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Not that it has ever been able to drive prices of potatoes, wheat or public transport down by a single paisa since 2007; but the Competition Commission of Pakistan has now been around for eight years. Last week this column had hailed the much-delayed appointment of a head of this institution.
Telecom regulator, the Pakistan Telecommuni-cations Authority (PTA) released its annual report earlier this week. The report narrates the industry performance, some of which BR Research has already recounted (see "Telecom indicators are healthy again," published December 31, 2014, and "Telcos in 2014," published December 29, 2014). Instead, lets find out what the regulator had to say on big issues facing the industry.
Congratulations! Following the failure to successfully implement Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan are now planning to sign a Trilateral Transit Trade Agreement in March 2015. We do not know how it will be abbreviated - perhaps (PAT-TTA) - but we do know that if lessons are not learnt from the past then we are destined for another non-starter.
NEPRAs annual report is just a crude reminder of the inefficiencies that continue to plague the power sector of the country, part of which is the shaky and outdated power grid infrastructure. The priorities need to be set straight; government seems to be focusing on increasing generation capacity, but it shouldn be forgotten that it is the transmission network that cannot take load beyond 15000-20000MW and distribution system that is incurring technical losses in the range of 20 to 30 percent.
From elation to regrets, reservations to consensus, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan's constitution has been amended, unopposed, for the 21st time in the country's history. The just passed bill to amend the article 175 of the constitution states the gravity of the problem. "Extraordinary situation and circumstances exist, which demand special measures for speedy trial of certain offences...there exists grave and unprecedented threat to the integrity of Pakistan." Desperate times do call for desperate measures.
You snooze, you lose. The Economic Coordination Council (ECC) has remained notorious under successive central governments for their arbitrary decisions. Now a number of recent ECC decisions in the Peshawar incident aftermath smack of less-than-noble intent. The nation may be busy mourning, but economic czars, it seems, have upped their dubious game lately.
December 2014 saw sale of major petroleum products, including furnace oil, high speed diesel (HSD) and motor gasoline (Petrol) for 2014, stagnant at around 20 million tons. With only one percent year-on-year overall growth, sales of major petroleum products make up around 90 to 95 percent of the total petroleum sales by the oil marketing companies (OMCs).


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 25, 2015
Reserves $15.019 bln