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.
The rich have grown richer. Thanks to Pakistans real estate market offering them the lap of luxury. Though, as painful as it may sound for property owners/dealers, it looks like the momentum is cooling down a little after scorching for years!
Pakistans foreign direct investment (FDI) scorecard has closed first half of the ongoing fiscal on a mixed note. Net FDI - which equals gross inflows less outflows - went up by 19 percent year-on-year to $529 million in 1HFY15. Gross inflows surged during this period by a magical 49 percent to $1.57 billion. But outflows also grew by a dispiriting 71 percent to $1.04 billion in the same period.