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Asad Ejaz Butt, Acting Director BIPP, published his latest policy brief "Pakistan’s Population Troubles "

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Asad Ejaz Butt, Acting Director BIPP, published his latest policy brief "Pakistan; one of the Eight most Stunted Countries of the World"

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Launching Ceremony of 8th Annual Report: The 8th Annual Report for 2015 on 'Technology and Development' ...... Event Details...

The smart health project co-funded by DFID and SNGP envisages to: 1. Improve economic, social and specifically the health indices and outcomes for the poor people residing in the project area. Better delivery of health services through implementation of ICT integrated solutions with focus on the local poor through assured availability and accessibility of free medicines and services. Reduce pilferage, embezzlement, corruption, inefficient management and misuse of free medicine and service by computerized inventory and stock management, tracking the patients and their health record management. Develop a ‘Disease Early Warning System’ for control of spread of epidemics.

The report quantifies the cost of load shedding using both the secondary data based approaches and primary survey of 1500 small scale industries, commercial, domestic and agriculture users of electricity. The main purpose is to highlight the policy implications, conclusions, and recommendations to assist in drafting policy to optimize efficient use of electricity and minimize costs associated with load shedding.(View Project Reports)

The USAID/Pakistan Trade Project has the mandate to support Pakistan in enhancing regional trade and trade diversification, and there are wide ranging and complex public policy issues associated with the opening of Indo-Pak trade. Therefore, given the need for proper empirical and objective research, the project aims to achieve the following: Support sound policy and decision making based on reliable data and information; facilitate the implementation of trade liberalization with India; support raising the awareness of the public (the private sector, media, civil society, etc.) about the benefits of opening up economic relationship with one of the fastest and largest markets in the region, and highlights the steps necessary for maximizing these benefits and minimizing any costs thereof. The study in part uses primary survey data of exporters to India and highlights the importance of developing value chains.(View Project Reports)

As part of a network of think tanks in the South Asia region and funded by International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada, the research focuses on the following three themes. Theme 1: The Impact of Tax Exemptions and Concessions on Enterprise Development; Theme 2: The Impact of the Value-Added-Tax (VAT) on Enterprise Development; and Theme 3: The Impact of Property Tax on Enterprise Development. Research is based on both secondary and primary data and primary survey of SMEs in Pakistan.(View Project Reports)

Institute of Public Policy at Beaconhouse National University, Lahore has conducted this study on request of FBR and with the support of Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammearbeit (GIZ) GmbH. GIZ supports taxpayer facilitation activities of the FBR and increasing transparency in the federal tax administration. The main objective of the study is to ascertain the level of tax acceptance of individual as well as corporate taxpayers of the tax system based on a survey of taxpayers. This will also help in identifying the weaknesses of the tax system from a taxpayer’s point of view and provide a useful insight into areas where the quality of tax administration needs to be improved.(View Project Reports)

The study explores the growth contribution and potential of the industry and the value-chain. While profiling the industry the study examines the regulatory framework, the extent of effective protection, competitiveness of the industry and presents a set of recommendations to improve the policy environment and performance of the sector.(View Project Reports)

The report was in response to the increasing recognition of the role played by competitiveness in influencing the sustainable rate of growth of a country/region with a focus on Punjab, the largest province in Pakistan. It identified the ranking of Pakistan in the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum and the particular pillars of competitiveness in which the country does poorly, addresses the questions of why and what can be done to improve the situation.(View Project Reports)

The rolling Medium Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF) is being revised this year in response to a number of developments that have occurred during the course of 2009-10 and 2010-11. These developments are likely to have major consequences which will alter finances of the Government of Punjab. The first is that the revenue outlook of the province will improve somewhat because of the 7th National Finance Commission (NFC) award, which came into force on 1st July 2010. It enhanced the share of the provinces in the federal divisible pool from 46.75 percent to 56 percent in the first year and 2011-12 onwards the share will further increase to 57½ percent for the remaining years of the award. The flexibility shown by Punjab in the successful announcement to the award is widely recognized. In addition, the high inflation in recent years has necessitated a big upward adjustment in basic salaries of 50 percent and enhancement in allowances of government employees in 2010-11, followed by a further increase in salaries of 15 percent and of pensions by 20 to 25 percent in 2011-12. Overall, the above-mentioned developments have necessitated a significant revision in the Medium Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF), which is presented in this report for the years – 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15.(View Project Reports)

Pakistan, in recent years, has witnessed mounting levels of both external debt and domestic debt. The position with respect to external debt servicing depends upon the growth of exports and home remittances and containment of the current account deficits in the balance of payments. Despite growth of 6 percent in exports and 23 percent in home remittances during the first eight months of 2011-12, the current account deficit has widened to $3.0 billion as compared to $0.2 billion in the corresponding period of last year. Beyond this, there is the prospect of increased pressure on foreign exchange reserves in a medium run setting with commencement of large debt repayments to the IMF. These are projected at $2.4 billion in 2012, $3.8 billion in 2013, $2.2 billion in 2014 and $0.5 billion in 2015. Overall, given even conservative projections, foreign exchange reserves of SBP which stood at close to $15 billion at the start of 2011-12 could fall below $11 billion by the end of the year. They could then decline to critically low levels in 2012-13, such that the foreign exchange cover of imports slips to below two months. The objective of this study is to explore the case for, and the options of, relief of the external debt of Pakistan. In order to do so the report first looks into the factors responsible for the persistence of the debt problem and reviews the pattern of the country's external debt since the mid-1980s.(View Project Reports)

Pakistan has witnessed hallmark developments in the last two years which will enhance provincial autonomy and strengthen the federation. The first of these developments was the signing of the 7th National Finance Commission (NFC) Award which increases significantly the share of the provinces in national resources. The other development is the signing of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. This significantly broadens the range of functional responsibilities of provincial governments. The 18th Amendment has abolished the Concurrent Legislative List of the Constitution and has made changes in the Federal Legislative List, Parts I and II. The Concurrent List functions have been devolved to the provinces, with the exception of electricity. It has also transferred subjects from the Federal Legislative List Part I, which defines the functions allocated to the federal government, to Part II, making them a joint provincial and federal responsibility under the CCI. Consequently, the structure of government has changed quite substantively. Fifteen ministries/eighteen divisions stand devolved to the provinces. In addition to the ministries earmarked for complete devolution, some subjects of the ministries which continue to function at the federal level have also been selected for devolution. Overall, following the 18th Amendment there is a more rational and balanced distribution of functions between the federal and provincial governments leading to greater empowerment of the latter. The 18th Amendment also explicitly recognizes sales tax on services and capital value tax on immovable property as provincial subjects. Beside, amending the allocation of functional responsibilities and fiscal powers, the 18th Amendment, also significantly strengthens the Council of Common Interests (CCI) and National Economic Council (NEC). These two Councils have not been very active in the past, with the CCI playing largely a conflict resolution role between the federation and federating units or among the federating units. Following the 18th Amendment the two Councils are to play a major role in economic planning and management. Simultaneously, there is also the strengthening of the office of the Auditor-General of Pakistan.(View Project Reports)

The prevalence of an extremely low FBR tax to GDP ratio in Pakistan of below nine percent has compelled the government to undertake major tax reforms which can raise this ratio and reduce the magnitude of fiscal imbalance. Perhaps the linchpin of this reform effort is the introduction of a comprehensive and integrated value added tax on goods and services in the economy. This is expected not only to raise substantial additional revenues but also distribute the tax burden more evenly across sectors and contribute towards greater progressivity of the tax system of Pakistan. The focus of this report is on the implications of a full-scale extension of VAT on services. We first review the history of General Sales Tax in Pakistan which, at least initially, had VAT-like features but has been levied mostly on goods only. Salient features of the proposed federal and provincial VAT bills are then described. Finally, in this introductory chapter, we describe the contents of the report.(View Project Reports)

The study was carried out to assess training needs and analyze public policy linked programs at bachelor level, existing teaching capacity of the faculty, university Infrastructure and student preparedness and provide recommendations to institute a Master’s in Public Policy and Governance.(View Project Reports)

The terms of reference of this study on 'Baseline Research on Governance Indicators in Pakistan' are as follows: Review existing internationally promoted governance indicators and construct Pakistan-specific selected indicators for public accountability, health, education and contracting and procurement respectively for the quality of governance in these functions at the appropriate levels of government. Construct time series of Pakistan specific governance indicators including a financial and administrative proposal for instituting an information system for regular tracking/monitoring trends in these indicators on long term basis in order to identify emerging problems of governance.(View Project Reports)

The new century has opened with an unprecedented declaration of solidarity and determination on the part of the global community to get rid of poverty and inequality. In 2000, at the 55th session of the UN General Assembly, the Millennium Declaration was adopted by the largest ever gathering of Heads of States, including Pakistan. The Declaration commits Pakistan to make an all-out effort to eradicate poverty, promote human dignity and equality. Emanating from the Millennium Declaration and its fundamental values are the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which bind Pakistan to do more on the various dimensions of human development including income poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality and environmental sustainability. The Federation of Pakistan, which includes the provinces, attaches priority to reform its policies and processes to improve the poverty situation and gender development. The focus of this report is to examine if the Punjab Budget for 2009-10 achieves these objectives?(View Project Reports)

This study has eight parts. The first is an executive summary of the main conclusions reached in the report. The second part sets the stage for the analytical work that follows, describing the Punjab provinces inheritance from the colonial era and how the partition of British India politically disadvantaged the province for several decades. However, over the last couple of decades, the province gained its political footing and is now in a position to plan for sustained economic growth. The third part provides a brief overview of the economic and social situation in the Punjab province in 2007-08. It builds a base line over which change will occur if the strategy developed in the report were to be adopted by the government. The fourth part presents four growth scenarios the province could follow, settling for the one that will produce a rate of increase in the provincial gross domestic product averaging 8 percent a year in the twelve year period between 2008 and 2020. The fifth part discusses the sectors that need the government's attention and the policies the state should adopt in order to maximize the contributions they could make to the development of the provincial economy. The sixth part discusses some of the non-sectoral policies the government should adopt to achieve the goals laid out in the report. The seventh parts analyses the current energy crisis and how, if not properly addressed, it could constrain the province's development. The eighth and final part presents a detailed policy matrix for the government to pursue in order to accelerate the rate of economic growth and social change. It also suggests some institutional changes in the province's management infrastructure.(View Project Reports)

The Devolution Plan introduced through the Local Government Ordinance 2001 in all the four provinces of Pakistan, simultaneously, was a much trumpeted policy initiative of the previous government. The plan, as initially conceived, aimed at large scale fiscal, administrative and political decentralization. The fundamental hypothesis of the architects of the new politico-administrative system was that by bringing the decision making closer to grass-roots level, there will be a more meaningful interaction between the governed and those who govern, along with more effective accountability through new electoral institutions. Ever since the new system was put in place, many studies have been undertaken to assess its impact on decentralization and improvement in service delivery. These studies, however, are somewhat limited in their scope because either these were undertaken soon after the new system unfolded itself, or because these had a rather limited perspective. Further, while the proponents of the new system insist on deepening of these reforms to overcome the teething problems, its detractors point to its inherent design problems and insist on revisiting it holistically.(View Project Reports)