Pakistan’s Briefcase Warriors

The quality of Pakistan’s government will never be better than the quality of its civil servants. More than other reforms, improving the country’s bureaucracy by protecting administrators from political pressure, raising public sector pay, recruiting the best and brightest, and increasing accountability, will put Pakistan on the right course./p

via Pakistan’s Briefcase Warriors.

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Pakistan Policy Ideas

THE government might not be able to push it through parliament, but for now our rulers are lending support to a controversial tax amnesty bill. For a government about to complete its tenure and go in for an election, is this the right thing to do? There has been criticism of the proposed bill from opposition parties. Even some allies have termed it a ‘white-collar NRO’.

The chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has lent his support to the proposed legislation. It is worth going through the reasons cited for the bill as the issue will most likely surface later even if the current government is not able to shepherd the bill through the house.

A tax amnesty, to the extent people take advantage of it, allows the authorities to extend the tax net. It provides a stock of tax revenue in the year the…

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Pakistan Policy Ideas

ECONOMIC inequalities within countries have increased significantly in most states that have seen decent growth over the last few decades. But this is usually seen by policymakers as an unavoidable by-product of the growth process.

As the economy grows, the fruits of growth accumulate in certain sectors and among certain classes of people. It is only if and when the growth process becomes more entrenched and is sustained for a longer period that other groups get a chance to ‘catch up’. When this happens the benefits of growth are more widely shared.

The problem with this is, and we have had empirical confirmation, that the imbalance can continue for fairly long periods, and more importantly, imbalanced growth carries within it the seeds of discord that can cause the growth process, for political and economic reasons, to be disrupted.

Some of the political fallout of the high-growth…

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