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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 »

Pakistan: Economic loss $107 billion: compensation $49.95 billion

(By Mehtab Haider, 05/11/15): One may believe it or not but it is a fact that Pakistan has received only $708 million net transfers on annual basis in the shape of foreign loans and grants from all multilateral and bilateral creditors during the last 15 years under both military and democratic regimes. At a time when Islamabad is facing pressures on nuclear programme and other issues, the policymakers can make the US and its western allies realise that Islamabad had ... Read More »

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Euro Bonds: Govt under fire over reckless borrowing at high rates

(6 October 2015): Joining the ranks of others in criticising the government in its decision to raise $500 million through the Eurobond issue, All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) President Ibrahim Qureshi has said the high mark-up rate would further plunge the country in expensive debt. He further said the current government has acquired a loan of about $3.5 billion by launching Eurobonds at excessive mark-up rate of 8.25 on average in just two years. Qureshi said that the recent move was surprising ... Read More »

Debt Limitation Act: 10 years on – where does Pakistan stand?

By Tehreem Husain (September 28, 2015) The question of debt has been around for some time. The importance of debt towards economic growth, monetary and financial stability has received great attention after the onset of the global financial crisis. The financial crisis also prompted research into the history of debt –London School of Economics anthropologist David Graeber has written a thick book, ‘Debt: The First 5,000 Years’, presenting the thesis that even early humans belonging to agrarian empires used elaborate ... Read More »

Call for parliamentary debt audit commission

Islamabad: (September 17, 2015) Pakistan’s economy has been paralysed by an unpayable and largely unjust debt burden that is preventing the country from reaching its poverty goals and hindering the development of democracy, says a paper launched by Islamic Relief Pakistan here on Wednesday during a conference on Pakistan’s national debt. The event was attended by members of parliament, diplomats, members of civil society, academia and media. Islamic Relief, a relief and development organization, has been running a campaign ‘Unlocking the ... Read More »

MNA proposes to establish ‘Debt Audit Commission’

ISLAMABAD (APP): Speakers at a conference on Wednesday (16 Sept 2015) proposed to establish an independent “Debt Audit Commission” for deciding legitimacy of debts acquired by successive governments. Speaking at a “Conference on Pakistan’s National Debt” organized by the Islamic Relief Pakistan here, they said legislation should be made to give the commission legal cover. Member of the National Assembly Rumesh Kumar said that every government should focus to decrease debt and the country could get rid of this menace ... Read More »

UN votes on Sovereign Debt Restructuring

The UN General Assembly on 9 september 2015 adopted the resolution on sovereign debt restructuring that would establish an intergovernmental negotiation process aimed at increasing the efficiency, stability and predictability of the international financial system. With 124 votes in favour, 11 votes against and 41 abstentions, the Assembly adopted “Towards the establishment of a multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring processes” (document A/68/L.57/Rev.1). Introducing the draft resolution, Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz (Bolivia), speaking for the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, ... Read More »