Archive for March, 2015

Steps demanded to save wheat growers from cartel

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Govt should take note of artificial absence of investors from market
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday demanded steps by the authorities to save wheat growers from the cartel of buyers.
Buyers of wheat have decided to slow down purchase of wheat so that prices could slide adding to their windfall which is exploitation of the farmers, it said.
According to projections, improved area under cultivation, use of DAP and rains will result in a bumper wheat crop which will be much more than the domestic requirements, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
However, reduced prices in the international market, surplus stock with the government and lack of proper storage facilities is bad news for farmers and good omen for buyers.
He said that a bumper crop will result in around seven million tonnes of surplus wheat creating storage problems giving excellent opportunity to profiteers to exploit situation.

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EDF failed to meet objectives, hurting textile sector

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EDF being misused, be improved or abolished
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Monday said Export Development Fund (EDF) has failed to achieve its objective of boosting country’s exports therefore it should be streamlined or abolished.
The EDF imposed fifteen years ago could not trigger exports but hit the largest urban employment provider and export earner sector of textiles hard since introduction.
Textile sector contributes about six billion rupees (around 55 percent) to the EDF annually but what it gets in return are few million or almost 1.5 percent, it said.
The commerce ministry which was supposed to get all the funds collected under EDF usually gets around one billion rupees which frustrate its plans to improve exports, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

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Study in pros, cons of liberal exchange rate regime demanded

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Flight of capital gaining additional momentum
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Monday demanded a study to look into pros and cons of the liberalisation of exchange rate regime.
It also demanded a sturdy to know the advantages and disadvantages of linking economy to the international market which left economy exposed to the impact of crisis in the western world.
The 1990’s policy gave everyone access to operate foreign currency accounts, many exchange companies came into existence and it gave an opportunity to the speculators, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that a former governor of the State Bank once said that 25 million dollars are being sent abroad on daily basis but it wasn’t enough to grab attention of the policymakers which triggered dollarization of the economy.

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Sugarcane growers shifting to other crops due to exploitation

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said continued exploitation of sugarcane growers can result in food security issue in Pakistan.
Growers disappointed by the attitude of the sugar mills and lack of action by the federal and provincial governments are switching to other crops including maize which can make Pakistan a sugar importing country.
Growers are not getting notified price while delayed payments, exploitation by middlemen, weight assessment problems etc. has left cultivators with no option but to find alternatives which has resulted in reduced area under cultivation, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that Sindh government recently fixed price of 40 kg sugar cane at Rs 155 while the price in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa was Rs 182 which indicates their soft corner towards millers and indifference towards rights of growers.

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Shahbaz Sharif’s ghee, gas moves lauded

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Other provinces asked to follow Punjab
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Friday lauded Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for reduction in prices of ghee and cooking oil terming it a great move which will benefit majority of the population of Pakistan.
Other provinces should also follow Punjab in its war against profiteering and providing relief to masses, it said.
The prices of edible oil have been reduced by Rs 15 per kg in Punjab therefore its price must be reduced by Rs 20 in Sindh as units located there saves transportation and other costs, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement issued here today, he said that profiteers are exploiters and public enemies who increase prices within hours if price of any input in increased while refuses to transfer benefit masses if input costs go down which is a reason behind inflation.

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FPCCI leaders harassing staff, abusing power, funds: Murtaza Mughal

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UBG leadership involved in massive corruption: Zakria Usman
Govt asked to take note of irregularities in the Apex chamber
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said situation is deteriorating in the FPCCI due to mismanagement and misuse of power which calls for immediate attention of the authorities concerned.
The ruling United Business Group (UBG) has planned to muster support through misuse of funds and replace majority of the staff by harassing them, it said.
Uncertainty looms as staff of the FPCCI head office is forced to work until midnight without overtime or any other facility and they have to listen to the telephonic speech of the president of the chamber which contains little except self-praise, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

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Abandoning coal energy projects against national interests

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Carbon Capture technology can address environmental concerns
Move may impact Pakistan-China cordial relations
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday said abandoning or delaying sone of the critical coal energy projects is not in the national interests.
Chinese companies have invested a lot in some of the important coal-fired projects therefore putting them on the backburner may have a negative impact on the cordial bilateral relations, it said.
World’s top importers on LNG including Japan, Korea, China, and Europe has not scrapped coal in favour of LNG therefore Pakistan can also reconsider decision, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that employing latest carbon capture technology can help power plants run on coal without environmental concerns.

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UFG hike to hit masses, plans to tame energy crisis

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Increase to hit economy; unleash flood of inflation
PM asked to reject Ogra’s UFG raise summary

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said a move by the gas companies and Ogra to get limit of Unaccounted For Gas (UFG) losses enhanced by one hundred percent can hit the Government efforts to resolve energy crisis.
Approval of twofold increase in the UFG limit will hit masses and economy hard, country will witness new wave of inflation and reflect negatively on plans to import of LNG, it said.
Government has approved UFG limit at 7 percent which is 1 percent in Bangladesh, enhancing it to 14 percent will transfer tens of billions from masses to the accounts of SSGC, SNGPL and their influential shareholders, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that Ogra and gas utilities should try to reduce increased theft, mismanagement and leakages to benefit themselves and their shareholders seeking increased profitability and abstain from burdening consumers.

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Rivalry between LNG and coal to benefit masses: Dr. Mughal

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Rivalry between LNG and coal to benefit masses: Dr. Mughal
Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Dr. Shahid Rasheed Butt has said that LNG is replacing iron ore as world’s number two commodity with its global trade projected to reach 120 billion dollars in the current year.
LNG would become most sought after commodity after oil but it continue to face stiff resistance from rival fuel coal, he said.
Talking to Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of Pakistan Economy Watch, he said that competition between LNG and coal will benefit masses while decision by power producers in the developed world to use LNG or coal will be decisive for the future.

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Energy democracy can resolve power crisis in Pakistan

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Public ownership of electricity be part of national agenda
Liberalization of energy companies failed in many countries

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said introducing energy democracy in Pakistan can ensure efficiency, investment, and reduced tariffs to resolve energy crisis.
The private energy market has failed in many countries to deliver due to constant price hikes and deceptive practices which is result of too much focus on maximizing profits which calls for increased democratic control of the energy, it said.
The privatization and liberalization of the energy companies has resulted in eroded public confidence which was not the aim of the policymakers, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that objectionable practices of private energy corporations has attracted widespread criticism and questioned policy to allow these firms to dominate our energy future.
Pakistan can also introduce participatory forms of decision-making enabling people to be involved in the vital economic decisions that shape their lives, he added.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that energy democracy cannot be achieved without public ownership of the means of generation and distribution of energy.

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SC asked to taken note of illegalities in ICCI

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Unauthorised use of display centre criticised
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to take notice of illegal use of a plot acquired by Islamabad Chamber of Commerce in the garb of boosting exports.
Allotment of the plot should be cancelled and those involved in the scam including business leaders and CDA officials should be brought to the book, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that the group dominating ICCI got a valuable commercial plot allotted by the CDA for eight hundred thousand rupees for establishing a display centre to boost exports. The plot is worth Rs 500 million now.
CDA was told that display centre would bring exporters and importers under one roof, a promise never kept.

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Raheel’s LOC visit, reaction boosted morale of Army, nation

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MFN, provision of land route to India to trigger terrorism in Pakistan
Trade, cultural relations with India be suspended until she mend ways
Business community criticised for its silence over India provocations
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Saturday lauded COAS Gen. Raheel Sharif for timely visiting LOC and working boundary and daring statement regarding border violations by India which boosted morale of Army and the nation.
The nation and army is united to face any aggression by India which has never accepted Pakistan and now trying to promote trade and terrorism in Pakistan at the same time which is not acceptable, it said.
India has invested billions of dollars in terror networks in Pakistan which are on the verge of disintegration due to ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb which will pave way for a prosperous country that is intolerable for Modi regime, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

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