Post budget measures often have greater significance than the budget itself, and the revision in Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) rates is one such example. Having raised the bar uniformly at Rs300/mmbtu for all slabs except domestic consumers in the recent budget, the government has backtracked on at least three slabs.
Every bit of energy counts today, especially for a country where the power crisis seems interminable. While the focus should remain with indigenous hydrocarbons and low cost conventional natural resources, renewable resources can act as small padding in the bigger picture. And with huge potential for Pakistan, as marketed in studies and seminar, renewable resources can be the helping hand.
Some media magnets had earlier frowned on the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistans (DRAP) inefficiency to form a suitable pharmaceutical regulatory framework. And yes, they are correct, to the extent that since the pricing and quality concerns are still putting the industry at risk. But, the encouraging part is that the DRAP is now making some moves to regulate the quality aspect.
Finally, there is some silver lining on the FDI horizon. As per SBPs latest data, net FDI (derived as gross FDI inflows less outflows) now stands at $1.361 billion in 11M FY14, up 2.5 percent or $34 million over the same period of last year. Critics would be right to point out that this improvement is marginal. But, the government would be happy if it closes its maiden financial year with some growth on this barometer.
Recently, the Finance Minister critiqued the provinces for minuscule tax collection from the agriculture sector towards the national kitty. The sector accounts for almost 21 percent of the countrys GDP and it provides employment to nearly 45 percent of the population. This is a matter of grave concern.
Heres a refresher to the pro-business PML-N-led government: according to the recently-released Business Environment Rankings Report by the Intelligence Unit of The Economist, Pakistan stands amongst the lowest ten countries out of a total of 82 countries ranked.
International oil price is at its most stable in 40 years, with negligible volatility observed in the past 18 months. The increase in US crude oil production has been the major contributor towards stabilising oil price, capping the risk premium resulting from Libyan disruption. Now, whatever is happening in Iraq has certainly made analysts interested--and revised outlooks are pouring from almost every corner.