06262016Sun
Last update: Sun, 26 Jun 2016 10pm

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The pricing issue that has had Pakistan's pharma industry embroiled since 2001 recently saw some new developments. Last week, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) approved an increase of eight percent in the price of different drugs based on raw material cost. But is this satisfactory?
Covering over 45 percent of the country's import bill, one cannot overlook the significance of remittances to the external account. While celebrating the remittances galore, one can also not help but notice the declining trend in share of inflows from overseas Pakistanis in the United States of America.
The central bank's latest monetary policy statement is old news by now; much analysis has been done on the subject and today's piece therefore will not delve into those affairs. Instead, today's column will only highlight two unusual changes; one discomforting, and the other strangely pleasant.
Less than a month from now, citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) will cast a ballot in favour of, or against staying in the European Union (EU). This vote can critically change the shape and scope of the European integration project in the future. Britons are hardly going a day without confronting new headlining-grabbing statistics or qualitative assertions evoking their anxieties.
The Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) index recorded an impressive month-on-month growth of 6.34 percent in March 2016 - that's the highest month-on-month growth in the past four years. This more-than-average growth helped the nine-month LSM numbers rise by 4.70 percent for 9MFY16 compared to 2.79 percent in the same period last year.
There is a wide consensus that the size of informal economy in Pakistan is huge. However, what economists don't agree on that how huge it is. A host of studies, using various methodologies, have estimated the size of the informal economy, and these estimates range between 20 and 91 percent of the formal economy, of which about 30 to 40 percent is estimated to be illegal economy.
Is it creative accounting, reverse engineering or running numbers in backward direction? Whatever coinage you fancy; the point is that it's no coincidence that consolidated fiscal deficit of Rs1,009 billion is merely Rs3 billion lower than IMF's binding target of Rs1,012 billion set for 9MFY16.