Economic and Political Weekly 15th September, 2019

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World

Politics

·1,300 people are listed as missing nearly 2 weeks after Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas

The number of missing in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian has dropped significantly, to 1,300, providing a bit of rare good news in one of the nastiest storms the archipelago has ever faced. The government said 11th Sept the number of missing stood at about 2,500, but “after cross-referencing databases,” officials revised the tally down to 1,300, National Emergency Management Agency spokesman Carl Smith said 12th Sep. The higher number was preliminary, with some names not yet confirmed against government records, Smith had said Wednesday.Dorian flattened homes after it made landfall September 1, killing at least 50 people, officials said. The death toll is expected to go up as search and rescue crews scour the ruins in Grand Bahama and Abaco islands.

· Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under fire over award to Indian PM Modi

International human rights activists have slammed a decision by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to hand India’s controversial Prime Minister an award in recognition of his work to improve sanitation in the country. The Global Gatekeeper award, due to be given to Narendra Modi later this month, celebrates the country’s Clean India program — which has seen millions of toilets built as part of a drive to raise awareness of hygiene. But a group of prominent South Asian Americans, who say they are “allies in philanthropy,” have written an open letter criticizing the award and urging the Foundation to withdraw it, citing concerns over his human rights record. This reaction is a slap on the face of Arab Countries who have just goven award to Modi.

·Kashmir in grip of civil disobedience over loss of autonomy

An informal but widespread civil disobedience movement has gripped India’s northern disputed Kashmir region, to protest against the federal government’s lockdown of the region six weeks ago, when it revoked the special status that guaranteed its autonomy. Students, shopkeepers, fruit orchard owners, businessmen and public and private sector workers have all participated in the extensive, non-violent initiative to oppose government efforts to portray a sense of normalcy during the clampdown on the Muslim-majority region. To help prevent protests, Mr. Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has deployed more than 70,000 additional paramilitaries in one of the world’s most militarized regions and cut all telephone, mobile and internet connections across Kashmir. It arrested thousands of Kashmiri politicians, including two former state chief ministers, civil society leaders and human rights activists – all of whom remain incarcerated.

·Brexit threatens delays on Britain’s ‘bridge’ to Europe

From the Port of Dover’s terminal control tower, the north coast of France can be clearly seen on the horizon. The European Union’s busiest passenger ferry port will, from October 31st, be just the United Kingdom’s busiest when Britain leaves the EU. This small town on England’s southeast coast is where Brexit will be felt the most. Delays of up to 2½ days caused by “unready” lorries could not just grind a free-flowing port such as Dover to a halt but could slow a trading cog worth £122 billion (€136 billion) a year in the engine of the UK’s economy.

·Donald Trump fires national security adviser John Bolton

US president Donald Trump has fired John Bolton as national security adviser after months of tension over policy towards Iran and North Korea, saying he “disagreed strongly” with the hawkish aide on many positions.

·At least 31 pilgrims killed during stampede in Iraq

At least 31 pilgrims were killed in the Iraqi city of Karbala on 10th Sept in a stampede after part of a walkway collapsed during the Ashura religious celebrations, officials said. Tens of thousands of people were celebrating one of the most sacred religious holy days for Shia Muslims when the walkway collapsed. Around 100 others were injured in the incident, which happened toward the end of the Ashura procession, which caused a panicked rush, according to two officials speaking from the city of Karbala. The death toll released by the Iraqi health ministry was expected to rise, with at least 10 people in critical condition. Hundreds of thousands of people converge on the holy city, some 50 miles south of Baghdad, for the occasion every year.

  • At least 50 stowaways were killed when a freight train derailed in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on 12th Sept, the latest rail tragedy to strike the vast central African nation.

Another disaster! Derailing at 3am (0100 GMT) in Tanganyika (province) near Mayibaridi. Provisional toll: 50 dead and several injured,” the minister for humanitarian action, Steve Mbikayi, said in a tweet. Witnesses at the scene and local media feared more than a hundred people could have been killed. Victor Umba, the union head of the national rail company SNCC, said the freight train was travelling from the town of Nyunzu to the town of Niemba when two carriages fell on their sides. “Those who died in this derailment were stowaways. It is impossible for the SNCC to provide any kind of toll,” Umba told AFP. He added that the SNCC’s chief was in the provincial capital of Kalemie trying to find a way to raise the carriages. “It seems that many stowaways are trapped under the derailed carriages”.

Economy

GLOBAL INDICES AS OF 13th September 2019

As compared to 6th September 2019

Global indices as of 13th September 2019
Name Current Value Prev.

Close

US MARKETS    
 NASDAQ (Sep 13) 8,176.71 8194.47
EUROPEAN MARKETS    
 FTSE (Sep 13) 7,367.46 7344.67
 CAC (Sep 13) 5,655.46 5642.86
 DAX (Sep 13) 12,468.53 12410.25
ASIAN MARKETS    
 SGX NIFTY (Sep 14) 11,130.00 11111.00
 NIKKEI 225 (Sep 13) 21,988.29 21759.61
 STRAITS TIMES (Sep 13) 3,211.49 3194.96
 HANG SENG (Sep 13) 27,352.69 27087.63
 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (Sep 12) 10,827.55 10790.35
 KOSPI (Sep 11) 2,049.20 2032.08
 SET COMPOSITE (Sep 13) 1,661.96 1660.68
 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (Sep 13) 6,334.84 6342.17
 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (Sep 12) 3,031.24 3008.81

 

Global indices as of 6th September 2019
Name Current Value Prev.

Close

US MARKETS    
 NASDAQ (Sep 06) 8,103.07 8116.83  
EUROPEAN MARKETS        
 FTSE (Sep 06) 7,282.34 7271.17  
 CAC (Sep 06) 5,603.99 5593.37  
 DAX (Sep 06) 12,191.73 12126.78  
ASIAN MARKETS        
 SGX NIFTY (Sep 07) 10,964.00 10959.50  
 NIKKEI 225 (Sep 06) 21,199.57 21085.94  
 STRAITS TIMES (Sep 06) 3,144.48 3147.06  
 HANG SENG (Sep 06) 26,690.76 26515.53  
 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (Sep 06) 10,780.64 10756.93  
 KOSPI (Sep 06) 2,009.13 2004.75  
 SET COMPOSITE (Sep 06) 1,670.06 1669.79  
 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (Sep 06) 6,308.95 6306.80  
 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (Sep 06) 2,999.60 2985.86  

 

Pakistan

Politics

  • President Arif Alvi on 12th Sept delivered his constitutionally mandated address to a joint sitting of parliament at the beginning of the second parliamentary year of the National Assembly under the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, the chiefs of the navy and air force, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee attended the session. Members of the opposition started raising slogans of “Go Niazi Go” — targeted at Prime Minister Imran — as soon as President Alvi began his speech. President in his speech appreciated highly PTI government for what it has done and what it has not done and put all burden on oppositions for the ills in Pakistan.

  • Federal Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem’s statement of invoking Article 149 of the Constitution for the uplift of Karachi has sparked a new controversy in the province.

Talking to journalists in his office on 12th Sept, Sind Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmad Shaikh said that the proposal of enforcement of the article was a conspiracy against the elected government of Sind. “But rest assured, it would die by itself,” he added. “The prime minister ought to think twice about its implications.” He advised the federal government to avoid ‘interference’ in the Sind government’s affairs to ‘weaken’ the Pakistan Peoples Party’s government. Reacting on a statement of Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar in support of invoking Article 149, veteran PPP leader Waqar Mehdi claimed that whether it was the MQM-London or -Pakistan, they never backed the people nor had they worked for the betterment and progress of Karachi. He said that people were quite aware that by supporting Article 149, the MQM was “pursuing the politics of disunity”.

  • Prime Minister Imran Khan on 13th Sept held a rally in Muzaffarabad to show solidarity with residents of occupied Kashmir, who has been under a lockdown for more than 40 days after India moved to annex the territory.

The premier began his address to the mammoth gathering by thanking them for giving him a splendid welcome. “The reason for me becoming an ambassador of Kashmiri people is that I am a Pakistani, a Muslim and a human,” he said.”Kashmir issue today is a humanitarian problem.” Addressing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said: “Only a coward man can commit such cruelty against human beings; today 900,000 Indian soldiers are committing atrocities against the people of occupied Kashmir.”A brave man can never do this. No matter how much injustice you commit, you will never succeed.

  • In a sudden turn of events, Dr Shahbaz Gill on 13th September tendered his resignation as the spokesperson for Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Awn Chaudhry has been sacked as advisor to the CM.

“I hereby resign from the post of official spokesperson to CM Punjab,” Gill stated in a note of resignation addressed to the chief minister, a copy of which is available. The news comes after Gill tweeted on 13th September afternoon that he had taken an “important decision” in the morning. Meanwhile Mr. Awn Chaudhry has been removed from the post of Advisor. Mr Buzdar the CM has proceeded on Umrrah.

Economy

Trade Deficit has gone down but for what reasons.

 

Last year, the trade deficit came in at $31bn, showing some decline from preceding years, but still far higher than what the country could afford. The latest provisional data now shows that the declines are gathering pace as the first two months of the fiscal year — July and August — have seen a rapid contraction of up to 38pc in the size of the trade deficit, compared to the same months last year. The trade deficit for July and August, on a provisional basis, appears to be less than $4bn. The numbers will no doubt be received with relief by the country’s economic managers who have a tough target to meet to bring down the full year’s trade deficit to $27.5bn. This means on average the economy can afford to run a deficit of just above $2.2bn per month. However the reasons for this decline are Oil prices have fallen slightly since July, and imports of industrial raw material have also been declined. Hence mainly the decline in the deficit number has been achieved entirely on the basis of a contraction in imports.

F.C Exchange Rates of PKR as of 13th September 2019 as compared to 6th September 2019
Countries PKR rate as of 6th September 2019 PKR rate as of 13th September 2019
U.S.A. 156.75 156.50
U.K. 192.00 194.50
Euro 174.00 174.50
Japan 1.49 1.47
Saudi Arabia 41.80 41.70
U.A.E. 42.80 42.75

 

Pakistan Stock Exchange Indices

As of 13th September 2019 As Compared

To 6th September 2019 

 

Position as of 13th September 2019
Symbols KSE100 Index PSX-KMI All Shares Index
Advance 134 (Curr) Current 31481.31 Current 14594.62
Decline 142 (High) High 31630.07 High 14643.58
Unchanged 29 (low) Low 31279.83 Low 14481.69
Total Change 305  -65.30  24.11

  

Position as of 6th September 2019
Symbols KSE100 Index PSX-KMI All Shares Index
Advance 139 (curr) Current 30467.20 Current 14113.45
Decline 98 (High) High 30550.93 High 14178.60
Unchanged 24 (Low) Low 30011.50 Low 13916.86
Total Change 261  252.43  118.16

 

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