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Saudis shower more aid to Pakistan

(11 March 2016) Saudi Arabia increased financial assistance to Pakistan and signed an agreement of $122 million in economic aid on Thursday, the highest amount Riyadh has officially given to Islamabad in the last five years. The signing ceremony for the grant, which includes a $67 million package, took place the day Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief General Raheel Sharif were attending the closing ceremony of the multi-nation ‘Thunder of the North’ military exercise in Saudi Arabia. US budget ... Read More »

Pakistan Risk Surges as $50 Billion Debt Bill Coming Due: Bloomberg

Faseeh Mangi  and Divya Patil (February 15, 2016) Bets are rising that Pakistan will default on its debt just as it starts to revive investor interest with a reduction in terrorist attacks. Credit default swaps protecting the nation’s debt against non-payment for five years surged 56 basis points last week to 620 points amid the global market sell-off, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest since January 2015 and the steepest jump after Greece, Venezuela and Portugal among ... Read More »

No Right to Housing?

By I. A . Rehman ( 18 February 2016) BY announcing government plans to legalise some of the illegally established housing colonies in the capital city, the federal minister of state for Islamabad`s development has provided an opportunity for a discussion on the mess in the country`s housing sector. That the 109 or so housing colonies in Islamabad that have been declared unauthorised/illegal by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) should be regularised is quite understandable. Quite a few of the people living ... Read More »

The scourge of rising inequality–A case of Pakistan

Abdul Khaliq (25 January 2016) The issue of inequality, which was shunted aside amidst rapid growth over the last few decades, has resurfaced with a vengeance, particularly after the global financial crisis. The trend has been rising in most of the countries despite rapid economic growth. Oxfam reports that by 2016 the 1% will control more wealth than the rest of the 99% and this gap is likely to widen. The impact is so severe that it has afflicted the ... Read More »

Debt domination is sophisticated violation of Human Rights

(22 January 2016) Abdul Khaliq Shah is the Executive Director, Institute for Social & Economic Justice (ISEJ) and Focal person of Campaign for Abolition of Third World Debt (CADTM) Pakistan Chapter. Following is an edited transcript of the conversation BR Research had with Mr Abdul Khaliq.  BR Research: Tell us about your organisation?  Abdul Khaliq Shah: Institute for Social & Economic Justice (ISEJ) is not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation, registered under Societies Act 1860. It is made up of social activists and ... Read More »

Wealth doesn’t trickle down – it just floods offshore

  (Heather Stewart):  A far-reaching new study suggests a staggering $21 trillion in assets has been lost to global tax havens. If taxed, that could have been enough to put parts of Africa back on its feet – and even solve the euro crisis. The world’s super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the ... Read More »

Free trade pacts: contempt for citizens, sovereignty for MNCs

By Robert Joumard (8 January 2016) They are called TAFTA, TiSA, TTIP, TTP, CETA – and many other names beside. Everything is done so that nobody understands anything and so that citizens will not be interested. For greater clarity, here we are summing up the very numerous partial analyses that are available, as well as some of our own insights into the different proposals for ‘free trade’ agreements. To put it more precisely, for business freedoms, the best known treaty being the ... Read More »

Political Economy of Taxation

By Sakib Sherani (8 January 2016) a second marriage is dubbed a `triumph of hope over experience`, what should an eighth tax amnesty scheme be titled? The government has launched yet another such scheme, its second since 2013, this time designed for the country`s tax-delinquent traders. With an estimated 3.5 million traders in the country, only an estimated 135,000 traders are tax registered. Wholesale and retail trade accounts for 18pc of official GDP (a reported value addition of Rs4,900 billion ... Read More »

Tax Amnesty Scheme 2016: Facts & Challenges

(By Umer Cheema 05 January 2015): A budding entrepreneur of a leading business family in Pakistan popped up on the radar of American tax authorities in 2008 to invest 23 million dollars in the real estate of New York. Upon questioning about his funding source, he said the money was brought from Pakistan. The investigators subsequently wrote to Federal Board of Revenue inquiring whether the transferred funds were taxed in Pakistan or not. An amnesty scheme of the PPP government ... Read More »

Pakistan’s external debt set to grow to $90 billion by 2018

(13 Dec 2015) Pakistan’s external debt is projected to grow to a whopping $90 billion in the next four years and the country will need $20 billion a year just to meet its external financing requirements amid concerns that all constitutional arrangements put in place to manage debt have become ineffective. The external debt figures compiled by renowned economist and the country’s former finance minister Dr Hafiz Pasha are about $14 billion higher than the projections made by the International ... Read More »