More taxes, less taxes – this week in Pakistan’s business and economics Twitterverse

This week we are troubled with rising petrol prices that have pretty much taken over the entire social media discourse on the economy. We also talk about taxes, apps that fail, and corporations looking for more concessions. The rich just keep getting richer. All this and more by Ariba Shahid. 


HBL questions

It hasn’t been a good week for HBL considering their app has been down for quite some time. But hey the company is widely profitable. Maybe this money will be put to good use and the app might get a major overhaul? Then again, perhaps there will be other innovations that HBL spends this money on, like a second islamic POS machine. You never know with Pakistan’s largest and most prestigious bank – they’re thinking outside the box and constantly wanting to surprise you with their ingenuity. Maybe a second app that also doesn’t work? Just to really shake things up. 


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Taxing cars

While one could say this is a means to incentivize bigger cars, the reality is that this is bringing more cars into the tax net. They register this year, they pay taxes every year. This is very important for an area where jeeps are widely unregistered. 


Petrol bomb

This is debatable considering subsidizing fuel means more usage. However, in a country where public transport is virtually non existent one could say this is a plausible solution. After all, for years consumers have paid levies. Why not this? Remember, this is going to be a massive blow to the budgets of lower middle class salaried persons, because their paycheques are not going to see a 10 rupees per liter bump anytime soon. 


Public transport 

If we had decent public transportation, I doubt we’d care enough about petrol prices. This is why petrol prices are so debatable in this country. Because they impact everyone. Instead of subsidising petrol, what if we actually thought about subsidising the entire concept of transport, as has been done elsewhere in the world. 


Perils of the gig economy

The gig economy is exploitive. There are no doubts about that. However, the very fact that these gig labor fuel the system often goes unnoticed and underappreciated. That is not cool. While our friend in the tweet seems to be on the edge of breaking out his hammer and sickle and singing the Internationale, and we are not on the same page in that regard, but the point he brings up is more than valid. Ideas are important, but you need people to run them. 


When chips taste better than usual

What tastes better than chips? Subsidized chips from VC money! Everyone loves a bargain. So do we and clearly everyone else too. 


Tax concessions

Tax concessions for listing? Do we want more companies to list for the sake of benefits and have no regards for the shareholders? I don’t think so. 


Not that difficult

Doesnt kill to do correct research. Just saying.

Ariba Shahid
The author is a business journalist at Profit. She can be reached at [email protected] or at


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