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Pakistan

Falling dollar, rising inflation

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Wisdom on the streets says that when the dollar soars high, inflation rises too, while a fall in the value of the greenback leads to a reduction in prices of necessities.

Tahir Malik Profile Tahir Malik

Perhaps for the very first time, the dollar has fallen by almost Rs. 15 against the Pakistani rupee, however, commodity prices have remained constant. Per unit cost of petroleum products, electricity and gas have not reduced either.

So why did the people not get any relief? A question being asked by everyone yet answered by none.

The truth is that the economy is suffering from a triple lack of planning, teamwork and expertise. Day by day, troubles faced by the country increase with alarming speed. All hopes by common folks to be able to earn and for inflation to fall have been dashed.

The government itself appears baffled and confused. The Finance Minister says GDP will grow by 4% this year. The International Monetary Fund  (IMF) and World Bank have put the figure at 1.5% and 1.3% respectively. Our population will continue to expand by 2.5% per annum. Thus, one way or the other, our GDP will go into negative growth. Experts say Pakistan needs to grow by at least 6% this year, otherwise, more than 3 million people will become unemployed.

The theory about dollar rates affecting inflation appears weak here. The government’s plans and its willingness to execute them is all that matters. Till now neither has the federal government shown us its vision, nor the direction it wishes to take the economy on. As for homework, well, the less said the better.

This sordid tale started with our own local Aristotle, Asad Umar, whose appointment was trumpeted as the gateway to Pakistan’s prosperity. Then we were informed that the IMF-sanctioned Hafeez Sheikh and Raza Baqir (Governor State Bank of Pakistan), have magic wands which will restore us to glory. Now, this responsibility lies with Hammad Azhar while Shaukat Tareen is also on the way to take up some charge or the other. How seriously the PTI-led government planned for the economy is evident from the current game of musical chairs.

Pakistan’s economy was heavily reliant on cotton and textile. Cotton is a boon, a crop that takes minimal water to grow while bringing in precious foreign exchange. Thanks to the untiring negligence of our rulers, we have had the lowest production of cotton in 30 years. Out of 212 total government organizations, 197 are running in loss. The steel mill is Rs. 480 billion in debt while for PIA this figure is close to Rs. 430 billion. The government’s bright idea about generating money is through increasing the price of basic utilities. It is now a real possibility that subsidy worth Rs. 140 billion will be abolished, transferring this amount over to the heavy ones the government is already shouldering.

Meanwhile, imports of sugar, wheat and cotton have increased too. The agriculture sector, once our economy’s mainstay, is now in tatters. In 2018, a bag of DAP fertilizer was retailing for Rs. 2200. By 2020 its price tag had soared to Rs. 3467 and today, it stands at a truly mind-numbing Rs. 5137. With such a rapid rise, how will the prices of food commodities not rise?

The desperate ruling coalition is focused only on procuring more and more loans.

We can now term the dollar-inflation theory an old wives’ tale. Unless the price of utilities and commodities goes down, nothing else will. For the immediate future, inflation remains our fate.

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Pakistan

Justice Muneeb swears-in as Acting CJP

Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa is currently on an international tour with Justice Mansoor Ali Shah

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Islamabad: Justice Muneeb Akhtar Saturday took oath as Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP).

According to the details, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, known for his legal acumen and dedication, will temporarily lead the judiciary during this period.

The swearing-in ceremony took place in the Supreme Court, where Justice Yahya Afridi administered the oath to Justice Muneeb.

Supreme Court judges, law officers and staff participated in the swearing-in ceremony.

The appointment of Justice Muneeb Akhtar as Acting Chief Justice will ensure continuity in the leadership of the Supreme Court.

It is pertinent to note that Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa is currently on an international tour with Justice Mansoor Ali Shah.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa will attend the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Chief Justices Conference in Azerbaijan. His departure signifies Pakistan's active engagement in international judicial cooperation and dialogue.

Justice Qazi Isa's participation in the international conference is seen as an important step in promoting judicial cooperation and enhancing the legal framework in the ECO region.

Their engagement at the conference aims to address common legal challenges and share insights on judicial practices among member states.

 

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Pakistan

Naqvi Saudi ambassador discuss issues of mutual interest

The two leaders also discussed the visit of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad bin Salman, to Pakistan

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Islamabad: Federal Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi Saturday arrived at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia, where the Saudi Ambassador Nawaf bin Saeed Ahmed Al-Maliki, welcomed him.

On this occasion, Federal Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi met with the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, Nawaf bin Saeed Ahmed Al-Maliki and discussed matters of mutual interest, Pak-Saudi relations and increasing cooperation in various fields.

The Ambassador of Saudi Arabia assured full support for the improvement of Islamabad Police while Federal Minister Naqvi thanked the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia for arranging accommodation for Frontier Corps (FC) officers.

In the meeting between the two leaders, the visit of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad bin Salman, to Pakistan was also discussed, while the travel documents for the Muslims of Burma were also discussed.

Speaking on this occasion, Mohsin Naqvi stated that the historical brotherly friendship of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan is turning into beneficial economic relations. The recent visit of Saudi Arabian investors to Pakistan was very successful, the people of Pakistan are looking forward to the visit of Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

The Federal Minister of Interior added that the nation has paved the way for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad bin Salman. His visit to Pakistan will prove to be a game changer in the relations between the two countries. Saudi Arabia supported Pakistan in every difficult situation. Currently, the relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are reaching new heights.

On this occasion, Saudi Ambassador Nawaf bin Saeed stated that they will provide all possible support to develop Islamabad police on modern lines. Saudi Arabia attaches great importance to its relations with Pakistan.

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Pakistan

Maryam orders essential measures for land records digitisation

The government will declare all clear properties ‘green’. The land with issues will be declared ‘yellow’ and ‘red’

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Lahore: Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz Saturday directed to take necessary steps for land record digitisation.

A special meeting was held under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz regarding Board of Revenue Reforms in which Punjab Urban Land Systems in Enhancement (PULSE) project was briefed. Punjab Land Record Authority and Management of State Land also briefed on business plan issues.

During the briefing, it was informed that digitisation of land records is being done under the PULSE project with the support of World Bank. The honor-based digitization of all places of Punjab will be done. The revenue system will be made transparent through partition of land and parcel documents.

It was said in the meeting that the government will declare all clear properties ‘green’. The land with issues will be declared ‘yellow’ and ‘red’. The proposal to end the joint account system will be seriously reviewed, getting a separate property number for each buyer will reduce legal complications.

In the briefing, it was stated that the system of individual ownership and transfer of land will also be simplified by digitalization. The overview of Overseas Property Transfer Service for Overseas Pakistanis, Overseas Property Transfer Service is providing facility of personalization, mutation, e-filing and registration.

On this occasion, Chief Minister directed to take necessary steps for digitization and ordered to ensure the participation of relevant departments in the process.

Information Minister Azma Bokhari, Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) Sania Ashiq, Chief Secretary, Chairman P&D, SMU Head and other officials attended the meeting.

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