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The Americans have always tried to help us or so they say. They have spent a sizeable time in this country right from the time of Ayub Khan. Some of their stalwarts have now retired but they did set up the Planning commission and Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) and the University charged with it was, if I rightly recall, Boston University (BU). The criterion for determining the state of the economy was the usual one that the finance minister keeps on telling us - growth, inflation and employment. These three are macro indicators. One of the Chief Executives that went to Davos even tried to tell them what growth was and what sort of economic indicators were relevant. These criteria were a hash of the WB's/IMF's so called structural reforms. In actual fact these were deforms and shattered many an economics.

In the face of strong competition from China, the traditional, locally produced Palestinian headscarf has put up a show of resistance, successfully pulling itself back from the brink of extinction. Thanks to the business sense of two brothers from the southern West Bank city of Hebron, the traditional black-and-white keffiyeh headscarf has discovered a new lease of life.
The Mediterranean's worst migrant shipwreck has spurred the EU to plan a military mission against people smugglers, but it will be hard to implement and risks reinforcing the image of an uncaring "Fortress Europe". After more than 700 people drowned in last weekend's tragedy off the Libyan coast, European leaders agreed at a special crisis summit on Thursday to take a series of steps to tackle the problem.
"So the Khan lost in NA 246."
The existing tax system is highly unjust as it protects the rich and heavily taxes the poor. This cruel taxation is meant to finance the luxuries of militro-judicial-civil complex and politicians. The mighty sections of society not only enjoy tax-free benefits but also amass more and more wealth. They get State lands at either throwaway prices or free as awards. It is tragic that in a country where billions of rupees exchange hands daily in speculative transactions in real estate and shares, tax-to-GDP ratio is pathetically low at 9.6%. However, the Government is least bothered to tax undocumented economy and benami transactions. Since the mighty sections of society are engaged in these transactions, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), being their handmaid, has no will to tax them. It is evident from Tax Directory 2014 published on 10 April 2015 showing only 52,349 persons in whole of Pakistan admitting tax liability of more than Rs 500,000!
The merger of the world's two biggest online fashion stores, Net-a-Porter (NAP) and Yoox , sends a warning to luxury brands to embrace the Internet with more vim after years of resistance. Top brands such as Prada and LVMH's Christian Dior still baulk at the idea of selling clothing online as well as through their plush boutiques.
Sky-high salaries once attracted thousands of workers to this small city in the heart of Canada's oil sands. But after crude prices plunged, Fort McMurray is lamenting a brief golden age. From June 2014 to January, the price of a barrel of oil shed half its value. Several drilling projects were deemed no longer viable and put on hold. Some 20,000 oil sands workers were laid off.


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln