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COVER STORY
THE SQUEEZE
How oil prices are hitting our budget

Crude oil prices have registered constant increase over the last two years. This has adversely affected balance of trade situation but more importantly GoP's collection of surcharge on POL products. At present GoP is considering another hike in POL prices. One needs to examine this proposal dispassionately. Any increase in POL prices causes cost and even without enhanced production crude oil prices are expected to go down. Therefore, there should be no increase in POL prices. Any decision which could possibly ignite an agitation against the present government must be avoided to ensure broad-based revival of the economy.

NEW INDUSTRIAL POLICY
The Economic Advisory Board (EAB) during its 2-day meeting in Islamabad last week considered and approved the broad guidelines of the New Industrial Policy which may be launched by the next financial year. Shamim A. Rizvi, reports from Islamabad

KLM
The Royal Dutch Airlines, KLM has decided to cease its operations to Pakistan from March 26, giving a walkover to Swiss Airline, the only airline from Europe to enjoy aviation market in Pakistan. Those international airlines which have already ceased their operations to Pakistan are including SAS, Al-Italia, Japan Airline, Air France, and Lufthansa.

CTBT
The recent hype about whether to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) or not is, at present, at its peak. Unfortunately, however, many people who have jumped into the CTBT debate have not even read the treaty and are not aware of its contents. Despite their total ignorance about its implications they are vehemently participating in the debate whether the country will loose or gain by signing CTBT.


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