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You sow what you reap. Government wanted to improve the debt maturity profile in the name of improving long-term yield curve. And it got just that. Investors completely neglected the T-bills on offer, as the latest auction fetched a paltry sum of Rs4.7 billion, against the target of Rs100 billion. Needles to say, whatever little participation there was, it came in 3-month paper, while the 12-month paper had no takers.
The initial statistics for Pakistans trade with the EU are telling a different story.
Pakistan is ranked number one on something, but thats nothing to be proud of. In the latest ranking by World Health Organization (WHO), Pakistan tops the chart in being the country with the worst air pollution. It leads all its rivals in South Asia and Middle East on that count.
Its not a good time for Pakistan on international ranking charts. Now the country is ranked as the second least-efficient country on the Economist Intelligence Units Creative Productivity Index (compiled for the ADB). Among the 24 Asian economies covered, Pakistan is ranked 23rd when it comes to measuring efficiency in converting inputs to outputs.
When the Chief Minister of Punjab, who likes to call himself Khadim-e-Aala, was asked a short-while ago whether it made more sense to spend Rs200 billion on education than Metro Bus Projects, he was quick to respond "if there is no transport, how will pupils reach schools?" And we are not even making it up! There are priorities, and then there is PML-N. So very little surprise then the Petroleum Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, was elated informing how the imported LNG will be used solely for the transport sector.
Education is indeed an investment. A recent World Bank policy paper, "Comparable Estimates of Returns to Schooling around the World" has some interesting insights about the interplay between schooling and earnings. Using 819 household surveys from 139 countries in the period 1980-2013, private rates of schooling returns, of the monetary nature, are examined for salaried employees.
Yet another adverse impact of the ongoing political sit-ins in Islamabad has been seen on the energy sales. Energy volumes witnessed a drop in sales of eight percent in August 2014 versus July 2014, which primarily stemmed from a month-on-month retreat in volumes of major petroleum products.
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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyAugust
Trade Balance $-1.434 bln
Exports $1.930 bln
Imports $3.364 bln
WeeklySeptember 18, 2014
Reserves $13.525 bln