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JI Board of Advisors on the Flood

“˜Pakistan’s roller coaster economy: Tax evasion stifles growth by Akbar S. Zaidi for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Eliminate exemptions: Fewer than three million of Pakistan’s 175 million citizens pay any income tax, and the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio is just 9 percent. By eliminating tax exemptions for the rich, politicians can fund essential social services.
Increase tax revenue: Pakistani legislators must build a consensus to tax the rich and elite if they want to match growth rates in nearby developing countries.
Spend more on development: Pakistan has spent twice as much on defense during peacetime as it has on education and health combined””this needs to change.

“Pakistan’s lack of a proper tax and revenue regime has resulted in high rates of tax evasion, burdening the country with unsustainable debt and undermining its development priorities,” writes Zaidi. “The key to the country’s economic prosperity””even its survival””is a far-reaching program of tax reform.”

Shuja Nawaz in “˜Militants on the move in Pakistan?‘ by Farhana Qazi, Foreign Policy

“The militants are in a restricted area and will not be able to benefit greatly unless the government machinery fails to deliver”¦ The critical issue is governance at the provincial and federal level.”

“˜Analysis: Dubious Call to the military‘ by Hassan Askari Rizvi, Daily Times Pakistan

“The military has restored its image by staying on the sidelines and letting the political process unfold. Its counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency work has won respect within and outside Pakistan. The flood relief work is the latest example of its positive role. These achievements will be neutralised if the military steps directly into politics on the assumption that some political leaders would support its expanded role. The top brass should not entertain political ambitions because it will trap the military in a no-win situation.”

“˜The economics of calamity‘ by Shahid Kardar for Spearhead Analysis

“Food prices are set to shoot up””and not just in the directly affected areas””unless steps are taken urgently to open up trade, especially with neighboring countries”¦The government can also relieve the bottlenecks in supply pertaining to food crops, especially food grains, at a time when wheat prices are on the rise internationally and 15 per cent (600,000 tons) of last year’s stocks have been washed away by the floodwaters. This it can do by providing seeds, fertilizer and credit speedily to small farmers.”

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