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Pakistan regaines membership of MSCI EM market index

KARACHI: Almost after eight years Pakistan has regained Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Emerging Markets Index approval as it was dropped from the index in 2008.

According to Business recorder finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced this on Wednesday in national assembly “I want to share good news with the nation that Pakistan has regained membership of Emerging Markets Index,” he said, adding that 22 institutions of the world have already accepted macroeconomic stability of Pakistan.

Pakistan was part of the EM Index from 1994 but the temporary closing of Karachi Stock Exchange in 2008 due to global financial crisis, forced MSCI to drop the country at the end of that year. In 2009, Pakistan was included in MSCI’s Frontier Markets Index and the firm warned that the market needed to function without any trading disruptions for some time before being considered for reclassification in its EM Index.

Dar informed the house the development will help bring foreign investment in Pakistan and boost the economic growth. “We have achieved the status once again after the struggle of three years,” he said. He also claimed that economic reforms in different sectors have also started bearing fruits and trust of the foreign investors is increasing in Pakistan. Earlier, the opposition as well as treasury members urged the government to provide more relief to agriculture sector by reducing import duty on tractors, machineries and reduce the price of fertilisers.

While taking part in debate on Budget-2016-17, Rana Afzal appreciated the government for providing relief package to farmers; however, he demanded further decrease in Urea fertiliser. He said that government should focus on agriculture research to provide disease free seeds of Rice to boost its production. He said that the government should provide at least 10 hours electricity continuously to tube-wells for irrigation in rural areas.

Taking part in the discussion, Dawar Khan Kundi termed the budget as directionless. He said holding of Population Census is imperative for judicious allocation of funds to the provinces. He said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a game changer project and its execution should be speeded up.

Shahryar Khan Afridi said budget does not represent ground realities. He highlighted the need for effective diplomacy in view of changes taking place in the region. Nawab Ali Wassan of Pakistan People””s Party (PPP) said that the government should pay attention to education and health sectors. He said that the government has failed to adopt good foreign policy.

Abdul Ghaffar Dogar said that the government should reduce import duty on tractor and provide more relief to the farmers. Makhdoom Saeeduz Zaman stressed for collective efforts for provision of inexpensive and speedy justice to the people. He demanded special package for Karachi as it is an economic hub of the country. Abdul Qahar Wadan, Ghulam Rasool Sahi, Usman Khan Tarakai, Chaudhry Muhammad Munir Azhar, Salman Khan Baloch, Shaista Pervaiz, Mosan Shah Nawaz Raja and other also participated in the debate on Budget-2016-17.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) legislators also staged a token walkout from the house in protest against registration of FIR against the party””s media in-charge Aminul Haq who is accused of spreading propaganda against Rangers personnel and officers from MQM””s Nine Zero headquarters in Azizabad, Karachi.