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Last week witnessed some events which will have far-reaching consequences for the integrity of the state. While the parliament finally passed the Anti-Money Laundering Bill, a NAB court honourably acquitted ex-president Asif Ali Zardari in the 18-year long money laundering case against him because photocopies, instead of original documentary evidence, were placed before the court.

With the imposition of regulatory duty on the import of 287 luxury and non-essential items we see unfolding of past economic history but ignore the lessons learnt from it for effective policymaking. In the first half of this article, I document the impact on import bill and trade revenues from the imposition of regulatory duty on 373 luxury items in August 2008. Conceptually, any type of import tariff restricts imports, by raising its landed costs, and therefore the demand for imports into the country. However, whether it increases overall revenues from imports of luxury goods depends on price and income elasticities (responsiveness) and subsequently, whether the tariff raises price more than it lowers imported quantity (in percentage terms). If it is the former, it may raise revenues otherwise it will lower revenues. A priori it is assumed that luxury goods are price and income-elastic. Thus luxury imports are likely to go down after the imposition of regulatory duty (RD), if incomes remain stable.
Almost a year after students ended pro-democracy street protests in Hong Kong, they face an online battle against what Western security experts say are China-sponsored hackers using techniques rarely seen elsewhere. Hackers have expanded their attacks to parking malware on popular file-sharing services including Dropbox and Google Drive to trap victims into downloading infected files and compromising sensitive information. They also use more sophisticated tactics, honing in on specific targets through so-called 'white lists' that only infect certain visitors to compromised websites.
"So where is the Prime Minister?"
Food security is emerging as one of the major issues which the nations will encounter in the days to come due to increasing population and squeezing land for food production. The world bodies under the United Nations such as FAO have already identified this challenge and attributed their focus towards planning and reducing the effects of food scarcity especially for those parts of the world where the Nature does not provide ideal situation for agriculture in the form of soil and climate. Pakistan falls in that fortunate part of world where Nature ideally supports agriculture. Therefore, the efforts of the Pakistan government in realising the issue and focusing on giving due importance to Ministry of Food and Agriculture and its role towards working out strategy with all stakeholders in agri produce, including farmers, fertiliser producers, pesticide producers and research and awareness providers will be vital to set future discourse. This challenge can be converted into opportunity and we can play our part in world food security and also earn revenue.
I give up! In all fairness I can no longer blame the Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for his flawed economic policies that have finally come home to roost two and a half years after the PML-N government took over the reins of administration. Blame must now devolve on the man who appointed him and who continues to praise him at every fora - domestic as well as international: the thrice elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
While the golden domes of Turkmenistan's presidential palace hint at the country's fantastic gas wealth, the reclusive Central Asian country remains a slumbering giant in the high stakes game of energy politics.


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Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.197 bln
Exports $1.729 bln
Imports $3.926 bln
WeeklyNovember 30, 2015
Reserves $19.828 bln