Digital Pakistan 2022: Broadband Penetration Soars to 90% of 15+ Population

The year 2022 was a very rough year for Pakistan. The nation was hit by devastating floods that badly affected tens of millions of people. Macroeconomic indicators took a nose dive as political instability reached new heights. In the middle of such bad news, Pakistan saw installation of thousands of kilometers of new fiber optic cable, inauguration of a new high bandwidth PEACE submarine cable connecting Karachi with Africa and Europe, and millions of new broadband subscriptions. Broadband penetration among 140 million (59% of 236 million population) Pakistanis in  the15-64 years age group reached almost 90%. This new digital infrastructure helped grow technology adoption in the country. 

Internet and Mobile Phone Banking Growth in 2021-22. Source: State ...

Fintech: 

Mobile phone banking and internet banking grew by 141.1% to Rs. 11.9 trillion while Internet banking jumped 81.1% to reach Rs10.2 trillion.  E-commerce transactions also accelerated, witnessing similar trends as the volume grew by 107.4% to 45.5 million and the value by 74.9% to Rs106 billion, according to the State Bank of Pakistan.  

Pakistan Startup Funding in 2022. Source: i2i Investing

Fintech startups continued to draw investments in the midst of a slump in venture funding in Pakistan. Fintech took $10 million from a total of $13.5 million raised by tech startups in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to the data of Invest2Innovate (i2i), a startups consultancy firm. In Q3 of 2022, six out of the 14 deals were fintech startups, compared to two deals of e-commerce startups. Fintech startups raised $38 million which is 58% of total funding ($65 million) in Q3 2022, compared to e-commerce startups that raised 19% of total funding. The i2i data shows that in Q3 2022, fintech raised 37.1% higher than what it raised in Q2 2022 ($27.7 million). Similarly, in Q2 2022, the total investment of fintech was 63% higher compared to what it raised in Q1 2022 ($17 million).

E-Commerce in Pakistan. Source: State Bank of Pakistan

E-Commerce:

E-commerce continued to grow in the country. Transaction volume soared 107.4% to 45.5 million while the value of transactions jumped 75% to Rs. 106 billion over the prior year, according to the State Bank of Pakistan. 

Pakistan Among World's Top 10 Smartphone Markets. Source: NewZoo

PEACE Cable: 

Pakistan and East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) cable, a  96 TBPS (terabits per second), 15,000 km long submarine cable, went live in 2022. It brought to 10 the total number of submarine cables currently connecting or planned to connect Pakistan with the world: TransWorld1, Africa1 (2023), 2Africa (2023), AAE1, PEACE,  SeaMeWe3, SeaMeWe4, SeaMeWe5, SeaMeWe6 (2025) and IMEWE. PEACE cable has two landing stations in Pakistan: Karachi and Gwadar. SeaMeWe stands for Southeast Asia Middle East Western Europe, while IMEWE is India Middle East Western Europe and AAE1 Asia Africa Europe 1. 

Mobile Data Consumption Growth in Pakistan. Source: ProPakistan

Fiber Optic Cable: 

The first phase of a new high bandwidth long-haul fiber network has been completed jointly by One Network, the largest ICT and Intelligent Traffic and Electronic Tolling System operator in Pakistan, and Cybernet, a leading fiber broadband provider.  The joint venture has deployed 1,800 km of fiber network along motorways and road sections linking Karachi to Hyderabad (M-9 Motorway), Multan to Sukkur (M-5 Motorway), Abdul Hakeem to Lahore (M-3 Motorway), Swat Expressway (M-16), Lahore to Islamabad (M-2 Motorway) and separately from Lahore to Sialkot (M-11 Motorway), Gujranwala, Daska and Wazirabad, according to Business Recorder newspaper.

Mobile telecom service operator Jazz and Chinese equipment manufacturer Huawei have commercially deployed FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) Massive MIMO (Multiple Input and Output) solution based on 5G technology on a large scale in Pakistan. Jazz and Huawei claim it represents a leap into the 4.9G domain to boost bandwidth. 

Pakistan Telecom Indicators November 2022. Source: PTA

 

Pakistan's RAAST P2P System Taking Off. Source: State Bank of Pakistan

Broadband Subscriptions:

Pakistan has 124 million broadband subscribers as of November, 2022, according to Pakistan Telecommunications Authority.  Broadband penetration among 140 million (59% of 236 million) Pakistanis in 15-64 years age bracket is 89%.  Over 20 million mobile phones were locally manufactured/assembled in the country in the first 11 months of the year. 

Bank Account Ownership in Pakistan. Source: Karandaaz

Financial Inclusion Doubled In Pakistan in 5 Years. Source: Karandaaz

Documenting Pakistan Economy:

Pakistan's unbanked population is huge, estimated at 100 million adults, mostly women. Its undocumented economy is among the world's largest,  estimated at 35.6% which represents approximately $542 billion at GDP PPP levels, according to World Economics. The nation's tax to GDP ratio (9.2%) and formal savings rates (12.72%) are among the lowest. The process of digitizing the economy could help reduce the undocumented economy and increase tax collection and formal savings and investment in more productive sectors such as export-oriented manufacturing and services. Higher investment in more productive sectors could lead to faster economic growth and larger export earnings. None of this can be achieved without some semblance of political stability. 

Related Links:

Views: 1073

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 7, 2023 at 4:14pm

Wharton, Berkeley, NYU Offering Online M.B.A.s for the First Time
More elite business schools try virtual degrees to lure graduate students

https://www.wsj.com/articles/online-mba-wharton-berkeley-nyu-george...


Starting next year, executive M.B.A. students at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania can earn the $223,500 degree from their living rooms.

After years of resistance, some of the country’s top business schools are starting virtual M.B.A. programs that require only a few days of in-person instruction. Wharton and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business said they would include options for executive and part-time M.B.A. students to take most coursework online in 2023.


This fall, part-time M.B.A. students at New York University’s Stern School of Business and the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business were given an online option for most of their classes. All of the programs will charge online students the same tuition as those who attend in person, and those online students will get the same degree and credential as on-campus counterparts.

The move to give students flexible location options comes as demand for two-year, full-time traditional M.B.A. programs has been dropping amid a competitive job market and growing concern about the cost of college.

“The pandemic definitely accelerated this in every industry,” said Brian Bushee, who leads teaching and learning at Wharton and also teaches accounting. “I would be surprised in 10 or 20 years if there were schools that only did in-person and did nothing online.”

Between 2009 and 2020 the number of online M.B.A.s at accredited business schools in the U.S. more than doubled, and schools added more fully online M.B.A. degrees over the past two years during the pandemic, according to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Recent announcements by Wharton and others mark a turning point for adoption of the degrees even at highly ranked campuses, school leaders say.

-------

At Stern, even the students who choose online courses are required to take nine in-person credits, which can be completed on nights or weekends, or by doing an intensive weeklong session.

Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, which announced its online M.B.A. in 2019, graduated its first online M.B.A. students in August. The degree, which costs $24,000, follows a completely separate curriculum and costs far less than the traditional M.B.A. program. Online M.B.A students watch live broadcasts of professors and talk in small groups or on a virtual online forum. A 2021 survey of students found that 35% received a promotion since enrolling.

Many schools are still reluctant to make a reduced-price online degree because they fear such a product might eat up demand for their traditional M.B.A. programs, said Paul Carlile, who leads online learning at Questrom.

Halley Kamerkar, 36 years old, finished her online Questrom coursework in August and said hearing from fellow M.B.A. candidates in South Africa, Ireland and Miami was valuable.

Ms. Kamerkar, of Salem, Mass., said she thought about graduate school for a long time, but a study guide she bought for the Graduate Management Admission Test gathered dust until she learned about Questrom’s program with its $24,000 price tag. Ms. Kamerkar works in the nonprofit sector and only recently paid back her undergraduate loans.

“I did not want to give up my full-time career to take a step back and pursue education,” she said.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 8, 2023 at 9:52am

Pakistan's largest tech conference and expo Future Fest 2023 inaugurated - Daily Times

https://dailytimes.com.pk/1048501/pakistans-largest-tech-conference...

Dedicated to using technology to pave the way for the future of Pakistan, the event is bringing together leaders from more than 50 industries to foster discussion on the future of life itself. Entrepreneurs, decision makers, policymakers, thought leaders, investors, and innovators will discuss the most important aspects of current times and how technology can play a positive role to #SaveTheFuture.


-----

Pakistan’s largest tech conference and expo, Future Fest, was inaugurated today at Expo Lahore. The event is open to the public till 8th January 2023.

Future Fest 2023 is hosting more than 250 speakers, 150 international guests from 15 countries, 100+ key partners and 20+ activities, and over 50,000 attendees.

Dedicated to using technology to pave the way for the future of Pakistan, the event is bringing together leaders from more than 50 industries to foster discussion on the future of life itself. Entrepreneurs, decision makers, policymakers, thought leaders, investors, and innovators will discuss the most important aspects of current times and how technology can play a positive role to #SaveTheFuture.

This year, the conference is hosting a historic delegation of Saudi startups and venture capitalists who will meet Pakistani companies and key stakeholders to explore investments, partnerships, acquisitions, and talent recruitment. This delegation and interest in Pakistan’s future indeed comes at an important time for Pakistan’s economy.

At the opening ceremony, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi, Chief Guest delivered a virtual message, welcoming the delegates to the country and highlighting the great investment opportunities that the budding local tech industry has to offer.

This was followed by keynote talks focused on the importance of investing in tech for our economy. Additional keynote talks were given by Dr. Arslan Khalid, Special Adviser to CM Punjab on IT, CIO Imarat Group of Companies, Azam Malik, Managing Director Ejad Labs & Chairman Pakistan Digital Media Association, and Arzish Azam, CEO Ejad Labs / Future Fest. There was also a Fireside Chat with Abdel Karim Samakie, Innovation Driven Enterprise Director – Digital Cooperation Organization, Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, Additional Foreign Secretary for Middle East -Ministry of Foreign Affairs Islamabad, and Faisal Sultan, VP & Managing Director, Lucid. In attendance was also Mr. Emran Akhtar, former Advisor to the Foreign Minister of Pakistan who initiated and led Pakistan’s joining of the Digital Cooperation Organisation as Founder Member in 2020.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 8, 2023 at 9:59am

Pakistan's largest tech conference and expo Future Fest 2023 inaugurated - Daily Times

https://dailytimes.com.pk/1048501/pakistans-largest-tech-conference...


Later in the day, there were more than 50 keynotes, master classes, fireside chats, and panel sessions from top industry leaders who talked about diverse subjects ranging from web3, scaling tech, worldview, gaming, storytelling, policy and governance.

A few highlight sessions from the day one of Future Fest 2023 included; Gaming by Waqas Ahmed, CTO – Hazel Mobile, The Art & Science of Communications by Selina Saadia Rashid Khan, CEO – Lotus Client Management & Public Relations; World View with Ahmad Mukhtar, Senior Economist – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Junaid Qurashi, President – OPEN Silicon Valley; Saeed Mohammed Alhebsi, Advisor and Project Manager – Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. A keynote by Dr. Umar Saif, Founder & CEO – Survey Auto.

Experts like Aisha Sarwari, Director Public Relations, Communications, and Sustainability – Coca-Cola; Abid Cheema, Board member, and Executive Director Business Development – FDHL gave keynotes on policy & governance.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 8, 2023 at 10:11am

RAAST revolutionises digital payment system in Pakistan

https://www.nation.com.pk/08-Jan-2023/raast-revolutionises-digital-...


The Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated and increased the use of digital banking in Pakistan. The country has seen an ‘exponential’ growth in digital payment methods during the past few years. Paying bills, transferring money, and conducting business online have all grown ‘tremendously’.

Pakistan has also launched a micro payment gateway called ‘RAAST’, which is the country’s first instant payment system, enabling end-to-end digital transactions among individuals, businesses and government bodies. People with bank accounts now have the option to easily send money to others via this service. RAAST offers a simple, fast and secure way to transfer money from one bank account to another. Talking to WealthPK in this regard, Daniyal, a banking officer in an MCB bank branch, said that the State Bank of Pakistan had achieved an important milestone in digital banking by launching RAAST. “Now customers can receive their payments directly into their bank accounts without going to physical branches.” “Due to this integration with RAAST, customers can receive their payments in bank accounts in a simple, free, fast and secure way. RAAST can also serve as a platform for accelerating the growth of Pakistan by facilitating small and medium enterprises and individuals.” “RAAST is aimed at providing rapid and free people-to-people payment services to enhance digital financial services and financial inclusion.


Bank users can use RAAST to transfer and receive funds in their accounts by using their bank’s mobile app.” The MCB banking officer further said that customers can use RAAST facility by using their RAAST ID for sending or receiving funds. “They can also use their IBANs if they do not have a RAAST ID. Customers can be able to use their registered mobile numbers as their RAAST IDs and link them to any of their bank accounts to receive cash more effortlessly.”

Talking about the features of RAAST, Daniyal said the instant payment system is quick because it offers users real-time payment experience. “Unlike other payment systems, RAAST is free. It is meant to offer an instant, reliable and zero-cost digital payment system to customers. It is available on all banking channels. If customers are not satisfied with the service of a bank, they can change their account by delinking the RAAST ID and can connect with another bank to avail the best banking features.” According to WealthPK, the SBP’s move is part of the efforts to ensure Pakistan’s transition from being a cash-based economy to a digital economy. RAAST can serve as a driver for revolutionising Pakistan’s financial infrastructure.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 10, 2023 at 9:16pm

It’s winter, not doomsday
The global funding slump has been front and center in conversations across startup ecosystems in South Asia. But many believe it’s only temporary.

https://restofworld.org/2023/newsletter-south-asia-its-winter-not-d...

Words like “layoffs,” “shutdowns,” and “funding crunch” have become synonymous with the tech startup world in recent months. As data about startup funding in 2022 trickles in, these trends have only been reinforced.

In 2022, startup funding in India fell by 40% year on year, according to Inc42’s startup funding report. Pakistan’s startup funding fell to $15.15 million during Q4 of 2022, making it the worst quarter since Q1 of 2020, according to Data Darbar, a Pakistan-based data intelligence platform.

These figures must make entrepreneurs across the region nervous and anxious. But some early-stage investors I spoke to last week gave me hope.

Yagnesh Sanghrajka, co-founder and chief financial officer of seed-stage venture capital fund 100X.VC, said that what’s happening right now is partly a correction after the euphoria of 2021 and early 2022, when many Indian startups raised back-to-back funding rounds, with their valuations increasing substantially each time.

“In every [business] cycle, there are corrections that happen, and this correction cycle is being called funding winter,” Sanghrajka said. “But it’s a winter, right? It’s not doomsday! So after winter, you always get sunshine.”

Kalsoom Lakhani, co-founder of Pakistan-focused VC fund i2i Ventures, also thinks that not all hope is lost. “In 2023, the funding slowdown will likely continue, though our belief is that good companies with strong business models (i.e., not burning lots of cash indefinitely) will still be able to raise in the coming year,” Lakhani wrote in i2i Ventures’ year-end roundup.

Both Sanghrajka and Lakhani, in fact, believe this funding winter may eventually have at least one upside: more realistic valuations.

Lakhani wrote that startup valuations in Pakistan will “go down to match the Pakistan market realities, which will be necessary given the waning international investor appetite.”

“These are very good times to actually invest in good founders,” Sanghrajka said. “If you are a smart investor … [you know that] the best investments happen in such times. You actually get good companies at better valuations than you would have otherwise gotten if it was not winter. So though people are taking more time to do diligence, they are deploying and they will deploy.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 13, 2023 at 4:15pm

State Bank of Pakistan issues NOCs to five applicants for establishing digital bank

https://www.brecorder.com/news/40220082

Central bank expects after commencement of operations, digital banks will promote financial inclusion by providing affordable/cost effective digital financial services to unserved and underserved segments

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday said that it has issued no-objection certificates (NOC) to five applicants for establishing digital banks in the country.

The following are the ones issued the NOC:

I) Easy Paisa DB (Telenor Pakistan B.V & Ali Pay Holding Ltd.),

II) Hugo Bank (Getz Bros & Co., Atlas Consolidated Pte. Ltd. and M & P Pakistan Pvt. Ltd.);

III) KT Bank (Kuda Technologies Ltd., Fatima Fertilizer Ltd. and City School Pvt. Ltd.);

IV) Mashreq Bank (Mashreq Bank UAE); and

V) Raqami (Kuwait Investment Authority through – PKIC and Enertech Holding Co.)

In January 2022, the SBP introduced a licensing and regulatory framework for digital banks.

“The Framework was the first step towards introducing full-fledged digital banks in Pakistan. The digital banks are expected to provide all the banking services through digital means without any need for their customers to visit the bank branches physically,” said the SBP.

Race to digital banking – final round

In response to SBP’s Licensing and Regulatory Framework for digital banks, the central bank received twenty (20) applications from a diverse range of interested players such as commercial banks, microfinance banks, electronic money institutions and Fintech firms by March 31, 2022.

“Further, a number of foreign players including venture capital firms already operating in the digital banking space also expressed their interest to venture into Pakistani market directly or in collaboration with local partners. The five (05) applicants were selected after a thorough and rigorous assessment process as per the requirements of the Framework.

Bank Alfalah launches QR payment solution with SnapRetail

“Applicants were assessed on various parameters that included fitness and propriety, experience and financial strength; business plan; implementation plan; funding and capital plan; IT and cybersecurity strategy and outsourcing arrangements, etc. Further, all the applicants were given the opportunity to present their business case to SBP.

“Going forward, each of these five applicants will incorporate a public limited company with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. Afterwards, they will approach SBP for In-Principle Approval for demonstrating operational readiness and for commencement of operations under the pilot phase. Subsequently, they will commercially launch their operations after obtaining SBP’s approval.”

The SBP said it expects that after commencement of their operations, these digital banks will promote financial inclusion by providing affordable/cost effective digital financial services including credit access to unserved and underserved segments of the society.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 14, 2023 at 8:51am

Pakistan: Five major issues to watch in 2023
Madiha Afzal

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2023/01/13/pakistan...

1. POLITICAL INSTABILITY, POLARIZATION, AND AN ELECTION YEAR
Politics will likely consume much of Pakistan’s time and attention in 2023, as it did in 2022. The country’s turn to political instability last spring did not end with a dramatic no-confidence vote in parliament last April that ousted then Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan from office. Instability and polarization have only heightened since then: Khan has led a popular opposition movement against the incumbent coalition government and the military, staging a series of large rallies across the country through the year.

2. A PRECARIOUS ECONOMIC SITUATION
Pakistan’s economy has been in crisis for months, predating the summer’s catastrophic floods. Inflation is backbreaking, the rupee’s value has fallen sharply, and its foreign reserves have now dropped to the precariously low level of $4.3 billion, enough to cover only one month’s worth of imports, raising the possibility of default.

3. FLOOD RECOVERY
A “monsoon on steroids” – directly linked to climate change – caused a summer of flooding in Pakistan so catastrophic that it has repeatedly been described as biblical. It left a third of the country under water – submerging entire villages – killed more than 1,700, destroyed homes, infrastructure, and vast cropland, and left millions displaced.

4. MOUNTING INSECURITY
The Pakistani Taliban (or TTP), the terrorist group responsible for killing tens of thousands of Pakistanis from 2007 to 2014, have been emboldened – predictably so – by a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, and once again pose a threat to Pakistan, albeit in a geographically limited region (for now). The group engaged in at least 150 attacks in Pakistan last year, mostly in the northwest. Because the TTP have sanctuary in Afghanistan, the Pakistani state increasingly finds itself out of options when it comes to dealing effectively with the group. The state’s negotiations with the TTP have failed repeatedly, as they are bound to, because the group is fundamentally opposed to the notion of the Pakistani state and constitution as it exists today. The Afghan Taliban have, unsurprisingly, also not proved to be of help in dealing with the TTP – and Pakistan’s relations with the Afghan Taliban have deteriorated significantly at the same time over other issues, including the border dividing the two countries.

5. CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS
Pakistan has a new chief of army staff as of November 29 last year. General Asim Munir replaced General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who had held the all-powerful post for six years (due to a three-year extension). The appointment of the army chief was a subject of considerable political contention last year; a major part of the reason Khan was ousted from power was his falling out with the military on questions over the appointments of top army officials.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 15, 2023 at 10:33pm

Pakistan set for digital census with tablets supplied by NADRA

The last batch of 17,600 tablets powered by an indigenous solution from Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has been received by the chief statistician of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) Naeem uz Zafar ahead of a planned digital population and housing census.

This brings the total number of tablets supplied for the exercise to 126,000.


------

The last batch of 17,600 tablets powered by an indigenous solution from Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has been received by the chief statistician of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) Naeem uz Zafar ahead of a planned digital population and housing census.

This brings the total number of tablets supplied for the exercise to 126,000.

According to an agency announcement, NADRA also played an important role in distributing the tablets to all the 495 districts, braving the odds to complete the exercise within a period of nine days.


The digital ID authority also made available about 100 experts to help in the training of over 90,000 enumerators who will be deployed on the field when the census begins.

After handing over the tablets, NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik also visited the facility offering some technical services to the census preparation process at the PBS.

Malik hailed the census as a huge step further towards a digital Pakistan: “The digital census is a step that pulls Pakistan out of ancient past and opens doors of a modern future. From scribbled responses on millions of paper sheets to real time validated data in apps on secure devices with satellite imagery – is a step towards digital Pakistan. Big data from digital census will become the foundational system for evidence based policy making for Pakistan.”

The solution from NADRA was developed in just three weeks and includes an Android-based house listing and enumeration application synchronized with GPS and GIS systems, data center and call center services, a web portal and other associated services.

NADRA is the official technology partner of the PBS for the upcoming population and housing census which is the 7th in the country but the first-ever to be done through digital means.

Biometric vehicle registration
NADRA also recently concluded a deal to henceforth conduct biometric checks on vehicle owners as part of efforts to combat fraud in vehicle transfer and ownership processes.

The deal sealed between NADRA and the Sindh Department of Excise and Taxation and Anti-Narcotics will be carried out through the ‘Sahulat Program,’ according to reporting by The Nation.

The first phase of the biometric program will run for three years.

Sindh Excise and Taxation and Anti-Narcotics Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla praised the partnership saying it will help curb the phenomenon of vehicles operating with fake documents.

NADRA recently partnered with telecoms operators for a new fingerprint system to register SIM cards in Pakistan.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 16, 2023 at 4:23pm

Pakistan’s productivity growth averaged 1.5pc in 2010s: study

https://www.dawn.com/news/1731884

The study — titled Sectoral Total Factor Productivity in Pakistan and conducted by the planning ministry and the think tank Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) — says that the growth of productivity is a crucial determinant of an economy’s growth that has to be pushed higher to over 3pc.

https://pide.org.pk/wp-content/uploads/rr-057-sectoral-total-factor...

---------

Significantly low to achieve required GDP growth of 7-8pc
• High-productivity growth sectors mostly based on services or technology

---------

The services sector could also be more productive because of digitisation. Similarly, flexibility in technology adoption could be another factor. It is often observed that Pakistani firms in the manufacturing sector are primarily family-owned and managed, and are in general averse to modern management practices, a factor that inhibits productivity growth, the study says.

---------------

Dividing the 61 sectors into three categories — i.e., high TFP growth (above 3pc), medium to low TFP growth (between 0pc and 2.9pc), and negative TFP growth (below 0pc) — the study found that most sectors with high TFP growth are either related to services or tech.

Most sectors in the medium to low TFP growth category are in manufacturing. Two export-designated sectors, i.e. sports goods and textile composite, also feature in medium to low-growth sectors.

Most negative growth sectors are also in the manufacturing category, which captures three export-designated sectors (textile spinning, textile weaving, and leather and tanneries) amongst other salient industries such as fertiliser and automobiles.

The analysis also precipitates a trend between sectors that receive subsidies and medium to low TFP growth or negative TFP growth categories. Similarly, the export share of each of these sectors, barring the textile sector, in global exports is less than 1pc in their respective category.

According to the analysis, services have higher TFP growth on average than manufacturing. One plausible reason for this could be greater competition in services. Besides, the manufacturing sector is protected in Pakistan, which insulates them from the competition by retarding any incentive to improve efficiency.

The services sector could also be more productive because of digitisation. Similarly, flexibility in technology adoption could be another factor. It is often observed that Pakistani firms in the manufacturing sector are primarily family-owned and managed, and are in general averse to modern management practices, a factor that inhibits productivity growth, the study says.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 18, 2023 at 10:18am

First-ever digital population census in March

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1030135-first-ever-digital-populat...



ISLAMABAD: Without having the requirement of Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) for verification purposes, Pakistan’s first-ever digital Population Census will collect data from 185,000 blocks in March 2023 whereby a 40-point questionnaire covering eight important areas’ details would be sought.

The 40-point questionnaire will seek information about eight broad areas in the upcoming population census exercise, including households, basic amenities, demography, education, health, employment, disability and migration.

Chief Statistician Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) Dr Naeem Uz Zafar said that Pakistan’s Census in 2023 is going to be digital for the first time ever in the country’s history. All the preparations are rolled out and the team is now ready for the gigantic task. “The effort is entirely indigenous; all the systems devised and the tools created are by our own experts,” he said.

He was addressing a seminar, themed “Census 2023: All You Want to Know About” at the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) Islamabad on Thursday. He said census is an important national activity that is linked with resource allocation to provinces, representation in National/Provincial assemblies and the delimitation process. Therefore, the credibility of the census is of utmost importance. This is what called for comprehensive introspection leading to a solution acceptable to all i.e. digital census.

He apprised the audience that after the results of latest Census 2017 were approved in the 45th CCI meeting held on 12th April 2021, the Council of Common Interests (CCI) gave directions for the next census to start as early as possible and which should be according to international best practices by using the latest technology. The Government of Pakistan then constituted a committee of renowned demographers and experts with comprehensive TORS to bring transparency, credibility, and wider acceptability of census processes and results. For this, a board-based stakeholders’ engagement was carried out in order to have ownership of the process.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Dr Nadeem ul Haque, Vice Chancellor, PIDE, said that censuses remain controversial in Pakistan, at times delayed for over a decade. Now that we are moving toward the new census, it is time to raise all the concerns and questions we have.

“The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has estimated that there will be a total funding requirement of Rs34 billion for holding census exercise out of which Rs10 billion have been provided to PBS while they have requested the Finance Ministry to release the remaining amount of Rs24 billion,” said the top official sources while talking to The News here on Thursday.

Sources said for the first time, self enumeration facility will also be made available. Household geotagging will be done to accomplish the exercise. There will be 126,000 enumerators collecting data from 185,000 blocks from all over the country.

The army personnel will provide foolproof security to 90,000 enumerators while police personnel will also accompany the enumerators to provide security at the first stage. Then the army will deploy its Quick Response Force to ensure overall supervision of foolproof security of the whole census exercise all over the country.

Each enumerator will be responsible to collect data from two blocks in 30 days of March 2023. The PBS has already held a consultation with Director General Military Operation (DGMO) and the army showed its readiness to spare personnel for providing security.

The population census will be done on a de-jure basis as everyone will be counted where he or she stayed in the last six months and hold a plan to continue staying in the same place for the next six months.

Comment

You need to be a member of PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network to add comments!

Join PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network

Pre-Paid Legal


Twitter Feed

    follow me on Twitter

    Sponsored Links

    South Asia Investor Review
    Investor Information Blog

    Haq's Musings
    Riaz Haq's Current Affairs Blog

    Please Bookmark This Page!




    Blog Posts

    Biden's Gaza Ceasefire Veto Defies American Public Opinion

    Aaron Bushnell, an active serviceman in the United States Air Force, burned himself to death in front of the Israeli Embassy in protest against the US policy in Gaza. Before setting himself on fire in what he called an "extreme act of protest", he said he would "no longer be complicit in genocide". Polls show that the vast majority (63%) of Americans want an immediate end to the carnage being perpetrated by Israel in Gaza.  …

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on February 27, 2024 at 5:30pm

    Pakistan Elections: Imran Khan's Supporters Skillfully Used Tech to Defy Powerful Military

    Independent candidates backed by the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) party emerged as the largest single block with 93 seats in the nation's parliament in the general elections held on February 8, 2024.  This feat was accomplished in spite of huge obstacles thrown in front of the PTI's top leader Imran Khan and his party leaders and supporters by Pakistan's powerful military…

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on February 16, 2024 at 9:22pm — 1 Comment

    © 2024   Created by Riaz Haq.   Powered by

    Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service