Micro-financing the oppressed

(By Rafia Zakaria) JUST as 2016 was taking its first nascent breaths, news was released about the imminent establishment of the Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company. According to newspaper reports, this new institution would be set up in partnership with the UK Depart­ment of International Development, the German Development Bank and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund.

. . . → Read More: Micro-financing the oppressed

Politicians get lessons in people dealing

The government’s behavioural insights team has won over sceptics in Whitehall and it is now ‘nudging’ behaviour across the world.

Who has signed up an extra 100,000 organ donors a year, persuaded 20% more people to consider switching energy provider, doubled the number of army applicants – and will certainly be consulted on the spending . . . → Read More: Politicians get lessons in people dealing

A look at Chinese Family’s possessions

(By Shen Lu) For more than a decade, Chinese photographer Ma Hongjie has asked dozens of families across the country to empty their homes and pose in front of everything they own.

His goal is to tell the stories of those who have been bypassed by China’s economic boom — the people . . . → Read More: A look at Chinese Family’s possessions

Why is India panicking over US funds for Azad Kashmir

(By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury) India, upset with a recent US move to mobilize funds for a hydel-power project in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), will lodge a protest with the Obama administration for supporting a venture in a territory which it considers to be illegally occupied by Islamabad.

Delhi, that has long protested moves by outsiders including . . . → Read More: Why is India panicking over US funds for Azad Kashmir

Steps towards a stable exchange rate

THE recent appreciation of the rupee, despite weak fundamentals, is becoming controversial, with the same interest groups first extolling it as an outcome of good financial management and now complaining about its damage to exports.

. . . → Read More: Steps towards a stable exchange rate

Why reforms have never worked in Pakistan

For years, we have been doing everything in our power to erode the state in every way. The rich and powerful have habitually used the state to obtain easy riches. Learning from them, state functionaries – civil service, army and the judiciary – developed perks, plots and protocol as a means of joining the elite.

. . . → Read More: Why reforms have never worked in Pakistan

FY 2013-2014: Maximizing stupidity

By Abdullah Humayun

Rational people maximize utility, Pakistan govt maximizes stupidity

Now more than ever, Pakistani policymakers must tackle what has become a very pressing issue for the Pakistani economy: the irrational, unregulated allocation of subsidies. There is ample and extensive research on the subject of subsidies, yet little of that seems to . . . → Read More: FY 2013-2014: Maximizing stupidity

Food insecurity rising admits govt

The ministry of food security has conceded that poverty has been increasing in the country during the past four and a half years of the PPP-led coalition government.

The Senate was informed on Thursday that as per estimates of the World Bank and the UNDP, 17.2 per cent of Pakistanis were living below the poverty . . . → Read More: Food insecurity rising admits govt

No more neglecting education

By Gulfam Mustafa

Recently, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani announced the government’s top priorities for the next budget. Electricity and employment top the list. Although this is all good news, I would like to ask our premier, what about education?

Without a doubt, the electricity crisis is the most important issue Pakistan is facing . . . → Read More: No more neglecting education

Polio Eradication Program demands $10 m more than its actual need

By Sehrish Wasif

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme is seeking yet another loan of $35 million, against the $24.85 million actually needed, from the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to “swiftly run the polio campaign in 2012”.

. . . → Read More: Polio Eradication Program demands $10 m more than its actual need