06272016Mon
Last update: Mon, 27 Jun 2016 08am

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A wave of nationalistic populism has lately been sweeping through the West; it claimed its first scalp last week. The casualty is the United Kingdom's formidable place in Europe. And from what it looks, more such "revolts" - a term the Financial Times used to label the Brexit vote - might be on the way. "What have we done," forlorn Brits wondered on Twitter after the vote. Their stupefaction is felt across the globe.
Pakistan's former Planning Commission boss, Nadeem Ul-Haq, is a busy man. When he is not producing interesting podcasts by the name of Soch Bichar, he is writing a book. The book is tentatively titled:
Following up on this column's discussion of the overall CPEC energy portfolio and the lack of transparency observed in the progress updates on projects, let us look at the recent progress on individual projects (Read: "CPEC energy portfolio" published June 23, 2016).
Just as Brexit is an excellent example of how politics trumps economics, the reaction to Brexit at Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) is a good example of how emotions oft trump reason.
PMLN governments priority remains installation of power projects but little has been done so far regarding evacuation of power to the grid. That is why projects close to load centres are more practical and would have less trouble due to inadequate transmission infrastructure. Projects based in Punjab, almost all on imported fuel, could face a problem of transporting fuel from port to respective plants.
New poverty index launched by the Planning Commission with the support of UN Development Programme (UNDP) and Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) reveals that almost 40 percent of the Pakistani population is multidimensionally poor.
For projects to see daylight, financial closure is a prerequisite - a process involving the completion of project-related financial transactions, documents, and drawdown. Mere announcements say little about project materialization. Most of the times in Pakistan, it is due to the governments inability of financial closure that it has been facing tougher times in accelerating work on a number of mega projects - besides other issues like irregularities, controversies and mismanagement.