Last update: Tue, 09 Feb 2016 05am

Articles and Letters: Articles


During IMF's 10th quarterly review of Pakistan's compliance with the terms of its Extended Fund Facility, the IMF was informed that the agreed privatisation of Discos (employing over 0.4 million workers) has been shelved, implying government's hasty retreat after PIA employees' response to its plans to off-load 26 percent of the airline's shares to a "strategic" partner for reorganising and reviving it.
For all that some investors fear Britain leaving the European Union, holders of government debt have barely blinked, with prices near a three-year high last week and foreign investors making record purchases. By pushing a rise in Bank of England interest rates further into the distance, 'Brexit' could be a short-term boost for holders of much of Britain's $2.1 trillion of government bonds, even if longer-term worries remain.
Almost a year has passed since it became legal to smoke, but not sell, marijuana in Washington, D.C., and pot enthusiasts and opponents alike are chafing under a compromise that leaves smokers in a haze over how to obtain their weed. Sales of equipment to grow the plants indoors are booming, bartenders are getting joints as tips and the city council is deliberating whether to license cannabis clubs.
"I am impressed with the Brothers Karamzov."
Appallingly poor governance during the five-year PPP-led coalition government led to PML-N victory in the 2013 general elections, or such is the general perception. But half way into the Sharif administration's tenure, governance has not visibly improved with massive power shortages continuing, state-owned entities (SOEs) persistently performing poorly notably Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Steel Mills, and all important commercial decisions entered into by the federal government shrouded in secrecy generating controversy.
The Business Recorder has published on the 2nd of February a reply by the Economic Advisor of Ministry of Finance (MOF) to the report by the Institute for Policy Reforms (IPR) on the description of the prospects for the economy of Pakistan by the IMF, following the Ninth Review. It is indeed unusual that the reply is by the Ministry of Finance and not by the IMF office in Islamabad. Also, the discussion should have been in the professional domain and personal attacks avoided.
Government subsidies are fuelling a boom in electric vehicles in China, driving hopes for the industry's global future as the world's biggest car market offers economies of scale that could make the technology mainstream.