When international oil prices touched the all-time high of $147 per barrel in 2008 there was not a shortage of petrol. Now in 2015, the country faces its worst-ever petrol crisis at a time when oil is at a mere $47 per barrel. What kind of (mis)management is this? Well, its called Dar-nomics which focuses on cleaning accounting books at the cost of socioeconomic benefits.
It seems the Public Sector Corporate Governance rules rolled out in March last year is one of the governments unwanted children. Not only have the public sector entities failed to correct the historical wrongs and bring themselves in line with those roles, recent board appointments in Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) show, they have no intention to.
It seems that telecom authorities are gearing up for another spectrum auction this year. Recall that the last spectrum auction, in April 2014, had sold off four 3G licenses and one 4G license, raising $1.1 billion in the process. Two licenses, one in the 850MHz band and the other in the 1800MHz band, remained unsold. Now last Friday, PTA invited proposals for consultancy services to advise the best way to auction these remaining two licenses.
Deliberations over the second phase of the Pakistan-China Free Trade Agreement have begun with a clear understanding between both countries that the benefits of the first phase of the FTA skewed in favour of the Oriental giant.
The political clamouring following the dharnas in Islamabad and the establishment of military courts after the Peshawar school attack has reignited the nostalgia for army rule in some quarters. Even certain economists and public intellectuals have lately been found openly saying that the army rule (of more than half of Pakistans existence) isn to be blamed as much as critics do.
Finally the current account is marginally showing benefits of the free fall in international oil prices, but the gains are lower than perceived. The brunt of lower exporting commodity prices, fall in global demand of textile and artificial appreciation of currency are overweighing the blessings of low oil price.
On the streets it might look as if petrol is the new CNG but the situation is much more troublesome. The latest form that the energy shortage has taken is the vanishing of petrol from majority of Punjab and KPK.