Archive for January, 2016

Growth rate target achievable: PEW

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Reforms key to resolution of all problems
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said 5.5 percent growth rate target for the current year is unattainable in the current set of circumstances.
The government will have to revise it down like the targets of investment, exports and revenue and economic managers will come up with excuses as usual.
Government has improved growth rate, forex reserves and current account deficit but it has failed to widen tax base and reform bleeding public sector enterprises, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that manufacturing has improved due to additional gas provision to fertiliser sector, reduced prices of raw material and revival of construction industry while agriculture sector is braving heavy losses, notably that of cotton crop which has increased problems for textile industry.

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Continued deprivation in GB can hurt CPEC: PEW

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Collection of federal taxes from GB termed illegal
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday said depriving the people of Gilgit-Baltistan of their full rights as citizens of Pakistan is a grave injustice which can have a negative impact on fate-changing China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project.
The people of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) fought the army of Maharaja of Kashmir, got region liberated and opted to become part of Pakistan in a bid to get their rights which couldn’t become a reality after almost seven decades, it said.
FBR which has failed to expand tax net or boost collections has surpassed its legal limits and slapped federal taxes on people of GB which is unjust and illegal, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

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CPEC project falling prey to politics: PEW

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Steps demanded to de-politicise fate-changing project
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said unnecessary secrecy, unilateral decisions and authoritarian mind-set has made the fate-changing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project controversial.
Provinces continue to cry foul over the mega project due to lack of transparency and it is the responsibility of the central government to save project from falling prey to the politics, it said.
Government should take concrete steps to allay reservations of small provinces and that of Gilgit-Baltistan lest it endanger the project which can change the destiny of every Pakistani, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that the project enjoyed unprecedented support of the masses in the beginning but absence of consensus and some half-hearted steps by the government without taking stakeholders into confidence changed the situation.

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Merger of stock exchanges lauded: PEW

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Broker mafia a threat to local, foreign investment
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday lauded the merger of three stock exchanges of the country terming it necessary to improve transparency and discourage broker mafia.
The integration of the three exchanges is an essential step in that direction which will result in some stability but more needs to be done to restore confidence of local and international investors in the Pakistan’s stock market, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Talking to Patron of Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt and Chairperson Trade and Commerce Committee of Quetta Chamber Tabassum Anwar, he said that stock market has remained on the mercy of broker mafia who would orchestrate a crisis for plunder or deter government agencies probing their wrongdoing.

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Cement sector thriving on the cost of masses: PEW

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PEW calls to stop cement cartel from milking masses
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday called for some kind of control over cement sector which continue to thrive on the cost of masses and construction industry providing employment to millions.
Cement industry continue to increase prices without any justification which amount to plundering masses while Competition Commission of Pakistan and other concerned departments prefer to remain silent spectators, it said.
International prices of oil and coal have come down substantially but the cement industry has not provided any relief to masses rather it continue to increase prices, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
Talking to the representatives of construction industry, he said that increasing cement prices pose a threat to economic corridor, mega project and construction activities.

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Govt’s asked to rationalise privatization policy: PEW

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Sales of assets before reforms impossible
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said that government’s privatization policy is not working well due to some flawed priorities.
Government has completed half of its tenure but it has not initiated reforms in state-run companies without which these units cannot be sold to save loss of Rs 500 billion per annum, it said.
Government had promised to sell inefficient units while signing $6.2 billion standby agreement with IMF but so far it has sold stakes in profitable banks while objective of sale of PIA, Pakistan Steel Mills and power distribution companies could not be realised, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
In a statement issued here today, he said that profitable ventures should not be sold before selling bleeding enterprises as it is against the promise of PML-N.

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PEW opposes tax amnesty scheme

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Amnesty to tax evaders’ termed temporary solution
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said tax amnesty scheme proves failure of the authorities to collect targeted taxes and broaden tax net.
It indicates that government has no intention to bring favourite sectors in the tax net, introduce proper asset-seizure laws to confiscate untaxed assets, and bring back looted money from abroad, it said.
Move to purify ill-gotten money amounts to encouraging corrupt elements with billions of illicit wealth which is detrimental for the society, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
The amnesty for tax evaders has been announced to fill the budgetary gap but the funds raised through this scheme will be insufficient, he said.
He said that such measures work in the short run but it is not a permanent solution to a budget gap; authorities should concentrate on permanently broadening the tax base and eliminate unjust exemptions.

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