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In the last few years, latest ICTs have been making their way to Pakistan. Data show that an increasing number of Pakistanis are subscribing to 3G and 4G networks. But its still a long way to go until the fruits of connectivity reach the faraway folks in the country. The organisation mandated to lead the process of digital inclusion of un-served and under-served areas has a lot on its plate.
The fixed-line telecom giants retail business seems under the weather. The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited - or PTCL, which is part of the PTCL Group (PSX: PTC) - provides three major last-mile connectivity services: fixed local loop (FLL, or landline) telephony, wireless local loop (WLL) telephony, and broadband. PTCL has different degrees of competition in these segments. PTCL supplies wholesale connectivity services to many of its competitors.
Around 12,000MW is planned to be added to the system under both CPEC and non-CPEC power projects until 2018, with another 22,000MW plus to be added beyond that. While it can be seen that the generation sector has been drawing a lot of attention, quite a bit of lack has been noticed on the strengthening the transmission and distribution side - an equally critical sector that is already overloaded with networks that hinder their power transfer competence, raising severe doubts on the system's power evacuation ability in times of additions to capacity. Circular debt menace is also a product of this obsolete transmission and distribution segment.
If subscription numbers are any guide, then the country's telecom operators are not doing badly. Looking at the statistics recently released by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), it is evident that subscriptions for mobile broadband - which is akin to a Holy Grail for margin-hungry telcos - have grown tremendously in the past year, even as the basic, 2G subscriptions have apparently hit a wall.
There has been much emphasis during the present government's tenure to utilize the potential of the fabled coal reserves of Thar. It has even included the development of two coal mines and accompanying power plants under the early harvest CPEC projects. This column will analyse the projects in the coming weeks but lets focus on the Chinese and Thar coal dynamics in this issue.
As if the consistent set of flaws in the current composition of CPI basket isn't enough, in recent months a host of data inconsistencies have emerged in both the CPI and the WPI.
The subsidiary of the Kohinoor Maple Leaf Group, Kohinoor Textile has had a pretty decent year; for FY16, the company's sales were up by two percent year-on-year, while lower costs gave a 15 percent boost to gross profit. The bottom line figure popped by two percent year-on-year.