Downstream state-owned energy companies have been awful for quite some time. It used to be the power discos for the longest time, but the disease has gradually transmitted to gas discos as well. The recipe for disaster has not changed much though. Less than desired tariff increase, ever-increasing inefficiencies, line losses, theft and piling circular debt. All sounds painfully familiar.
Consumer protection is gaining currency in Pakistan. Recently, the specialised companies division of SECP has put on the map certain advertising guidelines for Asset Management Companies (AMCs). Thats a first in the mutual funds industry in Pakistan.
In recent news, the Ministry of Health has launched Good Governance for Medicines (GGM) programme in Pakistan in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO). However, in a country where corruption level stands at startling levels, the implementation of such a programme is not going to be painless for the health ministry.
Pakistan is set to continue on the path towards urbanization in line with global trends, with the countrys urban population on the rise. The recently released report titled World Urbanization Prospects 2014 by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs projects that the share of urban population in Pakistan has grown from 31 percent in 1990 to 38 percent in 2014 and will further rise to over 50 percent by 2050.
Fiscal year 2014 saw net Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) rise to $1.63 billion from $1.45 billion in the year ago. But, the 12 percent growth in full year FDI isn’t really something to write home about.
Pakistan low-cost housing need is estimated at around 500,000 units and there has to be a workable model to achieve it. Punjab government’s Ashiana Scheme in Lahore during its last tenure was a successful pilot project and scaling it up may not be a bad idea. Pakistan can also learn from the Turkish TOKI housing model of public-private partnership to bridge the gap of housing supply and demand.