07292016Fri
Last update: Fri, 29 Jul 2016 09pm

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There is a dearth of reliable, updated, relevant and coherent data in Pakistan on any given subject, pick any; be it manufacturing, trade, agriculture, employment, income distribution, labour, consumption - the last population census was done in 1998 - so on, and often analysts have to turn to international organizations such as the World Bank, the IMF, the ILO, UNCTAD, UNCOMTRADE, WTO etc. to get a hold of data which, though easily accessible on the web and downloadable in pretty excel workbooks, is often outdated.
In this age of progressive technology, it wouldnt be completely wrong to say that efforts are being made to move the country towards modern financial transactions. The success of branchless banking and mobile banking in the last five years or so is a living reality the same.
The West has seen its second black swan event in less than a year, which is quite phenomenal. First, there was the unexpected rise of the anti-establishment movement in the United States, which brought the election campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders into the mainstream. Despite all odds and predictions, Mr Trump has become the candidate of the Republican Party.
The last monetary policy was nothing but a perplexed statement; and its minutes published recently are also a reflection of policy disconnect from ground realities. Eight of the nine members voted for a 25 bps cut, while only one voted for maintaining status quo.
While the regional officials within Pakistan and Tajikistan have been glossing over Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade (CASA-1000) project, especially with the support from the World Bank for pursuing the regional electricity connectivity, the reality on ground has been quite contrary.
The Senate passed the Corporate Restructuring Companies Bill 2016 two weeks ago with the aim of providing legislation for companies who would like to acquire financially distressed companies and reorganising their business operations and assets to make them more profitable.
The UK's departure from the EU is sending shockwaves around the planet, some of which have been felt here at home too; the PSX has lost some 1400 points in trading since the vote, while the Rupee-Sterling parity is now at Rs139 and falling - the lowest since 2012. At the heart of this is the future of Pakistan's trade relations with the newly-divorced nation.