Archive for the ‘Economy/Business’ Category

Lahore School Convocation 2012

S A J Shirazi

Lahore School of Economics’ Ninth Annual Convocation was held at the main campus on Jan 14, 2012. Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, the Governor Punjab conferred degrees and awards to 809 graduating students of MPhil, MS Economics, MSc Economics (11), Masters in Business Administration (180), BSc Economics, Bachelors of Business Administration (600) and Master of Business Administration (Executive). Sardar Latif Khosa lauded the role of Lahore School of Economics in core specilization of Economics, Finance, Business Administration and related fields of studies including Social Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, Environment, Media Studies and Art and Design. The Governor also notes the Lahore School of Economics Research Program that is focused on improving the economic well being of the people of Pakistan. (more…)

Management of the Pakistan Economy

The Lahore School of Economics Seventh Annual Conference on the Management of the Pakistan Economy [May 4th, May 5, and May 6th] concluded  at the Burki campus today. The theme of this year’s conference was “Financial Sector Development and Management’. The conference brought together a group of distinguished researchers and policymakers from across Pakistan and internationally. The underlying objective of the conference is to promote discussion on key policy issues in financial sector development and in macroeconomic management. The conference was opened by Dr. Shahid Amjad Chaudhry, Rector Lahore School of Economics. Mr. Shahid Kardar, Governor State Bank of Pakistan will deliver the inaugural address. Researchers from PIDE, Quaid-e-Azam University, NUST, IBA Karachi, IBM Karachi, LUMS, Lahore School of Economics as well as a number of international universities participated in the conference.
The conference span three days and consist of five sessions. The first session covered matters concerning macroeconomic management and the role and effectiveness of instruments of fiscal and monetary policies in controlling inflation while ensuring growth. The second session included papers that evaluate the impact of financial sector reforms on the efficiency and effectiveness of financial intermediation and in reducing financial repression. The issues of the linkages between financial sector performance and monetary policy were the focus of the third session, while capital markets, their governance and performance were discussed in the fourth session. The last session brought together a group of international academics to discuss development experiences in other growing countries and their relevance for Pakistan.
The papers presented at the conference and the discussions held shed light on the policies and practical measures that can help the country to develop an effective monetary management system and an efficient and inclusive financial sector, for supporting sustainable growth in the future. [On the side line of conference]

Experimental Construction in Lahore

The opening ceremony of Institute for Experimental Construction (IEC) was held in the Beaconhouse National University, Raiwind Road, Lahore on April 29, 2011.  The theme of the event was Mud Housing and Appropriate Technology. Other related topics like Natural Disasters and Slums and Upgrading of Housing Experiments also came under lime light. The demonstration and discussion also included not only the construction but also the technical infra-structure (electricity supply, toilets, water filtration) and more.

Why Kalma Chowk Underpass is a bad idea…

Traffic is becoming a major issue for dwellers of this city of 10 million, especially for the vast majority of population that cannot afford to drive Corollas or fancy Range Rovers. The current Punjab Government has been epic in initiating unplanned, unreasonable and unjustified projects just for the sake of gaining mass publicity and a possible nod from the Western governments and donor agencies. Transparency and good governance are two important issues in which the Punjab government, according to some observers, was apparently faring better as compared to the center and other provinces. Any sane person from the general population, however, will highly disagree with this false notion when he still has to enjoy the effects of these supposedly successful initiatives. Urban planning is one important issue where each of our governments handsomely fails. The long-awaited Lahore Rapid Mass Transit system has almost been laid to rest while highly questionable strategy of road widening and tree cutting continues. Meaningless small stunts like construction of the Park n Ride plaza on Liberty Roundabout hardly have done anything to resolve the planning crisis and make our city more livable. The ugly structure, by the way, is hardly used by anyone and emits more carbon thanks to its free shuttle service to Liberty Market (located just a few hundred meters away) using diesel coaster buses.

Ahmed Rafay Alam, in his recent article published in the The Tribune, pretty much summarizes the flaws of recently inaugurated Kalma Chowk underpass project. He writes,

“Investment in public transport (and removal of private automobiles from roads) is the only long-term solution. Three years ago, the Punjab government launched the Lahore Transport Company with the promise to import some 1,300 buses into the city within three years. Well, it’s been three years and no such buses have been imported. Meanwhile, the Lahore Transport Company continues to pay salaries to its many officers and employees. The construction of the Kalma Chowk overpass excuses the failure by the Punjab government to adopt any long-term public transport alternatives. This should not be so and taxpayers should be informed of the reasons why no public transport is being provided, as promised.” introduces group-buying in Pakistan

Those of you who keep a track of evolving e-shopping trends around the world must be aware of Groupon. ‘’ is an e-business that offers group discounts to users on it’s network of partner merchants. In easy words, shops and businesses register with Groupon and offer a group deal to customers. The group deal comes into effect only after a minimum number of customers sign up for it.

Following the success of Groupon in the West and similar sites like SnapDeal in India, a Pakistani company Allainet has recently launched

This platform is based on the principle of up to 90% discounts offered on group activities. For instance, if there’s a deal on, you can get its alerts after an easy 3 step subscription process i.e. via email, Twitter, Facebook and SMS. Once you register for that deal, you’ll be issued with a coupon via either of these mentioned means.

If successful, this model will create an interesting channel for merchants & small businesses to achieve scale and offer their products and services to a wider audience. In addition, more established businesses will also benefit by reaching out to customers by offering customized deals to specific segments. is currently offering it’s services in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar & Quetta. You can try it by registering at their website and get a chance to win an iPhone.

Petrol; Where we go from here?

They say money can buy every thing except love. This is not true. You cant buy petroleum even if you have money, at least not in Lahore.

Now petrol is deficient in Pakistan, particularly the situation is getting critical in Lahore. It has been nine days that people are not getting petrol. Auto owners are seen pushing their big big cars with bug big tyers to the closest petrol station where they find “Petrol is Not Available” and find a long queue of cars already waiting for their turn. Today, I was shocked when lined up in one of the longest queue I have seen in life, I saw a very young son pushing a car and an old father steering it to the station. Once they reach the station, they get little quantity of petrol (depending upon the logic and wishes of the petrol station administration).

Lahories are used to different type of shortages! They have experiences and are used to electric shortages, sugar shortages, floor shortages, CNG shortages. But the going gets difficult when they adjust to one shortage and the next starts.

This is not political and you can blame it on any thing but such situations are nothing but lack of responsibility, lack of will and mismanagement. Some one sitting pretty might ask people to ‘live under these difficult times and sacrifice more but I am wondering till when people of Pakistan will keep sacrificing and facing challenges on the name of patriotism. [Also at Light Within]

Development Challenges in the New Decade

The Lahore School of Economics is having its Sixth Annual Conference on the Management of the Pakistan Economy on the 22nd – 23rd of April, 2010 at the Lahore School main campus (on Burki Road). The theme of this year’s Conference is “Development Challenges in the New Decade”.

The Conference will bring together a group of distinguished academic researchers and decision makers from the private and public sectors. In each session the speakers will present papers related to the theme which will be followed by a short discussion.

The next decade is an important one for Pakistan, if it can successfully deal with the key challenges it faces, Pakistan can make the transition to a middle income country by 2020. These challenges include addressing the recurrent energy crises, developing an efficient water resources management system, overcoming the persistent poor government revenue mobilization effort and bridging the growing regional disparities and lack of trust between the four provinces. It is hoped that the papers and deliberations at the Conference will help in the formulation of policies to put the country on a sustainable growth path. {Via Logic is Variable}

Pakistan 1951-2001: The Forgotten Asian Economic Success

Lahore School of Economics Center for Research in Economics and Business (CREB) is organizing a seminar by Dr. Mathew McCartney on Monday April 5, 2010 at Mahmood Chaudhry Library, Lahore.
The topic of the seminar is: Pakistan 1951-2001: The Forgotten Asian Economic Success. There is an almost uniformly negative perception of Pakistan’s economy in current media and academia, this view is sharpened by the very positive reporting of India – the new Asian Giant/ Miracle. It is firstly interesting to remember how such images have changed dramatically over time. In the 1960s for example Pakistan was widely seen as a ‘miracle’ economy with a modernizing and pro-western leader and India as a country becoming increasingly impossible to govern and facing a future of likely mass famine.
Making a judgment about whether a country/ economy has been a ‘success’ or ‘failure’ is too often based on media perception and heavily weighed by recent economic events. There are more rigorous means of making such a judgment about Pakistan since 1947. Those included in this seminar are a comparison with Pakistan’s own history before 1947, a comparison with similar developing countries after 1947 and a comparison of Pakistan’s development after 1947 with the initial conditions and constraints prevailing at independence. Using these more substantial and rigorous measures it can be possible under certain circumstances to say that Pakistan is indeed ‘the forgotten economic success of Asia’ of the last sixty years.
Dr Mathew McCartney is visiting CREB for two weeks. He is currently a lecturer in Economics and admissions tutor in the department of Economics, SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London). He has an MPhil from Oxford and a PhD from SOAS. He has also taught at Korea University in Seoul and JNU, New Delhi. His recent publications include ‘India-The Political Economy of Growth Stagnation and the State, 1951-2007’, London, Routledge (2009), ‘Political Economy, Growth and Liberalization, in India 1991-2008’, London, Routledge (2009). His research interests are “role of the state in late development, industry and industrialization, economic growth, comparative political economy of South Asia, India and Pakistan since independence.” {Via Logic is Variable}

IMF Youth Dialogue at Lahore School

A Lahore School of Economics – IMF Roundtable Discussion “International Financial Crisis and the Role of IMF: The View from Pakistan’s Youth,” was jointly hosted by the Lahore School of Economics and the IMF Pakistan Office, at the Lahore School of Economics, on February 22, 2010.

The discussion focused on the current international financial crisis and its national and international effects, implications of the international financial crisis on future economic policymaking, how will it affect economic liberalization, deregulation, and the role of the state? What can be done to prevent a similar crisis from reoccurring? How will the new landscape affect opportunities for addressing the region’s most pressing economic challenges, such as the need to provide employment opportunities, boost competitiveness, and find new sources of sustainable and equitable growth? And, what role can the IMF play in this respect?

At this round table discussion, students gave their opinion on these topics and proposed fresh ideas regarding the IMF’s dialogue with Pakistan and its support for the international economic community currently and in the coming years.  See more images here and here

Sir, we can’t control this. “Then ban it”

Basant was a thing of beauty and was one of those rare events where a truly cultural event gathered people from all over the world. Yes, the world. Lahore owned basant, regardless where it came from. Even Lahore Metblogs has a separate category just for Basant!
But you had to be living in a hole to not know that basant has been banned for some time. A petition moved sometime around 2005, initially by none other than the mayor of Lahore, Mian Amer Mahmood. Slowly but surely, you witnessed an exercise in ‘how to control and change a city’s very culture through the power of political will’. The reasons quoted were not many – two in fact, one being the loss to human life and the other being disruption in WAPDA’s electricity supply causing monetary loss.
But here’s how I see it all:
The ban on basant is silly. Loss of life and loss of the ever-so-present WAPDA supply are not reasons at all. And here’s why: the loss of life is not because the kite-flying itself is dangerous. Kite-flying has been around for quite some time. The murderous streak now automatically tagged with basant itself, has been introduced through the development of stronger string. A lot of people think that it is the razor-like solution that the string is soaked in that causes the string to be a knife-on-the-loose. Although the sharpness is part of the reason, the main reason is that the string itself is very strong. There was a time, I remember, when I was able to snap the string by pulling on it with both hands. It is a typical way of checking a string’s strength – tug at it and see when it breaks. But recently, I would notice that it has become harder and harder to just ‘snap’ the string. You would have to resort to either some serious pulling or just use to teeth to sever the string. It is the combination of ultra-strong string with razor-sharp solution (a.k.a. manja) that makes the string a killer.
The real culprit has always been the string itself, and building upon that, you can see that the makers of the string are also the culprit. And by culprit I mean the ‘reason’ for the chaos, not the guilty party (guilt is for the courts to decide, remember?)

The reason the basant was and is still banned is not because the festival has turned deadly, it is because some people have invented and then sold this killer string to a lot of unsuspecting people. In fact, the real reason is that the administration has found it beyond them to crack down on the few string producers that manufacture the deadly string.

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