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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Remembering Sadequain, Cafe Piyala, Dolphin-watching, Karachi, and the fishermen’s lament,

The London Conference a clone of Najeebullah’s national reconciliation plan -Cafe Piyala
Remembering Sadequain
Some Thoughts On Karachi's Bomb Attacks - Cafe Piyala

ANALYSIS: Buy land — they’re not making it anymore —Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Instead of using the begged $ 2 billion to create another repressive and trigger-happy force, a better option would be giving these million acres to landless peasants and use this money to help them

Farrukh Saleem: Our oil cartel is extremely incestuous: ARL, Attock Petroleum and NRL are all owned by the Attock Group. PSO, Shell and Caltex own PRL jointly. Our government owns 60 percent of PARCO while Total and PARCO are partners. Individual members of the cartel own each other, sit on each others' boards, own projects jointly and all get together to suck the blood out of 178 million Pakistanis. Next: refining margins charged by Pakistani refineries are almost twice as high as being charged by refineries outside Pakistan. Furthermore, no refinery in Pakistan is technically capable of producing 0.5 percent sulphur diesel (emission control standards in Europe and North America now require refineries to produce ultra-low sulphur diesel). All that our refineries produce is 1 percent sulphur diesel. As a consequence, Pakistani consumers are being supplied an inferior quality product at the price of a superior product. The average differential in price -- between 0.5 percent sulphur diesel and 1 percent sulphur diesel -- is $18 per ton. Pakistani consumers are being ripped off a hefty Rs4 billion a year.

Next: in 2002, our government allowed refineries to impose a 5 percent to 10 percent "deemed duty" in order to create a special reserve for the purpose of upgrading. The refineries sucked up Rs18 billion from Pakistani consumers but not a rupee was spent on upgrading. Next: someone is making truckloads of money, because transporting a litre of gasoline should not be costing more than Rs0.50 per litre, as opposed to consumers coughing out Rs4.42 per litre.

Governments around the world break cartels. Ours supports them. Governments around the world support consumers. Ours opposes them.


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