Archive for August, 2013

PEW asks Govt to review fertiliser subsidy decision

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Keeping IMF away from Pakistan’s agri sector in national interest
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday asked the government to revisit decision to continue subsidising fertiliser sector.
The Economic Co-ordination Committee of the cabinet has recently decided to continue subsidising fertiliser sector which may not bring the desired outcome, it said.
Continued subsidy to the fertiliser sector will not benefit the farmers but the industrialists who have pushed country into high food inflation, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that a reason behind reduced wheat output which has threatened the food security in country is the unjustified hike in the prices of fertilise leaving many farmers unable to buy the vital input.
Dr Murtaza Mughal said that fertilise prices are already more than that in the international market which call for a review of the recent subsidy decision as well as the that of the Fertilise Policy 2001.

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No poverty reduction sans ample energy

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Provision of energy imperative to transform lives
Energy enables people to work their way out of poverty
Govt asked to promote new investments in energy sector
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday asked the government to promote new investments in the energy sector by introducing better regulations as poverty cannot be reduced in presence of energy scarcity.
Access to energy is imperative to transform lives which is not getting proper attention on the national and global level as majority of Pakistanis as well as a third of the world’s population has no access to modern energy services, it said.
Tens of millions in Pakistan and 1.3 billion people worldwide are still without any form of electricity and 2.7 billion people still cook over open fires despite availability of solutions, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Estimates say in the next seventeen years three billion will cook with traditional fuels, more than 30 million people will have died due to smoke-related diseases and hundreds of millions will be confined to poverty due to lack of energy, he informed.

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MoU signed to provide free healthcare facilities to masses

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Tehreek-e-Sehat Pakistan (TSP) and Minsa Clinic Bahria Town have entered into a deal to provide free healthcare facilities to masses through free medical camps in Rawalpindi.
In this regard a MoU was signed between TSP and Minsa Clinic Bahria on the Independence Day.
Speaking to the MoU signing ceremony Dr Murtaza Mughal, President TSP said that allopathic system of medicine is costly while may ends up catching additional diseases while attempting to cure one.
He said that homeopathic system of medicine has no side effects but it is also costly for poor. Therefore, he said, some doctors in the TSP have decided to provide free healthcare facilities to masses using their own resources.
Dr Murtaza Mughal said that we will use homeo and biochemic system of medicine to cure ailing masses.

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Multinational found guilty of dumping drug in Pakistan

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday said Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company Roche has been declared guilty of dumping of Pegasys, a medicine used to cure hepatitis, in Pakistan by the National Tariff Commission (NTC).
However, the NTC authorities avoided imposing any anti-dumping duty on the company which will not discourage it from employing illegal market practices to hurt local industry, it said.
Pakistan is facing a multinational onslaught therefore existing law should be reviewed to introduce strict measures to safeguard local industry, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that the action of the Swiss company was not only hurting local manufacturers but it also amounts to depriving 20 million hepatitis patients in Pakistan of affordable medicine.
He lauded the NTC for acting swiftly on the complaint of local industry and declared Roche guilty of dumping after investigation. However imposition of anti-dumping duties would have satisfied local pharma industry.

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Steps to stem on-going decline of rupee insufficient

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Lack of investment opportunities boosting dollar demand
IMF policy of dollarization of developing economies termed lethal
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said initiatives taken by government and State Bank of Pakistan to check the slide of local currency and tame US dollar remains insufficient.
The emergency measures taken by authorities not helped a lot but encouraged those involved in hoarding and smuggling of currency, and spreading rumours for personal gains, it said.
Government should give a second thought to the situation and take serious steps to contain exchange rate volatility otherwise its cost will become unbearable for the battered economy, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
SBP interventions and meetings between economic managers and moneychangers in cordial atmosphere will never resolve the problem but supplement it, he said adding that market forces behind decline deserves no mercy.
Best way to stop rupee from shedding points is to attract foreign investment, ensure stability and sustainability to regain confidence of investors and improve law and order situation.
Moreover, a series of fundamental reforms including proper legislation to protect the investment of foreign investors can also help resolve crisis, he said.

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PML-N led government can steer the country out of economic mess

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Pakistan cannot afford luxury of wasting Rs500 billion annually on SOEs
SOEs proved to be white elephants in absence of proper accountability
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said Pakistan cannot afford the luxury of wasting Rs500 billion annually on inefficient state-run-enterprises (SOEs).
Almost all the entities created by the government in order to partake in commercial activities on the government’s behalf have proved to be white elephants in absence of a proper accountability mechanism, it said.
Sucessive government have been mixing politics with business which have transformed state-run corporations into most unproductive segment wasting almost Rs 1.5 billion daily, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Governemnt should bring an end to political interference in these corporations or privitize them on fast pace if it cannot shield these from unnecessary interventions, he added.
Dr Murtaza Mughal said that the environment of majority of corporation has deteriorated to an extent that reputed professionals from private sector fail to give positive results when entrusted for top slots.

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Steps demanded to improve mobile internet penetration in Pakistan

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Govt, telecom operators asked to bring internet revolution in the country
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said mobile internet penetration is highly unsatisfactory in Pakistan for which government should take initiatives while cellular companies should cut the price.
Pakistan has a cellular subscriber base of around 122 million with mobile penetration reaching to 70 per cent but a very small number of consumers use their phones to access internet, it said.
According to a research, the country has 30 million internet subscriptions of which only 12 per cent access the internet through their mobile phones, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Pakistan stands 127th on the ICT Development Index out of 155 countries with many African and Saarc countries enjoying a better position, he added.
Dr Murtaza Mughal said that 160 countries have been reaping the benefits of 3G technology which has been delayed a lot in Pakistan.
An auction of 3G mobile spectrum licences can help introduce high-speed mobile internet in Pakistan, enhance internet and social media penetration, attract investment, increase smartphone usage, reduce deficit and boost digital economy as well as GDP, he added.

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Govt decision to barter wheat for electricity with Iran lauded

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Iran wheat deal shows strength of Pakistan agri sector
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday lauded to move of the government to barter wheat for electricity with Iran.
Export of 100,000 tonnes of wheat to Iran to settle dues for electricity supplied to Pakistan’s energy-starved border areas was a step in the right direction, it said.
The development proves the importance and strencth of our agriculture sector which must be supported at policy level, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Farming has not only been the main sector for growth and largest job provider, but it remains one of those few sectors which are performing well therefore it merits careful handling, he added.
Dr Murtaza Mughal said that some elements have launched a campaign telling masses that 5,500 MW power can be generated if gas supply is stopped to the fertilizer and CNG sectors.

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