Looking back, Pakistan might remember December 19 as a dark day in its economic history. That day, the federal government issued a directive transferring administrative control of five major, quasi-independent sector regulators to respective line ministries. The government has put on a defense using "efficiency" argument, but the move has been decried by nearly all stakeholders outside the government.
The announcement of changing the way the power sector regulator works as well its reporting hierarchy has made headlines recently. The two are different issues demanding separate analysis because of the different implications they will have for the regulator as well as stakeholders.
Earlier this week, this column highlighted the need to adopt a sectoral and country-wise approach to finding solutions for weak exports and FDI (See BR Research column "Forex troubles: Need a closer look," published December 28, 2016). In that context, one sector that the Board of Investment should put into FDI limelight is tourism. Here are four quick reasons why.
Businesses frequently are quick to blame the government for most of their problems; crying foul on their inefficiency and burdens of bureaucracy. Pointing at cronyism and corruption within government institutions, holding government responsible for not giving them the best business and investment climate to work with; for not providing the right set of circumstances, the right policies, the right incentives and for not facilitating and helping them to expand and grow. This is all even true.%D«ut Pakistan also has a complacency problem.
Donald J Trump has written a new campaign playbook. Observers maintain that the disrupter is now rewriting the governance playbook as well. This column is no expert on political forecasts. But it cannot help but spot a few patterns sitting thousands of miles away. Those patterns suggest Trump may go on to become a transactional leader, much more transactional and much less of a moralist than his predecessors.
As always (at least in the recent couple of years), Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) announced its due annual report and the first quarter performance quite late. The gas utility has been facing a shortfall of 400 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) in the ongoing winter season, resulting in what has become a norm every year - shortage of gas for domestic and commercial users alike.