Macro Bites

Macro Bite # 86

2 min read
Four years into the PTI government’s tenure, it is fair to say that the grand promises of change and accountability have yet to really materialise. Instead, the politicking this week between disgruntled groups within the ruling coalition, and the filing of a no-confidence motion by the opposition parties, has laid bare the contradictions at the heart of the current government.

For a party that stood for a “Naya Pakistan”, the PTI has had an uneasy reliance on the constant fixtures of our political landscape from the very beginning. I’m talking, of course, about the electables. Electables are convenient when trying to cobble together a governing coalition, because they bring with them their own independent power bases. But that independent power brings with it certain threats.

Just this week, one-time senior PTI leader and real estate developer Aleem Khan met with Nawaz Sharif in London, as his “group” of 15 MPAs in Punjab plots a change in the provincial administration. Another 12 MPAs, and several MNAs, supporting estranged PTI leader Jahangir Tareen are apparently seeking to replace the federal government. Meanwhile, Punjab Assembly speaker Pervez Elahi (from the Musharraf-era fame) is reportedly pining for the slot of Chief Minister.

Regardless of what ends up transpiring, the uncertainty has rattled markets, and consumed the attention of the government. Not a good recipe for stable and effective governance, that’s for sure.

WEEKLY DATA WATCH

KSE-100 fell this week, due to political uncertainty amid a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan. PKR also depreciated this week, as the intensifying war in Ukraine further drove up crude oil prices. Local gold prices rose significantly this week.

The annual change in Sensitive Price Index rose to 16.49% vs. 15.23% last week. The poorest of the country (Q1) experienced a change of 13.48% vs. 17.36% for Q5. On a weekly basis, prices rose for all quintiles by 0.52%.

Increase in prices of Chicken (+8.75%), Ghee (+1.96%) and Onions (+10.9%) contributed to weekly inflation. A fall in the prices of Tomatoes (-15.6%) and Garlic (-3.94%) helped moderate inflation this week.

What Else We’re Reading (Local)

  • Are Roshan Digital Accounts disincentivising investment in more beneficial sectors of the economy? (Profit)
  • The World Bank has approved more than USD 400 million in financing for low-cost housing in Pakistan, which is expected to benefit around 70,000 first-time homebuyers.  (Dawn)

What Else We’re Reading (International)

  • Russian oligarch and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government, effectively ending his reign over the Premier League club. (FT)
  • Talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal have stalled, amid a chasm between the two sides’ proposals. (Bloomberg)

 

 

Asad Pabani

Journalist, researcher and documentary filmmaker. Prior works featured in Dawn, Soch Videos and Pioneers Post.

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