Saturday, August 13, 2022

Pakistan At 75: Highlights of Economic and Demographic Progress Since Independence

Pakistan is a young nation with a lot of unrealized potential. As the country turns 75, it is important to recognize that all basic indicators of progress such as income, employment, education, health, nutrition, electricity use, telecommunications and transportation have shown significant improvements over the last seven and a half decades. These improvements can be accelerated if Pakistan can overcome its economic growth constraints from recurring balance of payments crises such as the one it is experiencing now. The only way to do it is through rapid expansion of exports and major reductions in reliance on imports such as fossil fuels and cooking oil

Income/GDP Growth:

Economic Survey of Pakistan 2021-22 confirms that the nation's GDP grew nearly 6% in fiscal year 2021-22, reaching $1.62 Trillion in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). It first crossed the trillion dollar mark in 2017. In nominal US$ terms, the size of Pakistan's economy is now $383 billion. The country's per capita income is $1,798 in nominal terms and $7,551 in PPP dollars.  

Pakistan GDP, Per Capita Income Growth. Source: 75 Years Economic Journey

Electricity Consumption:

Pakistan's electricity consumption is an important indicator of economic activity and living standards. It has soared from 40 GWH in 1949 (1 KWH per capita) to 136,572 KWH in 2021 (620 KWH per capita). Last year, hydroelectric dams contributed 37,689 GWH of electricity or 27.6% of the total power generated, making hydropower the biggest contributor to power generated in the country. It was followed by coal (20%), LNG (19%) and nuclear (11.4%).  Nuclear power plants generated 15,540 GWH of electricity in 2021, a jump of 66% over 2020.  Overall, Pakistan's power plants produced 136,572 GWH of power in 2021, an increase of 10.6% over 2020, indicating robust economic recovery amid the COVID19 pandemic. 

Electricity Consumption

Installed Power Generation Capacity Growth. Source: Bilal Gilani of Gallup Pakistan

 Population Growth:

Pakistan's population has grown rapidly over the last 75 years. It is now 227 million, 6.7 times 34 million in 1951. However, the total fertility rate has declined from 6.5 babies  in 1950 to 3.3 babies per woman in 2021.  

Pakistan Population Growth

Pakistan Total Fertility Rate Per Woman of Child-Bearing Age. Source: UN via Macrotrends

Life Expectancy:

Improvements in access to healthcare have helped raise life expectancy in the country. It has increased from just 50 years in 1970 to 67.4 years in 2020. 

Life Expectancy


Pakistan's economy has generated tens of millions of jobs since the nation's independence. The employed workforce has grown from 16.24 million in 1963-64 to 67.25 million in 2020-21, according to government sources. Pakistan has created 5.5 million jobs during the past three years – 1.84 million jobs a year, significantly higher than the yearly average of new jobs created during the 2008-18 decade, according to the findings of the Labor Force Survey (LFS) as reported by the Express Tribune paper. The biggest jump in share of employment (1.5%) was in the construction sector, spurred by Naya Pakistan construction incentives offered by the PTI government. 

Pakistan Employment Growth

Unlike Pakistan's, India's labor participation rate (LPR) has been falling significantly in the last decade. It fell to 39.5% in March 2022, as reported by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). It dropped below the 39.9% participation rate recorded in February. It is also lower than during the second wave of Covid-19 in April-June 2021. The lowest the labor participation rate had fallen to in the second wave was in June 2021 when it fell to 39.6%. The average LPR during April-June 2021 was 40%. March 2022, with no Covid-19 wave and with much lesser restrictions on mobility, has reported a worse LPR of 39.5%.

Labor Participation Rates in India and Pakistan. Source: ILO/World Bank

Youth  unemployment for ages 15-24 in India is 24.9%, the highest in the South Asia region. It is 14.8% in Bangladesh and 9.2% in Pakistan, according to the International Labor Organization and the World Bank.  

Poverty Reduction:

Pakistan has managed to significantly reduce poverty since its inception. 

Poverty Decline in Pakistan


In terms of the impact of economic growth on average Pakistanis, the per capita average daily calorie intake jumped to 2,735 calories in FY 2021-22 from 2,457 calories in 2019-20. It has grown from 2250 calories in 1980 to 2780 calories in 2020. 

Pakistan Per Capita Daily Calorie Consumption. Source: Economic Surveys of Pakistan


Pakistan is among the world's largest food producers. It experienced broad-based economic growth across all key sectors in FY 21-22; manufacturing posted 9.8% growth, services 6.2% and agriculture 4.4%. The 4.4% growth in agriculture is particularly welcome; it helps reduce rural poverty.  

Production of Tractors in Pakistan

Wheat Production in Pakistan

Rice Production in Pakistan

Corn Production in Pakistan
Sugarcane Production in Pakistan
Meat Production in Pakistan

Milk Production in Pakistan

Cotton Production in Pakistan

Literacy and Education:

Literacy in Pakistan has increased from just 16.4% in 1950-51 to 62.8% in 2020-21. Male literacy is now at 73.4% but the female literacy lags at only 51.9%. The area of female literacy clearly requires greater attention and focus. 

Literacy Rate in Pakistan

Number of universities in the country has jumped from just 2 in 1947 to 233 in 2021. Enrollment in these colleges has gone up from 644 in 1947 to 1.96 million in 2021. Biggest increases have come since the higher education reform led by Dr. Ata ur Rahman on President Musharraf's watch. 

University Enrollment in Pakistan

Number of degree colleges in the country has jumped from 40 in 1960 to 3,872 in 2021. Enrollment in these colleges has gone up from 4,368 in 1947 to 758,000 in 2021. 

Enrollment in Degree Colleges in Pakistan


Telecommunication services and broadband subscriptions in Pakistan have rapidly grown, especially over the last two decades. The number of telephone and mobile users has increased from just 15,200 in 1947 to 194.2 million in 2021. 

Phone Users in Pakistan


Expansion of road infrastructure and increasing vehicle ownership have contributed to the growth of the road transport sector. Number of registered vehicles in Pakistan has soared from 31,892 in 1947 to 32.4 million in 2021. Road length has grown from 26,300 Km in 1947 to 500,000 Km in 2021. 

Vehicle Ownership and Road Length in Pakistan

Pakistan has seen significant improvements in its population's living standards since independence in 1947. Average Pakistani has much higher income and greater access to food, healthcare, education, housing, transport, electricity and communication services. 

Acknowledgement: Charts and data in this blog post are sourced from 75 Years Economic Journey of Pakistan published by Pakistan's Ministry of Finance. 

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Rashid A. said...

Nice summary, Riaz Sahib.

Thank you for taking the time to write this uplifting piece.

It would be a bit more helpful if the data is normalized in some way, e.g per capita (electricity consumption student enrollment, college graduation, health facilities, schools, colleges, universities, road miles, import, export, production, etc.

Also it would be helpful if such normalized data for Pakistan is compared with other countries with similar socioeconomic conditions such as India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar etc.

Riaz Haq said...

Rashid: "It would be a bit more helpful if the data is normalized in some way...compared with other countries with similar socioeconomic conditions such as India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar etc"

The idea driving this post is to measure progress by comparing Pakistan today with how it was in the past…. especially how it was in its early years after independence.

However, some of the current data in my post is in per capita terms such as income ($7,551 in PPP$), electricity consumption (620 KwH) and calories intake (2780 calories). These can be compared with India, Bangladesh and others.

Riaz Haq said...

#IndiaAt75: #Modi is Proving #Pakistan's Case For #Partition1947. 75 years after #India split apart, the nation’s beleaguered #Muslims increasingly face the marginalization and brutal prejudice that Pakistan’s founder #QuaideAzam predicted. #PakistanAt75

Opinion by Nisid Hajari

Jinnah’s main fear was how little power Muslims would wield in a united India. That’s what drove the initial break with his former allies in the Indian National Congress party — including Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister— a decade before independence. And it’s why Jinnah retracted his support for a last-minute compromise brokered by the British in 1946, after Nehru intimated that the Congress would not honor the agreement once the British were gone.

Partition very nearly proved Jinnah’s case. Somewhere between 200,000 and two million Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs were killed within a few short weeks of independence; 14 million were uprooted from their homes. The biggest massacres arguably began with attacks on Muslim villages on the Indian side of the new border.

India’s founding fathers, however, risked their lives to undercut Jinnah’s argument. When riots spread to the Indian capital Delhi and police and petty government officials joined in pogroms targeting Muslims, Nehru took to the streets, remonstrating with mobs and giving public speeches promoting communal harmony while only lightly guarded. He insisted the government machinery exert itself to protect Muslims as well as Hindus.

With even members of his cabinet convinced that India would be better off without tens of millions of citizens suspected of split loyalties, Nehru barely prevailed. The pressure to expel Muslims only really subsided months later after a Hindu fanatic assassinated the revered Gandhi, shocking the cabinet into unity and prompting public revulsion against Hindu bigotry.

That consensus and the rights enshrined in India’s secular constitution largely preserved religious harmony in India for more than seven decades. Al-Qaeda and other transnational terrorist groups made few inroads among Indian Muslims, even as jihadists flourished in nearby countries. While sectarian riots have repeatedly broken out, especially after provocations such as the 1992 demolition of a mosque in Ayodhya to make way for a Hindu temple, tensions have for the most part remained local and limited. And even if Indian Muslims faced discrimination and were on average poorer and less well-educated than Hindus, few doubted that they were full citizens — especially when their votes were needed at election time.

What makes the changes that have proliferated under Modi so dispiriting and dangerous is their corrosive impact on those feelings of belonging. The problem isn’t even so much the most horrific cases of bigotry, including dozens of lynchings of Muslims around the country. Those at least still draw outrage in some quarters, as well as international attention.

What’s worse is the steady and widely accepted marginalization of India’s nearly 200 million Muslims. An overheated and jingoistic media portrays them as potential fifth columnists, who should “go back” to a Pakistan most have never visited if they don’t like the new India. (Pakistani sponsorship of extremist groups that have carried out brutal attacks in India has exacerbated fears of an internal threat.) There’s widespread acceptance of hate speech, including open calls to exterminate Muslims. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party has pursued laws that threaten to disenfranchise millions of them.

Riaz Haq said...

#IndiaAt75: #Modi is Proving #Pakistan's Case For #Partition1947. 75 years after #India split apart, the nation’s beleaguered #Muslims increasingly face the marginalization and brutal prejudice that Pakistan’s founder #QuaideAzam predicted. #PakistanAt75

Indeed, an Indian state once convinced of its duty to protect minorities now seems unremittingly hostile. Prejudice has seeped into the courts and the police, as well as all levels of government. Laws have accepted at face value ludicrous conspiracy theories such as “love jihad” — the idea that Muslim men are romancing Hindu women in order to convert them. Modi’s decision to strip Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, of its constitutionally guaranteed autonomy has made clear that even enshrined protections are vulnerable.

Meanwhile, at the federal level, Muslims’ share of political power is dwindling. Though they make up more than 14% of the population, they account for less than 4% of members of the lower house of parliament. Among the BJP’s 395 members of parliament there isn’t a single Muslim.

True, India remains a democracy not an authoritarian state, with powerful regional politicians and some brave and independent activists and journalists. In states where Muslims make up a larger share of the voting population, they have been better able to defend their rights. Nor is India the only country where politicians and media figures are fanning ethno-nationalism for partisan gain.

Yet the trend lines are ominous. India’s political opposition is weak and divided. The mainstream media has caricatured Muslims to a degree that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. The northern Hindi belt is bursting with millions of undereducated, underemployed and angry young men. Politicians there and elsewhere know it is far easier to direct those frustrations at defenseless scapegoats than it is to fix schools and create jobs.

Modi likes to call India the “mother of democracy.” But the central test of a democracy is how it treats its most vulnerable citizens — whether their rights are protected and their views heard. Nehru and India’s other founding fathers saw it as their most basic duty to prove Jinnah wrong, forging a pluralistic India that would thrive because of its diversity not despite it. Three quarters of a century later, Indians should ask themselves whether they, not their former brethren across the border, are the ones now making a mistake.

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

This is to share a good news with you and other members of your blog . Mashallah an electric car has been locally produced in Pakistan and it was launched during 14 august 1947.

I would appreciate if you could make a blog about it and kindly give detail information about it .


Riaz Haq said...

There is little to celebrate for #IndiaAt75. #India’s #economy is in #crisis and has been since long before the beginning of the #COVID19 pandemic but #Modi gov't has run a successful marketing campaign that has struck a chord with citizens. via @AJEnglish

By Somdeep Sen
Associate Professor of International Development Studies at Roskilde University

The way the lockdown was implemented also failed to consider the effect it would have on the poor, especially informal and migrant workers who play a central role in the upkeep of the economies of India’s large cities. As businesses shuttered, millions found themselves jobless and without a means of transport to return to their villages. Many ended up walking hundreds of miles home, turning the lockdown into a humanitarian crisis. The prime minister apologised for the effect of the lockdown on the country’s most vulnerable and said, “When I look at my poor brothers and sisters, I definitely feel that they must be thinking, what kind of prime minister is this who has placed us in this difficulty … I especially seek their forgiveness.” He added, however, “There was no other way to wage war against coronavirus … It is a battle of life and death and we have to win it.”

When Modi set up the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund, it was not mere happenstance that the abbreviation read “PM CARES Fund”. The relief fund was meant to assist the poor. However, critics questioned the need for such a fund when $500m in the much older Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund remained unused. Some have argued the fund is being used by corporate donors – who are required by law to allocate 2 percent of their net profits towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – to funnel funding that was earmarked for CSR activities. The Ministry of Finance also issued an ordinance to make all donations to PM CARES tax-free. The government has been reluctant to divulge information about the spending of the funds and many have speculated that the fund was a way for corporate donors to curry favour with the prime minister.

Riaz Haq said...

There is little to celebrate for #IndiaAt75. #India’s #economy is in #crisis and has been since long before the beginning of the #COVID19 pandemic but #Modi gov't has run a successful marketing campaign that has struck a chord with citizens. via @AJEnglish

By Somdeep Sen
Associate Professor of International Development Studies at Roskilde University

The second wave of the pandemic devastated India in March 2021. The tragic outcome, however, was not entirely unexpected. Access to reliable and affordable healthcare is scarce in India. The public healthcare system is weak and lacks the resources to contend with a global pandemic. The largely unregulated private healthcare providers are also unreliable and costly. Private and public hospitals ran out of beds very quickly with the surge of infections. Without a national oxygen supply coordination system, oxygen producers were also unable to meet the needs of areas hardest hit by the pandemic.

Nevertheless, India could have still limited the impact of the second wave on its population, if only its government took the threat seriously and followed sensible policies. In a bid to boost his image, and against the advice of experts, Modi had already declared victory over the pandemic in January that year. The vaccination drive was also slow, as the government had failed to secure enough doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for domestic use – this, despite India being the largest producer of vaccines and generic drugs. Not long before the onset of the second wave, Modi approved a large religious festival in the ancient city of Haridwar in the state of Uttarakhand. The Kumbh Mela went ahead without following any social distancing precautions and is now considered the world’s largest super-spreader event. The surge in infections in March and April can also be blamed on the Modi government’s decision to allow assembly elections at the height of the pandemic despite ample warning that they would speed up transmission.

Islamophobia as public policy
On its 75th birthday, democracy also appears to be in decline in India. The human rights of minority groups are under constant attack, and Islamophobia has become a public policy in the country. Indeed, lynchings, Islamophobic misinformation campaigns and cultural intimidation are an everyday facet of the lives of Indian Muslims.

In 2019, for example, the Parliament of India passed the Islamophobic Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). CAA granted a fast track to Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from neighbouring Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, undermining “constitutional equality” by inserting religion as a qualifier for citizenship. The government brutally suppressed the protests against the act, branding them “anti-national”. Anti-CAA activists were arrested and denied bail using India’s draconian anti-terror law.

Also in 2019, the BJP government revoked Muslim-majority Kashmir’s special status in the Indian constitution. The move not only fulfilled the longstanding Hindu nationalist promise to ensure that Indian-administered Kashmir is (at least constitutionally) an integral part of territorial India, it also established a new pathway to Hinduise the state. Furthermore, in order to curb protests against the revocation of its special status and autonomy, the government introduced a communication blackout and shut down cable TV, internet and phone lines for several months across the territory.

Riaz Haq said...

Unemployment crisis in India is an invisible epidemic - Frontline

Instead of reaping its demographic dividend, India is staring at three categories of joblessness.

According to a Centre For Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) report that analysed the data between January and April 2022, the level of unemployment among graduates was 17.8 per cent, compared to about 11 per cent in 2017. Some States such as Rajasthan, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh have not been able to provide jobs for more than a third of their graduates.

The pandemic seems to have exacerbated the situation: the number of unemployed graduates was 19.3 per cent in 2021 (compared to 14.9 per cent in 2019 and 15.1 per cent in 2020). The disruption to economic activity in this period, as large numbers of workers returned to their hometowns, could explain this increase.

Going by the CMIE statistics, one State that has witnessed a high level of unemployment among graduates is Bihar, with 34.2 per cent of its graduate workforce without a job. Bihar also had the second largest number of returning migrant workers in 2020, which would have made matters worse for those seeking work.

In contrast, states such as Gujarat, Karnataka, and Odisha, among others, had less than 10 per cent unemployment rate among graduates as of April. It was just 6.1 per cent in Karnataka, the only State that has succeeded in keeping unemployment among graduates below 11 per cent since 2016.

States with strong industrial clusters or those with more information technology (IT) and IT enabled services companies are able to provide more jobs to those with higher education. For instance, States such as Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu had lower unemployment rates of 9.4 per cent and 10.6 per cent, respectively, among graduates.

In January, the Union Labour and Employment Ministry released the second quarter figures for 2021 from the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), part of the All-India Quarterly Establishment-based Employment Survey (AQEES). It showed that total employment in nine select sectors was 3.1 crore for the quarter ending September 2021, 2 lakh higher than the quarter ended June 2021.

The report, which covered manufacturing, construction, trade, transport, education, health, accommodation and restaurants, IT/BPOs, and financial services sectors, was released by Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav, who said on social media that he was “happy to note that the employment is showing an increasing trend”.

However, the Minister’s happiness might be short-lived. In June 2022, CMIE data showed that the unemployment rate had spiked to 7.80 per cent, up from 7.12 per cent in May 2022. From 404 million jobs in May 2022, only 390 million jobs were available in June 2022, putting about 14 million people out of employment.

Rural India was the worst hit, primarily due to the patchy southwest monsoon in the first fortnight of June, which led to reduced demand for and participation of the labour force. Overall unemployment in the quarter ended June of 2021-22 also surged to 12.6 per cent from the previous quarter’s 9.3 per cent.

In the past 12 months, the unemployment rate has breached the June level four times: August 2021 (8.32 per cent), December 2021 (7.91 per cent), April 2022 (7.83 per cent), and February 2022 (8.11 per cent), but it is significant, as CMIE notes, that one of the biggest falls happened in the post-lockdown month of June 2022.

Yet, the job market is thriving, according to the JobSpeak Index of, an online recruitment service. The Index is a report that gauges month-on-month hiring trends based on recruiter activities on its website. The Index stood at 2878 in June 2020, second only to the peak in February this year when it crossed 3000. It shows that since the start of this year, hiring activity has been growing steadily, showing a roughly 22 per cent year-on-year growth in June 2022 versus June 2021.

Riaz Haq said...

Unemployment crisis in India is an invisible epidemic - Frontline

Kaushik Basu, Cornell University Professor and former Chief Economist of the World Bank, wrote in a recent article in Ananda Bazar Patrika, in which he said: “In India, unemployment among the youth is 25 per cent, which means one out of every four young job seekers is unemployed. You would hardly find such high and alarming rates of unemployment in countries other than a few Central Asian ones that have gone through some devastation or the other. All the countries with which India prefers to compare itself have this [youth unemployment] rate below 15 per cent.”

What India needs to do
In a recent study, global management consultancy McKinsey & Co said that India needs to create at least 90 million jobs by 2030, when a new generation will reach the working age, millions of workers will move from agricultural work to better-paid jobs in other sectors, and an increasingly larger number of women will participate in the labour force.

McKinsey’s 2020 report titled “India’s Turning Point” said that India needs to create at least 90 million jobs by 2030.

To create jobs for so many people, the country has to boost its annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth; a McKinsey report said that the country has to achieve a GDP growth of 8-8.5 per cent on average every year from 2023 to 2030, which sounds a bit ambitious given the economic slowdown and the extreme uncertainties posed by the pandemic.

A number of studies suggest that the number of unemployed in the country today could be 40-45 million. But the true extent of unemployment is not captured even by these numbers, because they do not account for the large number of people in disguised unemployment, that is, working below their potential. This is especially true if one considers India’s level of economic development and lack of social security benefits, which means that relatively few people can afford to stay unemployed.

Interestingly, the official definition of “unemployed” applies to those people who are of working age and are seeking a job, but are unable to get one. But does everyone who enters the working age population seek a job? For instance, existing sociocultural norms and the lack of social safety have resulted in fewer women participating in the labour force than is possible.

As per ILO figures, India’s female labour force participation at 25.1 per cent in 2021 was lower than the global average. The corresponding figure for Bangladesh was around 53 per cent. Besides, when prospects are bleak, even men feel discouraged to look for jobs.

India’s overall labour force participation rate, according to CMIE data, was about 40 per cent, a fall from the already low 46 per cent in 2016. For the 15-24 age group, it was 47.1 per cent. Thus, unemployment statistics do not reflect the true numbers of people who are unable to work to their full potential. The pandemic has only exacerbated this situation.

Many economists have suggested that to create more jobs, India must focus on labour-intensive sectors such as trade, transportation and storage, and hotels and restaurants, and on knowledge-intensive sectors such as communication and broadcasting, financial services, education, health care, IT, business process management, and other professional services. These sectors will collectively have to sustain and improve on historical strong momentum to deliver the number of jobs required.

Riaz Haq said...

Unemployment crisis in India is an invisible epidemic - Frontline

The agriculture sector, which continues to bear more employment than it can sustain, will have to increasingly focus on increasing productivity, thereby continuing to shed jobs, they added. (The share of agriculture in total employment jumped to 39.4 per cent in 2021 from 38 per cent in 2020, as per CMIE statistics.)

The excess labour can move from agriculture into higher-productivity sectors, including agro-related sectors such as food processing. It is estimated that nearly 30 million farm jobs could move to other sectors by 2030.

As noted earlier, McKinsey has predicted that the period between 2023 and 2030 will require a GDP growth rate of 8-8.5 per cent annually to generate 90 million net new jobs by 2030. This figure includes 60 million new workers expected to join the workforce based on current demographics, and the 30 million workers expected to move from farm work to non-farm sectors by 2030.

The asking figure of 90 million non-farm jobs by 2030 translates into an annual growth of 1.5 per cent in net employment from 2023 to 2030. This will be in line with the growth in employment that the country achieved between 2000 and 2012 (it reached an all-time high of 50.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012), and almost double the 0.8 per cent historical employment growth over the past 20 years. Between 2012 and 2018, 4 million non-farm jobs were created annually. Starting 2023, this number must be tripled to absorb the influx—that is, 12 million non-farm jobs every year. And if an additional 55 million women enter the labour force, an optimistic projection that could partially correct the historical under-representation, then the job creation imperative will only become greater.

There are broadly two issues at play here: one is the job losses caused by the pandemic and the second is India’s historically high unemployment rate. One must also look at the issue of employability. Debashis Bhattacharya, a human resources expert currently working with Interra, said that the employability crisis among graduates was a conundrum that negates India’s much-vaunted demographic dividend.

India is considered a powerhouse when it comes to available workforce, with 50 per cent of the country’s population below the age of 25, but where is the employability, he asked.

As per the World Economic Forum, of the 13 million people who join India’s workforce each year, only one in four management professionals, one in five engineers, and one in 10 graduates are employable.

This allows us to trace the high rate of youth unemployment in India directly to education. Schools and colleges are failing to train students for both the job market of today and the market of the future.

The students are not prepared adequately even for traditional jobs, leave alone the tech-driven jobs of the future, which, as a 2020 World Economic Forum Report highlighted, will look for skills in programming, data science, big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, web development, etc.

There are, therefore, three broad categories of the unemployed in India today: unemployed youth and job seekers, youth who are unemployable, and youth, often highly educated, who have lost jobs. These three categories, put together, have caused the employment crisis to assume frightening proportions.

Riaz Haq said...

Unemployment crisis in India is an invisible epidemic - Frontline

During his election campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to create millions of jobs. He is now under tremendous pressure to show that his government is making progress on that promise. It is this pressure that led to his announcement in June that 10 lakh Central government vacancies would be filled in 18 months and of the much-hyped and politically sensitive armed forces hiring programme called Agnipath, which are crucial to Modi’s hopes of winning a third consecutive term in office.

However, with runaway inflation (annual inflation rate in June 2022 was 7.1 per cent, well above RBI’s target range of 2-6 per cent threatening to derail a fragile post-pandemic economic recovery and rampant unemployment stoking discontent, it remains to be seen how effective such impulsive and hastily conceived projects will be in resolving India’s entrenched unemployment crisis.

Ritwik Mukherjee is a post-graduate in economics and has worked for over three decades in business and economic journalism. He is currently an independent journalist and author.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s #rupee, #bonds & #stocks are rallying as #investors bet the nation will win a #bailout from the #IMF this month & avoid #debt #default. Pakistan has also secured $4 billion from friendly countries. #economy #currency #SriLanka #Dollar #Euro

Dollar bonds due in December were indicated at about 95 cents on the dollar on Tuesday from a low of 85 cents in July, as investors turn more confident the debt will be repaid. The rupee surged 11% this month to 213.87 per dollar as of Monday, the biggest gainer in the world. The benchmark stock index climbed 9%, the top performer in Asia after Sri Lanka.

Pakistan has adopted austerity measures to win approval from the IMF to resume its stalled bailout package as frontier nations from Egypt to El Salvador battle the threat of a default. Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investor Service said in late July they expect the nation to secure $1.2 billion from the IMF, while Saudi Arabia is said to renew its $3 billion deposit in assistance, easing financing pressure on Pakistan.

“After completing a slew of difficult prior actions, Pakistan finally received staff-level approval to resume and extend its IMF program, which should pave the way for board approval barring any policy mistakes,” said Patrick Curran, a senior economist at London-based research firm Tellimer Ltd. “With the program back on track, Pakistan will be given additional runway to avoid a crisis.”

Pakistan will sign the IMF’s letter of intent on Monday. The IMF board meeting is expected on Aug. 29 for the loan approval.

“The strength of the rupee reflects the strength of the economy,” Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said. “The currency movement is not cosmetic. The government’s decision to curb imports is helping the rupee to gain against the US dollar.”

Pakistan has secured $4 billion from friendly countries, a condition set by the IMF, according to Finance Minister Miftah Ismail. The IMF is set to decide on the loan on August 29, The News reported Saturday, citing Ismail.

“The IMF loan has been partially priced-in but there are a couple of other triggers going forward,” said Mohammed Sohail, chief executive of Topline Securities in Karachi. “Falling oil prices will continue to help, and once the IMF is approved, bilateral money will flow in.”

Riaz Haq said...

Arif Habib Limited
Large Scale Manufacturing Industries (LSMI) output witnessed an increase of 11.5% YoY during Jun’22 (+0.2% MoM). Moreover, latest data suggests that during FY22, LSMI output increased by 11.7% YoY.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan pledges $1 billion aid for #water, #electricity and waste projects in #Tanzania. The proposal was unveiled recently at the launch of Tanzania-Pakistan Business Council (TPBC) in Dar es Salaam. #Afrik21

The Islamic, federal and multiparty Republic of Pakistan plans to invest $1 billion in Tanzania over a five-year period. The funds will accelerate the implementation of several projects in the East African country, particularly in the water, power and waste sectors.
Tanzania will benefit from a new loan for sustainable development. The funding proposal from the Pakistani government was unveiled recently during the launch of the Tanzania-Pakistan Business Council (TPBC) in Dar es Salaam. The amount of the future funding is $1 billion.

According to TPBC chairman Shaidi Majeed, Pakistan will mobilise the funds over five years to support Tanzania’s efforts in water supply, power supply and waste management.

Building new facilities
In 2020, the total funding provided to the Tanzanian government already amounted to $490 million, says the Pakistani embassy in Tanzania. The $1 billion loan will thus increase its financing portfolio in the East African country.

Tanzania is facing drought, which is manifested in the lack of rainfall. In order to secure water supplies for households and farmers, the government is implementing a number of projects, the latest of which will see the construction of 21 irrigation schemes in the Mbeya region. The future facilities will boost production of paddy to 97,300 tonnes per year. Paddy is a rice grain that has kept all its husks intact.

In terms of drinking water, the Tanzanian government plans to invest US$12.1 billion between 2022 and 2023, as part of the Arusha Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project. In terms of electricity, the Tanzanian government is increasingly focusing on hydro and solar power to diversify the country’s electricity mix. According to a 2015 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), Tanzania is 66% dependent on natural gas and oil for its electricity production.

Riaz Haq said...

Seventy-five years of Pakistan’s economy
By Ishrat Husain August 19, 2022

At the time of independence, the prospects of the economic survival of a ramped Pakistan appeared quite dim as it inherited an extremely weak and fragile economy. More than 80 per cent were small farmers, and the rest were shopkeepers and artisans. From India, Pakistan got another eight million impoverished Muslim peasants and hardly any skilled technicians or businessmen. The country had no big industry worth the name except a few cotton mills, a cement factory, railway repair shops.

The financial resources allocated to it at the time of Partition were never released by the Reserve Bank of India and the salaries of the civil servants were paid by a few rich Muslim businessmen. Only a few hundred civil servants opted to serve the country and they formed the nucleus of the new government machinery sitting in dilapidated and makeshift offices. LIFE Magazine had predicted in its issue of January 1948 that Pakistan would collapse within six months as it would not be able to sustain itself economically.

From such a shaky start, Pakistan today is the 24th largest economy in the world with a GDP of approximately 1500 billion (PPP dollars) and per capita income of PPP $6672. In terms of official exchange rate, per capita income is $1700 compared to $100 in 1947. Pakistan's overall growth record has been quite impressive; on average, the economy grew at an annual rate of slightly above 5 per cent during the last six decades. In per-capita terms, the growth rate was 2.5 per cent annually. Consequently, the incidence of poverty has halved from 40 per cent to around 20 per cent. The manufacturing sector has been the most dynamic sector of the economy.

For the first four decades – 1950-1990 – Pakistan was among the fastest growing economies in the developing world. This achievement was remarkable because Pakistan without any industrial base had to rehabilitate and absorb eight million refugees – almost one fourth of the total population; had to fight a war with a much bigger and stronger neighbour in 1965; lost its eastern wing and suffered a trauma in 1971. In the 1970s all major industries, banks, and educational institutions were nationalized. In the 1980s, the country participated in the Afghan war against the Soviet Union which created some harsh social and geopolitical consequences. India in this same period was growing at 3 per cent per annum – almost half of Pakistan’s growth rate. But there are other remarkable achievements that the country can proudly boast of.

A country with 30 million people (present-day Pakistan) in 1947 couldn’t feed itself and had to import all its food from abroad. By 2016, the farmers of Pakistan were not only able to fulfill the domestic needs of wheat, rice, sugar, milk for 200 million people at a much higher per capita consumption level but also export wheat and rice to the rest of the world. Pakistan has emerged as the world’s fourth largest exporter of rice.

Agriculture production has risen more than five times with cotton attaining a peak level of more than 14 million bales compared to one million bales in 1947. Pakistan has emerged as one of the leading world exporters of textiles. Steel, cement, automobiles, sugar, fertiliser, cloth and vegetable ghee, industrial chemicals, refined petroleum and a variety of other products that did not exist at the time are now manufactured for the domestic market and, in many cases, for the world markets too.

Per capita electricity generation is 10,160 kwh compared to 100 in 1947. Pakistan’s vast irrigation network of large storage reservoirs and dams, barrages, link canals constructed during the last six decades has enabled the country to double the area under cultivation to 22 million hectares. Tubewell irrigation provides almost one-third of additional water to supplement canal irrigation.

Riaz Haq said...

Seventy-five years of Pakistan’s economy
By Ishrat Husain August 19, 2022

The road and highway network in Pakistan spans 260,000 kms – more than five times the length inherited in 1947. Modern motorways and superhighways and four-lane national highways link the entire country along with secondary and tertiary roads.

Natural gas was discovered in the country in the 1950s and supply has been augmented over time. At its peak, almost four billion cubic feet/day of natural gas was generated, transmitted and distributed for industrial, commercial and domestic consumption and until recently accounted for 40-50 per cent of the country’s energy needs.

Private consumption standards have kept pace with the rise in income. There are 30 road vehicles for 1,000 persons compared with only one vehicle for the same number of people in 1947. Mobile phone penetration is 88 per cent compared to almost less than one per cent having phone connection in the 1950s. TV sets, which were nonexistent then, adorn 122 out of every 1,000 houses.

These achievements in income, consumption, agriculture and industrial production are extremely impressive and have lifted millions of people out of poverty. But these do pale into insignificance when missed opportunities are looked at. Since 1990, the tables have turned. India has surpassed Pakistan not only in per capita income, GDP growth, human development indicators but has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Bangladesh which was way behind us in all economic and social indicators in 1990 has forged ahead of us and is recording 6-7 per cent growth rate with impressive gains in social and human development.

Pakistan has become a laggard in South Asia, facing episodes of boom and bursts. The country had to approach the IMF for meeting its balance of payments crisis 22 times in the last thirty years. What explains this reversal from a dynamic and vibrant to an externally dependent economy? There are many factors, but I would confine them to only a few.

The largest setback to the country has been the neglect of human development. Had adult literacy rate been close to 100 per cent, it is estimated that per capita income would have reached at least $ 3000. Pakistan ranks low in human development indicators with an adult literacy rate of 60 per cent, average schooling of five years, high infant and maternal mortality rates. Science and technology, which are the drivers of productivity and efficiency, have been neglected and innovation is missing from the production structure. Modi is personally leading the move to transform India into an advanced technological power; 16 unicorns were added only in one year.

The respective roles of state and markets have been distorted. Markets which allocate resources efficiently have been rigged by a small class of elites to their benefits while the state that ensures benefits of growth are widely distributed among the population has also been hijacked by the same elite class. We end up with the worst of both worlds – inefficiency and inequity – that slows down our economic progress and creates a sense of deprivation.

Riaz Haq said...

Seventy-five years of Pakistan’s economy
By Ishrat Husain August 19, 2022

Pakistanis consume more than they save – both the government as well as households. They import more than export, have low investment rates in private and public sectors but aspire to grow beyond their means. Unless these recurrent imbalances of fiscal, trade, financial, savings investment gap are bridged the situation would remain unchanged.

Finally, Pakistan’s institutions of governance – parliament, judiciary, media and civil services – which brought about spectacular results in the first 40 years have decayed. Patronage-based politics and polarization have weakened these institutions. Loyalty rather than competence has become the hallmark of appointments in the executive branch resulting in waste, corruption and nepotism. The private sector has also become used to rent seeking with the help of the tax and regulatory authorities – and, with a few exceptions, lost its vibrancy and dynamism.

The above agenda for structural reforms has to be pursued vigorously if Pakistan is to resume its journey that it had traversed in the first 40 years of its existence and has since deviated from it in the last 35 years.

Riaz Haq said...

World markets respond negatively to #Pakistan government's charges against #imrankhanPTI under #terrorism law. #Pakistani #Rupee falls. Pak #bonds suffer. Investor confidence in Pak assets goes down. #ImranKhanArrest #economy #PKR

Pakistan Assets Hit as Government Weighs Action Against Khan

Spread on Pakistan’s dollar-denominated bonds widened Monday

- Government is holding legal consultations about former premier

Pakistan’s dollar-denominated bonds took a hit Monday along with its currency and stocks after the government said it is considering legal action against former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Securities due April 2024 fell, widening their yield premium over equivalent US Treasuries by more than 90 basis points to 2,823, according to indicative pricing data collected by Bloomberg. Spreads on other notes, including 2031 and and 2051 debt issued just last year, also widened, though they remain well inside their highs of July. The rupee fell 0.9% to 216.66 per dollar, according to central bank data.

The political drama threatens to undermine Pakistan’s quest to convince the International Monetary Fund to release $1.2 billion in financing at a board meeting later this month. The country has already secured $2 billion in pledges from friendly nations like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to fill its financing gap as it deals with faltering foreign-currency reserves and one of Asia’s fastest-inflation rates. The country will receive another $2 billion from Qatar to help ease the funding crunch, the central bank said on Monday.

“Pakistan assets (eurobonds and equities) are unquestionably cheap,” Tellimer strategist Hasnain Malik wrote in a note Monday. “But there is little prospect of getting any help from a drop in domestic political temperature any time soon.”

During a press briefing on Sunday, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said Khan had repeatedly targeted the army, judiciary and police in an attempt to threaten officials and prevent them from carrying out their duty. The government was “taking advice from law ministry on the necessary, lawful action,” he added.

Pakistan’s politics is heating up ahead of an election that must be held by next year. Khan has agitated for early polls since his ouster earlier this year, betting that voters support his contention that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharifand and the Pakistani military conspired with the US to remove him from power -- an allegation all three have denied.

Meanwhile, the country’s central bank announced Monday that it was keeping its lending rate unchanged at 15%, in line with the expectations of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Last month, S&P Global Ratings cut Pakistan’s credit outlook to negative from neutral as the nation’s external position weakens with higher commodity prices, the rupee’s depreciation and tighter global financial conditions. That followed similar actions by Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings.

Riaz Haq said...

Qatar Wealth Fund Plans $3 Billion Investment in Pakistan

QIA may invest in South Asian nation’s airports, hospitality

Pakistan is trying to shore up its finances to avoid a default

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund plans to invest $3 billion in key sectors of Pakistan’s economy as the gas-rich Gulf state extends its support to the cash-strapped South Asian nation.
The $445 billion Qatar Investment Authority is evaluating strategic investments in the country’s main airports in Islamabad and Karachi, as well as in the renewable energy, power and hospitality sectors, according to people familiar with the matter.

The investments from the QIA may partly overlap with the $2 billion in bilateral support Qatar has already planned for Pakistan, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The fund may end up investing more or less than $3 billion depending on the asset valuations and opportunities, the people said, without sharing a time frame.

The Qatari ruler’s office confirmed the plan to invest in Pakistan in a statement posted on its website. The decision came during a meeting between ruler Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Default Risk
Qatar is pledging its support for Pakistan to help ease the country’s funding crunch and the consequent risk of a default. Prime Minister Sharif has been visiting Qatar ahead of an IMF board meeting next week that could lead to the release of $1.2 billion in financing. Arab nations committed to supporting the country only after it secured a program from the Washington-based lender.

IMF Is Said to Seek Assurance on Saudi Funding to Pakistan

During the meeting, officials also discussed the progress Qatar -- the world’s top supplier of liquefied natural gas -- has made on investing in Pakistan’s next import terminal, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. While progress has been made, some steps remain, they said.

Shares in state-controlled Pakistan International Airlines rose as much as 10% following the news of Qatar’s interest in the hospitality sector. The carrier owns the Roosevelt Hotel in New York and has previously tried to sell the iconic property.

The South Asian nation will also get $1 billion in oil financing from Saudi Arabia and a similar amount in investments from the United Arab Emirates. Gulf states often provide a mix of deposits and investment pledges when they provide aid to states.

The Pakistan rupee is the best performer globally this month and has gained about 9% since dropping to a record low last month as worries over a possible default fade, according to data tracked by Bloomberg.

Riaz Haq said...

In the 2021 GHI, Pakistan ranks 92nd out of 116 countries with sufficient data to calculate GHI scores. With a score of 24,7 Pakistan has a level of hunger that is serious. Since 2000, the GHI score of Pakistan has decreased by 12, which represent a percentage decreased of 23.7%. Pakistan’s GHI score trend shows that, while the decline in the score is steady, it has decreased at a faster rate since 2012, meaning that progress in the fight against hunger is accelerating.

Riaz Haq said...

Although GHI scores show that global hunger has been on the decline since 2000, progress is slowing. While the GHI score for the world fell 4.7 points, from 25.1 to 20.4, between 2006 and 2012, it has fallen just 2.5 points since 2012. After decades of decline, the global prevalence of undernourishment—one of the four indicators used to calculate GHI scores—is increasing.,calculate%20GHI%20scores%E2%80%94is%20increasing.

-------The average minimum dietary energy requirement varies by country—from about 1,660 to more than 2,050 kilocalories (commonly, albeit incorrectly, referred to as calories) per person per day for all countries with available data in 2020 (FAO 2021). For previous GHI calculations, see von Grebmer et al.,see%20von%20Grebmer%20et%20al.

Riaz Haq said...

GHI scores are calculated using a three-step process that draws on available data from various sources to capture the multidimensional nature of hunger (Figure A.1).

First, for each country, values are determined for four indicators:

UNDERNOURISHMENT: the share of the population that is undernourished (that is, whose caloric intake is insufficient);

CHILD WASTING: the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition);

CHILD STUNTING: the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition); and

CHILD MORTALITY: the mortality rate of children under the age of five (in part, a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).

Second, each of the four component indicators is given a standardized score on a 100-point scale based on the highest observed level for the indicator on a global scale in recent decades.

Third, standardized scores are aggregated to calculate the GHI score for each country, with each of the three dimensions (inadequate food supply; child mortality; and child undernutrition, which is composed equally of child stunting and child wasting) given equal weight (the formula for calculating GHI scores is provided in Appendix B).

This three-step process results in GHI scores on a 100-point GHI Severity Scale, where 0 is the best score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst. In practice, neither of these extremes is reached. A value of 0 would mean that a country had no undernourished people in the population, no children younger than five who were wasted or stunted, and no children who died before their fifth birthday. A value of 100 would signify that a country’s undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and child mortality levels were each at approximately the highest levels observed worldwide in recent decades. The GHI Severity Scale shows the severity of hunger—from low to extremely alarming—associated with the range of possible GHI scores.

BOX 1.1
The problem of hunger is complex, and different terms are used to describe its various forms.

Hunger is usually understood to refer to the distress associated with a lack of sufficient calories. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines food deprivation, or undernourishment, as the consumption of too few calories to provide the minimum amount of dietary energy that each individual requires to live a healthy and productive life, given that person’s sex, age, stature, and physical activity level.

Undernutrition goes beyond calories and signifies deficiencies in any or all of the following: energy, protein, and/ or essential vitamins and minerals. Undernutrition is the result of inadequate intake of food in terms of either quantity or quality, poor utilization of nutrients due to infections or other illnesses, or a combination of these factors. These, in turn, are caused by a range of factors, including household food insecurity; inadequate maternal health or childcare practices; or inadequate access to health services, safe water, and sanitation.

Malnutrition refers more broadly to both undernutrition (problems caused by deficiencies) and overnutrition (problems caused by unbalanced diets, such as consuming too many calories in relation to requirements with or without low intake of micronutrient-rich foods).

In this report, “hunger” refers to the index based on four component indicators. Taken together, the component indicators reflect deficiencies in calories as well as in micronutrients.,see%20von%20Grebmer%20et%20al.

Riaz Haq said...

India Hunger Index Controversy:

Noted columnists in India have also commented on how a faulty metric, which is based on four measures or indicators (none of which actually measure hunger) is creating a flawed narrative against India9,10. Prominent researchers have commented that the GHI exaggerates the measure of hunger, lacks statistical vigour10, has a problem of multiple counts11,12, and gives higher representation to under-five children. The measurement of hunger is complex and should not be oversimplified, as in the GHI13. Therefore, the use of alternative approaches should be considered to evaluate hunger14,15. In view of these issues, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Department of Health Research of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, constituted in 2019 an Expert Committee to review the indicators used in the GHI. The deliberations of this Committee are presented here, and it is argued that the four indicators used in the GHI, [undernourishment, stunting, wasting and child mortality (CM)] do not measure hunger per se, as these are not the manifestations of hunger alone.

Go to:
About the GHI
The GHI is a weighted average derived from four indicators1. These are (i) the PUN, or proportion of the population that is undernourished, calculated as the proportion of the population that has an energy intake less than the FAO Minimum Dietary Energy Requirement (MDER) of 1800 calories/capita/day1; (ii) CWA, or the prevalence of wasting in children under five years old, estimated as the percentage of children aged 0-59 months, whose weight for height is below minus two standard deviations (-2SD) from the median of the WHO Child Growth Standards1; (iii) CST, or the prevalence of stunting in children under five years old, estimated as the percentage of children, aged 0-59 months, whose height for age is below -2SD from the median of the WHO Child Growth Standards; and (iv) CM, or the proportion of children dying before the age of five, estimated as the proportion of child deaths between birth and five years of age, generally expressed per 1000 live births. As per the justification mentioned in the GHI report1 for using these indicators, the PUN indicator captures the nutrition situation of the entire population while the other indicators are specific to under-five children (CWA, CST and CM) in which the adverse effects assume greater importance. The inclusion of both wasting and stunting (CWA and CST) is intended to allow the GHI to consider both acute and chronic undernutrition.

Riaz Haq said...

Saeed Shah
China, Saudi Arabia, UAE + Qatar led the $37bn package, expected to be agreed by IMF board on Monday. But the floods are dealing a new financial blow, causing economic damage of at least $10 billion, estimates
. Over 1,000 people killed.


Pakistan’s government in recent weeks has tied up at least $37 billion in international loans and investments, officials said, pulling the country away from the kind of financial collapse seen in Sri Lanka.

The board of the International Monetary Fund is scheduled to meet Monday to consider a bailout deal worked out between IMF staff and Islamabad, under which the lender will provide $4 billion over the remainder of the current fiscal year, which began July 1.

The IMF required the country to first arrange additional funds to cover the rest of its external funding shortfall for the fiscal year. The full package is now in place, according to the Pakistani government.

Despite that vital step, Pakistan’s economic stability is far from assured. Opposition leader Imran Khan continues a fierce campaign against the government to press for fresh elections, while catastrophic flooding from the summer’s monsoon rain will cost the economy billions of dollars.

Among allies, China led the way, providing more than $10 billion, mostly by rolling over existing loans, Pakistani officials said.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, is rolling over a $3 billion loan and providing at least $1.2 billion worth of oil on a deferred-payment basis, the officials said. Riyadh announced last week it also would invest $1 billion in Pakistan. The United Arab Emirates will invest a similar amount in Pakistan’s commercial sector, and it is rolling over a $2.5 billion loan.

Last week, the remaining money was secured, with a dash to Qatar by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Miftah Ismail. Doha announced it would invest $3 billion in Pakistan.

“It’s not been easy,” Mr. Ismail said in an interview. “I think Pakistan right now is not in danger of default. But our viability depends on the IMF program.”

As the IMF and allies disburse funds, the balance of payments crisis should ease. But the scale of the flooding from heavier-than-usual monsoon rains means that the country will need more financing than it had planned for, warned the Pakistan Business Council, which represents larger companies.

Mr. Ismail, the finance minister, estimated that the economic impact of the floods would be at least $10 billion. That would amount to around 3% of gross domestic product. Some 30 million people have been affected by the flooding and more than 1,000 killed since mid-June, officials say.

When a new government came to power in April, it had warned that the country was at risk of defaulting on its foreign debt payments. The situation was made worse by the price shock from the Ukraine war, which pushed up the cost of fuel and other imports.

Pakistan is due to make loan repayments of nearly $21 billion in the current financial year. In addition, it needs to cover its current-account deficit, which is officially forecast at $9.2 billion.

The rest of the new funding is aimed at building up foreign currency reserves—now only enough to cover about six weeks of imports—by the end of the fiscal year, officials say.

The IMF didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s government in recent weeks has tied up at least $37 billion in international loans and investments, officials said, pulling the country away from the kind of financial collapse seen in Sri Lanka.

Tahir Abbas, head of research at Arif Habib, a Pakistani stockbroker, said that the country’s debt challenge didn’t become as acute as Sri Lanka’s, because its borrowings were owed mostly to other countries or multilateral agencies, which can be more easily renegotiated. Colombo, which defaulted on its sovereign debt in May, had also borrowed heavily from private-sector bondholders.

“We are in a good position. The IMF deal is secured, friendly countries have helped, and global commodity prices are coming down,” Mr. Abbas said.

However, the confrontation between the government and the leader it replaced in April has expanded to the IMF deal in recent days. Mr. Khan’s political party, which runs the governments of two of Pakistan’s four provinces, threatened to undermine the terms of the IMF agreement by not providing funds due from the provinces to the central government.

The opposition is hitting back after the government charged Mr. Khan with terrorism over a recent speech. He also faces a hearing over a contempt of court charge this week. Mr. Khan risks arrest, and being barred from politics, from the cases.

Mr. Ismail also faces calls to renegotiate the program from influential voices within his own party, upset about the austerity measures imposed as part of the program. Gasoline and electricity prices have been raised sharply and government spending reined in. Inflation hit 45% in a weekly official index released on Aug. 25.

The flooding is likely to add to inflation, with 2 million acres of crops affected, as well as hit exports.

The immediate relief effort could cost the authorities at least $1 billion, the finance minister said. Pakistan has appealed for international aid to help cope with the floods, with $500 million promised so far.

Riaz Haq said...

Not just Global Hunger Index, India’s own govt data shows how worried we should be

The Modi government has questioned the methodology of the Global Hunger Index. But undernutrition is one of the leading factors of child mortality in India.

The Global Hunger Index 2021 is basically about undernutrition. It provides us an opportunity to introspect on why India’s performance is not as good as what our economic growth should have ensured. Rather than doing that, the Narendra Modi government has chosen to question the methodology of one particular indicator used in the report to assess the level of undernourishment. It is true that at its core, the Hunger Index is primarily an indicator of child undernutrition and mortality. While it does estimate the prevalence of undernourishment (PoU), its weightage in the index is only one third. The other three components of the index relate to the percentage of children under five years who show wasting, stunting, and child mortality (percentage of children who die before reaching five years of age). Dipa Sinha has explained the methodology of index in this article in The Hindu.

India collects its own data on health and nutrition that is widely considered to be credible and extremely useful. The fifth round of the National Family Health Survey was conducted in 2019-20 and its findings were released in December 2020. However, data for Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh was not included in the first phase so the all-India performance is not yet known. The survey found that the progress is worse than expected, and stunting, reflective of chronic malnutrition, has increased in 11 out of the 17 states surveyed. Wasting, indicative of acute malnutrition, has also increased in 13 of these 17 states. Such malnourished children are more vulnerable to illness and disease. The percentage of underweight children has gone up in 11 of the 17 states. In Bihar and Gujarat, 40 per cent of children under the age of five, were underweight.

Undernutrition is one of the leading risk factors for child mortality in India, accounting for 68.2 per cent of total under-five deaths (10.4 lakh) in 2017. Children with severe undernutrition are at high risk of dying from diarrhoea, pneumonia, and malaria.

Riaz Haq said...

‘Diet of Average Indian Lacks Protein, Fruit, Vegetables’
On average, the Indian total calorie intake is approximately 2,200 kcals per person per day, 12 per cent lower than the EAT-Lancet reference diet's recommended level.

Compared to an influential diet for promoting human and planetary health, the diets of average Indians are considered unhealthy comprising excess consumption of cereals, but not enough consumption of proteins, fruits and vegetables, said a new study.Also Read - Autistic Pride Day 2020: Diet Rules For Kids With Autism

The findings by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and CGIAR research program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) broadly apply across all states and income levels, underlining the challenges many Indians face in obtaining healthy diets.

“The EAT-Lancet diet is not a silver bullet for the myriad nutrition and environmental challenges food systems currently present, but it does provide a useful guide for evaluating how healthy and sustainable Indian diets are,” said the lead author of the research article, A4NH Program Manager Manika Sharma. Also Read - Experiencing Hair Fall? Include These Super-foods in Your Daily Diet ASAP

“At least on the nutrition front we find Indian diets to be well below optimal.”

The EAT-Lancet reference diet, published by the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, and Health, implies that transforming eating habits, improving food production and reducing food wastage is critical to feed a future population of 10 billion a healthy diet within planetary boundaries.

While the EAT-Lancet reference diet recommends eating large shares of plant-based foods and little to no processed meat and starchy vegetables, the research demonstrates that incomes and preferences in India are driving drastically different patterns of consumption.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's status as world's fastest growing major #economy to be short-lived. It will decelerate to 4.5% in October-December 2022.The nation is grappling with persistently high #unemployment and #inflation - Reuters poll. #Modi #Hindutva via @YahooFinance

By Arsh Tushar Mogre

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India likely recorded strong double-digit economic growth in the last quarter but economists polled by Reuters expected the pace to more than halve this quarter and slow further toward the end of the year as interest rates rise.

Asia's third-largest economy is grappling with persistently high unemployment and inflation, which has been running above the top of the Reserve Bank of India's tolerance band all year and is set to do so for the rest of 2022.

Growth this quarter is predicted to slow sharply to an annual 6.2% from a median forecast of 15.2% in Q2, supported mainly by statistical comparisons with a year ago rather than new momentum, before decelerating further to 4.5% in October-December.


The median expectation for 2022 growth was 7.2%, according to an Aug. 22-26 Reuters poll, but economists said that the solid growth rate masks how rapidly the economy was expected to slow in coming months.

"Even as India remains the fastest-growing major economy, domestic consumption will perhaps not be strong enough to drive growth further as unemployment remains high and real wages are at a record low level," said Kunal Kundu, India economist at Societe Generale.

"By supporting growth through investment, the government has only fired on one engine while forgetting about the impetus which domestic consumption provides. This is why India's growth is still below its pre-pandemic trend."

The economy has not grown fast enough to accommodate some 12 million people joining the labour force each year.

Meanwhile the RBI, a relative laggard in the global tightening cycle, is set to raise its key repo rate by another 60 basis points by the end of March to try to bring inflation within the tolerance limit. [ECILT/IN]

That follows three interest rate rises this year totalling 140 basis points, and would take the repo rate to 6.00% by end-Q1 2023.

While the central bank's mandated target band is 2%-6%, inflation was expected to average 6.9% and 6.2% this quarter and next, respectively, before falling just below the top end of the range to 5.8% in Q1 2023. That is roughly in line with the central bank's projection.

"Despite signs of a cool-off in price pressures ... it is premature to go easy on the inflation fight given considerable uncertainties from geopolitical risks and hard landing risks in major economies," said Radhika Rao, senior economist at DBS.

The economy is also enduring inflation pressure from a weak rupee, which for months has been trading close to 80 to the U.S. dollar, a level the central bank has been defending in currency markets by selling dollar reserves.

The latest Reuters poll also showed India's current account deficit swelling to 3.1% of gross domestic product this year, the highest in at least a decade, which may put further pressure on the currency.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi says bhajans (#Hindu religious songs) will cure #malnutrition. Over 35% of #Indian children are stunted, 19.3% wasted & 32.5% underweight.
BJP rule has seen undernourished population increase from 14.9% to 15.5% of population via @TheWireScience

In the 92nd episode of ‘Mann ki Baat’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said conducting bhajans can be part of the solutions to reducing malnutrition.
Cultural and traditional practices are not harmful. But it is in bad faith to make them part of habits that sideline tested and approved solutions to crucial welfare issues.
The statement also distracts from the fact that in Modi’s time as prime minister, India has come to account for a quarter of all undernourished people worldwide

There is much evidence in the public domain that says the availability, accessibility and affordability of good-quality food is crucial to improve the nutritional and health status of India’s people. There is nothing, however, about bhajans.

Many scholars and scientists have often criticised Prime Minister Modi for his irrational claims on many occasions. Reminiscent of his “taali, thali and Diwali” campaign as the COVID-19 pandemic was gaining strength, Modi’s comment on bhajans only distracts from the dire importance of effective public health measures – even as the rate of improvement of some important indicators have slid in his time at the helm.

Cultural and traditional practices are not harmful. But it is in bad faith to make them part of habits that sideline tested and approved solutions to crucial welfare issues.

In his monologue, Modi narrated a story of how people of a community in Madhya Pradesh each contribute a small quantity of grains, using which a meal is prepared for everyone one day a week. However, he shifted the focus at this point to devotional music in bhajan–kirtans – organised under the ‘Mera Bachha’ campaign – instead of dwelling on the role of Indigenous food cultures. This is counterproductive.

More malnourished children

India’s National Family Health Surveys (NFHS) and Comprehensive National Nutrition Surveys have documented the high prevalence of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency among India’s children, adolescents and women. The recently published NFHS-5 results reported a high prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweightedness among children younger than five years and that they have declined only marginally in the last five years.


A public-health approach to malnutrition requires us to pay attention to a large variety of socioeconomic conditions. In this regard, while many of Prime Minister Modi’s other comments in his monologue are well-taken, especially about public participation, neither the need for context-specific interventions nor for evidence-based policies are served by misplaced allusions to bhajans and kirtans.

Riaz Haq said...

Why Is Urban India Hungry For Nutrition

More than two billion people globally suffer from ‘hidden hunger’, simply put, micronutrient deficiencies. Protein, calcium, iron, zinc and essential vitamins such as Vit D, Vit B12 that the body requires to function

For the longest time, hunger has been associated with the poor. Malnutrition is a term, we are all used to by now, especially in developing nations. However, the sound of ‘urban hunger’ may ring an unfamiliar bell in most ears. The urbanites or city dwellers are known for access and affordability yet there is a growing hunger for nutrition being cited in research today.

As per the comprehensive National Nutrition survey (CNNS 2016-2018) conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the percentage of the population with iron deficiency has been reported to be highest at 27 per cent in the richest sector for both 5-9 and 10-19 years of Indian children and adolescents. Same is the case with Folate, Vit D, Vit B12, and Zinc deficiency.

More than two billion people globally suffer from ‘hidden hunger’, simply put, micronutrient deficiencies. Protein, calcium, iron, zinc and essential vitamins such as Vit D, Vit B12 that the body requires to function. To put it in a closer-home perspective, it could be 7 out of 10 Indians. India has recorded a triple burden of malnutrition with 189 million suffering from undernutrition, 135 million impacted by over nutrition and a whopping 700 million lacking some form of micronutrient deficiency.

Despite being highlighted as one the most cost-effective investments for human development, progress on addressing micronutrient deficiencies or mind has not shown an upward trend in recent years.

Hidden hunger does not allow children to reach their growth potential. 22 per cent of children and adolescents remain affected by stunting or low height for age and 24 per cent by wasting or low weight for height. The key micronutrient gap is not only a problem of the poor but also a big problem for middle and rich households; the problem deteriorates as kids grow older. This is also one of the reasons for instances of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and hypertension is on the rise among adolescents.

India is a predominantly cereal-consuming nation and lacks a balanced diet. Keep in mind that Indian meals are big but not balanced, with big gaps in nutrient density. Fussy eating in younger children and unhealthy eating habits in older children are fueling gaps in nutrient intake, leading to poor nutritional status and early onset of NCDs.

Some more facts or key nutrition concerns cited by national data sets:

5 vital micronutrient deficiencies reported in both urban and rural children between 1-

19 years

One in 2 adolescents suffer from at least 2/5 micronutrient deficiencies – (Iron,

Folate, B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin A and Zinc)

Protein intake, especially in terms of quality, is still a big concern. Diets are

predominantly carbohydrate centric and lack diversity from dairy, pulses etc.

Bioavailability especially of minerals like iron, zinc is poor from a plant-based diet

Consumption of animal-based foods- milk, meat, eggs still low in the country leading

to poor nutritional status in nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B12 etc.

Also, there is increased consumption of salt and sugar in the country along with junk foods or packaged foods, or outside food. Data shows increased consumption of 119 per cent more salt than the WHO recommendation and 180 per cent more sugar than the prescribed limit. The world of nutrition is still greek to Indian consumers which hinders their purchase choices.

The impact of this unsolved burden of malnutrition is huge. It leads to loss of productivity, illness, and increased healthcare costs, even may prove to be fatal with a loss of a minimum of 1 per cent of India’s GDP, approximately Rs.160K cr.

Riaz Haq said...

Food Sources
Meats, poultry, and seafood are richest in heme iron. Fortified grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and vegetables contain non-heme iron. In the U.S. many breads, cereals, and infant formulas are fortified with iron.,formulas%20are%20fortified%20with%20iron.

Iron is an important mineral that helps maintain healthy blood. A lack of iron is called iron-deficiency anemia, which affects about 4-5 million Americans yearly. [1] It is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide, causing extreme fatigue and lightheadedness. It affects all ages, with children, women who are pregnant or menstruating, and people receiving kidney dialysis among those at highest risk for this condition.

Iron is a major component of hemoglobin, a type of protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to all parts of the body. Without enough iron, there aren’t enough red blood cells to transport oxygen, which leads to fatigue. Iron is also part of myoglobin, a protein that carries and stores oxygen specifically in muscle tissues. Iron is important for healthy brain development and growth in children, and for the normal production and function of various cells and hormones.

Iron from food comes in two forms: heme and non-heme. Heme is found only in animal flesh like meat, poultry, and seafood. Non-heme iron is found in plant foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and leafy greens. Non-heme iron is also found in animal flesh (as animals consume plant foods with non-heme iron) and fortified foods.

Iron is stored in the body as ferritin (in the liver, spleen, muscle tissue, and bone marrow) and is delivered throughout the body by transferrin (a protein in blood that binds to iron). A doctor may sometimes check blood levels of these two components if anemia is suspected.


Sources of heme iron:
Oysters, clams, mussels
Beef or chicken liver
Organ meats
Canned sardines
Canned light tuna
Sources of non-heme iron:
Fortified breakfast cereals
Dark chocolate (at least 45%)
Potato with skin
Nuts, seeds
Enriched rice or bread

Riaz Haq said...

Protests in #India over rising #food and #fuel bills, as #unemployment soars. Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi has accused Prime Minister Narendra #Modi of allowing food and fuel prices to rocket by up to 175%. #BJP #Hindutva #economy #Islamophobia #hunger

Mr Gandhi suggested the price of petrol, diesel, cooking gas and essential food items including wheat have rocketed between 45% and 175% since Mr Modi took control eight years ago in 2014.

The politician - whose father, Rajiv, was a former prime minister of India - addressed crowds at a rally in Ramlila Maidan, traditionally used to hold religious festivals and events, in capital New Delhi on Sunday.

He told his 21.4million Twitter followers: "Congress party unites the country. Only Congress can bring the country on the path of progress.

"We will go straight to the public and tell them the truth, whatever is in their heart, they will understand."

Earlier, he had tweeted: "Today, people have to think ten times before buying what they need.

Riaz Haq said...

Tractor assembling increases 16.22pc during last fiscal year

Local tractor assembling witnessed about 16.22 percent growth during last fiscal year (2021-22) as compared the corresponding period of last year.

During the period from July-June, 2021-22, about 58,922 tractors were locally assembled as against the assembling of 50,700 tractors of same period last year, according the data of Large Scale Manufacturing Industries.

During last fiscal year, the upsurge of tractor assembling was mainly attributed to the government’s incentives for the farming communities to mechanization local agriculture sector by reducing tax on locally manufacturing tractors.—APP

Riaz Haq said...

We are likely to see GDP growth slowing down further to around 2%, against the current IMF estimates of 3.5%. In this fast evolving scenario, our policy response must be calibrated towards the changing ground realities.

By Zafar Masud

Reprioritise the FY2023 budget
The federal and provincial governments need to reprioritize the FY2023 Budget allocations, in particular the PSDP and ADP expenditures for relief and rehabilitation work in the flood affected districts. Additional expenditure requirements need to be agreed in consultation with the IMF. During the 2020 COVID pandemic, IMF agreed to a Rs 800bn Budget ‘adjustor’. In effect, the primary deficit targets were calculated excluding the COVID specific expenditure. The adjustor will give governments space to cater to emergency response and reconstruction activity.

Debt relief
Pakistan has benefitted from the G-20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) framework in the aftermath of COVID pandemic. Pakistan is the largest beneficiary of this programme, with an estimated US$ 3.7bn of debt suspended or rescheduled under the DSSI since 2020.

Government needs to look into expanding this initiative beyond the 2 year timeline, targeting a 10-year suspension of these debt repayments. The UN 2022 Financing for Sustainable Development Report recommends urgent action to reactive the DSSI for another two years and reschedule maturity for upto five years. A new global push led by UN and G20 countries will be the most effective way for Pakistan to deal with its short-term debt liabilities.

Rapid financing facility — IMF
The UN 2022 report also calls to expand access to Rapid Financing Instruments for all developing countries. Pakistan must also explore the option to access the IMF Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), similar to US$ 1.4bn facility utilized in 2020 as a result of the COVID pandemic.

Having said that, fiscal challenges aside, the biggest impediment could potentially be on the capacity front. We would seriously be hampered in terms of available bodies and skills to execute massive work of reconstruction and more so rehabilitation. This aspect must also be kept in perspective while calibrating the real impact on the economy of this catastrophe.

In the end, would like to conclude by acknowledging the national spirit of our great nation. Despite difficult economic realities, they have again stepped up at this time of need. The response of federal and provincial governments, civil society and private sector is beyond expectations. We at the Bank of Punjab are witnessing firsthand the tremendous response generated by the calls to raise funds for the flood affected families and have raised over Rs 2 billion hitherto in its various flood relief accounts.

As an institution, BoP is stepping up its CSR activities and have made arrangements whereby volunteering employees will be trained to build shelters and help in rehabilitation of the affected communities across the country. The Bank will bear all the costs.

We’re proud to be the first bank to extend relief to the small farmers by extending their loan repayments terms for a period of one year.

(Zafar Masud is President and CEO of The Bank of Punjab (BOP) while Sayem Ali is BOP’s Chief Economist)

Riaz Haq said...

Surge in services demand helps steady India’s economy in August | Mint

Electricity consumption, a widely used proxy to gauge demand in industrial and manufacturing sectors, showed activity is picking up. Numbers from India’s power ministry showed peak demand met in August jumped to 185 gigawatt from 167 gigawatt a month ago. However, rising unemployment numbers tempered the overall optimism, with data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt. showing the jobless rate climbed to 8.3 percent -- the highest level in a year. That shows the current pace of expansion isn’t enough to create jobs for the million plus people joining the workforce every month.


When electricity projects now in the pipeline are completed in the next few years, Pakistan will have about 38,000 MW of capacity, Gauhar said. But its current summertime peak demand is 25,000 MW, with electricity use falling to 12,000 MW in the winter, he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's power production hits record high at 24,284MW in 2021


Economic Survey 2021-22: Pakistan installed capacity 41,557 MW in 2022

Pakistan's Electricity Generation Capacity
The total electricity generation capacity during July-April 2022 has increased by 11.5 percent and it reached 41,557 MW from 37261 MW during the same period last fiscal

Riaz Haq said...

Arif Habib Limited
Power Generation Aug’22

Power Generation
Aug’22: 14,053 GWh (18,888 MW), -12.6% YoY | -0.7% MoM
2MFY23: 28,203 GWh (18,954 MW), -11.2% YoY

Fuel Cost
Aug’22: PKR 10.06/KWh, +57% YoY | -6% MoM
2MFY23: PKR 10.39/KWh, +61% YoY

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan and China trumpeted their "all weather" friendship after their leaders met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit on Friday, but analysts warn that Islamabad's scramble to extricate itself from an economic crisis could stoke tensions.

Both sides' readouts of the summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif were filled with flowery language. Sharif's office said he emphasized that the nations' "iron brotherhood had withstood the test of time" and reaffirmed "his personal resolve to take their bilateral relations to greater heights."

China's Foreign Ministry said Xi stressed that "the two countries have all along stood with each other through thick and thin. No matter how the international situation evolves, China and Pakistan are always each other's trustworthy strategic partners."

But hinting at concerns over recent attacks on Chinese interests in Pakistan and worries over payments to Chinese companies, Beijing's readout added: "China hopes that Pakistan will provide solid protection for the security of Chinese citizens and institutions in Pakistan as well as the lawful rights and interests of Chinese businesses."

Looming over the meeting were expectations that Pakistan will seek concessions on dues owed to Chinese power producers operating in the country under the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) -- part of Xi's Belt and Road Initiative.

Cash-strapped Islamabad needs to do this to satisfy the International Monetary Fund and unlock more funding, as it rushes to reduce the risk of a debt default.

The government assured the IMF in July that it would strive to reduce capacity payments to Chinese independent power producers (IPPs) either by renegotiating purchase agreements or rescheduling bank loans. Capacity payments are fixed payments made to power plants for generating a minimum amount of electricity to ensure that demand is met. These companies produce costly electricity using imported fuel, and are said to be on the brink of default.

"The IMF anticipated that pressure would come from the Chinese IPPs that the entire loan installment be used to pay them," Nadeem Hussain, a Boston-based author and economic policy analyst, told Nikkei Asia. "Hence, the IMF extended the current program on the condition that it would not go to the Chinese IPPs."

The Washington-based lender released a long-pending tranche of $1.17 billion two weeks ago after Pakistan undertook a series of politically unpopular economic measures toward fiscal discipline. The bailout program, which began in 2019 but stalled, was also extended until next June, with additional funding set to bring the total value to about $6.5 billion, the IMF said in a statement.

But Pakistan owes $1.1 billion to Chinese IPPs for power purchases, contributing to the massive 2.6 trillion-rupee ($11 billion) debt stock in the country's power sector. The IMF has long maintained that Chinese loans threaten Pakistan's debt sustainability.

Xi, in the Chinese Foreign Minister readout of his meeting with Sharif, "stressed that the two sides must continue to firmly support each other, foster stronger synergy between their development strategies, and harness ... the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to ensure smooth construction and operation of major projects."

Observers say Pakistan's handling of the electricity issue is likely to irk China, noting that Sharif's government committed to the IMF to reopen power contracts without taking the Chinese companies into confidence. Pakistan has also reneged on a promise to set up an escrow account to ensure smooth payments to Chinese IPPs.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan and China trumpeted their "all weather" friendship after their leaders met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit on Friday, but analysts warn that Islamabad's scramble to extricate itself from an economic crisis could stoke tensions.

"The Chinese [companies] have been absolutely upset for a very long time," said Haroon Sharif, a former minister of state who spearheaded industrial cooperation with China under the previous government of Prime Minister Imran Khan. "The Chinese stance is that it's a commercial agreement. No IPP is obliged to listen to the [Pakistani] government because the agreements were drawn under the law," he said, referring to a system that predated the Khan government and paved the way for Chinese players to invest in the country's power sector, setting the terms.

Resentment has been building for some time. CPEC projects were stalled for months after Khan took power in 2018, mainly due to graft allegations regarding the previous government's dealings. There were also allegations that the arrangements unfairly benefited Beijing.

"The IPP framework is deeply flawed," Haroon Sharif said. "The [Chinese] IPPs are averse to taking risks because the state guarantees a return on investment in dollar terms whether they are selling [electricity] or not."

As a confidence-building measure, Islamabad did announce the release of 50 billion rupees to the companies by next week and assured the Chinese suppliers that all outstanding dues will be cleared by June next year. The announcement came ahead of Prime Minister Sharif's meeting with Xi at the SCO and a planned visit to China in November, when he might raise concerns about the power deals.

The release of the funds may serve only as a Band-Aid.

The IMF is demanding that Pakistan rationalize payments to the Chinese IPPs in line with earlier concessions extracted from local private power producers, Haroon Sharif explained. Former Prime Minister Khan persuaded local IPPs to accept lower interest rates on outstanding bills before releasing staggered reimbursements in the form of debt instruments, like government bonds.

Chinese power producers, however, have fiercely opposed similar propositions in the past. In March, Chinese IPPs closed down operations due to unpaid dues, insisting they did not have money to import fuel. The government disbursed another installment of 50 billion rupees to get them to resume operations.

The IMF now wants Pakistan to negotiate an increase in the duration of bank loans from 10 years to 20 years, or to reduce the markup on arrears owed to Chinese IPPs from 4.5% to 2%, the ex-minister said.

He added that there is a lesson in this for China. "Chinese companies should deeply study macroeconomic fundamentals [before making any investments], and not blindly follow state guarantees,'' Sharif argued. At the same time, he said, this will have a far-reaching impact on Pakistan's future investment climate.

Riaz Haq said...

Strong #US #Dollar Spells Trouble for World #Economy. Its rise being felt in #fuel and #food shortages in #SriLanka, in #Europe’s record #inflation, in #Japan’s exploding #trade deficit, #Pakistan's #IMF bailout and #Bangladesh seeking IMF help via @WSJ

For the U.S., a stronger dollar means cheaper imports, a tailwind for efforts to contain inflation, and record relative purchasing power for Americans. But the rest of the world is straining under the dollar’s rise.

“I think it’s early days yet,” said Raghuram Rajan, a finance professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. When he served as governor of the Reserve Bank of India last decade, he complained loudly about how Fed policy and a strong dollar hit the rest of the world. “We’re going to be in a high-rates regime for some time. The fragilities will build up.”


The U.S. dollar is experiencing a once-in-a-generation rally, a surge that threatens to exacerbate a slowdown in growth and amplify inflation headaches for global central banks.

The dollar’s role as the primary currency used in global trade and finance means its fluctuations have widespread impacts. The currency’s strength is being felt in the fuel and food shortages in Sri Lanka, in Europe’s record inflation and in Japan’s exploding trade deficit.

This week, investors are closely watching the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting for clues about the dollar’s trajectory. The U.S. central bank is expected Wednesday to raise interest rates by at least 0.75 percentage point as it fights inflation—likely fueling further gains in the greenback.

In a worrying sign, attempts from policy makers in China, Japan and Europe to defend their currencies are largely failing in the face of the dollar’s unrelenting rise.

Last week, the dollar steamrolled through a key level against the Chinese yuan, with one dollar buying more than 7 yuan for the first time since 2020. Japanese officials, who had previously stood aside as the yen lost one-fifth of its value this year, began to fret publicly that markets were going too far.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of its biggest trading partners, has risen more than 14% in 2022, on track for its best year since the index’s launch in 1985. The euro, Japanese yen and British pound have fallen to multidecade lows against the greenback. Emerging-market currencies have been battered: The Egyptian pound has fallen 18%, the Hungarian forint is down 20% and the South African rand has lost 9.4%.

The dollar’s rise this year is being fueled by the Fed’s aggressive interest-rate increases, which have encouraged global investors to pull money out of other markets to invest in higher-yielding U.S. assets. Recent economic data suggest that U.S. inflation remains stubbornly high, strengthening the case for more Fed rate increases and an even stronger dollar.

Dismal economic prospects for the rest of the world are also boosting the greenback. Europe is on the front lines of an economic war with Russia. China is facing its biggest slowdown in years as a multidecade property boom unravels.

Riaz Haq said...

Strong #US #Dollar Spells Trouble for World #Economy. Its rise being felt in #fuel and #food shortages in #SriLanka, in #Europe’s record #inflation, in #Japan’s exploding #trade deficit, #Pakistan's #IMF bailout and #Bangladesh seeking IMF help via @WSJ

For the U.S., a stronger dollar means cheaper imports, a tailwind for efforts to contain inflation, and record relative purchasing power for Americans. But the rest of the world is straining under the dollar’s rise.

“I think it’s early days yet,” said Raghuram Rajan, a finance professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. When he served as governor of the Reserve Bank of India last decade, he complained loudly about how Fed policy and a strong dollar hit the rest of the world. “We’re going to be in a high-rates regime for some time. The fragilities will build up.”


On Thursday, the World Bank warned that the global economy was heading toward recession and “a string of financial crises in emerging market and developing economies that would do them lasting harm.”

The stark message adds to concerns that financial pressures are widening for emerging markets outside of well-known weak links such as Sri Lanka and Pakistan that have already sought help from the International Monetary Fund. Serbia became the latest to open talks with the IMF last week.

“Many countries have not been through a cycle of much higher interest rates since the 1990s. There’s a lot of debt out there augmented by the borrowing in the pandemic,” said Mr. Rajan. Stress in emerging markets will widen, he added. “It’s not going to be contained.”

A stronger dollar makes the debts that emerging-market governments and companies have taken out in U.S. dollars more expensive to pay back. Emerging-market governments have $83 billion in U.S. dollar debt coming due by the end of next year, according to data from the Institute of International Finance that covers 32 countries.

Riaz Haq said...

India’s economy has outpaced Pakistan’s handily since Partition in 1947 – politics explains why.

By Surupa Gupta
Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, University of Mary Washington

Pakistan's economy grew at a faster pace than India's from the 1960s through 1980s thanks in large part to generous outside aid and cheap loans, as well as more foreign trade...... The growth script flipped in the 1990s, with India growing at a 6% rate over the next 30 years, outpacing Pakistan’s 4%.


What explains the role reversal (starting in 1990s)? Economics and politics both played a part.

Pakistan has long relied on external sources of funding more than India has, receiving $73 billion in foreign aid from 1960 to 2002. And even today, it frequently relies on institutions such as the International Monetary Fund for crisis lending and on foreign governments like China for aid and infrastructure development.

The aid has allowed Pakistan to postpone much-needed but painful reforms, such as expanding the tax base and addressing energy and infrastructure problems, while the loans have saddled the country with a large debt. Such reforms, in my view, would have put Pakistan on a more sustainable growth path and encouraged more foreign investment.

While India also got a fair amount of support from international aid groups and a few countries such as the U.S. earlier in its existence, it never depended upon it – and has relied less on it in recent decades. In addition, in 1991, India liberalized trade, lowered tariffs, made it easier for domestic companies to operate and grow, and opened the door to more foreign investment.

These reforms paid off: By integrating India’s economy to the rest of the world, the reforms created market opportunities for Indian companies, made them more competitive, and that, in turn, led to higher growth rates for the overall economy.

Another way to measure the different paths is in gross domestic product per person. In 1990, India and Pakistan had almost identical per-capita GDPs, a little under $370 per person. But by 2021, India’s had surged to $2,277, about 50% higher than Pakistan’s.

The reasons for their different choices have a lot to do with politics.

Pakistan has suffered from near-constant political instability. From 1988 to 1998 alone, it had seven different governments as it alternated between civilian and military governments following coups. This discouraged foreign investment and made it much harder to make reforms and follow through on them. Through all these changes, Pakistan’s military spending as a share of its GDP remained higher than India’s during the entire post-independence period.

India, on the other hand, has managed to maintain a steady democracy. Though it’s far from perfect, it has kept leaders more accountable to the people and led to more inclusive growth and less reliance on foreign institutions or governments. In one decade alone, India lifted over 270 million people out of poverty.

At a time when democracy is under threat in so many parts of the world, this history, in my view, reminds us of the value of democratic institutions.

Riaz Haq said...

Installed capacity for power generation in Pakistan: Tweet by Bilal I Gilani on Twitter (Graph shows installed power generation capacity from almost zero in 1947 to over 40,000 MW in 2021)

See new Tweets
Bilal I Gilani
انکے لیے کو کہتے ہیں پاکستان میں کوئی ترقی نہیں ہوئی

بجلی کی پیداوار 1947 سے اب تک
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Riaz Haq said...

In the 2022 Global Hunger Index, Pakistan ranks 99th out of the 121 countries with sufficient data to calculate 2022 GHI scores. With a score of 26.1, Pakistan has a level of hunger that is serious.

In the 2022 Global Hunger Index, India ranks 107th out of the 121 countries with sufficient data to calculate 2022 GHI scores. With a score of 29.1, India has a level of hunger that is serious.


India also ranks below Sri Lanka (64), Nepal (81), Bangladesh (84), and Pakistan (99). Afghanistan (109) is the only country in South Asia that performs worse than India on the index.

India ranks 107th among 121 countries on the Global Hunger Index, in which it fares worse than all countries in South Asia barring war-torn Afghanistan.

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool for comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger at global, regional, and national levels. GHI scores are based on the values of four component indicators — undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting and child mortality. Countries are divided into five categories of hunger on the basis of their score, which are ‘low’, ‘moderate’, ‘serious’, ‘alarming’ and ‘extremely alarming’.

Based on the values of the four indicators, a GHI score is calculated on a 100-point scale reflecting the severity of hunger, where zero is the best score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst.

India’s score of 29.1 places it in the ‘serious’ category. India also ranks below Sri Lanka (64), Nepal (81), Bangladesh (84), and Pakistan (99). Afghanistan (109) is the only country in South Asia that performs worse than India on the index.

Seventeen countries, including China, are collectively ranked between 1 and 17 for having a score of less than five.

India’s child wasting rate (low weight for height), at 19.3%, is worse than the levels recorded in 2014 (15.1%) and even 2000 (17.15), and is the highest for any country in the world and drives up the region’s average owing to India’s large population.

Prevalence of undernourishment, which is a measure of the proportion of the population facing chronic deficiency of dietary energy intake, has also risen in the country from 14.6% in 2018-2020 to 16.3% in 2019-2021. This translates into 224.3 million people in India considered undernourished.

But India has shown improvement in child stunting, which has declined from 38.7% to 35.5% between 2014 and 2022, as well as child mortality which has also dropped from 4.6% to 3.3% in the same comparative period. On the whole, India has shown a slight worsening with its GHI score increasing from 28.2 in 2014 to 29.1 in 2022. Though the GHI is an annual report, the rankings are not comparable across different years. The GHI score for 2022 can only be compared with scores for 2000, 2007 and 2014..

Globally, progress against hunger has largely stagnated in recent years. The 2022 GHI score for the world is considered “moderate”, but at 18.2 in 2022 is only a slight improvement from 19.1 in 2014. This is due to overlapping crises such as conflict, climate change, the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the Ukraine war, which has increased global food, fuel and fertiliser prices and is expected to "worsen hunger in 2023 and beyond."

The prevalence of undernourishment, one of the four indicators, shows that the share of people who lack regular access to sufficient calories is increasing and that 828 million people were undernourished globally in 2021.

There are 44 countries that currently have “serious” or “alarming” hunger levels and “without a major shift, neither the world as a whole nor approximately 46 countries are projected to achieve even low hunger as measured by the GHI by 2030,” notes the report.

Riaz Haq said...

The title of the UNDP paper on Multi-dimensional poverty 2022 (MPI) is "Unpacking Deprivation Bundle". Below is an excerpt from it:

"The analysis first looks at the most common deprivation profiles across 111 developing countries (figure 1). The most common profile, affecting 3.9 percent of poor people, includes deprivations in exactly four indicators: nutrition, cooking fuel, sanitation and housing.7 More than 45.5 million poor people are deprived in only these four indicators.8 Of those people, 34.4 million live in India, 2.1 million in Bangladesh and 1.9 million in Pakistan—making this a predominantly South Asian profile "

Also note in this UNDP report that the income poverty (people living on $1.90 or less per day) in Pakistan is 3.6% while it is 22.5% in India and 14.3% in Bangladesh.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan National Energy Regulator (NEPRA) State of the Industry Report 2021-22

The State of Industry Report 2022 (SIR-2022) captures and presents the status and performance of
various segments of the electric power sector i.e. generation, transmission, distribution and supply,
during the FY 2021-22. The SIR-2022 provides a snapshot of developments, and delivery of sectoral
players, identifies weaknesses of the sector, and suggests improvements in each segment of the electric
power services. The SIR-2022 has highlighted various challenges that were faced during the FY 2021-22.
Some of the issues were the same as highlighted in SIR-2021, continued to have an impact on the power
sector, while a few more new challenges surfaced during the FY 2021-22, which added to the woes of
the power sector. As discussed in the succeeding chapters, all these issues contributed towards increase
in the cost of electricity adversely affecting the affordability of the end-consumers.
Supplying affordable and reliable electricity to the end-consumers is to be treated as a priority for
sustainable development, economic uplift, and poverty alleviation. This, in return, creates an
environment of growth in electricity demand per capita; which is linked with the GDP growth of the
country. According to the data submitted by DISCOs and KE, Pakistan’s per capita annual electricity
consumption of 644 kWh, is among the lowest in the world, which is only 18% of the world average,
7% of the developed countries’ average, and 12% of that of China. Per capita electricity consumption
is considered as one of the key parameters, reflecting the living standards of the people in a country.
This indicates that there is a lot of room for improving the living standards of the people and running
the wheel of the economy to ensure sustainable growth.
Climate Change is a reality all across the globe and Pakistan is termed as one of the most vulnerable
countries to its impacts. The impacts of climate change include weather shifts, an increase in temperature,
heat waves, alteration in precipitation patterns, precipitation intensity, occurrence, and seasonal
variations, and the resultant impact on the hydrology, affecting the power sector twofold i.e. increase in
the electricity demand particularly for cooling, and reduction in electricity generation from hydropower.
Due to this, the reliance on expensive fossil fuel-based power generation was increased during FY
2021-22. There is a dire need to take climate change mitigation into account for future power system
integrated planning and management.

The installed electric power generation capacity of Pakistan as of 30-06-2022 remained 43,775 MW
which includes 40,813 MW in CPPA-G System and 2,962 MW in KE System. Similarly, the dependable
capacity of Pakistan as of 30-06-2022 remained 40,532 MW which included 37,858 MW in CPPA-G
System and 2,674 MW in KE System.
During the FY 2021-22, 4,498 MW generation capacity has been added to the CPPA-G system which
includes 1,263 MW Trimmu RLNG Power Project which is under testing, 1,145 MW KANUPP-III Nuclear
Power Project, 720 MW Karot Hydropower Project, 660 MW Coal-Based Power Project of Lucky
Electric, Twelve (12) Wind Power Projects with an accumulated capacity of 600 MW and a 100 MW
Solar Power Project of Zhenfa Power. During the year, Licenses of 150 MW GENCO-IV, 97 MW Reshma
Power, 84 MW Gulf Powergen, 117 MW Southern Electric, 120 MW Japan Power, 31 MW Altern Energy
and 137 MW KANUPP have expired.
During FY 2021-22, total electricity generation in the country, including KE System remained 153,874.20
GWh. This generation translates into 43% utilization factor of dependable capacity meaning thereby
57% of the ‘Take or Pay’ based power generation capacity remained unutilized. The total electric

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Demographic Survey 2020

The latest figures showed that although the overall life expectancy has dropped, it rose among men from 64.3 to 64.5. For women, it fell from 66.5 to 65.5 but was still higher than for men.

Life expectancy also increased for the 1-4 age group to 71.3, including 70.6 for males and 72 for females.

The infant mortality rate has fallen to 56 deaths per 1,000 live births. It was 60 in PSLM 2018-19, and 62 in PDHS 2017-18.

While the general fertility rate was 124, the age-specific data shows the rate was highest in the 25-29 age group at 215, followed by 176 in the 20-24 age group, 164 in the 30-34 age group, and 94 in the 35-39 age group.

This last age group (35-39) also saw the most significant jump when compared with the PDHS figure of 79.

The general fertility rate was also quite higher in rural areas (138) compared to urban areas (102).

The PDS shows that the country’s population has reached from 207.6m in 2017 to 220.42m now, including 111.69m men and 108.73m women. Most people continue to live in rural areas (139.41m) compared to urban areas (81m).

Riaz Haq said...

Arif Habib Limited
Power Generation Data

Power Generation
Oct’22: 10,705 GWh (14,388 MW), -5% YoY | -17% MoM
4MFY23: 51,786 GWh (17,543 MW), -9% YoY

Fuel Cost
Oct’22: PKR 9.02/KWh, -3% YoY | -9% MoM
4MFY23: PKR 9.99/KWh, +41% YoY

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's central bank unexpectedly raised its key policy rate by 100 basis points to 16% on Friday to ensure high inflation does not get entrenched.
The move brings the State Bank of Pakistan's (SBP) 2022 hikes to 625 basis points. It kept the rate unchanged at its last two meetings in October and September.

Analysts at the post-policy briefing told Reuters that SBP Deputy Governor Murtaza Syed said the bank responded as inflation had moved beyond a transient shock in food and energy prices to show up in core inflation.

Syed also said the bank did not want high inflation expectations to become entrenched, and aimed to get ahead of broader pressures on the economy, they added.
"Looks like SBP is more concerned with rising inflation. Moreover IMF talks for next tranche is under way and is delayed, that may have also compelled the committee to take this step to fight inflation," Topline Securities' Chief Executive Mohammed Sohail said.
Pakistan's timely finalisation of a recovery plan from the floods is essential to support discussions and continued financial support from multilateral and bilateral partners, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday.
"Too much emphasis on current inflation," Fahad Rauf, head of research at Ismail Iqbal Securities, told Reuters. "On a forward looking basis, inflation is going to head downwards."
He estimated a drop in November CPI to 24% from 26.6% in October. Economic activity indicators signal a sharp slowdown and another rate hike will do more harm than good by increasing the government's debt burden, hurting the private sector and causing higher unemployment, he added.
The SBP affirmed a Gross Domestic Product estimate of about 2% for fiscal 2023 and a current account deficit forecast of about 3% of GDP. However, it now expects higher food prices and core inflation to push average inflation to 21-23% instead the previous estimate of 18-20%.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Market Monitor Report - November 2022


• Headline inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased in October 2022 by 4.71% over September 2022 and increased by 26.56% over October 2021. CPI food inflation in October 2022 increased by 36.24% over October 2021.

• In October 2022, prices increased for staple cereals including wheat flour (+7.4%), wheat (+3.8%), rice Irri-6 (+7.0%) and rice Basmati (+1.6%) compared to September 2022.

• Among non-cereal food commodities, price increased for pulse Moong (+2.4%) from the previous month.
On the other hand, prices decreased for pulse Masoor (-12.0%), live chicken (-3.4%), cooking oil (-2.4%), pulse Mash (-2.1%), vegetable ghee (-1.7%) and pulse Gram (-1.1%) from September 2022.

• A comparison of pre-flood (June) and post-flood (October) prices of some food commodities indicated huge increase in prices; for instance, tomatoes increased by up to 199%, onions 79%, pulse moong 48%, potatoes 43% and wheat flour 38%.

• Average Terms of Trade (ToT) for October 2022, measuring the amount of wheat flour that can be purchased with one-day of casual unskilled labour wage, worsened by 6.5% from the previous month. It was recorded at 12.5 kg of wheat flour compared to 13.4 kg the previous month.

• The retail prices of automotive fuels in comparison to September 2022 decreased during October 2022 i.e.,
Super Petrol (-4.7%) and High-Speed Diesel (-4.9%).

Riaz Haq said...

In last 65 years (1952-2018), #Pakistan's #GDP growth rate has averaged 4.92%, reaching an all time high of 10.22% in 1954 & a record low of -1.80% in 1952. If Pakistan continues to average 4.92% over the next 53 years until 2075, it will be $4.9 trillion GDP in today's dollars

$1 in 2021 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $5.27 in 2075, an increase of $4.27 over 54 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 3.13% per year between 2021 and 2075, producing a cumulative price increase of 426.85%. The buying power of $1 in 2021 is predicted to be equivalent to $5.27 in 2075.


Multiplying $4.9 trillion in today's dollars by 5.27 gives us $25.8 trillion in 2075 dollars.

Riaz Haq said...

Goldman Sachs analysts Kevin Daly and Tadas Gedminas project Pakistan's economy to grow to become the world's sixth largest by 2075. In a research paper titled "The Path to 2075", the authors forecast Pakistan's GDP to rise to $12.7 trillion with per capita income of $27,100. India’s GDP in 2075 is projected at $52.5 trillion and per capita GDP at $31,300. Bangladesh is projected to be a $6.3 trillion economy with per capita income of $31,000. By 2075, China will be the top global economy, followed by India 2nd, US 3rd, Indonesia 4th, Nigeria 5th and Pakistan 6th.


The Path to 2075

Country GDP % Growth Rate by decades 2000-2009 to 2070-2079

Pakistan 4.7 4.0 5.0 6.0 5.9 5.3 4.7 4.0 3.4

China 10.3 7.7 4.2 4.0 2.5 1.6 1.1 0.9 0.5

India 6.9 6.9 5.0 5.8 4.6 3.7 3.1 2.5 2.1

Korea 4.9 3.3 2.0 1.9 1.4 0.8 0.3 -0.1 -0.2

Bangladesh 5.6 6.6 6.3 6.6 4.9 3.8 3.0 2.5 2.0


Country GDP in Trillions of U$ from 2000 to 2075

Pakistan 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.6 1.6 3.3 6.1 9.9 12.3

China 1.8 7.4 15.5 24.5 34.1 41.9 48.6 54.8 57.0

India 0.7 2.1 2.8 6.6 13.2 22.2 33.2 45.8 52.5

Korea 0.9 1.4 1.7 2.0 2.6 3.1 3.3 3.4 3.4

Bangladesh 0.1 0.2 0.4 0.8 1.7 2.8 4.1 5.5 6.3


Country Per Capita Income in thousands of US$ by Decade-ends 2000 to 2075

Pakistan 0.9 1.3 1.4 2.2 4.8 9.0 14.9 22.5 27.1

China 1.4 5.5 10.9 17.3 24.7 31.9 40.3 50.4 55.4

India 0.7 1.7 2.0 4.3 8.2 13.3 19.6 27.1 31.3

Korea 18.7 28.8 33.0 39.3 53.6 67.7 81.8 95.2 101.8

Bangladesh 0.7 1.1 2.3 4.4 8.4 13.5 19.7 26.9 31.0

Riaz Haq said...

The Path to 2075

The 10 years following the creation of the BRICs acronym in 2001 represented a golden
era for emerging market economic and financial market outperformance. Between the
early 2000s and the 2007/08 Global Financial Crisis (GFC), growth was unusually strong
in most economies and especially so in EMs, fuelled by exceptionally rapid globalisation.
And, while the Global Financial Crisis drove developed economies into a deep and
lengthy recession, the majority of EMs weathered that storm relatively well. For most
economies and in most respects, our first set of BRICs projections underestimated the
speed of EM convergence over the subsequent 10 years.
The same was not true for the 10 years after that. In Exhibit 7 we compare actual GDP
growth for the period 2010-2019 with our 2011 projections.4
GDP growth has undershot
our 2011 estimates by an average of 0.6 percentage points per year (based on a
PPP-weighted average). The most notable underperformers have been Russia, Brazil,
and Latin America more generally. That said, the cross-country performance has been
mixed, with the world’s two largest economies – the US and China – matching our
projections and India slightly surpassing them.

Country GDP % Growth Rate by decades 2000-2009 to 2070-2079

Brazil 3.4 1.4 1.9 2.4 2.8 2.5 2.1 1.7 1.5

Mexico 1.5 2.7 1.8 3.0 3.0 2.6 2.2 1.7 1.4

Argentina 2.6 1.4 2.6 3.3 3.1 2.6 2.2 1.8 1.5

Colombia 3.9 3.7 3.4 3.4 3.3 2.7 2.2 1.7 1.4

Chile 4.2 3.3 2.1 2.3 2.4 2.0 1.6 1.4 1.2

Peru 5.0 4.5 3.3 4.2 4.0 3.5 2.9 2.5 2.1


Country Per Capita Income in thousands of US$ by Decade-ends 2000 to 2075

Brazil 5.7 13.8 7.1 10.4 15.3 21.3 28.3 36.3 40.8

Mexico 11.0 11.6 9.0 14.3 21.2 29.5 39.2 50.0 55.7

Argentina 13.0 12.7 9.0 15.2 20.9 27.2 34.5 42.5 46.7

Colombia 3.8 7.9 5.5 9.8 16.4 24.4 33.3 43.1 48.5

Chile 7.7 15.7 13.6 18.3 26.2 35.0 44.0 54.2 59.8

Ecuador 2.2 5.7 5.9 7.8 11.2 15.5 21.0 27.6 31.4

Peru 2.9 6.3 6.4 9.8 15.5 22.7 31.1 41.0 46.5


Country GDP in Trillions of U$ from 2000 to 2075

Brazil 1.0 2.7 1.5 2.3 3.5 4.9 6.4 8.0 8.7

Mexico 1.1 1.3 1.1 1.9 3.0 4.2 5.6 6.9 7.6

Argentina 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.7 1.0 1.4 1.8 2.2 2.4

Colombia 0.2 0.4 0.3 0.5 0.9 1.4 1.9 2.4 2.6

Chile 0.1 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.2

Ecuador 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.7

Peru 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.6 1.0 1.4 1.8 2.1

Riaz Haq said...

The Path to 2075

Country GDP % Growth Rate by decades 2000-2009 to 2070-2079

Germany 0.8 2.0 0.7 1.2 1.3 1.1 0.9 0.9 1.0

France 1.5 1.4 1.2 1.7 1.5 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.1

Italy 0.5 0.3 0.9 1.4 1.0 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.5

Japan 0.5 1.2 0.6 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.5

United Kingdom 1.6 2.0 1.4 2.0 1.9 1.6 1.5 1.3 1.2

Australia 3.1 2.6 2.3 2.5 2.4 2.1 1.8 1.7 1.5

Canada 2.1 2.3 1.7 2.1 2.0 1.9 1.7 1.6 1.6

Indonesia 5.3 5.4 3.8 4.3 3.6 3.0 2.6 2.3 2.0

Thailand 4.3 3.6 1.9 2.8 2.4 1.9 1.4 1.1 0.9

Philippines 4.5 6.4 4.4 6.0 4.9 4.1 3.5 3.1 2.7

Malaysia 4.7 5.4 2.9 3.6 3.5 2.9 2.2 1.8 1.5

Russia 5.5 2.1 0.3 1.2 1.6 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.1

Turkey 4.0 5.9 4.2 3.5 2.9 2.1 1.7 1.4 1.1

Kazakhstan 8.6 4.4 2.7 3.1 3.2 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.5

South Africa 3.6 1.7 1.8 2.8 3.6 3.4 2.9 2.6 2.2

Nigeria 8.3 3.8 3.6 4.6 6.3 6.1 5.4 4.6 3.9

Ghana 5.3 6.7 4.3 5.0 5.2 4.9 4.5 4.1 3.6

Ethiopia 8.6 9.6 8.6 10.7 8.2 6.6 5.5 4.7 4.0


Country GDP in Trillions of U$ from 2000 to 2075

Germany 3.0 4.2 4.0 4.4 5.3 6.2 6.9 7.7 8.1

France 2.1 3.3 2.7 3.2 3.9 4.6 5.4 6.1 6.5

Italy 1.7 2.6 2.0 2.3 2.7 3.1 3.4 3.6 3.8

Japan 7.5 7.1 5.2 4.4 5.2 6.0 6.7 7.2 7.5

United Kingdom 2.5 3.1 2.9 3.3 4.3 5.2 6.1 7.1 7.6

Australia 0.6 1.5 1.4 1.8 2.3 2.8 3.3 3.9 4.3

Canada 1.1 2.0 1.7 2.3 2.8 3.4 4.1 4.8 5.2

Indonesia 0.3 0.9 1.1 2.2 4.0 6.3 9.0 12.1 13.7

Thailand 0.2 0.4 0.5 0.7 1.2 1.7 2.2 2.6 2.8

Philippines 0.1 0.3 0.4 0.7 1.4 2.5 3.9 5.6 6.6

Malaysia 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.6 1.2 1.8 2.5 3.2 3.5

Russia 0.4 2.0 1.5 2.8 3.7 4.5 5.4 6.4 6.9

Turkey 0.4 1.0 0.8 1.3 2.2 3.1 4.0 4.8 5.2

Kazakhstan 0.0 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.6 0.9 1.3 1.8 2.1

Egypt 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.8 1.9 3.5 5.8 8.8 10.4

Saudi Arabia 0.3 0.7 0.7 1.5 2.4 3.5 4.5 5.6 6.1

Pakistan 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.6 1.6 3.3 6.1 9.9 12.3

South Africa 0.2 0.5 0.4 0.5 0.9 1.4 2.1 2.8 3.3

Nigeria 0.1 0.5 0.4 0.8 1.6 3.4 6.2 10.4 13.1

Ghana 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.5 0.8 1.2 1.5

Ethiopia 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.3 0.7 1.6 2.9 4.9 6.2


Country Per Capita Income in thousands of US$ by Decade-ends 2000 to 2075

Germany 36.3 51.5 48.6 53.2 65.9 78.6 90.7 104.2 111.6

France 35.3 52.2 42.6 48.3 59.2 70.5 82.9 96.1 102.8

Italy 30.6 44.0 33.1 39.6 49.6 59.2 70.2 82.2 88.0

Japan 59.4 55.3 41.8 36.8 47.0 57.5 68.9 81.2 87.6

United Kingdom 42.9 48.9 42.9 47.9 60.2 72.5 85.7 99.8 106.6

Australia 31.9 70.1 55.1 64.4 75.1 86.7 98.8 112.3 119.4

Canada 36.8 58.6 45.2 56.4 64.7 74.5 85.4 97.0 103.1

Indonesia 1.3 3.8 4.1 7.5 12.9 19.8 28.2 38.0 43.4

Thailand 3.0 6.1 7.3 10.1 17.0 25.0 34.0 44.0 49.3

Philippines 1.6 2.7 3.4 5.5 9.9 15.7 23.1 32.1 37.3

Malaysia 6.8 11.1 10.6 17.0 29.5 44.2 59.2 75.1 83.5

Russia 2.9 14.0 10.6 19.9 27.2 34.1 42.1 52.1 57.2

Turkey 6.5 13.1 8.9 14.3 23.2 32.1 41.3 51.5 56.7

Kazakhstan 1.8 11.0 9.4 16.1 25.5 35.4 47.4 62.5 70.5

Egypt 2.2 3.2 3.7 6.3 12.9 22.0 33.5 47.1 54.6

Saudi Arabia 13.3 22.1 20.4 36.1 54.2 71.9 90.2 110.5 120.6

Pakistan 0.9 1.3 1.4 2.2 4.8 9.0 14.9 22.5 27.1

South Africa 4.9 9.9 6.0 8.0 12.9 19.3 27.3 37.2 42.6

Nigeria 0.8 2.8 2.1 2.9 5.1 8.9 14.4 22.0 26.5

Ghana 0.9 2.1 2.3 3.3 5.5 8.7 13.2 19.4 23.1

Ethiopia 0.2 0.4 0.9 1.9 4.0 7.3 11.8 18.1 21.9

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's top court endorses #Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold's $10 billion #investment at Reko Diq in #Balochistan. It is one of the world's largest underdeveloped sites of #copper and #gold deposits.

Pakistan's Supreme Court endorsed on Friday a settlement for Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) to resume mining at the Reko Diq project, one of the world's largest underdeveloped sites of copper and gold deposits, it said in an order.

The endorsement was a condition of the settlement for Barrick to resume work on the project in the southwestern province of Balochistan, bordering Afghanistan and Iran, in which it will invest $10 billion.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, the head of a five-judge panel, read out the operative part of the brief order in court.

"The agreements ... have not been found by us to be unconstitutional or illegal on the parameters and grounds spelt out," read the order seen by Reuters.

President Arif Alvi had asked the court to review the deal.

In an out of court agreement this year, Barrick Gold ended a long-running dispute with Pakistan, and agreed to restart development.

Under the deal, the company withdrew its case in an international arbitration court, which had slapped a penalty of $11 billion on Pakistan for suspending the contracts of the company and its partners in 2011.

The company's licence to mine the untapped deposits was cancelled after the Supreme Court ruled illegal the award granted to it and its partner, Chile's Antofagasta (ANTO.L).

Antofagasta had agreed to exit the project, saying its growth strategy was focused on production of copper and by-products in the Americas.

Pakistan's mineral-rich province of Balochistan is home to both Islamist militants and separatist Baloch insurgents, who have engaged in insurgency against the government for decades, demanding a greater share of the region's resources.

Riaz Haq said...

The Path to 2075

The 10 years following the creation of the BRICs acronym in 2001 represented a golden
era for emerging market economic and financial market outperformance. Between the
early 2000s and the 2007/08 Global Financial Crisis (GFC), growth was unusually strong
in most economies and especially so in EMs, fuelled by exceptionally rapid globalisation.
And, while the Global Financial Crisis drove developed economies into a deep and
lengthy recession, the majority of EMs weathered that storm relatively well. For most
economies and in most respects, our first set of BRICs projections underestimated the
speed of EM convergence over the subsequent 10 years.
The same was not true for the 10 years after that. In Exhibit 7 we compare actual GDP
growth for the period 2010-2019 with our 2011 projections.4
GDP growth has undershot
our 2011 estimates by an average of 0.6 percentage points per year (based on a
PPP-weighted average). The most notable underperformers have been Russia, Brazil,
and Latin America more generally. That said, the cross-country performance has been
mixed, with the world’s two largest economies – the US and China – matching our
projections and India slightly surpassing them.

Country GDP % Growth Rate by decades 2000-2009 to 2070-2079

Brazil 3.4 1.4 1.9 2.4 2.8 2.5 2.1 1.7 1.5

Mexico 1.5 2.7 1.8 3.0 3.0 2.6 2.2 1.7 1.4

Argentina 2.6 1.4 2.6 3.3 3.1 2.6 2.2 1.8 1.5

Colombia 3.9 3.7 3.4 3.4 3.3 2.7 2.2 1.7 1.4

Chile 4.2 3.3 2.1 2.3 2.4 2.0 1.6 1.4 1.2

Peru 5.0 4.5 3.3 4.2 4.0 3.5 2.9 2.5 2.1


Country Per Capita Income in thousands of US$ by Decade-ends 2000 to 2075

Brazil 5.7 13.8 7.1 10.4 15.3 21.3 28.3 36.3 40.8

Mexico 11.0 11.6 9.0 14.3 21.2 29.5 39.2 50.0 55.7

Argentina 13.0 12.7 9.0 15.2 20.9 27.2 34.5 42.5 46.7

Colombia 3.8 7.9 5.5 9.8 16.4 24.4 33.3 43.1 48.5

Chile 7.7 15.7 13.6 18.3 26.2 35.0 44.0 54.2 59.8

Ecuador 2.2 5.7 5.9 7.8 11.2 15.5 21.0 27.6 31.4

Peru 2.9 6.3 6.4 9.8 15.5 22.7 31.1 41.0 46.5


Country GDP in Trillions of U$ from 2000 to 2075

Brazil 1.0 2.7 1.5 2.3 3.5 4.9 6.4 8.0 8.7

Mexico 1.1 1.3 1.1 1.9 3.0 4.2 5.6 6.9 7.6

Argentina 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.7 1.0 1.4 1.8 2.2 2.4

Colombia 0.2 0.4 0.3 0.5 0.9 1.4 1.9 2.4 2.6

Chile 0.1 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.2

Ecuador 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.7

Peru 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.6 1.0 1.4 1.8 2.1

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan: Top Performing Sectors And Scrips Of 2022 – OpEd

Let me and you accept the harsh reality that 2022 was a bad year for Pakistan’s capital market. Market value (market capitalization) of companies listed at Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) declined 17% to RKR6.4 trillion. In US$ terms it plummeted 35% to US$28 billion. Still there are some islands of excellence.

Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), Synthetic & Rayon, and Sugar were the top performing sectors in 2022 as their market cap increased by 12%, 6% and 5% respectively, despite bad market conditions.

Technology sector was up 2% and outperformed the market despite fall in global listed technology stocks.

As against these, Engineering, Automobile Parts, and Miscellaneous sectors remained the worst performing sectors posting decline of 45%, 41% and 34% respectively.

REIT sector that has only one listed company gained in 2022 due to stable dividend yield coupled with changes in regulations on REITs investment for banks. To recall, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) recently allowed banks to count their investments in shares issued by REIT towards achievement of housing and construction finance targets.

Synthetic & Rayon also posted strong performance led by rally in Ibrahim Fiber Limited (IBFL).

Sugar sector performance was led by JDW Sugar Mills (JDWS) that announced buy back.

Engineering sector (mainly steel related companies) was badly impacted due to economic slowdown and subdued construction activity.

Automobile parts sector also remained amongst worst performing sectors primarily due to import restrictions, high financing rates and lackluster demand.

For its analysis, Pakistan’s leading brokerage house, Topline Securities assumed sectors with minimum market capitalization of US$100 million adjusted for new listings including Adamjee Insurance (AICL), and Telecard Limited (GEMSNL).

Lotte Chemical (LOTCHEM) doubled while Airlink was down substantially in 2022. LOTCHEM was the top performing stock of the market in 2022 where the scrip gained more than 100%. Investors were excited over potential sell off by Lotte Chemical Corporation South Korea (parent company of LOTCHEM) and subsequent public offer for minority shareholders.

LOTCEHM was followed by Faysal Bank (FABL) and Unilever Pakistan Foods (UPFL). The strong stock performance by FABL is on announcement to convert into an Islamic Bank followed by a special dividend.

Similarly, UPFL stock was up 34% as the company posted strong profitability growth of 33%YoY in 9M2022.

Systems Limited (SYS), Pakistan’s largest listed IT firm remained amongst the top performing stocks for the third consecutive year as the company continued to post strong profitability growth in spite of economic challenges.

Air Link Communication (AIRLINK) declined 54% due to low profits led by lower volumetric sales.

Gul Ahmed Textile Mills (GATM) also reported decline by 52% amid slowdown in textile exports.

Searle Company Limited (SEARLE) was down 52% due to lower profits led by falling gross margins driven by significant jump in raw material cost and company’s inability to immediately pass full impact on to consumers.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s Agriculture-focused Fintech Digit++ Obtains Approval from State Bank

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the nation’s central bank, has reportedly granted approval to the test launch of the country’s very first agriculture-focused Fintech platform, Digitt+ (providing an Electronic Money Institution or EMI permit).

Digitt+ is supported by Akhtar Fuiou Technologies (AFT), the firm revealed this past Friday.

According to the firm, the aim of this agri-Fintech app is to fully digitize the agricultural ecosystem, enable greater financial inclusion for local farmers and unbanked consumers via its tech, partnership, relationship with agri-businesses and FMCGs operating in Pakistan.

As reported by local sources, Digitt+ has teamed up with FuiouPay, an international payment solutions provider, in order to offer a market-based alternative to the traditional banking system.

As explained in the announcement, FuiouPay provides holistic enabling solutions via their 75 intellectual property licenses and proprietary software solutions.

Qasim Akhtar Khan, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Digitt+, noted that the firm will offer financial technology solutions to farmers residing in the country, who will have the option to open bank accounts and also gain access to credit and digital financial services – including easy bill payments, digital commerce, investments as well as fund transfers.

As noted in the update, the approval from the State Bank of Pakistan is a key milestone.

This ongoing initiative has the potential to address persistent food security issues, significantly improve yields and enhance human welfare in Pakistan, directly affecting local farmers and merchants, he stated.

Notably, Pakistan has been a significant agriculture powerhouse for many years. Agriculture employs around 50% of the nation’s workforce and also contributes approximately 25% to the GDP.

While this is considerable, the industry doesn’t have adequate access to financial services from the banking sector.

Ahmed Saleemi, CEO of Digitt+ explained that using tech to create digital financial products focusing on micro services to build a platform that should support the delivery of these solutions for the retail Agri market and corporate sector can be achieved via the provision of business tools.

Riaz Haq said...

"Milk has the potential to be a $30 billion industry if it is organised"

Published in Nov-Dec 2022 Zeenat Chaudhary
Interview with Awais Bin Nasim, Managing Director, Tetra Pak Pakistan

ZEENAT CHAUDHARY: When was Tetra Pak established in Pakistan?
AWAIS BIN NASIM: Tetra Pak, headquartered in Sweden, is one of three companies owned by the Tetra Laval Group. About 40 years ago, Syed Babar Ali brought it to Pakistan as a joint venture with Packages Limited. Today, our customers include most of the major local dairy and juice producers like FrieslandCampina, Haleeb Foods, Nestlé, Shakarganj and Shezan International.

ZC: What material is used to make Tetra Pak’s packaging?
ABN: The main material (70% of it) used in Tetra Pak packaging is paperboard (which is made from wood pulp and provides stability and smoothness to the printing surface), aluminium foil (protects against oxygen and light to maintain the nutritional value and flavours of the contents in ambient temperatures) and polyethene (protects against moisture and enables the paperboard to stick to the aluminium foil). All of the raw material is imported from suppliers in Sweden and Brazil that are Forest Stewardship Council certified (a non-profit that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests).

ZC: Are Tetra Pak’s carton components recyclable?
ABN: We are able to recycle 100% of our carton components, including aluminium and plastic. Seventy percent of the packaging is made from long, strong recyclable fibres. In Pakistan, we work with Green Earth Recycling to recycle 42% of our annual production (27,000 tons of cartons) into furniture, waste bins, playground swings and other items. We are even turning the cartons into corrugated roofing for use in parking lots, animal sheds and stadiums, as they also lower the temperature by two to three degrees. Globally, we operate school feeding programmes and try to provide underprivileged children with free milk every day. This activity does not exist in Pakistan, but we are working with the government to find a mechanism to do so.

ZC: What makes Tetra Pak’s packaging, for milk in particular, stand out?
ABN: Tetra Pak packaging consists of six layers. The idea is to be able to package milk so that it can be made available for longer and to a larger number of people while remaining fresh, nutritious and free from adulteration and without using chemicals or preservatives. We provide our clients with Ultra High Temperature (UHT) treatment equipment, which they use at their plants to destroy the micro-organisms present in raw milk, while maintaining the milk’s nutritional integrity, making the end product suitable for distribution and consumption.

ZC: Are milk and juices packaged at Tetra Pak plants?
ABN: All products are packed at our customers’ plants. After manufacturing, we send them the packaging and we supply milk producers with UHT equipment.

ZC: What does UHT treatment entail?
ABN: When raw milk is produced, it needs to be preserved by killing most of the bacteria – this is done by flash boiling it at approximately 139 degrees centigrade for two to three seconds. The remaining bacteria become inactive/ dormant because the packaging prevents light and air from affecting the product, resulting in a shelf life of between six and eight months. Once a carton is opened, allowing light and air to enter, the bacteria become active, hence the need for refrigeration. UHT-treated milk requires a cold chain management process (once the milk is produced, it must immediately be stored at four degrees centigrade, otherwise the bacteria start multiplying). We are the only player in Pakistan to have a cold chain process.

Riaz Haq said...

"Milk has the potential to be a $30 billion industry if it is organised"

ZC: Doesn’t that result in a lot of milk being wasted nationwide?
ABN: Yes. Pakistan is among the top four largest milk producers in the world, but over 26% of this milk is wasted, due to storage issues, even before it reaches commercial entities. We also have the lowest milk yields in the world – we produce about seven to eight litres of milk per day per animal, whereas the world average is about 39 litres per day. We are far behind the optimum milk production level required.

ZC: What are the reasons for the high wastage and low yield?
ABN: There are a lot of contributing factors to wastage. For one, inefficient farming practices and poor farming infrastructure. Small-scale farmers especially are unaware that milk does not have a shelf life unless chilled immediately. Some dairy companies have set up milk collection centres where farmers can bring their milk for basic processing, chilling and transportation, but they need a method to preserve the milk during the travel time from the farm to the collection centre. Sometimes farmers add ice to the milk, causing adulteration. A major change is required in terms of infrastructure to preserve the quality of the milk supplied by farmers. There is also the need for government regulatory frameworks and policies. For example, India has a minimum pasteurisation law (milk must be heated at a certain temperature before it is sold for consumption) and this has resulted in the country’s milk producers converting to septic cardboard packaging, due to its shelf life and durability. Pakistan is probably the only country among the top 10 or 15 milk producers in the world which does not have a minimum pasteurisation law. The Punjab Government passed a minimum pasteurisation law in 2018, whereby loose milk would no longer be available by 2023, but nothing has been done so far. The low milk yield is due to an inbred gene pool of livestock, which results in lower production of milk (along with higher mortality rates and hereditary abnormalities). Moreover, the quality of the feed/ fodder is either low-quality or too costly. A lot of the time, farmers resort to letting their livestock free graze, resulting in them consuming toxins and other harmful substances.

ZC: Have the recent floods aggravated the situation?
ABN: Almost 33% of the population has been impacted and about 800,000 animals have been lost, which will have a significant impact. Loose milk prices have increased from Rs 120 and 130 per kilo to Rs 180 and 190 in Karachi. We are slightly lucky that the areas affected were not major dairy areas for encashment. It would have been more catastrophic if central or north Punjab were hit. The overall recovery will be difficult, but we can take this as an opportunity to start from scratch and improve the dairy/ livestock sector. This can be done by importing animals of certain breeds, investing in artificial insemination and teaching good farming practices.

ZC: What is the solution in terms of best farming practices?
ABN: Ten years ago, Tetra Pak conducted a CSR activity called ‘Dairy Hub’, where we introduced best farming practices to dairy farmers and trained them on the basic hygiene an animal requires, how to keep them hydrated, and how to clean their spaces. With these simple changes, we were able to improve their milk yields by 20 to 25%. However, a company can only give a certain level of support. It is a question of awareness at a national level. Similar to how awareness and information about wearing masks and getting vaccinated was disseminated during Covid-19, that is the scale of the intervention that is required. The milk industry has the potential to be a $30 billion industry if it is organised.

Riaz Haq said...

69% Pakistanis feel that their children will have a better life than them in a global Gallup International survey in 64 countries

Figure in India is 43%

The most positive country among those surveyed is Nigeria (90% minus 6%) and the most negative is Slovenia a (14% minus 53%). Among the prominent countries where GIA could poll, expectations for their children’s future are highest in Nigeria is followed by Russia (52% minus 10%), Mexico (48% minus 30%), the USA (43% minus 31%) and India (43% minus 33%).

When combining the two questions, another perspective is added. For instance, Moldova shows a total of 86 (45% saying that their live is worse life than the one of their parents plus 41% expecting a worse life of today’s children), followed in this negative ranking by North Macedonia (82: 35% negative assessments plus 47% negative predictions), Afghanistan (81), Syria and Italy (78), etc.

Most of the countries are still positive on both questions, but if one looks for instance for countries with both above 50% positive answers, Nigeria stands out with 171 (81% positive for today plus 90% positive for tomorrow), followed by Kosovo (162), the United Arab Emirates (150), Ghana (141), Pakistan (134), etc.

Findings are proved, confirming that developing parts of the world share more hope. National and political peculiarities leave their footprint but in general is seems that the closer the war and troubles are, the worse are the answers on both issues – as expected.


Every second citizen (51%) of the world believes that their life is better than that of their parents. The other half of the people asked is equally divided between those who assess a worse life (23%) and those who find it the same (23%). 3% could not answer. Satisfaction with the living standard is a key factor for people to believe that they have a better life than their parents. But in some rich regions like Europe this is not so valid.

Expectations for the life of today’s children are predominantly good as well but lower than the comparison of own life to the life of the previous generation – 44% are expecting a better life for today’s children in comparison to our lives, 28% expecting a worse life, 20% expecting about the same and 8% not responding. Aged people are less sure about the better future of the next generation. More money unsurprisingly seems to result in more confidence in the future on a personal level, but on a national level countries that experience or used to experience difficulties are the ones to believe stronger in better future for the next generation. Unsurprisingly again.

Riaz Haq said...

Why Pakistan Won’t Be A Failed State – OpEd
February 19, 2023 Eurasia Review 1 Comment
By Asad Ali

Pakistan’s economic performance over the past seven decades has been a mixed bag. The country, which started off virtually from scratch and was almost written off by many analysts at the time of its inception, has bounded ahead in the face of enormous challenges.

Today, Pakistan offers the most liberal trade and investment regime in the region. It is fully integrated into the multilateral economic and trading systems. In order to appreciate the impediments faced by Pakistan on the road to economic development and prosperity, it is imperative to take stock of the country’s economic predicament at the time of its birth.

Since independence in 1947, the economy of Pakistan has emerged as a semi-industrialized one, the on textiles, agriculture, and food production, though recent years have seen a push towards technological diversification. Successive governments in Islamabad have been working tirelessly to uplift the country be it economically or socially. The major focus of the previous governments had been socio-economic area. The economic situation of Pakistan is satisfactory because rapid growth rate has resulted in a quadrupling of per capita incomes and reduction in poverty levels by one half despite fairly high population growth. Structural changes have transformed a predominantly agrarian economy to a more diversified production structure. Manufactures account for 80 percent of the country’s exports.

The governance issue prevails in many parts of the planet. Several countries are faced with this conundrum. It is not denying the fact that governance plays a key role in the growth of any state. The absence of governance causes various issues that lead this state towards abysmal shambles. In this contemporary world, developing countries present the worst-case scenario in this regard in order to achieve long-term economic stability. They are the mercy of developed states and leading global financial institutions.

In the first decade after independence, Pakistan’s economy grew on average 3.1%. Despite the overall modest growth, manufacturing grew at a healthy rate of 7.4%. During the 1960s, the growth rate more than doubled to reach 6.8%, which was underpinned by 5.1% growth in agriculture, 9.9% growth in manufacturing and 6.7% growth in services. However, the healthy growth rate could not be sustained and the next decade saw it come down to 4.8%. The nationalization policy is stated to be one of the factors which put the brakes on the economic march. While the services sector nearly maintained its robust expansion, agriculture and manufacturing growth fell to 2.4% and 5.5% respectively.

The economy regained momentum during the decade of the 1980s with overall growth of 6.5%. But as in the past, the growth rate fell to 4.6% during the 1990s as the country remained in throes of political instability as well as struggled to undergo structural economic transition. The next two decades also witnessed modest growth rates of 4.7% and 4.4% respectively. During this period, Pakistan has waged an epic struggle to ward off an existential threat posed by terrorism. The war against terror has tolled upon the national economy (we will come back to the economic costs of terrorism later).

As per the data available with Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, like most other developing economies, fiscal deficit has been a norm in Pakistan. In the 1960s, the average fiscal deficit made up 2.1% of the GDP, which more than doubled to reach 5.3% in the 1970s and further to 7.1% during the 1980s. During the 1990s, fiscal deficit came down marginally to 6.9% before falling significantly to 4.6% during the 2000s. During the current decade on average 6.2% fiscal deficit has been recorded.3 In 2017, Pakistan’s fiscal deficit was 4.5% of the GDP compared with India’s 6.5%, Bangladesh’s 4.9% and Sri Lanka’s 4.8%.4.

Riaz Haq said...

Why Pakistan Won’t Be A Failed State – OpEd
February 19, 2023 Eurasia Review 1 Comment
By Asad Ali

In the US-led war against terror, no other nation has sacrificed as tremendously in terms of both men and materials as Pakistanis have done. The nation’s incessant and intrepid campaign against the militancy has tested the resilience of the economy. Between 2001-02 and 2017-18, the direct and indirect economic cost of the war on terror has teetered on the edge of $127 billion, which accounts for nearly 40% of Pakistan’s present GDP of $319 billion.

The road and highway network in Pakistan spans 260,000 kms – more than five times the length inherited in 1947. Modern motorways and superhighways and four-lane national highways link the entire country along with secondary and tertiary roads.

Despite these harsh challenges both at domestic and international fronts, Pakistani governments fought well to uplift the country. They worked on infrastructures, roads and industries in order to gain maximum economic benefits and enhance their exports. Even during the Covid-pandemic, Pakistan’s currency and economy were flourishing at high pace. Pak Rupee was the best currency during Covid era.

At strategic fronts, Pakistan is having very troubled neighborhood. In its Eastern side, India is located, which never missed a single chance to destabilize Pakistan economically, politically and strategically. With already having limited economic resources, Pakistan spends major chunk of GDP in defense sector due to the hegemonic and warmongering designs of Indian government. Likewise, on the Western front, Afghanistan is located, which has witnessed many civil wars. The Afghan soil has become cauldron of non-state actors. The security situation in Afghanistan is having spill-over affect over Pakistan’s security and economic situation. To curb the menace of terrorism and extremism on Western front, Pakistan is spending huge sum of money, which is hurting overall economic environment. The influx of Afghan refugees has further complicated the matter for Pakistan.

Iran is another neighbor of Pakistan. The country is under direct and most stringent sanctions of US and Western countries. Pakistan cannot continue its trade with Iran freely due to the economic embargos. Despite limited economic options, troubled neighborhood and changing regional geo-strategic environment, Pakistan is performing well by extending all possible facilities to its people. The is absolutely no truth in the reports of Pakistan is going to be default. The country cannot default.

The war on terror has been most tiring for Pakistan because not has it consumed the state’s strategic and conventional resources but the menace of terrorism has infiltrated into the fabric of society as the biggest challenge ever to grapple with. However, despite all the bloodshed and loss, Pakistan still manages to survive and stands tall in the face of all these challenges.

Most recently, the economic turmoil is putting heavy pressure on Pakistan’s new government, which is currently in long-running negotiations with IMF on a bailout deal to stave off a disastrous default on foreign debt. Likewise, with government and armed forces’ tireless efforts, Pakistan can mop up all its socio-economic and religious political evils from its soil.

In a nutshell, governance is a phenomenon that smoothly steers government and state. However, the game is not over yet. Pakistan can come back on the right path by taking some extraordinary steps in this sphere

Riaz Haq said...

The wheat production (in Pakistan) this year topped 27.5 million metric tons, the highest in the last 10 years, despite the challenges posed by heavy rains and floods last year, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on Sunday.

Chairing a review meeting on the wheat situation, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the relevant federal government institutions as well as the provinces to increase their procurement quotas in the wake of a bumper crop.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the meeting received a briefing on the wheat production, current reserves, carry-forward reserves, procurement targets, and progress of federal and provincial departments.

Shehbaz applauded the record wheat production, saying that this achievement made possible by the grace of Allah, quality seeds, uninterrupted supply of fertiliser, and the timely decisions of the government and its Farmers Package.

“The bumper crop of wheat is a testament to the government’s timely decisions and excellent governance,” he said. “Looking forward, the government is preparing a strategy to increase wheat production even further next year,” he added.

“With the government’s continued efforts and the dedication of farmers, Pakistan aims to maintain its position as a leading wheat producer,” he said, congratulating the farmers for their hard work and dedication to achieve the milestone despite financial difficulties.

He noted that Pakistan became a wheat importing country due to the mismanagement of the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. The PTI government, he added, made farmers to stand in long queues for fertilisers.

He urged the federal and provincial institutions to increase procurement targets to enable uninterrupted supply of wheat throughout the year. He also instructed that the resources required to obtain the specified quantity of wheat should be provided through banks.

He congratulated Food Security Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema and the officials concerned, and directed all institutions to increase their targets. The meeting was also attended by the caretaker Punjab minister for industries, and other senior officials.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s New Middle Class
Neo Pei En, Phedra, Amit Ranjan

15 December 2022

New Middle Class

The new middle class is distinct from the old middle class. Its members work in mid-level positions, often in the private sector or have families making money through semi-skilled jobs in the Middle East or North America.[33] They rose mainly during Musharraf’s rule, whose economic reforms allowed many to join the middle class though his subsequent actions disillusioned them.[34] In 2008, more than 50 per cent of Pakistanis lived in towns of more than 5,000 people or more – this increasing urbanisation indicates most of the middle class could be found in urban areas.[35]


This new middle class is also evolving as it uses social media to interact with the outside world more. It is “a global pioneer in digitally fuelled amplification of protests” and has the power to take down governments.[46] Currently, its identity is diversifying with the additional mix of freelancers and gig workers. The ease of accessing information with the rise of the internet contributed to the middle class’ increased connectivity with the world through digital means. This would, therefore, continue to have an effect on the Pakistani middle class. It may lead to new developments as protests are now initiated online and can reach more people instantaneously, which is a great way to swiftly gather a large following.

As is seen in many countries, including Pakistan, there is a global consensus that the rise of new information and technologies has changed the political arena.[47] With heightened access to the internet and unrestricted information, the middle class, particularly the youths, are likely to receive more information and be mobilised from such online platforms that would influence their political views. This can be seen from the throngs of middle-class youths that support Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who have been mobilised by the PTI through digital media both in the past and in the present.[48] The PTI’s ability to use social media platforms, broadcast videos and initiate blog postings have led them to successfully attract the viewership of the youths and the middle class. The evolution of the new middle class, which has also included increased access to the internet, combined with the political parties’ deft use of digital media, will change how political parties function in Pakistan in the long run.

Further, other factors, such as Imran’s populist politics, may have a part to play in galvanising apolitical youths.[49] With their contempt for politicians of the past and their corrupt ways, the new middle class and youths threw their support behind Imran for his promises to implement large-scale political change and his stand against status quo politics.[50] The effects of this support in pushing Imran back to being the leader of Pakistan remain to be seen. Given their fervent support for Imran and his politics, the middle class is likely to have a role to play if that happens.


Over the course of Pakistan’s history, the middle class has seen itself morphing, transiting from the old to one that now includes the new middle class. The new middle class appears to subscribe to a slightly different set of religious values and leadership compared to the old middle class. The identities and aspirations of the new middle class, along with their engagement in Pakistani civil society, may continue to change as they grow in size and influence. In the contemporary times, many in this new middle class viewed the old leaders as corrupt politicians who have damaged the country. In this regard, Imran’s pledge to fight corruption and his vow to create a Naya Pakistan (new Pakistan) are directly responding to the imperatives of the new middle class. As a result, a sizeable portion of the middle class supports him, which could trigger political changes and restore Imran to power.

Riaz Haq said...

Bilal I Gilani
Literacy rate by age

Alhamdulilah the younger generation is significantly more literate than older generation

Our literacy rate ( which is calculated on 15+ age group) is going to rise slowly as it has older cohorts in large numbers

Literacy is not end all but it's a start

(Bar graph shows literacy rate is 75% for 10-14 age group, 73% for 15-19 and 69% for 20-24....going down to 51% for 40-44 and 34% for 60-64 age group)

Riaz Haq said...

Peanuts to solve high edible oil prices issue
Pakistan, China join hands to increase planting area, crop yield

Lately, Rainbow’s high-oleic-acid peanut cultivation base project was formally included in the China-Pakistan agricultural cooperation framework by the Ministry of Agriculture, China.

“As you can see, our seed registration with Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) has started. A total of five high-oleic peanut varieties for oil extraction of Runhua series have been trial-planted in Pakistan, which is expected to achieve fruitful results,” revealed Fan Changcheng, Deputy General Manager of Rainbow.

“Next, our aim is to increase the area gradually to 1,500 hectares in the coming years,” he said.

“My country has a long tradition of peanut planting. Peanuts like warm environment with sufficient sunlight, with loose and breathable sandy loam as the most suitable soil condition. The Potohar region of Punjab is the best area for peanut production,” Ijaz stated, adding that peanut seeds contain 40-50% oil and the high-oleic peanut oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids.

“During our trial, we always focused on how the local environment can act on the quality of seeds on the whole. The varieties we selected have the highest oleic acid content, up to 75-80%, which means very high nutritional value.”

“Self-sufficient in peanut production means that we can reduce our import bill of edible oil,” said Muhammad Jahanzaib, Scientific Officer of the Oil Seed Research Programme in NARC Pakistan.

Statistics of the US Department of Agriculture showed that Pakistan’s peanut planting area in 2022-23 is about 150,000 hectares, with total output of 140,000 metric tons.