Dr Kamal Monnoo

  • As days pass by, the disappointment in the Budget 2020-21 keeps on mounting! COVID-19 aside (by now a patent excuse on a global scale for any mismanagement), so what really just happened here in Pakistan over the last two years that has resulted in such a bleak economic picture? After all, the PTI ...

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  • The national budget 2020-21 presented today offers no surprises. Announced in the typical PTI style where, as usual, ambiguity prevails on where the real ownership lies – for preparing such a lacklustre and unimaginative document – and with the mere relief being that at least the ordeal ...

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  • As Pakistan’s moves towards its Fiscal Budget 2020-21, likely to perhaps be the most difficult since its inception, ironically the national economic management seems to be in complete disarray. An absence of economic leadership, lack of coordination amongst various ministries, no clear-cut ...

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  • The current situation on Pakistani Textiles is rather precarious. In April 2020, textile exports declined by 65 percent to $404 million against exports of $1,1139 million in the same month of the previous year. May 2020 is not looking good either. As nearly 75 percent of the present installed ...

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  • Pakistan, a nuclear power, albeit one where nearly 30 percent live by or under the poverty line, supports one of the youngest populations of the world with nearly 3 million entering the job market every year amidst a paltry annual GDP growth rate that hovers around the 3 percent mark. The financial ...

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  • These days there is this pointless war of words going on in the political arena and also, to some extent, in the civil society. A segment of some pseudo socialist writers and opinion-makers are accusing the government of not enforcing the lockdown the way it should have been done and for allowing ...

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  • Imran Khan’s government seems have to have done the prudent thing in gradually starting the process of re-opening the economy while side by side trying its best to ensure people’s safety. Pakistanis in the meantime are playing their part well by remaining patient, keeping essential ...

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  • There is no denying the fact that Pakistanis are an extremely philanthropic lot (unofficially ranked amongst the top three in the world in terms of private charity) and one can only laud the government’s efforts in quickly announcing relief packages for the unemployed daily wagers and the ...

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  • As expected the process of restarting the industries has been nothing short of a comedy of errors! While we have some industries that just kept running and never really shut down, as they fell in the bracket of ‘essential supplies’ with the term ‘essential’ being stretched ...

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  • As Pakistan entered its 7th day of industrial lockdown on Friday March 27, (including 3 days of 23rd’s long weekend) the question being asked by all stakeholders is that does the government really have an industrial plan amidst the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic? Industrial lockdowns are ...

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  • As the Pakistani government gears up to grapple with the medical side of weeks 4 and 5 (marking a potentially exponential spread) of COVID-19, serious fears are now also beginning to emerge on whether or not Pakistan can economically sustain such a multipronged war. Amidst an environment of ...

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  • Strange things never seize to happen in Pakistan’s economic environment! A recent briefing by NEPRA’s Chairman to the World Bank, the Prime Minister and his Advisors where he called upon the government to declare a Power Emergency in the country not only fits the bill on these constant ...

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  • Congratulations the hospital seems to have been saved, regrettably though the patients didn’t survive! The Pakistani economy more or less seems on a similar path - supposedly the economy is on track to be balanced, doesn’t matter though if in the process businesses and livelihoods get ...

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  • Well, as mediocrity, conflict-of-interest and cover-up creeps in, with it all the lofty hopes of change, a transparent management structure and efficient delivery seem like a pipedream. The rhetoric cum intentions may all be very well, but people need food and employment, and both are getting ...

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  • There we have it again. Interest rate or the Discount rate has been retained @ 13.25% for another two months. Ignoring calls from all quarters that such a high pegging is crippling the economy, the Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, remains steadfast in his belief that Inflation needs to be the ...

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  • Well, we discussed India’s myth on taxation last week, so let’s now try and compare how Pakistanis fare against the Indian taxpayers – India by the way is often quoted by the Pakistani Revenue Authorities as the model or the example that the Pakistani taxpayers need to learn from ...

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  • India’s 2020-21 Budget is round the corner and a struggling Indian economy means that there are some tough days ahead for the Indian taxpayer. Why? Because it has become an unsaid norm in South Asia that every time a South Asian economy struggles, just blame the taxpayer. Somehow, it is ...

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  • As the year draws to a close, 2019 for Pakistan has been a turbulent year by any stretch of the imagination. Polarization in the society has increased, institutions that matter in keeping the national governance structure intact appear to be at odds with each other, intolerance, temper and ...

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  • Well, the new government mantra is to build cum spread this perception that the economy is finally on the mend and there are happy days ahead. Frankly, must say that not a bad strategy by any stretch of imagination, because when it comes to business and markets perception counts for a lot in making ...

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  • The latest monetary policy is out for another two months and it continues to belie all logic: The discount rate has been maintained at 13.25% ostensibly to tackle the menace of (still) a rising inflation. A bit surprising or rather baffling, as one has been told that imports have shrunk ...

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  • In continuation to my last piece which was primarily to create an awareness cum understanding on Pakistan’s case as it stands today with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and on assessing the implications if Pakistan continues to remain in the grey or if it gets relegated to the Black ...

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  • I had a very interesting sitting with our Commerce Minister a couple of weeks back where it was heartening to note that he was very positive on the economic situation going forward. Now generally one would have discarded his upbeat talk as nothing but the usual rhetoric by yet another senior ...

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  • The events of October 1917 continue to shake the world even today. And yet they almost didn’t occur, meaning a slip by a whisker in any of the preceding events and the Russian revolution may never have happened. The October Revolution (as it is referred to) organized by Vladimir Lenin nearly ...

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  • Thomas Piketty’s latest book, Capital and Ideology, was launched in France and Central Europe last month and is already making a lot of waves in the conceptual thinking of managing economies and equitable growth & distribution. Though the English version officially does not come out till ...

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  • The Asian Development Bank has recently given quite a grim warning about the Pakistani economy by essentially citing that the growth trajectory will remain on a declining trend at least for the foreseeable future. With the GDP growth rate currently at a paltry 2.80% and expected to be further under ...

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  • Prime Minister Imran Khan has done well by making a pit stop in Saudi Arabia while on his way to the US. The markets have reacted sharply to the drone attacks on Abqaiq and khurais, wiping off (albeit temporarily) nearly 5.7 million barrels per day from the global crude supplies – Crude since ...

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  • Martin Luther King Jr. once said that “We must create full employment or we must create [basic, guaranteed] incomes.” The irony is that more than 40 years later, we just talk a lot about the last half of that statement, whereas, there is virtually no real talk about the philosophical ...

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  • There are conflicting reports going around in the media regarding the outcome of the recently concluded meeting held in Canberra, Australia, of The Asia-Pacific Group (APG), a regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). While Pakistan maintains that its presented report was in ...

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  • It seems that that the country’s system is being run collectively by the three main organs of the state where decisions are taken in sync and responsibility of the outcomes are also hopefully assumed jointly. Now, this is a good omen for the country, which not only needed harmony but a joint ...

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  • Regardless of who is to be blamed the reality is that economy is in a mess! Economic activity has shrunk dramatically (I can quote from a reliable source that till July 10th, not a single bag of yarn was traded in the Faisalabad yarn market, the largest in the country); exports are consistently ...

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