Archive for September, 2014

PEW questions appointment of a bureaucrat as Member Oil in Orga

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Member Oil Orga appionted illegally
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Monday said that recent appointment of Member Oil in Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) is against the rules and regulations.
It can hamper the working of the Ogra which is already performing below the expectations of stakeholders, it said.
In a statement issued here today, Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that the former petroleum minister Dr. Asim appointed former DG Oil of the petroleum ministry as Member Oil in Orga after his retirement.
The government rejected the proposal of extension in his service of completion of his term which left the vacancy vacant.
Afterwards, the additional charge of the post was given to an additional secretary of the Cabinet Division which was illegal as appointment against the post requires relevant qualification and twenty years of experience in the field.
Murtaza Mughal said that the new appointee lacks both criteria as per the Section 3(5) of the Ogra Ordinance; it also pave way for conflict of interest as Orga reports to cabinet Division in administrative issues.
The slot in question is for technocrats and not bureaucrats and the government is not setting a good example by violating merit, said Dr. Mughal.

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Govt asked to ensure economic justice

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Rich blocking social mobility of the poor
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Friday said that government should ensure economic justice so that society can get balanced and poor could gain some relief.
Budgets since last three decades have not coped rightly with all the economic classes of the society aimed at appropriate distribution of wealth which has resulted in wide gap between rich and poor.
The increasing gulf between wealthy and underprivileged can only be bridged through just taxation to raise enough money for welfare of masses, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Tens of millions are lagging behind which need programmes to lift them up economically by taxing the privileged who continue to enjoy unjustified concessions since long, he added.
The government had claimed to tax rich to overcome economic crisis but the axe fell on the poor making life of majority miserable while measures to help disadvantaged to work their way up the economic ladder have remained cosmetic.

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Govt concentrating on uplift of energy sector despite political crisis

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Govt efforts to reduce energy poverty lauded
Income, energy scarcity linked together
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Friday lauded the government for keeping energy high on agenda despite political crisis so that energy poverty can be reduced in the country.
Well-being of large numbers of people in developing countries is negatively affected by very low consumption of energy which is fundamental to improving quality of life and is a key imperative for economic development.
Nearly 1.6 billion people still have no access to electricity which affects all aspects of development including livelihoods, access to water, agricultural productivity, health, population levels and education, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that none of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can be met without major improvement in the quality and quantity of energy services in developing countries.

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Impartiality of Army amid political crisis lauded

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Criticism, efforts to drag Army in political struggle unfortunate
Politicians created the crisis, they should resolve it
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday lauded the neutrality of Amry amidst the political crisis which has taken country and economy as hostage.
Army leadership is against any intervention in the crisis and it is not involved in backing directly or indirectly the protesters camped out on Constitution Avenue, it said.
However, irresponsible talk, rough statements and flawed analyses by some quarters alleging Army for the political unrest compelled DG ISPR Major General Asim Bajwa to issue clarification which is unfortunate, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

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Imran, Qadri damaged country, economy: PPP MNA

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Deferral of Chinese president’s visit delighted enemies of Pakistan: PEW
PPP MNA from Mirpur Khas Munawar Ali Talpur on Sunday said PTI’s Chief Imran Khan and PAT’s leader Tahir ul Qadri inflicted heavy losses to the economy of Pakistan through their useless sit-ins.
Postponement of the scheduled visit of Chinese President delayed $34 billion investment plans which is a great setback that pleased the enemies of Pakistan, he said.
Speaking at forum organised by Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW), Munawar Ali Talpur said that political protests can never be more important that economic stability.
He said that the two protesting leaders have damaged investment climate as well as image of Pakistan for which they will have to answer.
The PPP leader said that demonstrators have broken many agreements and they have no plan to remain peaceful therefore government should take action against them, adding that right decisions are always difficult.

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Masses frustrate call for economic revolt

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People unwilling to sacrifice economy for politics
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Saturday lauded the masses and the business community for thwarting call for civil disobedience and economic rebellion by an opposition leader.
The childish call was taken as an immature move by masses, business community, expatriates and even by the central leaders of the party whose chief issued it recently, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
The demand was ignored by all and sundry which proves that masses have reservations but they are not highly disappointed with the performance of the incumbent government, he added.
He said that the private sector publically and absolutely rejected the idea while other sections of society that decided to remain silent over the matter also disliked the notion.

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Govt asked to benefit from receding coal, LNG prices

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Retreating energy prices ray of hope for Pakistan
Govt LNG policy lauded
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said retreating coal and LNG prices in the international market should be taken as a golden opportunity by policymakers to offset energy crisis in Pakistan.
Government has planned to produce 9000MW electricity with the help of imported coal whose prices has come down to 65 dollar per tonne after touching USD 130 in 2011 while LNG is available for 10 dollar per mmbtu which is a ray of hope for us, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Talking to Central Chairman APCNGA Pervaiz Khan Khattak and other stakeholders, he said that former government wanted to buy LNG from Qatar at the rate of USD 18 dollars per mmbtu which included kickbacks.

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Pak pharma co wins WHO acknowledgement

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A Pakistani pharmaceutical company has received world-class recognition by the World Health Organization (WHO) for its Quality Control Laboratory becoming one in 33 countries worldwide and first in Pakistan to have received ‘WHO Pre-Qualification’.
The WHO Qualification is a three-year process beginning with a series of reviews and audit by their inspectors; after which the lab receives a Pre-Qualification if it complies with WHO Standards.
These standards and practices then have to be maintained for three years after which the laboratory can receive a Qualification.
A WHO Pre-Qualified Laboratory holds the authority to test and verify the quality of any drug, medication or formulation. Such a lab’s verdict is recognized worldwide by all related international agencies and organizations.

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Political instability to result in increased debt burden

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Wealth inequality resulting in mass unrest
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said continued political instability has compromised government’s ability to generate revenues which will result in increased debt burden and inflation.
Generally governments rely on taxes, exports, debt and printing currency to meet their expanses but Pakistan has last two options as there is no desire to broaden tax base or trigger exports, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that economy has never responded positively to uncertainty hence insufficient tax income will force government to borrow more from different sources increasing debt burden which has already crossed over 60 per cent of the GDP.
Alternatively, government can opt to print currency eroding exchange rate and triggering inflation, he added.

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