Budget Study Centre   Issue 45 July 25, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Public debt rises by $10.841b in FY 18-19

The Pakistan Today (July 25, 2019)
A whopping $10.814 billion has been added to the public debt in the past year by the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek i Insaaf (PTI) government. The massive borrowing seems to have ignored the necessary precaution that the government should have taken in securing liabilities, and severely undermines the government’s self-proclaimed desire to cut the deficit. The heavy borrowing in the past year... Read More
 

Pakistan economic slowdown to continue

The Daily Times (July 25, 2019)
LAHORE: Pakistan is seeing its economy slow as domestic policy is tightened against a background of a slowing global economy, finds ACCA’s (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA’s (Institute of Management Accountants) Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS). The global poll of 1162 accountants shows that confidence remains above... Read More
 

Budget deficit of last fiscal may touch Rs 3,300 bn

The News (July 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The initial estimates for fiscal year 2018-19 under first year rule of the PTI suggest that Pakistan’s budget deficit is going to witness new heights of touching Rs3,300 billion, one of the highest ever absolute figure in whole history of Pakistan. This budget deficit exceeding Rs3,300 billion or 8.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will have far-reaching negative impact for the fiscal... Read More
 

US may release CSF funding for Pakistan

The News (July 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Ruling out possibility of any rescheduling of foreign debt under Paris Club arrangement with the blessings of USA, Pakistan might see positive movement on release of pending funds of $9 billion from USA in shape of Coalition Support Fund (CSF). But this could only happen if truce in Afghanistan struck successfully as Washington is expecting some ‘positive outcome’ by... Read More
 

Pakistan borrows record $16b in just one year

The Express Tribune (July 23, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: For the first time in its history, Pakistan borrowed a whopping $16 billion in foreign loans in just one year aimed at avoiding default on international debt obligations and financing its imports. The $16 billion worth of foreign loans have been obtained during fiscal year 2018-19, which included 11 months of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, showed official documents... Read More
 

Punjab government to abolish ‘unnecessary taxes’

The Express Tribune (July 23, 2019)
LAHORE: The Punjab government has assured the business community that it will abolish almost 50 unnecessary taxes besides clubbing the collection of property, professional and labour-related taxes. The assurance was given by Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht in a meeting with Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President... Read More
 

Pakistan needs to mobilize tax revenue, cut debt: IMF acting director after meeting PM

The Dawn (July 22, 2019)
Pakistan needs to mobilise domestic tax revenue to ensure funds for social and development programs, while reducing debt, the acting director of the International Monetary Fund said on Sunday after a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Washington DC.  The two officials discussed recent economic developments and the implementation of Pakistan's IMF-supported economic... Read More
 

The inflation challenge

The Business Recorder (July 22, 2019)
The Monetary Policy Committee of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) decided to raise in the discount rate by 100 basis points while acknowledging that the inflation projection may be revised upward to 12 percent. The budget for 2019-20 projects inflation from between 11 to 13 percent, an estimate endorsed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff report released after the Board of Directors approved the 6 billion dollar Extended... Read More
 

No political stability without economic stability

The Daily Times (July 21, 2019)
This is what International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative to Pakistan Teresa Daban Sanchez has delivered to Pakistan along a set of damning conditions attached to the bailout package. Of all conditions, the condition of establishing a stable political environment in the country is the most pressing, and a doable thing by all the stakeholders. At a symposium in Islamabad... Read More
 

Businessmen worried over missing export target for 2018-19

The Nation (July 21, 2019)
LAHORE     -    The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) former chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has expressed his serious concern for not achieving export target set for the fiscal year 2018-19, which was missed by a huge margin of over $5 billion, as the current export portfolio is marred by a lack of diversification. He observed that exports have dropped by about one... Read More
 

Govt to enhance tax net, for documenting country’s economy: Shabbar Zaidi

Business Recorder (July 20, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Shabbar Zaidi Friday said priority of the government to enhance the tax net and expend tax base to documenting the country’s economy. Taxation is the only way to forward for equitable distribution of wealth, as “we cannot have stabilized and equitable society unless we have a fare taxation system” he said this during a Policy ... Read More
 

How to stabilize Pakistan’s economy?

The Modern Diplomacy by Amjed Jaaved (July 20, 2019)
Pakistan approached International Monetary Fund for 13th time since 1988 to get a bail-out. This programme is touted as a recipe to `reduce Pakistan’s public debt’ and `stabilize the economy’. The suggested panacea is `market-determined exchange-rate’ coupled with tax-evasion. But a free-floating exchange-rate is no magic wand or panacea for economic stability ... Read More
 

FBR sets tax collection target at Rs300b for July

Express Tribune (July 19, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has set the tax collection target at Rs300 billion for July 2019. However, it is likely to report revenue shortfall in the very first month of current fiscal year 2019-20. According to sources within the FBR, the tax collection in the first 17 days of July stood at Rs170 billion while the remaining Rs130 billion has to be collected in 14 days... Read More
 

Inflation almost doubled in Pakistan :ADB

The Nation (July 19, 2019)
ISLAMABAD     -          The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said that Pakistan’s GDP growth had deteriorated to 3.3 percent in fiscal year 2018-2019, which was lowest rate in last 8 years. According to Asian Development Bank (ADB) report released. “Preliminary official estimates for Pakistan show growth in FY2019 (ended 30 June 2019) deteriorating to 3.3percent, the lowest rate in 8 years, pulled ... Read More
 

The IMF takeover of Pakistan

The Diplomat (July 18, 2019)
On July 3, the International Monetary Fund approved a $6 billion bailout package to help “return sustainable growth” to Pakistan’s economy. Throughout the deal spanning 39 months, the IMF will review Pakistan’s progress on a quarterly basis. As part of the agreement, $1 billion has been released to Pakistan. This is the 13th IMF bailout for Pakistan, with the Fund looking toward... Read More
 

Higher rates boost NSS receipts volume in FY 2018-19: SBP

The Nation (July 17, 2019)
Owing to higher rates offered on different instruments, the net receipts of National Saving Schemes (NSS) witnessed considerable growth during the fiscal year 2018-19 compared to the corresponding period of last year, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported. “The net receipts of National Saving Schemes (NSS) surged to Rs225.3 billion, compared to only Rs 48.7 billion recorded in the... Read More
 

Budget petard

Express Tribune (July 17, 2019)
The State Bank of Pakistan has predicted even slower economic growth in the fiscal year 2019-20, putting a damper on the ruling party’s claims of improvement coming soon. The fact that the announcement comes so soon after the federal budget, where the Planning Division set a 4 per cent growth target, is doubly worrying. Incidentally, the SBP, opposed to past practice, did not give a numeric  ... Read More
 

Foreign direct investment halved to $1.73b in FY19

Express Tribune (July 16, 2019)
KARACHI: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government failed to win confidence of foreign investors in the domestic economy as foreign direct investment (FDI) halved to $1.73 billion in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019. FDI stood at $3.47 billion in the preceding fiscal year 2017-18, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on Monday. “Uncertainty regarding the (rupee-dollar) ... Read More
 

Budget 2019-20, CPEC and growth trajectory

The Nation (July 16, 2019)
The incumbent government presented its first formal budget of 2019-20 in June. The total budget outlay is Rs- 8,238.1 billion with 38.9 % higher than the size of previous budget. The target for expenditures is set at Rs 8,238.1 billion and Rs 3,462.1 billion for net revenues. For Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) the budget allocates Rs 1,613 billion out of which provinces share is Rs 912 billion ... Read More
 

SBP releases third Quarterly Report on State of Economy for FY 19

The News (July 15, 2019)
KARACHI: While Pakistan’s economy moved along the stabilization phase led by demand management policies, vulnerabilities in the external and fiscal sectors persisted during Jul-Mar FY19, according to the State Bank of Pakistan’s Third Quarterly Report on the State of Pakistan’s Economy released today. This implies that the current stabilization agenda needs to be reinforced with deep ... Read More
 

IMF package-bailout for govt or for economy?

The Express Tribune (July 15, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced the much-awaited $6-billion bailout package for Pakistan, which would be received over the next three years. The transcript of the conference call on the release of IMF staff report mentions that this Extended Fund Facility has two main pillars. In the words of IMF Mission Chief for Pakistan, Middle East and ... Read More
 

Budget 2019-20 resembles historic financial plans

Urdu Point (July 14, 2019)
ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - APP - 14th Jul, 2019 ) :The recently passed Federal budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 resembles historic annual financial plans, as this year the plan had been prepared keeping in view the prevailing vexed economic situation, burdened with increased debts, slackened growth rate, fiscal and current account deficits and shortfall in revenues, hence leaving ... Read More
 

Federal Budget 2018-19 in retrospect

Daily Times by Muhammad Zahid Rifat (July 14, 2019)
PML(N)’s federal government had stepped down on May 31, 2018 on completion of its stipulated 5 years constitutional tenure. But prior to doing that, it had created a record of presenting six budgets in the five years period. It had presented the federal budget for financial year 2018-19 as early as on April 27, 2018 leaving no room for the caretakers to present budgetary proposals for the ... Read More
 

Traders shut down markets across Pakistan

Pakistan Today (July 13, 2019)
LAHORE/KARACHI/ISLAMABAD : A countrywide shutter-down strike was observed by traders in all part of the country in a protest against the “anti-business measures” taken by the federal government in the budget for the current financial year. The traders demanded that the “unfair taxes” be withdrawn, especially the value-added tax on traders. According to media reports, the strike was partially successful in Karachi, while ... Read More
 

Trade deficit shrinks 15.3% to $31.8b in FY19

Express Tribune (July 13, 2019) 
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has managed to narrow down the trade deficit by 15.3% to $31.8 billion on the back of import compression but it failed to enhance exports, which fell even below the level left behind by its arch-rival – the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Trade figures released by the Pakistan Bureau of ... Read More
 
  

Economy will improve within a year, says SBP governor

The News (July 12, 2019
ISLAMABAD: Conceding twin deficits as biggest challenge confronting Pakistan’s economy, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir on Thursday said the economic condition of the country will improve within a year. He defended exchange rate policy under the IMF conditions arguing that it should be reflective of demand-supply gap of total dollar inflows ... Read More
 

Rising Pakistan

The Express Tribune by Kwak Sung-Kyu (July 12, 2019)
Pakistan is confronted with challenges of many types, but with a new government in the saddle now, there are renewed hopes for the country to overcome all its challenges. In July 2018, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, a relatively smaller political party, won the general election. Led by former cricket hero Imran Khan, the party has started implementing his vision for a ‘Naya Pakistan’ .... Read More
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 44 July 11, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

PM seeks businessmen’s support to revive economy

The Pakistan Today (July 11, 2019)
KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday assured the business community that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was committed to the ease of doing business in the country and urged them to help achieve its economic targets by becoming a part of the tax net. The prime minister held a series of meetings with different delegations of Karachi-based business... Read More
 

Budget measures slow down realty sector

The Express Tribune (July 11, 2019)
LAHORE: The federal budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 has dragged the realty sector of Pakistan into a depressing mode, at least for now. Markets are eagerly anticipating the revised rates of land, to be announced by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which will determine the future of this sector following response from investors. In the budget, the government abolished 3% tax, which... Read More
 

Pakistan receives &991m as first tranche of IMF loan

The Pakistan Today (July 10, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan has received the first tranche of $991.4 million of the $6 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under its Extended Fund Facility (EFF), the chief spokesperson for the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) confirmed on Wednesday. On July 3, the IMF executive board approved a $6 billion bailout package for Pakistan and immediately released $1 billion to ease a sustained... Read More
 

FBR falls Rs 556bn short of revenue target

The Pakistan Today (July 10, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, in its first year in power, has failed miserably in achieving the revenue target of Rs4.39 trillion. The Federal Board of Revenue collected Rs3.84 trillion in the fiscal year 2018-19, depicting a shortfall of Rs556 billion. As per the sources, the tax department actually collected Rs3.8 trillion in taxes, while it included Rs42 billion, which was collected through... Read More
 

Pakistan facing ‘significant economic challenges’ economy at critical juncture, says IMF

The Financial Express (July 09, 2019)
The global lender last week formally approved the USD 6 billion loan to Pakistan, which is facing "significant" economic challenges on the back of "large" fiscal and financial needs and "weak and unbalanced" growth. Pakistan is facing “significant economic challenges” due to a weak and unbalanced growth and that its economy is at a critical juncture where it needs an ambitious and bold set of reforms... Read More
 

IMF says Pakistan bailout sets ambitious fiscal targets

The Business Recorder (July 09, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The $6 billion loan package for Pakistan approved by the International Monetary Fund last week will require “very ambitious” fiscal measures and sustained commitment for the bailout to succeed, IMF officials said on Monday. The three-year agreement approved by the IMF board last week, Pakistan’s 13th bailout since the late 1980s, has seen a sharp drop in the value of the rupee... Read More
 

Budget shows govt’s agenda to make India a product-driven country

Yourstory.com (July 08, 2019)
The Union Budget 2019, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is one of the most critical ones in the recent past for ‘Start-up India, Standup India’, a dream initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This Budget clearly portrays the importance laid by the Modi government to turn India into a product-driven country. The Budget held a wide variety of initiatives to... Read More
 

Depressing economy of Pakistan and its revival

The Nation by Muhammad Ishan Khan (July 08, 2019)
Pakistan is a developing country and faces a host of socio-economic problems including political instability as a major burning current issue that aggregates the problems further. Currently, one of the big social problems for Pakistan is poverty. 70% of the population of Pakistan still lives in villages and agriculture encompassing livestock sector, is a major source of economic development... Read More
 

Mixed reactions to new Indian finance minister’s budget

The National (July 07, 2019)
Most business leaders and economists welcomed what is seen as a “pragmatic” annual budget from India’s re-elected government led by Narendra Modi. But it fell short of the “big bang” announcements some were hoping for. The budget was presented by India’s new Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday against the backdrop of a slowing economy and high unemployment. The government... Read More
 

Workers, activists denounce federal budget, demand better wages, pensions

The Dawn (July 07, 2019)
KARACHI: People from all walks of life, including labourers, home-based workers and rights activists, observed a ‘black day’ by holding a rally from Regal Chowk to the Karachi Press Club on Saturday against the terrible price hike. Chanting slogans, they also voiced their agony about not getting water, electricity and gas despite paying the bills through their noses. The rally, organised ... Read More
 

Institutions must be strengthened to achieve budget targets

The News (July 06, 2019)
LAHORE: Budget targets are no doubt ambitious, but to expect these targets can be achieved through weak institutions is overly ambitious. Strong institutions are vital in implementing the policies of the state in letter and spirit. Pakistan has never embarked on a sustainable growth path despite having a liberalised trade regime in the region mainly due to weak institutions. To achieve its revenue targets ... Read More
 

Budget aims to promote industrialization, FBR chief tells traders

The Pakistan Today (July 06, 2019)
LAHORE: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi, while addressing a meeting at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Saturday, said that the main theme of the Federal Budget 2019-20 is the development of industrial sector and creation of employment opportunities. “Keeping in view the problems ... Read More
 

India budget 2019: The key announcements and what they mean

BBC News (July 05, 2019)
India's first full-time female finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has presented her maiden annual budget. The BBC's Aakriti Thapar explains what the major announcements were and what they mean for India. This is the first budget since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's landslide victory in the general election this year. There were big expectations because it came against the backdrop of ... Read More
 

Pakistan in Economic Danger

The Daily Times by Shahabuddin (July 05, 2019)
The PM of Pakistan has created the Economic Council to find solutions to the tremendous debt Pakistan has accumulated over its life, especially during the last ten years of democratic governments. The total debt as of 2018 was Rs. 33 trillion ($201 billion at the current exchange rate) of which Rs. 3.4 trillion was borrowed in just the last six months. The total debt is 86.4% of the GDP and 36% of the ... Read More
 

IMF approves $6bn Pakistan bailout package after austerity budget

The Financial Times (July 04, 2019)
Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found here. The IMF has approved a $6bn bailout package for Pakistan ... Read More
 

Workers criticize federal budget, to observe ‘black day’ on Saturday

The Dawn (July 04, 2019)
KARACHI: Rights activists representing labourers, peasants and fisherfolk called a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday to reject the recent budget and announce a ‘black day’ to be observed by them on July 6 (Saturday). Calling it an anti-people budget prepared by the government with an understanding with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the ... Read More
 

Pakistan and IMF battling economic plight together?

The Global Village Space by Bilal Abdul Ghani (July 03, 2019)
After taking control of the government, PTI is trying its best to control the economic conditions of the country. Starting from the amnesty drive to the IMF Program, the incumbency has taken every bitter step to revive the economy that is lying on the ventilator taking raspy breaths. How much of these steps are true and in right direction? Only the future can tell. Here is a ... Read More
 

Inflation surges to 5-year high target missed

The Express Tribune (July 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has missed its annual target of inflation that surged to a five-year high at 7.3% in the last fiscal year due to upward revision in electricity and gas prices and 32% depreciation of the rupee in one year. Against the annual target of 6%, the average inflation in fiscal year 2018-19 surged to 7.34%, reported the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics , ... Read More
 

Tax rate for token payment, registration of cars not changed in budget: FBR

The Business Recorder (July 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Tuesday strongly rebutted the perception that rate of tax had been changed in the Financial Budget-2019 for the token payment and registration of cars. After verification it was noticed that this misperception was due to a typographical mistake which was rectified in the Finance Act-2019, a press release by FBR said. It added the rate of tax for the ... Read More
 

IMF executive board meets Wednesday to decide on Pakistan bailout

The Pakistan Today (July 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its Washington meeting on Wednesday (today) will decide about approval of the bailout package to Pakistan. Pakistan’s government and the IMF had already signed staff agreement on May 12. The Executive Board of the IMF will give its final nod to the agreement under which Pakistan will receive six billion dollars... Read More
 

Human development gets little attention in budget

The Express Tribune (July 01, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In his recent address to the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh noted that “historically, Pakistan has never been able to perform well economically”. He then went on to explain the three common factors, which enabled 15 to 20 developing countries to gain prosperity since the Second World War. These included focusing on their people ... Read More
 

IMF programme may do little to reduce trade deficit

The Express Tribune (July 01, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Following a staff-level agreement and subject to approval of its board of directors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will provide $6 billion in credit to Pakistan under a 39-month Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Opinion is divided over whether Pakistan should have gone back to the fund and whether the agreement with the multilateral donor will compound or ... Read More
 

No relief for poor in budget

The News (June 30, 2019)
CHARSADDA: Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) Chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao on Saturday declared the budget controversial, saying the government didn't give any relief to the people. He was addressing the participants of a rally at the Farooq Azam Chowk here. The rally was held to protest the spiraling price-hike and ill-conceived policies of the government. A large number of QWP workers, ... Read More
 

Pakistan to share details of federal budget with IMF board

The Gulf Today (June 30, 2019)
Pakistan will share the details of the federal budget with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) board, which is scheduled to meet on July 3, after its passage in the National Assembly. The final budget measures along with a report on compliance with all prior actions will be key elements in the board’s decision to grant Pakistan’s request for accession to a $6 billion bailout facility. The final, approved... Read More
 

Punjab Assembly passes budget amid rumpus by both opposition, treasury benches

The Dawn (June 29, 2019) 
LAHORE: The opposition on Friday made up for what it lacked on Tuesday (when the provincial budget was passed): resisting the passage of supplementary budget, with an hour-long noisy protest – as long as the speaker read all 40 demands for grants under the bill. As soon as the speaker started reading the bill, grant by grant, the House lost all sense of decorum. The entire opposition ... Read More
 
  

PTI survives budget scare

The Pakistan Today (June 29, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was able to get its finance bill passed in the National Assembly on Thursday after a majority voted in its favour despite attempts by the joint opposition to thwart the bill. The total outlay of the budget was Rs7.022 trillion, focusing on fiscal consolidation, revenue mobilisation, austerity ... Read More
 

Budget 2019-20 will prove disastrous for middle-income groups:moot

The Pakistan Today (June 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Budget 2019-2020, as well as the government’s economic policies, will have disastrous consequences for Pakistan’s middle-income groups, who are expected to face a 40pc compression in disposable income. This was the key takeaway at the Jinnah Institute’s policy roundtable, titled, ‘Austerity Budget: Assessing the Impact on Development and Pro-poor Growth’.... Read More
 

Economists weigh on Pakistan’s economic crisis, new budget

The News (June 28, 2019)
Karachi: The Institute of Historical and Social Research held a seminar titled ‘Present Economic Crisis and the Budget 2019-20’ at the Zaki Hasan Auditorium, Jinnah Medical and Dental College, Karachi. Dr. Riaz Ahmed Shaikh, Dr. Syed Jaffar Ahmad, Mr. Karamat Ali and Dr. S Akbar Zaidi were the speakers who reflected on current economic crisis in Pakistan, how it should ... Read More
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 43 June 27, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

GB Assembly approves Rs 62.95b budget

The Nation (June 27, 2019)
GILGIT    -   Gilgit Baltistan (GB) Assembly here on Wednesday unanimously approved over Rs62.95 billion budget for financial year 2019-20 for which Rs 17 billion were allocated for development projects and Rs 37 billion for non-development budget in the province. The members of Treasury and Opposition benches made detailed discussion on the budget before... Read More
 

NA passes 92 demands for grant for FY 2019-20

The Nation (June 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD   -  The PTI government in Wednesday’s National Assembly sitting approved 92 demands for grants relating to different federal ministries, division and departments for the next financial year, disapproving all the cut-motions moved by opposition with ‘voice of vote’. The house, in a daylong session, saw maximum participation of treasury lawmakers ensuring to reject all the cut... Read More
 

KP Assembly passes Rs.900 billion budget for year 2019-20

The News (June 26, 2019)
PESHAWAR: The Provincial Assembly with Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani in the chair Wednesday passed Rs.900 billion budget for the year 2019-20 amid uproar by the opposition members protesting the bulldozing of the cut motions in their absence by the chair. The assembly approved 61 demands for grants in a unilateral proceeding of the house as the opposition members... Read More
 

Budget 19-20: Opposition members move cut motions on finance bill proposals

The Dawn (June 26, 2019)
As the National Assembly session held to debate the finance bill resumed on Wednesday, members of the opposition began moving cut motions seeking changes to budget proposals, which will be voted on by lawmakers in the House today. Prime Minister Imran Khan is in attendance today, while opposition ranks appear thin as several PPP, PML-N and other leaders are gathered at a hotel in... Read More
 

NA budget debate: Govt under fire over failed economic policies

The News (June 25, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The female parliamentarians from the opposition parties while taking part in budget debate on Monday unleashed strong criticism on the government for failure of its economic policies and also called into question credibility of ruling party and its leadership. Former Finance Minister of the last PPP tenure Hina Rabbani Khar, PML-N government’s Information Minister... Read More
 

Senate approves 65 recommendations to NA about budget

The News (June 25, 2019)
While PM’s Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh could not make the annual budget speech because he is not a member of either House, he spoke at length at Wednesday’s traditional post-Budget press conference, untrammelled by parliamentary restrictions, and re ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Monday unanimously approved 65 recommendations to the National... Read More
 

CPDI lauds raise in KP’s health and education budgets

The Business Recorder (June 24, 2019)
PESHAWAR: Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) has welcomed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) budget 2019-20 for increasing development allocations of education, health, social protection, energy and environment. However, declining percentage share of these sectors in overall development budget is a cause of concern. According to a press statement issued here on Sunday, the KP ... Read More
 

Qatar also offers US $3 billion to Pakistan

The Express Tribune (June 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Doha on Monday announced new investments worth a total of US $3 billion in the form of deposits and direct investments to Islamabad through a statement issued by the Qatari Foreign Ministry “The Qatari support comes after Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s [two-day] visit to Pakistan to underscore the deep relations between the two brotherly countries and ... Read More
 

Health of the budget

The News (June 23, 2019)
In its recently announced annual budget, for the fiscal year 2019-20, the Punjab government allocated Rs279 billion for health sector. While the government claimed that the allocation budget was up by 20 percent from the current fiscal year (which ends June 30), the fact is that the caretaker government had allocated Rs284 bn for health. To put it in other words, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led provincial... Read More
 

CPDI hails KP govt for increasing development allocations

The Nation (June 23, 2019)
LAKKI MARWAT: The Center for Peace and Development Initiatives hails Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government  for increasing development allocations of Education, Health, Social Protection, Energy and Environment sectors in the recently presented annual budget for fiscal year 2019-20, claimed Haji Inayatullah Khan District Program Manager of Community... Read More
 

Fiery speeches in NA over budget

The News (June 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Members of the opposition on Friday delivered fiery speeches about the federal budget and PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah reminded the PTI government its every single promise. Khursheed Shah came down harshly on the PTI government for not fulfilling any promise with the people and its leadership for taking U-turns. “Imran Khan had stated that he will not take IMF... Read More
 

Senate opposition rejects budget

The News (June 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Joint opposition in the Senate on Friday rejected the budget, fearing if approved by the Parliament, it would add to crime and poverty, as it had been thrashed out not by the government but by the International Monetary Fund. On the other hand, a treasury legislator insisted that there would be inquiry into the spending of Rs24000 billion in previous ... Read More
 

NA continues discussion on budget 2019-20

The Radio Pakistan (June 21, 2019)
The National Assembly continued discussion on the budget for next fiscal year on Friday. Sahibzada Sibghatullah described the budget as investment friendly. He said the country has been put on the right track and it will move forward on the path of progress and development. Khawaja Asif said the withdrawal of zero rated facility for export oriented industry will not only cut job opportunities... Read More
 

Asad finds fault with budget, discloses details of IMF talks

The Dawn (June 21, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Opposing a decision of the government of his own Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf to increase taxes on items of daily use, former finance minister Asad Umar on Thursday called for an investigation into a constant increase in sugar prices. Taking part in the debate on the budget in the National Assembly soon after the speech of a subdued Asif Zardari ... Read More
 

PM-N left budget deficit of Rs 1300bn in Punjab: Hammad

The Pakistan Today (June 20, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar on Thursday said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) PML-N left a budget deficit of Rs1300 billion in Punjab during its tenure. Responding to the speech of MNA Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, who served as Finance Minister Punjab during the tenure of PML-N,  the minister said those claiming to serve the masses in past left a budget deficit of Rs1300 billion in last fiscal year ... Read More
 

Budget 2019: Will GST be removed on health insurance premium in the upcoming budget

The Financial Express (June 20, 2019)
Budget 2019 India: Union Budget 2019 India may give a fresh look at the health insurance industry paving way for lower cost in terms of premium paid towards medical insurance and giving incentives in terms of higher deductions from total income in order to boost the sector. The tax benefit under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, could be revised upwards. Currently, the maximum ... Read More
 

Environment protection, courts and prison neglected in Punjab dev budget: CPDI

The Business World (June 19, 2019)
Jhang: Punjab government has not given due share to environment protection, police, law courts and prison administration in its development budget 2019-20. Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) shared while reacting to, otherwise relatively balanced, budget. Climate change and terrorism are the two major issues challenging country’s economic growth in different ways ... Read More
 

Pakistan budgets for luxuries and arms, neglects development

The Asia Times (June 19, 2019)
It was quite shocking recently to see irony dying a thousand deaths as I read the sentence at the very top of recent tender notices issued by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in Islamabad. It invited contractors to submit proposals for the construction of “New Cages for Parrots at the Zoo of Aiwan-Sadr,” the President House, which would cost 1.94 million Pakistani rupees (US$12,000), ... Read More
 

KP unveils Rs 900bn tax free surplus budget

The Pakistan Today (June 18, 2019)
PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Finance Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra on Tuesday presented the provincial budget 2019-20, with Rs900 billion tax-free surplus budget. The provincial finance minister presented the annual budget in the KP Assembly amid uproar by the opposition benches that were protesting the non-issuance of a production order for former president... Read More
 

Ruckus mars NA budget session yet again

The Pakistan Today (June 18, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: A day after Prime Minister Imran Khan directed his ministers to respond in kind to the opposition, the treasury benches created ruckus in the National Assembly (NA), resulting in Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif’s third and another failed attempt to complete his speech on the Federal Budget 2019-20. Sharif, also the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz... Read More
 

Budget-Not all is doom and gloom

The Pakistan Today (June 17, 2019)
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s PTI led government has announced a tough budget to arrest the alarming build up in public debt over the last decade. Dr Hafiz Shaikh in his press conference at the launch of the Economic Survey FY19 lamented that the size of the public debt has reached unsustainable levels. Public debt increased from Rs 7.7 trillion in FY2009 to over Rs 28.6 trillion in FY2019, meaning that ... Read More
 

CPDI react to fed budget 2019-20 with concern

The Frontier Post (June 17, 2019)
PESHAWAR: Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) reacts to federal budget 2019-20 with concern as development allocations for education and health sectors decrease while ambitious tax targets and multi folds increase for climate change and Water Resources seem tough to achieve. The volume of Federal Development Budget 2019-20 is RS. 949,896 million... Read More
 

Finance adviser denies budget is IMF dictated

The Express Tribune (June 16, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s grim economic situation demanded sacrifices and it was rubbish to say that it was an International Monetary Fund (IMF) dictated budget, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Saturday. The finance adviser also said that it was irritating that people were saying that Rs5.550 trillion tax collection target of the Federal Board of Revenue was ... Read More
 

Missed opportunities: on economic survey and budget

The Pakistan Today by Omer Javed (June 16, 2019)
Sadly, there is not much difference in the quality of economic survey for 2018/19, from that of the past. Indeed, an opportunity was missed by the PTI government to make an in-depth survey of the economy to learn the issues facing it in a much-needed greater depth and breadth. This was important to plan for improving the economy and taking it towards the ‘new Pakistan’. Extensive teams of economic... Read More
 

Economic experts see silver lining in budget

The Express Tribune (June 15, 2019) 
While several measures taken in the federal budget 2019-20 are raising fears in nearly all sectors of economy and various segments of society, it may well pay good dividends in the longer run through measures taken for enhanced fiscal discipline and meaningful economic management. It was however essential to develop a national consensus through effective communication strategy to see off the... Read More
 
  

Govt gives south Punjab a major share in budget

The Pakistan Today (June 15, 2019)
LAHORE: Provincial Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakhat on Saturday said that equal development across Punjab, social protection and human resource development were the pivot of the provincial budget 2019-20. He was addressing a  post-budget press conference and was accompanied by Punjab Finance Secretary Abdullah Khan... Read More
 

Sindh presents Rs 1.2tr budget amid opposition’s protest

The Pakistan Today (June 14, 2019)
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who also holds the portfolio of finance minister, on Friday presented an Rs1,217 billion budget with zero deficit for the next financial year 2019-20 amid strong protest by the opposition members. Moreover, the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the next financial year is Rs283.5 billion which... Read More
 

The cherished dream of Budget 2020

The Pakistan Today by Omer Zaheer Meer (June 14, 2019)
“I have a dream”. These were the famous words which led to a drastic change in the USA, uttered at a key junction of history. With the budget pending approval, I too have a dream to share with the readers. The dream starts with the federal budget of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan having just been approved. There are widespread celebrations across the country... Read More
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 42 June 13, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Federal Budget ignores education and health sectors: CPDI

The News (June 13, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) reacts to federal budget 2019-20 with concern as development allocations for education and health sectors decrease while ambitious tax targets and multi folds increase for climate change and water resources seem tough to achieve. The volume of Federal Development Budget 2019-20 is RS949896 million. The share of ... Read More
 

US budget doesn’t contain aid for Pakistan Army

Pakistan Today (June 13, 2019)
The United States’ budget for the upcoming financial year does not include any security assistance for Pakistan’s military but only civilian assistance programming, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice Wells will testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) in a hearing on ‘US Interest in South Asia and FY 2020 Budget’. As per the statement... Read More
 

Post-budget press conference

Pakistan Today (June 13, 2019)
While PM’s Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh could not make the annual budget speech because he is not a member of either House, he spoke at length at Wednesday’s traditional post-Budget press conference, untrammelled by parliamentary restrictions, and re-emphasised the message in the Budget speech itself. That was buttressed by the presence at ... Read More
 

Budget 2019-20: Salaried class to pay more taxes under PTI govt

Pakistan Today (June 12, 2019)
LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government in its first full budget has removed tax reliefs that were introduced by the previous Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) led government for the salaried class. In its latest budget proposed yesterday, Prime Minister Imran’s administration not only announced to lower the threshold of annual income exempted... Read More
 

Pakistan budget: Overseas Pakistani in the UAE feel neglected again despite sending huge remittances

Gulf News (June 11, 2019)
Dubai: Pakistani expatriates in the UAE have strongly reacted to the first budget presented by the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government on Tuesday. Most of them believe that the overseas Pakistanis have again been neglected in the Rs6 trillion (Dh147.32) budget. They said that they had high hopes of getting some good incentives as were promised by Imran Khan but he just like the previous government ... Read More
 

PTI’s first federal budget

Pakistan Today (June 11, 2019)
The PTI has handed over all powers to the IMF to take fiscal decisions for the next 40 months. The present Budget underlines what happens to the people when the real budget-makers are not elected representatives. The budget speech by Minister of State Hammad Azhar started with token measures of austerity on the part of the government, like Cabinet members... Read More
 

Imran to roll out Rs 6.8tr ‘people- friendly’ budget

Pakistan Today (June 10, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Mired in financial crises amid high inflation rate, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan is all set to roll out its first finance bill on June 11, Tuesday. The budget brings with itself an expected deficit of Rs3 trillion as opposed to the Rs1.8 trillion in the previous budgets. It will be approved by the federal cabinet on Tuesday... Read More
 

Total revenue remains stagnant in nine months FY 19

Pakistan Today (June 10, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Economic Survey 2018-19 has presented a bleak picture of fiscal development from 2018 July to March 2019, as there was zero growth in total revenue during the first nine months of the outgoing fiscal year. The survey shows that total revenue increased to Rs3,583.7 billion (9.3pc of GDP) during the first nine months of FY2019 from Rs3,582.4... Read More
 

Pakistan budget: Imran Khan government to present its first budget on Tuesday

Gulf News (June 09, 2019)
ISLAMABAD:The Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf led government is all set to present its first Federal Budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 in the Parliament on June 11 (Tuesday). The budget envisages fiscal management, revenue mobilisation, measures for economic stabilisation and growth, reduction in non-development expenditures and boosting exports besides providing relief... Read More
 

PTI govt set to impose ‘health tax’ on cigarettes, carbonated drinks

Express Tribune (June 09, 2019)
The federal government has decided to impose a ‘health tax’ on cigarettes and carbonated drinks in the upcoming budget for the fiscal year 2019-20. This was confirmed by Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Tobacco Control Babar Bin Atta on Sunday. As part of the proposed move, the federal government has decided to impose a tax of Rs10 on a pack of 20 cigarettes. The government has ... Read More
 

Pakistan sees 2019 GDP growth at 3.3pc, sharply below target

Pakistan Today (June 08, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Finance Ministry expects economic growth in the financial year ending in June to hit 3.3pc, well below a target of 6.2pc set last year, with key sectors all performing worse than expected, according to a planning document seen by Reuters. The document also sets a target of 4pc growth for the 2020 financial year, underlining the economic headwinds ... Read More
 

Cut in defence budget not due to IMF pressure, says Qureshi

Pakistan Today (June 07, 2019)
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has rejected the impression that Pakistan has decided to cut its defence budget on the instructions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In a statement, Qureshi said that Pakistan’s armed forces have themselves decided not to take an additional share under defence budget in order to lessen the burden on the nation... Read More
 

Pakistan Army Chief: Voluntary cut in defence budget will not impact response to threats

Gulf News (June 06, 2019)
Islamabad: Pakistan’s Army Chief has said that the voluntary cut in defence budget offered by the military to ease financial woes will not influence their response to any security threat. Talking about the defence cutbacks in upcoming budget, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Wednesday that “there shall be no impact on our response potential to all types of threat and quality of... Read More
 

Govt plans to remove advance tax on tobacco in next budget

The News (June 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The government plans to remove the Advance tax on tobacco in the upcoming Federal Budget 2019 – 2020. The Advance tax of Rs300 per kg is applicable only on the tobacco that enters the Green Leaf Threshing (GLT) plant. All manufacturers who purchase tobacco from farmers must process tobacco through GLT before it can be used for manufacturing of cigarettes. According to ... Read More
 

PM Imran Khan lauds Pakistan Military for voluntarily cutting defence budget

The News (June 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday lauded the "unprecedented voluntary initiative of stringent cuts" by the Pakistan armed forces, in view of the country's critical financial situation. The prime minister was particularly appreciative of the armed forces' decision, in view of the "multiple security challenges" confronting the nation. In an unprecedented move for the betterment of ... Read More
 

Inflation up 9.1% in May

Express Tribune (June 04, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In line with expectations, the inflation rate edged up to 9.1% in May, which raised questions over the SBP move to increase the key discount rate to 12.25% to meet a condition of the IMF. Core inflation – non-food and non-energy price index – which in April stood at 7% also marginally increased to 7.2% last month, reported the PBS on Monday. The headline as well as core inflation in May was largely ... Read More
 

Industrial development imperative for economic uplift: Dawood

Pakistan Today (June 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday termed projects like Allama Iqbal Industrial City “imperative for industrial development” in the country. Talking to Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) Chairman Mian Kashif Ashfaq during a meeting in Lahore, the adviser lauded the ... Read More
 

Pakistani stocks close in red ahead of federal budget

Daily Times (June 03, 2019)
Pakistan equities closed on Monday on a negative note with benchmark KSE 100 Index shedding 469 points, closing at 35,505 levels, down 1.3 percent. The local bourse kicked off on a negative note where the market nosedived, making a low of -549 points. An equity analyst at IIS Securities said KSE 100 Index opened on a negative note, negative sentiments were carried by ... Read More
 

ICCI calls for solid measures in Budget to reduce inflation

Urdu Point (June 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD (UrduPoint/ Pakistan Point News / Online 03rd June, 2019) The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has called upon the government to take solid measures in the forthcoming budget to reduce inflation as rising inflation has significantly squeezed the purchasing power of people due to which business activities were badly... Read More
 

A budget looking beyond economic growth

Pakistan Today by Omer Javed (June 02, 2019)
The PTI government came on the agenda of change towards a radically different Pakistan– a new Pakistan– and soon it will be presenting its first budget. One of the main steps to deliver this new Pakistan is to change the way governments have previously thought about budgets. Traditionally, budgets have focussed on economic growth being the main goal– whether it be the increase in the level of output at the... Read More
 

Budget and oppressive taxes

Daily Times by Dr. Ikramul Haq (June 02, 2019)
In the forthcoming budget, to be announced on June 11, 2019 under a new economic team selected by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on the dictates/recommendations of International Monetary Fund (IMF), there will be enhancement in rates of existing taxes and imposition of new duties as target of Rs. 5500 billion has been agreed with lender of the last resort! The new Chairman... Read More
 

Modi govt to present Budget 2019-20 on July 5

www.yourstory.com (June 01, 2019)
The newly-appointed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the full Budget for 2019-20 on July 5 in the Lok Sabha. This will be first full Budget of Modi 2.0 government. In view of the general elections, the interim Budget for the current fiscal was presented by the then Finance Minister Piyush Goyal. The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in its first meeting has... Read More
 

PTI govt to present common man’s budget: Hafeez Sheikh

Pakistan Today (June 01, 2019)
Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Saturday the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s top priority is to give relief to the common man in the upcoming fiscal year’s budget. Speaking to a delegation of businessmen, he said tough decisions are being made by the government to steer the country out of the prevalent... Read More
 

Pakistan to repay over $9b on debt servicing

The News (May 31, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will have to repay over $9 billion on account of debt servicing of foreign loans both in shape of principle and interest payments during the next budget 2019-20, The News has learnt. This whopping loan repayment of $9 billion will be due despite getting rollover assurances from the friendly countries including China under the IMF loan conditions and ... Read More
 

Pakistan economic crisis: USD 1 May equal 200 PKR by Year-End

valuewalk.com (May 31, 2019)
Pakistan’s rupee has dropped more than 5% in May, breaching the 150-per-dollar level last week. The drop was primarily the result of Islamabad agreeing to another International Monetary Fund loan to avert Pakistan’s economic crisis. However, experts feel that Pakistan’s rupee could drop further and may even hit 200 per dollar if the trend continues... Read More
 
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 41 May 30, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Pakistan’s financing needs grow to 42.3pc of GDP: IMF

The Dawn (May 30, 2019)
WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s gross financing needs during 2019 increased to 42.3 per cent of GDP as budget deficit increased to 7pc and maturing debt widened to 35.1pc of the GDP, data released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) showed on Tuesday. The IMF in its fiscal monitor for April said that, “in Pakistan, the overall deficit was 2.5 percentage points of GDP looser than budgeted, owing to... Read More
 

Govt recommends Rs36.7b as development budget for finance ministry

The Nation (May 30, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - The federal government has recommended Rs36.7 billion as development budget for the ministry of finance that included Rs25.3 billion for tribal districts development in the next budget for fiscal year 2019-2020. READ MORE: Russia rejects US claims on Nuclear Test Ban Treaty violation: Ambassador The overall development budget of the ministry of finance... Read More
 

NEC approves 4pc GDP growth target for next fiscal year

Pakistan Today (May 29, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, approved the National Development Outlay 2019-20 amounting to Rs1.837 trillion, including the federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and provincial Annual Development Plans (ADPs). The meeting, which was held at the PM Office, reviewed the Annual Plan ... Read More
 

Govt to present budget on June 11

Pakistan Today (May 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Amid a recent reshuffle in the finance team and economic uncertainty, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has decided to present the budget for the financial year 2019-20 on June 11. This was announced by Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan in a press conference after a meeting of the federal cabinet... Read More
 

Trade deficit of Pakistan- a vicious cycle

Express Tribune (May 27, 2019)
KARACHI: As the government undertakes yet another programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the challenge to steer the economy away from the vicious cycle of high fiscal and current account deficits, coupled with critically low foreign currency reserves, is insurmountable. The recent attack by currency speculators on the foreign exchange... Read More
 

All stakeholders being taken on board to finalize budget: Finance Division

Radio Pakistan (May 27, 2019)
Spokesperson of Finance Division Dr. Khaqan Hassan Najeeb says extensive work is underway for finalization of a budget reflective of the needs of the economy.  In a tweet today, he said government is taking all stakeholders on board through consultation. Dr Khaqan Hassan Najeeb said the private sector, Chambers, Trade Associations and academia is... Read More
 

Hafeez Sheikh reviews budget proposals

Pakistan Today (May 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh Sunday chaired a meeting to review Budget proposals. On the occasion, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi gave a presentation about the budget proposals for the 2019-2020 and proposed various steps to expand the tax base and increase... Read More
 

Rs5.5tr revenue target will choke economy: Dr Ashfaq

The News (May 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Renowned economist Dr Ashfaq Hasan Khan has termed government’s revenue target of Rs5.5 trillion in coming budgetary year at a projected growth of 4 percent a mere joke, adding it is tantamount to further choking the economy. No one can understand as how this economic team will achieve the target of additional taxation of over Rs1 trillion in the... Read More
 

Pakistan bracing for austere budget under IMF

Business Recorder (May 25, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is preparing a belt-tightening budget to tame its fiscal deficit, Hafeez Shaikh said on Saturday, adding that both civilian and military rulers agreed austerity measures were needed to stabilise the economy. But Hafeez Shaikh, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s top finance adviser, declined to say whether the military’s hefty budget would be cut following last... Read More
 

Punjab aims for 7% growth by 2023

Express Tribune (May 25, 2019)
Lahore: The Punjab government launched its growth strategy for the next five years (2018-2023), with an ambitious vision of provincial bureaucracy and few senior economists, particularly if examined in the current context of the country’s overall economy. The provincial government hopes to achieve a globally connected and competitive Punjab with sustainable economic... Read More
 

Uplift budget cut by 13% for FY 2019-20

Express Tribune (May 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD.: The federal and four provincial governments have proposed nearly Rs1.6 trillion for development spending in next fiscal year, which is lower by Rs227 billion or nearly 13 per cent due to International Monetary Fund-backed fiscal consolidation programme. The Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) recommended on Thursday Rs1.586-trillion National Development... Read More
 

Minister vows to end circular debt by Dec 2020

Pakistan Today (May 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Power Minister Omar Ayub Khan said on Friday that a system of automatic metering is being introduced in the country to bring efficiency in the power sector and to stop power pilferage. Addressing a news conference, he expressed confidence that circular debt would be completely eliminated by December next year. “The energy sector will observe a... Read More
 

Sales tax rate may be raised from 17pc to 18pc in budget

Business Recorder (May 23, 2019)
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is considering increasing standard rate of Sales Tax from 17 to 18 percent, increase in rate of Federal Excise Duty (FED) on certain excisable commodities and imposition of FED on a few new items and withdrawal of income tax exemptions available to the privileged class in coming budget (2019-20). Sources told Business Recorder... Read More
 

Deal with IMF must be renegotiated: Dr Pasha

The News (May 23, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The budget of current fiscal year has gone out of control of the incumbent regime on account of zero growth in revenue and the budget deficit in first nine months has surged to 5 percent of the GDP which hasn’t happened in the last 11 years. If this trend continues, the budget deficit is feared to swell up to Rs2,800 billion (over 7 percent of GDP) by June 30, 2019. This has happened ... Read More
 

FDI drops 52% as economic uncertainty bites

Express Tribune (May 22, 2019)
KARACHI: Foreign direct investment (FDI) dropped 52% to $1.37 billion in first 10 months (Jul-Apr) of the current fiscal year due to spread of economic uncertainty. The FDI had been recorded at $2.84 billion in the same period of previous year, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on Tuesday. “Economic uncertainty prompted foreign firms to put their investment decisions on... Read More
 

Rs 1,922 billion highest budget deficit in the nine months

The News (May 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Owing to zero growth in total revenues and increase in interest payment and defence expenditures by 24 percent, Pakistan’s budget deficit has sharply widened to Rs1922.4 billion or 5 percent of GDP in first nine months of the current fiscal year. This is highest ever budget deficit materialised in first nine months in percentage of GDP during the last 30 years since 1991. The budget deficit both in... Read More
 

Total debt getting close to size of economy

Express Tribune (May 21, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s debt and liabilities have risen steeply to Rs35.1 trillion or 91.2% of size of the economy, further deepening concerns over debt trap that has started limiting the government’s policy options. The statistics released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) at the weekend showed that only from July through March of this fiscal year, there was a net addition of Rs5.2 trillion in the country’s... Read More
 

IMF aid programmes mostly help but need fine-tuning: report

Pakistan Today (May 21, 2019)
WASHINGTON: Three-quarters of International Monetary Fund aid programmes over a six-year period attained their goals fully or partially but there were some failings, including rose-coloured growth forecasts, the fund said Monday. Between 2011 and 2017, the IMF oversaw 133 economic aid programmes for member countries, according to a review... Read More
 

Tech start-ups can transform Pakistan’s economy

Express Tribune (May 20, 2019)
ISLAMABAD:  Careem is the first Pakistani unicorn. Oh wait. No. Mudassir Sheikha is Pakistani but the co-founder is not. And the company started operations in Dubai. Uber bought it for over $3.1 billion, but where will the money go? How will it affect the next cycle of Pakistani entrepreneurs? Let’s look at another example: Elastica. The founder, Rehan Jalil, is Pakistani... Read More
 

Economy will come out of crisis soon, says PM

Dawn (May 20, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed confidence on Sunday that problems confronting the economy would be overcome soon through concerted efforts by the government and the business community. Mr Khan was speaking to a delegation of leading businessmen who called on him to offer suggestions to pull the country out of the economic crisis... Read More
 

Pakistan’s latest IMF bailout will not succeed without major cuts in the defense budget. EFSAS Commentary

Pakistan Christian Post (May 19, 2019)
In its recently published commentary, “Pakistan’s latest IMF bailout will not succeed without major cuts in the defense budget”, the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) comments on the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) announcement that it had reached a Staff-Level Agreement with Pakistan for about $6 billion. If approved by the IMF’s Executive... Read More
 

Budget to make no changes in amnesty scheme: Zaidi

Dawn (May 19, 2019)
KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman Shabbar Zaidi on Saturday said there was no ambiguity in the tax amn­esty scheme and that no changes would be made in the Finance Bill in this regard. Addressing members of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), he said the tax amnesty scheme would be made part of the Finance Bill for its formal approval by parliament... Read More
 

Don’t blame the IMF

Dawn by S Akbar Zaidi (May 18, 2019)
THERE is little disagreement that Pakistan’s economy is in a disastrous state. Even the prime minister and Pakistan’s last finance minister have acknowledged this truth, publicly. In fact, the last elected politician to hold the job as finance minister was fired precisely because the economy was in such a mess. Not only is every key economic indicator in poor shape, all indications suggest that... Read More
 

PSX delegates call on Hafeez Sheikh amid depressed market sentiment

Business World (May 18, 2019)
KARACHI: A delegation of leading businessmen and brokers here on Friday held a meeting with Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and discussed overall macro-economic situation and its impact on capital markets in the country. The delegation, comprising Chairman Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) Sulaiman Mehdi, Bashir Jan Mohammad... Read More
 

NA Speaker opens debate on pre-budget proposals

News (May 17, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser on Thursday initiated comprehensive discussion on pre-budget proposals for agriculture development and outlined that farmers’ profitability, improved productivity, technology transfer and adaptation, access to new markets and rapid shift from low value to high value agricultural products... Read More
 
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 40 May 16, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Trade deficit contracts 13% in Jul-Apr FY 19

Express Tribune (May 16, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan’s trade deficit widened over 22% to $2.66 billion in April 2019 because of increase in imports, particularly the expensive petroleum products for running oil-fired power plants during the current summer season when demand rose sharply. The trade deficit stood at $2.18 billion in the previous month of March, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Wednesday... Read More
 

Agreement with IMF to end uncertainty

The Nation (May 16, 2019)
KARACHI - President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said the long-delayed agreement with IMF may help calm the markets. After the agreement, the local and foreign investors will be able to take... Read More
 

Imran govt approves first tax amnesty scheme

Pakistan Today (May 15, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government on Tuesday finally approved the Asset Declaration Scheme after weeks of scrutiny amid internal opposition in a bid to “document the economy and to bring dead assets into the economy and make them functional”. PM’s Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh briefed the media on the scheme after a meeting of the federal ... Read More
 

Rs 750-800 billion PSDP likely: Hafeez explain criticality of IMF bailout

Business Recorder (May 15, 2019)
Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Hafeez Shaikh has said that the government is likely to allocate Rs 750-800 billion under Public Sector Development Programme (PSPD) in the upcoming budget for 2019-20. Addressing a press conference here at Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) House on Tuesday, the advisor said that the government is likely to unveil the budget for 2019-20 on June 10 or... Read More
 

Budget proposals: SCCI calls for review of APTTA

Business Recorder (May 13, 2019)
Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has called for review of Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) for the facilitation of imports with Afghanistan and introduction of an effective mechanism based on some quantitative ceilings to collect duty at import stage. Similarly, it has also recommended the streamlining of exchange control mechanism for financing... Read More
 

Pakistan finalizes $6bn IMF bailout package

Aljazeera (May 13, 2019)
Islamabad, Pakistan - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan have agreed on terms for a $6bn bailout package, to be disbursed over a span of more than three years, bringing an end to months of negotiations with the international lender. The agreement was confirmed by the IMF which added that the funds would be disbursed over 39 months. "Pakistan... Read More
 

Self-defeating economic thought process

Pakistan Today (May 12, 2019)
Exports have risen negligibly during the tenure of the PTI government. Given that the country inherited a huge current account deficit, and a large external debt servicing requirement, disappointingly, raising exports could still not become one of the government’s main areas of focus. The delay in announcing any meaningful steps to boost exports points to the PTI’s lack of preparedness... Read More
 

Pakistan agrees another multi-billion IMF bailout

Reuters (May 12, 2019)
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan has reached an accord with the International Monetary Fund for a three-year, $6 billion bailout package aimed at shoring up fragile public finances and strengthening a slowing economy, officials said on Sunday. The deal, which still needs approval by the IMF board in Washington, would be the 13th such bailout since the late 1980s Finance Minister Abdul... Read More
 

Budget Blues

Pakistan Today (May 11, 2019)
Barring a last minute glitch, around a $7billion IMF (International Monetary Fund) bailout package is virtually clinched. Now begins the hard part of meeting the international lending agency’s tough condtionalites. The conventional wisdom is that in the end analysis Islamabad completely capitulated in negotiations with the IMF officials. In the backdrop of an unprecedented shuffle in the finance team... Read More
 

APWC for introducing economic reforms in budget

The Nation (May 11, 2019)
LAHORE (PR) All Pakistan Workers Confederation has said that federal and provincial governments may announce far reaching economic and social reforms in their forthcoming annual budgets. It also called for adopting austerity measures in the country and develop national industries and agriculture and trade. It was also called upon the government to ensure safe and healthy... Read More
 

Pakistan economy grows by mere 3.3 percent in 2018-19 amid IMF bailout threat: Reports

Indian Express (May 10, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's economy registered a dismal 3.3 per cent growth in 2018-19, achieving just over 50 per cent of its projected target, as all key sectors failed to perform in the first year of Prime Minister Imran Khan's government, according to media reports on Friday. The poor show came as the cash-strapped Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government was negotiating a bailout package from the... Read More
 

Budget 2019/20 should be based on ‘low-tax-rate’, long term growth

Daily Times (May 10, 2019)
ACCA (the “Association of Chartered Certified Accountants”) believes that it is time to make radical changes in the approach towards budget and the economic model of Pakistan. We are compelled to think beyond twelve months and take medium to long term perspective focusing on inclusive economic growth and development model for Pakistan rather than just managing cash... Read More
 

Pakistan’s exports to India grow 1pc in 8 months

The Nation (May 09, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s exports of goods and services to India grew by one percent during the first eight months of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported. The overall exports to India were recorded at $273.530 million during July-February (2018-19) against exports of $270.843 million during July-February... Read More
 

FO terms increase in Indian defence budget an attempt to start arms race in region

Dunya News (May 09, 2019)
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal on Thursday termed the increase in Indian defence budget an attempt to start an arms race in the region but New Delhi know that increasing the budget won’t affect anything. Addressing a weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, he said that passion is most important for the defence of the... Read More
 

Chaos in FBR as govt aims for budget on May 22

Dawn (May 08, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The government is aiming to announce the federal budget on May 22, according to a communication received at the tax bureaucracy last week, as confusion reigns over the status of the current and incoming chiefs of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). Meanwhile, the summary to appoint Shabbar Zaidi, a Karachi-based chartered accountant, as new chairman of the FBR was... Read More
 

Money laundering is a major threat to economy

Daily Times (May 08, 2019)
Money laundering, white-collar crime, corruption and tax aversion are global issues and not a challenge for Pakistan alone. That said, they have had a major role in the destruction of Pakistan’s economy. The recent inflation and the hike in prices of fuels is all because of corruption and money laundering. Money laundering is a serious crime against the state. A ‘launderer’ disguises the origin of the money... Read More
 

Inflation, price hike and Pakistan’s economic structure-II

Business Recorder (May 07, 2019)
It is a common knowledge in Paki-stan that in the present day market mechanism, middlemen buy crops or product of the agriculturist 'upfront' much before the production as the agriculturists/producers do not possess sufficient money for seed, fertilizer, pesticides and labour. It is quite interesting to note that in many sectors the number of actual producers for a particular... Read More
 

Budget likely to be postponed till mid-June

Pakistan Today  (May 07, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Amidst prolonged negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has started thinking about delaying the next budget to the second week of June, it was learnt on Tuesday. “Instead of presenting federal budget for the financial year 2019-2020 on May 22nd, as announced earlier by the government... Read More
 

Pakistan doesn’t need additional taxes to cover revenue shortfall: WB

Dawn (May 06, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has substantial potential to increase tax receipts without imposing new taxes or increasing their rates. The country’s tax revenue potential would reach 26 per cent of GDP, if tax compliance were to be raised to 75 per cent, which is a realistic level of compliance for lower middle income countries. This means that Pakistan’s tax authorities are currently capturing only... Read More
 

Budget expectations

Daily Times (May 06, 2019)
A country’s Budget is a most powerful financial document of its kind. It is a tool to control future commitments with the available resources. An ideal situation for Financial Managers making a country’s budget is where revenues may be more than expenditures. This situation never exists specially in third world countries where resources are scarcer than requirements... Read More
 

ICAP for focusing on ease of doing business, reforms in budget

The Nation (May 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD   -   The Institute of Charter Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) here on Saturday recommended the government to pay its special attention on ease of doing business, reforms in tax laws, harmonization of taxation system and broadening the tax base in upcoming federal budget for the fiscal year 2019-20. “Pakistan’s tax-to-GDP ratio is the main impediment in the economic development... Read More
 

CPEC: Economic prosperity for Pakistan

The News (May 05, 2019)
Pakistan has embarked on a journey of economic growth. Being the 23rd largest economy in the world by Purchasing Power Parity, Pakistan has now picked up the pace in collaboration with economic partners from around the world. The state now possesses the capability to boost its semi-industrialized economy and gain acknowledgement over its manufacturing, agriculture... Read More
 

IMF asks Pakistan to maintain uplift spending

Daily Times (May 04, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) wants Pakistan to “protect” its development spending at this year’s level in the coming budget. Head of IMF Mission to Pakistan Ernesto Rigo gave these views during a meeting with Planning, Development and Reform Secretary Zafar Hasan, according to the planning ministry officials. Rigo is leading... Read More
 

$1bn ADB loan likely for budgetary support

Dawn News (May 03, 2019)
THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday agreed to give $1bn budgetary support to Pakistan soon after a green signal from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the government had promised to have a majority transformation of its high debts having serious socio-economic and financial repercussions. Speaking at a news conference at the 52nd Annual... Read More
 

‘Budget to focus on macroeconomic stability, welfare of vulnerable segments’

Pakistan Today (May 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Friday that the upcoming budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 would focus on bringing about macroeconomic stability in the country, adding that the government also intends to introduce reforms that could uplift the vulnerable segments of the society. “The budget will comprise measures... Read More
 
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 39 May 02, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Bailout talks with IMF far from conclusion

Express Tribune by Shahbaz Rana (May 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD:  Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have yet to bridge their differences in three major policy areas, as the global lender seeks upfront monetary tightening and elimination of the flow of circular debt from the first year of the programme. Pakistani and IMF officials held a first face-off plenary meeting on Wednesday in which all key policy areas were discussed... Read More
 

Budget deficit likely to touch record Rs2.7 trillion despite mini-budget

The Nation (May 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD-Pakistan budget deficit is expected to touch record Rs2.7 trillion in current fiscal year mainly due to massive shortfall in tax collection and increase in interest payment. The country’s budget deficit would widen to Rs2.7 trillion in the current financial year, which would be equal to 7 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). The budget deficit would be highest ever... Read More
 

FBR misses tax revenue target by record margin

Express Tribune (May 01, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The shortfall in tax collection has widened to a record Rs345 billion in the first ten months of this fiscal year amid differences between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a strategy to achieve the tax target for the next fiscal year. Despite a steep shortfall in tax revenues, the federal government on Tuesday surprisingly... Read More
 

Free trade agreement with China to help revive Pakistani economy

Global Times (May 01, 2019)
The second phase of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and China will give a boom to Pakistan's agriculture besides supporting its industry as more Pakistani products are expected to have access to the Chinese market with zero tariff. China is already investing dozens billion US dollars through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Pakistan, and local observers believe that the... Read More
 

Cabinet unlikely to consider tax amnesty scheme, budget strategy paper today

Business Recorder by Zaheer Abassi (Apr 30, 2019)
A meeting of the federal cabinet is unlikely to consider budget strategy paper and tax amnesty scheme today (Tuesday) as a special meeting will be convened for extensive discussion on them before their approval due to their impact on the people. Sources on condition of anonymity stated as measures finalised in the budget strategy paper will have impact on people''s life, therefore... Read More
 

FY19 budget: Rs 20 million earmarked to pick up cost of remittances

Business Recorder (Apr 30, 2019)
The government allocated Rs 20 million in the budget for 2018-19 to pick up the transaction cost of remittances with the objective of facilitating overseas Pakistanis to remit money through formal channels under Pakistan Remittance Imitative (PRI). This was stated by sources in the finance ministry and State Bank of Pakistan. Specific cost of the remitter or an institution... Read More
 

Revenue-generating sectors to get priority in next budget

Dawn News (Apr 29, 2019)
QUETTA: The Balochistan government has decided to give importance to revenue-generating sectors in the next budget. A meeting presided over by Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani reviewed budget proposals for the next financial year and implementation of the ongoing development schemes. The meeting observed that the sectors which had no role in revenue generation... Read More
 

IMF team arrives today for talks on bailout package

Daily Times (Apr 29, 2019)
A team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is set to arrive in Pakistan on Monday (today) to hold technical-level talks on a three-year bailout package. The IMF mission, headed by Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, will reach on April 29 and will stay in the country till May 7. The mission will also visit various institutions during their stay in the country. Pakistani side for negotiations with the IMF will be led by... Read More
 

Upcoming budget termed crucial

The News (Apr 28, 2019)
LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has warned that the ongoing economic scenario has made upcoming budget more crucial, a statement said. Business community expects the government to keep its suggestions on top if it wants to reduce the economic challenges, it added. LCCI office-bearers said electricity and gas prices must be uniform in... Read More
 

Budget 209-2020: PCMA demands relief package for development of chemical industry

Business Recorder (Apr 27, 2019)
Pakistan Chemical Manufacturers Association (PCMA) has demanded of the government to provide a comprehensive relief package for development of chemical industry in the forthcoming budget. PCMA's Secretary General Syed Iqbal Kidwai on Friday said the association's member companies are playing key role in providing important chemicals to export oriented sectors. But, despite huge potential... Read More
 

EFP-EC present Federal Budget proposals 2019-2020

Daily Times (Apr 27, 2019)
Majyd Aziz, President EFP, while introducing Federal Budget Proposals 2019-2020 stated, “The Economic Council of the Employers’ Federation of Pakistan in its first ever endeavor initiated pragmatic, doable, and workable solutions to the various economic and financial issues impeding the economic growth and prosperity of Pakistan. The proposals have been formulated after intensive... Read More
 

PM Khan calls for tackling climate change poverty as Pakistan, China enter next CPEC phase

Dawn News (Apr 26, 2019)
Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Friday, called for greater attention to tackling climate change and poverty as Pakistan and China enter the next phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The prime minister appreciated the significance of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying it "marks a... Read More
 

Pakistan to begin talks with IMF from April 29

Pakistan Today (Apr 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will begin discussing the aid package for Islamabad from April 29. The IMF mission, headed by Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, will reach Pakistan on April 29 and will be in the country till May 7. The mission will also visit various institutions during their time in the country. According to the sources, the Ministry of Finance issued a notification... Read More
 

Inflation not deficits is the new challenge for Pakistan’s economy

The Bloomberg (Apr 25, 2019)
High inflation is emerging as the new challenge for Pakistan, where authorities are trying to secure an International Monetary Fund bailout to avert a balance-of-payments crisis. Consumer prices in March rose to the highest level since 2013, with gains seen hovering above 8 percent through the first-quarter of 2020. That is likely to put the State Bank of Pakistan, the... Read More
 

Govt to present next budget by end of May

Pakistan Today (Apr 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The government will be presenting the Federal Budget 2018-19 by the end of next month, a government official revealed on Wednesday. Talking to media after the meeting of National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Finance Secretary Younus Dagha said that his ministry has expedited its work with regard to the next fiscal budget... Read More
 

Early warning? The resignation of Pakistan’s Finance Minister raises unpleasant questions

The Diplomat (Apr 23, 2019)
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s confidant and a longtime member of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party, Asad Umar, resigned as finance minister last week. The development comes at a time when Pakistan is facing a serious economic crisis. Umar’s resignation raises fresh questions regarding Pakistan’s plans for averting an economic crisis amid bailout talks with the... Read More
 

PM Imran directs for pro-people budget

Pakistan Today (Apr 23, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday directed his cabinet members to introduce policies in the public interest and improve their performance in order to resolve the issues faced by the people. Briefing media persons about the decisions of the federal cabinet meeting, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the prime minister had... Read More
 

Pakistan government ready to pay political cost to salvage sinking economy

Arab News  (Apr 22, 2019)
KARACHI: As Pakistan steps up efforts to negotiate loan program from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before presenting federal budget for fiscal year FY20 next month, the top officials say the government is taking steps to salvage sinking economy, bracing itself for political repercussions. Pakistan is currently negotiating with IMF expecting $6-8 billion loan program for ... Read More
 

Dr Hafeez Shaikh ‘ineligible’ to chair NFC meeting, present next budget

Pakistan Today (Apr 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Since the government has replaced the finance minister with an adviser, a number of issues have surfaced at the finance ministry amidst the absence of a full-fledged minister, it was learnt on Monday. As the important meeting of the National Finance Commission (NFC) is scheduled to be held on April 29, a legal issue has been raised that whether Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance... Read More
 

PFC presents proposals on budget 2019-20 for enhancing furniture export

Dunya News (Apr 21, 2019)
(APP) – Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq on Saturday, on behalf of furniture producers, presented a set of proposals for upcoming Federal Budget 2019-20 to the Advisor to the Prime Minister, Abdul Razak Dawood. The PFC demanded allocation of special chunk of funds to boost furniture exports, besides giving the sector the... Read More
 

PFC presents budget proposals to Dawood

The Nation (Apr 21, 2019)
ISLAMABAD   -    Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq Saturday, on behalf of furniture producers, presented a set of proposals for upcoming federal budget 2019-20 to Advisor to Prime Minister Abdul Razak Dawood. The PFC demanded allocation of special chunk of funds to boost furniture exports, besides giving the sector the status of a full-fledged... Read More
 

‘Govt striving to promote industrialization, lure foreign investors’

Pakistan Today (Apr 20, 2019)
Advisor to Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain said on Saturday that the government is offering a number of incentives to entice foreign investors in various sectors of Pakistan’s economy. “The economic conditions of the country are continuously improving and can be gauged through various indicators,” he added while addressing an event titled... Read More
 

Hafiz Shaikh says budget to be announced not earlier than May 24

Dawn News (Apr 20, 2019)
In his first interaction with the media since being appointed the prime minister's adviser on finance, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh revealed that he had already spoken to finance ministry officials regarding the budget for the next fiscal year. Speaking outside the finance ministry on Saturday, shortly before he left for a meeting with the prime minister, Shaikh said he had directed the... Read More
 

HEC may face up to 50% budget cuts

Pakistan Today (Apr 19, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: A special meeting of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Friday, under the Chairmanship of its chairman Dr Tariq Banuri, reviewed the implications of ongoing fiscal crisis for the higher education sector, and in particular the budgetary projections for the fiscal year 2019-20. The commission was informed that the projected recurring budget demand of the higher education... Read More
 

Pakistan’s GDP growth to fall behind Nepal, Maldives this year: UN

Dawn News (Apr 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The annual Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2019 titled ‘Ambitions beyond Growth’, released by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on Thursday, forecast Pakistan’s GDP to remain lowest in the region at 4.2 per cent in 2019 and 4pc in 2020 compared to Bangladesh’s 7.3pc... Read More
 
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 38 April 18, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Asad Umar steps down as finance minister

Pakistan Today (April 18, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Asad Umar on Thursday announced his decision to leave the post of federal finance minister. Umar took to Twitter and wrote, “As part of a cabinet reshuffle PM desired that I take the energy minister portfolio instead of finance. However, I have obtained his consent to not take any cabinet position. I strongly believe @ImranKhanPTI is the... Read More
 

Govt formulating policies to deal with budget, current account deficit: ADB

The News (Apr 18, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: While indicating $11.129 billion committed loans remained un-disbursed so far, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday stated that Pakistan’s new government was formulating policies to deal with vulnerabilities of budget deficit and current account deficit in order to restore its economic growth. In its annual report and financial... Read More
 

Pakistan’s GDP growth to hover around 5 percent in 2019: GECS

The News (Apr 17, 2019)
LAHORE: Pakistan’s economy is likely to grow by around 5 percent this year, but it faces challenges in the shape of alarmingly large fiscal and current account deficits, both running around 6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). These are the findings of Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) report for the first quarter (Q1) of 2019...Read More
 

Pakistan’s economy to weigh on region’s growth: IMF official

Dawn News (Apr 17, 2019)
WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s economy is projected to slow down significantly and weigh on the region’s aggregate growth rate, says Jihad Azour, director of the Middle East and Central Asia department at the International Monetary Fund. At a recent talk on the economic outlook for the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region...Read More
 

Pakistan eyes $22b package from lending agencies in three years

Express Tribune (Apr 16, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday announced that it will send a staff-level mission to Pakistan to finalise a bailout programme, as Finance Minister Asad Umar hoped to secure nearly $22 billion packages from three multilateral agencies in the next three years. “At the request of the (Pakistani) authorities, an IMF mission will... Read More
 

Trade bodies demand tax exemptions worth Rs 800b: FRB

Pakistan Today (Apr 16, 2019)
ISLAMABAD:  As the trade bodies and associations are giving budget suggestions to the government, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has complained that the business community is demanding tax exemptions worth Rs 800 billion. “FBR is already giving Rs 700 billion worth exemptions to various sectors. How and from where we can collect taxes... Read More
 

Pakistan to avail $6-8bn IMF package, says Asad Umar

Pakistan Today (Apr 15, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar on Monday said that Pakistan is all set to avail a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ranging between $6-8 billion. Addressing a press conference after his return from New York on Monday, the finance minister said that Pakistan and IMF have signed a policy-level agreement and both sides have also... Read More
 

Govt devises strategy to streamline budget allocations

The Nation (Mar 15, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The government has been working on a comprehensive strategy to streamline budget allocations for each ministry with an aim to reduce expenditure rigidities. “Rather than providing budgetary funds to the line ministries in itemized details, the budget allocations for each ministry will be made under only two heads including employee related... Read More
 

Foreign reserves increase, fiscal deficit decreased: Khusro

Pakistan Observer (Apr 14, 2019)
Islamabad: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar has asserted that the federal government has been formulating and implementing effective reforms to strengthen the national economy. He spoke to a private news channel, and stated that improvement in every sector could be observed in the country... Read More
 

The development budget

The News (Apr 14, 2019)
Government spending on economic development is likely to take another hit next year as the finance ministry has indicated that the development outlay will remain the same for next year. Coming after a year of severe inflation, keeping the Public Sector Development Programme at Rs675 billion for 2019-20 equates to a real reduction in development spending... Read More
 

Bailout package with IMF almost worked out: Asad

The Dawn (Apr 13, 2019)
WASHINGTON: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have — more or less — reached an understanding on a package for bailing out the country’s ailing economy, says Finance Minister Asad Umar. “During the last two days, we have, more or less, reached an understanding. In the next day or two, we hope to reach a full agreement and then we will share... Read More
 

Budgetary borrowing up 9pc

Dawn News (Apr 13, 2019)
KARACHI: The government’s borrowing for budgetary support increased by 8.8 per cent year-on year during 9MFY19, reported the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday. The budgetary borrowing rose to Rs876 billion from July to April 5 FY19, compared to Rs805bn during the same period last fiscal year, representing an increase of Rs71bn or 8.8pc... Read More
 

Liquid foreign reserves stands at $17.22b

Pakistan Observer (Mar 12, 2019)
Karachi: The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at US$17,228.3 million on 05April2019. The break-up of the foreign reserves position. Foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan $ 10,271.9 million. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks $ 6,956.4 million. Total liquid foreign reserves $ 17,228.3 million... Read More
 

Next budget to be made in light of IMF programme

Pakistan Today (Apr 12, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and International Monitory Fund (IMF) have reportedly finalised the talks for the next bailout programme and have agreed to move forward towards the staff level agreement, it has been learnt. According to sources, after the positive talks with the IMF officials in Washington, the Fund would be sending its mission to Pakistan this... Read More
 

Despite no growth in exports, trade deficit shrinks 13%

Express Tribune (Apr 11, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports flattened at $17 billion in first nine months of this fiscal year despite 34% currency devaluation in the last over one year, underscoring the need to review a strategy to weaken the currency for gaining export competitiveness. Where the growth in exports flattened in nine months, it, in fact, dipped over 11% on a year-on-year basis in... Read More
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves fall $220m to stand at 10.3b

Express Tribune (Apr 11, 2019)
KARACHI:  The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank declined 2.1% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. Earlier, the reserves had spiralled downwards, falling below the $7 billion mark, which raised concern over Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements. However, financial... Read More
 

FPCCI seeks viable budget proposals from all chambers

The News (Apr 10, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers and Commerce (FPCCI) on Tuesday sought viable budget proposals from all chambers for timely submission to the federal government for fully ensuring growth-oriented and business-friendly environment to boost the economic activities. FPCCI President Daroo Khan Achakzai said this during a meeting... Read More
 

IMF puts country’s growth rate at 2.5%

Express Tribune  (Apr 10, 2019)
ISLAMABAD:  Just a day after Finance Minister Asad Umar claimed that the economy is out of the woods, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Pakistan’s economy will grow at an average rate of just 2.5% during the next five years and its external imbalance will remain elevated. If the IMF’s prophecy turns out to be true, Prime Minister Imran Khan... Read More
 

Govt urged to facilitate furniture sector in upcoming budget

Pakistan Today (Apr 09, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) on Tuesday urged the federal and provincial governments to allocate a special chunk of funds in the upcoming fiscal budget 2019-20 to boost furniture exports, besides giving the sector the status of a full-fledged industry. PFC Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq expressed these views while chairing a board of... Read More
 

SMEDA sends proposals for budget 2019-20

Pakistan Observer (Apr 09, 2019)
Lahore: The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) has sent a set of proposals for Federal Budget 2019-20, which demands that SMEs being an important sector of our economy require assistance and support to ensure their sustained growth. The budget proposals compiled by SMEDA through extensive consultation with stakeholders... Read More
 

China denies CPEC intensified Pakistan’s economic risks

Economic Times (Apr 08, 2019)
BEIJING: China on Monday refuted criticism that the USD 60 billion CPEC has intensified Pakistan's economic risks, saying that less than 20 per cent of the current projects under the initiative are using Chinese loans. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which connects Gwadar Port in Balochistan with China's Xinjiang province, is the flagship... Read More
 

Economy has come out of crises: Asad Umar

The News (Apr 08, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of Finance Asad Umar said on Monday that the situation of crisis in the country has ended and we are now in a stage of stability which will continue for next year and a half. Addressing an event in the federal capital, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader stated that the country’s economy is presently encountering three major... Read More
 

Pakistan’s GDP growth may slow down to 3.4%: World Bank

Express Tribune (Apr 07, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s public debt would jump to 17 years highest level of 82.3 per cent of the size of its economy and budget deficit is projected to be over Rs2.6 trillion by the end of the current fiscal year, says a new report of the World Bank. The projected levels of the budget deficit – gap between expenditures and revenues – and public debt to Gross Domestic... Read More
 

PTI-led govt’s debt surges to Rs 27.6tr by Feb-end

The Express Tribune (Apr 06, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government’s debt has soared to Rs27.6 trillion with a net addition of Rs3.4 trillion in just eight months at a pace of nearly 14% due to low tax revenue, high expenditure and currency depreciation. From July through February 2018-19, the government on an average added Rs14 billion a day to its debt, which included almost six and... Read More
 

Pakistan’s GDP growth to fall behind Nepal, Maldives this year: UN

Dawn News (Apr 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The annual Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2019 titled ‘Ambitions beyond Growth’, released by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on Thursday, forecast Pakistan’s GDP to remain lowest in the region at 4.2 per cent in 2019 and 4pc in 2020 compared to Bangladesh’s 7.3pc... Read More
 
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 37 April 04, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

ADB forecasts grim outlook for Pakistan economy

The Nation (April 04, 2019)
ISLAMABAD   -   The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Wednesday forecasted that Pakistan’s GDP growth would decelerate to 3.9 percent during current fiscal year (FY2019) as macroeconomic challenges continue. “GDP growth is forecast to decelerate further to 3.9% in FY2019 as macroeconomic challenges continue and despite steps to tighten fiscal and monetary policies to rein in high and unsustainable twin deficits,” the ADB noted in its recent... Read More
 

KP CM for ensuring 100 pc utilization of development budget

Pakistan Today (Apr 04, 2019)
PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister (CM) Mahmood Khan here on Thursday directed all departments to ensure 100pc utilisation of developmental budget with a focus on the provision of quality services to people. The Chief Minister further directed all the departments to surrender unutilized budget by April 15 and additional and supplementary grant should be released after his consultation... Read More
 

Pakistan’s GDP expected to slow down to 3.9pc: ADB report

Dawn News (Apr 03, 2019)
Pakistan will continue to face macroeconomic challenges despite steps to tighten fiscal and monetary policies to rein in high and unsustainable twin deficits, and in this backdrop, the country’s GDP is forecast to decelerate to 3.9 per cent in fiscal year 2019, says the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in a new report released on Wednesday. The report forecasts that continued fiscal consolidation (reduction in underlying fiscal deficit) in FY-2020 will keep growth subdued at 3.6pc...Read More
 

Influence of elite is a big problem for Pakistan’s economy

Sama TV (Apr 03, 2019)
One of the biggest problems for Pakistan’s economy is the influence of the elite, says Finance Minister Asad Umar. He expressed the belief that this influence can be reduced if not finished. The finance minister was speaking at a pre-budget seminar held in Islamabad on Tuesday. The withholding tax net has increased, he said, adding that many of the 41 barriers to trade have been finished. The property sector needs reforms, he said, adding that withholding tax for non-filers in the banking...Read More
 

Budget 2019: Government’s tax relief will make a big difference to Indian community

SBS.com (Apr 02, 2019)
In his first Budget speech, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has handed down a pre-election budget for the Coalition government with a budget surplus of 7.1 billion dollars for 2019/20 and announced more tax relief for low and middle-income earners. “As part of our plan for a stronger economy, we will provide tax relief to Australian taxpayers with immediate relief for low- and middle-income earners,” Minister Frydenberg told Parliament. “The Government will provide...Read More
 

Budget 2019-20 likely to be presented in Parliament on May 24: Finance Minister

Sama Tv (Apr 01, 2019)
The federal government is likely to present a new budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 in the National Assembly and Senate on May 24,  Finance Minister Asad Umar told the media in Islamabad on Monday. “Earlier, May 17 was proposed for the presentation of the new budget, but now May 24 is under consideration and a decision will soon be taken in consultation with the National Assembly speaker,” he said...Read More
 

Pakistan diverts CPEC corridor funds: China ties under pressure

Economic Times (Apr 01, 2019)
NEW DELHI: A controversy has erupted over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) ahead of the second Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit in Beijing following allegations that the Pakistani government has diverted Rs 2,400 crore (around $171.6 million) meant for joint infrastructure development projects with China under BRI to other projects. China had given the money as part of the $62-billion infrastructure funding to build the CPEC. However, Pakistan’s... Read More
 

CPEC’s effects on Pakistan’s economy analysed

The News (Mar 31, 2019)
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will have a positive effect on Pakistan but certainly not a transformative one. These views were expressed by Dr Matthew McCartney, associate professor of political economy and human development in South Asia, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford, UK, while addressing the members of the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) and the media on Saturday evening...Read More
 

A stabilizing economy; Reversing the damage

The News (Mar 31, 2019)
A little more than 200 days have passed since the PTI took over reins of the country in the midst of the worst economic crisis. It inherited multiple deficits that were allowed to surpass levels that are enough to run any economy to the ground. This article broadly lays out the significant progress on the economic stabilisation front in the first 200 days of PTI’s government and the direction that economic policy will take in the coming days. A country like Pakistan needs an adequate... Read More
 

Massive drop in foreign assistance, only $2.94bn received in July-Feb

Dawn News (Mar 30, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan received a paltry $2.94 billion of budgeted foreign assistance in first eight months (July-February) of the current fiscal year, showing a massive decline of over 61pc over last year. This was despite the fact that Pakistan needed significantly higher inflows to finance a large current account deficit. Resultantly, the government had to mostly bank on short-term deposits and commercial loans worth more than $9bn from bilateral sources — Saudi Arabia, United ...Read More
 

Government’s projected indicators

Business Recorder (Mar 30, 2019)
According to a Business Recorder exclusive, the government's projected macroeconomic indicators for the current year shared with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) include: (i) growth rate of 3.7 percent (Planning Ministry had earlier showed a growth rate of 4.2 percent and downgraded it to 4 percent in February this year though the SBP second quarterly report projected a rate of 3.5 to 4 percent); (ii) budget deficit at 5.6 percent of GDP (Fitch rating agency projected a ...Read More
 

Budget 2019-20: Essential reforms

Business Recorder (Mar 29, 2019)
In this article, we are presenting some fundamental institutional/ structural reforms in tax system prior to announcement of budget 2019-20. For the last many decades, the main emphasis of every budget has been meaningless and cumbersome changes in the existing outdated, oppressive and anti-growth tax system, which itself is the root cause of major fiscal ills. It is strange and shocking that we want to reform a system that needs to be dismantled in entirety and should be... Read More
 

Finance minister to chair 9th NFC Award meeting today

The News (Mar 29, 2019)
LAHORE: Finance Minister Asad Umar will chair the fifth meeting of 9th National Finance Commission Award here today (Friday) which will be attended by the finance ministers of all the four provinces, and their nominated non-statutory members including Dr Salman Shah, Dr Asad Saeed, Musharraf Rasul, Mehfooz Ali Khan and other officials concerned including FBR chairman to brief about the performance of the six working groups constituted for ...Read More
 

Govt spending massively up, subsidies down in last FY

The Nation (Mar 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - The federal and four provincial governments massively slashed the subsidies by over 35 percent in last fiscal year 2017-18. The federal and provincials governments of the country had paid Rs260 billion as subsidies during the year 2017-18 as against Rs403 billion in preceding year showing reduction of over 35 percent. Pakistan’s budget deficit had ballooned to highest ever level of Rs2.26 trillion during last fiscal year despite slashing the subsidies massively...Read More
 

What Sri Lanka’s 2019 Budget Tells Us About Its Economic Health

The Diplomat (Mar 27, 2019)
Following one of the most dramatic political crises in the recent history of South Asia, Sri Lanka’s government budget for 2019 was approved by the majority of the parliament on March 12. The 2019 budget was supposed to be presented to the parliament in November 2018, but President Maithripala Sirisena’s unexpected (and later overturned) decision to change prime ministers in October 2018 pushed back the budget. Later, a Vote of Account was... Read More
 

Shujaat calls for APC on economy

Pakistan Today (Mar 26, 2019)
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain on Tuesday underscored the need for an all parties conference to boost economy. Talking to journalists, Shujaat said that the prevailing political situation was harmful for economic stability. Referring to the train march of Pakistan People’s Party, he said that some elements were giving preference to personnel interests over national interests. The PML-Q said that nothing would... Read More
 

Pakistan eyes package as IMF mission chief arrives today

Dawn News (Mar 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: As the arrival of $2.1 billion Chinese loans jacked up Pakistan’s total foreign exchange reserves to $17.58bn — highest since April 2018 — the government is expecting finalisation of a bailout package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in four-six weeks to form the basis for next year budget. IMF’s new mission chief for Pakistan Ernesto Ramirez Rigo is set to touch base with Finance Minister Asad Umar and senior officials of his ministry on Tuesday over authorities’... Read More
 

Macro-economic stabilization steps start yielding: SBP report

The News  (Mar 25, 2019)
KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday released its second quarterly Report on "The State of Pakistan's Economy for fiscal year 2018-19," which stated the effects of macroeconomic stabilization measures taken since December 2017 have started to unfold as the economy moved into the second quarter of fiscal year 2018-19. More specifically, monetary tightening along with exchange rate adjustments, reduction in development expenditures of the federal... Read More
 

EU, Pakistan agree on new engagement plan for trade, economy

The Geo Tv (Mar 25, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the European Union (EU) on Monday agreed to a new strategic engagement plan for building a sturdy partnership in the fields of defence, trade, democracy, governance and human rights. The agreement to this effect was reached during the fourth round of a strategic dialogue between Pakistan and the European Union here. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi led the Pakistani side, while EU Representative for Foreign Affairs and...Read More
 

China finance minister says balancing budget revenue and spending difficult this year

The Reuters (Mar 24, 2019)
BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Finance Minister, Liu Kun, said on Sunday it will be difficult for the government to balance its budget revenue and spending this year due to various tax and fee cuts planned this year to support growth. Liu, speaking at the China Development Forum, said the government is still able to balance its budget overall through a variety of means, adding that general central government spending will be cut by more than 10 percent this year...Read More
 

To fix the economy, start with the power sector

Dawn News (Mar 24, 2019)
From time to time Dawn invites people with stakes or expertise in any area of the economy to contribute their thoughts on issues of pressing concern. Today we invite Dr Kamal Munir, a professor of strategy & policy at the University of Cambridge and Salman Khalid, an emerging markets investment professional and a former Fulbright Scholar, to reflect on the rising costs of power in Pakistan...Read More
 

‘Pakistan can become economic leader’

The Express Tribune (Mar 23, 2019)
LAHORE: Pakistan should aim for achieving top position in the international ranking for ease of doing business instead of considering jumping just a few notches. It was stated by Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Almas Hyder while briefing a three-member World Bank delegation, led by Lars Grava. During the meeting, textile, information technology, agro-business and other sectors of the economy came under discussion. Hyder added that Pakistan...Read More
 

Declining investment-to-GDP ratio

Business Recorder (Mar 23, 2019)
A World Bank report titled "Pakistan@100 Growth and Investment" maintains that Pakistan's low public and private investment will place it at a disadvantage to peer countries. The investment-to-GDP ratio in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Cambodia and India has been continuously higher than in Pakistan for the past 10 years; savings in Pakistan at present are 13.8 percent of GDP with an investment at 15 percent of GDP and in contrast, Sri Lanka's savings...Read More
 

Pakistan to receive $2.1 billion loan from China by March 25

The Khaleej Times (Mar 22, 2019)
Cash-strapped Pakistan will receive over $2 billion loan from China by Monday to provide a boost to its ailing economy, the Finance Ministry has announced. Ministry's adviser and spokesperson Khaqan Najeeb Khan said that "all procedural formalities" for the transfer of $2.1 billion (15 billion yuan) loan being provided by the Chinese government have been completed, and "the funds will be deposited in the State Bank of Pakistan's account by Monday, March 25", the...Read More
 

Murad says provinces face financial crises due to poor state of national economy

Dawn News (Mar 09, 2019)
JAMSHORO: Sindh Chief Min-is¬ter Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that provinces face severe crisis due to poor state of national economy as federal government has thus far failed miserably to improve conditions. The government should work harder to bolster economy and scale up tax collection instead of launching scathing attacks on others and issuing boastful statements, said Mr Shah while talking to media persons after graduation ceremony at the US-Pakistan Centre for...Read More
 

CPEC likely to contribute 3.5%to Pakistan’s GDP

The Express Tribune (Mar 22, 2019)
KARACHI: China’s investment of over $60 billion in Pakistan’s infrastructure and power projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is expected to increase Pakistan’s economic growth by around 3.5 percentage points, said Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) CEO Shahzad Dada on Thursday. “CPEC projects are estimated to contribute around 3.5 percentage points to Pakistan’s GDP (gross domestic product) growth once they are fully delivered,” he... Read More
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 36 March 21, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Pakistan to receive $2.1bn loan from China by Monday

The Pakistan Today (Mar 21, 2019)
The Ministry of Finance has announced that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) will receive a loan of 15 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) from China by Monday, a private media outlet reported on Thursday. The ministry’s advisor and spokesperson Dr Khaqan Najeeb Khan said that “all procedural formalities” for the transfer of the loan being provided to Pakistan by the Chinese government have been completed, and “the funds will be deposited in the SBP account by Monday 25th March”... Read More
 

ECC approves Rs 17.5 billion supplementary budget

The Express Tribune (Mar 21, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday approved Rs17.5 billion supplementary budget for largely meeting expenditures of legislators and temporarily displaced persons including Rs400 million for maintaining an aircraft being used by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet also approved higher hydel profit for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government that will provide Rs10 billion additional income to... Read More
 

Pakistan can become a $2trllion economy- World Bank

The Eur Asian Times (Mar 20, 2019)
According to the World Bank, Pakistan could become a $2 trillion economy in the next 28 years if it remains constant in its reforms and works to reduce its population growth rate. “With sustained reforms, Pakistan could be a $2 trillion economy when it will turn 100 in the next 28 years,” said the World Bank (WB) Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan while sharing the main findings of the ‘Pakistan @100- Sharing the Future 2047′ report on Monday...Read More
 

World Bank suggests involvement of more countries in CPEC

The Pakistan Today(Mar 20, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: A new World Bank report has stated that multi-country involvement in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can help achieve greater regional integration. Suggesting various steps to be taken towards greater regional integration to liberalize trade and improve logistics, a WB report titled “Pakistan@100: Shaping the Future” said CPEC can be used to improve relations with other countries that could benefit from it, including Iran, India, Afghanistan...Read More
 

Business urged to submit budget proposals on time

The Business Recorder (Mar 19, 2019)
LAHORE: Private sector should prepare their actionable proposals and submit them timely for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government’s first federal budget 2019-20. Likewise, the Planning Commission is formulating the 12th Five-Year Plan and Ministry of Commerce is formulating three-year Strategic Trade Policy Framework for which business community should proactively engage with the relevant departments and submit sector-specific...Read More
 

‘Pakistan IMF agree on policy directions’

The News (Mar 19, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have generally reached an agreement over the bailout program to meet the financing gap, but timing and pace of stabilisation policies are under discussion, SBP Governor said on Monday. “There is a general agreement regarding the policy direction between us and the IMF; the differences are only on the timing and pace of stabilisation policies,” Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Tariq Bajwa said...Read More
 

Shaping a brighter future for Pakistan

Dawn News (Mar 18, 2019)
In a new report, the World Bank takes a deep look at what Pakistan needs to do to have a better future for its people by 2047, a full ¬century after the country’s birth. In this series, the authors provide a brief summary of key recommendations of the report. IN 28 years, Pakistan will turn 100 years old. The children born this year will be adults then. I wonder what they will see when they look around...Read More
 

Spend less on defence and more on human development, World Bank tells Pakistan

The SAMAA by Farooq Baloch and Shakeel Ahmad (Mar 18, 2019)
If Pakistan wants to be a strong upper middle-income country by the time it turns 100, it has to reduce its population growth rate by half and more than double its spending on education and healthcare, World Bank said in its latest policy report ‘Pakistan@100: Shaping The Future’. The global lender has expressed its concerns on the ever increasing defence expenditures in the South Asia region amid recent tensions between India and Pakistan...Read More
 

GDP expected to grow at an average of 5.4pc in next five years

The Pakistan Today (Mar 17, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow at an average of 5.4 per cent during the next five years, with highest growth of 6.7 per cent to be witnessed in fiscal year 2022-23, according to preliminary figures of 12th Five Year Plan (2018-23). According to the provisional figures of the draft of the 12th Five Year Plan, the economy would grow at four per cent during the current fiscal year (2018-19), followed by 4.6 per cent growth rate in FY 2019-20, 5.5... Read More
 

Pakistan closer to reaching accord with IMF: Asad

Dawn News (Mar 17, 2019)
TAXILA: Federal Finance Minister Asad Umar has hinted that bailout package talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are in their final stages and the government will have further negotiations with the newly appointed IMF mission before reaching an agreement. “Pakistan has come closer to reaching an agreement with the IMF as the differences between Pakistan and the IMF over a possible...Read More
 

Trump’s trade war cost US economy $7.8bn in 2018: Study

The Pakistan Today (Mar 16, 2019)
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump’s trade battles cost the US economy $7.8 billion in lost gross domestic product in 2018, a study by a team of economists at leading American universities published this week showed. Authors of the paper said they analyzed the short-run impact of Trump’s actions and found that imports from targeted countries declined 31.5pc while targeted US exports fell by 11pc. They also found that annual consumer and producer losses from higher costs of...Read More
 

Pakistan seeks $500 million loan from ADB

The Express Tribune (Mar 16, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has requested the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to approve a $500 million loan in budgetary support before June this year, as it faces difficulties in retaining foreign exchange reserves because of mounting external financing needs. The request has been made to Werner Liepach, director general for Central and West Asia Department of the ADB, who is on a visit to Pakistan, a top official of the Finance Ministry told The Express Tribune....Read More
 

No new mega projects in next year’s PSDP

The Express Tribune (Mar 15, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary body on Thursday took up the issue of ‘insignificant’ research and development funds of Rs1.4 billion for the entire year out of a total budget of Rs6 trillion. “There should be a special meeting just to cry over the poor state of funding for research and development,” said Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology Senator Mushtaq Ahmed. The committee met to discuss the budgetary allocations for the ministry and the utilisation of funds...Read More
 

ADB reaffirms support to Pakistan’s development

The Pakistan Today (Mar 15, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar said on Friday that the government is keen to devise an innovative financing model, develop capital markets and mobilise private sector investment in infrastructure and social sectors. “These initiatives will not only provide fiscal space to the government but will also be helpful to boost economic activities in the country,” said the finance minister during a meeting with a high-level delegation of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)...Read More
 

IMF endorses Sri Lankan government budget

The WSW (Mar 14, 2019)
The second reading of the 2019 government budget presented by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera was passed by the Sri Lankan parliament on Tuesday. The final vote on the United National Party (UNP)-led government’s measures, which are in line with International Monetary Fund (IMF) demands, will be taken on April 5, after further debate. The IMF mission chief for Sri Lanka, Manuela Goretti, told the Dailyft on Tuesday that “a prudent policy mix is necessary”,...Read More
 

US aid to Pakistan for 2020 to be dismal

The Hindustan Times (Mar 14, 2019)
The Trump administration has cut by half its budgetary request for a fund that the US uses to compensate coalition partners for military and logistical support, which could mean Pakistan, the principal beneficiary of the allocation, will get next to nothing from it. The fiscal year 2020 budget request for Coalition Support Fund (CSF) of $450 million reflects a $450 million (50%) decrease from the FY 2019 enacted level of $900 mn, the US department of defence said in a summary of its budgetary...Read More
 

Pakistan’s resources can make it an economic power

The Express Tribune (Mar 13, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: A Ghanaian diplomat has said that Pakistan has matchless natural and human resources which could soon turn the country into a global economic power. This was stated by the visiting Ghanaian Diplomat Muhammad Karandi while speaking to Ghana’s Honourary Consul General Shahid Rasheed Butt on Tuesday. Karandi, who works at the Ghanaian embassy in Tehran but is visiting Islamabad, said that Pakistan has all...Read More
 

Pentagon rolls out $718 billion budget for 2020

The Economic Times (Mar 13, 2019)
WASHINGTON: The US Department of Defence has rolled out its $718 billion budget request for the fiscal 2020, with a substantial hike in war funding aimed at circumventing a budget gap. "This strategy-driven budget makes necessary investments in next-generation technology, space, missiles and cyber capabilities," Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan said in a statement on Tuesday. "The operations and capabilities supported by this budget will...Read More
 

Pakistan for promoting regional economic integration

The Business Times (Mar 12, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister, Asad Umar said Tuesday that Pakistan strongly believed in promoting regional economic integration for development of the whole region. Talking to a Turkmenistan delegation, led by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Rashid Meredov, the Finance Minister said that it was the vision of Prime Minister of Pakistan to develop regional economic integration, which he said was highly essential for the social and economic prosperity of the region...Read More
 

Punjab Assembly begins pre-budget debate

The News (Mar 12, 2019)
LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly began pre-budget debate on Monday as Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht reiterated his government’s resolve to address the problems and sense of deprivation among dwellers of southern Punjab. He asked the assembly members to present their suggestions for improving the upcoming budget for fiscal year 2019-20. Opposition leader in Punjab Assembly, Hamza Shahbaz, complained of victimisation of Pakistan Muslim League...Read More
 

Mini-budget: still a work in progress

Dawn News (Mar 11, 2019)
The National Assembly passed the second mini-budget of the current fiscal year last week with a rare 45-day gap following its presentation. Instead of considering ecommendations made by the Senate, Finance Minister Asad Umar rushed through many amendments to the Jan 23 document. The Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs had proposed about 55 amendments to the Finance Supplementary...Read More
 

Trump invites a new fight with Democrats over 2020 budget, seeks $8.6 billion for wall

The CNN (Mar 11, 2019)
Washington (CNN)The Trump administration is headed for a budget clash with Congress, with calls for deep domestic spending cuts that lawmakers are likely to ignore as the nation's debt reaches record levels. On Monday, President Donald Trump is set to deliver his budget roadmap with a promise to balance the budget in 15 years, marking the first time he'll unveil a spending proposal under a divided government with Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the helm of a Democratic-controlled House, and he is...Read More
 

China’s funding for science and research to reach 2.5 percent of GDP in 2019

The South China Morning Post (Mar 10, 2019)
China’s spending on science and research funding is set to continue rising to 2.5 per cent of its GDP this year, as the nation seeks to catch up on the technology front amid an economic downturn. The funding target was revealed in a meeting of the country’s peak advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, on Sunday. It means China will reach its budget goal for research and development a year ahead of schedule, though scientists say they still do not get...Read More
 

Pakistan set to receive US$2billion (Dh7.35 billion) deposit from the UAE

The Gulf News (Mar 10, 2019)
Dubai: The United Arab Emirates is expected to deposit US$2 billion (Dh7.35 billion) in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) as foreign currency reserves in a few days to help Islamabad meet international payment pressures. “US$2 billion in deposits are expected to be received by the SBP within days,” a spokesperson of the SBP told media in Pakistan. Abu Dhabi had released the first tranche...Read More
 

Murad says provinces face financial crises due to poor state of national economy

Dawn News (Mar 09, 2019)
JAMSHORO: Sindh Chief Min-is¬ter Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that provinces face severe crisis due to poor state of national economy as federal government has thus far failed miserably to improve conditions. The government should work harder to bolster economy and scale up tax collection instead of launching scathing attacks on others and issuing boastful statements, said Mr Shah while talking to media persons after graduation ceremony at the US-Pakistan Centre for...Read More
 

FY 2018-19: Pakistan post’s deficit projected to cross Rs 12 billion

The Business Recorder (Mar 09, 2019)
Amid deteriorating postal services owing to lack of innovation to compete with private couriers and electronic alternatives, Pakistan Post's deficit is projected to cross Rs 12 billion by the end of current fiscal year 2018-19. Official sources revealed to Business Recorder that the government has set a revenue target of around Rs 15 billion for Pakistan Postal department for 2018-19 after it missed revenue target of Rs 13 billion for 2017-18...Read More
 

FY 2017-18: Government regularize Rs 354.2 billion excess expenditures

The Business Recorder (Mar 08, 2019)
The federal government has regularized excess expenditure of Rs 354.2 billion during financial year 2017-18 and supplementary grants of over Rs 39 billion for the financial year 2018-19, official sources told Business Recorder. According to the Finance Ministry, Article 84 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973, lays down the procedure for supplementary grants and excess grants. It provides that the federal government shall have power to authorize expenditure in case the amount...Read More
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 35 March 07, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Finance bill ushers in sweeping ‘incentives’ for banks, industry and green field investors

The Dawn (Mar 07, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The PTI government in its second Finance Supplementary Bill, 2019 has agreed to introduce 10 major amendments to the Finance Act 2019 with most related to boosting investment. Of all the recommendations, five are related to income tax measures, one caters to sales tax, two to customs and one for federal excise duty. These amendments will come into effect retrospectively from July 1. However, the sales tax, customs and federal excise duty will come ... Read More
 

Second mini-budget gets NA nod amid protest

The Express Tribune (Mar 07, 2019)
The National Assembly on Wednesday approved the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s second mini-budget amid opposition’s uproar and boycott, allowing non-filers of the income tax returns to purchase luxury cars while also extending the super tax indefinitely. Although Finance Minister Asad Umar described his second mini-budget in five months as a reform package that will also boost industries and trade, he has taken certain... Read More
 

‘Biotechnology can transform Pakistan’s economy’

Express Tribune (Mar 06, 2019)
FAISALABAD: A close and productive working relationship between the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), National Textile University (NTU) and National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetics Engineering (NIBGE) is imperative to reorganise the industrial sector on modern scientific lines. Addressing the FCCI Standing Committee on Technical Training and Industry-Academia Linkages, NIBGE Director Dr Shahid Mansoor...Read More
 

Govt approves Rs8b addl budget for PAF, others

The Pakistan Observer(Mar 06, 2019)
Islamabad: The government on Tuesday approved nearly Rs8 billion supplementary budget to meet additional needs of the Pakistan Air Force and civilian armed forces, seeking financial assessment of further defence needs of the country in wake of tensions with India. The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet approved the additional budget for the PAF and management of western borders by civil-armed forces, said the Finance Ministry officials. It has...Read More
 

Govt now focusing on promotion of NFIS targets three million new jobs, $5.5bn additional exports by 2023

The Pakistan Today (Mar 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The government has set a target of creating at least three million new jobs and additional exports of $5.5 billion by 2023. National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), according to the Ministry of Finance, will enhance the usage of digital payments to 65 million active digital transaction accounts, increase deposit-to-GDP ratio to 55pc, promote financing to 700,000 small and medium enterprises, increase agricultural finance disbursements to Rs.1.8 trillion, serve...Read More
 

Govt now focusing on promotion of economic growth, PM Khan tells business leaders

Dawn (Mar 05, 2019)
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that after overcoming the "most difficult challenge" of stabilising the economy during the first six months of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)-led government, the focus is now on the promotion of economic growth in the country. In a meeting with a delegation of business community leaders and representatives, the premier said that with trade and investment being an important pillar of the government's foreign policy, there was...Read More
 

GDP and foreign aid shrinking, Pakistan economy crosses a line of control

The Business Standard (Mar 04, 2019)
The recent flare-up with India has possibly lengthened the odds against Pakistan to get the foreign aid that it needs immediately. The choices are, principally, two: From China or the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Of the total foreign loans Pakistan raised in 2017-18, more than 40 per cent came from these two sources. Islamabad also raises commercial loans of approximately the same amount from abroad. Foreign loans from both streams account for 30 per cent of the country’s GDP...Read More
 

Sri Lanka Finance Minister burning midnight oil to finalize budget 2019

The Colombo Page (Mar 04, 2019)
Colombo: Sri Lanka's Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera is preparing to present the budget for 2019 in parliament on Tuesday, March 5. Seen here is the Minister finalizing the budget for the year with the Secretary to the Treasury Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga at his private residence in Gorakana, Panadura. "Finalizing the Budget 2019; Enterprise Sri Lanka, Empowering the people, nurturing the poor. Thanks to ST, Mano Tittawella, Deshal de Mel for burning the ...Read More
 

AN IMF deal

The News (Mar 03, 2019)
There seem to be positive signs on the IMF front for Pakistan, now with Fitch Solutions too saying that it expects the country to reach a bailout agreement soon. However, all is not hunky dory, as Pakistan is expected to be pushed to pursue greater austerity measures. The expected $12 billion bailout deal will be twice the last bailout agreement, and is likely to come with severer conditions than before as the IMF will attempt to ensure that Pakistan does not return to it with a... Read More
 

Universities face financial emergency because of budget cuts

The News (Mar 03, 2019)
Islamabad : Vice Chancellors and Rectors of public sector universities say that they face a financial emergency because of budget cuts in the past three years. The issue was discussed at a two-day meeting held at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) where the university heads met to explore solutions to the financial crisis. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai, Chairman Vice Chancellors Committee, said that the recurring budget of the higher education sector is facing a ...Read More
 

Lower House oks record ¥101 trillion budget for fiscal 2019

The Japan Times (Mar 02, 2019)
The Lower House approved a record ¥101.46 trillion ($913 billion) budget for fiscal 2019 early Saturday, ensuring its enactment before the new fiscal year begins on April 1. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition pushed the spending plan through the House of Representatives past midnight, after opposition lawmakers halted deliberations the previous day by submitting a no-confidence motion against labor minister Takumi Nemoto over his handling of a faulty ...Read More
 

Soaring budget deficit getting out of economic managers’ control

The Pakistan Observer (Mar 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - The economic managers of the country might struggle to control the soaring budget deficit due to the massive shortfall in tax collection during eight months of the current fiscal year. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has faced massive shortfall of Rs230 billion in tax collection during July to February period of the year 2018-19 despite introducing mini budgets. The FBR had collected Rs2335 billion during eight months (July to February) of the ongoing ....Read More
 

Border line: State of Pakistan economy

The Economic Times (Mar 01, 2019)
Pakistan's economy faces multiple challenges ranging from high inflation and a sharply deteriorating currency to foreign exchange reserves for about a few months of imports. Government’s finances are also in shambles with high fiscal deficit. Any escalation in hostilities will drag it down further...Read More
 

More Steps in budget for ease of doing business

The Express Tribune (Feb 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar said on Thursday that the government had taken steps for the ease of doing business and was facilitating both domestic and foreign investors by offering various incentives including rationalisation of taxes. Talking to a visiting Singaporean business delegation, Umar revealed that more such steps were envisaged in the new budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2019-20. He told the delegation...Read More
 

India’s defence budget five times larger than Pakistan’s

The Times of India (Feb 28, 2019)
NEW DELHI: In 2018, India's defence budget stood at $58bn, five times larger than Pakistan’s one. Also, Indian Army boasts of 12 lakh active troops, while Pakistan has mere 5.6 lakh personnel in its army. As tension between India and Pakistan escalates after strike by Indian Airforce at Jaish terror camps in Pakistan following a suicide bombing in Kashmir that killed 44 Indian security personnel. Here’s quick assessment of the two nation’s military might...Read More
 

Budget deficit hits six-year high says QWP leader

The News (Feb 27, 2019)
PESHAWAR: Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) leader and former senior minister Sikandar Sherpao on Tuesday criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for its flawed economic policies, saying that budget deficit had hit a six-year high. According to a press release issued from Watan Kor here, he was talking to a delegation of the QWP workers from the Buner district. Sikandar Sherpao said the budget deficit had reached Rs1.03 trillion in the first half of...Read More
 

Why is the economy not responding?

The Pakistan Today (Feb 27, 2019)
Nearly eight months down the road one is beginning to wonder that while the government is well meaning, its heart and mind are in the right place, its economic team is not only experienced and has has reasonably good credentials, but also seems correct in its policy direction, so why then is the Pak economy not responding. Could it be that the policymakers say one thing while they do another or is it that they are failing in combining to deliver the promised ‘ ...Read More
 

Debate begins in NA on amendments to mini-budget

Dawn News (Feb 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The proposed 55 amendments in the Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill 2019 were laid for discussion by state minister for parliamentary affairs on behalf of Finance Minister Asad Umar in the National Assembly on Monday. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan on Monday laid the proposed amendment report in the NA amid the opposition’s protest over the arrest of Sindh assembly’s speaker...Read More
 

Taiwan concerns mean China defense budget likely to defy slowing economy

The Reuters (Feb 26, 2019)
BEIJING (Reuters) - A slowing economy is unlikely to crimp China’s 2019 defense budget rise, as Beijing earmarks more spending for modernization and big-ticket items like stealth jets, and focuses on Taiwan after a stern new year’s speech from President Xi Jinping. The defense spending figure is closely watched worldwide for clues to China’s strategic intentions as it develops new military capabilities, including aircraft carriers and anti-satellite missiles...Read More
 

Sri Lanka may have to push IMF budget targets to 2020 or beyond

The Economy Next (Feb 25, 2019)
ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka may have to renegotiate a more realistic budget deficit target for 2019 and beyond under a 1.5 billion dollar balance of payments relief program with the International Monetary Fund, an economist said. "The consolidation is slower than the IMF forecast," Standard Chartered Bank South Asia Economist Saurav Anand said at a media briefing. Sri Lanka was expected to reach a budget deficit of 3.6 percent in 2019 under the ...Read More
 

The US can solve its trade problems while relaunching the world economy

CNBC News (Feb 25, 2019)
Pursuing one of American core national interests, the U.S. administration lost a multilateral dimension of its forceful quest to balance trade accounts. Washington's unassailable trade case against China, the European Union, its North American neighbors and Japan is fundamentally an issue of world economy. Reducing that case to bilateral quarrels robs America of a powerful negotiating advantage, and of the high moral ground of a world leader. Buying more than half-a-trillion...Read More
 

Finance Ministry fince-tunes populist Budget 2019

The Sunday Times (Feb 24, 2019)
The Finance Ministry is now fine-tuning the upcoming budget 2019, the first by the United National Front (UNF) Government following the breakaway of the coalition with the SLFP, to be presented in parliament on March 5 amidst falling revenue, mounting public debt and severe balance of payments difficulties. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera told a forum organised by American Chamber of Commerce this week that the upcoming budget 2019 will be “important and...Read More
 

Ballooning budget deficit contradicts PM’s claims

The Express Tribune (Feb 24, 2019)
LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and former finance minister Miftah Ismail has said the budget deficit has ballooned to Rs1,030 billion during the first six months of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s tenure. “This is the highest amount ever witnessed during the first six months of any government in the country’s 71-year history,” said the former finance minister in a statement on Saturday...Read More
 

Pakistan’s new Five Year Plan draft eyes 5.4% GDP growth rate

The Gulf Times (Feb 23, 2019)
The Planning Commission (PC) of Pakistan has shared the draft of highly ambitious 12th Five Year Plan. However, the leading economists have termed it ‘redundant framework’ in case the PTI-led government approaches the IMF for a fresh bailout package. The commission in its envisaged macroeconomic framework has set an average GDP growth target of 5.4%, jacking up allocation of development outlay to Rs11.7tn including Rs6.2tn at federal level in which Rs1tn will be financed...Read More
 

Budget 2019 likely to boost India’s education sector

The Digital Learning (Feb 23, 2019)
India’s Annual Budget decides the way ahead for different sectors in the country. In this year’s Budget, the Government has emphasised on education along with other sectors. How the Budget 2019-20 will pave way for improvement in education sector, observes Akhil Shahani, Managing Director, The Shahani Group, for Elets News Network (ENN). The acting Finance Minister, Piyush Goyal said that India is among the youngest nations in the world and the Government is...Read More
 

Mohammad Bin Salman looks east but worries about the west

The Haartez (Feb 22, 2019)
For the pigeon farmers of Islamabad it was a celebration. The authorities bought 3,500 pigeons from them for the birds to be released at this week’s reception ceremony for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Some 750 rooms in the capital’s grand hotels were reserved for the entourage, and it seems all the BMWs in the city were enlisted to drive the guests around. Pakistan’s highest civilian award was polished well before it was awarded to Mohammed, a...Read More
 

Pakistan to be among 5 biggest world economies by century end

The News (Feb 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umar said that Pakistan would be among five biggest economies of the world by the end of this century. He said that India’s decision to slap 200 percent duty on Pakistani products and withdrawal of Most Favored Nations (MFN) status was tantamount to harm New Delhi’s economy more instead of causing any loss to Pakistan. He also said that the differences with the IMF were narrowing down and discussions at technical levels were continued ...Read More
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 34 Feb 21, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Pakistan, IMF likely to conclude talks by April

The Pakistan Today (Feb 21, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are likely to conclude talks with regard to the bailout package by April 2019. According to sources, the ongoing talks would be concluded by the mid of April before the spring meetings of the World Bank Group and the IMF, scheduled to be held in Washington from April 12-14, 2019. On the sidelines of the said meetings, IMF officials and Pakistan’s Finance Minister Asad Umar would finalize the programme, which was... Read More
 

Budget deficit hits six-year high at Rs 1.03tr

The Express Tribune (Feb 21, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The budget deficit hit a six-year high at Rs1.03 trillion, or 2.7% of the total size of national economy, in first half of the current fiscal year due to a double-digit growth in defence and debt spending, and negligible improvement in revenues. The budget deficit in the first half of FY19, when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came to power, was worse than the deficits recorded in the July-December period of previous years, when Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz... Read More
 

PM directs FBR to tight noose around big tax dodgers

Express Tribune (Feb 20, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday ordered the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to flex its muscles against big tax evaders and make them cough nearly Rs200 billion in the next four months amid his annoyance over the poor show of the tax machinery. The PM also directed to present a new Whistleblowers Bill next month to reward people who help nab corrupt officials and politicians...Read More
 

Business community presents joint proposals on budget 2019-20

The Pakistan Today (Feb 20, 2019)
LAHORE: Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Almas Hyder, on behalf of the business community, presented a set of joint proposals regarding Federal Budget 2019-20 to Finance Minister Asad Umar. LCCI President Almas Hyder was heading a delegation comprising chamber presidents of Khanewal, Kohat, Gujrat, Azad Jammu Kashmir, Gujranwala, Mohmand Agency and Haripur, and representatives of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of...Read More
 

Pakistan to receive $21 billion investment from Saudi Arabia over next five years

The Pakistan Today (Feb 19, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Petroleum Division on Monday disclosed Saudi Arabia has committed to invest around $21 billion in Pakistan over a duration of the next two to five years. As per details shared by the Petroleum Division, Saudi Arabia is set to invest around $7 billion in the short-term, utilizing $4 billion to purchase two LNG-fired power plants established by the previous administration in Punjab which will be privatized via open bidding, reports an English daily...Read More
 

Market watch: Profit-taking drags down KSE-100 40,000 points

The Express Tribune (Feb 19, 2019)
KARACHI: The stock market lost ground for the fifth successive session on Tuesday as institutions resorted to profit-taking, which pushed benchmark index below the 40,000-point mark. After staying positive briefly, the KSE-100 index kicked off a negative run due to dismal data of foreign direct investment (FDI), which stood at just $1.45 billion for July-January FY19, down 17% on a year-on-year basis, and concern over deteriorating Pakistan-India ties...Read More
 

Rs 319.3bn released under PSDP 2018-19

The Pakistan Today (Feb 18, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has released Rs319.3 billion against the total allocation of Rs675 billion under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2018-19 for various ongoing and new schemes. The released funds include Rs136.9 billion for federal ministries, Rs137.231 billion for corporations, and Rs25.963 billion for special areas, according to latest data released by Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform. Out of these allocations, the...Read More
 

Saudi minister calls for increasing Pak-KSA bilateral trade

The Pakistan Today (Feb 18, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabian Minister for Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi on Monday said that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan could jointly deal with the challenges faced by both the countries. “Pak-Saudi relations are moving in a new and positive direction and strategic relations between both the brotherly countries are of paramount importance to the region,” Majid Al-Qassabi said while addressing the Pak-Saudi Business Conference in Islamabad along with ...Read More
 

Vision 2030of Saudi Arabia opportunities for Pakistan

Daily Times (Feb 17, 2019)
Last decade observed miracle changes in economic and governance systems in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). For the first time KSA appointed a young and dynamic leader Muhammad Bin Salman as the crown prince. The Crown Prince, is member of the next generation in the royal family who is trying to revolutionize the governance and economic system of KSA. He believes in opening up of the society, culture of entertainment and sports but with strict Islamic values, morals... Read More
 

Saudi refinery to reduce oil import bill by $1.2b: petroleum minister

The Express Tribune (Feb 16, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia has no concerns about the security situation in Balochistan where it plans to invest billions of dollars in refinery, minerals and renewable sectors, said Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan. “The security situation in Pakistan has improved a lot and therefore different countries are interested to make multibillion dollars investment. Saudi Arabia is going to invest over $10 billion in setting up an oil refinery and...Read More
 

Rupee strengthens against dollar

The Express Tribune (Feb 15, 2019)
KARACHI: The rupee strengthened against the dollar at Rs138.65/Rs139.15 in the inter-bank market on Thursday compared with Wednesday’s close of Rs138.85/Rs139.35, according to forex.pk. Last year in November, the rupee fell to an all-time low at Rs144 against the dollar in intra-day trading before recovering to Rs139.05 in the sixth round of devaluation since December 2017. Cumulatively, the rupee has lost 31.8% of its value in the last 13 ...Read More
 

Debt servicing estimated to cross Rs2trln in FY 2019

The News (Feb 15, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Debt servicing on both local and foreign loans is estimated to surpass two trillion rupees during the current fiscal year of 2018/19 compared with the annual target as monetary tightening was dubbed as one of the reasons of rise in cost of borrowing, sources said on Thursday. The sources said the debt servicing, which has already become the largest ticket item on expenditures side, is all set to cross the two trillion rupees mark during the current ....Read More
 

Budget bill, Chinese intransigence and retail sales numbers hit stocks Thursday

CDN.com (Feb 14, 2019)
WASHINGTON. As we noted in Wednesday’s article, the market has been a lot of fun for the bulls lately. But we noted the party couldn’t go on forever, as much as the bulls might wish it so. Today, Thursday, we’re getting at least some payback. Futures indicated another great day for the bulls was at hand. But once the market actually opened, stocks dropped like a rock. The government’s pending budget bill finale and Chinese intransigence in bilateral trade negotiations are blamed...Read More
 

Senate body irks over cut in MoIT development budget

Business Recorder (Feb 14, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication on Thursday expressed displeasure over the cut in the ministry’s development budget and stressed to restore the funds to its original allocation. Senator Robina Khalid chaired the committee, which met here at the Parliament House. The Senate body meeting was attended by Senator Abdul Rehman Malik, Senator Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi, Senator Tahir...Read More
 

US posts $14 billion budget deficit as revenues sag after Trump tax cuts

The.cnbc.com (Feb 13, 2019)
The U.S. federal government ran a $14 billion budget deficit in December as revenues sagged following last year's tax cuts even as the economy appeared strong, Treasury Department data showed on Wednesday. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected an $11 billion deficit for the month and the gap was the latest sign of deterioration in the government's fiscal position. A strong U.S. job market has appeared to power economic growth this year, an...Read More
 

Pakistan expects 8 investment deals during Saudi prince’s visit

The.cnbc.com (Feb 13, 2019)
ISLAMABAD, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia will announce eight investment agreements during a visit to Pakistan by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, officials said on Wednesday, a trip that is expected to set the seal on growing closeness between the historic allies. The investment is welcome in Pakistan, which is facing sharply slowing economic growth this year, a ballooning budget deficit and foreign currency reserves dwindling to less than $8 billion or two months' of...Read More
 

Moody’s assigns negative outlook to Pakistani banks

The Express Tribune (Feb 12, 2019)
KARACHI: Moody’s, one of the top three global rating agencies, has assigned a ‘negative’ outlook to Pakistan-based banks due to economic slowdown and the banks’ higher investment in sovereign securities’ papers of the government. “Our outlook for Pakistan’s banking system is negative,” Moody’s Investors Service said in a research publication on Monday. “A slowing economy and high exposure to sovereign debt drive our negative ...Read More
 

Pak-IMF differences still exist

The News (Feb 12, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Differences still persist over adjustment programme between Pakistan and the IMF as Islamabad wants to adopt staggered approach on raising discount and energy rates and taking additional revenue measures to curtail the budget deficit but the Fund insists upon taking major steps through prior actions. Top official sources confirmed to The News in background discussions that IMF wanted frontloaded programme where the PTI-led government...Read More
 

Income boost for farmers in Interim Budget: Who will be the beneficiaries & how much will it cost the exchequer

The News (Feb 11, 2019)
Income support for farmers announced in the Interim Budget and opposition Congress’ promise of a minimum income guarantee to the poor if voted to power has revived discussions over providing Indians with Universal Basic Income. Since neither the ruling NDA nor the Congress has proposed a truly universal scheme, who will be the beneficiaries and how much will it cost the exchequer? ...Read More
 

What IMF expects from Pakistan

The News (Feb 11, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund have almost agreed on a programme for a period of three years and agreement in this regard is likely to be inked in June before or soon after budget 2019-20, The News reliably learnt on Sunday. Further details of the agreement finalised will not be made public till the agreement is signed. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan promised to support Pakistan’s...Read More
 

Saudi Arabia’s oil investments could be lifeline for Pakistan’s economy

The Gulf News (Feb 10, 2019)
A record investment package being prepared by Saudi Arabia for Pakistan will likely provide welcome relief for its cash-strapped Muslim ally, while also addressing regional geopolitical challenges, analysts say. At the heart of the investment is a reported $10 billion refinery and oil complex in the strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea, the ultimate destination for the massive multi-billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which lies not far from the Indo-Iranian...Read More
 

IMF assures Pakistan of support in shoring up economy

The Express Tribune (Feb 10, 2019)
International Monetary Fund (IMF) head Christine Lagarde on Sunday said the organisation was ready to support Pakistan in its efforts to shore up the crippling economy. She said this in a statement issued after her meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of 7th World Government Summit in Dubai...Read More
 

Pakistan ranked 131st freest economy, receives freedom score of 55: Report

The Pakistan Today (Feb 09, 2019)
LAHORE: A 2019 Index of Economic Freedom report has given Pakistan an economic freedom score of 55.6, up by 0.5 points and ranking it as the 131st freest in the index released this year. According to the report, the country’s overall score has risen by 0.6 points, with increased scores for judicial effectiveness and property rights outmatching declines in monetary freedom and fiscal health. It added Pakistan was ranked 32nd amongst 43 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and its overall...Read More
 

Only Rs 4.5b Haj subsidy withdrawn from 230b to other sectors

The News (Feb 09, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government is paying almost Rs230 billion annual subsidy to private and public sectors but has withdrawn the financial assistance of Rs4.5 billion for religious ritual of Haj only. Besides, the government is paying another Rs55 billion subsidies and grants to Pakistan Railways, wheat subsidy to Gilgit-Baltistan and to other sectors. In total, the government is paying Rs 230 billion subsidy to different government departments/institutions as well as private ...Read More
 

‘Saudi investment highlights trust in Pakistan’s economy’

The Express Tribune (Feb 08, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Saudi investment in different sectors depicts the trust of Saudi Arabia’s leadership and investors in Pakistan’s economy, said Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani. During a meeting with Saudi Arabia Ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki on Thursday, he pointed out that trade, economic and investment ties would help lift bilateral cooperation to new heights in the days to come. Sanjrani expressed hope that the upcoming visit...Read More
 

Economy in shambles but Pakistan wants to increase its defence budget

The ZEE NEWS (Feb 08, 2019)
Pakistan's economy is in a shambolic state but the country is looking at ways to increase its defence budget instead of reducing it to address more pressing problems. Speaking to members of the local press, the country's information minister Fawad Chaudhry said that Pakistan cannot afford to make cuts in its defence budget because it was already on the lower side when compared to South Asian neighbours. "The country’s defence budget is already low as ...Read More
 
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 33 Feb 07, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

NFC forms six panels to sort out thorny issues

The Express Tribune (Feb 07, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The National Finance Commission on Wednesday set up six working groups to thrash out the thorny issues amid Sindh’s objections to the constitutional and legal status of the Commission and the 6th population census. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also sought a cut in the vertical share of the Centre to the extent of fiscal resources that the federal government was earlier spending on erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) which... Read More
 

Budget 2019-20: A Budget for a ‘new India’

The Financial Express (Feb 07, 2019)
The Interim Budget of 2019-20, the last one of the government before the Lok Sabha polls, was always headed towards being populist in nature. The interim finance minister, Piyush Goyal, started off on a very positive note, and proudly stated that the current government has prepared the foundation for sustainable growth, progress and better quality of life for all the Indians. In his Budget speech, he also highlighted some of the key measures taken by the ... Read More
 

70 pc of Pakistan’s economy is informal, which is of high concern: PBIF

The Nation (Feb 06, 2019)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that as per International Labour Organization, the informal economy is accounted for more than 70 percent of the employment in main jobs outside agriculture sector. The informal economy has observed speedy...Read More
 

The new budget and after

The Pakistan Today (Feb 06, 2019)
Finally the state minister for revenue – whatever that title means – let slip what everybody in the government had been denying all this time. It turns out that, all things considered, the unique approach of side-stepping – or at least trying to side step – a structural adjustment program with the IMF in favour of bailouts from friendly countries hasn’t quite panned out the way PTI would have hoped. Inflation is already above seven percent, growth is supposed to trickle down to less...Read More
 

ICCI calls for single tax regime in next budget

The Pakistan Observer (Feb 05, 2019)
Islamabad: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has called upon the government to consider introducing single tax regime in the country that would help reduce taxpayers’ problems. The President of ICCI, Ahmed Hassan Moughal, said at present a businessman have to cope with 47 taxes including sales tax, income tax, withholding taxes, customs & excise duties, EOBI tax, Workers Profit Participation Fund and Workers Welfare...Read More
 

Non-utilization of allocated budget

The Pakistan Observer (Feb 05, 2019)
This refers to news published in newspapers that departments of Government of Sindh have not completely utilized their funds allocated in the budget-2018/19 which raises questions that why budget is not utilized albeit budget is allocated to each department by Finance Department on the request made by departments based on their anticipated expenditure. It was reported that approximately only 8% or may be little more utilization of allocated budget is made so far...Read More
 

Aurn Jaitley indicates won’t be back in India to reply to Budget debate

The Economic Times (Feb 03, 2019)
Union Minster Arun Jaitley Sunday said his medical treatment at a US hospital is all over but hinted that he may not return to India in time to reply to the debate on Interim Budget in Parliament. Jaitley, 66, had missed presenting the sixth and final budget of the Narendra Modi government's present term as he had to fly to the US due to ill health. In his absence, the charge of the finance ministry was given to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, who on February 1 ...Read More
 

Rating agency Moody’s terms Pakistan mini-budget positive for export sector

The xinhuanet.com (Feb 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. rating agency Moody termed the Pakistani government's recently presented mini-budget as "positive" for manufacturing and export-oriented sectors, local media reported Saturday. Moody's said that the mini-budget will lend much-needed support to enhancing the country's foreign income and curb the current account deficit, Express News reported. The agency also said that the new budgetary measures weakened the ...Read More
 

China agrees to provide $2.5 billion loan to bolster foreign exchange reserves

The Pakistan Today (Feb 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In a largely expected development, China has agreed to provide $2.5 billion in loans to help bolster Pakistan’s sliding foreign exchange reserves which will be deposited with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). According to a report in an English daily, a top government official has said that China has agreed to park $2.5 billion in deposits in the central bank. This follows the previous $2 billion loan provided by China at the end of July last year to bolster foreign... Read More
 

Reform package mistaken as mini-budget: Asad

The News (Feb 02, 2019)
Islamabad/Lahore: Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umar on Friday said the mini-budget was in fact an economic reforms package designed to improve the state of the country’s economy. Speaking in the Senate, he said the opposition indulged in point-scoring in his absence and whenever he was present in the House to answer their questions, they were absent. The minister highlighted the improved environment in the stock market last month, explaining that it had ...Read More
 

Moody’s terms mini-budget positive for export sectors

The Express Tribune (Feb 1, 2019)
KARACHI: Moody’s – one of three big global credit rating agencies – has termed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s second mini-budget positive for manufacturing and export-oriented sectors, which will lend much-needed support to enhancing the country’s foreign income and curb the current account deficit (CAD). The US-based rating agency, however, stated that new budgetary measures weakened the government’s income generation side as tax incentives ...Read More
 

Here is how the Budget 2019 benefits the Indian middle class

The Saudi Gazette (Feb 1, 2019)
NEW DELHI — India's Hindu nationalist-led government pledged 750 billion rupees ($10.56 billion) to support farm incomes and reduced the tax burden for middle class voters on Friday, hoping to refind favor with its last budget before a general election. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing discontent over depressed farm incomes and doubts over whether his policies are creating enough jobs. With opinion polls suggesting that Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could lose its parliamentary majority in an election that must be held by May, the ....Read More
 

PM directs FBR to focus on big tax evaders, non-filers

The Business Recorder (Jan 31, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to focus on recovery from the big tax evaders and bring the non-filers into the tax net. He was chairing a meeting over reforms in the FBR here at the Prime Minister Office. Minister for Finance Asad Umar, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar, FBR Chairman Jahanzaib Khan and other high officials attended the meeting, a press release said. The FBR Chairman briefed ...Read More
 

‘Govt to provide time-based subsidy to engineering sector’

The Express Tribune (Jan 31, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production Abdul Razak Dawood on Wednesday has said although he doesn’t support the idea of subsidies but the government would provide a time-based subsidy on the export of motorcycles and engineering products to boost trade. The advisor while addressing a press conference alongside Chairman Board of Investments Haroon Sharif argued that it is not practical to provide subsidy for as long as 50 years and...Read More
 

Interim budget: Defence experts pitch for increase in funds

The Times of India (Jan 30, 2019)
New Delhi: (India): Ahead of the interim budget to be presented on February 1, defence experts are the view that the government must increase its expenditures on the defence sector. Defence analyst Swaran Singh said the defence budget is usually seen in comparison to India’s neighbours. “Last year, when Pakistan’s defence budget went up by about 18 18 per cent, India’s defence budget went up only by about 5.5 per cent. This was seen as a matter of concern. Likewise, Chinese defence...Read More
 

Pakistan needs to take tough decisions: DFID

The Dawn (Jan 30, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has asked the government to take ‘tough decisions’ to reform various sectors of the economy. The DFID is working with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to support Pakistan’s economic reform programmes. Talking to a group of journalists on Tuesday, DFID Chief Economist Rachel Glennerster said there exists a good understanding of what is to be done, and ...Read More
 

No relief: Despite two finance bills, Pakistan’s fiscal miseries to persist

The Express Tribune (Jan 29, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s fiscal woes would not ease even after the introduction of two finance bills in the past five months as the government’s internal assessment showed that the budget deficit would still remain above 6% of the size of national economy or Rs2.4 trillion in the current fiscal year. In absolute terms, the projected budget deficit is higher than the one left behind by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in its last year in power...Read More
 

Finance Minister vows to club taxes in next budget

The Pakistan Observer (Jan 29, 2019)
Lahore/Sialkot: Federal Finance Minister Asad Umar has pledged to make clubbing of taxes in the federal budget to facilitate the businessmen who paying a large number of taxes. He made this announcement on demand of the LCCI President Almas Hyder while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Asad Umar said that business community would be given the facility of single tax collector in the coming federal budget. He said that trust building between...Read More
 

Budget 2019: Farm stress busters, tax sops on government agenda

The Economic Times (Jan 28, 2019)
NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government’s last budget before the general election will focus on India as well as Bharat as it strives to win a second term in office. The interim budget, which is likely to be much more than a vote-on-account, will draw from precedents established by former finance ministers Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram, who did not shy away from introducing tax measures as part of stimulus packages, said a senior government official...Read More
 

Mini-budget termed ‘anti-worker’

The Dawn (Jan 28, 2019)
KARACHI: Labour leaders at a rally against retrenchment of workers and violation of labour laws on Sunday termed the federal government’s recent ‘mini-budget’ ‘totally anti-worker’ and observed that it showed its leaning towards the rich. The rally was organised by the National Trade Union Federation and Textile, Garment General Workers Union Korangi. The labour leaders demanded that the government give an end to the continued retrenchment in factories, etc, and make sure all ...Read More
 

Mini or non-budget?

The Pakistan Today (Jan 27, 2019)
Old wine in a new bottle; Finance minister Asad Umar is so cocksure that measures already taken have revived a moribund economy that he is not willing to brook any criticism of his policies. When a correspondent at his post mini-budget conference asked him a question regarding possibility of a cheaper loan package from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) he was visibly irritated. In an emotional tone he declared that we would not go on our knees nor take any dictation from...Read More
 

Razak Dawood instrumental in shaping business-friendly mini-budget

The Pakistan Today (Jan 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Unlike the previous ministers of commerce and industry, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood has proved to be highly influential in the federal cabinet of this government to make the supplementary budget more business/trade friendly. The proposals made in the mini-budget show that most of the recommendations forwarded by commerce division and the ministry of industries have been accommodated. “Previously...Read More
 

RCCI terms mini-budget business friendly

The Dawn (Jan 26, 2019)
RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) on Friday termed the supplementary finance bill 2019 business friendly. “It will offer incentives to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), industry, agriculture and capital market that will set the direction of the economy,” RCCI President Malik Shahid Saleem said in a press release. He said that despite economic crunch and a number of domestic and international challenges, the government had announced ...Read More
 

PTI presents a directionless mini-budget

The Global Village Space (Jan 26, 2019)
News Desk | GVS spoke with Express Tribune economics reporter Shahbaz Rana to get his thoughts on the government’s mini-budget and if it will achieve what the government needs in terms of economic growth, jobs, FBR tax collections and set Pakistan up on the right path for the next five years. GVS: What does the government need to do to generate economic growth and has the January mini-finance bill gone any way towards that? Pakistan’s fundamental problem is to ...Read More
 

Is the mini-budget a ruse?

The Dawn (Jan 25, 2019)
With the mini-budget announced by the incumbent government on Wednesday amid a ruckus and rowdy behaviour by the opposition, the next question arises how it will cope with the forthcoming challenges in the coming months. After the announcement of the mini-budget on Wednesday, the sentiments of the business community have largely been positive and felicitated the government for presenting a pro-business budget. However, the finance minister Asad Umar...Read More
 

Senate opposition rejects mini-budget

The Dawn (Jan 25, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The opposition in the Senate on Thursday rejected the mini-budget as an attempt to appease the corporate sector, multinationals and capitalists. Taking part in the discussion on the money bill, senators from the opposition criticised the government for what they called a ‘directionless policy’, and its failure to address issues facing growers. They said that the government was adding to citizens’ problems by continuing to increase gas and electricity tariffs...Read More
 

Pakistan’s mini-budget to be huge for SMEs, farmers

The valuewalk.com by Michelle Jones (Jan 25, 2019)
Pakistan stocks have been rallying since Finance Minister Asad Umar presented what he called a “mini-budget” — officially called the Finance Supplementary Bill of 2019. The bill aims to improve the business environment in the South Asian nation, and investors applauded the measures. However, analysts from one firm note that more information on Pakistan’s financial standing is still needed. Credit Suisse analysts Fahd Niaz and Farhan Rizvi outlined and ...Read More
 
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 32 Jan 24, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Pakistan’s mini-budget to be huge for SMEs, farmers

The Khaleej Times (Jan 24, 2019)
Pakistan's Finance Minister, Asad Umar, on Wednesday unveiled details about Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) 'mini-budget', which is targeted towards encouraging investment in the country and is expected to invigorate the country's stock market, agriculture, and industrial sectors. Speaking at the National Assembly session, Umar described his party's mini-budget as more of a corrective measure that will reduce the gap between Pakistan's rich and poor by addressing... Read More
 

Measures in mini-budget hailed

The News (Jan 24, 2019)
PESHAWAR: Former chairman Standing Committee of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Ahmad Jawad has welcomed the measures taken in the mini-budget including the lifting of the ban to purchase vehicles on non-filers and removing the embargo of tax on withdrawal of the amount starting from Rs50,000. The measures, he said, also includes the abolition of super tax on non-banking companies as well as on duty on... Read More
 

CPEC to play larger role in driving Pakistan’s economy

The Global Times (Jan 23, 2019)
China and Pakistan have decided to widen the scope of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Economic Times reported, adding that the two countries have signed new agreements to launch industrial, agricultural and socio-economic projects under this initiative. Why take this step at this very sensitive moment? In recent months, the project has been blamed for causing a debt trap and economic woes for Pakistan. There...Read More
 

Here’s what to expect from PTI’s mini-budget

www.samaa.tv (Jan 23, 2019)
Pakistanis should brace themselves for harder times ahead. The PTI government will present its second mini-budget today (Wednesday). The National Assembly will come into session at 4:30pm. Mobile phones, electronics and hundreds of luxury items are likely to get more expensive. The price of nearly 100 imported products is expected to rise too. It is expected that tax will be charged on Rs500 mobile balance. The ...Read More
 

Govt may abolish duty on 150 to 250 items in mini-budget

The News by Mehtab Haider (Jan 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: With the decision to increase import duty on 1800cc cars by 10 percent and jacking up tax on import of high end user mobile phone sets, the government is considering major relief in terms of downward adjustments in four import slabs by 1 percent as well as abolishing Regulatory Duty on 150 to 250 items through upcoming supplementary finance bill. “The government is going to announce implementation on five-year Strategic Trade Policy ...Read More
 

Mini-budget; Businessmen expect relief and economic direction from govt

The Daily Times (Jan 22, 2019)
The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Malik Shahid Saleem has said that business community has high hopes and expectations from upcoming economic package to be presented at national assembly on January 23. “We are anticipating big relief in taxes, regulatory duties and low tariff for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs),” they expressed their aspirations. Addressing a press conference at Chamber house here on Monday, RCCI President Malik...Read More
 

A Budget tale: When a boy wrote a poem justifying India’s first income tax act

The Economic Times (Jan 21, 2019)
NEW DELHI: In 1860, James Wilson, the finance member in Viceroy Lord Canning's council in undivided India, prepared India's first Budget, and also created the first income tax act. The levy of the income tax did not go down well with the Indians. The tax drew sharp reactions and some odd praise too. Military expenditure had ballooned in the aftermath of what the British call the Sepoy Mutiny and Indians their first War of Independence in 1857. The land revenue showed no scope of...Read More
 

Overseas Pakistanis pin hopes on mini budget

The Khaleej Times by Muzzafar Rizvi (Jan 21, 2019)
Pakistan Finance Minister Asad Umar is set to introduce an economic reform package in his second mini-budget speech this week to put the economy back on track after securing over $14 billion in financial assistance from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and China. Umar will unveil tax reforms, incentives to the stock market and announce new initiatives to ensure the ease of doing business in Pakistan. He is also expected to launch Pakistani diaspora bonds to raise $3 billion of funds through...Read More
 

‘Serious reservations’ in Cabinet over upcoming mini-budget

The Pakistan Today (Jan 20, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: While Finance Minister Asad Umar has announced to introduce the mini-budget on January 23, the government has yet to develop consensus among its cabinet members on the supplementary budget proposals. According to insiders, the members of the federal cabinet have serious reservations on a number of proposals aimed at increasing revenue and reducing expenditures through the supplementary budget. The finance ministry, sources claim, is yet... Read More
 

Market hold steady with 3rd budget of FY19 around corner

The Nation (Jan 20, 2019)
LAHORE - After two positive sessions, carrying on the momentum from the previous week, the market lost steam midway, ending slightly higher at 39,306 points, up by 0.7 percent WoW. News flows regarding the upcoming reform package kept investors sideways during the week. Volumes remained lower than the previous week for a large part, averaging 118m shares per day, while average daily traded value depicted a similar trend, ending down 14 percent WoW. During...Read More
 

KATI hopes relief for industry in ‘mini-budget’

Pakistan Observer (Jan 20, 2019)
Karachi: Acting president of Korangi Association of Trade & Industry (KATI) Faraz-ur-Rehman hoped the government would provide relief to industry in upcoming “mini budget”, would be announced in coming week. In a statement released by KATI Acting President of KATI Faraz-ur-Rehman and Vice President Maheen Salman applauded the efforts of federal government to promote exports and measures to lower down production cost of Industry. Faraz-ur-Rehman...Read More
 

Socio-economic opportunities in Pakistan

The Nation by Syed Tauseef Shah (Jan 19, 2019)
Reliance on science and technology will place Pakistan’s economy on a path of sustained development. There is need to strengthen science & technology as this was the critical need of the time. Value addition and knowledge input are key components for economic activity and are important determinants for growth. A 21st century economy cannot hope to grow without high contribution to GDP from the manufacturing sector. A knowledgeable and trained work force with....Read More
 

Stocks rise on mini budget expectations

The Dawn (Jan 19, 2019)
KARACHI: Markets ended last day of the week on a positive note gaining 62.6 points (0.16 per cent) before touching an intraday high of 147 points to finally settle at 36,306.50. The sentiment was lifted by reports of government planning to announce ease of doing business measures in the mini-budget to be presented on Wednesday. Initial reports suggest the government is likely to rationalise capital gains tax, reduce or abolish advance tax on brokers and allow capital losses to be ...Read More
 

What’s the mini budget all about?

The Pakistan Today by Shahab Jafry (Jan 18, 2019)
Thing about mini-budgets is that they are, by their very nature, designed to address revenue deficiencies that crept up, for whatever reason, in the original draft. That much is at least more believable than what the finance minister implied; that a few months after the last mini budget the government suddenly felt compelled to float another mini-budget because it wanted to encourage private investment, exports, and all that. And before anybody could speculate...Read More
 

Govt mulls rolling back income tax relief in mini-budget

www.geo.tv (Jan 18, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Bitten by a shortfall in tax revenues, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) federal government is considering a rollback of the income tax relief given to the salaried class by the previous government, sources told Geo News on Friday. In its last budget shortly before general elections in July 2018, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had announced large tax cuts that included an upward revision of the minimum taxable income for salaried class to Rs1.2...Read More
 

APCTMA hopes mini-budget will facilitate tile manufacturers

The Pakistan Today (Jan 17, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: All Pakistan Ceramic Tiles Manufacturers Association (APCTMA) is hopeful that in the upcoming mini-budget, the government would take steps that would enable the local tiles manufacturers to increase their market share in Pakistan which would result in saving precious foreign exchange and creating employment opportunities for the skilled and unskilled workforce. The APCTMA spokesman said that the tile industry could grow and become an export-oriented ...Read More
 

Pakistan stocks close lower as investors await ‘Mini Budget’

The Daily Times (Jan 17, 2019)
Pakistan’s equities Wednesday closed on a negative note with benchmark KSE-100 Index losing 342 points, to finally settle at 39,272 levels, down 0.9 percent. The market started off on a weak note only to continue the downward trajectory amid low volumes and lack of participation. KSE-100 Index remained lackluster throughout the session due to lack of investors’ interest as they wait for upcoming ‘Mini Budget’ scheduled to be presented in ...Read More
 

Opportunities for female youth vital for Pakistan’s economic stability: Andleeb Abbas

The Pakistan Today (Jan 16, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Andleeb Abbas has said that opportunities for channelling the potential and talent of the country’s female youth are pertinent to improve participation of women in the future of Pakistan’s economic stability. She was speaking during the Public-Private Dialogue on Gender-Focused Economic Reforms, organised by the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) here on...Read More
 

Buzdar approves Lahore Ring Road council budget

The News (Jan 16, 2019)
LAHORE: Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar presided over an important meeting of Lahore Ring Road Authority and Lahore Ring Road Council at his office here Tuesday. The meeting approved budget of Lahore Ring Road Council for the year 2018-19 besides approving the revised budget of 2017-18. The chief minister approved the Southern Loop III project of Lahore Ring Road and the meeting also approved starting the land acquisition ...Read More
 

FM’s promises rejuvenate Pakistan stocks, up 364 points

Daily Times (Jan 15, 2019)
Pakistan equities Monday closed in green with benchmark KSE-100 Index settling at 39,413, up 0.93 percent for the day on the back of anticipation of relief for the stock market in the government’s upcoming mini-budget. Market kicked off on a positive note after Finance Minister’s assurances to the business community over the weekend on the upcoming Finance Bill, scheduled to be presented in the National Assembly on January 23, 2019. An analyst at Trust Securities said ...Read More
 

Budget 2019 BQView: The economy under Modi-big ideas, small successes

bloombergquint.com (Jan 14, 2019)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image has loomed large over the Indian economy in the last five years. Every big project has carried his stamp. From GST, demonetisation and the Mudra Scheme to Swachh Bharat and Ayushman Bharat, Modi has pitched big ideas of change for the economy. Some of these ideas have drawn praise; others derision. But few have resulted in any large dividends for the Indian ec...Read More
 

Mini budget session seems steamier than usual

The News (Jan 14, 2019)
LAHORE: Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said that all previous budgets were fake and now real budgets were being presented. “The upcoming January 23 mini-budget will lay a foundation of Pakistan’s strong economy,” he said and added that the PTI government would come up to th ISLAMABAD: The upcoming supplementary national budget, formation of 38 house committees and fresh efforts for choreographing terms of reference for ...Read More
 

Minister terms all previous budget fake

The EL PIAS (Jan 13, 2019)
LAHORE: Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said that all previous budgets were fake and now real budgets were being presented. “The upcoming January 23 mini-budget will lay a foundation of Pakistan’s strong economy,” he said and added that the PTI government would come up to the expectations of people. The information minister’s remarks come a day after Finance Minister Asad Umar on Saturday dispelled the impression that...Read More
 

Asad says tax-free mini budget to be unveiled on 23rd

The EL PIAS (Jan 13, 2019)
Three months later than was scheduled, the 2019 budget was filed this morning in Spain’s Congress by the finance minister, María Jesús Montero. The plans include the biggest rise in public spending since 2010, with more funds destined to social areas. The intention of Socialist Party (PSOE) Prime Minster Pedro Sánchez with the budget is to heal the wounds left behind by the dramatic global financial crisis, which began a decade ago...Read More
 

Food prices crawl up ahead of Pakistan’s mini-budget

The Gulf Times (Jan 13, 2019)
Internews/Karachi: Retailers have pushed up prices of essential food items including sugar and vegetables prices ahead of the mini-budget which will be announced by the government of Pakistan on January 23. Sugar now costs Rs60 per kg versus Rs55 per kg a few days ago following an increase in the wholesale price to Rs57-58 per kg from Rs55 per kg. Two months ago, the wholesale price of sugar was Rs52-53 per kg. Retailers with old stocks of sweetener are...Read More
 

OICCI opposes govt move to raise GST rate in mini-budget

The News (Jan 12, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: While sternly opposing any move to raise GST rate by one percent from 17 to 18 percent in the mini budget, the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industries (OICCI) has asked PTI led government to broaden the narrowed tax base instead of raising burden over existing taxpayers. The OICCI also asked the government to maintain three tier taxation system for tobacco industry and reduce the difference between duty paid and non-duty paid...Read More
 

Stocks end flat as investors wait for update on mini budget

The News (Jan 12, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: While sternly opposing any move to raise GST rate by one percent from 17 to 18 percent in the mini budget, the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industries (OICCI) has asked PTI led government to broaden the narrowed tax base instead of raising burden over existing taxpayers. The OICCI also asked the government to maintain three tier taxation system for tobacco industry and reduce the difference between duty paid and non-duty paid...Read More
 

Writ-less govt, wirless policies rudderless economy

The News (Jan 11, 2019)
LAHORE: Pakistani economy’s biggest drag is the absence of the government writ as most of the laws that ensure fair trade and better regulations are in place but authorities are unfortunately too timid to enforce them. The law for instance makes it binding on the sugar mills to make the payment of the sugarcane they purchased from the farmers within fifteen days. Yet the millers hold the payments till next season. They then ask the government to give them concessions and subsidies so...Read More
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 31 Jan 10, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Budget 2019 expectations: increase female participation in workforce, eliminate hiring biases

The Business Recorder by Naveed But & Sohail Sarfraz (Jan 10, 2019)
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is going to present another 'Finance Supplementary (Amendment) Bill, 2019,' envisaging taxation measures of around Rs 150 billion, in the coming session of the National Assembly to be held on January 14 to address the economic challenges of the country, it is learnt. According to sources, Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Asad Umar is likely to present the 'mini-budget'... Read More
 

‘Mini-budget’ this month

The Business Recorder by Naveed But & Sohail Sarfraz (Jan 10, 2019)
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is going to present another 'Finance Supplementary (Amendment) Bill, 2019,' envisaging taxation measures of around Rs 150 billion, in the coming session of the National Assembly to be held on January 14 to address the economic challenges of the country, it is learnt. According to sources, Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Asad Umar is likely to present the 'mini-budget'... Read More
 

Budget session to start from January 31, interim budget likely on February1

The Economic Times (Jan 09, 2019)
Parliament's Budget Session will start from January 31 and will last till February 13, according to a decision taken at the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA). This will be the last session of the current Lok Sabha before it gets dissolved and fresh elections are held to elect a new Lok Sabha. Finance minister Arun Jaitley will table this year's Budget which will be a vote on account. The Full Budget will come only after the new government is formed...Read More
 

PTI govt set to introduce mini-budget in NA

The Nation (Jan 09, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - The PTI government in the upcoming National Assembly session has planned to present mini-budget in order to introduce a comprehensive economic plan for the next three years. The Imran Khan-led government after facing a lot of criticism from opposition on economic policies is for the first time introducing its three years economic plan. The government in the upcoming National Assembly session starting from Friday will present mini-budget with the intention to...Read More
 

Cut in development budget matter of grave concerns: ICCI

The Daily Times (Jan 08, 2019)
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) President Ahmed Hassan Moughal has expressed grave concerns over the drastic cut in the development budget as the government has sanctioned only 225.4 billion rupees for development projects for the first half of current fiscal year, which is reportedly 32% lower as compared with the disbursements made in the first half of previous fiscal year. In a statement issued here on Tuesday, Ahmed Hassan Moughal...Read More
 

Balochistan govt to present supplementary budget

The Geo News (Jan 08, 2019)
QUETTA: The Balochistan government has decided to present a supplementary budget during the next provincial cabinet meeting, sources said on Tuesday. The budget will be presented before the provincial assembly after approval from cabinet members. Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan has started consultations with coalition partners and opposition members to take them into confidence over the supplementary budget...Read More
 

Upcoming second mini budget to be defining moment for economy

The Express Tribune (Jan 07, 2019)
KARACHI: In the first five months of its term, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has done nothing different to fix the beleaguered economy that can differentiate its performance from that of previous governments. It has also remained busy in building external debt, increasing indirect taxes and providing subsidies. The much-awaited economic roadmap that would transform the country into Naya Pakistan is yet to be announced...Read More
 

Pakistan’s budget deficit projected to clock at 6% for FY 18-19: Fitch Solutions

The Pakistan Today (Jan 07, 2019)
LAHORE: Fitch Solutions in a report released on Monday said it projected Pakistan’s budget deficit to lock in at 6% in the current financial year 2018-19 compared to 5.8% in the previous FY7-18. The government will probably have to slash its expenditures over the forthcoming months as it focuses to obtain funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the bailout programme due to weak revenue growth, said the research...Read More
 

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Hold Talks with PM Imran Khan Discusses Oil Refinery in Pakistan

The News 18 (Jan 06, 2019)
Islamabad: Pakistan on Sunday said the UAE has "almost finalised" investment plan for the setting up of an oil refinery in the country as the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi met Prime Minister Imran Khan and discussed economic assistance to the cash-strapped country to bolster its foreign exchange reserves. Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, who was on a day-long visit to the country after nearly 12 years, was received by Khan upon his arrival at Nur... Read More
 

Govt opposes 1% additional customs duty to raise revenue

The News by Mehtab Haider (Jan 06, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The PTI-led government is considering different proposals for increasing taxes on cigarette industry in the range of Rs15 to 20 billion through mini budget expected to be unveiled during the ongoing month, The News has learnt. The government is considering different tax proposals for slapping additional taxes of Rs150 to Rs160 billion in remaining second half (Jan-June) period of the current fiscal year. Now different proposals are under consideration...Read More
 

UAE Prince Sheikh Mohammad to visit Pakistan, likely to announce USD 6.2 billion aid

The Economic Times (Jan 05, 2019)
The UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will visit Pakistan on Sunday after the two sides finalised the terms and conditions for a USD 6.2 billion assistance package to Islamabad to bolster its foreign exchange reserves and the government's fiscal policies. The UAE government's financial assistance comes as Pakistan is negotiating a USD 8 billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to overcome...Read More
 

China’s faltering economy gives US stonger hand in trade talks, Trump says

The Guardian (Jan 05, 2019)
Donald Trump has said China’s weakening economic growth puts the United States in a strong position as negotiators from the world’s two largest economies prepare for trade talks on Monday. US officials are heading to Beijing this weekend for the first face-to-face talks since Trump and China’s president, Xi Jinping, agreed in December to a 90-day truce in the trade war as they sought to strike a deal....Read More
 

Pakistan’s decision to declare Gulen group a banned outfit pleases Erdogan

The Express Tribune (Jan 04, 2019)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday expressed his pleasure over the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s decision of declaring Pak-Turk Education Foundation – a group backed by Fethullah Gulen – a banned outfit. The apex court had ordered to hand over custody of all 28 Pak-Turk schools in Pakistan to the Turkiye Maarif Foundation (TMF) last month. Addressing a joint press conference in Ankara with Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is on two...Read More
 

Sri Lanka plans 2019 budget with 3.5-pct deficit

Economy Next (Jan 04, 2019)
ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers had approved plans by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera for a budget with a deficit of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2019, the state information office said. The finance ministry hoped to boost revenue over 17 percent of GDP and keep current spending below 15 percent of GDP. Capital expenditure will be kept at 5.5 percent of GDP. The objective is to keep debt to GDP ratio at 70 percent, the proposal had...Read More
 

Pakistan secures further US$2b in funding from China to avoid economic crisis

South China Morning Post by Haroon Janjua (Jan 03, 2019)
China has pledged to lend an additional US$2 billion to Pakistan to increase the foreign exchange reserves of its South Asian ally, according to a government official in Islamabad. On Wednesday, an official who is not authorised to speak publicly on the matter said: “As Pakistan’s financial position is weak and to further avoid economic crisis, the government is preparing to take appropriate measures to fix the economy through financial help from China ...Read More
 

PTI govt’s economic policies have failed: Abbasi

Pakistan Today (Jan 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Thursday that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s economic policies have failed to deliver as any positive change is yet to be witnessed. Addressing a press conference along with other PML-N leaders, he said the PTI government failed to steer the country out of the existing economic crisis. “I am not criticising, rather putting the facts in front of the nation. The government...Read More
 

PTI govt’s economic policies have failed: Abbasi

The Express Tribune (Jan 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Thursday that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s economic policies have failed to deliver as any positive change is yet to be witnessed. Addressing a press conference along with other PML-N leaders, he said the PTI government failed to steer the country out of the existing economic crisis. “I am not criticising, rather putting the facts in...Read More
 

Expert reveals most dangerous threats to the global economy in 2019

News.com.au (Jan 02, 2019)
One of the world’s leading economists has issued a grim warning of the top hazards threatening global markets in 2019. And one of the top 30 factors is a potential “house price crash” in both Canada — and Down Under. Produced by multinational investment bank and financial services company Deutsche Bank, the list includes chief international economist Torsten Slok’s predictions of the risks which will drive financial markets in the new year...Read More
 

Oman to boost spending modestly in 2019 budget

The Reuters (Jan 01, 2019)
DUBAI, Jan 1 (Reuters) - Oman’s government expects to increase spending modestly this year under a 2019 state budget released on Tuesday, an official statement said. Spending is projected at 12.9 billion rials ($33.5 billion), up from 12.5 billion rials in the original budget for 2018. Revenues are estimated at 10.1 billion rials, assuming an average oil price of $58 per barrel this year. That would leave a 2019 budget deficit of 2.8 billion rials. In the first 10 months of 2018, the government ran...Read More
 

For Pakistan, 2018 marked by economic instability

The Express Tribune by Shahbaz Rana (Jan 01, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Two key events at the beginning of 2018 defined the economic policies of Pakistan for the rest of the year – the change of finance minister Ishaq Dar and the United States President Donald Trump’s tweet in which he accused Islamabad of deceit and lies. Both these events symbolise instability that continued till the day, although Prime Minister Imran Khan on December 28 declared that the phase of ‘uncertainty’ is over. The country had three finance ministers in ...Read More
 

Another mini-budget on the anvil

The News by Shafqat Mahmood (Dec 31, 2018)
Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) always finds “standards” reasons to justify the low revenue growth. It has been getting away with such effortless approach for ages. Not surprising is recent FBR recommendations for levy of GST on POL including crude oil as well as refined fuel per littre and for withdrawing reduction of withholding tax on salaried tax payers. Previously Senator Dar would even dub fall in oil prices as revenue loss, forgetting its salutary impact on foreign exchange...Read More
 

Govt needs three years to revive Pakistan’s economy: Fawad Chaudhry

Daily Times (Dec 31, 2018)
Finance Minister Asad Umar will give a three-year road map to revive the country’s economy, said Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday. “It was reassuring to learn from Asad Umar that the upcoming mini budget is geared towards increasing investments and growth and he will announce a three-year roadmap to revive economy,” he Tweeted. Information & Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry quoted the finance minister as assuring him ...Read More
 

Mini-budget to press complaint taxpayers

The News (Dec 30, 2018)
KARACHI: New year is likely to press compliant taxpayers with new taxes in the second mini-budget as the cash-strapped government is struggling to increase revenue collection to slash budget deficit and create room for development expenditures. The government is set to announce second supplementary budget within less than five months after presenting its first supplementary budget in September. The government planned to introduce a mini-budget...Read More
 

Govt to pay add’l Rs 166.8b as interest payment

Pakistan Today (Dec 30, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The government would have to pay additional Rs166.86 billion on interest payment on foreign loans during ongoing fiscal year mainly due to the sharp depreciation in local currency and increase in interest rate. The ministry of finance has upward revised the interest payment on foreign loans to Rs1.79 trillion for the year 2018-19 after the massive depreciation in currency against the US dollar. Initially, at the time of budget for current fiscal year, the government...Read More
 

No economic crisis, says Imran

The DAWN (Dec 29, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the country may be facing challenges, but there is no crisis in the country. “All things are manageable. There is a lot of potential for improvement in this country. We inherited an economy with the highest-ever $19 billion current account deficit,” Mr Khan said in a brief interaction with journalists in the conference room of PM Secretariat just before he went...Read More
 

Pakistan considers another mini-budget as economic crisis looms

The Asia Times (Dec 29, 2018)
Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is planning to present another mini-budget next month to counteract the widening fiscal deficit. This will be the second mini-budget that the PTI has presented in the four months since winning a majority in the general election this July. Immediately after taking charge in September, the government tabled revised budget estimates in the national assembly and claimed that the fiscal crisis was over...Read More
 

Government to rationalize tariffs, duties for industry in next mini-budget; Razak Dawood

Pakistan Today (Dec 28, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Advisor for Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said that the government was working to rationalise tariffs structure and customs duties in the next mini-budget that would be presented in January 2019 to facilitate the growth of industrialisation as the current tariffs and customs duties were not favourable for the industry. He said after rationalisation of tariffs, the government would try to fix tariffs for 3-4...Read More
 

Mini budget in January 2019, says Finance Minister Asad Umar

The News (Dec 28, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The Finance Minister, Asad Umar has announced to bring another mini budget in January 2019. Speaking to journalists, the Finance Minister said, “The mini budget is not being brought to generate revenue.” Commenting on the conditions by International Monetary Fund, Asad Umar said, “The pace and direction of the reforms are more important than IMF conditions.” “Whatever the finance minister has made decisions yet, it has nothing to do with IMF...Read More
 

IMF ready to bailout Pakistan, but Islamabad must reduce defence budget

The Defence Aviation Post (Dec 27, 2018)
The budget deficit has to be curtailed within a range of 4 to 5 percent of GDP during the programme period. Moving towards a free float of the exchange rate and hiking power tariff by 22 percent are among other major stumbling blocks to the way of evolving a staff-level agreement between the two sides. For achieving a primary surplus on the budget deficit front, official sources said the government will have to restrict deficit in such a way that ensures out of total revenues minus...Read More
 

Mini-budget to shrink economy, hit masses: Tax Bar

The Pakistan Observer (Dec 27, 2018)
Islamabad: Rawalpindi Islamabad Tax Bar Association (RITBA) on Wednesday warned that forthcoming mini-budget to result in contraction of the troubled economy adding to the plight of masses. The new taxation measures to improve the revenue collection will also hit the business community worried over instability, it said. Mini-budget will result in the closure of many businesses and leave countless unemployed while it will widen the...Read More
 

IMF asks Pakistan to ensure primary surplus on budget deficit

The Pakistan Today (Dec 26, 2018)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked Pakistan to ensure primary surplus on budget deficit to move ahead with the programme, leaving it with the hard choice of either slashing down its defence or development expenditure. The budget deficit has to be curtailed within a range of 4 to 5 percent of GDP during the programme period. Moving towards a free float of the exchange rate and hiking power tariff by 22 percent are among other major stumbling blocks to the...Read More
 

IMF puts Pakistan in a tight spot

The News (Dec 26, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked Pakistan to ensure primary surplus on budget deficit to move ahead with the programme, leaving it with the hard choice of either slashing down its defence or development expenditure. The budget deficit has to be curtailed within a range of 4 to 5 percent of GDP during the programme period. Moving towards free float of exchange rate and hiking power tariff by 22 percent are among other major...Read More
 

Iran presents budget to counter ‘cruel’ US sanctions

The Pakistan Today (Dec 25, 2018)
TEHRAN: President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday unveiled Iran’s first annual budget since the return of US sanctions, saying it had been adjusted to take account of Washington’s “cruel” measures. The president announced a 20 percent increase in public sector wages in a sign of the economic challenges the Islamic republic has faced since the United States pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal earlier this year...Read More
 

Pakistan to implement ‘prior actions’ for talks with IMF

The News (Dec 24, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will have to implement remaining ‘prior actions’ including taking additional taxation measures for jacking up FBR’s annual tax collection target close to Rs4455 billion in order to resume halved parleys with the IMF in second week of next month, The News has learnt. Differences between the IMF and Pakistan still persist over exact range of competitive exchange rate in terms of pace of adjustments but Pakistani side denied ...Read More
 

China rises to 2nd largest contributor to UN budget

Daily Pakistan Global(Dec 23, 2018)
United Nations: China will become the second largest contributor to the united nations regular budget starting next year, surpassing Japan. China’s contribution will rise to 12.01 percent in the next three years from 7.92 percent for the 2016-2018 period, according to a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on Saturday. Japan’s contribution will fall to 8.56 percent from 9.68 percent. Assessments for member countries’ contributions are made based on several...Read More
 

Resurfaced circular debt threatening the economy: PEW

Pakistan Today (Dec 23, 2018)
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said the circular debt has again resurfaced and is threatening the fragile national economy. The infamous power sector debt has surpassed Rs1300 billion and there is no way in sight to tackle it which is adding to the problems of the government, it said. The government has decided to issue Rs200 billion Sukuk bonds to handle the debt which will calm down the issue for a year or two but not resolve the...Read More
 

Govt hospitals devour budget, torment patients

Pakistan Observer (Dec 23, 2018)
Sindh government has failed to give proper healthcare facilities to citizens and the government hospitals are made centers to torment poor patients and to devour healthcare budget, said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Sindh chapter general secretary and parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh, here Saturday. Haleem Adil Sheikh visited the house of a class -9 student in Surjani Town area of the city, who has been bed-ridden for two years due to hip bone...Read More
 

PM Imran will not attend World Economic Forum 2019

Pakistan Today (Dec 22, 2018)
Prime Minister Imran Khan will not attend the World Economic Forum sessions starting in Davos on 22nd January 2019, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Political Affairs Naeemul Haq confirmed. This is the second global leader’s meetup that the prime minister is skipping owing to internal commitments, the first one being the United Nations General Assembly session, in September, this year. “The prime minister believes that he should visit these forums only after...Read More
 

Turkey’s budget for 2019 ratified by parliament

Daily News (Dec 22, 2018)
Turkish parliament has ratified the country's 2019 budget following a 12-day marathon session in the general assembly. Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım announced in the early hours of Dec. 22 that the budget was backed by 335 lawmakers while 166 voted against it in the 600-seat chamber. Lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voted "yes" for the budget. For 2019, Turkey is reportedly...Read More
 

Finance Division issues budget call circular

Pakistan Today (Dec 21, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Finance Division here on Friday issued Budget Call Circular for the FY 2019-20 through the e-office facility which was recently implemented in the Division. Call circulars to the offices which have not so far shifted to the e-office system were conveyed through email. The issuance of the budget call circular electronically is in line with the government’s initiative to use the e-office facility. The budget call circular is issued every year to all federal ministries and departments...Read More
 

With eye on China, Japan unveils record defence budget

Pakistan Today (Dec 21, 2018)
TOKYO: Japan’s defence budget will swell to a record $47 billion for the next fiscal year, the government said Friday, as Tokyo beefs up its missile defence and deploys stealth jets in a bid to counter China. The defence spending was part of a $912-billion national budget for the fiscal year starting in April 2019, approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe´s cabinet. The government decided to set aside 5.26 trillion yen ($47 billion) for defence, the fifth record year in a row, defence ministry...Read More
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 30 Dec 20, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

SBP reserves surge 10.85pc stand at & 8.05bn

The Pakistan Today (Dec 20, 2018)
The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased by 10.85pc WoW, breaking a two-week losing streak, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. Earlier, the reserves had been on a downward spiral for 14 successive weeks but financial assistance from Saudi Arabia provided much-needed support for the fast depleting reserves. The reserves had dropped to a four-and-a-half-year low, which raised concern... Read More
 

Govt offers IMF Rs190b in new taxes for bailout

The Express Tribune (Dec 20, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has offered the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to impose Rs190 billion worth of additional taxes to restrict budget deficit to Rs2.2 trillion and to further increase interest rates and devalue currency to increase foreign exchange reserves to $13 billion. These aggressive policy measures have potential to stifle economic growth rate, slowing its pace to only 3.9% in this fiscal year and stoking inflation. A major inflationary measure will be increase in... Read More
 

Information Minister says economy is biggest challenge

The Express Tribune (Dec 19, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government inherited a fragile economy, therefore stabilising it remains the key focus of the current government for ensuring sustainable growth, said Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain. Addressing the business community at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), he said, “The government is facing no challenge on the political front, however...Read More
 

Govt. considering another ‘mini budget’ in Jan 2019

The Pakistan Today (Dec 19, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar on Wednesday said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is likely to introduce another ‘mini-budget’ to address the economic challenges facing the country. In his briefing to the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance, Umar said the government was mulling over bringing another supplementary budget in January 2019, but no final decision has been made as yet. “An increase in taxes had been proposed but...Read More
 

Saudi 2019 budget boosts spending in bid to spur sluggish economy

The Bizenglish (Dec 18, 2018)
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia plans to increase state spending by more than seven percent next year in an effort to spur economic growth, which has been hurt by low oil prices, according to a 2019 budget released by the finance ministry on Tuesday. Spending is projected to rise to 1.106 trillion riyals ($295 billion) next year, up from an actual 1.030 trillion riyals this year, Saudi state television quoted the budget as saying...Read More
 

Sri Lanka new government to present full budget in January 2019: Eran Wickramaratne

The Bizenglish (Dec 18, 2018)
Sri Lanka’s new government lead by United National Party will present a full year budget to parliament in January 2019 and with the expectation of passing it in February 2019, Eran Wickremeratne told reporters recently. "We need 7 days debate and committee stage debate which requires 26 days," Wickramaratne said adding that there will be a disciplined administration. However he also told reporters that an interim budget will also be presented after a new cabinet of ministers is...Read More
 

Budget allocation for health increased to two percent: President Alvi

The Belta 100 (Dec 17, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: President Dr. Arif Alvi on Monday said that budget allocation for health has been increased to 2% from the current 0.9% of the GDP towards the attainment of Universal Health Care (UHC) and sustainable development health related goals. Talking to Regional Director, World Health Organization Dr. Ahmed Salim Saif Al-Mandhari and Regional Director, UNICEF SEARO Ms. Jean Gough, who called on him in Islamabad, Arif Alvi said that increase in the spending on social sector...Read More
 

Pakistan submits Chinese package details to IMF: Asad Umar

The Belta 100 (Dec 17, 2018)
Finance Minister Asad Umar on Monday stated that Pakistan has formally submitted details of the Chinese package to the International Monetary Fund, Express News reported. While talking to the media aboard a flight from Karachi to Islamabad, the finance minister apprised State Bank of Pakistan’s monetary and fiscal policies and stressed that the supplementary budget will help improve fiscal deficit. He further said that the government...Read More
 

Budgetary process lack citizen participation

Daily The Patriot (Dec 16, 2018)
Jhang: The budget study report revealed transparency and citizen’s participation in the budget-making process was found lacking at the district level in Punjab. Budget Call letters were delayed; consultation with relevant stake holders not held, only five districts had functional websites and 116 posts remained vacant in district budget branches while in 1 district, finance officer seat remained vacant during last fiscal year. CPDI demands adherence to the “Punjab Local... Read More
 

Ishaq Dar deplores economic policies of PTI government

The Pakistan Today (Dec 16, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Former finance minister Ishaq Dar lamented the economic policies of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government and said that they caused major setbacks to the country’s stock exchange network. In an interview to a private TV channel, he said that PTI’s policies also led devaluation of Pakistani rupee, which put the country under heavy economic pressures, in term of capital flow and investment. He said that the merger of stock exchanges of Karachi...Read More
 

Pakistan receives2nd tranche of $1b from KSA

The Nation (Dec 15, 2018)
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Friday has received the second tranche of one billion dollar from Saudi Arabia while the first tranche had already been utilised in less than one month period due to external debt servicing and other official payments. “The State Bank of Pakistan has received the second tranche worth one billion dollar from Saudi Arabia that would help build the declining foreign exchange reserves of the country,” said an official of the ministry of finance. He further said that...Read More
 

Govt. may introduce another mini-budget to address economic woes

The Pakistan Today (Dec 15, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: As the incumbent government is facing severe economic issues, it is likely that another supplementary budget would be introduced soon through a financial bill, sources revealed on Saturday. According to sources, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is making arrangements to introduce another mini-budget that would be aimed at meeting the conditions of International Monitory Fund (IMF), the constitution of Sarmaya-e-Pakistan and removal of the...Read More
 

FY 2018-19: Govt. approves Rs38.39bn budget for LDA, WASA, TEPA

The Pakistan Times (Dec 14, 2018)
LAHORE: A budget to the tune of Rs38.39 billion for the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) and Traffic, Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA) for the fiscal year 2018-19 was approved on Friday. A meeting of LDA’s governing body, chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, approved the budget whereas more than Rs20 billion out of the total budget was allocated for the development works...Read More
 

FATF compliance: Govt launches crackdown against money laundering facilitators

The Pakistan Today (Dec 14, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: In a major operation against money laundering facilitators, the federal government has launched a countrywide crackdown against officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Pakistan Customs, Anti-Narcotic Force (ANF) and other relevant departments. According to sources, the government has launched a massive crackdown against elements involved in money laundering, terror financing and capital flight from Pakistan...Read More
 

Tight monetary, fiscal policies add to public debt: EAC member

The Express Tribune (Dec 13, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Owing to discord among economists regarding the new exchange rate policy, a key member of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) distanced himself from fiscal and monetary policies on Wednesday and termed them self-defeating. “The tight monetary, fiscal and exchange rate policies are piling up public debt and impeding economic growth,” remarked EAC member Dr Ashfaque Hasan Khan. He was speaking at the 34th annual general meeting ...Read More
 

SBP reserves shrink by $242m, stand at $7.2bn

The Pakistan Today (Dec 13, 2018)
The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $13.7 billion on December 7, 2018. According to a statement issued by the central bank, the country’s foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan stood at $7.2 billion, while net foreign reserves held by commercial banks stood at $6.4 billion. During the week under review, SBP’s reserves decreased by $242 million to $7.2 billion owing to external debt servicing and other official payments...Read More
 

Trade deficit slightly contracts to $14.5b in five months

The Express Tribune (Dec 12, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The government’s desire to make a big dent on last year’s $37.6-billion trade deficit is likely to remain unfulfilled as the deficit marginally contracted to $14.5 billion in first five months of the current year after the growth in exports tapered off. The trade deficit in July-November of fiscal year 2018-19 shrank on the back of almost flat growth in imports, showed the figures released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The $14.5-billion deficit in Jul-Nov FY19 was...Read More
 

Russia 2018 budget surplus to be close to 3% of GDP-Minister

The Financial Times (Dec 12, 2018)
Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. Russia's budget surplus this year will be close to 3 per cent of GDP, the country's economy minister has said, higher than the official forecast thanks to strong oil revenues...Read More
 

Over$15b being remitted through illegal channel

The Express Tribune (Dec 11, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: In order to increase foreign exchange reserves, the government plans to strengthen banking channels to convince Pakistani expatriates to send remittances through legal means, and ultimately discourage other means of transmission. Currently, more than $15 billion are being remitted through the Hundi system, which is the main impediment to the growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Pakistani expatriates...Read More
 
 

Govt on track to streamline dwindling economy: Asad Umar

The Pakistan Today (Dec 11, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: With a focus to reach out to the poor, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, despite inheriting worst financial and current account crisis, has taken major policy initiatives for financial discipline and long-term socioeconomic development. After inheriting deteriorating macroeconomic indicators, the PTI government remained successful in straight-lining the key financial areas including taxation, governance...Read More
 
 

Govt to unveil new economic roadmap: PM

The Express Tribune (Dec 10, 2018)
KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced launching a new economic roadmap envisaging a strategy to overcome challenges and reset the country on the path to progress in the next six to nine months. The prime minister was on a day-long visit to the provincial metropolis during which he met representatives of the business community, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and provincial...Read More
 
 

CPDI Launches ‘Study of Budget Making Process at District level in Balochistan’

Daily Asia Today (Dec 10, 2018)
Chammen: Transparency and citizen participation in budget making process found lacking at district level in Balochistan Chamman. Budget call letters delayed, budget time line is not followed properly, none of the 20 surveyed districts have involved the general public and the stockholders in budget making. Only 4 districts issued pre-budget statements where the copy was not present for the public, none of the district has a functional website ...Read More
 
 

Rupee could easily settle at 150 in next six months

The Express Tribune (Dec 09, 2018)
KARACHI: “If you have to determine a level where the rupee might settle against the US dollar, 150 is a very easy target you can see in the next six months,” remarked Alfalah GHP Chief Executive Maheen Rahman. She was addressing a seminar on “Pakistan’s Economy: Yet Another New Start” at the IBA ThinkFest on Saturday. Rahman said that there is no real level that can be fixed for the Pakistani currency, which has depreciated nearly 31% in the past 11 months...Read More
 
 

FBR recommends new taxes to bridge shortfall

The Dawn (Dec 09, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: After dealing with the external sector deficit, the government’s attention is now being drawn to a growing shortfall in tax revenues that is beginning to bite. In the first five months of the fiscal year, a shortfall of approximately Rs102 billion has been recorded in revenue collection, and this week officials from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) gave a briefing to the prime minister about the situation, with suggestions on how the shortfall can be reduced in coming months...Read More
 
 

PTI decreases Punjab development budget, increases KP’s by 11%

Urdu Point (Dec 08, 2018)
Lahore (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 8th December, 2018) The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has cut the developmental budget of Punjab by half. About 54 percent less amount was spent on the developmental projects in Punjab this fiscal year as compared to last year. On the other hand, the developmental expenditures of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) were increased by 11 percent. According to the Ministry of Finance, the developmental...Read More
 
 

Request for increase in health budget tabled to PM

The News (Dec 08, 2018)
Islamabad: While pledging transformational changes in the health sector, particularly in public sector hospitals where patients are generally denied appropriate attention, treatment and respect, Minister for Health Aamer Mehmood Kiani claimed having tabled a request to the Prime Minister for increasing the country’s health budget to 2 per cent of the GDP in the next budget. Addressing a symposium on ‘Transforming Health Care’ here at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences ...Read More
 
 

China should tolerate bigger budget deficit in 2019 to boost economy: State media

The Reuters (Dec 07, 2018)
BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese government should slow its deleveraging drive and tolerate a bigger budget deficit next year to support the economy as downward pressure sharply increases, a state-controlled newspaper said on Friday. A China yuan note is seen in this illustration photo May 31, 2017. As an effort to steady rising debt levels after years of credit-fuelled investment, China cut its annual budget deficit target this year - a first since 2012 - to 2.6 percent of gross domestic...Read More
 
 

Call for citizen’s participation in budget making process

The Dawn (Dec 07, 2018)
SHANGLA: Participants of a seminar held here the other day called for transparency and citizens’ participation in budget-making process at the district level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.The seminar titled ‘district government budget rules 2016’ was organised by Centre for Peace and Development Initiative (CPDI) in Bisham, which was attended by members of local government, social activists and village council secretaries. “The first draft of the district budget should be presented in April...Read More
 
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 29 Dec 06, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Study of budget making process at district level launched

The Frontier Post (Dec 06, 2018)
Sherani: Action for Welfare and Awakening in Rural Environment (AWARE) Organization in collaboration with Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) launched a report entitled ‘Study of budget making process at district level’ here in Sherani district. The session was aimed to identify the loopholes in preparing the district annual fiscal plan, encourage public participation and discourage political interventions. Chief guest of the session was Social Welfare... Read More
 

Citizen’s participation in budget making process urged

The Northern Post (Dec 06, 2018)
SHANGLA: Participants in a seminar in Shangla urged transparency and citizens’ participation in the budget-making process a district level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a study report revealed transparency and citizen’s participation in the budget-making process was found lacking at the district level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A seminar was organized by Center for peace and development initiative CPDI here at Bisham on Wednesday, which was attended by ...Read More
 

Study of budget making process at district level launched

The Pakistan Observer (Dec 06, 2018)
Sherani: Action for Welfare and Awakening in Rural Environment (AWARE) Organization in collaboration with Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) launched a report entitled ‘Study of budget making process at district level’ here in Sherani district. The session was aimed to identify the loopholes in preparing the district annual fiscal plan, encourage public participation and discourage political interventions. Chief guest of the session was Social Welfare...Read More
 

Study of budget making process at district level launched

The Parliament Times (Dec 06, 2018)
SHERANI: Participants in a seminar in Shangla urged transparency and citizens’ participation in the budget-making process a district level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a study report revealed transparency and citizen’s participation in the budget-making process was found lacking at the district level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A seminar was organized by Center for peace and development initiative CPDI here at Bisham on Wednesday, which was attended by...Read More
 

Pakistan’s external debt, liabilities shoot to record at $96.7b

The Express Tribune (Dec 05, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s external debt and liabilities soared to a record $96.7 billion by the end of September 2018, which appeared understated by $3 billion, as the central bank did not explicitly show the debt taken from China for shoring up foreign currency reserves. The external debt and liabilities increased to $96.7 billion as of September-end, reported the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday. The figure, in reality, could ...Read More
 

Pakistan slashed non-salary budget by 10%

The Economic Times (Dec 05, 2018)
The Pakistan government has decided to cut by 10 per cent the non-salary current budget of the civilian setup as part of an austerity drive to solve the cash-strapped nation's economic woes, according to a media report. The Express Tribune reported that the move will help save nearly Rs 10 billion in the remainder period of fiscal year (2018-19) but would not address core fiscal problems. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has also decided to continue with a ban ...Read More
 

Industrial cooperation: Pakistan expects to sign deal with China this month

The Express Tribune (Dec 04, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan hoped on Monday to achieve a breakthrough by securing Chinese financing for a crucial project of the western route and sign an agreement on industrial cooperation during a meeting of the highest decision-making body of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). While giving a briefing on the status of CPEC projects, Planning Minister Khusro Bakhtiar reiterated that Pakistan had not offered any special treatment to Saudi Arabia under CPEC...Read More
 

FBR urges people to file income tax returns at the earliest

The Pakistan Observer (Dec 04, 2018)
Islamabad: Federal Board of Revenue has urged the peoples to file their income tax returns at the earliest to take advantage of numerous facilities offered by the government for active tax payers. For the facilitation of people, the authority has already extended the deadline for filing income tax return to15th of this month. The source in FBR told Radio Pakistan that immediately after filing income tax returns, the name of the filer would be enlisted among the active taxpayers...Read More
 

Turkey inflation drops from 15-years high

The Business Recorder (Dec 03, 2018)
ANKARA: Inflation in Turkey dropped for the first time to nearly 22 percent last month after surging to a 15-year high in October, official statistics showed on Monday. The increase in consumer prices fell to 21.62 percent in November compared with he same month last year, still very high in relative terms but down from the 25.24 percent rate recorded in October and the first drop since March this year, according to the Turkish statistics office (TUIK). The figure was also... Read More
 

CPEC changing lives of people in Pakistan: Yue Yanghua

The Pakistan Observer (Dec 03, 2018)
Beijing: Deputy Director General of international department of the central committee of Communist Party of China (CPC), Yue Yanghua has said that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), economic initiative has started changing lives of the people in Pakistan with productive out-put. Addressing a delegation of journalists from South Asian and South East Asian countries, Yue Yanghua said that CPEC, the flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has...Read More
 

Rupee returns to inter-bank level after assurances of no more depreciation

The Express Tribune (Dec 02, 2018)
KARACHI: Currency dealers adjusted the Pakistani rupee in retail market to the inter-bank closing level of Rs139 to the US dollar on Saturday after higher authorities assured of no more devaluation. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) depreciated the rupee by 3.8%, or Rs5.06, to an all-time low at Rs139.05 to the greenback in the inter-bank market on its last working day of the week, Friday. It hit record intra-day low of Rs144 in the early hours of the day...Read More
 

Dull week at stock exchange as index drops 373 points

The Express Tribune (Dec 02, 2018)
KARACHI: The stock market had a bearish week as a lack of economic clarity took its toll on investors’ sentiments, leading to a decline of 373 points or 0.91% in the benchmark KSE-100 index, which settled at 40,496 points. The week kicked off on a negative note as a dearth of positive triggers kept investors on the sidelines. A widening budget deficit and plunging international crude oil prices dampened the overall mood. Although the KSE-100...Read More
 

Rupee devaluation to negatively impact economy

The Nation (Dec 01, 2018)
Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) President Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain has said that the depreciation of Pakistani rupee would have a massive negative impact on the already fragile economy of the country. In a statement issued on Monday, Hussain said that one-time jump of approximately 8 rupees is unbearable for the importers as well as exporters who have to explore new resources to fulfil their international financial deals...Read More
 

South Punjab to have separate development programme in next budget

The Pakistan Today (Dec 01, 2018)
MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Saturday said that south Punjab would have a separate annual development programme in the next provincial budget. Addressing the annual general meeting of Emersonians – old students of the historic Emerson College – Qureshi said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was striving for the establishment of south Punjab province, however, amendments in the constitution and some legislation was...Read More
 

Rs250.44m Karak Council budget presented

The News (Dec 01, 2018)
KARAK: Tehsil Nazim Maulana Mehboob Janan presented annual deficit budget for the year 2018-19 with total outlay Rs250.44 million and resolved to look for new resources to increase the revenue of the Karak tehsil municipal administration.The budget session was held on Friday, with convener Haji Jehanzeb Khattak in the chair. All the members of the council attended the meeting. The tehsil nazim presented the budget with a total outlay of Rs250.44 million and said that Rs160.65 million would be...Read More
 

Indian economy grows 7.1pc y/y in Sept quarter

The Business Recorder (Nov 30, 2018)
NEW DELHI: India’s economy grew a lower-than-expected 7.1 percent in the July-September quarter from a more than two-year high of 8.2 percent in the previous quarter, government data showed on Friday. The latest quarter’s annual pace of growth was lower than a Reuters poll forecast of 7.4 percent. India’s $2.6 trillion economy, Asia’s third largest, grew 6.3 percent in the July-September quarter of 2017, the data released by the statistics ministry showed...Read More
 

Ascertained direction of Pakistan’s economy in 100 days: Finance Minister

The Dunya News.com (Nov 29, 2018)
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Finance Minister Asad Umer on Thursday said that the government has ascertained direction of country’s economy in first 100 days. Manifesto of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will be completed at all cost. Addressing a ceremony regarding completion of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) first 100 days in government at the Convention Centre today, he said that all institutions were facing deficit when PTI came into power...Read More
 

Pakistan’s net international reserves stand at negative $4b, excluding IMF debt obligations

The Pakistan Today (Nov 29, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday have revealed that the country’s balance of payment crisis isn’t over since its net international reserves are negative $4 billion even after eliminating IMF debt obligations. The figures released by the central bank show up to one-year obligations of the central bank surpass its gross official foreign currency reserves by around $4 billion, reports Express Tribune. Last week, the ...Read More
 

PM Imran reiterates PTI government will take Pakistan out from economic challenges

The Nation (Nov 28, 2018)
SIALKOT: Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday vowed to take the country forward and turnaround its economy through increased investment in human resource development and provision of higher and quality education to the youth. “Higher education and rise of a country are inter-linked. The main reason behind the countries which are moving forward is knowledge economy,” he said while speaking at the opening ceremony of a new campus of women ...Read More
 
 

Kalat: Local government fail to include stakeholders in the budget making process

The Balochitan Point (Nov 27, 2018)
KALAT: Study has revealed that the local governments (LGs) had failed to include stakeholders in the budget making process. Only 4 out of 20 districts released pre-budget statement that would have provided the stakeholders a chance to express their opinion on budget proposals. This study was shared with participants in a one-day workshop on ‘Study of Budget Making Process at District Level in Balochistan, here in Kalat on Tuesday. The ‘Study of Budget Making Process...Read More
 
 

$1.5 billion of foreign loans received during July-Oct FY19

The Pakistan Today (Nov 27, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan received $1.5 billion of foreign loans during the first four months (July-October) of the financial year 2018-19, according to the latest data released. In the first four months of current FY19, international creditors released $1.46 billion, according to officials of the ministry of finance, reports Express Tribune. In October, Pakistan had obtained a commercial loan of $160 million on the short-term facility from Dubai Islamic Bank...Read More
 
 

Concerns expressed over budget making process at district level

The Parliament Times (Nov 26, 2018)
SHOB: In order to identify loopholes in preparing district annual financial plan, encourage public participation and discourage political interventions. Action for Welfare and Awakening in Rural Environment (AWARE) Organization in collobration with CPDI launched a report entitled “Study on Budget Making Process a t District Level” here at Assembly Hall, Shob. Chief Guest of the event was Chairman Municipal Committee Engineer ...Read More
 
 

Looming water crisis biggest threat to Pakistan’s economy: WEF

The Nation (Nov 25, 2018)
The World Economic forum has termed water crisis as Pakistan’s biggest challenge in the coming decade. The World Economic Forum has recently published a report named ‘Regional Risks for Doing Business’, which has listed imminent risks to the South Asian nations as well. The report said that Pakistan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka will face 10 big threats such as failure of infrastructure, bad governance, inflation, cyber-attacks, unemployment etc. Another pertinent risk that the report...Read More
 
 

Budget revenue tipped to be $9.2bn higher than expected after company tax surge

The Guardian (Nov 25, 2018)
A surge in company tax is expected to push budget revenue $9.2bn higher in 2018-19 than expected in the May budget, according to Deloitte Access Economics’ latest forecast. The positive news sets the Morrison government up for a quicker return to surplus or gives latitude for pre-election sweeteners such as bringing forward personal income tax cuts as it prepares the midyear economic fiscal outlook, which is due in December...Read More
 
 

Somalia invites Pakistani businessmen to initiate joint ventures

The Express Tribune (Nov 24, 2018)
LAHORE: Embassy of Somalia Deputy Commercial Attaché Abdifitah Abdul Kadir Osman has invited Pakistani businessmen to enter into joint ventures with their counterparts in pharmaceutical and various other sectors. He extended the invitation while talking to Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Vice President Fahimur Rehman Saigal. The attaché called for making visa process easy and business friendly, highlighting that Pakistan and...Read More
 
 

Pakistan records Rs541.7b budget deficit

The Nation (Nov 24, 2018)
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has recorded a budget deficit of Rs541.7 billion during the first quarter (July to September) of the ongoing fiscal (FY2019) year despite provincial government generated massive surplus and cut in development budget. The country’s expenditures have stood at Rs1.64 trillion as against the revenues of Rs1.1 trillion during July-September period of FY2019. The budget deficit has recorded at Rs541.7 billion (1.4 percent of the GDP)...Read More
 
 

Zhob: Concerns expressed over budget making process at district level

The Balochistn Point (Nov 23, 2018)
ZHOB: In order to identify the loopholes in preparing the district annual fiscal plan, encourage public participation and discourage political interventions Action for Welfare and Awakening in Rural Environment (AWARE) Organization in collaboration with Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) launched a report entitled ‘Study of budget making process at district level’ here at assembly hall Zhob. Chief guest of the event was Chairman Municipal Committee...Read More
 
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 28 Nov 22, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

PM approves National Financial Inclusion Strategy

The News (Nov 22, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan today approved 5-years plan for enhanced National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) during a meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office. The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance Mr. Asad Umar, Advisor to Prime Minister Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Secretary Finance Mr. Arif Ahmed Khan, Governor State Bank Mr. Tariq Bajwa and senior government officials. National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) lays out the national vision... Read More
 

Gwadar’s deep-sea port set for further expansion in January

The Pakistan Today (Nov 22, 2018)
BEIJING: The Gwadar deep-sea port development will gain further momentum as work on its expansion plan is set to start from January, director general, Planning and Development, Gwadar Port Authority, Munir Ahmed Jan said on Tuesday. Under the expansion plan, five new berths would be added to the existing three berths for handling bigger ships, he said while talking to APP. Munir, who recently visited the Chinese capital to attend the CPEC Media Forum, said the first phase...Read More
 

Speakers call for enhancing capacities of LG members

The Frontier Post (Nov 21, 2018)
Lakki Marwat: Speakers at a session has called for enhancing capacities and capabilities of local bodies members in budget making to ensure utilization of financial resources on public wel fare progammes. The session on budget consultation was organized by Citizen Network for Budget Accountability at town hall building in Lakki city on Tuesday. Local government representatives and social and political activists were in attendance. To incorporate people’s suggestions and ensure active participation...Read More
 

Speakers for training LG representatives on budget making process

The Nation (Nov 21, 2018)
Lakki Marwat: Speakers at a session called for enhancing capacities and capabilities of local bodies members in budget making to ensure utilization of financial resources on public wel fare progammes. The session on budget consultation was organized by Citizen Network for Budget Accountability at town hall building in Lakki city on Tuesday. Local government representatives and social and political activists were in attendance. To incorporate people’s suggestions and ensure active participation...Read More
 

CPDI launched ‘study of budget making process’ at district level in KP

The Today’s Muslim (Nov 20, 2018)
Peshawar: CPDI launched ‘study on budget making process’ at the district level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Transparency and citizens; participation in the budget making process sought at the district level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The budget study report revealed transparency and citizen’s participation in the budget making process was fund lacking at the district level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Budget call letters were delayed consultations with relevant stake holders not...Read More
 

Pakistan’s GDP growth to slow down to 5.4% in FY19: Fitch

The Pakistan Today (Nov 20, 2018)
LAHORE: A report released by Fitch Solutions has said that Pakistan economic growth will slow down over the coming quarters and projected it to be 5.4% for FY19 compared to 5.8% in FY18. It said, “We believe that further austerity measures will likely exacerbate the cyclical slowdown in the Pakistan economy. However, that is not to say that in the absence of the IMF-induced austerity, Pakistan will be able to sustain its current growth momentum. Pakistan has been ...Read More
 

Pakistan receives much-awaited $1b from Saudi Arabia

The Express Tribune (Nov 19, 2018)
KARACHI: Pakistan has received the first tranche of $1 billion from Saudi Arabia under the $6-billion financial package aimed at stabilising the fast dwindling foreign currency reserves. The much-needed inflow comes at a time when Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are negotiating a bailout package. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) confirmed on Monday that it had received $1 billion from Riyadh, giving a boost to the foreign currency reserves. Earlier, the ...Read More
 

Increase in exports only way to avoid external debt: Asad

The Nation (Nov 19, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umar has said that enhancing the country exports was the only way to overcome the external debt or we have to seek more loans from IMF to run the affairs of the country. Talking to a private news channel, he said when PTI government came into power the country's economy was facing the deficit of Rs 800 billion. He said that trade can be improved with all the neighboring country, including Afghanistan, Iran, China and Saudi...Read More
 

CPDI issued a survey report on district budgeting report

The Today’s Muslim (Nov 17, 2018)
Peshawar: CPDI issued a survey report on district budgeting report, according to the report, public participation transparency indicates issues related to the budgetary implementation of the public sector transparency. The report indicates improvement in the previous year. However, the public participation and budgeting process was disappointing, the budget call letter was not consulted with the late-issued stakeholder, it has been revealed that websites of only... Read More
 

PTI government decides to launch five-year roadmap

The Express Tribune (Nov 17, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has decided to launch a five-year roadmap to ensure development work in the long run in different sectors during its tenure. The government will launch a five-year roadmap during an event at the Convention Centre, apprising the public of the progress made on the 100-day plan. The government will announce different targets under the five-year roadmap to make developments in different sectors including the social sector...Read More
 

IMF proposes government to raise GST to 18% as part of comprehensive fiscal adjustment

The Pakistan Today (Nov 16, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The government has been told by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to increase the general sales tax (GST) to 18%, that will allow it to raise an additional Rs160 billion in new taxes. This puts the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in a quandary since it has pledged the IMF it will decrease the burden of indirect taxes, reports Express Tribune. The visiting IMF delegation is seeking tax efforts equivalent to 0.4% of gross domestic product (GDP)...Read More
 

In October: Current account deficit widens 34%, amount to $1.21b

The Express Tribune (Nov 16, 2018)
KARACHI: The current account deficit (CAD) – which is set to keep putting pressure on foreign currency reserves in the current fiscal year as well – widened for the second consecutive month in October due to an unwanted growth in imports and likely dividend payments. The deficit grew 34% to $1.21 billion in October compared with $909 million in the previous month, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on Thursday...Read More
 

19000 more be added in tax net till June

The Nation (Nov 15, 2018)
MULTAN:- The Regional Tax Office (RTO) Multan has expanded tax base by registration of over 19,000 more tax payers ,including 440 companies to the list in a year till June 2018 by virtue of its efforts to enhance revenue generation. Chief Commissioner Inland Revenue, RTO Multan Abid Raza Bodla told APP on Wednesday that 19,742 additional tax payers had been registered and the number would rise as individuals still have time to file returns till...Read More
 

China: officials debate budget deficit

The Stratfor (Nov 15, 2018)
What Happened: Chinese authorities are debating whether it is necessary for the country to maintain a deficit that is 3 percent of the country's gross domestic product, with some economists arguing that private companies should receive a greater tax reduction, CNGold.com reported Nov. 15. Why It Matters: Chinese officials are exploring options to support the country's economy amid speculation in the property market and high leverage. More tax ...Read More
 

Pakistan looks forward to IMF’s bailout

The News (Nov 14, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan looks forward to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) support for the government’s efforts aimed at achieving an economic turnaround, the finance minister said on Tuesday. The Finance Minister Asad Umar expressed the government’s willingness for the bailout at a meeting with the visiting IMF mission led by its chief Harald Finger. The statement clearly indicates that Islamabad is willing to take a bailout package from the IMF. Yet, the program’s size...Read More
 

Russia’s federal budget in surplus of 3.6% for first time since 2011

The Intellinews (Nov 14, 2018)
Russia’s federal budget revenues were RUB15.8 trillion ($233bn) in January-October 2018, exceeded expenditures of RUB12.78 trillion by RUB3.02 trillion ($44.1bn) handing the government a surplus of 3.6% of GDP, the Ministry of Finance reported on November 13. The primary surplus, that excludes the cost of servicing public debt, was even higher at 4.5% of GDP. Russia started this year expecting a budget deficit of 1.3% of GDP, but with the unexpected...Read More
 

Pakistan, China urged to tackle global conspiracies by trading in local currencies

The Pakistan Today (Nov 13, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: A leading Chinese scholar on Tuesday called for strengthening the Renminbi (official currency of China), which would subsequently improve the value of the Pakistani Rupee. Addressing the participants of a roundtable dialogue organised by the Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) entitled, “CPEC: The Way Forward”, Dr Chen Wenling said China and Pakistan must not get influenced by the pressures imposed by the external forces and...Read More
 

China hints at Afghanistan’s inclusion to CPEC, Belt & Road Initiative

The Pakistan Today (Nov 13, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing on Monday urged Afghanistan to join the Belt & Road Initiative as well as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and said that Kabul was a “natural partner” of the mega-project. “Afghanistan can also act as a bridge to help expand connectivity between East, South and Central Asian regions. It [Afghanistan] would benefit from joining CPEC and BRI as the projects aim at social and economic development in Pakistan and would provide...Read More
 

IMF raises questions over measures to rein in fiscal deficit

The Pakistan Today (Nov 12, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) commenced their policy discussions on Monday aimed at reining in fiscal deficit and deliberate on economic and fiscal adjustments required to obtain a bailout of approximately $6 billion. A draft Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) had been composed by the Ministry of Finance in deliberation with other economic ministries which was the focal point of discussion with the IMF, said a senior...Read More
 
 

Gwadar rising fast in Pakistan’s economic landscape

The Pakistan Today (Nov 12, 2018)
BEIJING: Once a small backward fishing town off the Arabian Sea in the southwest Balochistan province, Gwadar now is rising fast in the economic landscape of the country and is attracting more businessmen by offering numerous business opportunities. The deep-water port became fully functional in late 2016 under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and welcomed its first liner in March 2018, China Daily reported on Monday. According to the port’s...Read More
 
 

Pakistan to hold policy-level talks with IMF this week

The Pakistan Today (Nov 11, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are to start policy-level discussions this week, starting from Monday. The IMF team which arrived in Islamabad on November 6, has so far held technical discussions with Pakistan’s authorities. According to sources, Asad Umar will head the policy-level discussions from Pakistan’s side. The talks between the IMF and Pakistan will continue till November 20. The volume of the loan would be finalised in the policy level ...Read More
 
 

Pakistan to repay $1.7 billion on account of foreign debt till December

The Pakistan Today (Nov 10, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan must make $1.7 billion on account of foreign debt repayments till December 2018, official data revealed on Friday piling up the risk to the country already plummeting foreign exchange reserves. Data obtained from various ministries reveals Pakistan requires to make debt servicing of over $1.7 billion in form of principal and markup on outstanding foreign loans in the present 2nd quarter, reports The News. Overall foreign debt obligations during the current FY19 are...Read More
 
 

Sri Lanka nearing 2018 with no budget, vote on account: economist

Economy Next (Nov 10, 2018)
ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka is nearing the end of 2018 with no budget presented at Parliament for next year which has since been dissolved, raising questions about public finances an economist has warned. "This raises a serious issue about public finances, a prerogative of Parliament now dissolved," W A Wijewardene an economist who was a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank said in a twitter.com message. "Spending for 2019 not approved;...Read More
 
 

Exports grow bu 3.52pc in four months, trade deficit swells by 1.97pc

The Pakistan Today (Nov 09, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The exports from the country during the first four months (July-October) of the current financial year grew by 3.52 per cent and reached at $7,285 million, as compared to the exports of $7,037 million during the corresponding period of last year. Meanwhile, imports into the country also witnessed an increase of 0.06pc during the period under review, according to trade data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics...Read More
 
 

Pakistan to brief IMF on wealth fund for state-owned institutions

The Pakistan Today (Nov 09, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The economic managers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will brief the visiting delegation of International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the proposed wealth fund for state-owned institutions (SOIs) next week. The Ministry of Finance officials will brief the visiting team about the government’s plan of revamping the public sector enterprises by establishing a wealth fund, sources said, adding that the government wants to establish a holding company...Read More
 
 

Pakistan records Rs541.7b budget deficit

The Nation (Nov 24, 2018)
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has recorded a budget deficit of Rs541.7 billion during the first quarter (July to September) of the ongoing fiscal (FY2019) year despite provincial government generated massive surplus and cut in development budget. The country’s expenditures have stood at Rs1.64 trillion as against the revenues of Rs1.1 trillion during July-September period of FY2019. The budget deficit has recorded at Rs541.7 billion (1.4 percent of the GDP)...Read More
 
 

Zhob: Concerns expressed over budget making process at district level

The Balochistn Point (Nov 23, 2018)
ZHOB: In order to identify the loopholes in preparing the district annual fiscal plan, encourage public participation and discourage political interventions Action for Welfare and Awakening in Rural Environment (AWARE) Organization in collaboration with Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) launched a report entitled ‘Study of budget making process at district level’ here at assembly hall Zhob. Chief guest of the event was Chairman Municipal Committee...Read More
 
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 27 Nov 08, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

China agrees to double its imports from Pakistan: Dawood

The Pakistan Observer (Nov 08, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Industry and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood here on Wednesday said that during recently concluded visit of Prime Minister, China has agreed to increase its import from Pakistan by $1 billion immediately while the imports from Pakistan would further be increased by $1 billion next year. This will help Pakistan to boost its exports to China from existing level of $1.2 billion to $2.2 billion by end... Read More
 

LTU falls short of Rs60bln in revenue in July-October

The Express Tribune (Nov 08, 2018)
KARACHI:Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) Karachi, the main arm of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), has missed its target for the first four months of the current fiscal year of 2018/19 by 15 percent or Rs59 billion owing to a significant decline in collection from petroleum and corporate sectors, official data showed on Wednesday. The provisional figures showed that the LTU Karachi collected Rs351 billion during the July-October period as against the...Read More
 

Pakistan has debt problem, but not China debt problem’

The Express Tribune (Nov 07, 2018)
BEIJING: Pakistan has a debt problem for sure, however, it does not have a China debt problem, said Finance Minister Asad Umar. Speaking to the China Global Television Network (CGTN), at the China International Import Exhibition (CIIE), his remarks came in response to accusations that China was using debt diplomacy to expand its influence worldwide. Umar has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was an excellent example of cooperation...Read More
 

Pakistan, IMF to start bailout talks today

The Express Tribune (Nov 07, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are set to begin talks for a second bailout package in five years, amid Finance Minister Asad Umar’s proclamation that an immediate balance of payments crisis has been averted with the help of China and Saudi Arabia. The IMF and Pakistan would start on Wednesday two-week long parleys as Islamabad still remains on a weak footing due to disappointing fiscal results for first quarter (July-September) of...Read More
 

On the eve of IMF talks, Pakistan says balance of payments crisis over

The Pakistan Today (Nov 06, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s finance minister Asad Umar said on Tuesday that its balance of payments crisis was over, a day before an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team was due to arrive to discuss a possible aid package. Asad Umar had announced last month that Pakistan would seek an IMF funding package, its 13th since the late 1980s. But he said on Tuesday that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s securing of a $6 billion package from Saudi Arabia plus promised...Read More
 

Rs45m budget for Zhob MC approved

The Pakistan Observer (Nov 06, 2018)
ZHOB: Municipal Committee Zhob unanimously passed its annual expenditure budget for fiscal year 2018-19. Total volume of the budget is forty five million rupees. The annual budget unanimously approved by the house amounting to Rs45 million. The newly-elected Chairman MC Engineer Abdul Rehman Mandokhail presided over the budget session, while the session was attended by former chairman Abdul Saleem Mandokhail, vice chairman Haji Naseeb Nasar, Abdul Qayyum...Read More
 

Chinese loan accounts for only 6.3pc of Pakistan’s total foreign debt

The Pakistan Today (Nov 05, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The Chinese government’s soft loan for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects accounts for only 6.3 per cent of Pakistan’s total foreign debt, said sources in the Embassy of China on Monday. They said of all the CPEC projects, only Karakoram Highway (KKH) Phase-II, Karachi-Lahore Motorway (Sukkur-Multan), Orange Line Metro Train and laying of Optical Fiber Cable have utilised the Chinese government’s soft loan, which was...Read More
 

Hammond says growth, not budget surplus, key to reduce debtst quarter FY19

The Euro News (Nov 05, 2018)
LONDON (Reuters) : Chancellor Philip Hammond raised the prospect of looser budget policy after Brexit and said faster growth was the best way to cut Britain's debt burden, but insisted he was still committed to ultimately running a budget surplus. Hammond's annual budget last week reinforced some analysts' doubts about his commitment to a budget surplus, after he used a tax windfall to fund public spending commitments rather than to make faster progress at….Read More
 

Govt releases Rs 105.46b for development projects under PSDP 2018-19

The Pakistan Today (Nov 04, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The government has released over Rs105.46 billion under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2018-19 for various ongoing and new schemes against the total allocation of Rs675 billion. The released funds include Rs49.02 billion for federal ministries and Rs18.6 billion for special areas, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform. Out of these allocations, the government has released Rs32.38 billion for National... Read More
 

Absence of debt strategy marred Balochistan’s budget: report

The DAWN (Nov 04, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Reviewing the performance of Balochistan’s public finance management, an assessment report released by the World Bank says the provincial government has been preparing an unrealistic deficit budget since 2013-14, which it cannot finance because it is not allowed to borrow in the absence of a debt strategy. Over the years, the government has been able to curtail annual expenditures within available resources, yet significant shortcomings exist resulting...Read More
 

KL budget sets higher deficit, cuts subsidies

The Straits Times (Nov 03, 2018)
Kuala Lumpur:&nbps; Malaysia's six-month-old government yesterday announced its budget for 2019, which set a higher deficit to tackle development expenditure and debts left by the former administration, and coun-ter slowing economic growth. Pakatan Harapan's (PH) first financial plan will tap national oil giant Petronas, which will cough up RM30 billion (S$10 billion) in a special dividend to help with payments, in particular, RM37 billion in tax refunds owed by the former administration...Read More
 

Pakistan warns against adverse effects on UN peacekeeping amid shrinking budgets

The Nation (Nov 03, 2018)
New York (AFP): Pakistan has warned that arbitrary cuts in peacekeeping funding risk diminishing the effectiveness of UN’s flagship operations and jeopardizing the safety of peacekeepers. “Our focus should be on enhancing capabilities, not across the board cuts in the peacekeeping budget,” ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the General Assembly’s Fourth Committee, which deals with Special political and decolonization matters. “Even if the discussion is reduced to...Read More
 

Transactions through e-banking channels touched Rs47.4 trillion in FY18: SBP

The Pakistan Today (Nov 01, 2018)
LAHORE: The volume of transactions in the last financial year 2017-18 processed via retail e-Banking channels i.e. real-time online banking (RTOB), ATMs, POS, mobile phone banking, internet banking etc touched 756.5 million valued at Rs47.4 trillion. According to the State Bank of Pakistan’s “Annual Performance Review 2017-18” report, RTOB transactions accounted for 84.1 percent share in terms of the value of transactions value with a volume share...Read More
 

FBR’s revenue collection rises 6.7% YOY, misses target by Rs100 billion for July October FY19

The Pakistan Today (Nov 01, 2018)
The tax regulator’s revenue collection went up by 6.7% year-on-year (YoY) in the period between July-October 2018 FY19, collecting Rs1.1 trillion in taxes. However, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) missed its revenue collection target by Rs100 billion, reports Express Tribune. The provisional revenue collection missed the mark since the tax regulator has claimed it has stopped the practice of taking steps to fill the revenue gap. Although the tax regulator...Read More
 

Budget 2018: a missed opportunity to save public services

The Guardian (Oct 31, 2018)
For most public sector staff the budget will make little difference. The government adds £20bn more for health over five years, then waves £650m more for social care. But at the end of Philip Hammond’s show, public services are still far from fully clothed. Available money that could have saved services was instead used to seduce taxpayers; the fiscal sustainability of ageing Britain remains as bleak as ever. The size of the public sector will at best stay constant as a...Read More
 

PML-N wasted 55pc Punjab budget on bridges, metros: Minister

The News (Oct 31, 2018)
NANKANA SAHIB: Punjab Minister for Human Rights Ijaz Alam has said that priorities of the government are to provide justice, clean water and education to the people. He was talking to journalists at Gurdwara Janamasthan here on Tuesday. The PML-N government wasted 55 per cent of entire Punjab budget only on making bridges and metro bus in Lahore while the people were deprived of basic facilities in other parts of the province. He said that billions of rupees were...Read More
 

IMF deal to be Pakistan’s last: Asad

The News (Oct 30, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance and Revenue Asad Umer has said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government would make contact with International Monetary Fund (IMF) as `last one ‘ in the history of the country through major increase in exports and decline in trade deficit in future. Speaking on floor of the House in National Assembly on Tuesday, the minister said that PPPP, PML-N and former dictators also contacted with IMF in their tenures and it...Read More
 

China to lower its de facto policy rate; EU’s budge guidelines

The Valuewalk (Oct 30, 2018)
For more than three years, the Italian 10-year government bond yield traded in a range with 2.5% serving as a market top of sorts. Then in June, that level was broken, with both fundamental and technical influencing markets. The higher rates result, in part, from budgetary issues that the EU has faced before, most notably in Greece. The moves higher in European rates come as a Capital Economics report notes that monetary easing, sending rates lower, isn’t altering China’s “gloomy” outlook for...Read More
 

Rs2.23 bn allocated for 17 health projects in south Punjab

The News (Oct 29, 2018)
LAHORE: On the direction of Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, an amount of Rs2.23 billion has been allocated for 17 mega health projects in South Punjab. Mega project of Nishter-2 will soon be started in Multan. The PTI government in its very first budget has allocated billions of rupees for health. Funds are being provided to complete health projects in Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur Division and seven new development projects are also being started...Read More
 
 

Finance ministry calls first meeting over NFC awards on 31st

The Pakistan Today (Oct 28, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance is going to hold its first Fiscal Coordination Committee (FCC) meeting this week to discuss the annual reports of the National Finance Commission (NFC) and the implementation status on World Bank’s financial management and service delivery programme. According to sources, the finance ministry will be holding the first meeting of the FCC, which was constituted in April 2018 to strengthen...Read More
 
 

‘Financial crisis has begun’ Italy’s budget chaos risks second credit crunch, expert warns

The Express (Oct 28, 2018)
THE RISK of another financial crisis has escalated in the wake of Italy’s high-debt budget proposal, which may drive interests rates higher and escalate the dilemma further, a former leading official has warned. Italy’s populist coalition government sparked outrage in the European Union after proposing a budget deficit of 2.4 percent - a figure almost three times the previous administration’s target. The EU subsequently rejected the proposal and ordered Italy to amend it within...Read More
 
 

The European Commission rejects Italy’s budget

The Economist (Oct 27, 2018)
Like a couple of prizefighters before a grudge match, the European Commission and the Italian government are standing toe to toe. On October 23rd Brussels demanded that the populist coalition in Rome rewrite its 2019 budget. It is the first time since the launch of the euro that the commission has rejected outright the fiscal blueprint of a member state...Read More
 
 

Budget 2018: What we know already

BBC News (Oct 26, 2018)
However, when it comes to our money, the Budget Red Book is probably the most significant publication of the year. The 120 pages - even more if you count the supporting documents - outline the chancellor's plans for public and personal finances. Yet the pages are far from fresh. Much of what is detailed in Philip Hammond's speech and in the book has already been announced. This may not be immediately clear, so here is some of what we already know...Read More
 
 

Budget to offer business rates relief for small shops

The Guardian (Oct 26, 2018)
The chancellor will cut business rates bills by a third for almost half a million small high street shops in a £1.5bn spending pledge to fight the threat posed by Amazon and other online retailers. In next week’s budget, Philip Hammond will order £900m of immediate business rates relief for small retailers in an effort to combat shuttered shops on the high street, where small businesses have been threatened by high rates and the rapid rise of online shopping...Read More
 
 

Budget 2018: BBC editors on what to expect

BBC News (Oct 25, 2018)
The prime minister has promised an end to austerity, but can the chancellor, Philip Hammond, make good on her words in the Budget? The BBC's economics editor Kamal Ahmed, business editor Simon Jack, and political editor Laura Kuenssberg explain why he cannot simply turn on the spending taps...Read More
 
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 26 Oct 25, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Foreign exchange: SBP’s reserves fall $264m, stand at $7.8b

The Express Tribune (Oct 25, 2018)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank continued to spiral downwards for the ninth successive week as they fell 3.26% on a weekly basis, according to data released on Thursday. The continued drop in the reserves raises concern about Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements as the reserves have dropped below the $8-billion mark. However, the government announced on Tuesday that it had managed to secure…. Read More
 

Pakistan improves WEF rankings by nine points

The Express Tribune (Oct 24, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: World Economic Forum (WEF) has appreciated efforts of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for eradication of corruption and ranked Pakistan at 107 among 140 countries on Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). The WEF, in its Global Competitiveness report-2018, has redefined the competitiveness index 4.0. The new index provides guidelines for countries to gear up for the fourth industrial revolution. The report indicates….Read More
 

Pakistan to go for IMF bailout, despite $6 billion Saudi Arabia support package: Report

The Pakistan Today (Oct 24, 2018)
LAHORE: Despite getting a $6 billion bailout package from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan will still be seeking an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout. According to a Bloomberg report, the Finance Ministry spokesman Noor Ahmed on Wednesday said, “Islamabad will now negotiate with the IMF from an improved position.” He added, “We’ll have to go to IMF. The Saudi Arabian package “is something you strengthened your position for talks.” Mr….Read More
 

Pakistan obtained $930 million loans during first quarter FY19

The Pakistan Today (Oct 23, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan obtained $216 million in loans from international lenders in September 2018 of the financial year 2018-19. According to available data, Pakistan in the first quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal year borrowed $930 million from different countries as well as banks. The country’s foreign exchange reserves have dwindled sharply as they touched a critically low level of $8,089 million till 12 October….Read More
 

Imran Khan leaves for Saudi conference saying Pakistan “Desperate” for loans

The Economic Times (Oct 23, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan left for Saudi Arabia to attend an investment conference boycotted by other leaders over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Khan told an interviewer before leaving he was concerned at Khashoggi's death but could not skip the conference because "we're desperate" for possible Saudi loans to shore up Pakistan's economy.  It is Khan's second visit to Saudi ….Read More
 

Unpopular decisions needed to put economy on right patch

The Express Tribune (Oct 22, 2018)
LAHORE: The government is trying to set a new direction for the national economy by addressing the most serious macroeconomic challenge – the dwindling foreign exchange reserves. The finance ministry has unveiled a series of measures to deal with the widening budget deficit. These measures include more than $2 billion in planned development spending, doubling the tax rate on the highest-income group to 30% and hiking tariffs on ….Read More
 

Next IMF programme to be Pakistan’s last, Asad Umar Tells stockbrokers

The Dawn (Oct 20, 2018)
Finance Minister Asad Umar on Saturday claimed that Pakistan's economy is already on the road to recovery and that the next IMF programme that the government is pursuing will be its last. Umar made those remarks during a question and answer session following his meeting with a delegation of stockbrokers at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi. Following a tumultuous couple of weeks for the bourse, the finance minister had met the traders today to allay….Read More
 

Pakistan’s textile exports inch up by 0.86 percent in 1st quarter FY19

The Pakistan Today (Oct 20, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports in textile and clothing group recorded an increase of 0.86 percent during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (July-September) 2018-19 as compared to the same period of last year. The textile group’s exports from the country increased to 3.285 billion during July-September (2018-19) against export’s worth of $3.257 billion during July-September (2017-18), according to data issued by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Friday….Read More
 

Trump turns attention to budget cutting after slashing taxes

The Straits Times (Oct 18, 2018)
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump, faced with a budget deficit at a six-year high, on Wednesday (Oct 17) told his Cabinet to come up with proposals to cut spending by their agencies by 5 per cent, but he suggested the military would be largely spared. "I'd like you all to come back with a 5 percent cut," Trump told his Cabinet secretaries at a meeting attended by reporters. The administration is beginning to pull together plans for the president's... Read More
 

Annual US budget deficit hits six-year high of $779b

The Daily Star (Oct 17, 2018)
Washington (AFP) The US budget deficit hit a six-year high of $779 billion in the most recent fiscal year, the Treasury announced Monday, underscoring the cost of last year's sweeping tax cuts. President Donald Trump hails the tax cuts as a boon to the economy, but corporate tax receipts dropped sharply and America's growing debt burden to finance the deficit became increasingly costly, the Treasury Department said. In the 2018 fiscal year, which ended …Read More
 

Egypt’s economy to grow 5.3pc in fiscal 2018-19

The Business Recorder (Oct 17, 2018)
CAIRO: Egypt’s economy will expand 5.3 percent in the fiscal year that began in July, a Reuters poll of 15 economists showed, as tourism recovers and the outlook for investment improves. That median forecast was up slightly from 5.2 percent predicted in the previous poll in July but below a government target of 5.8 percent. The economists’ median growth forecast for the year starting next July was 5.5 percent. “The economy will continue.…Read More
 

Pakistan to share CPEC debt details with IMF

The Economic Times (Oct 16, 2018)
NEW DELHI: Cash-strapped Pakistan in a desperate move has announced that it is ready to share details of its debt related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with the IMF following tough talk by the Trump administration on bailout package. Pakistan is ready to share details of the debt related to CPEC with the IMF, Finance Minister Asad Umar said on Sunday following the US decision to review loans that Islamabad has got from China. The.…Read More
 

Chancellor plans budget spending pledges to reassure MPs

The Guardian (Oct 16, 2018)
Philip Hammond is planning to pepper his budget with a series of spending announcements to reassure Tory backbenchers who are anxious about the impact of universal credit and delivering on the prime minister’s pledge to end austerity. The chancellor is understood to share fears that Theresa May’s promise at the Tory party conference to step up public spending had been interpreted too literally, putting pressure on the Treasury to.…Read More
 

Ending austerity in UK ‘incompatible’ with budget plan

ABC News (Oct 15, 2018)
The U.S. federal budget deficit rose in fiscal 2018 to the highest level in six years as spending climbed, the Trump administration said Monday. The deficit jumped to $779 billion, $113 billion or 17 percent higher than the previous fiscal period, according to a statement from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. It was larger than any year since 2012, when it topped $1 trillion. The …Read More
 

US budget deficit expands to $779 billion in fiscal 2018 as spending surges

CNBA (Oct 15, 2018)
The U.S. federal budget deficit rose in fiscal 2018 to the highest level in six years as spending climbed, the Trump administration said Monday. The deficit jumped to $779 billion, $113 billion or 17 percent higher than the previous fiscal period, according to a statement from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. It was larger than any year since 2012, when it topped $1 trillion. The.…Read More
 

K-P to present Rs645b ‘boring’ budget today

Express Tribune (Oct 15, 2018)
PESHAWAR: The provincial government is all poised to present its first budget for the financial year 2018-19 on Monday, with a total outlay of over Rs645 billion. With a promise of including new schemes with no new taxes, around 28 per cent of the budget will be reserved for developmental projects — old and new. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra is expected to present the budget in the provincial assembly at .…Read More
 

Investors bet against Italian debt as budget fears intensify

Financial Times (Oct 14, 2018)
London: Investors’ negative bets on Italian government debt are at their highest level since the early days of the market’s five-month-long sell-off, in an indication that Italy’s budget proposals have fuelled concern about its economic outlook. More than $35bn of Italian government bonds are out on loan according to data provider IHS Markit, up from $23bn late last year and equalling the value of bonds that were out on loan in early June when Italy’s new populist government was formed .…Read More
 
 
Budget Study Centre Issue 25
Oct 11, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

 

Trade deficit narrows to $8.869bln in July-September

The News (Oct 11, 2018)

KARACHI: Trade deficit narrowed 1.61 percent to $8.869 billion in the first quarter of the current fiscal year of 2018/19 as regulatory duties snipped non-essential imports into country, analysts said on Wednesday. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed that trade deficit was registered at $9.014 billion in the corresponding quarter a year earlier. Merchandise exports rose 4.56 percent to $5.39 billion, while imports inched up 0.63 percent to $14.26 billion ….Read More

 

IMF, Pakistan to meet as Islamabad seeks bailout

The News (Oct 11, 2018)

NUSA DUA, INDONESIA: IMF chief Christine Lagarde said she would meet with Pakistani officials on Thursday, with expectations that Islamabad will request a bailout of its shaky economy. Pakistani Finance minister Asad Umar, who is attending the fund's annual meeting in Bali, announced earlier this week that the government would seek talks with the IMF on a "stabilisation recovery programme". Lagarde said the IMF was yet to receive anything ….Read More

 

In US-China trade war, Pakistan gets extra export orders

The Express Tribune (Oct 11, 2018)

FAISALABAD: The present tense relations between the US and China have proved to be a blessing in disguise for Pakistan as its exporters are getting extra orders from the US in the prevailing circumstances, said Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) President Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain. Speaking to trainees of the Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD) at the FCCI, Hussain said Faisalabad was a main ….Read More

 

Govt urged to adopt Taxpayers’ bill of Rights

The News (Oct 10, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The federal government needs to start implementation of economic reform agenda by adopting Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights. The said bill clearly describes the taxpayers’ rights, the mechanism which will ensure the protection of these rights and possible remedy if taxpayers’ rights are violated or infringed upon. According to a press release issued on Tuesday, Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) urged the federal government ….Read More

 

Pakistan among economies most vulnerable to refinancing risks

The News (Oct 10, 2018)

LONDON: Sri Lanka, Armenia and Pakistan top the list of smaller emerging economies most vulnerable to refinancing risks, because they face a combination of large upcoming repayments and low foreign currency reserves, ratings agency Moody’s said on Wednesday. Emerging-market governments embarked on an issuance spree in recent years, taking advantage of record-low interest rates and major central banks that were pumping ….Read More

 

UK economy grows faster than expected in three months to August

The Independent (Oct 10, 2018)

UK GDP growth was stronger than expected in the three months to August thanks to the summer heatwave, official data on Wednesday showed. The economy expanded by 0.7 per cent over the three months, according to the latest estimate from the Office for National Statistics. That was higher than the 0.6 per cent consensus among City analysts. The three month growth rate for July was also revised up to 0.7 per cent, from 0.6 per cent previously. “The economy ….Read More

 

Record rupee devaluation pushes total debt & liabilities to shoot up by Rs900 billion

The Pakistan Today (Oct 10, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The record 7.5 percent depreciation of the rupee on Tuesday has contributed to Pakistan’s total debt and liabilities to shoot up solely by around Rs900 billion and Rs1.4 trillion since August. The central bank on Tuesday allowed the rupee to be devalued by around Rs9.50 against the dollar in line with IMF suggestions signalling the government’s intent to completing prerequisites before it secures another bailout programme, reports Dawn. ….Read More

 

IMF warns Pakistan against ‘excessive loans’ from China

The Dawn (Oct 10, 2018)

NUSA DUA: Pakistan has not yet formally approached the International Monetary Fund for financial assistance, but if bailout talks get underway this week, the goal will be to help Pakistan reach its full potential, the IMF’s chief economist said on Tuesday. Addressing a news conference at the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Bali, the IMF’s Maurice Obstfeld cautioned that increased Chinese involvement in Pakistan’s economy could bring both ….Read More

 

Pakistan’s debt sustainability indicators in disarray

The Express Tribune (Oct 10, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s all debt sustainability indicators have turned topsy-turvy in the last fiscal year, suggesting that the country faces serious challenges to foreign debt repayment and is also exposed to high refinancing risks due to a short debt maturity period. The Public Debt Management Risk Report of June 2018, released by the Ministry of Finance, showed that most of the indicators moved further towards dangerous levels while three... Read More

IMF warns Italy not to breach EU spending rules in next budget

The Guardians (Oct 09, 2018)

The International Monetary Fund has thrown its weight behind Brussels in its battle with Italy’s coalition government over plans to increase the indebted country’s borrowing in its next budget. The Washington-based lender of last resort, which is holding its annual conference in Bali this week, warned Rome to abide by the EU’s financial rulebook or risk a rebellion by investors that could trigger a debt default. Italy’s populist coalition is targeting a …Read More

Trump’s tariffs will harm growth in 2019, IMF predicts

The Washington Post (Oct 08, 2018)

The International Monetary Fund has cut its U.S. growth forecast for next year, warning that President Trump’s protectionist trade policies will harm growth domestically and around the world. In its World Economic Outlook, released Monday evening, the IMF says the U.S. economy is expected to grow 2.9 percent this year and 2.5 percent next year. The organization had forecast in April that the U.S. economy would grow 2.7 percent in 2019. “If you.…Read More

 

US economists win Nobel prize for work on climate and growth

The Guardian (Oct 08, 2018)

Two American economists at the forefront of work on climate change and the role of governments in boosting growth have been jointly awarded the prestigious Nobel Memorial prize for economics. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said William Nordhaus and Paul Romer were being honoured for their research into two of the most “basic and pressing” economic issues of the age. Nordhaus made his name by warning policymakers.…Read More

 

Pakistan knocks at IMF door to void default

The Express Tribune (Oct 08, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: After weeks of dilly-dallying, Pakistan on Monday announced approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package aimed at avoiding default on international debt obligations and restoring confidence among the investors. “After taking into account the current situation and consultation with leading economists, the government has decided to approach the IMF for a bailout programme,” announced Finance Minister Asad Umar through a recorded video message.…Read More

 

Consumers brace for higher inflation in FY19

The Express Tribune (Oct 07, 2018

KARACHI: Pakistan is on a path of high inflation following the government’s decision to revise gas prices upwards for domestic consumers and other sectors of the economy, like fertiliser, cement and CNG fuel. Experts are on the same page as they expect an uptrend in inflation and slowdown in economic growth during the current fiscal year 2018-19. Preliminary assessment of a securities brokerage house suggests inflation may soon soar to double …Read More

 

Pakistan confronted by difficult economic situation: IMF

The Pakistan Today (Oct 05, 2018)

LAHORE: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) team concluded its week-long visit on Thursday and issued a report stating Pakistan was confronted by a difficult economic situation, with high fiscal and current account deficits and low foreign exchange reserves. The IMF delegation was led by its Washington-based mission chief Harald Finger and over a week-long visit discussed the country’s economic situation and exchanged views on necessary …Read More

 

Passage of mini-budget: A testing time for PTI govt is over

The News (Oct 04, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Running into their second eventful month in power laden with unlimited political rhetoric, the PTI government must be feeling relieved cutting the 2018-19 PML-N budget according to its needs. But the forced patch work in budget still doesn’t give even a feel, glimpse of ruling party’s election manifesto and economic vision. Perhaps, delayed temporarily? Till then, the fast track “tabddeli” (change) is on hold. Got paused -- to be more appropriate. .…Read More

 

Thar Energy gets $3.9 million investment from Chinese firm

The Express Tribune (Oct 04, 2018)

KARACHI: China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) has acquired a 10% stake by investing $3.9 million in Hub Power Company’s (Hubco) subsidiary Thar Energy Limited (TEL) – one of the first domestic coal-fired power projects at Thar coal block-II. With majority shareholding of about 60% in the project, Hubco has established TEL for setting up a 330-megawatt mine-mouth lignite-fire The company has signed a shareholders’ agreement with .…Read More

 

World economy at risk of another financial crash, sys IMF

The Guardian (Oct 03, 2018)

The world economy is at risk of another financial meltdown, following the failure of governments and regulators to push through all the reformsneeded to protect the system from reckless behaviour, the International Monetary Fund has warned. With global debt levels well above those at the time of the last crash in 2008, the risk remains that unregulated parts of the financial system could trigger a global panic, the …Read More

 

Pakistan needs to raise $20b to avoid payment crisis

The Express Tribune (Oct 03, 2018)

DUBAI: Pakistan has to initiate bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in addition to seeking investment from friendly countries. It needs to arrange a massive amount of up to $20 billion instantly to avoid foreign payment crisis. “No one party appears to be willing to provide the entire amount ($18-20 billion) required to run the country in the current fiscal year 2019,” said Citi Head of Public Sector, Middle East, Pakistan & Levant, Head.…Read More

 

Power sector losses of Rs200b to be recovered from defaulters

The Express Tribune (Oct 04, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The country’s economic managers are looking to recover a loss of Rs200 billion from power-sector defaulters and bring down the overall loss to 16.3%, as allowed by the regulator. It turned down the Power Division’s plea to pass on the Rs200-billion loss on account of electricity theft to honest consumers which were paying their bills regularly. Officials revealed that Finance Minister Asad Umar, while chairing a recent meeting of the.…Read More

 

FBR goes after 169 wealth non-filers, many more set to face hot pursuit

The Express Tribune (Oct 2, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: In a large swoop to widen the tax net and ensure tax compliance across the country, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has started a massive drive for the recovery of taxes from big and influential tax evaders. The crackdown on the high-value targets has been launched on the instruction of Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Asad Umar as part of the government’s efforts to widen the tax net and bring in it all those individual.…Read More

 

Italian deputy PM threatens to sue EU boss over budget criticism

The Guardian (Oct 02, 2018)

The Italian deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, has threatened to sue Jean-Claude Juncker for damages, accusing the EU president of pushing up Rome’s cost of borrowing by likening Italy to Greece. Salvini, who is also Italy’s interior minister and leader of the far-right League party, was speaking after Juncker’s comments helped send the yield on Italian benchmark bonds to a four-and-a-half year high of 3.4%, while shares in Italian banks plunged. …Read More

 

Budget 2018: What can we expect from chancellor Philip Hammond’s budget this month?

The Independent by Caitlin Morrison (Oct 02, 2018)

Philip Hammond will deliver his 2018 Budget at the end of October, and with Brexit negotiations looming, there is more uncertainty than ever surrounding the state of the UK economy. The Budget falls earlier than usual this year because of the need to clarify tax, spending and other financial decisions, before a final Brexit deal can be reached with the EU. The chancellor will update the country on economic matters just 10 days after the next EU summit, but …Read More

 

Pakistan assures IMF of increase in tax collection

The Express Tribune (Oct 02, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Amid a decline in revenues, Pakistan has assured the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that its tax collection will soon get a boost as it has planned to utilise information being received under multilateral tax conventions and will also give a push to cases under litigation. The government has decided to include Saudi Arabia in the list of countries where Pakistanis have undeclared assets which have not been disclosed to the Federal Board .…Read More

 

Core inflation jumps to four-year high at 8%

The Express Tribune (Oct 01, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Core inflation jumped 8% in September 2018 – the highest level in the past four years, which was slightly lower than the key interest rate, indicating inflationary pressures that were affecting prices of almost every household item.

Core inflation – which excludes volatile food and energy prices – went up from 7.7% in August to 8% in September, reported the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Monday…Read More

 

Recovery of bad debts can help boost economy

The Express Tribune (Oct 01, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Financial institutions of a country are very important. Fiscal strength of these institutions determines the strength of the economy. However, just like other institutions in Pakistan, previous governments failed to pay attention to their improvement. Now, the responsibility is on the new Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led administration, which has so far remained undecided about how to handle financials of the country.…Read More

 

DN presents over Rs8bn 2018-19 budget for DI Khan

The Business Recorder (Oct 01, 2018)

DIKHAN: District Nazim Dera Ismail Khan Nawabzada Azizullah Alizai here Monday presented 4th annual budget of the district government for fiscal year 2018-19 amounting Rs8,356,058,000 and also got approved the revised budget for 2017-18 from District Council. Addressing on the occasion Azizullah Alizai said that in budget 2018-19, Rs410,700,000 has been allocated for developmental schemes, Rs619,657,000 for non-….. …Read More

 

IMF calls to ‘reinvigorate’ trade in face of economic war between US and China

The Telegraph (Sep 30, 2018)

Radical reforms to open up trade in services, online commerce and cross-border investment could give the world economy a major boost over the coming years, if Governments choose to seize the opportunity. The International Monetary Fund is launching a new campaign to stop the trade war and encourage nations to rediscover the benefits of trade, in the face of higher tariffs and anti-trade rhetoric, particularly as the US builds barriers…Read More

 

India’s economy overtake UK, Germany, France and Japan in the next decade, predicts HSBC

The Telegraph (Sep 30, 2018)

India will be the fastest growing big economy of the next decade, leapfrogging the UK, Germany, France and ­Japan to become the third biggest in the world, according to new forecasts. Economists at HSBC said the world’s largest democracy will grow at more than 6pc per year on average over the coming decade. By contrast growth in China is expected to slow to below 5pc per year in the late 2020s.…Read More

 

State Bank of Pakistan increases interest rate to 8.5% in new monetary policy

Daily Pakistan Global (Sep 30, 2018)

ISLAMABAD – The State Bank of Pakistan has increased the key interest rate by hundred basis points. In a monetary policy statement on Saturday, the Central Bank said the new interest rate will be 8.5 percent. The rate will be effective from Monday (1st October 2018) for the next two months in order to further consolidate efforts required to ensure macroeconomic stability, the statement added. The central bank said that though political uncertainty …Read More

 

Italy budget uncertainty returns to haunt Europe

The Times of Malta (Sep 28, 2018)

Europe’s share markets and the euro both took a tumble yesterday as reports that Italy’s long-awaited budget was facing a delay compounded an already groggy globalmood after the third US interest rate rise of the year. Italy’s main Milan bourse slumped as much as two per cent with the country’s big banks down even more as the country’s borrowing costs also hit a three-week high in the government bond markets. Investors have.…Read More

 

Investors dump Italian bonds after ministers agree ‘budget for change’

The Times of Malta (Sep 28, 2018)

Italian government bonds were set for their worst day in over three months after key Italian government officials agreed a budget overnight that will see the country run a deficit in 2019 and beyond. Italy's government on Thursday targeted the budget deficit at 2.4% of gross domestic product for the next three years, defying Brussels and marking a victory for party chiefs over Economy Minister Giovanni Tria, an unaffiliated technocrat. "There is an .…Read More

 

Budget Study Centre Issue 24
Sep 27, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

 

WTO downgrades forecast for global economy and appeals for ‘restraint’ on trade war

The Telegraph by Anna Isaac (Sep 27, 2018)

The global umpire of trade has downgraded its economic forecast, claiming a rising tide of protectionism has dampened growth. A burgeoning trade war between the world’s two largest economies, China and the US, was cited as the chief reason for reducing 2018’s trade growth by 0.5 percentage points to 3.9pc. Trade is expected to slow further next year, to 3.7pc growth, according to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). …Read More

 

Argentina announces $57.1bn deal with IMF

The Telegraph by Wil Crisp (Sep 26, 2018)

Argentina has agreed a $57.1bn (£43.4bn) deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) designed to stabilise its economy. The new IMF agreement boosts the total funding available from the fund by $7.1bn and frontloads financing, increasing available resources by $19bn through the end of 2019. If the new plan is approved by the IMF’s Executive Board, the funding provided through the agreement would be used by Argentina for…Read More

 

US Federal Reserve raises interest rates amid strong growth

The Telegraph by Wil Crisp (Sep 26, 2018)

The US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates for the third time this year, taking the range of its Federal Funds Rate to between 2.00pc and 2.25pc, up by 0.25 percentage points. The latest move is the central bank's eighth rate rise since 2015. In a statement the central bank said: "In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate". The Federal Reserve was widely .…Read More

 

France’s 2019 budget to ease tax burden on households, firms

The Times of Malta (Sep 24, 2018)

France will reduce the tax burden on households and companies by nearly €25 billion next year, the government said in its 2019 budget bill, pushing the deficit up towards an EU cap as the economy fails to gain pace. Households will see their tax bill reduced by a total €6 billion while business taxes will fall by €18.8 billion, resulting in the overall tax burden decreasing to 44.2 per cent of national income, the lowest for France since 2012. With his …Read More

 

Foreign exchange: SBP’s reserves dip 3.07%, amount to $9.33b

The Express Tribune (Sep 24, 2018)

KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank continued to spiral downwards as they decreased 3.07% on a weekly basis, according to data released on Monday. The drop in reserves raises concern about Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements as the reserves have fallen below the $9.5-billion mark. On September 14, the foreign currency reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) were recorded at…Read More

 

Turkish firm to invest $330m in setting up plant in Pakistan

The Express Tribune (Sep 23, 2018)

FAISALABAD: A Turkey-based fast-moving consumer goods company (FMCG) – Hayat Kimya – has planned an investment of $330 million in Pakistan for setting up a manufacturing unit for hygiene products. Hayat Kimya is making the ninth largest investment in Pakistan and has started work at the Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC). It has acquired 100 acres of land to install a mega state-…Read More

 

Philip Hammond’s room for budget splurge trimmed as spending rises in August

The Telegraph by Tim Wallace (Sep 21, 2018)

Philip Hammond will be under more pressure in his Budget as Government borrowing jumped in August, with slower growth in tax receipts and higher spending worsening what had been a rosy picture. The deficit was £6.8bn last month, the Office for National Statistics said, up £2.4bn compared with August 2017. It ends the recent trend of falling borrowing, which has brought down the deficit for this financial year to £17.8bn, £7.8bn lower than the same period ..Read More

 

Remedial paths for the Brazilian economy

The Express Tribune (Sep 20, 2018)

In one sentence, the Brazilian economy seems to be suffering from lack of productivity yet an excessive public sector. On the one hand, the run-of-the-mill performance of productivity in Brazil in recent decades has limited its GDP growth potential. On the other, the excessive expansion of public spending has become progressively unsuited with such limits in the potential expansion of GDP, particularly since productivity has not been…Read More

 

In August 2018: Current account deficit contracts 72% due to drop in imports

The Express Tribune (Sep 20, 2018)

KARACHI: Pakistan’s current account deficit (CAD), a major source of concern for the past couple of years, surprisingly narrowed down 72% to $600 million in August 2018 compared to the previous month because of a notable drop in imports. The deficit – which is the outcome of higher expenditures in foreign currencies than the earnings – stood at $2.12 billion in the previous month of July, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on Wednesday. …Read More

China to penalize $60 billion of US imports in tit-for-tat move

The Express Tribune (Sep 19, 2018)

WASHINGTON/BEIJING: China and the United States plunged deeper into a trade war on Tuesday after Beijing added $60 billion of US products to its import tariff list in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s planned levies on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The tit-for-tat measures are the latest escalation in an increasingly protracted trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies. On Monday, the US administration …Read More

Pakistan eyes $8b investment from China, Saudi Arabia

The Express Tribune (Sep 18, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan eyes nearly $8 billion investment from China and Saudi Arabia, under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), in road, energy and oil sectors, after the new government decided to pick schemes on their ‘merits’. Decisions are being taken after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government completed its internal review of the multibillion dollar strategic initiative and came to a decision to open the corridor for investment …Read More

 

Sindh cuts development budget by Rs24b

The Express Tribune (Sep 18, 2018)

KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to cut the province’s development budget by Rs24 billion, citing financial constraints in view of the shortfall in federal transfers. The announcement came during the unveiling of the provincial budget for the remaining nine months of the fiscal year, 2018-19, at the Sindh Assembly on Monday. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who also holds the portfolio of the finance ……Read More

 

Future of the economic, monetary union

The Times of Malta (Sep 18, 2018)

On September 14, the European Commission Representation in Valletta, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Malta, hosted the conference entitled: The Economic & Monetary Union: how has Malta benefitted and what does the future hold? Following the outbreak of the economic and financial crisis, the European Union took unprecedented measures to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and make sure that Europe is better Read More

 

PTI govt unveil Rs5.3tr revised ‘status quo’ budget

The Express Tribune (Sep 18, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) newly elected government has unveiled Rs5.3 trillion revised budget for this fiscal year but its ‘emergency’ measures lack the ideological shift that is needed to document the growing informal economy and spur economic growth to create jobs. Presenting the Finance Supplementary (Amendment) Bill 2018 on Tuesday in the National Assembly, Finance Minister Asad Umar claimed that the mini-budget will…Read More

 

New Govt to propose Mini Budget for FY 2018-19

Pro Pakistani (Sep 18, 2018)

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is set to present the revised budget for FY2018-19 on Tuesday, September 18 which is being drafted keeping in mind the macroeconomic realities and the unrealistic approach by the previous government in order to gain momentum for the elections. Earlier it was going to be presented on Friday, 14 September before the Parliament, however, the session has been postponed till next week due to the death of former First...…Read More

 

UK economy will shrink without Brexit deal: IMF

The Express Tribune (Sep 17, 2018)

MOSCOW: Britain’s economy will shrink if the country leaves the European Union next year without a Brexit deal and any deal will leave the country financially worse off than staying in, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday. The IMF said it expected Britain’s economy to grow by about 1.5% a year in 2018 and 2019 if a broad Brexit agreement was struck, compared with about 1.75% if it had stayed in...…Read More

 

Tough mini-budget may affect PTI’s vote bank

The Express Tribune (Sep 17, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties may cash in on the tough measures likely to be introduced by the government in the upcoming mini-budget, political pundits insist. The government is scheduled to announce mini-budget tomorrow (Tuesday) which, according to these pundits, is not an opportune time in view of the upcoming by-elections on 37 general seats, including 11 in the National Assembly, 13 in Punjab Assembly, nine in Khyber-.…Read More

 

FDI drops 35% as investors wait for economic policy changes

The Express Tribune (Sep 15, 2018)

KARACHI: Foreign investors largely remained shy of driving up investments in Pakistan’s economy as they waited for clarity on economic policies to be announced shortly by the new government. Foreign direct investment (FDI) dropped 35% to $160.1 million in August compared to $246.8 million in the same month of previous year, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on Friday. “Foreigners are determined to invest in Pakistan at…. Read More

 

Budget Study Centre Issue 23
Sep 13, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

 

Govt aims to cut privileges in mini budget

The Express Tribune (Sep 13, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The government has postponed the National Assembly session that it had convened to present mini-budget till next week, amid plans to withdraw tax free privileges being availed by the president, governors and federal ministers. “The decision to present the revised Finance Bill in the National Assembly on Friday has been deferred due to the funeral of Begum Kulsum Nawaz,” Finance Minister Asad Umar told The Express Tribune .…Read More

 

Foreign investors seek review of CPEC, free trade deals

The Express Tribune (Sep 13, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: An advocacy group of multinational companies working in Pakistan has advised the government to review the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and free trade agreements (FTA) in order to provide a level playing field for all stakeholders. The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) has made these recommendations to Finance Minister Asad Umar. Foreign investors have.…Read More

 

Business Advisory Council on the cards

The Express Tribune (Sep 12, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance and Revenue Asad Umar said on Tuesday that the government was holding consultation for setting up the Business Advisory Council to establish direct liaison between the government and business community in a bid to make Pakistan a regional hub for investors. Speaking to a delegation of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), led by its President Irfan Wahab Khan, Umar said latest.…Read More

 

Balochistan cabinet approves Rs8b plan to bloster levies

The Express Tribune (Sep 12, 2018)

QUETTA: The cabinet of Chief Minister Jam Kamal on Tuesday approved a Rs8 billion plan for the restructuring and strengthening of Levies Force, to be completed in four phases. The provincial cabinet took the decision after reviewing the recommendation made by the Levies DG. Briefing the cabinet members, the DG Levies said the force needed modern training to handle the security challenges, especially in the remote …..…Read More

 

Trade deficit shrinks as exports grow faster than imports

The Express Tribune (Sep 12, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s trade deficit shrank to $6.2 billion in first two months of the current fiscal year as the pace of growth in exports beat the increase in imports, indicating government’s administrative measures have started yielding results. The trade deficit for July-August was 1.3% lower than the deficit recorded in the same period of previous fiscal year, reported the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Tuesday.…Read More

 

Govt set to deprive salaried employees of tax relief in mini budget

The Express Tribune (Sep 12, 2018)

The government has decided to introduce a mini budget with the prices of several items expected to rise. It was decided that major amendments will be made to the finance bill in an attempt to increase revenue generation. The summary of the mini-budget has been prepared and is set to be presented during the federal cabinet meeting. After the approval of the summary, the mini-budget will be shared in the National Assembly on September 14.…Read More

 

French 2018 budget deficit to rise, but respect EU limit

The Business Recorder (Sep 11, 2018)

PARIS: France’s budget deficit will rise next year but stay below the European Union’s limit of 3 percent of economic output, according to figures given by Finance Ministry officials on Tuesday. Next year’s budget, which is due to be published at the end of this month, foresees the public deficit rising to 2.8 percent of gross domestic product next year after 2.6 percent this year, the ministry officials said. Respecting the EU deficit limit is the cornerstone of President …Read More

 

CPEC is Pakistan’s economic future, says Gen Qamar

The Express Tribune (Sep 11, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: A day after a controversial interview of a key government adviser cast doubts over future of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa assured the Chinese envoy that the CPEC is Pakistan’s economic future and its security will not be compromised. The assurance came during Gen Qamar’s meeting with the Chinese ambassador, who visited the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi …Read More

 

IMF’s staff-level team to arrive by month-end

The Express Tribune (Sep 11, 2018)

Prime Minister Imran Khan reconstituted the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) on September 1 to resolve the economic crisis of the country. Chaired by the PM himself, the 18-member economic council aims to function as a regulatory body which will advise the government on both “short-term macroeconomic stabilisation interventions” and “long-term structural reforms for stable and sustained economic development”. …Read More

UK growth will slow to 1.3% amid Brexit uncertainty- KPMG

The Guardian (Sep 10, 2018)

A sharp fall in consumer spending and business investment is expected to drag Britain’s growth rate down to just 1.3% this year, dispelling hopes that the UK’s sluggish rate of expansion in the first six months will recover in the second half of the year. According to the consultancy KPMG, Brexit uncertainty will take a bigger toll on the economy than many forecasters, including the Bank of England, expect following a slump in consumer …Read More

Trump threatens new tariffs on $267bn of Chinese goods

The Guardian (Sep 8, 2018)

Donald Trump has said he has a new tranche of tariffs ready to place on virtually all Chinese goods, as Apple warned the trade war will make its products more expensive for American consumers. A package of tariffs was already close to being imposed on $200bn worth of Chinese goods imported to the US, Trump said, while suggesting a further package, worth $267bn, could also be imposed, which would sharply …. …Read More

 

Govt to revise ‘unrealistic’ annual budget

The Nation (Sep 7, 2018)

ISLAMABAD - In a major decision, the PTI-led federal government has decided to revise the annual budget for the ongoing fiscal year what the government termed unrealistic. The government disclosed it during a meeting of newly-formed Economic Advisory Council (EAC), which met under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The meeting was attended by independent economists as well as heads of economic ministries and…Read More

 

Italy’s top ministers look to reassure markets over 2019 budget

The Times of Malta (Sep 5, 2018)

Italy's top ministers issued a barrage of statements on Wednesday to reassure financial markets over the government's forthcoming budget, promising to keep state accounts in check and maintain economic stability. The concerted charm campaign helped push Italian bond yields to their lowest in almost a month, as hopes grew that the coalition, comprising the rightist League and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, would respect European Union budget discipline. "Clearly we will not do everything …Read More

 

No woman made the cut for PM Khan’s economic advisory council?

The Pakistan Today (Sep 3, 2018)

Prime Minister Imran Khan reconstituted the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) on September 1 to resolve the economic crisis of the country. Chaired by the PM himself, the 18-member economic council aims to function as a regulatory body which will advise the government on both “short-term macroeconomic stabilisation interventions” and “long-term structural reforms for stable and sustained economic development”. …Read More

 

US economy grows in Q2 at fastest rate in nearly four years

The Times of Malta (Sep 2, 2018)

US second quarter economic growth was stronger than previously estimated, as gross domestic product (i.e. the value of all goods and services produced across the economy) rose at a 4.2 per cent annual rate, according to a report by the Commerce Department. This marked the strongest growth rate in nearly four years. The agency had earlier estimated the second-quarter growth at a 4.1 per cent annual rate. Economists expected an unchanged …Read More

 

Deal on free trade pact likely in Nov

The Express Tribune (Sep 2, 2018)

SINGAPORE: Broad agreement is expected to be reached at a leaders’ summit in Singapore in November, the city-state’s trade minister said on Saturday. The 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which will cover about half the world’s population and a third of its GDP, has taken centre stage as Washington embarks on a unilateral, protectionist agenda. The RCEP is backed by China and notably excludes the US, which had been leading another.…Read More

 

FBR’s tax collection grows 14% to Rs506 billion

The Express Tribune (Sep 01, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has collected Rs506 billion in taxes in the first two months of the current fiscal year as the government scrambles to search for new avenues for revenue receipts in an attempt to reduce the projected budget deficit to less than 5% of the national economy. Provisional tax collection in July-August FY19 stood at Rs506 billion, according to FBR officials. It was Rs62 billion or 14% higher than the …Read More

 

Pakistan needs $9b for running domestic economy: Umar

The Express Tribune (Aug 31, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan needs $9 billion to run the country’s economic affairs, Finance Minister Asad Umar told the Senate on Friday He said Pakistan was facing an adverse economic situation because of flawed policies of previous governments. “We are deliberating on (various) options. We will map out a plan over the next few days and we will share it with the parliament,” the finance minister said. The parliament, he said, would decide whether or not the..…Read More

 

FBR reforms to be discussed in next cabinet meeting

The DAWN by Mubarak Zeb Khan (Aug 28, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The government is gearing up to launch a drastic reform plan for the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) with the objectives of enhancing revenue collection and promoting equity and transparency in the tax machinery. Dawn has learnt that the plan is in advanced stages, but nobody at the FBR is aware of it. “We have moved a summary to the cabinet for introducing reforms in the FBR” Finance Minister Asad Umar told Dawn on Monday. The cabinet is.…Read More

 

Balochistan’s budget deficit quandary

The DAWN by Nasir Jamal (Aug 27, 2018)

FINANCING its large budget deficit of approximately Rs62 billion for the present financial year remains the main concern of the new Jam Kamal Khan government in Balochistan, says a senior provincial official. “We are facing a big hole in our planned public development investment for the ongoing fiscal year,” Qamar Masood, Balochistan’s finance secretary, told this correspondent from Quetta over the telephone. “We don’t have a solution.…Read More

 

Budget deficit widens to record Rs2.26tr in FY18

The Express Tribune (Aug 26, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan booked the highest-ever budget deficit of Rs2.26 trillion in the last fiscal year due to expansionary fiscal policies in an election year and poor performance of tax machinery, throwing the country into a deeper debt trap. In its annual consolidated federal and provincial budgetary operations report, the Ministry of Finance reported that the budget deficit widened to Rs2.26 trillion in fiscal year..…Read More

 
Budget Study Centre Issue 22
August 23, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

 

US and China escalate trade war as total sum levied reaches $100bn

The Guardian (Aug 23, 2018)

The US and China have escalated their ongoing trade war by implementing 25% tariffs on $16bn worth of imports on both sides, bringing the amount levied to a combined $100bn (£78bn) since July. Beijing began implementing the new tariffs on Thursday, when the US said it would begin collecting extra duties in retaliation for what it claimed were unfair Chinese trade practices. “China firmly opposes [the US tariffs] and has to continue to make…….…Read More

 

Current account deficit balloons by 14pc

The Nation (Aug 22, 2018)

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD - The current account deficit of the country ballooned by 14 percent in July 2018. The current account deficit expanded to $2.2 billion in July 2018 as compared with the deficit of $1.93 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. During 2017-18, the current account deficit amounted to $18 billion. As a percentage of GDP, current account deficit stands at a negative 8.6% of the GDP, while during the same month last year, current account deficit accounted for a negative 7.1% of the GDP. …Read More

 

US-Turkey feud: Trump vows no concessions as lira stays under

The Express Tribune (Aug 22, 2018)

ISTANBUL: The Turkish lira weakened against the dollar on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump said he would give Ankara no concessions in return for the release of a detained American pastor, the latest salvo in a worsening rift between the Nato allies. In an interview with Reuters, Trump criticised Turkey on Monday over the detention of evangelical Christian pastor Andrew Brunson and said he was not concerned that his tough stance against Turkey could end up …Read More

 

Germany’s current account surplus hits global high

The Daily Star (Aug 21, 2018)

Germany's current account surplus is set to remain the world's largest this year despite increased trade tensions, the Ifo institute said on Monday, in an estimate likely to renew criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel's fiscal policies. The International Monetary Fund and the European Commission have for years urged Germany to do more to lift domestic demand and imports as a way to reduce global economic imbalances and stimulate.…Read More

 

Rs1.9 trillion of liabilities & receivables would need restructuring by new govt: Report

The Pakistan Today (Aug 20, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: As the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) takes the reins of government this week, it is projected it would need to restructure Rs1.9 trillion worth of liabilities and receivables of government-owned entities. The new government, according to a senior government official would require making adjustments and administer write-offs besides employment various kinds of borrowing to clean the slate in terms of debt and liabilities of loss-making.…Read More

 

New govt has host of options to bridge financing gap

The Express Tribune (Aug 20, 2018)

LAHORE: After a round of political somersaults, the new government is in place. It is hoped that the picture gets clear and the government will follow its path in due course. The new political dispensation has inherited an economy which is in a better shape. However, the growing real economy requires huge financial doses since exports are unable to cover imports. Multilateral institutions, economists and media experts are coming up with their estimates.…Read More

 

Improving economy, living standards main mission for govt: Asad Umar

The Pakistan Today (Aug 19, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The nominated Finance Minister Asad Umer has said that improving the living standards of people and the economy is the main mission of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) democratically elected government. Talking to a news channel, he said it was a big challenge for the PTI government to ensure the provision of all basic amenities of life to the masses. “We will have to create job opportunities for unemployed youth, “ he ..…Read More

 

Circular debt of Rs1.1tr passed on to new govt

The Express Tribune (Aug 18, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Though the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government claimed to have brought about improvement in power production, it still passed on a gigantic circular debt of Rs1.148 trillion to the new government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which faces a bumpy road ahead. The PML-N had come up with a slogan in 2013 that it would bring load-shedding to an end during its five-year tenure. It solely focused on setting up thermal…..…Read More

 

Pakistan asked to make terror financing money laundering extraditable offences

The Express Tribune (Aug 18, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The Asia Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering on Wednesday urged Pakistan to enact appropriate laws, enabling local officials to act upon requests of foreign countries to freeze illegal assets and making terrorism financing and money laundering extraditable offences. Pointing out deficiencies in Pakistan’s legal framework, the visiting APG team pointed out that this could hamper Pakistan’s effective response on requests. …Read More

Could Turkey’s financial crises have a snowball effect on world markets?

The Washington Post (Aug 17, 2018)

Investors might be watching the financial crisis in Turkey and wondering: How could it affect me? An economic virus spreading outward from Turkey and through other markets is unlikely, experts say, but it could happen. In one scenario, European banks that had lent money in the Turkish public and private sectors would face a credit squeeze if Turkey could not make its loan payments. The Turkish lira, its currency, would continue to drop in value against …Read More

Pakistan foreign debt and liabilities surged 14 percent in FY18, touch $95.097 billion

The Pakistan Today (Aug 16, 2018)

KARACHI: Pakistan’s foreign debt and liabilities surged 14 percent, touching $95.097 billion for FY18, data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) revealed. At end of FY17, the external debt and liabilities had been recorded at $83.431 billion, as the country faces problems to meet its external financing requirement, reported The News. During FY18, Pakistan paid off $7.479 billion in external debt servicing, falling 8.19 percent from FY17. In FY17, the foreign debt servicing in …Read More

 

Pakistan’s debt, liabilities swell 83% to Rs 30tr.

The Express Tribune (Aug 16, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s debt and liabilities rose sharply to nearly Rs30 trillion or 87% of total size of the economy at the end of previous fiscal year, largely due to the last government’s expansionary fiscal policies and its failure to reform tax administration. Statistics released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday showed that in the last five years, the country’s total debt and liabilities increased Rs13.5 trillion or 82.8% to stand at Rs29.9 trillion. …Read More

 

India’s July trade deficit widens to more than five year high of $ 18.2 billion: Trade ministry

The Hindustan Times (Aug 14, 2018)

India’s trade deficit widened to a more than five year high of $18.02 billion in July, the trade ministry said on Tuesday, driven largely by a surge in oil imports. Though merchandise exports rose 14.32 percent year-on-year in July, the trade deficit widened as oil imports surged 57.41 percent to $12.35 billion. In June, the trade deficit stood at $16.6 billion. Merchandise exports last month rose to $25.77 billion from a year ago, while imports rose 28.81 percent to …Read More

 

Why has the Turkish lira slumped to a record low?

The Independent (Aug 14, 2018)

The Turkish lira has slumped to a record low against the US dollar this week. On Friday it was down by as much as 17 per cent before recovering slightly. What’s driving it down? And what does it mean for Turkey and others? At one stage on Friday afternoon one dollar bought 6.9 lira. In January a dollar bought just 3.7 units of the Turkish currency. That means it has lost around 44 per cent of its value against the dollar this year. The lira is now the world’s worst …Read More

 

German economy accelerates in second quarter

The Wall Street Journal (Aug 14, 2018)

FRANKFURT—Germany’s economic growth accelerated in the second quarter, ensuring the eurozone as a whole avoided a slowdown, but economists said global trade tensions and a currency crisis in Turkey are clouding the outlook for businesses. Germany’s gross domestic product grew at a quarterly rate of 0.5%, or 1.8% in annualized terms, the Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday. It also raised its first-quarter growth estimate to an annualized 1.5%.. Read More

 

Italy PM, ministers discuss 2019 budget, agree it must cut debt

The Times of Malta (Aug 14, 2018)

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and his top ministers discussed the 2019 budget on Monday and agreed that it would preserve the stability of state finances and lower the public debt, the prime minister's office said. Conte assessed the economic situation and the budget with Economy Minister Giovanni Tria and the heads of the League and the 5-Star Movement, the two parties that make up the ruling coalition, the statement said. The budget, …Read More

 

India’s July trade deficit widens to more than five year high of $18.02 billion: Trade ministry

The Hindustan Times (Aug 14, 2018)

India’s trade deficit widened to a more than five year high of $18.02 billion in July, the trade ministry said on Tuesday, driven largely by a surge in oil imports. Though merchandise exports rose 14.32 percent year-on-year in July, the trade deficit widened as oil imports surged 57.41 percent to $12.35 billion. In June, the trade deficit stood at $16.6 billion. Merchandise exports last month rose to $25.77 billion from a year ago, while imports rose 28.81 percent to …Read More

 

Turkish financial crises sends fear through global financial markets from India to Hong Kong

The Independent (Aug 14, 2018)

Turkey’s descent into economic crisis roiled global financial markets on Monday. The lira slumped to as low as 7.19 to the dollar on Sunday, down from from 6.4 at the end of last week, when the US hit the country with a doubling of steel tariffs. On Monday morning the Turkish currency was still trading at only 6.84, more than 25 per cent lower than seven days earlier and around 45 per cent down since the start of the year. The country’s …Read More

 

PTI insist IMF is a ‘fallback’

The DAWN by Nasir Jamal (Aug 13, 2018)

ASAD Umar, the man expected to get the most important job of bringing the faltering economy back on its feet in the incoming Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government, views an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout as a “fallback option”. He does not rule out the possibility of knocking at the door of the lender for its dollars to prop up the depleting foreign currency reserves and avert the impending balance-of-payment crisis, …Read More

 

German industrial output declines in June

The Times of Malta (Aug 12, 2018)

German industrial production declined in June by slightly more than expected, led by a sharp drop in construction output. Total industrial output (which comprises output in manufacturing, energy and construction) fell by 0.9 per cent from May, according to the German economics ministry. Economists had expected a 0.4 per cent decline. However, compared with the same month last year, total production rose by a calendar-…....Read More

 

Agriculture sector will need Rs 1.52tr in FY19: SBP

The Express Tribune (Aug 12, 2018)

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has estimated that the agriculture sector would require Rs1.52 trillion during the current fiscal year and has assigned banks to lend at least Rs1.25 trillion in FY19. “The overall disbursement target of Rs1,250 billion has been assigned to banks, which is 82% of the total estimated agri-credit requirement of Rs1,519 billion,” SBP said in a statement on Saturday. Banks must overcome their infrastructure.…Read More

 

Agriculture sector will need Rs 1.52tr in FY19: SBP

The Express Tribune (Aug 12, 2018)

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has estimated that the agriculture sector would require Rs1.52 trillion during the current fiscal year and has assigned banks to lend at least Rs1.25 trillion in FY19. “The overall disbursement target of Rs1,250 billion has been assigned to banks, which is 82% of the total estimated agri-credit requirement of Rs1,519 billion,” SBP said in a statement on Saturday. Banks must overcome their infrastructure.…Read More

 

Remittances surge 25%, amount to $1.93b

The Express Tribune (Aug 11, 2018)

KARACHI: In a positive development, the remittances received from overseas Pakistanis rose markedly in July 2018, according to data released by the central bank on Friday. Remittances stood at $1.93 billion in the first month of fiscal year 2019, up 25.17% compared to $1.54 billion in the same month of previous year. The inflows were 21.03% higher than the money remitted in June 2018. Remittances touch seven-month high at $1.77 billion in March.…Read More

 

Forex reserves stand at $17b

The Nation (Aug 10, 2018)

KARACHI - Total liquid foreign reserves of the country stand at $17 billion, says State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). According to SBP's weekly statement issued on Thursday, the foreign reserves held by the State Bank on August 03, amounted to $10,369.1 million. Whereas, the net foreign reserves with commercial banks were $ 6,635.9 million. During the week ending August 03, SBP's reserves increased by $19million to $10,369 .….Read More

 

Overseas Pakistanis remit $1.93 billion in the first month of FY19

The News (Aug 10, 2018)

KARACHI: The Overseas Pakistani workers remitted $ 1929.76 million in the first month of FY19 as compared with US $ 1541.67 million received during the same period in the preceding year. A report issued by State Bank Pakistan (SBP) here Friday, said that during July 2018, the inflow of worker's remittances amounted to $1929.76 million, which is 21.03 percent more than June 2018 and 25.17 percent more than July 2017.The country wise details for….Read More

 

Wheat worth $236.3 million exported in FY 2017-18

The Daily Times (Aug 09, 2018)

About 1.189 million metric tons of wheat worth $ 236.339 million were exported during 12 months of fiscal year 2017-18 as compared the exports of 3,937 metric tons valuing $ 1.038 million of corresponding period of lat year. During the period from July-June,2017-18, local export of wheat witnessed about 22,668.89 percent growth as compared the exports of the same period of last year, according the data of Pakistan .…Read More

 

Pakistan plans to borrow $4bn loan from IDB: Report

The News (Aug 09, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is planning to borrow over $4 billion from Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to bail out its economy, which is facing a balance-of-payments crisis. Financial Times reported that Saudi-backed IDB has agreed to make a formal offer to lend Pakistan the money after formation of new government. According to the report, Pakistan moves to restore its currency reserves when prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan takes over.…Read More

 

‘GDP growth likely to decline if Pakistan leaves IMF programme’

The Daily Times (Aug 09, 2018)

KARACHI: Pakistan will possibly suffer if it leaves International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme given the multifarious economic difficulties to balance macro and micro situation on more than one count. Asad Umar, the next proposed finance minister of the country, had already indicated that it was inevitable to go for an IMF bailout package to around $15-$20 billion in order to support shambling economy on immediate basis. Also, interim Finance.…Read More

 

Japan’s economy revs up again after stalling

The Wall Street Journal (Aug 09, 2018)

TOKYO—Japan returned to solid growth in the April-June quarter, a trend economists said was likely to continue on the back of higher wages and consumer spending unless trade conflicts with the U.S. worsen. The world’s third-largest economy expanded at an annualized pace of 1.9% in the second quarter of 2018 after a revised 0.9% contraction in the first quarter, which ended the longest stretch of growth in 28 years..…Read More

 

Budget Study Centre Issue 21
August 08, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

 

Pakistan defends its economic partnership with China

The News (Aug 08, 2018)

Islamabad - Pakistan Wednesday defended its economic partnership with China, amid fears that the terms of opaque multi-billion dollar investments by Beijing could be exacerbating Islamabad's economic woes as it considers a fresh IMF bailout. "We have noted recent media reports questioning the viability of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), claiming that it would create an unbearable debt burden for Pakistan,".…Read More

 

Brazil July inflation slows as impact of truckers’ strike fades

The Business Recorder (Aug 08, 2018)

BRASILIA: Inflation in Brazil slowed for the first time in two months in July as the impact of a May nationwide truckers’ strike dimmed, reinforcing the view that a recent price spike would not last long. Consumer prices tracked by the benchmark IPCA index rose 4.48 percent in the 12 months through July, government statistics agency IBGE said on Wednesday, slightly above the median 4.40 percent forecast of economists in a Reuters poll. That is a bit ……Read More

 

Pakistan to decide whether to seek IMF bailout ‘by September’

The Daily Times (Aug 08, 2018)

Pakistan must decide by the end of September if it will go to the IMF to bail out its economy, which is facing a balance-of-payments crisis, the likely new finance minister Asad Umar said Tuesday. “By the end of September, we should make our decision,” the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader said. Umar, who is widely tipped to become the next finance minister, reiterated his stance that Pakistan was examining other options as well as the.…Read More

 

Turkey under pressure to raise interest rates as economic crises looms

The Guardian (Aug 07, 2018)

Turkey is facing mounting pressure to announce an emergency rise in interest rates as rampant inflation, a plunging currency and American sanctions pushes one of the world’s key emerging market countries to the brink of crisis. Analysts said Turkey’s central bank would have no choice but to increase borrowing costs aggressively in the coming days to stem the fall in the lira, which is down by almost a third against the US dollar in the …Read More

 

Yuan weakens 3.4% in July

The China Daily (Aug 04, 2018)

BEIJING - China's yuan weakened more than 3 percent against a basket of currencies in July, according to a China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) index. The CFETS RMB Index, which measures the yuan's strength relative to a basket of currencies, came in at 92.41 at the end of July, a 3.4 percent decline from a month ago, CFETS said. The index compares the yuan to the value of 24 currencies, including the US dollar, euro and Japanese …Read More

 

Budget 2018-19 is a ‘farce’ says finance minister

The Daily Times (Aug 03, 2018)

Islamabad: Interim Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar on Thursday termed the Budget 201819 presented by the former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government “unrealistic”. Speaking to media, Akhtar said that facts and figures in the budget were a matter of “concern”. She also commented on the prevalent economic conditions, saying that work on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) project was underway and the incoming government...…Read More

 

Sri Lanka secures $1 billion Chinese loan

The News (Aug 03, 2018)

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka´s central bank on Friday announced it had secured a $1 billion Chinese loan as the island, a key link in Beijing´s ambitious Belt and Road initiative, develops closer relations with Asia´s largest economy. Central bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said that first half of the loan will be released later this month and the balance will be received in October. "During consultations (with the Chinese over the loan) it was clear that they ……Read More

 

Bank of England raises interest rates to 0.75%

The Guardian (Aug 02, 2018)

The Bank of England has raised interest rates above the emergency level introduced after the financial crisis despite mounting fears about the economic impact of Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal. Citing concern that the lowest unemployment rate since the mid-1970s risked re-igniting wage pressure, Threadneedle Street raised interest rates to 0.75% from 0.5% – the level they were dropped to in March 2009 as the economy lurched ……Read More

 

Inflation touches 45-month high at 5.8%

The Business Recorder (Aug 02, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Inflation has touched a high of three years and nine months at 5.8% in July with the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) remaining unable to introduce a new more representative methodology of prices due to lack of administrative approvals. Measured by the Consumer Price Index, the average rate of increase in prices of 40 dozen items stood at 5.83% in July, reported the national data collecting agency on Wednesday. It is the highest....…Read More

Circular debt has soared to Rs 566bn, senate body told

The Daily Times (Aug 02, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: A legislative body of the Upper House of parliament was informed on Wednesday that circular debt of the country had soared to Rs 566 billion. Technical and distribution losses, less recovery, nonpayment of subsidies and K-Electric payment were few reasons for accumulation of the circular debt, the Senate Special Committee on Circular Debt, which meet under the chairmanship of Senator Shibli Faraz, was told. Shibli Faraz said that. Read More

Foreign exchange: In a major relief, SBP’s reserves surge 15% to $10.35b

The Express Tribune (Aug 02, 2018)

KARACHI: In an interesting turn of events, the foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank have increased by a massive 14.86% on a weekly basis, according to data released on Thursday. The development came after China announced that it would immediately give a $2-billion loan to Pakistan, a move meant to arrest the slide in official foreign currency reserves and provide much-needed breathing space to the new government. Read More

 

US opposes IMF bailout for Pakistan

The Express Tribune (Aug 01, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: A day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned against any International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout that helps China, Pakistan has vowed that ‘third parties’ cannot weaken its resolve as it undertakes its biggest infrastructure and energy development plan with the help of Beijing. The $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), one of Beijing’s undertakings in its aggressive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has seen China extend ...…Read More

 

India’s April-June fiscal deficit at 68.7pc of FY target

The Business Recorder (July 31, 2018)

NEW DELHI: India reported on Tuesday a fiscal deficit of 4.29 trillion rupees ($62.57 billion) for April-June, or 68.7 percent of the budgeted target for the current fiscal year compared with 80.8 percent a year ago. Net tax receipts in the first quarter of 2018/19 fiscal year that ends in March 2019 were 2.37 trillion rupees, government data showed. India expects to trim the deficit to 3.3 percent of GDP this fiscal year, after meeting an upwardly revised fiscal deficit...…Read More

 

Dist council approves Rs 1.5bn budget

The DAWN (July 31, 2018)

OKARA: The district council in its annual budget session for 2018-19 approved annual estimated budget worth Rs1.5 billion, including expected income of Rs800.34 million as well as previous year’s balance of Rs250 million. These estimates also comprise provincial grant worth Rs480.8 million under Provincial Finance Commission (PFC) Award and local income of Rs272.5 million. The annual expected expenditures is Rs1.3 billion, including ...…Read More

 

Deficit reaches €142m in first six m

The Times of Malta (July 27, 2018)

The deficit reached €141.9 million in the first six months of the year, with the government spending considerably more than the additional revenue it received. In June 2017, the deficit was €92 million. Revenue went up by 3.8 per cent to €1.89 billion, mostly due to higher income from income tax and social security. However, total spending went up by 6.2 per cent to €2.04 million, spread across both recurrent expenditure.…Read More

 

Budget Study Centre Issue 20
July 26, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

 

Value of Japan’s ‘sharing economy’ estimated at over ¥500 billion in 2016

The Japan Times (July 26, 2018)

Japan’s so-called sharing economy was estimated to be worth over ¥500 billion ($4.5 billion) in 2016, according to government data, reflecting the rise of peer-to-peer services. Such services, which are not included when calculating gross domestic product, would boost Japan’s ¥548.7 trillion economy by tens of billions of yen, according to a Cabinet Office report released Wednesday. The report breaks the sharing economy down into four categories.…Read More

 

Will the heat wave help or hurt the UK economy?

The Independent (July 26, 2018)

Figures from Nielsen released this week pointed to the strongest UK grocery sales in five years thanks to the heatwave. Separate data from the Kantar Worldpanel also showed supermarket sales spiking over the 12 weeks to the 15 July, with credit given to “the prolonged hot weather”. Yet official data from the Office for National Statistics showed an unexpected fall in retail sales volumes in June, with the agency saying that “consumers.…Read More

 

US want to reduce trade deficit with India soon: Official

The Economic Times (July 26, 2018)

The US wants to reduce its trade deficit with India as quickly as possible, a senior official told lawmakers here, asserting that the Trump administration is aggressively pushing New Delhi on the issues of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, dairy products and agriculture. "The President wants fair and reciprocal trade...when we look at India, there are three sectors where, I think, we can get a significant boost in our trade," Alice G Wells, Principal .…Read More

 

Is change possible for Argentina’s economy?

The Times of Malta by Maria Fenech (July 26, 2018)

Within three months, it was seen that the Argentine peso lost a third of its value relative to the US dollar - nothing new there. Argentina has addressed its social and economic problems with immense state interventionism and deficit spending for seven decades, funded by their printing press. The overall result has always been the same - economic sluggishness and inflation. Now, Argentina has one of the least free economies in the world and some of the world's most..….…Read More

 

Foreign exchange: SBP’s reserves drop by another $53m, stand at $9.01b

The Express Tribune (July 26, 2018)

KARACHI: The size of Pakistan’s economy stood at $313.13 billion at the end of June, 2018, according to provisional figures released on Thursday by the country’s central bank, as a weaker currency took toll on gross domestic product (GDP) in dollar terms. Pakistan’s GDP stood at $304.97 billion at the end of June, 2017, and the economy registered a 13-year high GDP growth rate of 5.8% in FY18. That said, the size of the economy shrunk in dollar terms……Read More

 

Saudi wholesale price index rises 15% in June-GASTAT

The MUBASHER (July 25, 2018)

Riyadh – Mubasher: Saudi Arabia's Wholesale Price Index (Inflation) jumped 15.4% year-on-year during June, General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) said. The state-run statistics agency attributed the rise to the introduction of the value-added tax (VAT), in addition to adjusting fuel prices as of January 2018. The growth occurred after prices in other goods section surged 34.5% as refined petroleum products’ prices soared 93.9%, while……Read More

 

How the Trump tax cut is helping to push the federal deficit to $1 trillion’

The New York Times by Jim Tankersley (July 25, 2018)

The amount of corporate taxes collected by the federal government has plunged to historically low levels in the first six months of the year, pushing up the federal budget deficit much faster than economists had predicted. The reason is President Trump’s tax cuts. The law introduced a standard corporate rate of 21 percent, down from a high of 35 percent, and allowed companies to immediately deduct many new investments.……Read More

 

PSB’s bad loan rise to 15% of gross advances in FY 18: Govt

The Economic Times (July 24, 2018)

The gross bad loans of public sector banks (PSBs) hit 15 per cent of advances in 2017-18, government said in Parliament today. The gross non-performing assets (NPA) ratio for PSBs stood at 14.6 per cent in 2017-18, minister of state for finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said in Parliament citing data from the Reserve Bank. IDBI Bank topped the list in terms of gross bad loans at 28 per cent of gross advances followed by Indian Overseas Bank (25.3 pc); UCO BankNSE……Read More

 

Bitcoin surpasses $8,000 to hit two-month high

The Hindustan Times (July 24, 2018)

London: Bitcoin, the world’s best-known cryptocurrency, shot past $8,000 on Tuesday for the first time in two months on signs of growing institutional interest in virtual coins. Recent reports about impending approval in the United States for a cryptocurrency exchange traded fund (ETF) have helped bolster demand recently, as have comments by BlackRock’s Chief Executive Larry Fink last week that the world’s biggest investment…Read More

IMF praises Saudi economic reforms

The MUBASHER (July 24, 2018)

Riyadh - Mubasher: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expecting Saudi Arabia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 1.9% in 2018, with non-oil growth strengthening to 2.3%. Growth is expected to pick-up further over the medium-term as the reforms take hold and oil output increases, the IMF said in a report issued on Monday. Risks are balanced in the near-term, as the employment of Saudi nationals has increased, ….…Read More

Money kept by Indians in Swiss banks fell by 34.5% in 2017: Piyush Goyal tells Parliament

The Hindustan Times (July 24, 2018)

New Delhi: Indian deposits in Swiss banks fell by 34.5% in 2017 and by 80% since the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday, citing data from the global body of central banks, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). He said this in Parliament rebutting last month’s reports, which quoted the Swiss National Bank, the country’s central bank, as saying in its annual report that…….Read More

 

There is no boom or bubble: Bank of England deputy governor defends QE

The Telegraph (July 23, 2018)

Share prices have seen no boom and the housing market has had no hint of a bubble, the Bank of England’s deputy governor has argued. Popular wisdom suggests financial markets have exploded in recent years, pumped up by quantitative easing and ultra-low interest rates. But Ben Broadbent has argued that markets look relatively flat. Instead he believes QE stopped a collapse in prices, rather than forcing them skyward. Average UK house prices on a………..Read More

 

IMP, finance ministry way off on Pakistan’s economic misery

The Express Tribune (July 21, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan’s finance ministry have failed to make accurate forecasts about the country’s external sector for the last fiscal year, putting a question mark over the capability of both institutions. Projections of the Washington-based lender for the current account deficit and gross official foreign currency reserves for fiscal year 2017-18 were missed by a huge margin. Its first Post Programme…….Read More

 

HDFC Bank posts 18.02% rise in net profit in first quarter

The Hindustan Times (July 21, 2018)

New Delhi: HDFC Bank Ltd posted a 18.2% rise in first-quarter profit on Saturday on higher interest and fee income, though it missed analysts’ estimates. Net profit rose to 46.01 billion rupees ($669.43 million) for the quarter ended June 30, from 38.94 billion rupees a year ago, India’s second-biggest lender by assets said in a statement. Analysts had on average expected a net profit of 47.66 billion rupees for the bank that has the highest market ..…Read More

 

Japan’s core inflation rate hit 0.8% in June on higher energy costs

The Japan Times (July 20, 2018)

The country’s underlying inflation rate edged up in June amid rising energy costs, government data showed Friday, though it continued to fall short of the Bank of Japan’s 2 percent target. The nationwide core consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, rose 0.8 percent in June from a year earlier, picking up from a 0.7 percent rise in May to match market forecasts. The index rose for the 18th consecutive month, up to 101……Read More

 

Pakistan’s borrowing soars to record high at $11.4b

The Express Tribune (July 20, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s borrowing from foreign sources hit a record high at $11.4 billion in fiscal year 2017-18, which broke a one-year-old record, as reliance on external creditors grew due to mounting debt and a steep decline in foreign exchange reserves. The loans of $11.4 billion, acquired from July 2017 to June 2018, included $500 million in cash injection by China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), said officials in the...…Read More

 

Trump threatens to hit all $505bn of Chinese imports with tariffs

The Guardian (July 20, 2018)

Donald Trump escalated economic global tensions on Friday, lashing out a range of targets that included the European Union, the Federal Reserve and China, indicating that he is prepared to raise tariffs on Chinese imports from $34bn to cover the entire $505bn of Chinese imports. “I’m willing to go to 500,” he said during a taped interview with the business channel CNBC, an escalation he was prepared to make because it “was the right thing to do for …Read More

 

Size of Pakistan’s economy is $313.13 billion’s says SBP

The Express Tribune (July20, 2018)

KARACHI: The size of Pakistan’s economy stood at $313.13 billion at the end of June, 2018, according to provisional figures released on Thursday by the country’s central bank, as a weaker currency took toll on gross domestic product (GDP) in dollar terms. Pakistan’s GDP stood at $304.97 billion at the end of June, 2017, and the economy registered a 13-year high GDP growth rate of 5.8% in FY18. That said, the size of the economy shrunk in dollar ….…Read More

 

Brexit plan to cost importers £700m a year at the border, HMRC bosses warn

The Telegraph (July 19, 2018)

Importers can expect to be £700m worse off each year because of administrative costs at the border under the Government’s latest Brexit proposals, HMRC bosses have warned. Extra costs will apply to those bringing in goods from outside the EU as they have to choose between paying EU tariffs - for goods going on to the other 27 nations - or UK taxes for products going to British customers. But they will dodge the estimated £17bn to £20bn….…Read More

 

UK interest rate rise in doubt as inflation stays at2.4%

The Guardian (July 18, 2018)

The chances of a rise in interest rates in August have dipped after British inflation remained at a one-year low last month, triggered by the summer sales. Confounding expectations for the return of higher rates of inflation in June fuelled by the rising price of petrol, the Office for National Statistics said the consumer price index remained unchanged at 2.4% from the Although the cost of gas and electricity increased and the price at the pump hit the highest…Read More

 

FBR gets details of Pakistani assets in Britain

The Express Tribune (July 17, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: In a desperate effort to reinvigorate the lackluster offshore tax amnesty scheme, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) claimed on Monday it will proceed against individuals who own immovable properties in the United Kingdom but did not disclose them yet. “The FBR obtains information in respect of immovable properties owned by Pakistanis in the United Kingdom with the assistance of OECD (Organization for Economic …Read More

 

China’s economy slows as trade war with US intensifies

The Hindustan Times (July 16, 2018)

China’s economic expansion slowed in line with expectations, signaling broadly stable output as the trade conflict with the US intensifies. Gross domestic product increased 6.7 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier. That was the slowest pace since 2016 and down slightly from the 6.8 percent pace in the previous quarter. Investment growth and industrial output also slowed in June. Industrial output rose 6 percent last month from .....…Read More

 

Rupee falls 57pc against dollar in inter bank trade

The DAWN (July 16, 2018)

The Pakistani rupee lost 5.7 per cent of its value against the US dollar in inter bank trading on Monday, with the greenback being traded at Rs128.50 in the market towards day's close. Meanwhile, the selling rate in the open market climbed up to Rs130 while the greenback remained short in supply. On Saturday, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Tariq Bajwa had denied any move for devaluation. On the same day, caretaker Finance Minister ……......…Read More

 

EU lower Eurozone 2018 GDP forecast

The Times of Malta (July 15, 2018)

The European Commission trimmed its growth forecast for the euro area this year to 2.1 per cent, downwards from the previous 2.3 per cent projection. Growth of two per cent is now expected for next year. Economic momentum moderated in the first half of 2018 after five straight quarters of vigorous expansion. This slight downward revision compared to spring reflects the impact on confidence of trade tensions and policy uncertainty, ....…Read More

 

Global markets feeling the heat as Trump tax cuts set US economy on fire

The Telegraph (July 14, 2018)

The current heatwave isn’t the only thing that’s causing some discomfort in financial markets. It is clear that the US economy is not only also suffering from a heatwave, but is metaphorically on fire also. Soaring small business confidence, corporate tax cuts fuelling surging company profits, and a labour market that is not only continuing to create jobs but is drawing people back into the workforce as the participation rate rises. And while more company.....…Read More

 

ICCI shows concern over all time high trade deficit of over $37 billion

The Daily Times (July 14, 2018)

The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has shown great concerns over the all-time high trade deficit that has touched US$ 37.7 billion during the fiscal year 2017-18 as it would put more pressure on the forex reserves and create many problems for the struggling economy. Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that as per recent figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan’s.....…Read More

 

India’s exports up 17.57% in June, trade deficit widens to 43-month high

The Hindustan Times (July 13, 2018)

Exports grew by 17.5% to $27.7 billion in June on account of healthy growth in sectors such as petroleum and chemicals but trade deficit widened to a 43-month high of $16.6 billion due to costlier crude oil imports. Imports rose by 21.31% to $44.3 billion during the month, according to the data released by the commerce ministry. The trade deficit in June 2018 is the highest since November 2014 when the gap was $16.86 billion. The deficit in June 2017 .....…Read More

 

China trade surplus with US hits record $29bn high

The Guardian (July 13, 2018)

China’s trade surplus with the US widened to a record in June, risking further escalation of a bitter trade dispute with Washington. The difference between China’s exports to the US and its imports from the world’s largest economy expanded to a monthly high of $29bn (£22bn), up from $24.6bn in May. China’s exports to the US jumped by 13.6% in the first half of 2018 from a year earlier, while its imports from the US rose 11.8% in the same period. .....…Read More

Budget Study Centre Issue 19
July 17, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

55,000 people avail amnesty scheme thus far

The DAWN (July 12, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Nearly 55,225 people have filed returns declaring their Rs577 billion worth of foreign assets and Rs1,192bn domestic assets under the tax amnesty scheme, new data released by the finance division on Wednesday shows. The declarants have paid around Rs97bn in taxes thus far with more in the pipeline. The break down showed that the government received a tax amount of Rs36bn on whitening of foreign assets and Rs61bn………Read More

SBP sees gloomy growth for Pakistan in FY19

The Express Tribune (July 12, 2018)

KARACHI: Pakistan is unlikely to achieve the growth target of 6.2% in the current fiscal year amid an increase in the number of challenges facing the economy, wrote the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in its quarterly report on the state of the economy. After achieving a 13-year high growth of 5.8% last fiscal year, the government set a growth target of 6.2% for 2019. However, depleting foreign exchange reserves and a weaker rupee stifle growth………Read More

Public debt rises 11 percent, touches Rs23.769 trillion during July-May FY18

Pakistan Today (July 10, 2018)

LAHORE: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday released data pertaining to central government debt which rose to Rs23.769 trillion during first 11 months (July-May) of FY18, registering an 11 percent increase during this period. At the end of FY17 (June 2017), the debt was recorded at Rs20.767 trillion, posting an increase of Rs3.002 trillion till May 2018 largely driven by rising domestic and foreign borrowing amidst increasing twin deficits………Read More

IMF bailout on the cards for Pakistan’s next government: analysts

The DAWN (July 09, 2018)

RAWALPINDI: The country's next government, to be chosen in the July 25 general elections, faces growing fears of a balance of payments crisis with speculation it will have to seek its second IMF bailout in five years, analysts say. The central bank is running down its foreign reserves and devaluing the currency in a bid to bridge a yawning trade deficit, and the winners of the election will have “limited time” to act, Fitch ratings agency said on July 2.…Read More

China and Germany swear to keep trade free

The Times of Malta (July 09, 2018)

Germany and China signed a raft of commercial accords worth some €20 billion on Monday, with their leaders reiterating commitments to a multilateral global trade order despite a looming trade war with the United States. The deals, involving German industrial giants such as Siemens, Volkswagen and BASF, come with the two leading exporting powerhouses being forced into an unlikely alliance in defence of the open global trade on …Read More

Egypt expects 9.8% deficit in FY 17/18 budget-MOF

The MUBASHER (July 05, 2018)

Cairo – Mubasher: The Egyptian finance ministry forecasts fiscal year 2017/2018 budget deficit to reach 9.8% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Revenues in the last fiscal year budget are expected to hit EGP 989 billion ($55.47 billion), of which Egypt will repay EGP 817 billion in interests and debt installments, finance minister Mohamed Maait said. The minister has noted that the North African country will announce the,...…Read More

Inflation touches 44-month peak at 5.2%

The Express Tribune (July 05, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The inflation rate rose 5.2% in June, which was its highest level in the past 44 months, as an increase in prices of petroleum products and sharp depreciation of the rupee started impacting every household adversely. Measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the average increase in prices of 40 dozen items was calculated at 5.2%, reported the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Wednesday. It was the highest level since .…Read More

GST: India’s big reform paying off, but budget hole fears stay

The Economic Times (July 03, 2018)

One year after India introduced a consumption tax, the results have been mixed. Hailed as one of the biggest reforms by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the goods-and-services levy has helped increase tax collections in a country where compliance is historically low. While monthly receipts have picked up after a chaotic rollout, they are still not strong enough to meet the government’s annual tax target. GST brought in an average….…Read More

The role of Civil Society Organization is very vital to improve the governance issues. CNBA

News Room (June 29, 2018)

Quetta: The role of Civil Society Organizations is very vital they can watch the Budget Making Process to improve the governance issues at Provincial level said Raja Shoaib Akbar, Senior Program Manager Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) Islamabad. In 2 Days workshop organized by CPDI, Citizen Network for Budget Accountability (CNBA) raised the demand to ensure the participation of local population in budget making process .…Read More

Civil society organizations raise demand to ensure participation of local population in budget making process at district level.

The Balochistan Point (June 29, 2018)

QUETTA: The civil society organizations can watch the budget making process to improve governance issues at provincial level, said Raja Shoaib Akber, senior program manager Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) Islamabad. While addressing the participants of two-day workshop in Quetta, senior program manager CPDI emphasized the vital role of   civil society organizations for improving governance challenges and budget ….…Read More

Caretakers increase government employees’ salaries, pension in Punjab

The Express Tribune (June 26, 2018)

LAHORE: The provincial cabinet on Tuesday approved a four-month budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19. The meeting approved the proposal of a 10% increase in the salaries of government employees, besides approving to review the house rent. It also gave approval of a 10% increase in the pension of retired government employees. The caretaker government gave approval to the development budget for four months for the new Fiscal Year 2018-19. The meeting also .…Read More

Pakistan’s foreign borrowing surges to $10b in 11 months

The Express Tribune (June 26, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has received nearly $10 billion in foreign loans in the past 11 months, and almost three-fourths have been utilised for budgetary support and meeting external financing requirements, underscoring that the amount cannot be returned without resorting to fresh borrowing. The total loan disbursement from July through May of fiscal year 2017-18 stood at $9.98 billion, reported the Economic Affairs Division on Monday. The 11-month....…Read More

Civil society organizations can watch budget making process: Manager CPDI

Onlineindus News (June 23, 2018)

KARACHI: June 23, 2018: Civil Society Organizations can watch the Budget Making Process to improve the governance issues at Provincial Level Said Raja Shoaib Akber, Senior Program Manager Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) Islamabad. Citizens’ Network for Budget Accountability (CNBA) raised the demand to ensure the participation of local population in budget making process at district level. CPDI’s …………Read More

 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 18 June 26, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Current account deficit rises to $16bn

The Dawn (June 21, 2018)
KARACHI: The current account deficit rose to $16 billion in the first 11 months of this fiscal year, an increase of 43 per cent from the same period last year, according to data released by the State Bank on Wednesday. According to SBP the deficit rose to $15.961bn during the July-May period of 2017-18 against $11.14bn in the corresponding period last year. As a percentage of GDP, the current account deficit rose to 5.5pc from 4pc of GDP in the same ... Read More

Circular debt swells Rs40 billion in just three weeks

The Express Tribune (June 21, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The circular debt has grown Rs40 billion in first three weeks of the current caretaker government, reaching close to Rs550 billion. “The circular debt stood at Rs507 billion on May 31, the last day of the previous government, but it increased Rs40 billion to Rs547 billion in June,” revealed Hub Power Company Chief Executive Officer Khalid Mansoor while briefing the Senate special committee on circular debt ... Read More

Uncertainty results in currency plunging to Rs 125 in open-market

The Express Tribune (June 21, 2018)
KARACHI: Speculation and uncertainty over Pakistani rupee’s value against the US dollar has pushed currency dealers to sell it a record rate of Rs125 on Wednesday, widening the spread with the inter-bank market. As Pakistan desperately moves to arrest the slide of its foreign exchange reserves, the rupee has lost value in both inter- bank and open markets, with the spread between the two going as high as Rs3.52 as currency dealers remained worried over its ... Read More

EU set to push for WTO reforms to ease global trade tensions

Business Recorder (June 19, 2018)
Japan left unchanged its assessment that the economy is gradually recovering, showing policymakers remain confident of a moderate upturn after a contraction in the first quarter. “Japan’s economy is gradually recovering,” the Cabinet Office said in its monthly economic report for June on Tuesday. That was unchanged from the previous month. There was also no change to its assessment that consumer spending is “recovering” and its view that ... Read More

Japan sticks with assessment economy is ‘gradually recovering’

The Daily Times (June 20, 2018)
BRUSSELS: European Union countries will commit to drive reform of the World Trade Organization to ensure trade is both free and fair, assuming their leaders adopt draft conclusions prepared ahead of next week’s EU summit. EU leaders will meet in Brussels on June 28-29 to discuss a range of issues, including migration and security as well as trade, which has taken on added importance after US President Donald Trump imposed import tariffs on EU steel ... Read More

Finance minister seeks support for success of amnesty scheme

The Express Tribune (June 19, 2018)
KARACHI: The caretaker government, with its limited mandate to fix the faltering economy, has urged bankers and stockbrokers to play their role in making the tax amnesty scheme successful and the first dollar-based savings certificates for overseas Pakistanis to shore up the critically low foreign currency reserves. To make the scheme successful, the government is ready to make amendments to relevant laws in order to remove the emerging..... ... Read More

Trump sets $50bln in China tariffs; Beijing wows to strike back

The News (June 16, 2018)
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said he was pushing ahead with hefty tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports on Friday, and the smoldering trade war between the world's two largest economies showed signs of igniting as Beijing immediately vowed to respond in kind. Trump laid out a list of more than 800 strategically important imports from China that would be subject to a 25 percent tariff starting on July 6, including... Read More

Budget deficit widens to Rs2.1tr, far exceeding FY18 target

The Express Tribune (June 14, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The budget deficit is estimated to have widened to roughly Rs2.1 trillion in 11 months of the current fiscal year, of which nearly 30% was recorded in last two months of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, indicating negligence of the finance ministry. Initial estimates of fiscal operations suggested that the budget deficit from July through May of fiscal year 2017-18 could have shot up to Rs2.1 trillion or 6.1% of ... ... Read More

Pakistan braces for higher inflation as rupee weakens

The Express Tribune (June 13, 2018)
KARACHI: Contrary to the previous two rounds of rupee devaluation, this time the KSE-100 Index underwent a rather subdued ride when the currency weakened against the US dollar. Analysts say the third round of rupee weakening, which came against expectations and assurances given by the PML-N government, has left investors bewildered at the extent of the plunge, sending them ducking for cover as macroeconomic……..... ... Read More

No mandate to seek IMF package, says finance minister

The DAWN (June 13, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Highlighting serious issues relating to current account and fiscal deficit, caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar on Tuesday said the interim government had no mandate to sign any new agreement or start negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package, stressing that any decision to that effect should be taken by the upcoming elected government. She also said that market forces should decide the ….. ... Read More

Pakistan’s trade deficit widens to $34 billion

Daily Times (June 12, 2018)
KARACHI: Pakistan’s trade deficit in eleven months of outgoing fiscal widened to $33.88 billion from the $29.88 billion reported in corresponding period of last fiscal, official data showed on Monday. The overall trade deficit widened by 13.40 percent in July-May period of Fiscal Year 2017-18 (FY18) as compared to the same period of FY17, reported the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The overall exports in eleven months of FY18 increased by 15.28 percent ... Read More

Overseas Pakistanis remit $18 billion in 11MFY18, up by2.95%

Daily Times (June 12, 2018)
KARACHI: Overseas Pakistani workers remitted $18028.24 million in the first eleven months (July to May) of FY18, showing a growth of 2.95 % compared with US $17511.12 million received during the same period in the preceding year. According to State Bank of Pakistan, during May2018, the inflow of worker’s remittances amounted to US $1771.24 million, which is 7.30% higher than April 2018 and 5.13%lower than May2017. The country wise details for the ... Read More

Pakistan uses Chinese trade finance to repay foreign debt

The Express Tribune (June 10, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has largely exhausted a Chinese trade financing facility to repay its foreign debt as the finance ministry struggles to find another source to finance the current account deficit in June in a bid to keep foreign currency reserves at current levels and prevent them from falling further. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has largely tapped $1.5 billion in additional trade financing facility available under the China-Pakistan currency swap ... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 17 June 8, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Public enterprises eat up 3.5pc of GDP in debts

The DAWN (June 7, 2018)
KARACHI: The public sector enterprises’ (PSEs) debt has almost soared to Rs1 trillion at the end of third quarter of FY18, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported in its latest issue of Statistical Bulletin for June. The outgoing government could not resolve the growing problem of PSEs’ debts and it failed to address the issue of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) loaded with huge loans....…Read More
 

World Bank sees Pakistan growth slowing down next

The DAWN (June 7, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has forecast Pakistan’s economic growth in next fiscal year to slow down owing to higher than expected oil prices. Growth in the Pakistani economy is expected to slow to 5pc in 2018-19 from expected growth of 5.8pc in the outgoing fiscal year, reflecting tighter policies to improve macroeconomic stability, says the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects Report for 2018.……....…Read More
 

GDP woes over, Indian economy to grow at 7.3% in 2018-19, says World Bank

The Business Today (June 6, 2018)
Indian economy is likely to regain its pace in the current fiscal and once again become the fastest growing emerging economy, a World Bank report said. The Global Economic Prospects report released by the World Bank on Tuesday projects that India will see its gross domestic product (GDP) grow at a rate of 7.3 per cent during the ongoing fiscal and at 7.5 per cent in the two succeeding ones. "Growth in India is projected to accelerate to 7.3 percent in.…Read More
 

External financing to reach over $11.6bn in 2018-19

Pakistan Today (June 6, 2018)
KARACHI: The total inflows of external financing are expected to the tune of over $11.653 billion during the upcoming fiscal year (2018-19). “Total inflows of external financing are expected to be $11,653.9 million during 2018-19 with project loans worth $4,835.2 million and programme loans worth $1,818.6 million,” said sources in the Economic Affairs Division. According to figures, the country would receive financing of $3130.8 million from …....…Read More
 

British taxpayer set to lose in $3.5bn RBS sale

The DAWN (June 5, 2018)
LONDON: Britain is selling some of its stake in Royal Bank of Scotland for about 2.6 billion pounds ($3.5bn), although it will realise a significant loss as it unwinds its holding and returns the bailed-out lender to private hands. The government said on Monday it would sell about 7.7 per cent of RBS, which was rescued in a 45.5bn pound bailout at the height of the 2008 financial crisis, reducing its overall stake to 62pc. Britain will make a loss on that ……....…Read More
 

Rupee weakens to record low as dollar flow slows down

The Express Tribune (June 2, 2018)
KARACHI: With a persistent decline in Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves that were not enough to bear the cost of two months of imports, the rupee weakened to a record low of Rs119.35 to the US dollar in the open market on Friday. During the day, the currency also hit a new all-time intra-day low of Rs119.80 to the US dollar, according to Dollareast Exchange Company’s website. On Thursday, the rupee had closed at Rs119.10 to the greenback, .…Read More
 

‘With political instability, economic activities sinking’

The Express Tribune (June 2, 2018)
LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged political parties to show maturity and safeguard the interests of the country. In a statement issued on Friday, LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid said due to political instability trade and economic activities were sinking and appealed to protesters to stay away from such politics because the country was facing huge economic losses only because of irrational.…Read More
 

Indian economic growth hits highest rate in almost two years

The DAWN (June 1, 2018)
NEW DELHI: The Indian economy grew 7.7 per cent year-on-year in January-March, its quickest pace in nearly two years driven by higher growth in manufacturing, the farm sector and construction. The figure surpassed China’s growth rate of 6.8pc in the January-March quarter, confirming India as the fastest growing major economy. For the fiscal year that ended March 31, the Ministry of Statistics reported growth of 6.7pc, down.…Read More
 

Rs31.3bn released hours before government’s term ends.

The DAWN (June 1, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The PML-N government on Thursday paid Rs31.3bn sales tax refunds to traders and exporters a few hours ahead of completion of its five-year term of government while leaving behind massive shortfalls in revenue collection. The Ministry of Finance has asked Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to prepare a list of claimants who will be issued a refund. The list was completed in a very short time and the full amount will reach taxpayers’.…Read More
 

With the end of PML-N’s term, SBP’s reserves stand at just $10.03b

The Express Tribune (May 31, 2018)
KARACHI: Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) remained under pressure, falling 2.78% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the central bank on Thursday. With the PML-N’s tenure ending today (Thursday, May 31), the country’s foreign exchange reserves stand depleted, sparking concern over Pakistan’s ability to meet future payment obligations and manage a bulging current account deficit.…Read More
 

Circular debt at Rs573 billion influential people major defaulters

The Express Tribune (May 30, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Energy (Power Division) acknowledged on Tuesday that the circular debt had reached Rs573 billion – a massive amount that undermines efforts made to improve power production and transmission. Briefing the Senate special committee on circular debt, chaired by Shibli Faraz, the joint secretary of Power Division said out of the circular debt of Rs573 billion, running defaulters, who were very influential, had to…Read More
 

Pakistan, WB sign two financing pacts of $400m

The Nation (May 30, 2018)
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Tuesday has signed two financing agreements worth $400 million with the World Bank including Punjab Cities Programme ($200 million) and Punjab Green Development Programme ($200 million). Economic Affairs Division Secretary Syed Ghazanfar Abbas Jilani signed the financing agreements on behalf of the Government of Pakistan while representatives of Government of Punjab signed their respective .…Read More
 

Govt borrowed $9.6 billion in 10 months

The Nation (May 29, 2018)
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has borrowed $9.6 billion from external sources only in ten months of the current fiscal year increasing the overall debt of the country that has already surged to $91.8 billion. Pakistan has received $1.6 billion in new foreign loans during the month of April only, as major part of the borrowing $1.2 billion was through the commercial banks. The government has already breached the limit of annual foreign borrowing of $8 billion, as the …Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 16 May 24, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Govt hires UAE banks to raise $200m loan

The DAWN (May 24, 2018)
DUBAI: The Government of Pakistan is raising a $200 million syndicated loan with three United Arab Emirates (UAE) banks, banking sources familiar with the matter said, as Islamabad clings to external funding to stave off the pressure on balance of payments. The loan, with a one-year maturity, is being arranged by Commercial Bank of Dubai, Emirates NBD, and Noor Bank, said the sources. Pakistan needs to raise funds to offset a drop in international ….Read More
 

Pak, UK merchandise trade increased to over £1.93bn

Business Recorder (May 23, 2018)
LONDON: The merchandise trade volume between Pakistan and the United Kingdom (UK) during the calendar year 2017 has increased to over £ 1.93 billion showing an increase of 8 percent when compared to last year (2016), Commercial Counsellor Pakistan High Commission London, Sajid Mehmood Raja, said Tuesday. “During the year 2017 Pakistan’s total exports to the United Kingdom reached over £ 1.24 billion which also showed an….Read More
 

Sindh Assembly approves budget for fiscal year 2018-19

The Express Tribune (May 23, 2018)
KARACHI: Despite protests from the opposition benches, the government passed on Tuesday the Rs1.44 trillion budget for the financial year 2018-19 in the Sindh Assembly by approving Rs110 billion supplementary grants for the outgoing year 2017-18. After the eight-day debate on the budget, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, who also holds the portfolio of the finance ministry, moved a motion to pass the annual and supplementary budget. Opposition ….Read More
 

German economy still booming but has lost some momentum-Bundesbank

Times of Malta (May 22, 2018)
Growth in the German economy, Europe's biggest, remains robust but the underlying momentum has likely weakened and the risk of a global trade war remains, the Bundesbank said on Tuesday in a regular monthly economic report. Much of the first-quarter dip in growth was due to exceptional factors so a rebound is still likely, even if the overall growth momentum has also softened somewhat, the Bundesbank said. "We expected that the boom in ….Read More
 

Exports likely to cross $5billion

The Express Tribune (May 22, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is expected to become an outsourcing destination by 2020, and is likely to increase IT and ITES exports to the $5-billion mark, after launching strategic initiatives along with tax holiday and capital repatriation incentives for the private sector. There are tremendous opportunities for Pakistan as its IT and ITES-Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) exports are estimated to have crossed $3 billion already this year. A ministry official….Read More
 

Pakistan’s budget deficit soars to record Rs.1.48 trillion

The Express Tribune (May 22, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The government that once took pride in ensuring fiscal discipline is now on a path of compromising Pakistan’s macroeconomic stability as it has booked a record high budget deficit of Rs1.481 trillion for nine months of the current fiscal year, which is even higher than the annual target. The overall budget deficit – the gap between income and expenditure – widened to 4.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) or …….Read More
 

Provincial Budget 2018-19: Gree and gloom in Balochistan agri budget

The DAWN by Mohiuddin Aazim (May 21, 2018)
THE fact that the there was no mention of the proposed Balochistan Bank in the provincial budget for the next fiscal year might have disappointed agriculturists, particularly small farmers. In his budget speech for the current fiscal year delivered on June 15, 2017, Aslam Bizenjo, the then adviser to the Balochistan chief minister, announced an allocation of Rs10 billion for the proposed provincial bank. But when the current adviser, Dr Ruqayya Saeed Hashmi, presented the next fiscal …….Read More
 

AJK govt presents over Rs 108bn budget for next fiscal year

Business Recorder (May 21, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir government presented over Rs 108 billion budget for the fiscal year 2018-19. According to Radio Pakistan Minister for Finance Dr. Najeeb Naqi presented the budget in the House on Monday. Presenting the budget he said over Rs 25 billion have been allocated for the development sector showing an increase of ten percent as compared to recurrent budget. Over Rs 82 billion have been proposed for the non-development expenditure... Read More
 

US and China put trade war ‘on hold’

The Guardian (May 20, 2018)
America has pulled back from launching a trade war with China that could have destabilised the global economy, by agreeing to put proposed tariffs on Chinese imports “on hold”. The Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said on Sunday that negotiations with Chinese officials have borne fruit, meaning Washington and Beijing can step back from imposing punishing tariffs on each other’s exports. Xi strikes conciliatory tone on trade but offers few concessions …….Read More
 

World Bank to invest $460m in road from Peshawar to Afghan border

The Express Tribune (May 20, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: After marked improvement in the security situation, the World Bank has decided to invest $460 million to build a new road from Peshawar to Afghanistan border aimed at bolstering trade between the two nations and creating job opportunities in war-torn federally administered tribal areas (FATA). The board of directors of the World Bank is likely to approve the $460-million loan next month for Peshawar-Torkham Expressway …….Read More
 

Pakistan’s current account fedicit widens to record high

The Express Tribune (May 19, 2018)
KARACHI: Pakistan’s current account deficit has widened 50% to a record high of $14.03 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year 2018, reported the central bank on Friday. The deficit stood at $9.35 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The deficit increases woes of the country’s economic managers as a widening current account takes toll on foreign exchange reserves that ……Read More
 

Argentina forced to seek IMP aid over fears for economy

The Guardian (May 18, 2018)
Argentina’s struggle this week to prevent a collapse in its currency and soaring interest rates from destabilising its ailing economy appeared to have ended in failure on Friday, leaving it to seek financial aid from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF, the lender of last resort to nation states, said the South American country had formally requested an “exceptional access standby arrangement” that would allow Argentina to pay its foreign bills ……Read More
 

Pakistan’s external debt soars to record $91.8b

The Express Tribune (May 17, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s external debt and liabilities have soared to a record $91.8 billion, showing an increase of over 50% or nearly $31 billion in the past four years and nine months, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has reported. The external debt and liabilities of $91.8 billion as of March-end suggest that the figure may touch $100 billion very soon as the country faces grave challenges in meeting growing external financing requirements. Pakistan is scheduled to……Read More
 

Budget 2018-19: Ismail unveils new relief measures in windup speech

The Express Tribune (May 16, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Dr Miftah Ismail on Tuesday announced new relief measures for middle and upper-income groups in his budget windup speech, but turned down proposals that were aimed at giving concessions to non-filers of income tax returns. While ending the debate in the lower house of parliament, the finance minister announced additional measures which would appease sitting ……. Read More
 

German Economy Loses Luster as Global Tensions Bite

The Wall Street Journal (May 15, 2018)
FRANKFURT— Europe’s largest economy cooled sharply in the first quarter amid a drop in government spending and weak exports—a sign that a stronger euro and global tensions are beginning to leave a mark on the German economy. Germany’s annualized growth rate slowed to 1.2% from 2.5% in the fourth quarter of last year, the Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday. This means that the German economy was growing more slowly than the U.S., which …Read More
 

To service maturing debt, Pakistan to borrow Rs22 trillion in 2018-19

The Express Tribune (May 15, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: As the country falls deeper into payments obligation, the federal government has sought the National Assembly’s approval to borrow a record Rs22 trillion in the next financial year to service its maturing public debt, an amount 44% or Rs6.7 trillion higher than the figure for the ongoing year. Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail asked on Monday for the National Assembly’s stamp for a record high borrowing of Rs22 trillion …Read More
 

The UK economy’s slowdown is clear to all. Except the Bank of England

The Guardian (May 13, 2018)
Mark Carney is not so much an unreliable boyfriend as a schoolboy who keeps getting his homework wrong. The Bank of England governor gave his quarterly review of the economy last week and yet again confounded earlier expectations that he would increase the cost of borrowing. Whereas in the past Carney has confidently predicted that the economy is robust and capable of absorbing increases in interest rates, only to find plausible …Read More
 

Punjab to present over Rs 155b supplementary budget Monday

The Nation (May 12, 2018)
LAHORE - The Punjab governor has summoned the session of the Punjab Assembly on Monday, 14 May 3pm to present the Supplementary Budget for the financial year 2017-18 worth over Rs155 billion. Gazette Notification to this effect has been issued by the Assembly Secretariat. Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan will preside this 36th session of the assembly. It is to be noted that Sindh government unveiled the budget for the fiscal year …Read More
 

Overseas Pakistanis remit $16.25b in ten months

The Nation (May 11, 2018)
KARACHI - Overseas Pakistani workers remitted $16257 million in the first ten months (July to April) of FY18, showing a growth of 3.92 percent compared with US $15643.97 million received during the same period in the preceding year. During April 2018, the inflow of workers’ remittances amounted to $1650.59 million, which is 6.89 percent lower than March 2018 and 7.25pc higher than April 2017. The country-wise details for the month of April …Read More
 

Sindh unveils Rs1.14 trillion deficit budget

The Nation (May 11, 2018)
Karachi - Pakistan People’s Party led Sindh government on Thursday unveiled its sixth and last budget of the expiring tenure with a total outlay of Rs1.14 trillion and Rs20.45 billion deficit. The budget comprised estimates for the whole year but Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah announced that they would authorise only its part pertaining to first quarter of Fiscal 2018-19. The opposition parties however were not satisfied with the government figures and staged protest….…Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 15 May 15, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

CM Murad to present Sindh budget today

The News (May 10, 2018)
KARACHl: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah will present a record over Rs 1 trillion budget for the financial year 2018-19 today (Thursday). Earlier, Sindh government had announced to present the budget on May 5, however government had to backtrack from its decision, now the government is all set to unveil budget for the financial year 2018-19 today. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, who also holds the portfolio of the finance, will present the budget ………..Read More
 

Senate body finalizes budget proposals

The Express Tribune (May 10, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The Senate, where the opposition enjoys a majority, on Wednesday implicitly accepted the government’s right to present the next fiscal year’s budget, as it withdrew a recommendation that sought to limit the PML-N government’s right to present the new budget to only four months. The Senate unanimously adopted a report of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Finance Bill 2018 and the Annual Budget…..Read More
 

LHC moved to declare PML-N’s sixth budget illegal

The Patriot (May 05, 2018)
Lahore: a petition seeking to declare unlawful the presentation of the full-year budget 2018-19 by the Pakistan Muslim League Mawaz (PML-N) government is closing weeks of its five years term was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday. The petitioner has pleaded with the high court to strike down the budget for what he said being unlawful and unconstitutional. He argued that PML-N government was not entitled to unveil a …..…Read More
 

California’s economy passes UK’s to become world’s fifth biggest

The Guardian (May 04, 2018)
California’s economy has surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth largest, according to new federal data made public on Friday. Despite having a population of only 40 million compared with the UK’s 65 million people, California’s gross domestic product of $2.7tn has overtaken the UK’s $2.6tn. The so-called Golden State’s GDP rose by $127bn in the period from 2016 to 2017, while the UK’s economic output fell ………Read More
 

Pakistan’s macroeconomic outlook, weak balance of trade, and current account deficit

Pakistan Today (May 01, 2018)
LAHORE: As a country divided over its economic policies, embroiled in political infighting and flaky governance along with a longstanding trend of borrowing from internal and external sources to sustain the economy, Pakistan continues to surprise with figures indicating growth and potential to grow even further. The recent announcement of the budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 has been praised by the business community,….…Read More
 

K-P Health dept wants Rs 4b more

The Express Tribune (April 30, 2018)
PESHAWAR: Following directions from the apex court, the provincial health department has sought additional funds from the government to provide critical equipment to health facilities around the province. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, while presiding over a division bench at Supreme Court registry, had ordered the provincial health department to submit a report on the necessary facilities provided to health centres across .…Read More
 

Experts term budget 2018-19 as non-conventional budget

Pakistan Today (April 30, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: This year the budget 2018-19 is non-conventional as compared to the last four year’s budgets, where the government presented a popular budget with an eye on the upcoming general elections. There is a need to understand the budget in totality and need to have informed criticism and praise of the budget. Whereas, the opposition political parties have to present their shadow budget that should give the formula to reduce the tax rate, reduce …Read More
 

Indonesia officials laud country’s financial stability

The Wall Street Journal (April 30, 2018)
JAKARTA—Indonesia’s financial system is well and under control despite the recently increased pressure on the financial markets, authorities said Monday. “The stability was supported by Indonesia’s strong economic fundamentals, improving performance of financial institutions, and the companies listed on the local stock exchange,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said in a press conference after a monthly joint meeting with Bank .………Read More
 

‘K-P ignored in new finance bill’

The Express Tribune (April 30, 2018)
The chief of a major party in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday rejected the federal budget announced on Friday, flaying the federal government for ignoring the province. The comments echo those of traders in the province who have similarly expressed their dissatisfaction with the budget. Education survey: Primary enrollment gets a boost Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) Chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, while addressing ………Read More
 

PML-N government announces populist budget: CPDI

The News (April 29, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The government has announced one of the most populist budgets in the history of Pakistan giving relief to almost all the sectors of the society. Giving populist budget is not a negative point as government is duty-bound to maximise the welfare of citizens. But without an alternate programme to offset the loss of tax revenue that will occur as a result of tax relief, the future government may be in trouble to get revenue and expenditure targets. The ….Read More
 

India likely to clock 7.5 percent growth in FY19: Deutsche Bank

India Today (April 29, 2018)
The Indian economy is witnessing a "cyclical upswing" and the country is likely clock a GDP growth of 7.5 per cent this financial year, says a Deutsche Bank research report. "Our current growth forecast for 2018-19 is 7.5 per cent (RBI estimate is 7.4 per cent), which will mark an improvement from the 6.7 per cent likely outturn in 2017-18," the global financial services major said. The Reserve Bank expects India's economic growth rate to strengthen to…Read More
 

Water sector budget gets 56pc boost

Express Tribune (April 29, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: For the first time during its five-year tenure, the PML-N government has increased the budget for water sector by 56%. The water sector allocation has been increased from Rs36.75 billion in the outgoing financial year 2017-18 to Rs64.62 billion for FY2018-19. The proposed amount is one-tenth of the proposed size of the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) authorised by the finance ministry. During…Read More
 

Budget 2018: PML-N eyes next elections in sixth budget

The News (April 27, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Amid lingering controversy over the legality of federal budget 2018-19, the ruling PML-N government unveiled its sixth consecutive budget in the National Assembly at the twilight of its constitutional tenure. Miftah Ismail, who was appointed as federal minister hours earlier, presented the budget proposals eyeing the forthcoming elections. Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Syed Khursheed ……Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 14 April 26, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Rupee depreciates to all-time high of Rs 119.50 against US dollar in kerb market

Pakistan Today (April 26, 2018)
KARACHI: The rupee further depreciated to an all-time high of Rs119.50 against the US dollar in the kerb market on Wednesday. It comes merely days after the central bank had held an emergency meeting with currency exchange companies in which their heads were requested to arrange an adequate supply of dollars in the kerb market, reported an English daily. Separate meetings of two representative bodies of the currency exchange operators were held with….. Read More

Chinese project financing will dip to $906m in FY2018-19

Express Tribune (April 26, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Project financing from China is expected to dip by more than half to only $906 million during the next fiscal year due to completion of work on some major China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects and a snail’s pace progress on other schemes. “As against revised estimates of slightly over $2 billion Chinese project loans for CPEC and non-CPEC projects in the outgoing fiscal year, the government has estimated receiving only $906 million in……… Read More

Getting budget passed a daunting task for PML-N

Express Tribune (April 26, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The government may face a major challenge in getting the upcoming federal budget passed through the National Assembly as the opposition has conveyed it to the rulers that it will support the Finance Bill 2018 only if they say yes to the opposition’s nominee for the post of caretaker prime minister. With the new budget just around the corner and several names under consideration for appointment as caretaker PM, the …..…Read More

Federal Budget 2018-19 to be more responsible: Miftah Ismail

Business Recorder (April 25, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Miftah Ismail Tuesday said that the government was set to present a balanced, responsible, and low deficit Federal Budget for the year 2018-19 on Friday (April 27). “We will present a responsible budget that will be acceptable to any upcoming government,” he said while talking to a private news channel. To a question regarding opposition’s demand for presenting the budget for …..…Read More

Govt to announce tax relief of Rs. 80bn in next budget: Rana Afzal

Business Recorder (April 25, 2018)
SLAMABAD: Minister of State for Finance, Rana Muhammad Afzal Tuesday said that the government would announce in the up coming budget 2018-19, a tax relief of around Rs 80 billion for salaried class of the country. From July 1, 2018, the people who have income of less than Rs 100,000 per month, will be exempted from any tax, while tax ratio for those who have monthly income of over Rs 100,000 per month is also being cut significantly, Rana Afzaal said ..…Read More

CPEC provides base for economic growth: Zubair

DAWN (April 25, 2018)
KARACHI: Sindh Governor Muham¬mad Zubair has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has provided a great opportunity for sustainable economic growth for the next 10 to 20 years which Pakistan badly needed. Addressing the concluding ceremony of the two-day CPEC Summit 2018 organised by the Dawn Media Group and the Ministry of Planning and Development with the participation of the Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce..…Read More

Annual Plan 2018-19 projects 6.2 percent economic growth rate & 6 percent inflation

Pakistan Today (April 25, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The Annual Plan 2018-19 approved by the National Economic Council (NEC) headed by the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi projected a 6.2 percent economic growth rate for the upcoming financial year (FY 2018-19). Also, the inflation rate for FY 2018-19 was set at 6 percent and the projected economic growth rate of 6.2 percent is a touch higher than the provisional rate of 5.8 percent for current FY 2017-18, reported Express Tribune. The Asian.…Read More

UK economy grew slower in first quarter of 2018 than last quarter of 2017

The Guardian (April 23, 2018)
The UK economy is set for another year of uninspiring growth in 2018, according to the latest forecasts from the EY Item Club. This week’s first-quarter GDP figures are expected to show growth of just 0.2%-0.3%, according to EY Item Club economists, mainly due to the severe weather the hit the country at the end of February and beginning of March. This compares to quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.4% in the final three months of 2017.…Read More

Budget 2018-19 to be announced on May 8: CM Bizenjo

Express Tribune (April 22, 2018)
QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo has said that the budget 2018-19 will be announced on May 8, a month ahead of schedule, as the provincial assembly will stand dissolved on May 31 in the wake of general elections in July. “The development funds will be frozen from April 27,” said CM Bizenjo while addressing a session of the Balochistan Cabinet. Balochistan unveils Rs328.5b budget Sources privy to the development……Read More

Demand: “Kalabagh dam should be included in budget 2018-19”

Express Tribune (April 20, 2018)
LAHORE: Kalabagh dam should not be ignored in the federal budget 2018-19 at any cost as water scarcity is heading towards the point of no return, said Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Malik Tahir Javaid in a statement issued on Wednesday. “Those opposing the Kalabagh Dam are unaware of the ground realities,” added Javaid. “How can a mega water project be harmful for an agrarian country?” The ……Read More
 

Govt aims for large hike in current expenditures in its last budget

DAWN (April 18, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday approved Budget Strategy Paper (BSP) for next fiscal year envisaging Rs1.1 trillion for defence, Rs1.6tr for debt servicing and 5.3pc fiscal deficit in the absence of any foreign aid for budgetary support. Presided over by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the meeting also approved revised estimates for current fiscal year because of some key slippages on the expenditure side including 5.5pc fiscal deficit for ………Read More
 

Defence, debt to eat up half of proposed Rs.5.237 trillion budget for 2018-19

Express Tribune (April 18, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has approved an expansionary fiscal policy that offers little for development but gives away more than half of the estimated budget of Rs5.237 trillion for new fiscal year to meet the growing needs of defence as well as debt servicing. The cabinet on Tuesday approved Rs1.1 trillion for regular defence budget and another Rs100 billion for Armed Forces Development Programme (AFDP) – a sum of Rs1.2 trillion that ………Read More
 

Pakistan plans to borrow record $13b next fiscal year

Express Tribune (April 15, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has planned to borrow a record-breaking $13 billion in the next fiscal year alone, nearly 63% higher than the outgoing fiscal year’s original estimates, meant largely to repay previously obtained loans and stabilise nose-diving foreign currency reserves. The provisional estimate to borrow $13 billion has been prepared for the budget 2018-19 the PML-N government wants to unveil on April 27, said sources at the Ministry of Finance. If the plan materialises,..Read More
 

Govt set to approve 6.2% GDP growth target for next year

Express Tribune (April 14, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: As the federal cabinet’s approval of the Budget Strategy Paper remains pending, the government is set to approve next fiscal year’s macroeconomic framework, which envisages 6.2% economic growth rate and 6% inflation targets. The Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) will approve fiscal year 2018-19’s macroeconomic framework and federal Public Sector Development Programme on Monday. ……Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 13 April 16, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

PM’s aide going to attend IMF meetings just days before budget

The Express Tribune (April 12, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has decided to send his finance aide to attend spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a bid to assess the mood in Washington before Pakistan makes a decision on whether to seek another bailout. The decision to send Dr Miftah Ismail, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, to Washington hardly 10 days before the announcement of budget signifies the importance of the move. Ismail … Read More
 

Govt unable to meet saving and investment targets

The Express Tribune (April 11, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Two key structural problems of Pakistan’s economy – low investment and saving rates – remained unaddressed during the five-year PML-N tenure, as the government again missed both these critical targets in the outgoing fiscal year, showed official statistics. By the end of fiscal year 2017-18, private investment has been projected to fall to the lowest level in five years, despite the bonanza of the China-Pakistan Economic …….… Read More
 

China to further open its financial market to the world

China Daily (April 11, 2018)
China central bank governor Yi Gang announced on Wednesday a slew of detailed measures to further open up the financial market, including erasing the capital cap on foreign-owned banks and wealth management firms operating in China, as well as easing equity restrictions on foreign securities and fund companies within this year. China expects most measures to open financial market will be in place by June 30, Yi said at a … Read More
 

Growth to hit 11-year peak

DAWN (April 10, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The PML-N government on Monday announced that the economy is going to grow at 5.79 per cent, slightly lower than the target of 6pc for 2017-18, but highest in the last 11 years. In the meeting of National Accounts Committee (NAC), only 15 out of 20 key growth indicators were found to be on target. The growth rate, however, is provisional as final numbers for the full year will firm up later. The per capita income calculates to Rs180,204 for … Read More
 

Deficit to top $1 trillion per year by 2020, CBO says

The Washington Post (April 09, 2018)
America’s deficit is rising sharply and will surpass $1 trillion per year by 2020, a gap that has grown since Congress cut taxes and increased spending, the Congressional Budget Office reported Monday. The federal deficit — the gap between how much the government takes in and how much it spends — will hit $804 billion in fiscal 2018, up 21 percent from 2017, the CBO said. “The federal budget deficit grows substantially over the next several years,” CBO Budget …… Read More
 

Hungary posts 345.3bn forint March budget deficit

Business Recorder (April 09, 2018)
BUDAPEST: Hungary’s 2018 budget deficit widened by 345.3 billion forints ($1.36 billion) to 871.9 billion forints in March, the Economy Ministry said on Monday, affirming its 2.4 percent of gross domestic product full-year deficit target. The gap was widened by the financing of European Union-sponsored projects as well as spending on urban development projects, the ministry said. It said one-off pre-election food vouchers provided to pensioners also … Read More
 

Work on budget well under say

Express Tribune (April 07, 2018)
QUETTA: Adviser to Balochistan Chief Minister on Finance Dr Ruqayya Saeed Hashmi has said useful suggestions are being taken from stakeholders, budget experts and finance department officials regarding the budget 2018-19. She said this while addressing a seminar on Governance and Policy Project (GPP) organised by the finance department on Thursday. On the occasion, Additional Chief Secretary Naseebullah………. Read More
 

Trump proposes $100 billion in additional tariffs on Chinese products

CNBC News (April 06, 2018)
President Donald Trump on Thursday said he has instructed the United States Trade Representative to consider $100 billion in additional tariffs against China. "In light of China's unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and, if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs," Trump said in a ……….Read More
 

Shortest discussion on budget since 2000

The Economic Times (April 04, 2018)
NEW DELHI: Budget session 2018 has a dubious distinction — it will have approved a Budget of over Rs 24 lakh crore with members of Parliament spending less than a day of discussion on it. In this Budget session, conducted in two phases, MPs in Lok Sabha spent only 14 and half hours debating the Budget while Rajya Sabha spent even less — 10.9 hours. It’s the least amount of time spent by Parliament deliberating the Budget since 2000, for…... Read More
 

Inflation eases to 3.2pc

DAWN (April 03, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Inflation, measured through Consumer Price Index (CPI), eased to 3.2 per cent in March from 3.8pc in the previous month, mainly driven by a drop in prices of perishable eatables. The CPI-based inflation has decelerated for the third consecutive month after it reached peak of 4.6pc in December 2017. The CPI tracks the prices of around 480 commodities every month in urban centres across the country, according to data released by …. Read More
 

Planning Ministry want Rs 1.1 trillion as development budget

Express Tribune by Shahbaz Rana (April 03, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: As budget meetings begin in earnest to assess financial needs of various arms of the government, the planning ministry has demanded Rs1.1 trillion for upcoming fiscal year’s development budget, which is 37.5% higher than the ceiling indicated to it. The Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform is not satisfied with the finance ministry’s decision to allocate only Rs800 billion for Public Sector Development Programme …. Read More
 

Upcoming Punjab budget to be agriculture friendly

Pakistan Today (March 31, 2018)
LAHORE: Punjab’s finance minister Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha on Friday told journalists that its forthcoming budget for financial year 2018-19, would raise quotas for agricultural and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sectors. Ms. Pasha said the provincial government was removing general sales on electric tube wells to decrease input costs for farmers and over 35,000 farmers have been granted concessional loans, reported……Read More
 

Development budget to take hit from cuts.

Express Tribune (March 23, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The finance ministry has proposed Rs800 billion development budget for the next fiscal year, which is one-fifth less than the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for this year and would affect physical progress on almost 1,100 schemes. The finance ministry on Thursday formally informed the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform about its intentions to allocate Rs800 billion for fiscal year 2018-19, said sources in the ……Read More
 

Budget preparation: NFC meeting convened to allot provinces’ share

Express Tribune (March 22, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has summoned a meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) by the end of March in order to discuss forthcoming Federal Budget 2018-19 likely to be announced by the end of April. “The CCI and the meeting on National Finance Commission (NFC) Award are to be held on March 27, 2018 to discuss and resolve various issues related to the federating units,” official sources in the finance ministry told ……Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 12 March 26, 2018

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

China will safeguard national interests in response to US trade probes

Daily Times (March 22, 2018)
New Delhi: China will actively take steps to safeguard its interests as well as those of its industries, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said, in light of what he described as acts of trade protectionism on the part of the United States. The US decision to launch trade investigations is a unilateral act of protectionism, the Chinese commerce ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, citing a speech by Wang in New Delhi. President Donald Trump is.….. Read More
 

Govt borrowed $7.6b in 8 months

The Nation (March 22, 2018)
ISLAMABAD - The federal government borrowed $7.6 billion in eight months (July to February) of the ongoing financial year, which further increased the overall external debt of the country. The government has borrowed 94 percent of the annual borrowing in just eight months to sustain the foreign exchange reserves. The country’s reserves are depleting due to widening of current account deficit and repayment of previous loans. For the.….. Read More
 

Current account deficit widens 50% in July-February

Express Tribune (March 21, 2018)
KARACHI: Pakistan’s current account deficit shrank 26% on a month-on-month basis to $1.24 billion in February 2018, compared to $1.67 billion in January 2018, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday. However, in the first eight months (Jul-Feb) of the fiscal year 2017-18 (FY18), the country’s current account deficit widened by 50% to stand at $10.83 billion, compared with $7.22 billion in the same period of previous year.….. Read More
 

Pakistani rupee weakens sharply in likely devaluation

Khaleej Times (March 21, 2018)
Reuters/ Islamabad/ Karachi: Pakistan's rupee weakened sharply against the dollar on Tuesday in what appeared to be a currency devaluation by the central bank, traders said, the second such intervention in less than four months. The apparent devaluation comes at a time when Pakistan's nearly $300 billion economy is showing signs of vulnerability despite surging growth rates. The rupee plunged to about 115.5 per dollar in early trading from 110.5 at Monday's close, which is 31….. Read More
 

Budget 2018-19: PSX proposes rationalization of CGT rates

Express Tribune by Salman Siddiqui (March 20, 2018)
KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has proposed to the government to rationalise Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the transaction of shares, as the management seeks measures to boost the KSE-100 Index that has retreated close to 18% since it hit a record high of 52,876.46 in May 2017. Presenting budget proposals to Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Miftah Ismail, a PSX delegation, under chairperson Muneer Kamal, recommended to rationalise …. Read More
 

Financial Year 2018 review: States not to revert to fiscal deficit below 3 pct.

Financial Express (March 19, 2018)
New Delhi: With the UDAY burden off, state governments in aggregate were expected to revert to well below 3% fiscal deficit in the current financial year, but an analysis by FE of 14 state budgets presented recently suggests they might not. As the year is drawing to a close, seven of these states have revised their FY18 fiscal deficits to be higher than projected a year ago, with the slippage ranging from a marginal 0.1 to profligate 4.63 percentage points. Unless the other states... Read More
 

Govt. plans modest hike in tax target for 2018-19

DAWN (March 18, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The PML-N government is set to propose nearly Rs4.5 trillion revenue collection target for its sixth and final budget with several measures to facilitate its realisation. Top tax men have been tasked to prepare the first draft of tax relief and revenue measures in the next couple of weeks. The government has already set April 27 for the announcement of the Federal Budget 2018-19 to be followed by provincial ones. An official.…Read More
 

Pakistan’s external debt to climb to $103b by June 2019: IMF report

Express Tribune (March 16, 2018)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has assessed Pakistan’s gross external financing needs at a record $27