Archive for October, 2015

Petrol mafia turn into a threat to LNG project: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said influential petrol mafia exploiting masses since decades to profit has speed up efforts to fail LNG project.
The mafia which has forced country to buy sub-standard fossil fuel on inflated rates since long is headed by son of an influential minister who is controlling it from Dubai, it said.
The mafia includes some bureaucrats working in oil and gas sector and a number of influential businessmen who cannot afford any reduction in Pakistan’s oil import bill, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a person of high integrity, has publically acknowledged presence of this mafia, their efforts to destabilise LNG project and offer of bribes him to damage the LNG project but he is not ready to name them which speak volumes about their influence.

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Concern expressed over $4.5 billion fall in exports to EU: PEW

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Decreasing exports to damage forex reserves
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday expressed concern over falling exports to EU despite trade relaxations terming it a very alarming development which can damage foreign exchange reserves.
According to data compiled by EU trade officials Pakistan shipments to EU fell by 4.5 billion dollars in in first eight months from January to August compared to the last year.
Exports to all 26 EU countries dwindled in double digits save Luxembourg which is a small trading partner, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that exports to UK fell by 26 percent while exports to Germany witnessed a fall of 22 percent. Exports to Spain were down by 18 percent, Italy 29.9 percent, France 34.5 percent, Belgium 29 percent, Netherland 20.5 percent and 22.6 percent fall was recorded in exports to Sweden.

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SNGPL move for 47 percent tariff hike criticised: PEW

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SNGPL Clarifies
Gas company trying to burden masses despite 17 pc profit
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Friday criticised SNGPL for its effort to get gas tariff increased by 47 percent and asked Ogra to turn down the application.
SNGPL is least concerned about plight of masses and the business community and all it want is increased profit to please influential shareholders, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that Ogra should turn down the request as upward revision in price in the winter will hurt masses and bring down the industrial units using gas due to increased cost of doing business.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that SNGPL is already earning 17 percent profit and minting illegal money in LNG distribution which has jeopardised government plans to enhance use of LNG as motor fuel and generate power through it.

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Snowballing debt can become threat to nuclear programme: PEW

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Sri Lanka and Gabon sold bonds costlier than Pakistan
More loans from IMF would be irresponsibility
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said fiscal irresponsibility, mismanagement of resources, sliding exports, shrinking tax base and lack of reforms continue to push government to rely of loans which can prove a threat to nuclear programme.
Those who are crediting themselves for economic miracle base of foreign loans are committing mistakes because these loans must be repaid by someone and masses would suffer ultimately, it said.
Government has secured loans amounting to Rs 2.7 trillion from local banks while raised $500 million from international market through bongs despite opposition by the experts, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that many countries put off sale of bonds due to unfavourable market conditions while Pakistan opted for sale on will country will have to pay 8.25 percent interest after maturity.

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WHT on bank transaction unethical, illegal: PEW

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Deadlock over tax should be resolved
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday said withholding tax on bank transactions is illegal as well as unethical and violation of the basic rights of banked population.
Government should not punish masses and the business community for the failure of FBR to broaden tax base, it said.
The decision to slap additional WHT on bank transaction is extortion which is encouraging underground economy therefore the deadlock between government and traders must be resolved, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that income and consumption is taxed around the world but here government has found a novel way to milk masses which is not acceptable.

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Interest rate cut increased earnings of banks: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said reduction in the interest rates by the State Bank has increased the profits of the banks.
Government is the biggest custome of the banks which has received loans to the tune of 6.2 trillion rupees leaving productive sector in a lurch, it said.
The profit of banks jumped by 113 percent in the first six months of the year which is 52 percent more than the previous year, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Last year banks earned an interest of Rs 255 billion while in the current year the banking companies made Rs 495 billion in six months, he added.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that banks of twn trillion rupees as deposits in which three trillion are in the current accounts while rest are in saving accounts.
Banks prefer current account over saving accounts to maximise profit which the depositors of the saving accounts get negative return.

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Deteriorating exports resulting in budget deficit: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Friday said deteriorating external sector is resulting in budget deficit which will take toll on economy and the poor.
Government will have no option to cut developmental expenditures to finance deficit which will hut poor which is not acceptable, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement issued here today he asked for a plan to boost exports as situation has been hurting every facet of economy and society.
He said that national resources are being diverted towards affluent while leaving poor high and dry while the economic situation is not as good as portrayed.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that sliding exports have started hurting basic facilities like health and education frustrating all except for those who can afford services offered by the private sector.
Frustrated masses are protesting for provision of facilities on reasonable rates while remaining in the system after which they can take to the streets, he warned.

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Dr. Mughal appointed incharge media committee FPCCI

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FPCCI has appointed Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President, President of the Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) as incharge of the FPCCI Standing Committee on Public Relations for Islamabad and Punjab.
This was announced by the Chairman of the FPCCI Standain Committee of Public Relations Shujaat Ali Baig at the head office of the Apex chamber.
A number of business leaders and representatives of media outlets were also present on the occasion.
Baig said that the decision has been taken in view of services of Dr. Murtaza Mughal and express the hope that he will use his abilities to promote the cause.
Mr. Baig who has also served as provincial minister education said that a notification has been issued in this regard.
It may be mentioned that Dr. Murtaza Mughal is also active in the field of social, educational and health sectors.

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Dissatisfaction expressed over slow pace of reforms: PEW

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Costly power projects to worsen energy crisis
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday expressed concern over slow pace of reforms which has left government with little options of seeking costly loans and burdening existing taxpayers.
The improvement in economic indicators has little to do with reforms and more to do with IMF loans, bond issues and receding oil prices, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that government has not shown any notable progress in reducing budget deficit, broaden tax net, improve energy sector, autonomy to central bank, and taking loans from banks within limits and restructure bleeding state-run corporations.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that government continue to ignore reforming FBR and burden existing taxpayers which will not serve its purpose of improve revenue, rather, it would increase tax evasion.

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ICCI elections, AGM termed illegal: PEW

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Corruption cases worth millions swept under the carpet
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said recent election of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Annual General Meeting were highly illegal therefore the incumbent office bearers have no legal backing.
Director General Trade Organisation and SECP should immediately take note of the illegalities in the ICCI, said Abdullah Tariq, SVP PEW.
In a statement issued here today he said that Quorum was incomplete while mandatory requirement of providing audited accounts to all the members was violated.
Accounts were not provided to the members to hide corruption worth tens of million in the affairs of ICCI, he added.

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