Tag: Reform

Gaddafi must remain leader

TRIPOLI - A Libyan government spokesman said the country is open to political reforms and elections, but Muammar Gaddafi must remain as the Libyan leader.
"We are ready for political solutions: constitution, election, anything, but the leader has to lead this forward," Mussa Ibrahim said.
The spokesman said the Libyan people, rather than other countries, must decide the country's future and whether the Libyan leader should stay or go.
He added no conditions could be

Tax reform failure renders fiscal imbalance untenable: SBP

KARACHI - The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has said that the failure of tax reforms programme and the flood relief expenditures have rendered the fiscal imbalance of Pakistan unsustainable. The SBP issued this stunning disclosure in its second quarterly report for 2010-11.
The report said that although fiscal indicators showed some improvement in the second quarter of FY11 with substantial growth in non tax revenues, the overall fiscal position during H1-FY11 deteriorated.

Syrian Kurds naturalised as reform law drawn up

DAMASCUS - Syria on Thursday granted citizenship to tens of thousands of Kurds on the same day that a legal committee completed draft legislation to replace nearly five decades of emergency rule.
A Facebook group also called for a "peaceful sit-in until freedom" at the Damascus headquarters of the Baath party to coincide with its 64th anniversary and urged countrywide "resistance on Friday to demonstrate despite our wounds."

UK urges economic reform, larger tax base

ISLAMABAD - Terming Britain's ties with Pakistan "unbreakable", British Prime Minister David Cameron told a joint press conference with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday that the two countries had resolved to enhance bilateral trade from ₤1.2 billion to ₤2.5 billion by the year 2015 as both countries launched a strategic dialogue to expand cooperation in defence, economy and education.
The British premier also called for economic reforms in Pakistan,

Libya open to reform if Gaddafi not forced out

TRIPOLI - Libya's government said on Tuesday it was ready to negotiate reforms provided embattled leader Moammer Gaddafi was not forced out, as loyalists troops pushed rebel fighters back from the key oil port of Brega and the US military withdrew its fighter jets from the international air campaign in Libya.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)-led air strikes had destroyed 30 percent of the regime's military capacity since the United Nations (UN)-backed bombing campaign

Kazakh leader hails win, OSCE urges more reform

ASTANA - A promise of stability in a volatile region won veteran Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev an overwhelming victory on Monday in a snap presidential election criticised by European monitors for irregularities. Nazarbayev, 70, won another five years at the helm of Central Asia's largest economy by pledging peace and economic growth in the predominantly Muslim country, where the echo of popular revolutions across the Arab world is almost inaudible. The former steelworker, who

Young Jordanians demand reform

AMMAN - Hundreds of youths held a sit-in protest Friday in Jordan's capital to call for reforms, a week after clashes between them and government supporters killed a man and injured 160. "Down with oppression. The people want regime and constitutional reforms, and trials for the corrupt. We want national unity," about 600 members of the March 24 movement chanted outside Amman's city hall.
Around 50 government supporters gathered in an area close to the demonstrators, holding

Indian govt introduces key tax reform bill

NEW DELHI - India's government introduced a wide-ranging tax bill into parliament on Tuesday, but opposition to the move threatened to derail one what is one of the coalition's most ambitious reforms of its second term. In a sign of how corruption scandals are hindering the government, opposition lawmakers immediately forced an adjournment by demanding a debate on accusations Prime Minister Manmohan Singh lied to parliament about a cash-for-votes scandal. The Hindu nationalist

Bahrain king pledges reform as protester dies

MANAMA - Bahrain's king pledged to bring reforms and another demonstrator was on Saturday confirmed to have died in a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, as international calls mounted for restraint. "I shall not allow a stop in the reform process which I began when I took the reins of power," King Hamad said in a statement on the official BNA news agency. "The door is open to all subjects that are in the interest of all the citizens," he said. A protester missing since Wednesday's

Clinton pushes for jobs, reform in transitioning Tunisia

TUNIS - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday pledged to help Tunisia create jobs and undertake reforms to keep the momentum behind the revolution that overthrew its president two months ago. The chief US diplomat began talks with interim President Foued Mebazaa, who replaced the ousted Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, after saying that an international donors conference would help to focus minds on Tunisia's needs.
New govt officials and other Tunisians understand "we need a

CTD to be set up to reform criminal justice

LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif announced establishment of a Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in the province at a meeting of Punjab Security Board at Chief Minister's Secretariat on Sunday. The meeting lasted more than three hours.
The CM said terrorism was the biggest impediment in the way of progress and prosperity and there is a need for making rapid progress for rooting out this menace from the society. He said that reforming the criminal

IMF tranche hinges on government’s strategy for circular debt, PSEs’ reform

ISLAMABAD - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sought a clear plan of action from the government by Friday (today) to end the circular debt issue and reform the bleeding public sector enterprises within the current financial year in order to revive the suspended standby arrangement facility. An official source said the success of the talks hinged on the action plan that the government presented to the fund staff on Thursday and would be finalised today. During the talks, IMF

Moroccans welcome king’s reform vow, expect results

RABAT - Moroccans largely welcomed on Thursday King Mohammed VI's promise of sweeping reforms, announced as uprisings rock the Arab world, but said they wanted to see if concrete changes would result.
France and Spain, former colonisers which have become key trade partners, also praised the monarch's announcement in a rare national speech late Wednesday, calling it courageous and historic.
The king unveiled plans for constitutional reforms including a popularly elected prime

UK PM urges reform, not repression in Arab states

KUWAIT CITY - British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday said "reform - 'not repression" was the way to guarantee stability in the Arab world, in a visit to Kuwait as part of a regional tour. The day after he became the first foreign leader to visit Cairo since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, Cameron told Kuwait's national assembly that protests sweeping the region were a precious moment of opportunity.
"For decades, some have argued that stability required highly controlling

IMF to stress speedy execution of economic reform

ISLAMABAD - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is likely to stress for expeditious implementation of the economic reforms for the revival of the economy as well as controlling the rising fiscal deficit, an official source said on Saturday.
A two-member IMF team, consisting of Mission Chief for Pakistan Adnan Mazarei and Director Middle East and Central Asia Department Masood Ahmed, will arrive on January 30. The team will meet President Asif Ali Zardari and Finance Minister

Only reform can rescue Yemen: govt official

BEIRUT - Only bold reforms can calm Yemen's perfect storm of economic and political woes, the deputy finance minister said in Sanaa, where angry street protests have erupted against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
"People do have fair grievances everywhere in Yemen, but unfortunately they are being used by politicians from both sides," Jalal Yaqoub told Reuters in a telephone interview on Thursday. "The government should listen to the people and enact substantial reforms that give

Pakistan promises fuel price and tax reform, fiscal overhaul

WASHINGTON - Pakistan's ambassador to the US defended his government's decision last week to reverse an unpopular increase in fuel prices, insisting Pakistan has not abandoned efforts to reduce subsidies and raise taxes to bring its budget deficit under control.
"We are not the only country to adjust fuel prices because of public opinion," Ambassador Husain Haqqani said in an interview in the Bloomberg Washington bureau yesterday. "There is no wavering in our commitment to