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Posts tagged with: Economy

Shaukat to quit as PM

Well rumors have been circulating quite seriously for the past few months of a pending resignation of Shaukat Aziz from the corridors of Islamabad and soon to move into Washington as the Managing Director World Bank. It would indeed be sad day for Pakistan to loose such a brilliant economist another casualty to our power hungry President who has slowly alienated him out of the picture.

This move to World Bank would no doubt be a very respectable exit for Aziz out of the power circle hence leaving at the top with his reputation intact (which we have rarely seen in Pakistani politics). I wish him all the best and also appreciate all his efforts in positioning Pakistan back into a booming economy. We honestly can only hope that his replacement which will most likely be Hamid Chattha, can mimic Aziz even to a fraction of his strengths in taking Pakistan onwards. What do you have to say?

Read more on SA Tribune.com


Army the biggest Real Estate Mafia

Apart from controlling the budget of our country the Army has a tremendous control over the freely available real estate of our country. Lets take a glancing look at the statistics, the Army has 22,500 acres of land sanctioned to its own profitable use while the Navy has 712 acres and the Air Force has a measly 536 acres. First of all ‘What has the Army done to deserve such a bulk share?’ Secondly we Pakistanis know how these army officers have slowly climbed up the social scale to start driving Mercs and Beamers in town, one often does have to wonder with a normal pay-scale how can serving in the Army be so profitable.

The scam is simple – they ‘earn’ a few pieces of land ‘for their faithful service for our country’ and have then earned the right to rip us dry, the well located plots are sanctioned to them at a dirt cheap controlled price and soon they make a handsome proffit mostly entering into the millions more often a 100 times proffit for a quick turnaround.
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Flat Tax Revolution

This was the title page of last weeks Economist dated April 16-22 2005

A Flat-Tax system is an over-simplified taxation model, it attempts to bypass all the intricacies of a complicated taxation slab which is commonly prone to tax loop holes. The Flat Tax system enforces a unified one-rate tax for everything across the board. This taxation model started from Estonia in 1994 who were the pioneers to take the bold step and enforced a 26% Flat-Tax, this concept slowly spread to the neighbouring Baltic nations and was finally also implemented in Russia in 2001 with a 13% tax on personal reserves. We are all aware that Russia, like Pakistan is a bribe-infested economy but they have used this concept with great success and have an increase in its taxation returns by 30% surely not a small increase.

The thing that drives this concept is the notion that lower taxes convinces the people to declare and payup then to suffer later. A unified taxation also avoids loop holes for people to sneak through hence in a way forcing people to come clean

Fewer tax brackets are simpler to administer, but one bracket is simplest of all. Under a pure flat tax, the taxman takes the same cut from the last dollar you earn that he took from the first. The appeal to high earners is obvious. But the administrative elegance of such a system is not so immediately apparent. Because every dollar is taxed at the same rate, it does not matter to the tax collector how many dollars are going to whom. Thus, in principle, the taxman could simply withhold 20% of a company’s payroll, without needing to know who was paid what. Add a second rate of tax, however, or a personal exemption, and the tax collector must find out how much money is going into each pay packet before he can be sure of collecting the right amount from the right person. In America, for example, the tax collector needs to tax the wage packets of 130m or more employees, rather than simply taxing the payrolls of 8m or so enterprises.

………I ask from those Business guru’s out here, is such a system possible in Pakistan?
Read in detail at The Economist editorial


Dictator Musharraf in for the Long Haul

Well it ain’t news no more and the world knows it well by now Musharraf plans to rough it out longer then his promise and our expectations, he conveniently amends the constitution and justifies it that Pakistan “needs” him to stay longer. The Pharaoh also felt the “need” to stay longer but someone (The Almighty) just would not have it and the tables were overturned. The general perception is that he now has a hunger for the power and feels that without him the world/Pakistan will collapse the very next day, what a dilemma I am sure all past dictators and rulers, not only in Pakistan, but throughout the world have usually left behind a devastated country with a crippled infrastructure, these dictatorships have during their term showed a bed of roses but later it was more a bed of nails than being roses, I doubt Pakistan or Musharraf is the odd man out in this historical equation “ though I wish otherwise for the sake of my beloved “Land of the Pure”

Our ruler talks about better economy well it might be the case upfront but the economic indicators show a low GDP of 4% while inflation is at a horrendous 9% and only $400 million foreign investment in the last half year. How is the economy buoyant and how are the stocks at an all time high, is a question that remains unanswered, artificial buoyancy usually will result in catastrophic disasters.


Why is it important for Bush to win

I have been a staunch supporter for Kerry throughout the pre-election campaign and still hate Bush to the guts, but right at the last day, I might have a change in my overall decision. Why? You might ask, I feel that in the past 4 years the US has lost its credibility in the entire world and that I feel is important for an actual downfall of the US (Bully of the world). Let’s analyze each scenario and weigh the advantages of each

If in case Kerry wins then he promises to do an about-turn of the international policy and try his best to join hands with the disgruntled nations and improve the US ties with each of them, this in effect will undo what Bush has done, bear in mind that he does not plan to stop the army in Iraq and he will remain on a war footing for sometime to root out the Anti-US terrorist aspect.

If in case Bush wins then we see him continuing the same course of action, he will not pull out the forces from Iraq and the US will sadly continue to loose men on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunatley with the present attitude Bush will not be able to mend the relationships with the disgruntled nations and US will remain at daggerhead with all.

The Islamic world will remain under constant pressure, too root out terrorist activity, soon I predict attention will revert to issue of nuclear arsenal, and Iran followed by Pakistan will come in the spotlight. This scenario happens in both republican or a democratic leadership. So we Pakistani’s in actual affect do not gain to benfit in either way but looking at the overall picture I would rather have Bush at the helm of affairs to continune is his slumber and destroy the failing US economy and also the reputation of the United States of America.

Keep your fingers crossed, its midnight of the election with polls opening in 7 hours


Kerry does a SLAM DUNK

Kerry rolled Bush into a joint and smoked him away in the last presidential. Economy is Bush’s weakest link but still Kerry rolled him over – on the overall effect I think Kerry won

Lets hope it translates into a victory in November – Keep your fingers crossed


Save the Whale Campaign (Save Musharraf)

Watch for todays headlines – Daily Times was loaded with news reports that Musharraf should remain in the driving seat – well welcome to the new turn of affairs – Economy takes a back seat and Save the Whale “Save Musharraf” campaign comes to the front.

Wake up people until december you are going to be bombarded with evidence upon evidence that Musharraf must say – according to the man himself “I have the pulse of the Nation” and according to that wierd pulse 96% want him in power – Yikes which artery does he have Constitution Avenue in Islamabad.

The pulse of Pakistan says –
1 – dont make a mess of the traffic by test drivign those Merc’s
2 – dont beleve that you are the saviour – we soundly believe in Allah
3 – dont assign retired generals to take over ministeries – Pakistan is not a post retirement job for army personnel
4 – GET OFF THAT BUTT (Seat)

— until next time


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