February 4, 2019
By Mehtab Haider.

Pakistan’s total debt and liabilities peaked to Rs30.8 trillion or 80.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product at the end of September last year. With the mounting burden, the hydra-headed issue of debt sustainability has once again surfaced. Evident from the fact that the ministry of finance in its latest debt policy statement before the parliament has admitted the country’s debt paying capacity is down in the dumps.There are some worrying combinations on economic front as on one side the external debt increased in recent years and on the other the foreign exchange reserves sharply eroded mainly because of widening current account...


By Hussain Ahmad Siddiqui

In a recent move, the government has decided to rehabilitate and restructure the ailing Pakistan Machine Tool Factory , delisting it from the privatisation process being adopted for the state-owned-enterprises . Major policy measures are in hand to make the company viable and healthy for a long term, and accordingly a revival plan is to be prepared by the ministry of Industries and Production. PMTF, an industrial unit of the State Engineering Corporation, was established in 1968 in Karachi as a precision high-tech engineering goods manufacturing enterprise. The facility was created for indigenous manufacturing of machine tools under...


By Sirajuddin Aziz

Perhaps in a dispassionate review of political history in particular and in history of mankind’s development in general, inclusive of corporate history, it can be concluded that it has actually been the quality of followership that has given and produced great leaders. No leader can claim to have achieved anything of value through his/her individual efforts. We can have great thinkers, who may have no capability to practically implement what they propound. Conversely, we may have leaders, who know the art and science of delivery of results they can’t articulate. Given this backdrop, it is my belief as a student of human resource and...


By Tim Harford

What should the top rate of income tax be? Should it be 70 per cent, as has been informally suggested by the young star of the US Democratic party, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? That instinctively feels too high to me. But, as an economist with sporadic hopes of making logical arguments based on evidence, I admit that “instinctively feels too high” is a weak response.What about 50 per cent, the official policy of the UK’s opposition Labour party at the last general election? Or zero, the optimal top rate that emerged from a thought experiment posed by the late James Mirrlees, a Nobel laureate in economics?An alternative is...


By Michael Mackenzie

The dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency and the vast US government bond market ensures the Federal Reserve’s status as the dominant central bank. Its policy decisions and guidance matter immensely, particularly for emerging market economies that have plenty of dollar-denominated debt to service.A U-turn on monetary policy this week from the Fed has been billed by some as a twin capitulation to both financial markets and President Donald Trump’s incessant demands that it should stop raising interest rates.Such critiques miss the burning issue: a decade after the financial crisis, the global economy is slowing much faster...


By Mehtab Haider.

After presenting finance supplementary bill 2019, before the parliament last week, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf- led government is all set to unveil macroeconomic and medium-term budgetary framework for outlining its five-year targets and strategy on economic front, this week.It aims at sharing its roadmap for steering the economy out of crisis mode and putting it on the path of sustainable growth.But this macroeconomic framework is highly inconsistent in its present form, which also attracts strong-worded criticism from renowned economist Dr Hafiz A Pasha, who termed it as highly flawed and having no consistency on any accounts. Things are...


By Hussain Ahmad Siddiqui

The recent World Health Organization studies conclude that an estimated seven million die from environmental health risks annually the world over. In other words, pollution causes at least 16 percent early deaths of all the deaths globally. Shockingly, nine out of ten people of the global population breathe polluted air every day, according to the report. The First WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health held in Geneva in November 2018 had highlighted the economic impact of the pollution at $ 5.7 trillion or 4.4 percent loss of global GDP in 2016.The worsening pollution in Pakistan had caused in 2015 at least 135,000 premature...


By Sirajuddin Aziz

Each individual determines his own fate and role in the milieu of life. That is true for organisations and countries too. We decide what our role should be in an organisation. We conclude what we want to do. Some of us make an impact; some help others to make an impact, while many leave no impression on the sands of time. An opportunity that is God-send is wasted. Those individuals, who venture to discover themselves, are the ones, who leave behind legacy, making history. Such people are examples of commanding themselves. They are not parasites clinging onto a thought or philosophy. They develop, their own ways and means, for being...


By Zeeshan Haider

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government last week presented the second mini-budget of the current fiscal year in the National Assembly.But the brewing political storm seemed to have taken the focus off the issue for which the session was called.Before Finance Minister Asad Umar took the floor of the house to table the budgetary proposals, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif stood up to launch a scathing attack on the government over the brutal killings of a couple, its daughter, and a friend in front of three minors by the Punjab Counter Terrorism Department’s brutes in Sahiwal.The treasury members were...