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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Another budget full of ambiguities
By: Dr. Vaqar Ahmed
Every year, the budget formulation exercise provides an opportunity to set the economy on a path of expedient structural reforms, which in turn can spur private investment, job creation and overall human development in the country. While the Economic Survey 2016-17 suggests that the economy is now moving towards higher growth rates in agriculture and industry, it contradicts several economic outcomes mentioned in the same document and also highlighted in Finance Minister’s budget speech.
Firstly, rising growth is not accompanied by a significant increase in local investor’s confidence. This is endorsed by the low levels of private investment to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio. Secondly, if the growth is real, why is it not translating into export gains? In fact, exports have been decreasing since 2014. Thirdly, if growth numbers are correct, why is it not translating into higher tax revenues (at least in the manufacturing sector, which is most taxed)?
Unfortunately, the budget proposals if passed by the parliament may not provide significant respite to the business community, in particularly the small and medium enterprises. To start with this can be attributed to the increased level of indirect taxes on industry, particularly steel, cement and heavy machinery sub-sectors.
While the Economic Survey 2016-17 suggests that the economy is now moving towards higher growth rates in agriculture and industry — it contradicts several economic outcomes mentioned in the same document
A minimum turnover tax, also applicable to loss-making entities, has also been increased. There is also no proposal to gradually phase out the federal excise duty as earlier promised in the manifesto of PML-N. On the exporter’s refunds, currently stuck up at the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the finance minister has again promised another deadline for clearance — something which was also done in the previous budget.
Perhaps another missed opportunity this year is the state’s inability to divert greater resources for agriculture — home to largest number of unskilled labour. It is unfortunate that only a minor decrease in input taxes has been proposed. This is in contradiction to peer economies where agriculture inputs are not taxed. The farmers have already pointed out that the benefits of low international oil prices were not passed on to them and they still continue to use relatively expensive diesel as a key farm input.


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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.