Stories about Asad Umar

Give PTI six months, they said – now we have Rs2.42 trillion added to our debt

A historic problem in Pakistan, one it has been facing for quite some time now, is the debt trap. Each successive government in Pakistan keeps borrowing for temporary fixes, which only helps in the short-term but has made us worse off in the long-run. However, even before it was elected to power, the incumbent government consistently maintained it would get Pakistan out of this trap once and for all (but only they knew how). Thus far, not only has the government been entirely unsuccessful in getting us out of this mess and bridging the gap between expenditures and revenue, it ...

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PTI’s third finance bill in six months and yet no relief for the common man in sight

The highly anticipated second mini-budget or the third finance bill for the current fiscal year (whatever you may like to call it) has, at last, been revealed. Finance Minister Asad Umar, feeling the heat from all ‘concerned’ quarters, made an attempt to appease by announcing tax concessions to the banking sector and the business community at large. On paper, the bill looks acceptable, as it is aimed at restoring the confidence of the business sector in the economy. Abolishing the withholding tax, abolishing the super tax on the non-banking sector, continuing the 1% reduction per annum in corporate income tax, allowing capital ...

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To solve the economic crisis, PTI will have to move beyond optics and IK’s persona

The Pakistani rupee plunged against the US dollar yet again last week, this time by almost Rs10. The sudden fall of the rupee, which traded for around Rs140 against the dollar, gave birth to speculation and as a result also led to the stock exchange witnessing a sharp decline in index points. On Monday, the Karachi Stock Exchange saw another bloodbath as it lost 1,355 points. The premier’s statement regarding the possibility of early elections and the forecast by the State Bank of Pakistan that 2019 will slow economic growth from the projected 5% to 4% played a crucial ...

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Real estate, the new mafia: How can we fix Pakistan’s housing market?

The new Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s priority is housing. Providing five million houses would certainly pick up the economy since around 40 industries would be throttled up to meet the demands of around five million houses. This is indeed commendable. Even though the target of five million houses seems a bit far-fetched, one could argue that setting up a lofty goal would actually keep the government on its toes. Even achieving a small percentage of the mighty five million would be a relief for the homeless and relevant industries. For the purpose of land for this scheme, government is eyeing ...

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For how long will you blame the previous government for your failures, PTI?

It has been only seven weeks since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government took over the reins of the country and it is already evident that the government, especially its finance minister, has no clue of the direction the economy is taking. It is, of course, the fault of the PTI leadership, who brainwashed its followers into believing that Imran Khan could change the face of Pakistan by eliminating corruption and recovering the looted money immediately after winning the elections. Perhaps the slogans were deliberate; Imran and his associates knew that it was impossible to achieve so much in such a ...

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They say the gas price hike will not affect the common man, but that’s not true

At no other time in Pakistan’s recent history were people’s expectations as high as they were after the 2018 General Elections. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and his associates had practically promised the moon to the masses in their pre-election campaign. Murad Saeed had even guaranteed that half of the $200 billion in foreign bank accounts of corrupt Pakistanis, would be brought back within two days after the formation of his party’s government. But Imran Khan rewarded this fake degree holder and miracle man (who had allegedly given and passed three exams in just half an hour) by making him ...

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Can PTI’s mini-budget get the economy out of the ICU and into the ‘recovery room’?

Pakistanis love to bash politics and politicians whenever they face any problem. Slogan after slogan, martyrdom, militarism and affluent status quo is what three generations of Pakistanis have seen. So when Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) claimed to make policies focusing on “uplifting the lower middle class”, even the PTI voters were somewhat sceptical. Alas, critics can be shushed, the mini-budget is out and looks like PTI may have delivered what it promised. Before the official mini-budget announcement, many people were criticising the government for its decision to raise gas prices and income taxes, however, they did not see ...

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Ehsan Mani: For the first time in a very long time, PCB is in capable hands

They say there is no suspense in inevitability, and Najam Sethi may have sensed that his goose was cooked when Imran Khan was sworn in as prime minister. As Sethi inevitably resigned, former International Cricket Council (ICC) President Ehsan Mani was named his successor. An appointment which was made official yesterday, after Mani was elected unopposed as the new chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Mr. Ehsan Mani has been elected Chairman PCB by the Board of Governors (BoG.) Mr. Mani was elected unopposed in the BoG meeting convened at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore today for a period of ...

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The dilemma for overseas Pakistanis: To invest more, or to return home?

Pakistan is a nation brimming with talent – talent that frequently shines, not just within the country, but on international forums as well. Pakistanis working abroad are rated highly by their employers in comparison to workers from other countries. These overseas Pakistanis are serving the nation in their own capacity, particularly by sending remittances back to Pakistan. One does not really need to wonder why these Pakistanis leave Pakistan. Many go abroad for higher education, seeking new opportunities due to the lack of avenues at home. Unfortunately, many a times, they end up staying for good, for there is no ...

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From Imran Shah to Khawar Maneka: 11 days, 2 cases – when will PM Imran walk the talk?

I have to concede, it is not easy to digest. But every once in a while, there is news that shakes up the political arena and sweeps the ground beneath your feet. This is one of those instances. Although more details are to be revealed, there are enough facts present at the moment for us to be reasonably alarmed. It seems, unfortunately, that the only “genuinely incorruptible” man in Pakistan has also been compromised. The district police officer (DPO) of Pakpattan, Rizwan Gondal, was reportedly transferred after he intercepted Khawar Maneka, former husband of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s wife, Bushra ...

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