Last update: Sat, 28 May 2016 12pm

Articles and Letters: Articles


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani met last Monday in Tehran to sign an agreement to kick-start the development of Chabahar port with the construction of two berths at a cost of $85 million over the course of 18 months. India is to make available a $500 million credit line extended by the Exim Bank of China for the first phase of construction at the port. India has also offered to supply $400 million worth of steel towards the construction of a rail link between Chabahar and Zahedan as a part of North-South Transport Corridor.
Our tragedy is that on the one hand we have too many taxes and on the other revenue collection is much below the real potential. The biggest failure of the successive governments has been to spend taxes for the public good. Since the government is not ready to check wasteful expenditure and end the policies of appeasement towards the rich and mighty, fiscal gap is increasing every year bringing more miseries for the common man of Pakistan. The so-called wizards sitting in FBR and Ministry of Finance have utterly failed to reform the obsolete tax system. They have wasted millions received in the name of reforms as loan from donors, a process initiated as early as 1990s and still continuing!!
The National Mall, the iconic lawn stretching from the US Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, has become so crowded with commemorative monuments that even the most ambitious tourists find it hard to visit them all in one day. The backdrop for countless political protests and visits by world leaders, the park is packed with imposing memorials ranging from the tall white spire commemorating George Washington to the imposing black wall honouring Vietnam War dead.
"Do you know the difference between a Senator and Member of the National Assembly (MNA)?"
Majority of the Pakistanis would certainly be dejected after hearing the budget speech of Ishaq Dar expected on June 3, 2016. Not because there will be no relief for the poor as usual-nobody expects it now in Pakistan-but the real cause of disappointment is going to be continuation of the oppressive tax system that is anti-growth and anti-people. The burden of unjust taxes is continuously increasing on the less privileged whereas the rich and mighty are just paying meagre amounts and enjoying extraordinary benefits.
Two terms with the World Economic Forum's (WEF) prestigious Global Agenda Council (GAC) on "Countering Terrorism" and given the nexus between corruption, organised crime and terrorism made it apparent that without interdicting or eradicating the source of funding of terrorism, this evil could never be rooted out. With my change over to GAC for "Anti-Corruption and Transparency" being agreed to, I also became a member of WEF's Partnership Against Corruption Initiative (PACI). It has been a mixed experience, rewarding enough given the opportunity to exchange views with the foremost experts in the world, also very frustrating because theoretical initiatives overwhelmed mostly the practical aspects of combating corruption. Good intentions notwithstanding, a lot of strict laws in the developed world are either flatly ignored and/or glossed over deliberately.
A flurry of deals between big automakers and ride hailing and transportation start-ups is rewriting the playbook in the contest to control the future of personal transportation. Automakers now recognize they may turn ride-hailing services and car sharing companies into steady customers for all sorts of vehicles, particularly hybrid and electric cars, industry executives and analysts say.