Cellular sector is having a good year in terms of subscriber growth. Latest stats released by the PTA, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) had added 11.5 million new subscribers in the eleven months ending May 2014. Thanks to that, subscriptions are now at record high 139.2 million, growing by 11.3 percent over May 2013 numbers.
How times change! Just last month, the textile community cherished the several incentives proffered in the FY15 budget. Some even dubbed it a "textile budget". And now APTMA, the powerful textile industry association, is threatening an indefinite strike.
So PM Nawaz Sharif and his party members are not the only ones boasting of governments improved performance on economic front, the IMF too has joined the chorus. The IMF has shown satisfaction on the overall performance of the country in its third review report published earlier this week.
The outdated 2003 telecom policy framework has been waiting a review since 2008. The Ministry of IT (MoIT) started the review process last year by hiring a British consulting firm. Now the new five-year policys draft has been released on its website. Sifting through the generic details, here are a few key observations BR Research has found worth sharing from that draft.
"Taxes, taxes and more taxes" is what the taxation authorities want. Slowly and gradually all the sectors are being brought under the taxation ambit. Now its time for the insurance business! The exemption of sales tax on life and health insurance business has been withdrawn by Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) with the exception of individual life premium up to Rs0.5 million per annum.
A little over a year in office and the governments well-known appetite for infrastructure development is reaping for the cement sector, evident from the recently released numbers from APCMA. At 26.14 million tonnes, local cement despatches for FY14 have been the highest ever recorded in the sector.
Barring size, it seems that the economies of India and Pakistan have a lot in common. Indias outsized economic clout is a product of its huge market, indigenous resources, political continuity and judicial strength. Over time, India has marketed itself as a jewel for global MNCs; thanks to being the only democratic country that boasts a billion-strong market. Now Indias $1.9 trillion economy is 7 times Pakistans (FY14:$260bn), but that corresponds to a similar population ratio.