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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 »

Tax exemptions causing loss of Rs.900 billion annually

10 December 2015 Former Finance Minister Dr Hafiz Pasha said on Wednesday that exemptions and loopholes culture in tax system was causing a loss of Rs 900 billion annually to the country. “Pakistan has failed in increasing the tax to GDP ratio as it is being held hostage by entrenched powerful vested interests people who do not allow the individuals to change the system”, said Dr Pasha while addressing at a panel on “Rising inequality in Asia and role of ... Read More »

SDG indicators & data: Who collects, who reports, who benefits?

03 December 2015 (Barbara Adams) part of its mandate to develop an indicator framework by which to monitor the goals and targets of the post-2015 development agenda, the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDGs (IAEG-SDGs) held its second meeting in Bangkok, 26-28 October 2015. The objective was to seek agreement on the proposed indicators for each target—keeping in mind that indicators alone can never be sufficient to fully measure progress on the goals. More specifically, it was to move provisional indicators ... Read More »

Pakistan: Privatisation proceeds to be used to clear off debt

(27 Nov 15) The government informed the National Assembly on Friday that it planned to clear off its debt liabilities by selling public sector enterprises (PSEs). In an otherwise lackluster session, a parliamentary secretary claimed that PML-N had received people`s mandate on its election manifesto that included privatization of national entities. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said in a written answer to a question that the total domestic debt stood at Rs18,093 billion at the end of September and Rs1,304bn was spent ... Read More »