Archive for July, 2012

Auto industry protections to be abolished to reduce prices of locally made vehicles: PEW

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ISLAMABAD: While expressing deep concerns over rising prices of locally made vehicles, the Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) has urged the government to abolish protections for smashing powerful lobby of auto industry in a bid to reduce prices of vehicles.
In a statement issued here on Monday, President Pakistan Economy Watch Dr.Murtaza Mughal expressed dismay over government’s slow move to abolish protections extended to the auto industry in order to bring down the prices of locally made vehicles.
He said the abolishment of protections extended to the auto industry was essential for smashing lobby of auto industry which was so powerful that even government appeared unable to make policy against their vested interests.

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Business leaders preferring personal interests over collective welfare

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said leadership of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has been ignoring merit which is resulting in complaints and declining image of the Apex chamber.
A group of businessmen has taken over the FPCCI for completion of personal agenda which has created unrest among the business community, it said.
Complaints against FPCCI leaders are piling up in the Commerce Ministry, Directorate General of Trade Organisations, and other forums but to no avail, said Abdullah Tariq, SVP of the Pakistan Economy Watch.
He said that elections procedure in FPCCI should be revisited, there should a code of conduct and uneducated or semi educated people should not be allowed to lead delegations abroad to waste resources and make delegations a laughing-stock.
FPCCI’s policy of sending unelected leaders on foreign tours while ignoring the sitting officials and conspiracies against the other chambers is now being debated openly, he added.

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PEW slams FPCCI leadership for ignoring merit

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Personal interests overtaking collective welfare in Apex chamber
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday said leadership of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has been ignoring merit which is resulting in complaints and declining image of the Apex chamber.
A group of businessmen has taken over the FPCCI for completion of personal agenda which has created unrest among the business community, it said.
Complaints against FPCCI leaders are piling up in the Commerce Ministry, Directorate General of Trade Organisations, and other forums but to no avail, said Abdullah Tariq, SVP of the Pakistan Economy Watch.
He said that elections procedure in FPCCI should be revisited, there should a code of conduct and uneducated or semi educated people should not be allowed to lead delegations abroad to waste resources and make delegations a laughing-stock.

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US should offer civil nuclear technology to Pak, shun from threatening to shelve IP gas pipeline project: PEW

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ISLAMABAD, July 25: The United States (US) should offer civil nuclear technology to Pakistan to meet growing energy needs and shun from threatening Pakistan to shelve much-needed Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project.
In a statement issued here on Wednesday President Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) Dr.Murtaza Mughal said Pakistan was facing emergency like situation due to energy shortages and IP gas pipeline project could resolve the emerging demand of gas in future.
“Pakistan is facing a huge gas deficit of over 2 billion cubic feet per day as its production stands at 4.2 billion cubic feet,” he said, adding the import of gas from Iran will help ease the gas deficit in the country to a reasonable level.

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Govt asked to ensure food security

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday asked the government to take serious step to ensure food security in country as an international food crisis can engulf world soon.
America, one of the major global exporters of food is facing worst drought since 1956 which has reduced output of wheat, corn, soyabean etc. pushing their prices to new heights, it said.
Prices of commodities have surpassed the peaks of the 2007-08 crises that sparked food riots in more than 30 countries, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that crisis in 2007-08 was result of speculation which the current is real which calls for enhanced focus on agriculture.
This is not a local problem that Americans are facing, he said, adding that the impact of the crisis would be felt across the globe.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that vulnerable and the poor would be hardest hit who spend as much as 60 to 75 per cent of their income on food.

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Ministry of Petroleum wants to trim OGRA powers to get desire objectives: PEW

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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Petroleum’s hectic efforts to bring Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) under its administrative control will make the Authority toothless to protect rights of the consumers.
This was said by President Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) Dr.Murtaza Mughal in a statement issued here on Wednesday.
He said some report suggest that ministry of Petroleum was making all-out efforts to bring OGRA under its control in order to get its desire objectives of importing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) according to its own wish as ogra had opposed LNG import on the existing terms and conditions by disagreeing with the ministry on six points and relaxed rules’ for import of LNG.
Dr.Murtaza Mughal said after failing to get Ogra nod over imported LNG and LPG projects ministry started to clip the powers of the authority which will also loose its independent role as a Regulator.

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Call for introduction of IPO grading system in Pakistan

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Investors’ confidence can move the stagnant economy
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked the government to introduce initial public offerings (IPO) grading system in Pakistan to restore confidence of investors and boost dry market.
IPO grading serves as a tool for additional information and assistance to investors enabling them to take proper decisions after getting realistic picture of a company.
This service is very useful to retail investors who seek to invest in companies that are little known or unknown in the equity markets, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
A grade is not a recommendation to buy shares but only an independent, reliable and logical evaluation of the fundamentals of a company going in for an IPO, he said.

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PEW detects plan of massive plunder in public funds

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LNG Ministry Rejects PEW Report

PEW Clarification

Some politicians trying to make Rs 400b in LNG import deal
Secretary fired, Ogra invites ire of influential by resisting deal
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Friday said government is planning buy LNG on inflated rates under the garb of resolving energy crisis.
All rules and regulations have been relaxed for the import of 500 million cubic feet of LNG per day under a long-term contract, it said.
Pakistan will have to pay some five million dollars daily for fifteen years while politicians will get some Rs 400 billion in kickbacks if the deal to import LNG from Qatar on hefty rates is finalised, said Abdullah Tariq, SVP of PEW.
Secretary Petroleum Mr. Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry has been fired for resisting the deal while efforts are underway to tame Oil Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) which has also opposed the deal, he added.
Tariq said that the ministers who are uneasy over letters from Ogra against LNG import want the department dissolved or brought under the control of the petroleum ministry.

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Education system contributing to socio-economic disparity

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Lower class inequality ensures rapid economic progress
Authorities asked to ensure levelling effects of education
Continued emphasis on social mobility via education demanded
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday said that education policy needs to be revisited to ensure social mobility which will result in rapid social and economic progress.
Educational inequality has become one of the most important social issues which need immediate attention of the authorities, it said.
Flawed educational policies, budget cuts and lack of interest on the part of authorities have left majority of state-run educational institutions dysfunctional, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
While, many private school chains in their race for profits are not only promoting negative tendencies but also threatening to reduce levelling effects of education, he added.

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Pakistan faces threat of losing $1b annual export to EU: PEW

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ISLAMABAD – Pakistan may not avail the full benefits of duty free exports to European Union (EU) under Generalized System of Preferences (GPS) plus scheme and faces a threat of losing $ 1 billion annual export to the latter due to deteriorating energy crisis.
This was said by President Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) Dr Murtaza Mughal in a statement issued here on Sunday. In his statement he said the deteriorating energy crisis of the country may hit a stumbling block to get desired objectives through GSP plus scheme effective from 2014.
“If the government is not able to get rid of power outages till 2014 then the EU facility will not help the country at large to get its desired objectives of enhancing export,” Murtaza Mughal said, adding that country’s export was expected to increase by more than $ 1 billion per annum to European Union and will export more than 6,000 tariff lines duty free whereas currently exporting the same tariff lines but with duties.

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Policies being made to support one per cent elite

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Unfortunate becoming poorer by the passage of every day
System barring parents from lifting less advantaged children to success
Downward mobility of masses, growing rich-poor gap threat for country
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said all important policies are being framed while keeping in mind the interests of elite which are less than one per cent while over ninety nine per cent masses are facing worst type of exploitation.
Government’s policies are helping rich amass more wealth while underprivileged are becoming poorer by the passage of every day which has left majority desperate, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said divide between haves and have-nots is widening pushing poor to choose between feeding families and providing education to children. Hence, they have been deprived of a tool that can lift their less advantaged children to success.
Such policies have helped Pakistan earn honour of highest school dropout rate in the world; these children enter into cruel labour market to save families from starvation and endue worst forms of abuse.

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PM’s renewed focus on energy remained counterproductive

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Govt continue to compromise economy for politics
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday said Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf’s renewed focus on energy offered nothing to the masses.
The first meeting that Raja Pervaiz Ashraf chaired after assuming the charge as prime minister was to resolve energy crisis proved another useless effort, it said.
Now, the load shedding has increased in the harrowing summer making lives of 180 million full of miseries, affecting industrial and agricultural production, leading to deaths and making mobs more violent, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Announcement regarding provision of extra fuel to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) was taken positively despite the fact that the problem in not scarcity of fuel but non-payment of dues, he said.

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Govt asked to restore confidence of small stock market investors

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Investors not to reappear until grievances are resolved
Sheltering stock market criminals left IPO market dull
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Monday asked the government to take steps aimed at restoring confidence of the small investors in the stock market to boost economy.
Companies are left with no option but to go for costly borrowing from the banks as the cheap option of IPO (Initial Public Offering) has become futile due to suspicions among the retail investors, it said.
Lower investors’ appetite has been forcing many firms to shelve their IPO plans despite getting approval which is sending negative signals, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

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New PM failed to restore investors’ confidence

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PM House Rejects PEW Report

Politicians behind reduced support for democracy
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said that Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has failed to restore confidence of the business community.
Politics remains the favourite subject of the new PM and his Cabinet while economy continue to take a backseat because of lack of commitment to change life of ordinary people, it said.
The dejected business community which welcomed removal of former Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in hope of stability found nothing except disappointment, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Economic activities continue to lose momentum, economy is under renewed stress while Parliament continues to remain indifferent to miseries of masses and business community, he added.

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