Stories about business

Federal Budget 2013-14: More business friendly than people friendly

I still remember my Economics professor’s words, “The political cost of economic decisions is the worst nightmare for the policy-making circles particularly political parties and this is what plays the most significant role in budgetary allocations.” The federal budget 2013-14 has proved this statement correct. With the new political administration at the helm of affairs, the situation is surely somehow different than the past five years, though not an ideal one. A short glimpse of the budget document clearly shows that the budget is more business friendly than people friendly. We find that the government has focused on fiscal discipline, development, power generation, political ...

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We have no jobs because the state has no money

‘Pakistan is in economic dire straits!’ I hear this statement all the time. All sorts of conversations, political and otherwise, agree that the economic condition of Pakistan has become worse, but here we are still surviving and still managing. So, how messed up is our economy exactly? Read below to find out! 1. Our budget deficit Our budget deficit – that is the difference between what we have and what we spend – stands at 8.5%, when it should be close to about 4%. Simply put, we are spending way more than we are earning and because of this, we end up borrowing. When the government borrows money, it is ...

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Pretension in the making

Business dinners were once relatively private affairs organised with little fuss. Today, however, the word ‘corporate dinner’ immediately brings to mind extravagant dining halls, elaborate menus and seating arrangements, interminable guest lists and the presence of expensive entertainment as a finishing touch to the evening. Clearly, the expansion of the corporate sector, over the past century, has led to a simultaneous expansion in the extravagance with which the corporate sector receives and likes to be received. Today, when Aunty Zulaikha and Major Jamshed hold a corporate dinner, it has to be the social highlight of the season. Everyone who is anyone ...

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Investing in underdeveloped sector

Usual jokes about private equity resurfaced on social media as soon as the news of former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, joining Solamere Capital — a private equity firm his son set up in 2008 — emerged on March 6. Romney’s unsuccessful bid for the White House last year is attributed, in large part, to the Democrats’ ‘propaganda’ against private equity as well as Bain Capital, which the former presidential hopeful co-founded and led as CEO until 1999. So what is it that makes private equity professionals so bad in the eyes of American liberals? A simple answer would be that they ...

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Which political party is closest to the business lobby?

With general elections ahead, every leading political party claims to have the solution for the country’s chronic economic problems in their ‘economic agenda’. While some parties have revealed their economic agendas in the last few months, many have not bothered to fulfill this basic formality. There is not a single political party in the country that can claim to have the confidence of the business community. The failure of the Pakistan Peoples Party government in handling the economic affairs of Pakistan has compelled a large number of businessmen to look at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz or the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). Sensing ...

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In Karachi, let them drink juice

Fresh juice, no preservatives, not bottled, made right there in front of you, only for you. The horror. I grew up on bottled water from questionable sources and my system will react in unimaginable ways to any form of juice that is not chemical laden. Its primarily because I grew up in Karachi – I can’t deal with wholesome and nutritious, just like the city. So today – a typically atypical Karachi day with the promise of violence and death in the air – I wanted to buy my usual supply of unhealthy provisions that will lead to an early death, ...

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Talking business

I once interviewed a brilliant young man, who started a business with a total investment of Rs800 and achieved the annual turnover of one million rupees in less than three years. He was in his early 20s and had a degree in business studies. But when I asked whether his business paid taxes and was a formally registered entity, he said he had so far managed to steer clear of all government offices. Their registration procedures are tedious, he told me, and he’d rather build his business than waste time standing in queues outside government offices. So what’s the exact number ...

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Takaful: Rules of Islamic insurance

With the recent launch of Takaful rules, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission Pakistan (SECP) has allowed conventional insurance companies to roll out Takaful, or Islamic insurance, products through window operations. Irked by the SECP’s move, existing Takaful operators went to court and got a restraining order over the implementation of the new rules from the Sindh High Court on August 2. Takaful operators say, the decision to allow conventional insurance companies to launch Islamic products will “distort” the segment, as window operators will conduct the Takaful business “in a manner against the principles of Sharia”. Insurance is undervalued in Pakistan. ...

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Facebook: Think before you ‘like’

Back in 2010, when Facebook first introduced a ‘like’ button as a way for people to ‘give positive feedback or to connect with things you care about on Facebook, it forever changed the meaning of the word; or at least, for its 850 million or so active users. Ten years ago, who would have thought regular people like you and I would exist so publicly online? We use our real names on social networks to share our lives with loved ones, openly show political support, voice our opinions without a second thought, upload pictures of the most important occasions of ...

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How to make it big in Pakistan

There are many mysteries surrounding the rich and elite in Pakistan. These mysteries  have haunted us since time immemorial; how do they do it? How did that man make it so big, so fast being, so young? Where does he work? How can he be so rich without a job? These questions haunted me during the day and gave me nightmares at night, and all I could keep thinking to myself was ‘but how?’ I am pleased to tell you all that I have finally cracked the code; I have all the answers now! Reading newspapers, court orders, precedents and online research ...

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