجاجی تحریک کا اعلان کر دیا۔ کاشتکاروں سے چاول کی خریداری بند کر دی گئی ہے جبکہ ملوں کو تالے لگنے سے لاکھوں افراد بے روزگاراوربینکوں کے اربوں روپے ڈوبنے کا خدشہ ہے۔
پندرہ جون کو غلہ منڈی کامونکے میں تین ہزار مالکان کا ہنگامی اجلاس طلب کر لیا گیا ہے جس میں پارلیمنٹ کے سامنے دھرنے سمیت تمام معاملات کو حتمی شکل دی جائیگی۔ یہ بات پاکستان رائس ملز ایسوسی ایشن کے صدر مختار احمد خان بلوچ نے پاکستان اکانومی واچ کے صدر ڈاکٹر مرتضیٰ مغل سے خصوصی بات چیت کرتے ہوئے کہی۔ انھوں نے کہا کہ سالانہ دو سو ارب سے زیادہ کا زرمبادلہ کمانے والا چاول کا شعبہ شدید بحران کا شکار ہے مگر ارباب اختیار اسے بیل آئوٹ کرنے میں دلچسپی نہیں لے رہے۔

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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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