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Last update: Mon, 25 Jul 2016 10pm

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The PBS is notorious for allegedly inflating its data, using tampered numbers to make the economy look better than it really is. The official reported figure of GDP growth is under tremendous fire; most members of the Senate have rejected the governmentâ??s claim of 4.7 percent GDP growth.
May's numbers for cement are out, and they show stellar performance. The sector has registered its highest ever dispatches, recording at 3.6 million tons for May 2016; a 19 percent growth from FY15. Cumulatively, dispatches have reached 35.5 million tons in 11MFY16 against 32 million tons in the same period last year; a surge of 10.6 percent. The sector will likely end the year with historic highs in salesâ??and continue to grow in FY17 and FY18.
For a state-owned company fraught with corruption cases and mis-governance, losses don't come as a surprise. Sui Southern Gas Company Limited just announced its already late financial statements for 1HFY16 and 9MFY16 after much delayed annual accounts for FY13, FY14, and FY15 a couple of months back. And believe us, the profitability just keeps slipping away.
The coordination between federal and provincial governments on telecom related taxes should be improved. For the next fiscal, the federal government has not increased withholding tax or sales tax (here, collected as "FED") on users of telecom services in federal jurisdictions. However, the Sindh government has increased the sales tax on telecom services by one percentage point, effective from July 1.
Islamabad, we have a problem. The provincial surplus figures estimated for FY16 are hugely off target. So are the budgeted numbers for FY17. The centre had budgeted a combined provincial surplus of Rs297 billion for FY16; the revised estimates revealed in its Budget in Brief document put the number at Rs336 billion. In contrast, Sindh posted a deficit of Rs8 billion in FY16, whereas Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa posted a balanced budget in FY16.
Pakistan Railways (PR) over the years predominantly stayed in media limelight for all the wrong reasons. PR has rightfully suffered a lack of political attention, poor policies, higher costs, misappropriation of funds along with deteriorating quality of its services. However, things are changing gradually.
There was a time when gas consumption in the transport sector in the form of CNG peaked and made Pakistan a leading CNG using country with more than three million NGVs (Natural Gas Vehicles). At that time, the government encouraged the use of CNG as an alternate fuel for the transport sector to control environmental degradation and reduce foreign exchange expenditure on petrol imports. However, government imposed a ban on the establishment of new CNG stations in 2008 due to their burgeoning growth, amid fast depleting natural gas reserves.