Giving MFN status to India is a good sign for Pakistani economy, Pakistan having almost same culture and natural resources should learn from other Asian countries which have shown a remarkable growth after 1950s. Manufacturing sector should be taught the effective utilisation of their comparative advantages. Government should encourage foreign direct investment since it is one of the most important channels of transferring knowledge, technology and resources from developed countries. Most of the investors are reluctant to invest in Pakistan due to poor law and order situation, energy crisis and poor policies, so officials have to take some steps urgently to find out the solution of these problems.
Free trade will always be beneficial for the economy of a country, the decision to grant the MFN status to India is the right step to improve the bilateral trade and strengthen our economies. Although it may hurt some of our industries, for example entertainment but on a positive note, it will boost the competition to improve the standards of our local products. Instead of politicising this issue, we should take more steps to improve the bilateral trade, for example currently India is protecting its markets by non-tariff barriers in the name of documentation and standards. The next step for the government should be to prepare a strategy of negotiation on removing these non-tariff barriers on Pakistani exports, to make trade free and fair.
The proposed new legislation – designed to replace the Companies Ordinance of 1984 – bodes well for our desire to match the developments in other parts of the world. By showing a clear intent to improve the corporate regulations, we are making the right noise. We need to create economic harmony, which in turn will act as one of the pillars for our nation’s progress on the various fronts we seem to be fighting on. It’s about time that the ‘democratic government’ made its presence felt in the sphere of economics, and hence the regulation of the corporate sector and the companies involved should be carried through efficiently and smoothly.
While India has continued to demand MFN status from Pakistan, however one needs to understand that the MFN status alone cannot resolve the glaring fissures between both the countries. The first and foremost step that both the countries need to take is trade liberalization, and with this, they need to encourage engagement from the business community of both the countries. The ground realities must be taken into account. While India has given Pakistan the MFN status for the last 15 years however, trade volumes have been low given the other barriers for Pakistani traders to trade commodities across the border. A dynamic approach needs to be taken to resolve this issue. Maliha Anjum islamabad
The Gillani Cabinet had to designate three Ministers to explain why two off days every week would bring about monumental savings in power consumption. Like always, no industrialist or businessmen will do what the government so desperately desires. Factories would run as usual, markets would be humming with the hustle and bustle, and the economic activity would continue on weekends just like before. We industrialists are determined to earn foreign exchange for the nation, we are all geared to provide quality employment, and we are dedicated towards our goal of making Pakistan an economic powerhouse. Meanwhile, the Cabinet and the Parliamentarians can enjoy their weekend holidays and let us industrialists do what we do best. Keep the wheels of industry running. Mike Baxter karachi
Dear Editor, Apropos to the article “First step in a continuing journey” published on 10-10-2011, the author is spot on in his appreciation for the unexpected decrease of 150bps in the discount rate by SBP, which brought the policy rate down to 12 per cent. This decrease in the policy rate will consequently put a lot of pressure on the fiscal budget; however there will be a number of positives coming out of it if, and only if, the government takes complementary initiatives to follow its objective of supporting private sector credit growth. Even after this cut, the current rate is still fairly high, creating hurdles for the companies to invest in new opportunities. Moreover, I agree with the writer when he says that the government should decrease the policy rate to single digit which will create more opportunities for investment. Laila Rawalpindi
Dear Editor, With reference to the article “Steve Jobs – magician who breathed life into fiction” published on 10-10-2011, while the article could have shed some more light on the achievements of Steve Jobs, nonetheless it is a touching piece by the author, most importantly as he sums up the article with the concept of an innovation slow down, and how despite these times the Apple visionary conjured up ideas out of thin air. Steve Jobs was really a true revolutionary. Tanya karachi
Dear Editor, In “Changing growth paradigms”, the writer says, the optimal utilisation of scarce resources is essential. Since different countries have different available resources, it cannot be said with surety that same policies can ensure the economic growth of the every country. This is the responsibility of the government’s policy makers to prioritise the usage of resources given their constraints. Pakistan should have to work on accumulation, the process of policy making by focusing on its internal resources instead of looking at IMF for aid. Attempts of injecting money without proper micro and macro policies, will not only be imprudent but also harmful. Zunaira Lahore
Dear Editor, This is apropos of article ‘Revisiting the energy mix’. Shaukat Tarin is right in saying that government should diversify the supply base of energy sector. Especially it should focus on developing Thar coal reserves. Balochistan’s wind corridor option is also an important and a permanent solution for this problem without utilising our natural resources. But apart from these solutions the former finance minister proposes the creation of an autonomous energy ministry, which I do not agree. Pakistan is a country where we have 96 ministers for a population of 18 million as compared to India which has 32 ministers for a population, almost 7 times larger than Pakistan. The solution is not to create new departments but to eradicate the ongoing corruption and inefficiency of already existing departments. Tanzeel Qamar Islamabad
No doubt loadshedding is a curse, especially at dawn and dusk ie, at the time of dengue attack. People have been pushed to the wall. They are forced to come out on the streets to protest.
Two significant solutions: a) our state should start an austerity drive to control its expenses; b) and the public must stop burning/damaging state property.
We, the Pakistanis, always react unwisely, causing further losses instead of minimising them. What has happened in Gujranwala is really condemnable. Damaging railway engines, motorcycles, private cars, traffic signals and other property would only hurt us. It will neither solve the crisis nor will it benefit the protesters. Just a point to ponder over.