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Last update: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 03pm

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"The quality of infrastructure has improved significantly (although from low levels) in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, while it stalls in Nepal and deteriorates in Pakistan. Pakistan is also the only economy that fails to improve its macroeconomic environment and health and primary education levels, falling behind other South Asian economies," reads an excerpt from the latest Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17.
In what is considered to be an exceptional move, at last OPEC has given in on mounting pressure from low oil prices. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has agreed to cap/cut output - a first ever deal in eight years. Before the still-informal deal, analysts had been betting on oil plunging to $40 or lower. Right after the deal, oil prices surged about 5 percent.
Two months into FY17 and textile exports have yet to see any meaningful turnaround. According to the latest PBS data, Pakistans total textile exports for the two months ended August 2016 were $2.07 billion - down three percent year-on-year.
Feroze1888 Mills Limited has ended FY16 on a great note. The firm has seen a 12 percent boost to its top line year-on-year, while lower costs yielded a voluminous 43 percent growth in gross profit. The bottom line has gone up by a massive 64 percent year-on-year, and investors were given a dividend of Rs2.10.
Cement is supposed to be one of the most competitive industries in Pakistan. Isn't it? Well, the way prices are in the domestic industry, it seems like otherwise. There is a 20 percent regulatory duty on the cement imports and that is somehow the difference between the domestic and international retention prices.
At a Tax Reform Symposium organised by the DFID-funded Raftaar - Research and advocacy for the advancement of allied reforms - yielded some interesting insights last Tuesday in Islamabad. Problem is grave. Tax to GDP ratio of 11 percent (FY15) is not enough to fund public services and needs to more than double for adequate spending to happen. Only one out of every 375 citizens pays income tax.
Following up on earlier coverage of the Competition Commission of Pakistan's (CCP) report on the meat sector in Pakistan, this issue will focus on the recommendations the Commission proposes to solve the problems. (Read: "CCP's take on the meat sector" published on September 27, 2016)