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Saturday June 22, 2024
Dr Miftah Ismail
Dr Miftah Ismail

Former Federal Minister of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs.

  • June 13, 2024

    Budget FY25: a missed opportunity

    Old habits die hard and this is true for this PML-N budget as well

  • June 08, 2024

    Inflation vs growth: misplaced priorities

    Our economic growth rate is an anaemic 2.2%, which is less than our population growth rate of 2.55 per cent

  • May 25, 2024

    Myopic policies, distorted prices

    It would be a favour to Pakistan if our government stopped setting wheat and sugarcane prices

  • May 11, 2024

    Pakistan needs a new political party

    Not surprisingly, our youth see no hope for the future

  • April 03, 2024

    NFC: call for fiscal reforms

    A representational image showing people at a busy market in Pakistan. — AFP/FileIn an analysis of the 7th NFC Award , published on these pages, I...

  • March 20, 2024

    Fiscal realities: A case for NFC reform

    The reason is misaligned incentives. In eleven out of the last 13 years, our provincial governments have run a surplus

  • February 23, 2022

    Promises not kept

    Politicians make promises before elections and try to implement at least some after coming to power. Has Imran Khan fulfilled promises made to the...

  • January 11, 2022

    A clown show

    The senseless and completely avoidable tragedy in Murree is the result of simultaneous failures at many levels of government. Not only did the...

  • July 10, 2021

    The return of loadshedding

    Loadshedding is back. In some places for two hours a day, in some places for four or more – but it is back. It took Nawaz Sharif and his PML-N...

  • June 12, 2021

    Mr Tarin’s budget

    We should note that over the last three years, the PTI has decreased the tax-to-GDP ratio from 12.6 percent to 9.9 percent, writes Miftah Ismail

  • February 02, 2021

    Such relentless misgovernance

    In my column on Jan 1, I asked: “What has the PTI done for Pakistan during its time in power?” My thesis was that after the hype created by the...

  • January 19, 2021

    The LNG story

    Natural gas is environmentally friendly and the most efficient form of thermal energy. After coming to power, the PML-N and former prime minister...

  • December 30, 2020

    What has the PTI delivered?

    It’s been a long two and a half years of this hybrid rule, halfway to a normal parliamentary tenure. It is time to ask: what has the PTI delivered...

  • July 03, 2020

    A consistent list of failures

    The writer has served as federal minister for finance, revenue and economic affairs.The PTI government started with much fanfare after an election...

  • June 23, 2020

    Budget in times of Covid-19

    Making a budget for Pakistan is always tough but it has been particularly difficult this year. The economy is in doldrums, in part due to the...

  • June 10, 2020

    Populism and the coronavirus

    The writer has served as federal minister for finance, revenue and economic affairs.The collapse of communism in Europe, leading to the former...

  • June 01, 2020

    We deserve better

    A few days back, the Sugar Inquiry Commission report was made public, as mandated by a law passed in 2017. Whether the commission was formed due to...

  • May 04, 2020

    The coronavirus pandemic

    Modern calculations confirm that a solar eclipse occurred on January 27, 632 AD. Quoting from Sahih Bukhari “the sun eclipsed in the life-time of...

  • April 24, 2020

    Healthcare in Punjab

    A few days ago, a PTI supporter on Twitter asked people to name a single world-class hospital built by the PML-N during its decade of government in...

  • April 15, 2020

    A sustainable lockdown strategy

    The coronavirus pandemic is the gravest crisis Pakistan has faced. The virus is spreading exponentially worldwide, and once it infects the chances...

  • June 26, 2019

    Hear, believe, think?

    Our prime minister has for years repeated his corruption allegations ad nauseum against Mian Nawaz Sharif and PML-N leaders. And yet there are three...

  • June 19, 2019

    The midnight tirade

    When I presented the budget last year, the PTI created a lot of ruckus – hungama – during my speech. Three MNAs were especially more...

  • June 12, 2019

    Incompetence is costly

    Every year, the government of Pakistan publishes a report called the Economic Survey of Pakistan which details how our economy has performed over...

  • May 29, 2019

    Economic policy: where they went wrong

    This fiscal year, July 2018 to June 2019, is proving to be the worst for our economy in decades. A year that filled many young Pakistanis with hope...

  • May 23, 2019

    Shattered dreams

    I was in Barcelona on a business trip when I saw a street vendor selling a ball with a device. The device would pitch the ball about 60 feet in the...

  • May 15, 2019

    The IMF programme

    On May 31, 2108, almost a year ago, when the PML-N government finished its term we left an economy that was growing at 5.8 percent and expected to...

  • May 08, 2019

    Brimming with tabdeeli

    It is now painfully obvious that PM Imran Khan is not suitable for governance. So, having borrowed half of Asif Zardari’s cabinet, Khan may now...

  • April 03, 2019

    Looking at agriculture reforms

    Whether in cotton or wheat, or many other agricultural products, the yield per acre in Pakistan is lower than both China and India. Our lower...

  • March 27, 2019

    PTI and the Dunning-Kruger effect

    So perhaps PM Khan has been making these exaggerated promises because he never understood the complexity or difficulty of governance given his own...

  • March 20, 2019

    Big Bang, black holes and the march

    China recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon. The moon both rotates on its axis and also revolves around Earth. Because it is very...

  • March 13, 2019

    The big economic ditch

    Think of a company that has a total debt of Rs25,000 and undergoes a management change. A little while later under the new management the company...

  • March 06, 2019

    Our burden of history

    A couple of years ago, there were riots in some Muslim neighbourhoods of Sri Lanka. Mobs of Buddhist Sinhalese were upset that their Tamil Muslim...

  • February 27, 2019

    Corruption and utopia

    If I had to choose between a corrupt leader and an incompetent one, I’d choose the incompetent one every time. Integrity is the basic quality a...

  • February 13, 2019

    A tale of two deals

    It was the best of deals, it was the worst of deals, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair .Pakistani politics is infested with a...

  • February 07, 2019

    A tribute to Dr Salam

    Last week was the Pakistani Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam’s 93rd birth anniversary and since I was reading about his work I decided to write a column...

  • January 30, 2019

    Dreams vs realities

    The second group is those who say that the problems the PML-N left behind were so huge that it will take the PTI much longer to change things. Some...

  • January 23, 2019

    The importance of the 18th Amendment

    The constitution of Pakistan, as amended over the years, is now a federalist document that prescribes devolution of such powers and responsibilities...

  • January 16, 2019

    Missing leadership

    One of the first things you learn in management is that you can delegate authority but you cannot delegate responsibility. Indeed, the central...

  • January 09, 2019

    Loadshedding in the winter

    When the PML-N won the 2013 elections, our country had debilitating power and gas shortages. PML-N leaders believed that the party won the elections...

  • January 02, 2019

    The PTI’s second mini-budget

    Shortly after coming into power, Imran Khan’s government presented a ‘mini-budget’, which was essentially a bill that raised income tax rates,...

  • December 12, 2018

    The automobile policy

    When the PML-N government came to power in 2013 it was felt by many that the automobile market in Pakistan left much to be desired. Many consumers...

  • December 05, 2018

    Educating Pakistan

    Why is Japan richer than Pakistan? In fact, why is any country richer than another? There are multiple reasons, but education is probably the most...

  • November 28, 2018

    What lies ahead

    Prime Minister Imran Khan recently said that making U-turns is a hallmark of great leaders. Since then his party leaders, in an effort both...

  • November 21, 2018

    Unresolved disputes

    My point merely is that both sides have strong arguments but, whereas other countries have solved such problems, we haven’t been able to.

  • November 15, 2018

    Land price reforms

    Even compared to other economies at a similar stage of development, Pakistan’s undocumented economy, as a fraction of our total economy, is unduly...

  • November 07, 2018

    What we borrowed and what we built

    Three months after being installed in power, the PTI still hasn’t given up its proclivity for U-turns, baseless accusations, self-serving...

  • October 31, 2018

    The rise of right-wing populism

    The anti-Muslim riots in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002 claimed the lives of about 2000 Muslims. They have been called “organised political...

  • October 26, 2018

    Civil service reforms that work

    The newly-installed PTI government has constituted a task force on civil-service reforms. Over the years our governments have tried a number of...

  • October 17, 2018

    Five million in five years

    With much fanfare – albeit with austerity too – Prime Minister Imran Khan announced his intention of building five million new homes in...