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FREEPAKISTAN NEWSLETTER #16
A Link to Libertarians in Pakistan

Khalil Ahmad
Dec. 1, 2003

CONTENTS:


What is Philosophy of Liberty? A screensaver by Lux Lucre and Ken Schoolland explains it.

Download and install it.


SPEAKING EDITORIALLY!

FREE MARKET ECONOMY AND PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN

While talking to the traders at an Iftar dinner held in their honor at Prime Minister’s House, Prime Minister of Pakistan Mir Zafarullh Jamali has said that the government believes in free market economy as it is the market forces that decide the pace of economy and its growth. He said the job of the government is to facilitate and provide equal opportunity to everyone.

It’s a welcome sign that those in the government have started realizing the importance of free market economy and they feel that they should side with it. No matter they fully grasp its implications or not and let if fully flourish or not. We hope that soon the PM would be taking steps to lessen the burden of regulation and taxation from the shoulders of a limping economy so that it should move and work freely to bring the fruit of freedom and prosperity to every individual citizen.

A CASE FOR MARKET FORCES

A Meat Merchant Welfare Association from the largest business center, Karachi, has filed a writ petition in the High Court of Sindh province. As the petition came up for hearing before a division bench comprising Justices Zahid Kurban Alvi and Zia Perwez, Karachi city government counsel Manzoor Ahmad stated that he received a notice and copy of the petition only on Thursday( November 20) and required time to seek instructions from his client and submit detailed comments on its behalf.

The bench inquired from him about the authority of law under which the city government was fixing prices restricting the operation of market forces. Advocate Ahmad said the Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering and Hoarding Act 1977 empowered the municipal government to fix prices of 62 items. Beef and mutton were listed among the items amenable to price fixation by the municipal authorities. Besides, the city government had done little beyond notifying the prevailing market prices.

Submitting his arguments, the petitioner association’s counsel, K. A. Wahab described the city government decision as arbitrary inasmuch as no steps had been taken to ensure cattle supply at reasonable rates. He also described the actions as discriminatory as no action has been taken by the city government to control prices of other items of human consumption. Only one segment (meat sellers) of a particular trade had been subjected to price fixation in isolation from the ground realities.

The Sindh High Court has adjourned the hearing of the writ petition December 3, 2003 at the request of the respondent city government.

Surely. A case of utmost significance. The most cogent argument of meat sellers suggests that government must fix the prices either of everything or of nothing. As it’s impossible for the government to replace market forces with its tentacular departments, so the case must move in a direction of free working of the market. If this happens, it will be a great victory, at least in the legal realm, for the market forces. But, wait and see what comes out of it. We will follow up the proceedings.


AN AIRPORT OF THEIR* OWN
By Aoun Sahi

[The country's first-ever private sector airport is in the process of being completed. Residents of Sialkot expect better economic opportunities as a result.]

Sialkot is all prepared for the country's first ever private sector airport after having successfully set up the Sambrial Dryport Trust, thanks largely to the exporters of the city.

The export triangle of the country comprising Gujrat, Sialkot and Gujranwala is internationally known for its sports goods, gloves, surgical instruments, sports wear, cutlery, ceramics, leather garments, electrical gadgets etc. Presently air cargo from the area is sent to Lahore, Islamabad or Karachi airports via the Sambrial Dryport. Among the many difficulties that this poses for the exporters are the added expenses and time. Moreover, the road travel from these big cities is an increased security risk for foreign buyers.

It was because of these reasons that the export potential of the region has not been fully realised. That is why there has been a long standing demand for an airport in Gujranwala division, by traders, businessmen, exporters and the general public of the region.

"Exporters of Sialkot have taken the initiative themselves. They have been pleading for an airport with the government for quite a long time, but due to financial constraints the government has failed to oblige. Alternatively, the determined exporters of Sialkot have decided to build an airport on their own," says Mian Muhammad Riaz, chairman Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL).

"President Pervez Musharraf gave his approval for the construction of an international airport at Sialkot on Build, Own & Operate (BOO) basis, following a presentation made on February 2, 2001. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was then signed between the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Defence through the Civil Aviation Authority," adds Mian Riaz.

An independent organisation, Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL), was formed for the construction of airport under the auspices of the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industries on 24, March 2001.

The selected site measuring 1004 acres is located 13 kilometers west of Sialkot with road links to Wazirabad, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Narowal, Sialkot city, Sialkot Export Processing Zone and Sialkot Dry Port. The new bridge on Chenab near Shahbazpur would bring the drive to Gujrat down to 25 minutes. After the completion of proposed communication network, it will be the closest airport to cities like Kharian and Mirpur (AJK) -- known for a high percentage of overseas population.

Muhammad Nawaz Chaudhry, General Manager SIAL, gives TNS a breakdown of the funding. "The project is expected to be implemented through 100 per cent equity financing. SIAL is bearing the entire expenditure and will run the airport independently. The government is not providing any kind of monetary or technical assistance for the project. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs. 1.57 billion, out of which Rs. 1 billion would be directly invested by 200 directors with a personal investment of Rs. 5 million each. The remaining 0.57 billion rupees would be collected through issuance of shares." The number of directors is fast approaching the targeted 200 mark, most of whom are from Sialkot, he adds.

Chaudhry Sarfraz Bhatti, member executive committee Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industries and chief executive F.S. Candino says that the airport is a unique project in many ways: "Located at the centre of Pakistan's industrial hub, it is a viable private sector initiative. It will bring an end to the long delay, damage to goods or packing due to multiple handling, pilferage, security concerns and other losses. The airport will also be a great convenience for local and foreign business executives and other air-travellers who will be saved long road journeys."

According to Muhammad Nawaz Chaudhry, the viability of the project is greatly enhanced by a number of factors -- it enjoys full backing of the government and each aspect of the airport is in accordance with national and international regulations. The airport plan developed by SIAL with the expertise of NESPAK has been approved by the government and meets international civil aviation organisation standards.

Muhammad Nawaz Chaudhry claims the success of the project as a business venture is guaranteed due to the direct involvement of the private sector. It would profit from the huge cargo market of industries around and will be the first choice for the large number of air travellers from adjoining districts. This would also help create new commercial avenues.

According to figures provided by SIAL, 24,000 ton cargo transportation is expected in the first year. The provision of passenger facilities at Sialkot International Airport would earn a profit of over Rs. 2 billion while cargo handling at the airport would save SIAL over Rs. 1 billion.

"The actual work on the project started on January 30, 2003. The airport master plan envisages phased development of facilities which will be completed in six packages. The highlight of the project remains the 3,600-meter long runway which is the longest in Pakistan. The work on first two packages is under process and bids for the remaining four are in the pipeline," says Major (retd.) Syed Shahid Anwar, project engineer Sialkot International Airport.

He also tells TNS (The News on Sunday) that NESPAK is the residential supervisor of the project with the top-supervision done by SIAL itself. "A laboratory for the attestation of the standard of material has been set up on the site with nuclear gadgets for ensuring the quality of the material. The airport will start operating by April 2005. One area where the government can help is the communication network of the region, which needs to be improved before the airport becomes operational," he adds.

Regarding this suggestion, Zillai Naib Nazim, Chaudhry Arsal Waqar Ghuman says: "The district government has made a master plan to improve the condition of roads before the completion of the airport. The chief minister has also announced a Rs. 2 billion package for Sialkot district, mostly for the improvement of the communication network. The airport will bring a revolution not only in the field of industry, but will also help improve the agriculture of the region, especially by way of quick transportation of fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers etc." [Courtesy: The News Lahore]

*This shows how we identify ourselves with ‘government’ or ‘public sector’, and demarcate private enterprise and private sector as “their.”


Letters to FreePakistan

I am very pleased to find my article in your newsletter. Thank you very much. I'll be interested to know if it generates any response.

Ken Schoolland
[Hawaii, USA]

I wish you'd cover/encourage use of e-gold in Pakistan. A free-market currency can solve many problems. For example, one effect of dishonest money is that agricultural subsidies are much easier to sneak by the voters -- as is all other spending! Just "print" some more!
James M. Ray

"e-gold is to money what email is to letters." -- JP May


Letters from the Press

FASHION SHOW BAN
[Andrei Bolkonsky, St. Petersburg, Russia]

The Prime Minister’s order of placing a ban on fashion shows, branding them ‘unIslamic’, is worrisome on two counts.

The said order is indicative of the fact that despite living in a purported democratic society (I say purported because of the underlying stench of dictatorship), a single individual’s interpretation of what is sacrilegious, was imposed on the whole nation. It is a veritable travesty of the democratic ideology to promulgate such rules on the flimsy grounds of personal caprice.

Moreover, history has sufficiently manifested the notion that preservation of cultural identity lies not in forbidding foreign influence, but in discovering the depth and richness in one’s own heritage and exhibiting it to the populace.

Let us for once do away with the long-upheld convention of autarchy in matters of consensus.
[The News Lahore]

MEN’S BLIND SPOTS
[Dr Zarina khan, Islamabad]

The huge multiple blind spots of Pakistani men against their own shortcomings is really amazing, considering they cannot tolerate the most benign of women’s occupations—fashion shows.

The entire Press, and even our Prime Minister objected to two ‘revealing’ fashion shows in Lahore and Islamabad, they being too close to Shab-e-Barat night.

Tucked away in the creases of the newspapers was the news that the entire staff of a Government Boys School in Peshawar along with the teachers, clerks and guard had been sexually molesting the students of that school for ten years! Some boys were even ‘supplied’ outside the school for homosexual exploitation. On detection the entire criminal gang was disbanded by transferring them to different schools of the Province. This is indeed a novel way of sweeping moral degradation under the carpet.

While these teachers are destroying the future generations our government cannot even see the problem, leave alone offer a solution.

In addition, the ever green swindlers of Islamabad Capital Territory continue to rip off the unwary public by inventing imaginary housing societies, advertising them openly in the newspapers. This is happening in a city where every fifth person on the road is collecting ’intelligence’ for the state. And what is worrying the press and the PM—women’s fashion shows! [The News Lahore] PRIVATISE PTDC MOTELS
[Shakir H Shamim, Islamabad]

The new Managing Director of PTDC motels has taken a very wise step to privatise network of PTDC motels at various places. A large number of staff has been employed for this purpose but the earning of PTDC motels is rapidly decreasing and the administrative expenses are increasing. This decision should also be extended to other motels situated in Northern Areas because the motels established are not earning a handsome amount. Privatisation of all motels of PTDC should also be considered to put the Corporation on sound financial footings which are running in losses.
[The News Lahore]

CAR IMPORT
[Usama Bin Jabbar, Rawalpindi]

This refers to the news item in The News on October 4 2003, that federal government has decided to lift the ban imposed on import of reconditioned as well as new cars. We highly appreciate and congratulate the government that it has given preference to public opinion over the automobile manufacturers oligopoly. We hope that the rate of excise duty would also be within reasonable limits so that car buyers could really be benefited. it is believed that with a lenient import policy a common man would also be able to enjoy the ride of new or reconditioned car.
[The News Lahore]

WHITHER PTA RULES!
[Aggrieved investors, Islamabad]

By virtue of Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organisation) Act 1996, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) was formed for the purpose of re-organisation of telecommunication system in Pakistan. In accordance with section 4 of the PTA Act 1996 the Authority has certain functions to carry out.

The deregulation policy launched by PTA further made transparency and fair competitive environment as a basis of new telecommunication era in Pakistan. The success of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and its deregulation policy depends upon the principle of fair dealing and crushing any anti-competitive measures and nepotism at the very outset.

The Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act 1996 also provides guidelines to curb any anti-competitive practice and nepotism. Section 3 (2) of the PTA 1996 Act states that "the Authority shall consist of three members one of whom shall be professional telecommunication engineer and other shall be a financial expert, to be appointed by the Federal Government for a term of four years and shall be eligible for appointment for a similar term or terms." Section 3(3) provides that "the Federal Government shall, from amongst the members appointed under Section 3 sub-section (2), appoint a member to be the Chairman of the Authority."

Moreover, to curb nepotism Section 4 of the PTA Act 1996 "A member shall not have any direct or indirect financial interest in, or have business connection with any person; any establishment or firm which renders telecommunication services in Pakistan or abroad or supplies telecommunication equipment to any telecommunication sector in Pakistan or abroad."

To our utmost displeasure it came to our notice that both of the newly appointed members are currently employed by PTCL and on PTCL pay roll. This is clear-cut violation Section 4 of PTA Act 1996, being in that position they had facilitated and projected PTCL interests. Therefore, it is suggested that both members should either be removed from their positions at PTA or they should be retired from PTCL so that transparency can be maintained and de-regulation policy can be implemented in full swing.
[The News Lahore]

VANISHING IQRA FUNDS
[Nasim Ahmad, Islamabad]

In reply to an Assembly question in the National Assembly, the Minister for Education disclosed that federal government collected an amount of Rs65 billion by way of Iqra surcharge during a period of 11 years (1985 to 1994). It is common knowledge that it was not spent on education despite the protests by student organisations.

Should not the finance ministers during these 11 years be charge-sheeted and the respective prime ministers be reprimanded for ignoring education and constructing frivolous edifices like Convention Centre and Mughal darbars on the Constitution Avenue!
[The News Lahore]

BEYOND $11.5 BILLION
[SMF Hasan, Lahore]

The fiance minister is presenting the foreign exchange reserve of 11.5 billion dollars, including 3 billion deposits with commercial banks, as a great feat, claiming that, before the military regime, it was only 380 million. But according to State Bank Report 2001-02, the reserve with State Bank on June 30, 1999, in spite of blanket ban on Pakistan by western powers after atomic explosion, was 1672 million, excluding deposits with banks and without purchasing dollars from open market. It dwindled to 996 million by June 30, 2000 and slightly increased to 1721 million by September 2001.

Threatened by new penal laws in several countries, the expatriates began transferring their accumulated wealth to Pakistan exceeding 10 billion dollars during 2001-03. Out of these remittances, State Bank purchased about 7 billion dollars from the open market, flooding the money in circulation, to prop up the depreciating dollars. By keeping the entire reserve in dollars, which depreciated by 28 per cent against euro, a poor nation was robbed of about 2.5 billion dollars. While 3 billion still remain with banks, 1.5 billion of the reserve comes from rescheduling of international debts, enhancing manifold the liabilities of future governments, direct grants by USA for support in Afghanistan and fresh loans by international lenders.

The reserve, therefore, is not the fruit of any effort by the imported managers of economy nor of trade balances which continue to be adverse but a gift of transitory circumstances liable to change, as witnessed by the recent decline in remittances. This is also acknowledged by these managers as they are not utilising it for retiring foreign loans or for any other profitable investment.
[The News Lahore]

BONANZA FOR MNAs
[Hafiz Sultan Ahmad, Islamabad]

‘Rs.150m allocated for perks to MPs’:The News: November 20.

The noora kushti between the treasury benches MNAs and the finance ministry over the issue of enhancement in the Parliamentarians’ emoluments retrospectively from July 2003 has secured the expected grand success. The veteran parliamentarian Dr. Sher Afgan, who could only guide as to how not to bow before the finance walas, stands tall among his colleagues. He chose the holy month of Ramazan to have showered upon himself Allah Almighty’s profuse blessings by being the mentor to his comrades. Now, every MNA, with no gender bias, shall get Eid gift of Rs320,000 as arrears for four months (July-October 2003), provided the news reporter has not erred by downward calculating the per hand share in the pool of Rs150 million for the 342 noble souls. However, Dr. Sahib has assured that the raise in their salaries and allowances shall restrain the MNAs from ‘plunder and loot (of) the national resources by indulging in corrupt practices to meet their daily expenditures.’ A great bargain!

Congratulations and Eid Mubarak to all the MNAs.

As for the Senators and the members of the four Provincial Assemblies, they should not despair. Eid-ul-Azha is not far away, which will bestow upon them Eid gifts in even bigger amounts. [The News Lahore]

PAY AND PERKS
[Editorial The News]

The reported decision of the Salary and Privileges Committee of the National Assembly to raise the salaries of the legislators by 150 percent is surprising as only 10 days earlier the government offered a 15 percent raise as against the 50 percent demanded by the MNAs. The then modest demand compared to the present prodigality was calculated by the legislators against the 50 and 15 percent raise given to bureaucrats over four years. This sudden change of heart is strange and the government would do well to explain the circumstances which led it to be so extravagant with public money and dole out pays and perks that it itself was reluctant to do. This sudden fit of generosity clashes with the government’s proverbial parsimony in improving the pension and allowances of retired government servants. The condition of these persons who have given the best years of their life to the service of the country is pathetic and will appear more so as the government’s stinginess in their case is really without any basis.

Moreover this self-perpetuating indulgence of legislators also raises an important question that whether, theoretically the members are in a position to continuously feathering their nest and what limits can be put on it. At most times it is the government itself which lavishly increases the wages of legislators after a weak show of reluctance. All governments need to keep the members in good cheer whether the national budget can cushion the increase or not. This is one of the ugly realities of our political system in the country where members can blackmail weakly faced governments. There is very little of patriotism involved on this score nor do any of the legislators decline to accept a pay raise. The latest increase, however, has more of government’s voluntary indulgence behind it than a feasible case made out by the MNAs.

But while the legislators have a valid case for demanding more pay given the very soaring cost of living and services in the country, there is need to maintain a balance on two counts: the voluntary nature of the vocation of a legislator which should make pay and perks a secondary rather than a primary issue, and the need to make the raise relevant to the output of the Houses. The current scenario in the National Assembly with falling attendance is dismal. At most times it is the treasury members who are absent rather then the opposition which makes it a point to attend in full force. Their inevitable walkout leads to a lack of quorum and resultant embarrassment to the government. A pay raise, therefore, must also be followed by an effort by the treasury MNAs to be as punctual in attending the session as they are in demanding higher pay.

PROPERTY TAX
[Riazul Hasan Khan, Karachi]

Recently, the minister for excise and taxation made a public statement that a house built on a plot measuring up to 120 square yards would be exempted from property tax. All those who thought they would benefit from this concession began waiting for the day when the statement would be translated into an official announcement. But instead of hearing of such a notification, property owners concerned are now receiving tax notices.

The minister is requested to issue an early notification in this regard so that the issuance of tax notices is stopped.
[Dawn Lahore]

DONGA BONGA KILLING
[Editorial The News]

The killing of four persons and injuring of several others when police opened fire on an unruly mob in Donga Bonga, Bahawalpur district, on Thursday protesting the death of a tonga driver is most deplorable. It calls for a thorough inquiry to fix the culpability for the unfortunate incident and what steps are needed to be taken to prevent it from being repeated. According to reports the trouble was ignited by the alleged failure of the doctor at the hospital to take timely steps to save the life of a tonga driver who was seriously injured by dacoits and the subsequent mishandling of the case by the police. The ferocity of the crowd was so intense that it thought nothing of torching the local hospital and police station and attacking a fire engine, and it was only through the deployment of para-military forces that the situation could be contained.

Evidently the source of trouble is a rise in dacoity cases with frequent incidents of looting and motorcycle snatchings. It was against such a background that the shooting of Altaf, the tonga driver, climaxed public emotions which led to a series of actions culminating in the death of four persons. Although in such cases it is difficult to exactly identify the culprit, in this instance there seems failure of the administration to maintain law and order in the interior of Punjab. There are frequent reports of increase in criminal activity and as such the dacoities in Donga Bonga cannot be considered an exception. But, while it is understandable that the long suffering public tends to take the law into its hands, its subsequent acts, sadly at most times are irresponsible. The damaging of the hospital and police station is a case in point as it were not these institutions but the overall decline in the performance of the bureaucracy that was at fault.

But, this does not exonerate the police of its tendency to resort to tough measures when there is need to contain the trouble by other means. The Punjab government as much those of the other provinces would do well to look into this unhealthy trend of the police resorting to violence and worsening rather than calming public tempers.

HOW A GOOD DEED CAN REPAY
[Aley Bilgrami, Karachi]

I want to share with Dawn's readers the following mail I received from a family friend from Zurich:

His name was Fleming and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death. The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Fleming had saved.

"I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life." "No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel. "Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes", the farmer replied proudly. "I will make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son enjoys. If the lad is anything like his father, he will no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of." And that he did.

Farmer Fleming's son attended the very best schools and graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin.

Years afterward, the same nobleman's son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia. What saved his life this time? Penicillin.

The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill...
[Dawn Lahore]


FreePakistan News-Briefs

PLAYS, MUSICAL SHOWS BANNED

The Punjab government has banned dramatic performances, stage plays and musical shows at places of public entertainment until new licenses for the purpose are obtained.

BAN ON ENTERTAINMENT EVENTS DEPLORED

Ban on stage plays, dramatic performances and musical shows hot on the heels of ban on fashion shows has angered artists and public in general. In the absence of enough recreational activities, the decision of Punjab government has further deprived the people of the scarce entertainment facilities.

NO GOV CAN PROVIDE HEALTH CARE

Punjab health minister has admitted that no government especially in the developing countries can bear the entire burden of health care facilities. He said to achieve the health targets could only be possible through equal contribution of the government, private sector, NGOs, civil society, and global health and development organizations.

COURTS LACK WILL FOR JUSTICE

An additional sessions judge has observed the Civil Procedure Code provided by the British rulers for the redress of grievances of citizens is not much defective as compared to the will and determination for providing justice under it.

JUDICIAL SYSTEM CAN’T MEET THE DEMANDS OF JUSTICE

The Lahore High Court has said that the judicial system in Pakistan, in comparison with developed countries, cannot meet the demands of justice and we should adopt measures to ensure supremacy of law.

RAWALPINDI DISTRICT GOV WARNS PRINTING PRESSES

The district government of Rawalpindi has warned the press owners of strict action if found guilty of printing sectarian or anti-government material.

POWER TARIFF CUT INSUFFICIENT

Various groups, organizations and opinion leaders have said the cut in power tariff as announced by the prime minister is insufficient and does not relive the people.

GOVERNMENT AND THE CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN SCHOOLS

Federal minister for education has said in unequivocal terms that any sort of corporal punishment or physical harassment would not be allowed for borne in the educational institutions.

A TAX ANTI-CORRUPTION BODY IN THE OFFING

A tax anti-corruption committee would be set up immediately after Eed-ul-Fitr to monitor tax officials’ activities in handling tax payers’ appeals against over-assessment of tax, refusal to facilitate tax payers where mandated, hiding and suppressing of facts about tax evasion, helping in tax evasion, refusing to accept pleas for lawful treatment where tax payer is in his/her right, demanding illegal gratification or accepting bribes for quashing lawfully framed reports/cases, etc.

WORLD BANK ASKS PAKISTAN TO CUT INPUT COSTS

The World Bank has asked Pakistan to reduce industrial input cost including power tariff, interference of official departments and to ensure implementation of international quality standards, intellectual property rights and environmental laws to realize its potential in the textile sector.

TO PROTECT OR NOT TO PROTECT LOVE-MARRIAGE COUPLES

A division bench of Lahore High Court has observed it is time the courts decide whether those who flee their homes for love marriages were entitled to the protection of law or not; and it should also be considered as to what extent the social values were being ruptured when two persons marry without parents’ consent.

RS.150 MILLION FOR PERKS TO MPs

The finance ministry has allocated a big amount of Rs.150 million to be paid as arrears to the members of parliament for the raise in their salary and allowances of the last four months after parliamentarians refused to accept the increase from November.

NEW CARS FOR MEMBERS NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

The National Assembly Secretariat has placed an order for the purchase of 25 automobiles of 1600cc engine capacity for various heads of the standing committees of the house; though, the names of suitable persons to chair these committees have not been announced.

PHONE BILL CEILING DISCOMFORTS PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIES

Every parliamentary secretary has been asked through an official letter that his or her home and office monthly phone bills should not exceed Rs.5000 each. The battalion of these secretaries is cribbing over the scanty phone bill ceiling fixed by the government.

CBR URGED TO RESTORE DUTY RELIEF

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has demanded of the Central Board of Revenue to restore 10% duty relief on goods imported from India via third country under the SAARC Preferential Trade Agreement.

POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY INHIBITING INVESTMENT

Asian Development Bank has said in a statement that ‘the uncertain national and regional political situation has kept the foreign direct investment flow into Pakistan low. The slow growth in the private investment particularly in large-scale manufacturing has been one of the key constraints on economic growth. Part of the explanation lies I the uncertain political scene, but economic and institutional aspects of the general investment climate have also had a negative impact on investment decisions.’

LOCAL GOVs ARE A FUTILITY

The Lahore High Court has observed that nazims and naib nazims (administrators and deputy administrators) had done nothing for the public except trying to exercise influence over their political opponents.

MNAs DEMAND MILITARY, JUDGES ACCOUNTABILITY

Reacting to a statement of the Chief Election Commissioner regarding declaration of assets by parliamentarians, the National Assembly has called for accountability of army officers, judges and bureaucrats and the CEC himself.

FAVORING THE JOURNALISTS

Chief Minister of Punjab has allotted 1,000 kanal land for journalists near Thokar Niaz Beg, Lahore.


FreePakistan exists for the promotion of Libertarian principles and values such as individual freedom, private property, market economy, limited constitutional government, and the rule of law. Its vision is a free and prosperous Pakistan; for only such a Pakistan can contribute positively to the creation of a free and prosperous world. To this end, FreePakistan not only highlights the activities of Libertarians in Pakistan, but also co-ordinates their work with that of Libertarians abroad.

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FreePakistan welcome your comments and contributions! Contact at:
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FreePakistan Newsletter links:
Bureau Crash
Jonathan Gullible

Edited and prepared by Khalil Ahmad

Email:
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khalilkf@yahoo.com

[No opinion expressed here should be taken as reflecting the view of the FreePakistan Newsletter.]

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