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Last update: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 05am

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Another bombshell has been dropped silently, but the media failed to pick it as one, as it has been dropped on the countrys fiscal side and not the masses. That the government is in a precarious situation is no secret - and that populist decisions must prevail over economically rationale ones is a no-brainer. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has approved reduction in gas tariffs for industrial users to the tune of Rs200/mmbtu - from Rs600 to Rs400/mmbtu.
Pakistans civil society community is brewing with optimism. The reason: Ishaq Dars decision to voluntarily become a signatory to Open Government Partnership (OGP). The OGP is an international, voluntary effort to improve government performance, encourage civic participation and enhance government responsiveness to people - all aimed at securing commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and strengthen governance.
In the quest for facilitating energy efficiency and conservation, governments at both the federal and provincial level are taking various initiatives. As this column has previously mentioned, the federal body created for energy conservation, Enercon, has gotten an upgrade and become an authority. The National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, Neeca as it is called, has an increased scope when it comes to taking energy conservation measures. In a welcome change, it now also carries enforcement powers where previously it acted merely in an advisory capacity.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the ongoing dry spell, which as per the Meteorological Office is likely to continue till mid-December, has delayed the sowing of the wheat crop. The production of 26 million tons could thus be doubtful, as the sowing target may be missed by as much as 20 percent.
The Black Friday "trend" seems to be catching on in Pakistan. Many retailers, both online and offline partook in the discount offensive on November 25. Who doesnt want a good deal? But in the interest of promoting online shopping, there are two things related to this "trend" that merit attention.
"Many countries have achieved growth without exports". Indeed they have. But stop for a moment and ponder if this was one of many such recommendations given to the government recently by a well-renowned body. Oddly enough, these ideas also resonate with much of what Islamabad has been doing of late as regards exports and currency movements.
The Karachi Education City was first envisioned some 15 years ago with an idea to build a unique educational complex in the outskirts of Karachi straddling an area of 9,000 acres linking National Highway and Super Highway.