Archive for November, 2019

Govt lauded for controlling external deficit: PEW

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday lauded the government for efforts to contain external deficit which has resulted in a surplus after four years.

Apart from government efforts, there are other important reasons which have played their role in improving the situation which includes the highest interest rate in the region which is luring some foreign investors, it said.

The foreign investors will lose interest once the government decide to trigger economic growth by reducing interest rates, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

He said that telecom companies have also paid heavy fees for the renewal of licenses while discouraging imports, a a contraction in the economy and sight improvement in exports have also played their role.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that contraction in the economy has also reduced demand for oil which has saved foreign exchange used to buy the oil which has helped the government overcome the current account deficit.

A dip in oil imports has helped constrict the trade deficit more than anything else which also indicate the economic situation which is far from satisfactory, he noted.

He said that maintaining such a position will be very difficult when economic activities started to pick up therefore long delayed reforms should not be delayed any more as the country needs a sustainable foundation on which to build the external sector’s strength.

The current state of revenue collection indicate that the country will face over 650 billion rupees shortfall and the government will have no option to burden the masses through a mini-budget which will break the back of the poor.

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Unrealistic tax targets damaging economy: PEW

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said unrealistic tax target has become a threat to the troubled economy.

The policy of pressing taxpayers to meet unrealistic targets has resulted in widespread resentment among the business community which should be reconsidered, it said.

Revenue cannot be enhanced by highhandedness of the authorities as economic contraction and discouraging imports has its cost, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

Unnecessary focus on existing taxpayers and over-zealousness crackdown on evasion has not served any purpose but it has reduced revenue and it is resulting in the exodus of businesses and flight of capital, he added.

He said that suppressing demand has helped the government reduce imports by ten billion dollars which has also reduced revenue thus making the achievement of target impossible.

Dr Murtaza Mughal said that a policy is needed to trigger investment which is at the lowest ebb due to the fear among the investors.

He said that the country is facing problems because of policies of the successive governments to prefer real estate, trading, and speculation over the industry to create a false impression of economic improvement which took a toll on the economy.

How can the country progress when the manufacturing sector was overburdened with over 75 percent of total tax collection, he questioned.

The campaign against corruption launched fifteen months back has proved wastage of time and resources, therefore, it should be discontinued.

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Poor masses to brave another gas bomb: PEW

Gas price hike to hit production, trigger inflation

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said the state-run gas companies have planned to drop another gas bomb on the masses to increase their profits.

The gas utilities are seeking up to Rs194 hike in per unit tariff of gas to earn additional Rs93 billion by burdening the masses facing unprecedented inflation, it said.

The move will stoke inflation and hit production in the industrial and agricultural sectors while it will also damage exports, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

The upward revision in the gas tariff will make it impossible for the central bank to reduce interest rates as expected by the business community, he added.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that the gas prices have already been increased up to 190 percent as per the agreement with the IMF and another massive increase will take a toll on the masses and the struggling economy.

He said that gas companies are only concerned with their profits disregarding the fact the increasing price of gas will reduce demand, increase theft, generate unemployment and spell disaster for the industrial sector.

The move will increase the profit of gas utilities but result in increased cost of doing business, closure of many businesses and widespread unemployment in the country, he added.

OGRA conduct a public hearing before notifying the increase in which stakeholders are heard but it has always proved to be a wastage of time, he said.

Dr. Mughal demanded that the government should decide that the interest of masses and economy activity is important for the country or the profit of gas companies.

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Govt action against doctors mafia supported: PEW

No end to the greed of doctors

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Saturday lauded the government action against doctors who have become too greedy to be tolerated.

The government should control doctors mafia at any cost as they are exploiting the system to become rich overnight at the cost of poor patients, it said.

Doctors seldom act according to their oath, therefore, there should be a system in place to force them to act according to the ethics of the profession, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

He said that there should be a check and balance system so that helpless lives are not jeopardized by greedy doctors.

The pharmaceutical companies paying bribes to doctors to sell their products should be discouraged through the intervention of the government, he said, adding that some government doctors also prescribe expensive medicines of particular companies for commissions.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that there is no limit to the greed of doctors while immoral practices in domestic marketing of medicines have hindered the growth of the pharmaceutical industry.

He noted that the provincial and federal governments have been paying handsome salaries to the doctors, yet they prefer to spend most of their time at their own clinics when, in fact, they should be on duty at government hospitals.

Those doctors who run private clinics discourage the patients through harsh attitudes at a government facility and recommend to the patients to a private clinic which is a corrupt practice that must be discouraged.

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