Showing posts from May, 2016

Pakistanis pay taxes; Blame tax policy and administration

Pakistanis are paying a lot of tax contrary to the propaganda of donors. 

The mess that is tax policy has been created by decades of poor policymaking and administration that has been supported by bad technical assistance of donors.
Dr. Ikramul Haq and Huzaima Bukhari leading Tax lawyers and tax policy experts talk to us about how badly this area needs implication and clarity. Rather than follow complications of donor consultants, they put forward home-grown reforms for the simplification fo tax policy and administration. They show hue gains in revenue are possible by following simplification and a clear policy and cleaning out tax administration. This is in sharp contrast to the tax advocacy of donors where the system is further complicated and all Pakistanis are painted as tax cheats. 
it is time we started listening to some good local experts rather than donor consultants who have created this mess. 

Better cities are required for a growth acceleration

Anjum and Nadeem discuss what cites are and why they are important to growth. Discussion is wide ranging and touches upon many aspects of cities and their contributions to growth, development and civilization. 

They also argue that Pakistan while urbanized does not have any cities that measure up to international standards. This may be an important reason for Paksitan's lagging growth rate. 

What policies are required for better cities? 
Why decentralization is important? 

How Universities are managed and what is their quality

Pakistan has been on a university-building binge for the last 15 years. large campuses with beautiful buildings have been made. 

Are universities with big buildings and campuses providing quality education? Are students learning or merely becoming degree-holders?  Where are the professors?  Are universit├ęs well managed? Or is are bureaucracies interfering and overzealous? 

Prof Iqrar Ahmed VC UAF has done a remarkable job in his university. As a leading VC he is the best situated to talk about universities and university management. He talks candidly and very constructively about universities, what their product should be, how they should be managed and how policy need to change from  a. making more buildings to hiring more professors. b a focus on degrees to learning c. teaching to research questioning and pedagogy.   

Role of the Government in an Economy

Anjum and Nadeem discuss the role fo the government in an economy arguing that this subject needs a lot of attention. Most people tend to criticize the market and consider government to have every role that they wish it to have. 

Is there away to think about the role of the government. What can we learn from economics an social science about the role of the government. 
A fascinating discussion venues. 
This important subject is left out of the classroom and training academies leaving many to take polar positions: leave all to market or all to government. The truth is very different and economic thinkers have interesting thoughts on the subject.  
All students and those interested in policy must listen to this episode and debate it. 

On Health Policy

Political Statements are often made to claim government doing much to provide health and eduction. 
Yet what do our health indicators show? How well are we doing compared to our peers? How is policy made? is it well thought out? Who thinks about it? where?  How are health institutions managed? Should that system be changed? Donors provide a lot of assistance--cash as well as consultants--where does this money go? Do donors do a good job?  How can the system be improved?

Dr. Samia Altaf, an international public health official evaluates Pakistan's health policy and system providing many international comparisons. 
Reform and management issues are taken up. 

How budgets are made and implemented in Pakistan

Economists don't pay attention to process of economic policymaking and implementation. However, policy is only as good as the process that backs it up. 
Budget is in the air and there will be a lot of talk of it. But when you listen to this podcast, you will find out how serious the budget is and how seriously it will be taken by those who make it. 
Commentators will pick the budget to the bone looking for policy. Is there any policy in the budget? Was it prepared with policy mind? 
What is the relationship between the Planning Commission, Department and the ministry of finance?
Is there teamwork in government or is MOF creeped up to be "first among equals"? 
Wajid Rana ex-Finance Secretary MOF talks candidly but very constructively about our budget process. His extensive experience in this area is something we should  all profit by and learn about the budget process. 

Examining Pakistan's trade policy and institutions

Trade policies are made used to made every year with much fanfare. Now they are made every 3 years. One was announced recently.
What are these policies? Are they well researched? What is their objective? How open is Pakistan? How open should it be?  Why are exports as a percentage of GDP no increasing?  Do we have an import tariff regime that makes sense?  What do TDAP, MOC Commercial counsellors in embassies do? 
These and many other questions are discussed here with Dr. Manzoor Ahmed who has extensive experiencer of trade Policy of Pakistan and and ha advised many countries o trade issues. He has been with the WTO and with Paksitan civil service. 
If you trade, study trade or are interested in Pakistan Economic policy, this is a must hear.