An average Pakistani household is an optimist. This is a broad generalization and not often a great idea, but this is what a cursory look at the SBP Consumer Confidence Index surveys reveals. The consumer confidence-which measures households perceptions relative to six months in the past and in the future about personal financial conditions, the overall economy, unemployment and consumption of durable goods--stands at an all-time high.
The government is serious about conducting spectrum auction. However, one cannot say the same about its interest in overall telecom sector development. How is that so? Well, lets take a look at what has transpired since the government took over.
PML-N’s first budget (for FY14) contained a heavy dose of taxation proposals. It included an increase in the standard GST rate from 16 percent to 17 percent. A number of new withholding taxes were put into place along with the increases in advance tax and minimum tax. Significant measures have also been announced to widen the tax net and reduce tax evasion.
“Dar’s face lights up with glee whenever he talks of Eurobond issue”, punned a market participant, “and his excitement makes fair sense now”.
The issue of Eurobonds had been in the pipeline since the time the government took office. However, everything was just ink and paper until 1H FY14. Maybe, Dar and his team were waiting for the right time.
Policymakers are gung-ho about record high remittances. And why not! Year after year, remittances have provided great support to forex reserves and local economies, with the World Bank estimating remittances at 6 percent of Pakistan’s GDP in 2012. Nearly $80 billion have been received under this head in last ten fiscals. Inflows are set to cross $15 billion this fiscal, a first. What’s not to rave about?
The development and expansion of infrastructure is a pre-requisite for increasing economic growth and social development in a country. In Pakistan’s case, investment is required in areas like transport and logistics, power, water supply and sanitation, as highlighted by a recent World Bank report.
Ever since the general elections last year, Islamabad and Peshawar have been in competition for reasons quite well known. But the political competition between the parties at the helm of Federal and the provincial capitals has started reflecting in consumer prices as well. Here is how.