Monday, 30 December 2013

Good news & bad

 Capital suggestion

Our GDP grew by a handsome 5.1 percent in the July-September quarter compared to 2.9 percent in the corresponding period last year. What that means is that we managed to produce an additional trillion rupees worth of goods and services. What that means is that Pakistan is a trillion rupees richer. What that means is that each and every Pakistani is richer by Rs6,000 (all on an annualised basis).

On June 5, the day Mian Nawaz Sharif took the prime ministerial oath, the Karachi Stock Exchange’s market capitalisation stood at Rs5.5 trillion. Over the past six months the capitalisation has gone up by a trillion rupees. What that means is that Pakistan’s listed corporate worth has gone up by a wholesome trillion rupees. What that means is that investors are a trillion rupees richer.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

PM's mission

Courtesy:-  S RAHMAN

Good governance one must learn from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who takes personal interest in each and every dimension of governance aimed at bringing relief in the lives of ordinary people as it is his utmost desire to provide an environment of economic and social security to the people of Pakistan with complete transparency and fairness.

This fairness factor is in fact the hallmark of PML-N leadership in general and Nawaz Sharif in particular. It is not just the statistics released by Transparency International that stand testimony to this fact about Sharif's transparent and honest ways of doing things, it is rather a fact widely acknowledged in the public. The fact is that the people from all walks of life trust Sharif on his words and on his commitments. And this trust owes to the practical demonstration of honest governance by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government whose track record so far has remained unblemished.

Monday, 23 December 2013

PM’s indigenization plan takes off

Courtesy:-  S.Rahman 


IT was Mian Nawaz Sharif who took the final decision, like a seasoned statesman and a visionary to take his country out of depression and weakness vis-a-vis a cunning and powerful adversary, by test-firing the atomic weapon at Chaghi in1998. Of course, the final decision was that of the chief executive, Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif although it is a known fact that the input and suggestions from the armed forces were quite encouraging and supportive leading to a prompt, positive decision by the government of the day. If one were to describe those optimum conditions prevailing in the entire framework of the state, it can be stated with authenticity that all the national institutions stood on one page and that it was an era of grand national reconciliation. The chief executive of the state must be credited for this big accomplishment.
And now it is the same Mian Nawaz Sharif who has once again reassured the nation and the armed forces in categorical terms that his government would fulfil all the needs of the armed services in order to make them yet stronger and more capable of defending the homeland with yet greater capacity and technological sophistication.

Aim high, at collateral gains

Courtesy:-  Mian Saifur Rehman


Collateral is not always to be taken in the negative connotations like, for instance, collateral damage. It has a positive shade too.

For example, collateral gains the mention of which was made the other day when PM Nawaz Sharif visited Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra on the occasion of signing of trade and sales agreement with China, on JF-17 Thunder aircraft. Wonderful! Hitherto, we have been hearing about collateral damage only that too with reference to drone strikes although this seems to be a big misconception.

The fact is that collateral damage is a natural sequel to a full-scale war or even a minuscule armed conflict. Those who want complete end to collateral end must work, instead of merely doing lip service, to bring bloody conflicts to a total halt. But, if these ugly things continue collateral damage will continue proportionately even if drone strikes cease to be operational from the very next moment.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Corruption genie can be pinned down but...

Courtesy:- Malik Muhammad Ashraf

From the day one of its existence, Pakistan became afflicted with a common scourge called corruption, although it did not inherit it. The Colonial system – harsh and stern as it was – was largely free from it and cannot be blamed for that.
Unfortunately during more than six decades of its history Pakistan has enjoyed the sordid distinction of being among the most corrupt countries in the world.
Feudal character of its system of governance and bureaucratic red tape are just two main reasons why the menace has been thriving. An entire culture of graft and entitlement thrives because of the way our politics work; how ministers get things done is no secret and also the state of our state machinery and how much it has been corroded is more than obvious.
Also it must not be forgotten that the country has remained under martial laws for more than half its existence. And instead of reforming the system, the dictators concentrated more on prolonging their own rule.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Youth revolution takes root

Courtesy:-  S Rahman 



Visualize the scenario when a very large section of 60 per cent of Pakistani population i.e the youth, will become providers converting from their status of dependents.

Quoting Maryam Nawaz, Honorary Chairperson of the PM Youth Programme, the hundred-billion-rupee package announced by prime minister for youth’s empowerment and financial independence will convert the youth from dependents to providers.

Once that dream comes true, Pakistan will definitely acquire the status of an economic giant, free from the crutches of foreign aid. There can be no two opinions about this turnaround that is bound to materialize in the foreseeable future. For sure, the youth revolution has taken roots courtesy the wise and timely steps announced by PM Sharif. In fact, the PM has given serious thought to this most important facet of national development. Being already blessed with one of the biggest youth element that is not available to majority nations of the world, Pakistan can get strengthened and grow, in leaps and bounds, provided this most important element of national power (the youth) is given a proper sense of direction, motivation and appropriate and timely facilitation. That has now been done as evidenced from PM’s Business Loan Scheme for Youth.

Friday, 13 December 2013

PM’s rational plan to boost economy

Courtesy:- S.Rahman


Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has come up with a wonderful plan not only for promotion of business but also for honouring the people who are contributing substantially towards national revenues. The beauty of this plan is that it is based on rational thinking and it has addressed the bottlenecks that had usually tended to multiply due to the failure of former governments and their planning teams to identify the real causes behind economic stagnation and decline.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Entrepreneur loan scheme: youth revolution takes roots

Courtesy:-  S Rahman


Visualise the scenario when a very large section of 60 per cent of Pakistani population – youth - will become providers converting from their status of dependents. Quoting Maryam Nawaz, Honorary Chairperson of the PM Youth Programme, the hundred-billion-rupee package announced by prime minister for youth's empowerment and financial independence will convert the youth from dependents to providers. Once that dream comes true, Pakistan will definitely acquire the status of an economic giant, free from the crutches of foreign aid. There can be no two opinions about this turnaround that is bound to materialize in the foreseeable future. For sure, the youth revolution has taken roots courtesy the wise and timely steps announced by PM Sharif. In fact, the PM has given serious thought to this most important facet of national development. Being already blessed with one of the biggest youth element that is not available to majority nations of the world, Pakistan can get strengthened and grow, in leaps and bounds, provided this most important element of national power (the youth) is given a proper sense of direction, motivation and appropriate and timely facilitation. That has now been done as evidenced from PM's Business Loan Scheme for Youth. The Prime Minister is right in his contention that the government has opened new vistas for the youth to become self-reliant. Previously, it was extremely depressing to note the youth power going waste due to loss of direction and lack of facilitation. Those in other political parties who had been boasting of their youth power are yet far away from formulating a working plan for youth whereas the PML-N government has surpassed all other self-styled champions of the youth cause by announcing the Youth Business Loan Scheme that is a total departure from such schemes announced in the past. In the past, such schemes were either laden with complicated procedures and formalities or had been in the grip of corruption mafia that would disburse loans to their favourites or those paying illegal gratification to the lending officials. All those ugly things will not be tolerated anymore; the PM has not only declared it unequivocally but also evolved a mechanism to plug the loopholes. According to the PM, an effective monitoring mechanism has been put in place to keep a check on the loan award process so that merit is ensured. In the first phase, one hundred thousand unemployed youth would be given loans through ballot and “no one, including me, would have the authority to influence the lending process”. What is yet more encouraging and good news for more than half of the country’s population - women folk – is that 50 per cent of the loans allocated for the female youth. In the present scheme, most of the discrepancies identified in similar systems functional in the past, have been removed and no harsh preconditions have been attached to the youth business loan programme. Even the repayment plan is quite easy as the loan-securing youth will be given eight-year payback time with first year grace period for repayment at low mark-up rate of eight per cent. The youth applying for loans will have to pay the mark-up of eight per cent while the remaining seven per cent will be paid by the government since total mark-up rate is 15 per cent. Technical and business guidance will also be provided so that the youth be guarded against possible failures of their businesses. For this purpose, 55 project pre-feasibilities have been prepared and are available on SMEDA website, according to Maryam Nawaz. But the applicant can also participate in the loan award process on the basis of his/her own business and expertise. 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

PM launches Youth Business Loans programme

Young people of 21 to 45 years of age are eligible to apply for one hundred thousand to two million rupees of loan.

Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has launched Prime Minister's Youth Business Loans' to help young entrepreneurs to initiate their own businesses.
It is designed to provide subsidized financing at eight percent mark-up per annum for one hundred thousand beneficiaries through National Bank of Pakistan and First Women Bank.
The total mark up rate would be fifteen percent but the Government would pay the remaining seven percent on behalf of applicants.
Those falling in the age group of 21 and 45 years are eligible to apply for loans from one hundred thousand to two million rupees.
Small business loans with tenure up to seven years plus one year grace period and a debt-equity ratio of 90:10 will be disbursed across the country including four provinces‚ Gilgit-Baltistan‚ Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said he is fulfilling the commitments made with the youth during election campaign.
Speaking at the launching ceremony‚ he said it is a big contradiction that loans worth billions of rupees are doled out to influential and resourceful people but underprivileged segments of the population are deprived of the opportunities.
The Prime Minister said youth in other countries are backbone of their economies and there is no reason that youth who constitutes sixty percent of our population should not take us to zenith of progress and development.
The Prime Minister said in the past nationalization of industries and banks destroyed the national economy.
He said our previous government denationalized and privatized the banks and now they are earning billions of rupees and paying taxes to the government. He said now the present government is going towards privatization of the entities.
Mian Nawaz Sharif said it is not job of the government to run factories rather it should concentrate on improving law and order situation‚ weeding out terrorism‚ addressing sectarianism‚ and improving image of the country.
The Prime Minister said during his recent visit to the United States President Obama and senior members of his administration repeatedly asked one question as to what the United States can do to help Pakistan. Mian Nawaz Sharif said he told them that Pakistan needs more access to your markets and not any financial aid.



The Prime Minister said the duration of electricity load shedding has come down but the problem would remain there for the next three to four years and people will have to demonstrate patience for positive results.

He said the issue would remain there until the shortages are overcome and the gap between cost of generation and price of the electricity is bridged.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that prices of commodities increased in the country due to rise in the price of POL products in the international market. He however said the government was making strenuous efforts to overcome challenges on all fronts.
He asked people to give the government some time to show results. He said the government is formulating new laws to address the issue of law and order‚ an operation is underway in Karachi and different projects are being launched to overcome energy shortages.
He said an economic corridor would be established with the help of our Chinese friends.
The Prime Minister said loans would be extended to youth purely on merit through ballot and there would be no discretionary quota of anyone. He said over hundred branches of the concerned banks would make their sovereign decision and also record reasons for acceptance or rejection of the applications.
Speaking on the occasion‚ Chairperson of Prime Minister's Youth Business Loans Maryam Nawaz said the launching of loans is in fulfilment of the Mian Nawaz Sharif's election commitments. 

She said others only made pledges but the PML(N) government despite financial crunch has successfully announced six youth welfare programmes including Youth Business Loans.



Maryam Nawaz said there are only three conditions for the applicants - they should be Pakistani‚ holder of valid Computerized National Identity Card and should have a guarantor. 

She said forms of the Youth Business Loans would be available from Monday and these would be issued free of cost.
 

Special counters have been set up at banks and SMEDA offices to facilitate applicants and guide them.
 

She also explained the procedure for processing of applications and other details of the Youth Business Loans.

The Chairperson said necessary checks have been put in place to ensure transparency of the Loans.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said parts of the election manifesto reflected in the current year's budget are practically being implemented.

He said the Prime Minister abolished his discretionary fund and the Government slashed expenditure of the PM office by forty percent and other Ministries and Divisions by thirty percent. He said the number of foreign missions is also being slashed to save 3.5 billion rupees.
He pointed out that Pakistan's position improved by twelve points in corruption index prepared by Transparency International.


Monday, 2 December 2013

Encouraging portents for Pakistan

Courtesy:-  Malik Muhammad Ashraf

After a decade long confrontation between Iran and World powers supported by Germany over former’s nuclear weapons programme--- that witnessed repeated failure of the diplomatic efforts and imposition of sanctions against Iran---both sides have finally succeeded in clinching a breakthrough deal whereby Iran has agreed to cap its nuclear programme in exchange for partial relief in sanctions to the tune of US$ 7 billion.
The agreement between five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany will initially be for six months and its implementation will be monitored by the UN nuclear inspectors. According to the agreement Iran will limit uranium enrichment in future besides neutralizing the entire stockpile of the already enriched uranium. In the meantime both parties will remain engaged in concluding a permanent solution to this irritant.
The world powers deserve appreciation for their perseverance and steadfastness in pursuing this objective. So does the present Iranian leadership for its understanding of the concerns of the international community and showing flexibility in their stance on the issue.