Budget Study Centre   Issue 59 Feb 06, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Pakistan, IMF consider additional tax measures for mini-budget

Express Tribune (Feb 06, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday discussed additional tax measures for the mini-budget amid questions over realism of the revenue potential due to lower-than-expected receipts against Rs735 billion budgetary measures. The net impact of additional Rs735 billion budgetary measures was only Rs235 billion or 31% during the first half (July-December)... Read More
 

Govt releases Rs429.17 billion for development projects

The Nation (Feb 06, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The Federal government has so far authorised release of Rs 429.17 billion for various ongoing and new social sector uplift projects under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20, as against the total allocation of Rs 701 billion. Under its development programme, the government has released an amount of Rs 190.87 billion for federal ministries, Rs136.68,... Read More
 

India: ‘Opposition misleading people on budget

The aa.com (Feb 05, 2020)
NEW DELHI, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday cautioned against attempts being made to mislead people on the union budget. Opposition and experts have been criticizing the budget unveiled last Saturday, saying it lacked boldness and foresight. Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said the budget did not offer concrete solutions to the challenges facing the... Read More
 

Bilawal demands revisiting terms of IMF bailout package

The Express Tribune (Feb 05, 2020)
KARACHI: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday announced that his party would launch a movement from next month against the government’s economic policies amid the unprecedented rise in inflation, poverty and unemployment and the downward slide in growth rate. He blamed the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) $6 billion bailout package for... Read More
 

Pakistan asks IMF to reduce tax collection target

The Express Tribune (Feb 04, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has requested the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to further reduce tax collection target. However, a mini budget of nearly Rs200 billion will remain inevitable to collect even less than Rs5 trillion in this fiscal year. In first face-to-face meeting between Pakistan and the IMF for second review talks, the government... Read More
 

Pakistan, IMF start talks to review $6bn programme

The Daily Times (Feb 04, 2020)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff mission has started discussion here with the government authorities to review Pakistan’s performance under its US $6 billion extended fund facility. Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told media on Monday that the talks will continue until February 14, adding that a successful... Read More
 

‘HEC to get Rs20 billion more budget to meet educational challenges’

The News (Feb 03, 2020)
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) will get Rs20 billion more budget from the government aimed at to invigorate and to strengthen the higher educational institutions, besides improving quality education across the country. According to the official sources, the amount will be allocated on the request of Chairman... Read More
 

Budget 2020-21: India to modernise its army with Rs2,393 billion this year

The News (Feb 03, 2020)
LAHORE: Indian government's $428 billion budget for fiscal year 2020-21 has been announced at a time when the country’s economy is stuck in its biggest economic slump in more than a decade, though the economic wizards in New Delhi are optimistic that the country's economic growth will rebound and hit a rather promising 6 per cent to 6.5 per cent mark... Read More
 

Left defenceless: Budget allocation for defence lowest since Indo-China war

The India Today (Feb 02, 2020)
The Defence Ministry's welfare component, defence pensions, now loom large over the money it spends on the armed forces. While Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman did not mention the defence budget in her speech, Budget papers show the total defence budget grew by 6%. The defence pension bill, on the other hand, grew by 13%. The pension bill hiked from Rs 1.17 lakh crore to Rs... Read More
 

Govt borrowed Rs4.11tr to finance budget deficit, clarifies ministry

The Pakistan Today (Feb 02, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Challenging the media reports of Rs11.61 million borrowings, the federal government clarified on Sunday that it had borrowed only Rs4.11 trillion in the last 15 months to finance budget deficit. According to a news release issued by the Ministry of Finance, the figure has been released as per the Finance Division’s policy to lay before the National Assembly the Debt Policy... Read More
 

India relaxes fiscal deficit, cuts taxes to spur growth

The News (Feb 01, 2020)
MUMBAI: India relaxed its fiscal deficit target Saturday, raising spending and slashing taxes as it seeks to attract foreign investment and increase consumption in the wake of a prolonged economic slowdown. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the changes as part of the country´s annual budget in parliament, a day after official data showed that Asia´s third-largest economy grew five... Read More
 

FBR revenue increases 17pc in Jan; returns surge 40pc in 2019

The Pakistan Today (Feb 01, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has released tax revenue collection figures for the month of January 2020 as well as the number of returns filed in the Tax Year 2019. According to official data, the provisional collection figures for January 2020 were recorded at Rs320 billion, which was 17pc higher than January 2019. “The figure is likely to increase due to book adjustments... Read More
 

Govt cuts civil budget by Rs 40 billion:  Hafeez Shaikh

The Pakistan Today (Jan 31, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said the government is striving for an export-led growth in the country as the growth fuelled by consumption instead of investments was not sustainable and durable. “We want quality growth which is led by growth in exports and investments and not driven by mere consumption... Read More
 

Rs72b out of Rs1.2tr budget spent on local bodies: Murad

The Pakistan Observer (Jan 31, 2020)
Staff Reporter Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that out of Rs1.2 trillion provincial budget Rs870.2 billion are spent on salaries, employees’ retirement benefits, operation expenses, grants, subsidies, including Rs75 billion to local bodies and repair and maintenance. Therefore, there remain a small space for development works, even then the provincial government... Read More
 

Centre urged to announce NFC Award

The Dawn (Jan 30, 2020)
PESHAWAR: A multiparty conference here on Wednesday demanded of the federal government to announce the National Finance Commission Award and pay Rs450 billion dues to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on account of net hydel profit in line with the AGN Qazi formula. A joint declaration issued after the moot said the NFC had to be constituted every five years... Read More
 

AJK PM for increase in defense budget following Indian PM, Army Chief’s provocative statements

The Associated Press of Pakistan (Jan 30, 2020)
MIRPUR (AJK): Jan 30 (APP):Azad Jammu Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan on Thursday called for immediate increase in the defense budget of the country following Indian prime minister and Army Chief’s provocative statements and threats to Pakistan and liberated territory of AJK. Sharing his views on different resolutions moved by the members on the floor of the AJK... Read More
 

US budget deficit forecast to blow out by mid-century

The Financial Times (Jan 29, 2020)
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. The US will rack up budget deficits totalling $13.1tn over the coming... Read More
 

Pak-IMF talks for second review in first week of February

The Nation (Jan 29, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) would hold talks for the second review under the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) bailout package in first week of next month (February) to review the economic situation of the country. Talks for the second economic review would start from February 3, 2020 in Islamabad, which would last for around 11 days. The IMF in July 2019 had... Read More
 

Expectations of a Young Entrepreneur From Union Budget 2020

The Entrepreneur (Jan 28, 2020)
India is home to the world’s largest number of youth, the employable population in millions which joins the workforce every year. While the government of India’s flagship campaigns such as Make in India and Digital India revolutionized the ecosystem for young entrepreneurs in the country in the past few years, the economy’s slowdown in the recent past... Read More
 

Federal govt releases Rs425.7 billion for development projects

The Nation (Jan 28, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The federal government has so far authorized release of Rs425.7 billion for various ongoing and new social sector uplift projects under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20, as against the total allocation of Rs701 billion. Under its development programme, the government has released an amount of Rs187.4 billion for federal ... Read More
 

IMF team to evaluate Pakistan’s 2nd quarter progress from Feb 3

The Pakistan Today (Jan 27, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) team would start the evaluation of Pakistan’s second-quarter progress under the $6-billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) from February 3, 2020. According to sources privy to this development, the IMF team, under the supervision of its Mission Chief for Pakistan, Middle East and Central Asia Ernesto Ramirez... Read More
 

Why the Budget 2020 needs to signal India is open for business | India Today Insight

The India Today (Jan 27, 2020)
Was India the star at the recently concluded World Economic Forum summit in Davos? Did it invite the same intrigue and interest that it did in 2018 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed world leaders and sold them the India story? Clearly, the buzz around India this time around was missing. India's delegation (from the Centre) included a few bureaucrats, led ... Read More
 

Long and short of budget speeches

The Live mint (Jan 26, 2020)
New Delhi/Mumbai: The history of India’s budgets is a history of its economy. If the 1950-51 budget speech by John Mathai signalled a turn towards planning, with the announcement of a Planning Commission under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, that of Manmohan Singh would dismantle the planned model in his 1991 budget speech. The budget numbers may divulge... Read More
 

AJK initiates rehabilitation of earthquake affected infrastructure from development budget

The Urdu point (Jan 25, 2020)
MUZAFFARABAD, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Jan, 2020 ) : Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government has approved different projects to rehabilitate the infrastructure in Mirpur district affected by last years earthquake from its annual development program to be implemented by the next month, said Prime Minister Raja... Read More

Govt allocated maximum budget for youth

The Pakistan Observer (Jan 25, 2020)
The federal government has decided to expedite the process for distribution of loan cheques under the Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan Programme for youth development. PM’s Special Assitant on Youth Affairs Usman Dar has met Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar today and discussed the distribution of loans across the province under the programme... Read More

Call for consultations before budget making

The Dawn (Jan 25, 2020)
LAKKI MARWAT: A civil society body has noted that annual budgeting in Pakistan is mostly done in traditional manner as there has been no visible effort to increase efficiency and transparency in the process of budget making. Speaking at a press conference here on Friday, Community Development Organisation (CDO) executive director Haji Inayatullah Khan said annual budget represented ... Read More

What Can Businessmen Expect From Budget 2020

The Entrepreneur India (Jan 24, 2020)
With the budget right around the corner, there are many expectations of people from different sectors and different walks of life. After what can only be described as a turbulent year, the whole country will be hoping that the Modi government comes up with a few decisions that can help uplift the economy. PM Modi himself has been seen taking an active role in the decision making process in the lead... Read More

Budget expectations: Jalandhar sports goods manufacturers demand uniform GST slabs

The India Today (Jan 24, 2020)
ndia's sports goods manufacturing hub Jalandhar produces nearly 70 per cent of the total sports goods in the country. Nearly 30 per cent of the sports goods manufactured in India are exported to various countries. However, 60 per cent of the goods are consumed by the government and the educational institutions. Only 10 percent are sold in the open market. The Indian Sports industry... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 58 Jan 23, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves jump $146m to $11.7b

Express Tribune (Jan 23, 2020)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 1.26% 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 assistance from the United Arab... Read More
 

Speedy industrialization imperative for socio-economic development: PM

Pakistan Today (Jan 23, 2020)
DAVOS: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday expressed confidence that good times were ahead for Pakistan as the country had been put on the right economic track with a particular emphasis on industrialisation. Speaking to the prominent business personalities at the Pakistan Breakfast Meet in Davos, he said his vision was to turn Pakistan into a welfare state and ensure development as envisioned... Read More
 

Pakistan received Dh251m aid from UAE in 2019

Pakistan Today (Jan 22, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been a major beneficiary of aid provided by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with grants amounting to Dh251 million last year, data from a UAE government report revealed on Wednesday. “The UAE distributed more than Dh28 billion in international aid last year. Pakistan was the eighth most supported nation with grants worth Dh251.10 million disbursed to the country... Read More
 

In Pakistan, foreign loan disbursement jumps 156% to $5.5 billion

Express Tribune (Jan 22, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan saw a 156% surge in disbursement of foreign loans that increased to $5.5 billion in first half of the current fiscal year but non-project loans rose to 84% of the total receipts, which could compound Islamabad’s debt sustainability issues. Pakistan has taken another Chinese commercial loan of $700 million from China Development Bank as the government struggles to enhance... Read More
 

Exports increase 25% to Rs1805 billion in first half

Pakistan Today (Jan 21, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The exports from the country, in rupee term, increased by 24.82 percent during the first half of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported. The exports from the country during July-December (2019-20) were recorded at Rs1,805,074 million against the exports of Rs1,446,166 million... Read More
 

India's top 63 billionaires have more wealth than 2018-19 Budget outlay

Business Standard (Jan 21, 2020)
India’s billionaires hold a combined total wealth that is more than the Union Budget outlay.The gap between the top 1 per cent and the bottom 50 per cent of the population just keeps expanding, global non-profit organization Oxfam said in its latest annual report on income inequality. “The combined total wealth of 63 Indian billionaires is higher than the total Union Budget of India... Read More
 

Financial watchdog to get access to taxpayers’ data

Express Tribune (Jan 20, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to give the financial monitoring unit of the finance ministry access to the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) inland revenue database to curb money laundering and terror financing in compliance with the action plan of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). According to documents available with The Express Tribune, the federal government... Read More
 

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos

Gulf News (Jan 20, 2020)
Dubai: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s trip to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) will cost US$68,000 which is far less than what had been spent by his predecessors. Imran will reach Davos on Tuesday on a three-day official visit to attend the Forum. However, his trip will cost only US$68,000 due to austerity measures his... Read More
 

Digital economy to accelerate development of Pakistan: Chinese expert

The Nation (Jan 19, 2020)
BEIJING        -          There is a great growth potential for Pakistan's e-commerce and e-commerce policy makers will focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), improving e-commerce experience, developing online stores, offering job opportunities for youth, promoting exports, and vigorously developing digital economy. At the same time, the State... Read More
 

Global economic prospects and Pakistan

Pakistan Today (Jan 19, 2020)
The World Bank’s gloomy picture:  The World Bank Group recently launched its flagship report, Global Economic Prospects [GEP] 2020: Slow Growth, Policy Challenges in which expected global economic performance in the current year is discussed. Straightaway the Report highlights that trade and investment are expected to rebound after a sluggish 2019, which could result in a slight increase... Read More
 

KP govt departments ask to submit budget proposals

The Nation (Jan 18, 2020)
PESHAWAR: Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz Friday chaired a high level meeting of the secretaries committee which was attended by all administrative Secretaries while KP Finance Minister Taimur Jagra and Additional Chief Secretary Shakeel Qadir attended it in a special capacity. Taimur Jagra apprised the committee about Integrated Budget Call Circular and also issued special... Read More
 

People’ participation in budget making process stressed

The Frontier Post (Jan 18, 2020)
Timergara: The speaker at a seminar demanded of the federal and provincial government to include people aspirations and actual needs  in budget making. The seminar arranged by Citizen’s Network for Budget Accountability (CNBA) on budget making process was held at Balambat here the other day. The CNBA presented a charter of demands and urged the government... Read More
 

Pakistan economy to ‘recover slightly’ from 2021 but reforms critical for growth: UN report

Dawn (Jan 17, 2020)
Pakistan's economy is expected to recover slightly from 2021 onward as increased government revenues from a tax hike allow expanded public investment and as other government reforms required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) begin to bear fruit, says the latest United Nations report on the state of the world economy. The ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020’... Read More
 

Call for making budget in line with ground realities

Dawn (Jan 17, 2020)
CHITRAL: The Citizen Network for Budget Accountability (CNBA) has presented the charter of demands for making the annual budget of the country a true instrument to reflect the needs and aspirations of the people in real terms. Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, the local delegate of CNBA Imtiaz Hussain said that they were making advocacy for introducing... Read More
 

People’s input sought in budget making

Dawn (Jan 16, 2020)
KOHAT: The government has been asked to incorporate the input of general public in the budget making process and give people an easy access to the details of taxes and expenditures. The demand was made by the representatives of Citizens Network for the Budget Accountability (CNBA), which is a network of 15 civil society organisations working for budget reforms and accountability... Read More
 

Promoting construction sector will boost Pakistan’s economy: P.M Khan

The Newsweek Pakistan (Jan 16, 2020)
Promoting Pakistan’s construction industry will provide a boost to the country’s economy and can create new job opportunities, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday. Chairing a meeting about the construction sector in Islamabad, Khan designated its promotion yet another “topmost” priority of his government—he has already designated tourism, children’s... Read More
 

Tax collection shortfall widening with passage of every month

The Nation (Jan 15, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The government has yet to come with a plan to bridge the massive shortfall in tax collection that had already touched Rs284 billion in first six months (July to December) of the current financial year. Tax collection shortfall is increasing with the passage of every month despite the fact that the government had introduced massive taxation measures in the budget for the current fiscal year. The Federal... Read More
 

Fixing of loopholes in budget making process urged

The Frontier Post (Jan 15, 2020)
TANK: The local organization demanded to fix the loopholes in the budget making process in Pakistan with the aim to ensure fulfillment of all segment of society in the batter manner. According to the details, local organization CDA and CNBA network demanded for responsive budget to the needs of all segments of society and it consist with the requirements of the modern democratic states... Read More
 

Industrialists worried over prospects of tax hike, mini-budget

Pakistan Observer (Jan 14, 2020)
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 Monday said the business community is worried over a continued shortfall in tax collections. The revised tax target could... Read More
 

Govt to establish 4 economic zones in all provinces: Asad

Pakistan Today (Jan 14, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Uma has said that the current government is determined to establish four economic zones in all provinces. He said that feasibility for ML-1 project has been prepared and some $9 billion would be spent to improve the railway system. Talking to the media on Tuesday, he siad Pakistan will  see... Read More
 

'Investment in Pakistan increased by 78%'

Express Tribune (Jan 13, 2020)
LAHORE: Federal Minister of Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar on Sunday said that investment in the country had increased manifold due to the prudent policies of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. Addressing an event in Lahore, he said that PTI government had not only uplifted the ailing economy but also virtually put it on a path of growth... Read More
 

Citizen Network For Budget Accountability (CNBA) Presents Charter Of Demands For Improving Budget Making Process

Urdupoint.com (Jan 13, 2020)
HANGU (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 13th Jan, 2020 ) : Citizen Network for Budget Accountability (CNBA) while expressing reservations over the budget making process in the country presented charter of demands focusing on preparation of the annual budget in line with the aspirations of the local population and their needs. The charter ... Read More
 

Goods transporters’ strike bleeds Sindh economy

Pakistan Today (Jan 12, 2020)
KARACHI: Transporters for goods continued their strike for the seventh day here on Sunday against increasing fines and taxes being slapped on their vehicles on motorways and highways. Due to the strike, industrialists and businessmen are facing immense difficulties in transporting goods to their business destinations whereas... Read More
 

Industrial Growth Imperative For Pakistan’s Economy

Business Recorder (Jan 12, 2020)
While Pakistan has been blessed with many natural blessings like four seasons, good agricultural crops, sea ports, our economy still remain very vulnerable. There are many reasons for our feeble economy, the fundamental reason is our inconsistent policies. We have never made policies which are country specific but it rotates with the change of Governments. Though we consider... Read More

Union Budget 2020

The dqindia.com (Jan 11, 2020)
The Union Budget 2020 is all set to be announced on 1 February 2020, and the Government of India has invited suggestions from citizens regarding the same. “The Union Budget represents the aspirations of 130 crore Indians and lays out the path towards India’s development. I invite you all to share your ideas and suggestions for this year’s Budget on MyGov,” tweeted... Read More

Punjab health budget increased by 27pc: Buzdar

The News (Jan 11, 2020)
LAHORE: Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that 27 percent increase has been made in the health sector budget, along with start of several health projects in remote areas during the current financial year. He was presiding over a meeting of the Specialised Healthcare & Medical Education Department at his office here Friday to review departmental performance and progress... Read More

Low export, inflation, documentation of economy still major challenges

The Nation (Jan 10, 2020)
LAHORE      -        The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front Chairman Mian Nauman Kabir has called for putting the economy on a balanced and sustainable growth trajectory, addressing the underlying structural vulnerabilities, as low export growth, limited foreign exchange reserves, documentation of economy and higher food inflation are still major challenges to the economy... Read More

Foreign exchange SBP reserves jump $14m to $11.5b

The Express Tribune (Jan 10, 2020)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 0.12% 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 assistance from the United Arab... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 57 Dec 28, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

World Bank revises Pakistan’s growth projections downward

Dawn (Jan 09, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The World Bank on Wednesday slightly lowered country’s growth rate projections for the current fiscal year and next two years owing to continuation of tight monetary policy and fiscal consolidation coupled with external factors. In its latest report “2020 Global Economic Prospects” released on Wednesday, the bank forecast Pakistan’s current year growth rate at... Read More
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves jump $14m to $11.5b

The Express Tribune (Jan 09, 2020)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 0.12% 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... Read More
 

Govt to set up Pakistan Corporate Restructuring Company to boost economy

Pakistan Today (Jan 08, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Following the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan to boost economic growth and create employment opportunities, the government plans to establish Pakistan Corporate Restructuring Company with an allocation of Rs 500 million as initial capital. According to the sources, the company will be established in partnership with 10 banks and will be tasked with the rehabilitation of sick units... Read More
 

FBR notices fall in WHT collection by some agents

The Express Tribune (Jan 08, 2020)
Our ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has noted a drastic reduction in the receipt of withholding taxes imposed on the supply and contracts of goods and services from some agents for the July-December period of the ongoing fiscal year. The overall revenue collection has dropped by Rs287 billion, which has also been impacted by poor collection of withholding taxes. Between July and... Read More
 

SBP fears country will miss 4% growth target

The Express Tribune (Jan 07, 2020)
KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has voiced fear that the country will miss the economic growth target of 4% as two major sectors – agriculture and industries – have failed to perform well in the ongoing fiscal year.The central bank, however, foresaw a notable drop in the current account deficit, projecting the deficit would remain in the range of 1.5% to 2.5% of gross domestic product ... Read More
 

ECNEC approves seven development projects worth Rs216.4 billion

The Nation (Jan 07, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The Executive committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Monday approved seven development projects worth Rs216.4 billion that related to poverty alleviation, education, hydropower project and others. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Revenue and Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting of the ECNEC. The ECNEC considered and approved seven... Read More
 

Pakistan's Economy Moves Progressively In 1st Quarter: State Bank of Pakistan

Urdu Point (Jan 06, 2020)
ISLAMABAD, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 6th Jan, 2020 ):The State Bank of Pakistan Monday said during first quarter of current fiscal year FY20, Pakistan's economy moved progressively along the adjustment path. In its first quarterly report, "the said macroeconomic stabilization process picked up momentum with the initiation of the... Read More
 

Mini-budget on cards

The News (Jan 06, 2020)
Pakistan’s imports have declined to the tune of $6 billion so far, and with this new realities are emerging on the economic front of Pakistan. The country will likely readjust policies over short to medium-term. With the changing security environment in the aftermath of the killing of Iranian general in Baghdad, international oil prices might escalate... Read More
 

Pakistan can ease inflation, fight poverty with lift from FTA, CPEC: Global Times

The Associated Press of Pakistan (Jan 05, 2020)
Beljing, Jan 5 (APP):A China-Pakistan free trade agreement (FTA) and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can play an important part in leading Pakistan’s economy to prosperity. The tariff arrangement documented in the second phase of the China-Pakistan FTA, which was signed by leaders of the two countries in April, came into force on the first day of 2020, Global Times, a daily Chinese tabloid... Read More
 

FBR claims loss of Rs330b due to import compression

The Express Tribune (Jan 05, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Amid criticism over missing the revenue collection target by a wide margin, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has claimed that it sustained losses of roughly Rs330 billion due to $6 billion worth of import compression in first half of the current fiscal year. The tax shortfall due to import compression and low economic activity has also led to the missing of the indicative... Read More
 

PM to set 5-year vision to push growth, investment

The India Tribune (Jan 04, 2020)
New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) Weeks before the Union Budget and in the wake of slowing economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started taking presentations from the sector-specific committee of secretaries (CoS) which will be the basis for setting a five-year vision for various ministries and departments. The key ministries are set to apprise the PM and the Council of Ministers ... Read More
 

2019 PAKSITAN’S FISCAL CHALLENGES

Daily Times (Jan 04, 2020)
“An unusual decline in revenue collection and steep rise in current expenditures caused a deterioration in all major fiscal indicators during FY19. The overall budget deficit during the year stood at a historic high of 8.9 percent of GDP, which was also in excess of the 4.9 percent target set in the Budget 2018- 19. Meanwhile, the primary and revenue balances worsened substantially... Read More
 

Rupee loses 3 paisas

The Nation (Jan 03, 2020)
ISLAMABAD           -            The exchange rate of US Dollar against Pakistani rupee increased by Rs0.03 in interbank on Thursday and was traded at Rs154.87 against Rs154.84 of last trading day, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported. In open market, the buying and selling rates of Pakistani rupee against dollar stood at Rs154.4 and Rs155 respectively.  The SBP further reported that... Read More
 

U.A.E. Announces $200mn to boost economic projects in Pakistan

Newsweek Pakistan (Jan 03, 2020)
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed on Thursday announced an allocation of $200 million to support small and medium-sized enterprises in Pakistan, the Emirates News Agency reported. Launched on the sidelines of his daylong visit to Pakistan, the initiative under the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development would support economic projects and encourage “innovation in... Read More
 

‘Exports depend on country’s image abroad’

Express Tribune (Jan 02, 2020)
FAISALABAD: The business community must play a proactive role in promoting a soft image of Pakistan at the international level because it is directly linked with the country’s exports, said Ministry of Human Rights Joint Secretary Malik Kamran Azam. Addressing businessmen at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), he... Read More
 

The World Economic Forum faces big challenges at Davos 2020

The New Economy (Jan 02, 2020)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting seems to have lost its mojo – particularly in the West, where globalisation is being rejected in favour of a more protectionist outlook. What’s more, most observers of the 2019 meeting found that it fell a little flat. Headline speakers were underwhelming and failed to live up to the box-office acts of previous years, which included the likes of US President Donald... Read More
 

Tough decisions: 2019 sees Pakistan economy emerge out of deep waters

Express Tribune (Jan 01, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The year 2019 has brought stability to Pakistan’s flagging economy after Prime Minister Imran Khan entered into the “last International Monetary Fund Programme”. Pakistan has availed three IMF programmes since 2008 to address its structural problems, which still remain unaddressed. The country’s savings and revenues as percentage of total size of its economy... Read More
 

Revamping Pakistan’s economy in 2020

Daily Times (Jan 01, 2020)
The world has stepped into a new decade with the start of 2020. But, we as a nation as still standing decades behind the rest of the world. Out of many reasons for the backward crawl of Pakistan, the economy has been the burning issue for every Government in the country. With Imran Khan’s PTI leading the country in a new decade, one must be wondering ... Read More
 

Dollar depreciates Rs0.09 against rupee interbank

Pakistan Today (Dec 31, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The exchange rate of the US Dollar against Pakistani rupee shed Rs0.09 in interbank on Tuesday and was traded at Rs154.84 against Rs154.93 of last trading day, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported. The SBP further reported that in interbank the price of Euro appreciated by Rs0.21 and was traded at Rs173.58 against the last closing of Rs173.37... Read More
 

Pakistan will hit the road to prosperity in the 2020s

Khaleejtimes (Dec 31, 2019)
I am late by a day, at least, in getting back to my keyboard. Dense fog forcing the motorway closure kept me outstation - where I had gone for my daughter's wedding - until the sun I had so anxiously waited for made way for me to travel back home. And here I am, witnessing the year 2019 drawing to a close and hearing the year 2020s loud knock at the door... Read More
 

Social development among top CPEC targets for 2020: envoy

The Pakistan Today (Dec 30, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said on Monday that China and Pakistan have identified new projects in education, health, agriculture and construction sectors for the year 2020 under the new phase of the China, Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Addressing the participants of Sangam Club Gala 2019 at the Chinese Embassy, the envoy said that both China... Read More
 

US trade frictions dealt with proactively: China

Express Tribune (Dec 30, 2019)
BEIJING: China’s commerce ministry has “proactively dealt with” trade frictions with the United States this year, it said on Sunday after an annual work conference. The ministry has implemented the decisions of the central government and “resolutely safeguarded the interests of the country and the people”, it said in a statement on its website... Read More
 

IMF appreciates improvements in Pakistan’s economy

Radio.gov.pk (Dec 29, 2019)
International Monetary Fund has acknowledged that Pakistan's reform program is on track and already producing results. According to a Press Release of Finance Ministry, IMF in its latest report conceded that the business climate has improved, and market confidence is returning. The report confirmed that inflation has been started to stabilize and the State Bank of Pakistan's... Read More
 

Dubai announces biggest ever Dh66.4 billion 2020 budget

Gulf News (Dec 29, 2019)
Dubai: The Government of Dubai has allocated a record Dh66.4 billion ($18.1 billion) for the 2020 budget compared Dh56.8 billion budgeted in 2019. His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the 2020 budget along with a three-year Dh196 billion 3-year budget for the Government of... Read More

Pakistan’s debt falls to 84.7pc of GDP: IMF

Dawn News (Dec 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s general government debt (including guarantees and the International Monetary Fund borrowing) declined to 84.7 per cent of GDP, from 88pc. A recently published report on Pakistan by IMF said this decline in debts was mainly driven by the government’s smart performance in reducing expenditures, registering primary budget surplus and... Read More

Financial sectors excluded from NAB purview

The Express Tribune (Dec 14, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday promulgated the NAB Amendment Ordinance 2019 – a move which curtails the sweeping powers of the anti-corruption watchdog to act against any individual accused of corruption at will. The new ordinance provides more protection to a public office holder or government official while at the same time excludes several... Read More

IMF lauds Pakistan’s efforts to bring economy on growth track

The Gulf Times (Dec 27, 2019)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that the industrial and social sectors in Pakistan have improved, adding that its latest economic reform programme is on track too. “The government of Pakistan is now determined and committed to implementing strong and solid economic programmes with IMF’s support,” said Maria Teresa Daban Sanchez, the IMF resident... Read More

Pakistan’s debt falls by 3.3% of GDP: IMF

The News (Dec 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's general government debt (including guarantees & IMF borrowing) during the first quarter of current fiscal year, showed significant decline as it fell to 84.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), however by the end of previous year, the country's debt had risen to 88 percent of GDP. A recently published report on Pakistan by International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 56 Dec 26, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Mini-budget coming?

The News (Dec 26, 2019)
According to the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP), there are at least two points that indicate a likely revision in budget targets anticipating a dreaded mini-budget in the next couple of months. Dreaded because the public is already under tremendous pressure of inflationary trends ever since the PTI government came to power in 2018. Despite repeated claims and promises... Read More
 

IMF assumes far less-than-expected rupee fall

The Express Tribune (Dec 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: New assumptions by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest that the average exchange rate at the end of this fiscal year could be Rs160.64 to a dollar, which is significantly lower than the steep depreciation the global lender had predicted while designing the $6-billion loan programme. The fresh valuation is 6.9% or Rs11.9 less... Read More
 

IMF’s new conditionalities: Mini-budget on the cards

The News by Mehtab Haider (Dec 25, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: After revising downward the FBR’s target from Rs5.5 trillion to Rs5.238 trillion, Pakistan has agreed under the new structural benchmark condition with the IMF to take ‘additional measures’ on the eve of presenting the budget review before parliament by end of February 2020. This indicates that a mini-budget is on the cards if the need arises to achieve the envisaged annual targets for ... Read More
 

Govt seeks nod for Rs170b supplementary budget

The Express Tribune (Dec 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Monday allowed the presentation of a report to the National Assembly for approval of an additional Rs170 billion in supplementary budget, bringing total excess expenditures over and above the approved budget to Rs392 billion in the last fiscal year. The Ministry of Finance could not properly estimate the over-spending in the first year of the Pakistan... Read More
 

IMF cuts FBR’s tax target to Rs5.23 trillion

The Express Tribune (Dec 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected significant fiscal slippages and has finally cut the tax collection target to Rs5.238 trillion, which raises questions over claims of bringing fiscal discipline and restoring macroeconomic stability. The IMF expects Pakistan to miss the budget deficit target of Rs3.2 trillion and has projected excesses in almost all ... Read More
 

Balochistan's revenue collection increases by 164%

The Express Tribune (Dec 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Balochistan government has collected Rs7.84 billion revenue so far in the first half of the fiscal year 2019-20, projecting around 164 per cent increase as compared to the corresponding period of last year. “Balochistan Revenue Authority (BRA) and other departments have collected huge revenue during the first six months of current fiscal year compared to Rs4.90 billion... Read More
 

FATF: PTI govt prepares draft to curb terror financing via NSS

The Express Tribune (Dec 23, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In line with the FATF recommendations, the federal government has prepared an AML/CFT Rules 2019 draft for the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing through National Savings Schemes (NSS). It has sought recommendations from all NSS stakeholders within seven days. In case they fail to submit proposals within the stipulated time, the gazette notification... Read More
 

Is Pakistan ready for economic growth?

The News (Dec 23, 2019)
Our knowledge of history, economics, and much more owes a lot to the works of Ibn Khaldun. With his usual keen eye, he said that “Government is an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself.” What was said 700 hundred years ago still holds true today. The government’s role is key in laying the base for a nation’s progress. At our Institute for Policy Reforms, I led a project ... Read More
 

Pakistan to receive second tranche worth $452m from IMF next week

The Nation (Dec 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan would receive second tranche worth of $452 million from International Monetary Fund (IMF) next week that would build the country’s foreign exchange reserves. The Executive Board of the IMF on December 19 has completed the first review of Pakistan’s economic performance under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The completion of the review will allow the authorities to... Read More
 

Digital economy to create 2m jobs, boost GDP to $40b

The Nation (Dec 22, 2019)
RAWALPINDI - Digital economy in Pakistan has huge potential for creating 2 million jobs and boosting the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) up to the level of $40 billion in next couple of years. Transformation is required to promote the Information, Communications and Technology sectors to reposition Pakistan in the digital economy. The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and... Read More
 

Economic stability result of Govt’s policies: Hammad

The Pakistan Observer (Dec 21, 2019)
Islamabad: Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar said that economy has been put on the track with strenuous efforts of the government under the leadership of the prime minister. In a statement on Friday, he said the IMF Board’s Review is indicating success of the government’s economic reforms. The Minister said Moody’s upgraded ... Read More
 

Turkish Parliament Approves 2020 Budget

The aawsat.com (Dec 21, 2019)
Turkey’s parliament has approved the government’s 2020 budget, which includes increased defense spending and forecasts a budget deficit of 138.9 billion lira ($23.4 billion). The 2020 budget, which state-run Anadolu news agency said was passed with 329 votes in favor to 159 votes against, also projects increased spending on health and education, and foresees a rise in budget...Read More
 

Pakistan’s economic reform programme on track: IMF

The Pakistan Today (Dec 20, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has completed the first review of Pakistan’s economic performance under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), saying that Pakistan’s economic reform is on track. The completion of the review will allow the authorities to draw $452.4 million, bringing total disbursements to $1.44 billion, said a press release issued by the... Read More
 

Current account deficit shrinks 72.6pc in Nov: Hafeez Shaikh

The Pakistan Today (Dec 20, 2019)
LAHORE: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that current account deficit is down by 72.6 per cent on a year-on-year in November 2019, whereas it was reduced by 73 per cent during the first five months of FY20 against the same period of last year. The adviser said that during the last five months of the current fiscal year, the State Bank of Pakistan’s... Read More
 

19-month high: SBP reserves surpass $10b mark

The Express Tribune (Dec 19, 2019)
KARACHI: Government’s efforts to boost the foreign exchange reserves have borne fruit as the reserves held by the central bank have shot up to a 19-month high, surpassing the $10-billion mark. The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 18% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday... Read More
 

If Pakistan's economy grows over 3.8%, it can trigger imbalances

The Express Tribune (Dec 19, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The balance of payments crisis is imminent in Pakistan, if its economy grows more than 3.8% annually without fixing existing structural economic imbalances, finds a new Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) research paper. In order to avoid the next balance of payments crisis, Pakistan will have to fix its exports and reduce dependency on imports... Read More
 

Effective tax mechanism to boost economic activities

The Pakistan Observer (Dec 18, 2019)
Lahore: Low number of taxes, reduced frequency of payments and an effective mechanism of the refund payments would not only give a momentum to the economic activities but also help further improvement in ease of doing business index. Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar and Vice President Mian ... Read More
 

'Lower current account deficit a victory for businessmen'

The Express Tribune (Dec 18, 2019)
FAISALABAD: The current account deficit of Pakistan has decreased from $6 billion to $1 billion in the past four months, which is a victory particularly for the business community as it provides jobs to millions of workers, said Punjab Governor Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar. Addressing an event at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Tuesday, Sarwar pointed ... Read More
 

Foreign Direct Investment surges 78.1pc in five months

The Pakistan Today (Dec 17, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Pakistan surged 78.1pc to $850 million in July-November FY20, as compared to the investment of $477.3 million in the same period of last year. On a year-on-year basis, however, the FDI decreased to $200.1 million in November 2019 as against $285.4 million in the same month of 2018, according to the data released by State ... Read More
 

Development spending grows 27pc in July-Oct

The News (Dec 17, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Provincial governments have cumulatively spent Rs112 billion on developments during the first four months of the current fiscal year of 2019/20, depicting 27 percent year-on-year growth, finance division said on Monday. Combined development spending of the four provinces amounted to Rs88 billion during the corresponding months of the last fiscal... Read More
 

Hot money flows - looking beyond temporary relief in Pakistan

The Express Tribune (Dec 16, 2019)
KARACHI: The current account surplus reported in October 2019 marks a shift from an otherwise persistent current account deficit. It is an achievement for the government in terms of its objectives to curtail the current account deficit, particularly as it faces several challenges on the economic front. A survey of the summary of balance of payments reported by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) indicates a $253-million...Read More
 

Foreign investment in Pakistan debt markets should be seen positively: SBP

The Pakistan Today (Dec 16, 2019)
KARACHI: The increase in investment by foreign investors in debt instruments is an encouraging sign for the Pakistani economy, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Monday. “Recently, international investors have started investing in debt instruments issued by the Government of Pakistan. This is largely a manifestation of their growing confidence in the positive ... Read More
 

Gwadar port operationalised for exports

The Express Tribune (Dec 15, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Gwadar port has been operationalised for export, Adviser to Prime Minister on Trade and Industries Abdul Razak Dawood announced on Saturday, saying that it would reduce the burden on the Karachi port. Dawood said on the microblogging website Twitter that the departure of a vessel, carrying three fish containers worth $50,000 each, for... Read More
 

35pc budget allocated for eliminating inter-district disparity in Punjab

The Pakistan Observer (Dec 14, 2019)
Lahore: Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht on Friday revealed that 35 percent budget had been allocated for eliminating inter-district disparity in the province. This policy is aimed at ensuring inclusive growth so that all the people could equally benefit and grow. He stated this while addressing a seminar at Government College University on... Read More

‘Pakistan on track to fulfilling FATF conditions’

The Pakistan Today (Dec 14, 2019)
KARACHI: The government is on track to fulfilling all necessary conditions of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir said on Saturday. He was speaking at the Financial Crime Summit, a conference organised in Karachi to discuss the way forward for Pakistan post-FATF. The governor sounded cautiously optimistic,... Read More

Centre seeks deduction from NFC to pay off loans

The Express Tribune (Dec 14, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Finance Division has proposed to the country’s economic managers to make at source deduction from provincial financial shares under the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award to pay the outstanding loans acquired by provincial food departments from commercial banks. These loans are backed by secondary guarantees issued by the Finance... Read More

PIA records Rs32.7bn loss in first half of 2019

The Pakistan Today (Dec 13, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan International Airline (PIA) and its subsidiary, PIA Investments Limited, continue to bleed massively due to a variety of reasons, ranging from mismanagement to lack of transparency and weak audit controls by independent auditors as well as the Auditor General of Pakistan. Nur Khan succeeded not because of his Air Force combat experience but his self... Read More

World Bank to finance Khyber Pass Economic Corridor project with a loan of $406.6 million

The Dawn (Dec 13, 2019)
The World Bank will provide $406.6 million for the Khyber Pass Economic Corridor (KPEC) project which will promote economic development and uplift areas adjoining the expressway and falling in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). An agreement to this effect was signed in Islamabad on Friday, according to a statement by the Economic Affairs... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 55 Dec 12, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Jul-Nov FY20: Pakistan’s trade deficit shrinks 33% to $9.7b

The Express Tribune (Dec 12, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s trade deficit shrank one-third to $9.7 billion in first five months of the current fiscal year on the back of compression of imports as growth in exports remained tepid, which may again result in missing the annual target. Trade figures that the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) released on Wednesday showed that exports fell in November ... Read More
 

'India's economic recovery critical for oil in 2020'

The Express Tribune (Dec 12, 2019)
LONDON: India’s economy is suffering its worst cyclical downturn for more than a decade, which is weighing heavily on global oil consumption, and until the economy improves, prices are unlikely to see a sustained increase. If the monetary and fiscal stimulus succeeds in pushing the economy out of its current trough, faster growth would play an important role in rebalancing the oil market ... Read More
 

Asian Development Bank says Pakistan's economy is showing signs of stability

The News (Dec 11, 2019)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday said signs of economic stabilisation were emerging in Pakistan during the ongoing fiscal year 2019-20. The ADB, in its Asian Development Outlook 2019 Supplement, said that inflation in Pakistan for the first three months of the ongoing fiscal year averaged 10.1 per cent despite “tight monetary policy... Read More
 

These bugs are eating into Pakistan’s already fragile economy

The Print (Dec 11, 2019)
Karachi: Pakistan’s efforts to turn around its economy after winning bailout funds from the International Monetary Fund face a new threat — from crop-eating pests. Swarms of locusts are fanning out through the South Asian nation, gorging on wheat, cotton, mustard and other crops. That, together with unseasonal rain and a scourge of low quality seeds, has hit major crops in the country’s largest... Read More
 

ADB, Pakistan sign $1.3 billion loan agreement

The Daily Times (Dec 10, 2019)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Pakistan on Monday struck a loan agreement of $1.3 billion for budgetary support and reforms of the country. This will help stabilise the foreign exchange reserves of the country, and strengthen Pakistan’s slowing economy. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar was present on the occasion, while Economic Affairs Division Secretary... Read More
 

Russia keen to invest billions of dollars in Pakistan’s economy

Daily Business Recorder (Dec 10, 2019)
A new chapter of economic relations between Pakistan and Russia are on the brink of a new beginning, with a 64-member Russian high-level delegation present in the country keen to invest up to $10 billion in Pakistan. As per local media reports, the Russian companies are looking to invest in Pakistan's energy sector. The companies seek a $2.5 billion gas pipeline project from Karachi to Lahore ... Read More
 

Pakistan, Qatar to sign trade pacts soon

The Express Tribune (Dec 09, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Qatar have agreed in principle on a preferential trade agreement (PTA) and a free trade agreement (FTA) to enhance bilateral trade. The agreements will soon be signed after necessary formalities. Pakistan has also offered to establish a plant in Qatar to manufacture footballs for the FIFA World Cup 2022 as well as subsequent football tournaments... Read More
 

Russia pledges to invest heavily in Pakistan’s defence, industrial projects

Daily Pakistan Today (Dec 09, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Russia has signed a new trade deal with Pakistan, pledging to invest heavily in the country’s industrial sector. According to government officials, Russia would provide financial assistance worth $1 billion for the rehabilitation of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). Moreover, Moscow would also invest a hefty amount to enhance the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries. “Russia’s ... Read More
 

Iran unveils budget of ‘resistance’ against US sanctions

Daily Pakistan Today (Dec 08, 2019)
TEHRAN: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday presented to parliament what he called a “budget of resistance” against crippling sanctions imposed by arch-enemy the United States. “Next year, similar to the current year, our budget is a budget of resistance and perseverance against sanctions,” Rouhani told parliament in remarks broadcast on state radio. “This budget ... Read More
 

Cashless economy for Pakistan: challenges and way forward

The Daily Times by Syed Shujaat Ahmad (Dec 08, 2019)
Cashless economic system describes an economic state where financial transactions are not conducted with money in the form of physical banknotes or coins, but rather through the transfer of digital information between the parties. Societies of such form have existed from the time when human society came into existence, based on barter and other methods of exchange and such forms have also become... Read More
 

Russia to develop stakes in Pakistan economy in big way

The Gulf Times (Dec 07, 2019)
Internews/ Islamabad: Russia has decided to develop its stakes in Pakistan’s economy in a big way and to this effect a 64-member delegation headed by Minister for Trade and Industries for the Russian Federation Denis V Manturov is visiting Pakistan for four days from today to December 11 to attend an Inter-Governmental Commission. Russia contributed a lot towards... Read More
 

ADB okays $1.3bn loans for Pakistan

The Dawn (Dec 07, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday approved $1.3 billion in loans for Pakistan for emergency budgetary support, chiefly through a relatively expensive crisis response facility. The Manila-based lending agency announced that its board of directors had app¬roved two loan progra¬m¬mes to help Pakistan build foreign exchange...Read More
 

China's defence budget increases 850 per cent over 20 years: Top Pentagon official

The New Indian Express (Dec 06, 2019)
WASHINGTON: China's defence budget has grown 850 per cent in the last 20 years from USD 20 billion to USD 170 billion in 2018, a top Pentagon official told lawmakers on Thursday. China possesses one of the largest militaries in the world. It continues to add to its capabilities and is increasingly provocative, such as its activities in the South China Sea ... Read More
 

ADB approves loan worth $1.3 bn for Pakistan’s budget support, energy sector reforms

The Daily Times (Dec 06, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved on Friday $1 billion in immediate budget support to Pakistan to shore up the country’s public finances and help strengthen a slowing economy besides approving $300 million to support energy sector reforms. The quick dispersing Special Policy-Based Loan is part of a comprehensive multi-donor economic reform program led by the... Read More
 

Inflation surges to nine-year high

The Dawn (Dec 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Inflation rose to 12.7 per cent year-on-year, the highest level in nine years mainly driven by an increase in prices of food items, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Wednesday. Inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), edged up by 1.3pc over the previous month after the PBS revised its calculation methodology by setting the new base year 2015-16... Read More
 

Borrowing soars to $10.4b in PTI’s first year in power

The Express Tribune (Dec 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government took $10.4 billion worth of foreign loans in its first year in power and 46% of these were short-term expensive commercial lending, secured at up to 5.5% interest rate. The most expensive commercial loans were obtained from Chinese banks that were contracted at six-month Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate (Shibor) plus 2.5%, according ... Read More
 

IMF dismisses proposal of tax relief for builders

The Express Tribune (Dec 04, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has shot down Pakistan’s proposal to introduce a special income tax regime for builders and developers and urged the authorities to bring equity in the distorted tax system. The government shared a draft of the presidential ordinance with the IMF in the recently held talks aimed at treating the... Read More
 

Rs3.225b for non-salary budget for schools released

The News (Dec 04, 2019)
LAHORE:Finance Department Punjab has released non-salary budget (NSB) amounting to Rs 3.225 billion for public schools across the province. These funds have been transferred into Special Drawing Accounts (SDAs) jointly operated by Chief Executive Officers of District Education Authorities (DEAs) and District Education Officer (DEOs) of the districts. School Education Department has directed the CEOs... Read More
 

Pakistan makes $1 billion foreign debt repayment

The Express Tribune (Dec 03, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan has successfully made a foreign debt repayment of over $1 billion, shaking up the country’s foreign currency reserves on the day Moody’s rating agency upgraded Islamabad’s credit rating outlook to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’. “We paid over $1 billion including interest payment at the maturity of a Sukuk today (Monday),” State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) official confirmed ... Read More
 

Moody’s upgrades Pakistan’s economic outlook

The Dawn (Dec 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: New York-based credit rating agency Moody’s on Monday raised Pakistan’s economic outlook from negative to stable on the back of the country’s reforms supported by an IMF programme, but kept its credit rating unchanged at B3. “The change in outlook to stable is driven by Moody’s expectations that the balance of payments dynamics will continue to ... Read More
 

PM satisfied with economic progress

The Pakistan Today (Dec 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday expressed satisfaction over Pakistan’s current economic situation, saying that progress on development projects would accelerate the growth process. Presiding over an important meeting of the economic team, PM Imran said that economic stability and creation of jobs for youth were among the priorities of the government ...Read More
 

Moody’s upgrades Pakistan’s outlook to ‘stable’, affirms B3 rating

The Pakistan Today (Dec 02, 2019)
As a sign of improving economy, Moody’s Investors Services have upgraded the country’s outlook from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’, reaffirming the country’s rating of B3, the agency announced on Monday. Moody’s had downgraded Pakistan’s ratings outlook to negative last year in June, citing heightened external vulnerability risk due to depleting... Read More
 

Positive signals rising from Pakistan’s economy

The Express Tribune (Dec 01, 2019)
Dramatically rising from the ashes of its predecessor, a phoenix, in ancient Greek mythology, is a bird reborn after a catastrophe with more strength and power. After posting 49 months of back-to-back current account deficits, Pakistan’s economy suddenly posted a surplus. The stock market rose by over 8,000 points in the last few weeks. One billion dollars of hot money ... Read More
 

Govt controls soaring budget deficit despite facing shortfall in tax collection

The Nation (Dec 01, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The government has successfully controlled the soaring budget deficit during first quarter (July to September) of the current fiscal year despite facing shortfall in tax collection. Pakistan’s budget deficit was recorded at Rs286 billion during July to September period of the year 2019-20. In terms of GDP, the country’s budget deficit was recorded at 0.7 percent ... Read More

Economy of BRI’s countries including Pakistan gets boost with enhanced Chinese investment: Su Wei

The Daily Times (Nov 30, 2019)
China’s outbound investment has boosted the economic development of countries and regions along the Belt and Road Initiative(BRI) and brought tangible benefits for local peoples, said Su Wei, Deputy Secretary General of China’s National Development and Reform Commission(NDRC). Su made the remark at the opening ceremony of 11th China Overseas ... Read More

Once the world's fastest growing economy, India faces a slowdown

The Al-Jazeera (Nov 30, 2019)
New Delhi, India - The Indian economy expanded at its weakest pace in more than six years, according to official data released on Friday, adding pressure on a government that is already dealing with a sputtering economy. The economy grew at 4.5 percent for the three months ending September, down from 5 percent in the previous quarter and... Read More

Sri Lanka’s central bank holds rates watching tax cuts, budget deficit

The Economy Next (Nov 30, 2019)
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is holding policy rates at current levels, amid a widening the budget deficit so far this year and recent tax cuts announced to stimulate economic activity, which need clarity, the central bank said. “…[R]ecent tax revisions would support lower inflation and higher economic growth in the short term, but was of the view that greater clarity with regard to the medium term fiscal ... Read More

Effects of Azadi March on Pakistan Economy

The Nation (Nov 29, 2019)
Antigovernment Azadi March set out on Sunday afternoon from Karachi towards Islamabad. Thousands of people including seminary students, are participating in the march. Thousands of protesters in Pakistan are marching to the capital of Islamabad, calling on prime minister Imran Khan to resign over the weak economy and corruption claims. While ... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 54 Nov 28, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

SBP reserves rise $240m to $8.68bn

The Pakistan Today (Nov 28, 2019)
The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank rose 2.84pc on a weekly basis, as per the data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. On November 22, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $8,682.3 million, up $240 million compared with $8,442.1 million in the previous week. The central bank attributed the increase to official ... Read More
 

Leakages in transit trade badly hurt economy

The Express Tribune (Nov 28, 2019)
KARACHI: The misuse of Afghan transit trade still remains the biggest issue that is badly hitting Pakistan’s economy but the government is working on a plan to clear about 90-95% of imports without physical inspection by 2023-24. “If you ask me what is the biggest problem for me as a law enforcer in Pakistan, I will say it is the abuse and leakages in the Afghan transit trade,” Federal Board of... Read More
 

Credible deficit plan to help Sri Lanka sell $3 billion of bonds annually

The Gulf News (Nov 27, 2019)
Colombo: Sri Lanka must come up with a plan to narrow its budget deficit as the top Asian issuer of sovereign dollar debt after China this year prepares to sell $3 billion of bonds annually. The island-nation, which elected Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as its president last week, has to raise debt commercially to service earlier borrowings, Central Bank... Read More
 

Pakistan’s Economic Woes and the Way Forward

The Daily Times (Nov 27, 2019)
Pakistan is a country blessed with enormous natural reserves and manpower. Still, it is plunged in a downward spiral of economic recession. Some of the obvious reasons are bad governance, corruption, nepotism and impediments towards entrepreneurship and investments (both by domestic and foreign investors). Moreover, a miserable tax system has also added insult... Read More
 

The downside of Pakistan’s economy

The Business Recorder (Nov 26, 2019)
The government has recently been making frequent positive statements about on-going developments in the economy. Rightfully, success in the process of stabilization has been highlighted. The current account in the balance of payments was transformed into a surplus in October. Over the four-month period, July to October, the current account deficit has declined by as much as 74 percent. However, this has ... Read More
 

Pakistan receives $1 billion in hot foreign money

The Express Tribune (Nov 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Foreign investors have bought over $1 billion worth of Pakistan government’s debt, said Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Monday – an amount that is equal to the increase in official foreign exchange reserves in the current fiscal year. Central bank data showed that the money was predominantly invested in three-month treasury bills, suggesting that foreign investors ... Read More
 

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: US claims about loans, their impact on economy rejected: Qureshi

The Business Recorder (Nov 25, 2019)
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Sunday said the process of transparent accountability would continue in the country. Talking to media here, he said no one wanted to face accountability process, and whenever people were held accountable, they attempt to create hindrances in the way of the accountability process. Responding to a question about Asif Ali... Read More
 

AIIB okays $511 million for Pakistan’s infrastructural projects

Daily Nation (Nov 25, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will finance $511.81 million for four projects for the infrastructural development in Pakistan, mainly related to roads, energy, sanitation and mass transit. The amount has been approved for the projects including National Motorway M-4 of $100 million, Tarbela Hydropower Extension Projects $300 million... Read More
 

Retailers feel pinch of economic slowdown in Pakistan

Daily Express Tribune (Nov 24, 2019)
LAHORE: Pakistan’s retail sector is looking for some breathing space to remain sustainable during the ongoing economic slowdown. “The recent hike in taxes on the retail sector has caused turmoil and uncertainty,” said Chainstore Association of Pakistan Chairman Tariq Mehboob. “In fact, many retailers, which represent the organised retail sector, are initiating cost-cutting measures,... Read More
 

‘Pakistan in better position to attract investment’

The Express Tribune (Nov 24, 2019)
LAHORE: Pakistani handmade furniture products have great potential to capture world market with excellent modern designing, said Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar. Speaking at the 11th Interiors Pakistan exhibition held at Expo Centre Lahore, he said that Pakistan was moving forward and was in a better position to attract foreign investment. He appreciated the Pakistan... Read More
 

CPEC to push Pakistan deeper into debt burden, cautions US

The Dawn by Anwar Iqbal (Nov 23, 2019)
WASHINGTON: The United States has warned Pakistan that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would push the country deeper into an already stifling debt burden, foster corruption and repatriate jobs and profits to China. In a speech, described as “unusually specific” by the international media, the top US diplomat for South Asia warned on Thursday that the multi-billion-dollar project would take a toll on Pakistan’s ... Read More
 

Encouraging economic indicators

The Pakistan Today by Muhammad Zahid (Nov 23, 2019)
Any country’s progress, development and prosperity is linked with the national growth rate both directly and indirectly. If the economic growth rate is good, then there is lot of relief for the people at large. Pakistan is a developing country and its economic growth rate is not so high and keeps going up and down due to various factors every now and then...Read More
 

Big industry contracts 5.9pc in 3MFY20

The Pakistan Today (Nov 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Despite positive economic indicators like reduction in current account deficit and jump in the stock exchange, the fall in Large Scale Manufacturing Industries (LSMI) remains the major concern for the country. The overall output of the LSM Index decreased by 5.91pc during the first quarter (July-Sept) of FY20, as compared to the corresponding period of last fiscal year... Read More
 

Monetary policy: SBP leaves interest rate unchanged at 13.25%

The Express Tribune (Nov 22, 2019)
KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at the eight-year high of 13.25% for the next two months as controlling high inflation may remain a big challenge in the short run. The decision taken by the SBP Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) was largely in line with market expectations. The policy is an effective tool available with the central bank to tame ... Read More
 

In Pakistan, bottlenecks hold up $14b foreign loans

The Express Tribune (Nov 21, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday directed expeditious release of $14 billion stuck up foreign loans against the ongoing development projects. The directive came as the bureaucracy fails to finalise a viable action plan to remove bottlenecks to unlock the much-needed stimulus funds. Over a month after The Express Tribune reported that $21.6 billion... Read More
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves rise $45m to $8.44b

The Express Tribune (Nov 21, 2019)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank rose 0.5% 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 assistance from the United... Read More
 

Impact of industrial operations on economy of Pakistan

The News by Muhammad Mudassar (Nov 20, 2019)
Industrialization plays a vital role in the economic development of underdeveloped countries. As the historical record shows, the developed countries of the world broke the vicious cycle of poverty by industrializing, rather than focusing on agricultural or the production of national resources. Currently, Pakistan, as a developing ... Read More
 

CPEC: unprecedented boost to Pakistan’s economy

The Pakistan Observer (Nov 20, 2019)
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), massive bilateral project to improve infrastructure within Pakistan for better trade with China and to further integrate the countries of the region. The project was launched on April 20, 2015 when Chinese President Xi Jinping and the then Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed 51 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding... Read More
 

Tackling economic woes

The News by Abdul Sattar (Nov 19, 2019)
The recent statement of Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing augurs well for the debilitating economy of the country. The envoy while talking to the media recently in Quetta said that China is setting up 19 factories in Gwadar. He expressed the desire of his government to contribute towards the development of Balochistan’s mining, agriculture... Read More
 

Economy showing signs of improvement: SBP governor

The Pakistan Today (Nov 19, 2019)
KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Reza Baqir on Monday said the economy has begun to show signs of improvement, adding that inflation would start easing soon as a result of the new measures. Addressing the business community at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Baqir said the SBP has always made efforts to facilitate trade and industry as better... Read More
 

CPEC to help expand industrial base, exports of Pakistan: Khusro

The app.com.pk (Nov 18, 2019)
ISLAMABAD, Nov 18 (APP):Minister for Planning, Development and Refomrs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar on Monday said that under next phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the industrial base of the country would be expanded, eventually to help increase the exports. The minister said that China had total trade volume worth of $4000 billion with the world ...Read More
 

Circular Debt To Be Eliminated By Dec 2020: Hafeez Shaikh

The Urdupoint.com (Nov 18, 2019)
ISLAMABAD, (APP – Urdu Point / Pakistan Point News - 18th Nov, 2019 ):Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Hafeez Shaikh Monday reiterated the government resolve to eliminate the issue of circular debt by December 2020. Briefing the leading anchorpersons of electronic media about economic performance ... Read More
 

Pakistan’s fiscal dilemma

The News (Nov 17, 2019)
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in its Annual Report 2018-19—The State of Pakistan’s Economy has strongly criticised the provinces for what it called their “lack of institutional capacity,” giving rise to “lower revenue collection that contributed less to tax-to-GDP ratio and fiscal consolidation efforts”. The report further noted that “an important agenda on ... Read More
 

CPEC effect: Taiwanese textile companies may relocate to Pakistan

The Express Tribune (Nov 17, 2019)
LAHORE: Being a cheap labour market, Pakistan can transform into an excellent destination for Taiwanese textile companies, which are willing to relocate their units outside Vietnam, said Taiwan Textile Federation President Justin Huang. “At present, Vietnam is crowded, which causes difficulties for Taiwanese textile firms there, such as labour shortages,” ... Read More

Military budget should go to common sense

The Bulletin (Nov 16, 2019)
With U.S. support for NATO waning, President Macron of France recently accused the organization of being “brain dead,” a remark undoubtedly intended to prod more robust EU leadership. Not that America’s lead’s been exemplary. Take, for example, Operation Allied Force, NATO’s 1999 air campaign over Kosovo, General Wesley Clark supreme commander. Critics called it ... Read More

Pakistan saves $3.9b as trade losses decrease

The Samaa.tv (Nov 15, 2019)
Pakistan’s trade deficit has fallen by 33.52% in the first four months of the current fiscal year in comparison to the same time last year, according to recent figures by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.This means the country has saved over $3.9 billion–the difference between the trade loss from the first quarters of last year and this year. Trade deficit figures for the current fiscal year’s first... Read More

Pakistan will thrive as more women participate in economy

The app.com.pk (Nov 15, 2019)
ISLAMABAD, Nov 15 (APP):Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar, at the US-Pakistan Women in the Economy Symposium, Friday said Pakistan will thrive as more women participate in the economy. At the event hosted by the George H W Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University in... Read More

Pakistan's economy has finally stabilised: PM

The Express Tribune (Nov 15, 2019)
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the country’s economy has finally stabilised and was moving in the right direction. While addressing the signing ceremony of Super-6 Wind Power Projects in Islamabad, the premier said there is so much potential for hydro-electricity in Pakistan, and the new project will provide affordable and environmentally friendly clean energy... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 53 Nov 14, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Foreigners invest $678m in debt instruments

The Express Tribune (Nov 14, 2019)
KARACHI: Foreigners have continued to step up investment in Pakistan’s debt instruments, mostly in short-term treasury bills (T-bills), and have partly helped strengthen the country’s foreign exchange reserves to over $8 billion at the beginning of November. The return of stability to the rupee-dollar parity coupled with high rates of return on debt instruments encouraged foreigners ... Read More
 

CPEC’s social, economic projects to begin before 2020

The Business Recorder (Nov 14, 2019)
Work on 17 out of 27 priority projects in social and economic development component of Chin-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would commence before 2020. According to official documents concerned, the meeting of 9th joint cooperation committee (JCC) of CPEC, Pakistan and China appreciated the progress achieved by JWG since its establishment. Practical cooperation... Read More
 

Stocks gain 401 points to storm past 37,000 level

The Pakistan Today (Nov 13, 2019)
KARACHI: Bulls of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) took charge of the market once again on Wednesday after a range-bound session a day before. Indices that started the day on a negative note soon took a U-turn to surpass the 37,000 points mark. Foreign investors ended up as net buyers for the fifth consecutive session on Tuesday with a net inflow of $1.22 million... Read More
 

Federal transfers: Sindh suffers Rs 109 billion shortfall in July-October: Murad

The Business Recorder (Nov 13, 2019)
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah Tuesday said the federal government during last four months had to release Rs 278.4 billion against which the provincial government has received only Rs 169.2 billion which shows a shortfall of Rs109.17 billion. “This is the position of vertical distribution of funds, therefore the provincial government is facing serious problems."... Read More
 

Remittances slow down to $7.48b

The Express Tribune (Nov 12, 2019)
KARACHI: Remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis in the first four months of the current fiscal year (July-October 2019) remained almost flat at $7.48 billion. According to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday, the remittances were 1.82% lower than $7.62 billion sent home from abroad in the same period of the previous fiscal year. Talking to The Express Tribune,... Read More
 

‘Study on budget making process at district level in Balochistan’ launched

The Balochistan Times (Nov 12, 2019)
Zhob: Action for Welfare and awakening in Rural Environment in collaboration with Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) launched its report entitled ‘ Study of Budget Making Process at District level in Balochistan, here in Zhob District, Chief guest of the session was CPDI provincial coordinator Muhammad Asif. Those who attended the session were included... Read More
 

FATF targets: FBR to intensify crackdown against banned outfits

The Pakistan Today (Nov 11, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In order to meet the condition of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) regarding the control of terror financing, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to intensify its efforts against over 2,600 individuals/assets of banned organisations. The individuals and assets targeted by FBR so far were linked with various banned organizations, including Da’esh (ISIS), AL-Qaida (AQ),... Read More
 

Govt announces Rs200bn package for exporters

The Pakistan Today (Nov 11, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to announce a support package of Rs200 billion for exporters in order to enhance the country’s exports, encourage local production and create job opportunities, said Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. Addressing a press conference on Monday, the adviser said that the State Bank of Pakistan... Read More
 

Pakistan's economy stable, improving: PBBC

The Dunyanews.tv (Nov 10, 2019)
LONDON (APP) – Pakistan Britain Business Council (PBBC) appreciating the economic policies initiated by the government of Pakistan has said that due to its prudent policies, the economy of the country was strengthening and improving. “The latest World Bank report has also recognized and said that Pakistan has emerged as an improver in terms of ease of doing ... Read More
 

CPDI launches ‘study of budget making process at district level in Balochistan’

Daily Asia Today (Nov 10, 2019)
Chaman: Budget call letters delayed, 19 out of 23 districts stated that they have not received it, budget time line is not followed properly. Out of 23 only 6 surveyed distrits conducted pre-budget consultations. 5 districts did not hold a single consultation and 12 district done it without directly involving general public. Only 1 district issued pre-budget statement the copy was not available for... Read More
 

Pakistan wins IMF's confidence, to get $450m loan tranche

The Aljazeera.com (Nov 09, 2019)
Pakistan's fiscal deficits are narrowing, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday as it announced it would release the first tranche of its $6bn financial assistance programme to the country. The IMF agreed to the three-year rescue package for Pakistan in April - its 13th bailout programme for the South Asian nation since the late 1980s - as the economic outlook for the country of 208 million... Read More
 

IMF releasing first tranche of $6bn loan package for Pakistan

The Aljazeera.com(Nov 09, 2019)
Pakistan's fiscal deficits are narrowing, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday as it announced it would release the first tranche of its $6bn financial assistance programme to the country. The IMF agreed to the three-year rescue package for Pakistan in April - its 13th bailout programme for the South Asian nation since the late 1980s - as the economic outlook for the country of 208 million ...Read More
 

IMF reaches staff-level agreement with Pakistan on first review under EFF

The Dunyanews.tv (Nov 08, 2019)
ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Ernesto Ramirez Rigo on Friday visited Islamabad from October 28 to November 8, 2019 to conduct discussions on the first review under the Extended Fund Facility (EEF). At the end of the visit, Mr. Ramirez Rigo made the following statement: “The Pakistani authorities and IMF staff have reached a staff-level agreement on... Read More
 

Pakistan flays cuts in UN peacekeeping budget

The Nation (Nov 08, 2019)
UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan has warned that arbitrary cuts in peacekeeping funding risk diminishing effectiveness of UN’s flagship operations and jeopardizing the safety of peacekeepers. “Our objective should be to enhance capabilities. This cannot be achieved by reducing resources for peacekeeping,” Aamir Khan, Pakistan’s deputy... Read More
 

Govt urged to ensure citizens participation in budget preparation

The Nation (Nov 07, 2019)
BADIN - Experts urged the federal, provincial and district governments to ensure fully and active participation of common people and citizens in the preparation of budget at district and provincial level. Addressing a seminar titled “Consultation over preparation of district Budget” organised by Indus Development Society (IDS) in collaboration with Center for Peace and Development Initiative... Read More
 

SBP reserves surge $443m to stand at $8.4bn

The Pakistan Today (Nov 07, 2019)
The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank jumped 5.6pc on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. On November 1, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $8,357.6 million, up $443.3 million compared with $7,914.3 million in the previous week. The SBP, in its report, cited no reason for the increase in... Read More
 

Is e-commerce dying in Pakistan?

The Pakistan Today (Nov 06, 2019)
E-commerce in Pakistan is burgeoning and it is burgeoning at breakneck speed. In sheer numbers, e-commerce sales swelled 93.7pc in 2018, reaching Rs40.1 billion, compared to Rs20.7 billion in 2017. This growth is supported by improved internet accessibility with 159 million cellular subscribers, 66 million 3G/4G subscribers and 68 million broadband subscribers... Read More
 

Pakistan, Qatar agree to enhance trade, investment ties

The Pakistan Today (Nov 06, 2019)
Pakistan and Qatar have agreed to strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation, particularly in the fields of trade, industry, transport, energy, manpower export, education, science & technology, finance, tourism and infrastructure. The 5th session of Pakistan-Qatar Joint Commission, which undertook a comprehensive review of all the facets of bilateral relations between Pakistan and ... Read More
 

Foreign investment in Pakistan increases by 137pc: Economic Affairs minister

The Business Recorder (Nov 05, 2019)
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs has said that the total foreign investment in Pakistan increased by a whopping 137 percent in the first quarter of the financial year 2019-20. Talking to media on Tuesday, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar briefed about the country's economic position, saying that the current /account deficit has declined by 64 percent in the first... Read More
 

Development budget of science & technology ministry increased by 600pc: Fawad

The Dawn (Nov 05, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan is heading towards the manufacturing of lithium batteries for solar power with the support of Chinese companies and this would boost the country’s efforts to meet its growing energy needs. This was stated by Science and Technology Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry during the inaugural ceremony of a four-day symposium that opened at Karachi... Read More
 

State of economy

The Dawn (Nov 04, 2019)
The last fiscal year was one of the toughest for Pakistan, and the challenges are far from over. This is the gist of the annual report just released by the State Bank of Pakistan regarding FY2019. Coming almost four months after the fiscal year concluded, the report remains timely for the important lessons it has for the present, particularly the insights it shares on why the investment scenario remains so dismal...Read More
 

Investment drifts downwards in Pakistan

The Express Tribune (Nov 04, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan has been largely off the radar screen for direct investors for quite a long time despite improvement in some economic indicators in the recent past, a highly liberal trade and investment regime and a large market. “What explains this persistent underinvestment – both domestic and foreign – in Pakistan in spite of a liberal trade and... Read More
 

Pakistan ranked amongst top 20 global economic reformers in the World Bank Report

The Gulf News (Nov 03, 2019)
Dubai: The World Bank has acknowledged Pakistan amongst top 10 economies that improve the most on the ease of doing business after implementing regulatory reform. The World Bank ranked Pakistan at number six amongst the top 20 global reformers. As per the report, Pakistan has improved 28 ranks, from 136 to 108. It has also acknowledged top 10 economies... Read More
 

WTO authorises Chinese tariffs on $3.6b in US goods

The Express Tribune (Nov 03, 2019)
GENEVA: A World Trade Organisation (WTO) arbitrator on Friday authorised China to slap tariffs on US imports worth up to $3.58 billion annually in a years-long dispute over US anti-dumping practices, a trade official said. China had asked the WTO for permission to hit the US with more than $7 billion in tariffs in the case. But the WTO ruling said it had determined that... Read More

IMF asks Pakistan to spend more on development

The Express Tribune (Nov 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday urged Pakistan to spend more on development as the combined spending by federal and provincial governments in the first quarter remained less than one-tenth of the annual allocations. The lower spending on development than the allocated budget during the July-September quarter has also... Read More

IMF hails Pakistan for primary budget surplus

The News (Nov 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities managed to keep budget deficit at 0.9 percent of GDP, or around Rs400 billion, during the first quarter of the current fiscal – an achievement that was hailed by the IMF, but the country was advised to ensure full use of the budget to achieve the development goals, sources said on Friday. Sources said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission Chief Ramirez Rigo... Read More

‘Centre, provinces working closely on fiscal, taxation issues’

The Pakistan Today (Nov 01, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said the federal and provincial governments are in continuous dialogue to improve coordination and create harmony on issues related to fiscal and budget management, multiplicity of tax rates and reconciliation of input adjustment. He made this observation while chairing a meeting at the Finance Division... Read More

Pakistan requests IMF to cut tax target by Rs300b

The Express Tribune (Nov 01, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has requested the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reduce the federal tax target by Rs300 billion to Rs5.2 trillion as shortfall in collection has widened to Rs167 billion in just four months of the current fiscal year. The request was made despite Prime Minister Imran Khan’s personal commitment to the nation that he would go all out to achieve... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 52 Oct 31, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Foreign Direct Investments–Economic Hope of Pakistan

The Business Recorder (Oct 31, 2019)
Pakistan's economy has seen several swings over the past few years. The PTI government rode to victory on the cry of economic reforms and their performance therein, became the litmus test to gauge the competency of this newborn government. Initially, the economy suffered several shocks and so did the psyche of the general populace. However, much to the chagrin of those who... Read More
 

Pakistan’s economy on right track IMF predicts Pak economic turnaround from 2020

The Gulftoday (Oct 31, 2019)
Adviser on finance Dr. Hafeez Sheikh has stated that the statistics of the first quarter of the current financial year indicate that the Pakistan’s economy is on the right track and it is gradually stabilising. He gave these remarks during a meeting with Pakistan’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Munir Akram in Islamabad. The Adviser on Finance informed Munir Akram about the measures... Read More
 

Majority Pakistanis identify economy as biggest problem: poll

The Geo.tv (Oct 30, 2019)
A vast majority of Pakistani’s have identified economic problem, specifically inflation, as the biggest problem faced by the country, according to a Gilani Research Foundation survey released on Tuesday. A press release issued by the foundation said they concluded that the economy was the major problem for the people after carrying out a survey of a nationally representative sample across the four... Read More
 

Govt moving in right direction: IMF

The Nation (Oct 30, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday said that government is moving in right direction as it reduced the fiscal deficit and also the volatility in the exchange rate in last few months. The IMF has appreciated the positive results being produced by the policies and strategies put in place by the government to remove imbalances in the economy. “The volatility in the exchange... Read More
 

Revenue targets: Punjab finance minister expects Rs 250 billion budget surpluses

The Business Recorder (Oct 29, 2019)
Punjab Finance Minister Monday said that the province will be on almost Rs 250 billion budget surpluses if it is able to meet its revenue generation targets. The government had paid Rs 56 billion debt it owed from previous government in shape of contractors' bills. Addressing the launching ceremony of “Punjab Component of Ease of Doing Business 2020 report," the minister said ... Read More
 

Rising debt hinders Pakistan’s growth

The Express Tribune (Oct 29, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The vicious cycle of low economic growth and rising public debt has limited Pakistan’s fiscal space for propelling growth rate and the country faces difficulties in reducing the debt despite tightening fiscal policies, says a new regional outlook of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, Islamabad can reduce the accumulation of public debt by... Read More
 

CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee to meet on Nov 5

The Pakistan Today (Oct 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Amid uncertainty with regard to a possible sit-in of Jamiat Ulma-e-Islam leader Fazlur Rehman, the 9th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the highest forum of the corridor, is scheduled to be held in Islamabad on November 5. The JCC, according to sources, would deliberate on recent developments pertaining to Main Line-1... Read More
 

IMF mission arrives in Pakistan amidst uncertain political situation

The Pakistan Today (Oct 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: While the country is going to face an uncertain political situation following the planned march by a political party towards Islamabad, a mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is visiting Pakistan to review and evaluate the country’s performance on implementation of the loan program — the $6 billion extended fund facility (EFF) given to the country. The IMF mission will... Read More
 

IMF mission arrives in Pakistan to evaluate performance under loan programme

The Dunyanews.tv (Oct 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sent its mission to review and evaluate Pakistan’s performance on implementation of its 39-month-long extended fund facility (EFF) worth $6 billion to the debt-ridden country as it hopes to secure the next tranche of approximately $460 million. The IMF mission will review Pakistan’s performance... Read More
 

Getting Pakistan out of FATF greylist: PM approves new strategy

The News (Oct 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister, Imran Khan, formally approved a new strategy for implementation of 27 conditions of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to get Pakistan out of its grey list. Imran chaired a high level meeting of the whole economic team as well as representatives of business community here on Saturday. The prime minister congratulated the departments... Read More
 

US budget deficit soars to almost $1 tn, highest since 2012

The Urdupoint.com(Oct 26, 2019)
Washington, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 26th Oct, 2019): America's budget deficit soared to nearly $1 trillion in the 2019 fiscal year as government borrowing swelled, the US Treasury announced Friday. The fourth straight year of broadening budget gaps underscored a new tolerance for yawning fiscal imbalances in the current political era. Republican... Read More
 

PM urges nation to pay taxes to build Pakistan

The Pakistan Today (Oct 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday urged citizens to play their role in the country’s progress and development by paying due taxes. Speaking to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) chairpersons, the premier emphasised the need for broadening the country’s tax base in order to provide the masses the best facilities. “Expanding...Read More
 

In Pakistan, businessmen worried about impact of sit-in on economy

The Express Tribune (Oct 25, 2019)
LAHORE: The upcoming Azadi March and possibility of yet another sit-in by opposition political parties have sparked a fresh wave of concern among the business community of Pakistan. Though the planned sit-in will take place in Islamabad, still businessmen, especially those focused on the export and import business, feel the political chaos would have adverse... Read More
 

In Pakistan, businesses continue to borrow amid economic slowdown

The Express Tribune (Oct 24, 2019)
KARACHI: Although Pakistan is facing an economic slowdown and there is a perception that almost every business is facing hardship, not all is bad. A few of the prominent businesses have continued to borrow more and make investments during these difficult times. The real estate sector, car manufacturers, information & telecommunications and pharmaceutical sectors remained... Read More
 

Sri Lanka parliament passes ambitious interim budget ahead of presidential election

The Reuters (Oct 24, 2019)
COLOMBO (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan parliament on Wednesday passed an ambitious interim budget weeks before a presidential election, with 1.47 trillion rupees ($8.11 billion) in spending for the first four months of 2020. The interim budget, passed unanimously in the 225-member parliament, expects 745 billion rupees in government revenue in the first four months of ... Read More
 

Pakistan seeks financing for CPEC’s western route

Express Tribune (Oct 23, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has once again sought Chinese financing for the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), requesting Beijing to sign a bilateral framework agreement for implementing the scheme that largely remains on papers due to funding constraints. The request was made during a meeting of the CPEC Joint Working Group on Transport Infrastructure ... Read More
 

2020 EU budget: Council cannot accept EP amendments

https://www.consilium.europa.eu (Oct 23, 2019)
The Council has informed the European Parliament that it cannot accept all the amendments for the 2020 EU budget adopted today in the Parliament’s plenary. This triggers a three-week conciliation process, which will start on 29 October. The Council and the Parliament will have until 18 November to bridge their differences... Read More
 

Global growth downgrade masks underlying economic strength

The Financial Times (Oct 22, 2019)
The IMF has sharply downgraded its forecast for global economic growth to its lowest level since the great recession of 2008-09 — but fears of another contraction are overblown, most data suggest. In private, policymakers are gloomy about the outlook. But the current slowdown — with just below 2 per cent growth per capita forecast for 2019 — would be a better performance ... Read More
 

IMF team to visit Pakistan as per schedule

The News (Oct 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Despite JUI-F’s march, the IMF’s review mission is scheduled to visit Islamabad from October 28 for holding parleys with Pakistani authorities under $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Pakistani official sources insist that there is no change so far in the upcoming visit of IMF review mission. The IMF’s review mission will stay in Islamabad for two weeks for holding technical and policy... Read More
 

Attacking Pakistan’s Economy Via FATF

The Nation (Oct 21, 2019)
Pakistan is getting consistent blows from inimical International pro-Indian groups, the likes of FATF, for instance, if one can say. Hybrid war model has been launched against Pakistan as a joint venture of USA & India, which is being used to shatter our economy and derail our national progress. The retention of Pakistan in the grey list is a big jolt to its already fragile economy. Moreover, it has... Read More
 

3.3pc growth in FY19, govt policies have started making an impact: Finance Ministry

The Business Recorder (Oct 21, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Finance has said that the government's macroeconomic adjustment and demand management policies for stabilization have started making an impact as visible in the moderate growth of 3.3 percent in the FY2019. As well as introduction of a host of measures to bring down inflation, jack up economic activities, strengthening of social security...Read More
 

Pakistan will achieve all FATF targets in time: Qureshi

The Express Tribune (Oct 20, 2019)
MULTAN / ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday said the incumbent government would achieve all targets of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and get the country out of the anti-money laundering body’s grey list. Talking to media, he said, “India has failed to get Pakistan included in the FATF blacklist... Read More
 

Economy on the right path, Hafeez Shaikh tells US investors

The Express Tribune (Oct 20, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that Pakistan’s economy is on the right path to stabilisation and the US businesses should benefit from investment opportunities available in the country. “The US companies should expand their footprint in Pakistan,” said the finance adviser while attending a roundtable... Read More
 

Pakistan's economy moving forward on path of stability

The Radio.gov.pk (Oct 19, 2019)
Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that Pakistani economy is now moving forward on the path of progress and stability. He was speaking at a luncheon hosted by Pakistan Business Council in the honour of visiting Pakistani economic team in Washington. Dr Hafeez Shaikh informed the participants about current economic situation of... Read More

PM lauds his team for ‘turning around’ Pakistan’s economy

The Business Recorder (Oct 19, 2019)
Prime Minister Imran Khan has lauded his government for turning around Pakistan's economy within a year. In a tweet, the premier said that it is a great achievement of our economic team to turn around the economy within a year. The PM said foreign direct investment has witnessed an increase of 111.5 percent while foreign private investment has surged by 194 percent during this period... Read More

Economy on path to recovery

The Daily Times (Oct 18, 2019)
During the last one week, there were at least 39 news items that were worthy of big headlines; however, none of these were neither highlighted in print media nor discussed in talk shows. Perhaps, influenced by the opposition parties’ propaganda accusing the PTI government of the economic mess, they conveniently forgot that it was created during the last 10 years. It has to be mentioned... Read More

Pakistan warned to curb terrorist financing

The Financial Times (Oct 18, 2019)
Pakistan has been given an explicit warning that it must do more to curb terrorist financing, as it avoided being blacklisted by a global financial watchdog over its failure to tackle the issue. The Financial Action Task Force, the standard-setter on money laundering and terrorism funding, ruled it would keep Pakistan on its “greylist” until its next review in four months’ time, a boost for Prime Minister... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 51 Oct 17, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves jump $56m to $7.8b

Express Tribune (Oct 17, 2019)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 0.72% 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 assistance from the United Arab... Read More
 

IMF predicts Pak economic turnaround from 2020

The News (Oct 17, 2019)
WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated increase in economic growth for Pakistan after the year 2020. During a press conference here on Wednesday, Deputy Director Research of the IMF, Gian Milesi-Ferretti, observed that Pakistan has started implementing an ambitious programme with the IMF. "There's a need for a substantial fiscal adjustment. The deficit... Read More
 

Pakistan's debt to rise to over 78% of GDP: IMF

The Express Tribune (Oct 16, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: A new report, issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday, has said Pakistan’s public debt may surge this year to 78.6% of the total size of its economy, which is not only higher than the previous year but also in violation of an act of the parliament. The Global Financial Stability Report further said the budget deficit -gap between expenditures and revenues... Read More
 

IMF keeps macroeconomic projections unchanged

The Express Tribune (Oct 16, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has kept Pakistan’s macroeconomic projections unchanged in its World Economic Outlook report but has showed a slight increase in the unemployment rate, indicating the impact of slowing economy. The global lender on Tuesday released the “World Economic Outlook, Global Manufacturing Downturn, Rising Trade Barriers’’... Read More
 

Pakistan Faces Blacklisting Over Terrorism Financing and Money Laundering

The Time (Oct 15, 2019)
(ISLAMABAD) — Pakistan is trying to avoid getting blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force, a global watchdog, when it meets Wednesday in Paris. A report earlier this month by the task force’s Asia Pacific Group, which monitors Pakistan’s progress, is not encouraging. The report says Pakistan has fully implemented only one item from a list of 40 measures that the country should be... Read More
 

Hafeez flies to US to attend IMF/WB annual meeting

The News (Oct 15, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has flown to US for attending annual meeting of IMF/World Bank this week and on sidelines he will finalise schedule of next IMF review mission. Top official sources pointed out that the World Bank presented horrifying report about Pakistan’s economy indicating lowest real GDP growth of 2.4 percent, public ... Read More
 

Pakistan likely to miss inflation, public debt targets

Express Tribune (Oct 14, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has cut Pakistan’s economic growth forecast for the next two years and also projected that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government would miss inflation, public debt, and fiscal deficit reduction targets. The findings that the WB reported in its annual flagship report, the South Asia Economic Focus Fall 2019, have underpinned challenges that the government will face at least till the... Read More
 

FATF to discuss Pakistan’s measures today

The Express Tribune (Oct 14, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will discuss today (Monday) steps taken by Pakistan to stop money laundering and terrorist financing in its plenary meeting that has started in Paris. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar is leading Pakistani delegation that will have formal talks with the global body. Representatives of more than 200 countries and... Read More
 

Development strategy, not charter of economy

Daily Times (Oct 13, 2019)
Pakistan’s national assembly has a tradition of hosting the most interesting budget sessions. Similar political antics are replayed every year; providing one with the impression that the theatrics performed by the members are not spontaneous but rehearsed and orchestrated, even when they are not. The house erupts into a ruckus soon after the Finance Minister presents the budget. The opposition... Read More
 

Trade and fiscal deficits are under control: Hafeez Shaikh

The Express Tribune (Oct 12, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The ills of Pakistan’s economy – trade and fiscal deficits – have been brought under control during the first quarter, both key indicators have shown improvement by approximately 35%, announced Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Saturday. While addressing a press conference in Islamabad, he said that the trade deficit... Read More
 

Trade deficit narrows 35% to 5.7 billion in Q1

The Express Tribune (Oct 12, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s trade deficit has narrowed nearly 35% to $5.7 billion in the first quarter due to compression of imports but the government must now start worrying about exports that are not picking up despite an Rs80-billion hit on revenues and inflicting a huge cost to the economy. Trade figures that the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) released on Friday showed... Read More
 

In Pakistan, large retailers to link outlets with FBR by Dec 1

The Express Tribune (Oct 11, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Thursday notified December 1, 2019 as the deadline for all large retailers to link their retail outlets with its electronic system aimed at capturing their real income. In case, the large-sized retailers fail to link their systems with the FBR, they would not be entitled to the reduced 14% sales tax, according to the FBR’s notification...Read More
 

IMF predicts govt’s gross debt to rise to 78.6 percent

The Pakistan Today (Oct 11, 2019)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected an increase in Pakistan’s gross debt by 1.9 percent to 78.6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020 against 76.7 percent in 2019, reported Business Recorder. According to the IMF report “Fiscal Monitor, How to Mitigate Climate Change,” it is projected that the government gross debt would rise to 78.6 percent of GDP in 2020... Read More
 

SBP reserves increase $16m to $7.7b

Express Tribune (Oct 10, 2019)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 0.21% 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 assistance from the United Arab ... Read More
 

Moody's cuts growth forecast for India to 5.8%

Express Tribune (Oct 10, 2019)
NEW DELHI: Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday cut its growth forecast for India for the fiscal year that began in April to 5.8% from 6.2% and said a weaker growth outlook will dampen the prospects for fiscal consolidation. The ratings agency had lowered India’s growth forecast to 6.2% from 6.8% in August. India’s growth fell to a six-year low of 5% in the April-June quarter led ... Read More
 

Pakistan yet to receive foreign aid worth $21.6b

Express Tribune (Oct 09, 2019)
ISLAMABAD A staggering $21.6 billion worth of foreign economic assistance has remained undisbursed due to the long completion period of projects and also because of systemic inefficiencies that have put an extra burden on Pakistan in the shape of commitment charges on idle money. Out of the $21.6 billion, there was $3.9 billion worth of foreign grants that the international donors committed to... Read More
 

Russia Gazettes Law Implementing Tax Overhaul Measures of 2019 Budget Package

Bloombergtax.com (Oct 09, 2019)
The Russian Official Gazette Sept. 29 published a law implementing tax overhaul measures announced in the 2019 budget package. The law includes measures: 1) amending provisions for valuing intangible assets for transfer pricing purposes; 2) implementing amendments for mutual agreement procedures (MAP) to resolve transfer pricing and DTA disputes; 3) clarifying expense... Read More
 

Global Economy Suffering "Synchronized Slowdown", Says IMF Chief

The ndtv.com (Oct 08, 2019)
WASHINGTON: Grinding trade disputes are undermining the global economy, which is set to see its slowest growth in nearly a decade, the new IMF chief said Tuesday. Research shows the impact of the trade conflict is widespread and countries must be ready to respond in unison with cash infusions, Kristalina Georgieva said in her first speech as managing director of the International Monetary... Read More
 

World Bank sees Pakistan’s digital finance potential at $36 billion

The News (Oct 08, 2019)
KARACHI: The World Bank is bullish on Pakistan’s cashless economy potential, estimating it at significant $36 billion and projecting a straight seven percent boost to GDP with a real-time retail payments gateway, but all, it says depends on a widespread use of online financial transactions. “To unlock Pakistan’s $36 billion digital finance potential, it will take high-level commitment, faster payments... Read More
 

ADB approves $200 million for Pakistan's social welfare program

Dunyanews.com (Oct 07, 2019)
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved additional funds of $200 million for Pakistan under the social welfare programme and the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). The amount will be utilised for social protection and help of 855,000 women under the BISP. Earlier in September, the ADB’s Asian Development Outlook 2019 (ADO) affirmed that Pakistan... Read More
 

Govt’s measures stabilise economy, rupee: Hammad Azhar

The News (Oct 07, 2019)
LAHORE: Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar Sunday said the government had managed to stabilise economy as well as improve rupee value against dollar by taking instant and effective measures. Addressing a news conference along with Punjab Industry and Trade Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal here, he said country’s economy would now enter into growth phase. He mentioned...Read More
 

China won't be able to save the world economy this time

The Japantimes.com (Oct 06, 2019)
NEW YORK – U.S. recession indicators are growing stronger and there’s one bigger-than-usual reason why the world should be worried: China isn’t coming to the rescue this time. Last week alone, a gauge of U.S. manufacturing unexpectedly fell to its weakest reading in a decade and payrolls at private companies grew less than forecast. Economists are starting to... Read More
 

Pakistan’s economy is expected to stabilise. Is growth next?

The Scroll.in (Oct 06, 2019)
By now almost everyone acknowledges that the consumption-driven growth model that Pakistan has come to rely on to achieve high growth rates is unsustainable. Most commentators also agree that Pakistan must shift towards exports as the key driver of growth. This narrative has given significant room to the present Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government to implement... Read More
 

Analysts: Pakistan Still at Risk of Being Placed on FATF Blacklist

The Voanews.com (Oct 05, 2019)
Pakistan remains at risk of being placed on the "blacklist" of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global watchdog monitoring terror financing and money laundering around the world, experts warn. The global watchdog's regional body — Asia Pacific Group (APG) — examined Pakistan's performance on key issues related to terror financing and money laundering at a two-day preliminary... Read More

Missing IMF revenue target may lead to mini-budget: PBIF chief

The Business Recorder (Oct 05, 2019)
Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) President+ Mian Zahid Hussain has expressed fear that despite best efforts the government has missed quarterly revenue target set by the IMF, which may lead to a mini-budget. The revenue target of Rs1,071 billion has been missed by Rs116 billion despite the imposition of new taxes worth Rs735 billion and holding back refunds, he added. Mian... Read More

Sri Lanka budget deficit to expand to 5.4 to 5.6-pct in 2019

The Economynext.com (Oct 04, 2019)
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s budget deficit may reach 5.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2019, Treasury Secretary R H S Samaratunga said, which would be around the same levels as in 2018. The revised deficit could be 5.4 to 5.6 percent, Samaratunga said. Sri Lanka was originally targeting 4.4 percent of GDP for 2019. But the 5.6 percent out-turn would be around the same levels as the 5.4 ... Read More

Govt projected to add Rs19.3tr to public debt in 5 years

The Express Tribune (Oct 04, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is projected to add Rs19.3 trillion to the public debt in its five-year term – which will be equal to 80% of the debt piled up in the past 71 years, and the debt will remain at unsustainable levels, showed figures of the Ministry of Finance. The public debt, which was at Rs24.2 trillion or 72.1% of gross domestic... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 50 Oct 03, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves dip $724m to $7.7b

Express Tribune (Oct 03, 2019)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank plunged 8.54% on a weekly basis, slipping below the $8-billion mark, 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
 

Inflation jumps 11.4pc in September

The Dawn (Oct 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Inflation surged by 11.4 per cent year-on-year in September from, reported the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Wednesday. Inflation, measured through the Consumer Price Index (CPI), edged up by 0.77pc over the previous month after PBS revised its calculation methodology. Based on the new base year (2015-16), September inflation came in at 11.37pc... Read More
 

Punjab finance minister seeks clarity ahead of PFC award

The Express Tribune (Oct 02, 2019)
LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht asked the finance department to get explanations on Section 189 and 190 of new Local Government Act 2019 so that no lacuna is left once the provincial government awards the next Provincial Finance Commission (PFC). The minister also instructed the local government department to provide updated records of local government... Read More
 

Pakistan will not return to IMF again: SBP chief

The Express Tribune (Oct 01, 2019)
KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor is quite hopeful that the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme will be the last one and Pakistan will not need to go back to the lender in future. The recent structural reforms implemented under commitments made with the IMF had started providing much-needed support to the economy to enable it to stand on its own feet... Read More
 

Pakistan, Germany agree to boost economic cooperation

The APP (Oct 01, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani Tuesday said that Pakistan valued its bilateral relations with Germany and desired to further expand mutual collaboration in different sectors to bring people of the both the countries closer. He emphasized the need to further strengthen the existing bilateral relations between Pakistan and Germany through... Read More
 

Sri Lanka budget deficit reaches 4.4-pct of GDP by July

The Economynext.com (Sep 30, 2019)
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s budget deficit expanded to 684 about 4.4 percent of estimated gross domestic product by July 2019, up from 3.2 percent in 2019, as revenues were hit in the wake of a currency fall last year, official data shows. Sri Lanka budgeted a 4.4 percent of GDP deficit (685 billion rupees) for the full year 2019. Total revenues fell 4.4 percent from a year earlier to 1,031.9 billion rupees to... Read More
 

Macro-economy, IMF and local pressures

The Daily Times (Sep 30, 2019)
The IMF mission recently on a visit to Pakistan gave an optimistic prognosis as Pakistan’s economy is recovering and has shown progress with a decline in current account deficit and has projected a growth rate of 2.4 percent. The IMF mission stated that “Pakistan’s economic program is off to a promising start, but decisive implementation is critical to pave the way for stronger and sustainable... Read More
 

Contrasting outlook: Economists upbeat on growth prospects

The Pakistan Today (Sep 29, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan based economists have estimated growth of gross domestic product (GDP) better than the ones anticipated by international and regional lending institutions for the current fiscal year 2019-20. They expected GDP growth within the range of 2.5-3.5% compared to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) forecast of 2.4% and Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) 2.8% for ... Read More
 

Pakistan on fast track to reap CPEC benefits, says Chinese envoy

The Pakistan Today (Sep 29, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing on Sunday lauded Pakistan’s rising status as an economically developing country, as he revealed significant progress made on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects along with upcoming developments. He expressed was addressing the participants of the ‘Friends of Silk Road’ forum her held under the aegis... Read More
 

Consumers show low confidence in Pakistan’s economy: survey

The Express Tribune (Sep 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: People’s confidence in the economy has declined in Pakistan as compared to India and global trends but respondents still have hope for improvement in the situation in the next six months, according to an Ipsos opinion poll. Ipsos – global market research and consulting firm – has conducted a survey in Pakistan for its first wave of Global... Read More
 

Peddling knowledge to those on a budget

The Express Tribune (Sep 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In a country where the pristine aisles of high-end bookstores often cater only to the elite, many throng weekly book bazaars in the quest to find more affordable and often used editions of their favourite pieces of literature. Laid on sidewalks or piled by a public square, these roadside vendors offer a variety of books ranging from history and politics to... Read More
 

ADB’s assessment

The Express Tribune (Sep 27, 2019)
Pakistan’s economy is having a hard time is no revelation. While the incumbent government, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, is doing all it can to treat the ills, many an economic expert believe it is the remedy that has worsened the malady. The policies adopted by current economic managers, meant to achieve economic stability in a country with negligible FDI and exports totalling half as much as...Read More
 

Pakistan in midst of economic crisis says UN body

The Dawn (Sep 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The ‘Trade and Development Report 2019’ released by the United Nations on Thursday says that Pakistan’s economic crisis has not been resolved despite the fact that support from China and Saudi Arabia and a large IMF loan have helped address the immediate problem. In a brief comment on Pakistan in the Asia section, UNCTAD’s annual flagship report went on to say that “Pakistan is in the midst... Read More
 

Pakistan is no longer a pawn, a joke, a bystander on the world stage'

The News (Sep 26, 2019)
Pakistan has emerged as a responsible global player and a harbinger of peace under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to an article recently published in British publication The Independent. It was just a year back, that cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan was unable to suppress a jubilant expression as his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was elected into power. His victory... Read More
 

Slowdown to persist as stabilisation advances: ADB

The Dawn (Sep 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday forecast Pakistan’s economy to slow down further and set the GDP growth target at 2.8 per cent for FY20 given the need for government to address sizable fiscal and external balances. The ADB’s ‘Asian Development Outlook 2019 Update’ said fiscal adjustments would suppress domestic demand, and demand... Read More
 

Pakistan economy continues to stabilize amidst strong headwinds

The Dunyanews.tv (Sep 25, 2019)
ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – Pakistan’s economy in fiscal year (FY) 2019, which ended on 30 June, is showing signs of recovery as the government’s fiscal consolidation and austerity measures to address the structural weaknesses started to take effect. However, the growth rate moderated to 3.3% during the period reflecting persistent macroeconomic imbalances and heightened external challenges... Read More
 

Asian Development Bank issues outlook report for Pakistan

The Dawn (Sep 25, 2019)
The Asian Development Bank's Asian Development Outlook 2019 (ADO) reaffirms that the country's economy is expected to grow slower than last year, with GDP growth projected at 2.8 per cent in fiscal year 2020. The ADO, released on Wednesday, notes that growth in Pakistan had decelerated during fiscal year 2019 and this reflected "lower investment amid policy uncertainty... Read More
 

Economic Watch: An open China, a beacon for world economy

The XINHUANET (Sep 24, 2019)
BEIJING, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- From a semi-closed nation that barely had any overseas contact, to a world economic engine with high-level opening up in all aspects, China has made miracles in expanding its market and contributing to the world. Since China set up four special economic zones in Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou and Xiamen in 1980, the country's steps of opening up its market have never stopped... Read More
 

Afghan transit trade ‘hurting Pakistan's economy’

The Arab News (Sep 24, 2019)
September 24: The Express Tribune report by Rizwan Asif states that the Directorate General of Trade functioning under the administration of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has revealed in its report that the Afghan transit and the Afghan imports were negatively affecting Pakistan’s economy and were the basic components of black economy in Pakistan... Read More
 

IMF Program

The Business Recorder (Sep 23, 2019)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Director Middle East and Central Asia Department Jihad Azour, including the mission leader for the 6 billion dollar Extended Fund Facility programme approved by the Fund Board on 3 July 2019, in a handout stated that "the near term macroeconomic outlook is broadly changed from the time of the programme approval with growth... Read More
 

Pakistan’s economy heading in right direction: PM

The APP (Sep 23, 2019)
NEW YORK, Sep 23 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said despite the momentous challenge of the biggest ever current account deficit inherited by his government, they had been restructuring the country’s economy which has now been put on the right track. Responding to questions during a conversation with in the US based think-tank Council on Foreign Relations...Read More
 

Over 30 percent of Pakistan’s workers laid off amid economic meltdown — industry insiders

The Arab News (Sep 22, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan’s economic meltdown has eroded between 30 and 40 percent jobs from the country’s labor market, pushing more people below the poverty line, as the country takes tough measures to implement conditions attached to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package, traders and economists said. Pakistan’s ruling... Read More
 

Pakistan gets $1.5b worth of foreign loans in Jul-Aug

The Express Tribune (Sep 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan received $1.5 billion or Rs237 billion worth of foreign loans in first two months of the current fiscal year, higher by 108% over the same period of the previous year, aimed at meeting the country’s financing needs. Foreign disbursements have started picking up following signing of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme, which seeks $38... Read More
 

US, Pakistan to improve economic engagement

The News (Sep 21, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The United States and Pakistan on Friday agreed to concentrate American-funded programs on economic growth, improving energy sector and other priority areas. The agreement was made during a meeting between the US Ambassador to Pakistan Paul Jones and Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar. Officials of the United States Agency... Read More

Inflation to dip, risks still there

The News by Mehtab Haider (Sep 21, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked Pakistan to avoid repetition of one-off factors that escalated the worse than expected budget deficit, in the last fiscal and now it should not jeopardise the current fiscal year’s targets. “The IMF staff and Pakistani authorities have analysed the worse than expected fiscal results of FY2018/19, which were partially the ... Read More

Russian budget: Stability still a priority but pressure to spend remains

The MENAFN (Sep 20, 2019)
(MENAFN - ING) The budget still focuses on macro stability The new parameters of the 2019-2022 budget, that received preliminary approval by the government is advertised as focused on economic growth, however, new projections are not that different from the ones presented a year ago. We interpret this as more of a verbal response to GDP growth concerns rather than an actual... Read More

IMF asks Pakistan to consider longer SBP governor term

The News (Sep 20, 2019)
KARACHI: International Monetary Fund (IMF ) on Thursday proposed Pakistan to extend the central bank governor’s term up to five years from three to strengthen the institution’s independence, which has been questioned in past owing to repeated political interference in monetary and exchange rate policies. “The tenure of the governor needs to be lengthened... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 49 Sep 19, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves jump $138m to $8.6b

Express Tribune (Sep 19, 2019)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 1.63% 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 assistance from the United Arab... Read More
 

The IMF comes a calling

The Business Recorder (Sep 19, 2019)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not revise targets already agreed, so stated the Fund's Director for the Middle East and Central Asian Department during the press conference held jointly with the Pakistan economic team led by Hafeez Sheikh and Reza Baqir. This should be a source of serious concern for Pakistan's non-political economic managers and more particularly for Prime Minister... Read More
 

Pakistan taking economic reforms, showing impressive performance: IMF

The Business Recorder (Sep 18, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: IMF’s Director Middle East and Central Asia Jihad Azour on Tuesday said Pakistan had showed impressive performance by carrying out economic reforms in accordance with the Extended Fund Facility of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “It is a new programme and it is important to give some time to the government for taking more reform measures to show good... Read More
 

Where is the economy going?

The News (Sep 18, 2019)
Mohammad Ali Tabba’s interview regarding business conditions has sent shockwaves across the country. Tabba is one of Pakistan’s best known and dynamic businessmen. Over the last many years, his group has invested heavily in the country in many sectors and can rightly be regarded as a major contributor to Pakistan’s economic growth. So, when negative comments come from a... Read More
 

Unchanged discount rate: SBP decision to play havoc with budget deficit: expert

The News (Sep 17, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The State Bank of Pakistan’s decision to keep discount rate unchanged at 13.25 percent will play havoc with the budget deficit as one percent policy rate exceeds deficit to the tune of Rs130 billion on per annum basis. The Ministry of Finance has estimated that the one percent hike in policy rate translates into increasing budget deficit to the tune of Rs130 billion on annual bases. “When real... Read More
 

Teachers demand fixing of minimum 7pc budget for education

The News (Sep 17, 2019)
Islamabad: Pakistan Teachers Association on Monday demanded to the government to fix seven per cent as minimum budget out of total for the education sector in the country. While talking to APP, the Senior Leadership of the Association urged the government to implement Uniform Education System properly and it should be according to the Ideology of Pakistan. They also called for bringing... Read More
 

SBP retains interest rate at 13.25% for next two months

The Express Tribune (Sep 16, 2019)
KARACHI: In line with the market expectations, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has left the key interest rate unchanged at an eight-year high of 13.25% for the next two months. The SBP Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced status quo in the rate to control inflation, which remained high in the first two months (July-August) of the current fiscal year 2020 due to late impact from the... Read More
 

FATF and IMF conditions: Pakistan may seek US intervention for relief

The News (Sep 16, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan may seek US intervention for relief from the FATF and IMF’s tough conditions, as both would be reviewing its position in the light of conditions set out by them. The final meeting of the FATF will be held in October in Paris which will decide whether to keep Pakistan in the grey list or place it out, a federal cabinet member told The News. “The FATF is going to... Read More
 

Rudderless economy idles in reform-resistant Pakistan

The News (Sep 15, 2019)
LAHORE: Economy recently suffered two tremors in a row. One of them was a disappointing increase of 1.21 percent in exports in August, while the other a double-digit fall in remittances last month, as compared to the money sent home by overseas Pakistani workers in the month of July 2019. The current account deficit has definitely reduced due to shrinking imports, but what good will ... Read More
 

IMF SOS mission to arrive in Pakistan

The Dunya News (Sep 15, 2019)
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – International Monetary Fund (IMF) is sending its SOS (Save Our Soul) mission to Pakistan for suggesting ways to the cash-strapped government to curtail the budget deficit being faced by the country. The IMF expressed concern over Pakistan’s economic performance in the first two months and is sending its SOS mission to Islamabad. The mission will be vising Pakistan to... Read More
 

Remittances dive 17% after Eid boost

The Express Tribune (Sep 14, 2019)
KARACHI: Remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis showed a decline of 17.1% in August 2019 because of the post-Eidul Azha impact. Overseas Pakistanis remitted $1.7 billion in August, down $348.4 million compared to inflows of $2.04 billion in the preceding month, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday. Inflows had surged in the past two months on account of... Read More
 

Pakistan needs to mobilise domestic tax revenue: IMF

The Express Tribune (Sep 13, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesperson Gerry Rice has said that one of the key elements of the global lender’s Pakistan programme was the need to mobilise domestic tax revenue to fund the much needed social and development spending while placing debt on a firm downward trend. “And this was actually something that our acting Managing Director, David Lipton...Read More
 

Pakistan likely to miss IMF's tax refund condition

The Express Tribune (Sep 13, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is set to miss the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) condition to refund Rs75 billion to taxpayers in the first quarter despite an incentive by the global lender that will soften the tough primary budget deficit reduction target if the country performs better in tax refunds. Under the $6 billion IMF loan deal, Pakistan is required to reduce the primary budget deficit – calculated... Read More
 

An autopsy of the Pakistan’s economic crisis

Daily Times by Salahuddin Bhutto (Sep 12, 2019)
Pakistan is the country of 208 million people. Its population is growing at the rate of nearly three percent annually. This means the country will need more and more funds and infrastructure to sustain quality life of its people in future. However, an autopsy of the state’s present economic outlook has revealed that the past and current economic policies have failed to achieve long-term objectives... Read More
 

Pakistan’s fate at FATF still hangs in balance

The Express Tribune (Sep 12, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has made some good progress in addressing deficiencies in combating the financing of terrorism framework but its fate still hangs in balance as more work is still needed on the most critical indicators –the terror financing investigations and prosecution. The Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) Asia-Pacific Joint Group (AP-Joint Group) held face-to-face meetings... Read More
 

Russia’s Expo Bank takes keen interest in Pakistan’s financial sector

Pakistan Today (Sep 11, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Expobank Chairman Igor Vladimirovich Kim has expressed keen interest to invest in Pakistan’s financial sector. Talking to Privatisation Minister Muhammad Mian Soomro and Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Zubair Gilani at the BoI Headquarters on Wednesday, Kim said that his team would analyse the opportunities for the procurement of public sector entities that... Read More
 

Govt working on IMF’s demand

The Nation (Sep 10, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - The government is working on International Monetary Fund’s demand to ensure the system to electronically monitor the production and supply of cigarettes. Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Shabbar Zaidi has summoned a meeting of all tobacco manufacturers on September 12 2019 in order to have their views for installation of Track and Trace system... Read More
 

Pakistan enters 2nd round of talks with FATF

The Express Tribune (Sep 09, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has entered the second round of talks pertaining to the implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan in Bangkok, said sources in the Ministry of Finance, The Pakistani delegation is led by Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar and includes officials from the Federal Investigation Agency, State Bank of Pakistan, the Federal Board of ... Read More
 

China expedites work on $1.7bn Matiari-Lahore transmission line

Pakistan Today (Sep 09, 2019)
BEIJING: China has expedited its initial work on the Matiari-Lahore high-voltage direct transmission line project valued at $1.7 billion. To kick off the project, a Chinese company has shipped power equipment to Pakistan for the country’s first transmission project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework. Fushun Electric Porcelain Manufacturing Company (FEPMC) shipped... Read More
 

‘China plans to invest $1b in development projects in Pakistan’

Express Tribune (Sep 08, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The pace of development projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is satisfactory, said Ambassador of China to Pakistan Yao Jing Talking to a delegation at the Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI), led by its Founder President Samina Fazil, he said that that the second phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) will be finalised... Read More
 

Govt plans to raise $1b from int’l market by issuing Sukuk bonds

The Nation (Sep 08, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has planned to raise at least one billion dollars from international market by issuing Sukuk bonds in next couple of months that would help in building the country’s foreign exchange reserves. The federal cabinet had already allowed ministry of finance to initiate Medium-Term Notes (MTN) programme covering both Eurobonds and Sukuk. An official of the...Read More
 

0.6 percent primary deficit agreed with IMF: Government banking on Rs 800 billion non-tax revenue

The Business Recorder (Sep 07, 2019)
The government is banking on Rs 800 billion non-tax revenue from renewal of cellular licenses, privatization of two power plants and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) profit to get close to 0.6 percent primary deficit agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under $6 billion extended fund facility (EFF). Providing details, Finance Ministry officials stated that it expects Rs 300... Read More
 

Economy not being fixed

The Pakistan Today (Sep 07, 2019)
The International Monetary Fund finds it has to set a technical mission soon after giving Pakistan a $6 billion Extended Finance Facility, because the core or primary deficit in 2018-2019 has gone far beyond all the projections. As the targets set by the IMF for the EFF were based on the reining in of the primary deficit, failure to achieve it would mean that all other targets would... Read More
 

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia review progress on energy MoUs

The Nation (Sep 06, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Thursday reviewed progress on the existing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) in energy sector and discussed possibilities for further expansion of mutual cooperation between the two countries in diverse fields. In a delegation level meeting, the two sides resolved to expedite the work on different MoUs signed in... Read More

IMF to Send SOS Team to Cash-strapped Pakistan to Curtail Budget Deficit

The News18 (Sep 06, 2019)
Islamabad: The IMF is sending its SOS mission to Pakistan this month for suggesting ways to the cash-strapped government to curtail the yawning budget deficit being faced by the country, according to a media report on Friday. In July, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) formally approved a USD 6 billion loan to Pakistan, which is facing "significant" economic challenges on the back of "large"... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 48 Sep 05, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

IMF deal could be renegotiated

Express Tribune (Sep 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday did not rule out the possibility of renegotiating the $6 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal amid an admission by the tax authorities, for the first time, that they may collect between Rs4.8 trillion to Rs5.2 trillion in taxes in light of existing economic realities. The questions about renegotiating the IMF deal started surfacing after the IMF and the... Read More
 

Govt rules out any mini-budget in near future

Dawn (Sep 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Amid criticism from both government and opposition members of the National Assembly over price hike and other monetary and fiscal policies, the government on Wednesday ruled out any mini-budget in the near future, saying the improvement in revenue collection would be made through technological and administrative measures. This was the crux of a meeting of the National... Read More
 

Govt borrowed only Rs3.44 trillion to finance budget deficit: ministry

The News (Sep 04, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance on Tuesday explained that total debt and liabilities increased by Rs10.33 trillion in the last fiscal year, however, the government has just borrowed Rs3.44 trillion to finance its budget deficit. In a statement issued here on Tuesday night, the Finance Ministry stated that the government has borrowed only Rs3.44 trillion to finance its budget deficit during FY 2018-19... Read More
 

August inflation accelerates to 10.49pc

Pakistan Today (Sep 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based monthly inflation grew by 10.49pc in August 2019, as compared to the same month of last year. On a month-on-month basis, the CPI national (with base year 2015-16) for the month of August 2019 increased by 1.64pc over July 2019, Member Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) National Accounts member Dr Bahrawar Jan told the media at a press... Read More
 

Business reforms imperative to boost industrial growth: Dawood

Pakistan Today (Sep 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: By introducing business reforms in the country, the government intends to boost its industrial and commercial potential, said Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, adding that the government remains committed to increasing the volume of exports through tariff rationalisation, improving the inflow of trade-related investment and introducing... Read More
 

Economy in red zone, govt should step down: PML-N

The News (Sep 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Monday that the country's economy is in red zone and the government should resign it is unable to run the country. While criticising government’s Kashmir policy, PML-N has decided to requisition an emergency session of the National Assembly to discuss the vital issue in the House. Addressing a press conference... Read More
 

Yuan’s fall may increase Pakistan’s trade deficit with China

Express Tribune (Sep 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The recent currency devaluation by China, which has brought the yuan-dollar parity to the lowest level since 2008, as part of its efforts to offset the impact of its tariff war with the United States, doesn’t augur well for Pakistan. The yuan’s sharp devaluation means that, all else equal, Pakistan’s exports to China will become less competitive, while imports from China will become... Read More
 

Sindh’s economy - challenges and solutions

Express Tribune (Sep 02, 2019)
NORTHAMPTON: The field of microeconomic analysis within the broader domain of economics attempts to explain the behaviour of individuals and organisations in a given economy. Taking the same philosophy and projecting it on a country level, regional studies explain the underlying economic and social trends of regions under the wider national fabric. A recent... Read More
 

High interest rate restricts private-sector borrowing

Express Tribune (Sep 01, 2019)
LAHORE: The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) has urged the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to review its policies and facilitate the private sector because credit offtake fell to Rs607.5 billion in fiscal year 2018-19 against Rs618.2 billion in the previous fiscal year owing to interest rate hike. The key interest rate has been increased from 6.5% to 13.25% in just one year... Read More
 

High interest rate restricts private-sector borrowing

Express Tribune (Sep 01, 2019)
LAHORE: The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) has urged the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to review its policies and facilitate the private sector because credit offtake fell to Rs607.5 billion in fiscal year 2018-19 against Rs618.2 billion in the previous fiscal year owing to interest rate hike. The key interest rate has been increased from 6.5% to 13.25% in just one year... Read More
 

FATF sets new targets for Pakistan

The Pakistan Today (Aug 31, 2019)
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has set new targets for Pakistan in which terror financing, as well as the sale of jewellery and prize bonds, would be monitored. As reported by a private media outlet, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Counter Terrorism... Read More
 

Economy now capable of absorbing shocks: SBP chief

The Express Tribune (Aug 31, 2019)
KARACHI : Pakistan has achieved the most crucial milestone of economic stability. Improvement in foreign currency reserves, achieved through structural reforms under the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan programme, has helped create a buffer for absorbing internal and external financial shocks, says the central bank chief. “The State Bank’s policy and our outlook ...Read More
 

FBR to witness another month of alarming shortfall in revenue

Pakistan Today (Aug 30, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is going to witness another month of major shortfall, as the board only managed to collect around Rs241 billion so far in August 2019, against the monthly target of Rs357.3 billion. Keeping in view the track record of revenue collection in the first 29 days of August, the FBR may collect around Rs260 billion by the end of the month, a shortfall of around Rs97... Read More
 

Record budget deficit shows PM’s failure: PPP

The News (Aug 30, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Thursday said that the record budget deficit shows the inability of the prime minister and his team to run the country. How this selected government will overcome the budget deficit of Rs3000 billion,” asked Secretary Information PPP Parliamentarians Dr Nafeesa Shah while reacting to the finance report by Ministry of Finance. Dr ... Read More
 

Revised macroeconomic data

The Business Recorder (Aug 29, 2019)
Consolidated Budgetary Operation (CBO) statement for 2018-19 released by the Ministry of Finance is extremely disturbing as macroeconomic data (finalised) is markedly divergent from what was presented in the budget documents for the current fiscal year - data that was critical to enabling the Pakistan economic team led by Dr Hafeez Sheikh, Advisor to the... Read More
 

Provinces help in keeping budget deficit below 9pc of GDP

The News (Aug 29, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s budget deficit would have definitely crossed 9 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the fiscal year 2018-19 if the provinces had failed to generate revenue surplus of Rs138.87 billion. With highest ever budget deficit of Rs3,444 billion or 8.9 percent of GDP under first year rule of PTI, Pakistan’s primary deficit also climbed to 3.6 percent of GDP for... Read More
 

The ballooning deficit

Pakistan Today (Aug 28, 2019)
The 2018-2019 budget deficit was out of control. The figures are almost too wild to be true, but since they are contained in the Finance Ministry’s own Budget Operations Statement, they have to be believed. Not only was the budget deficit for 2018-2018 the highest on record, but in terms of percentage of the GDP, at 8.9 percent the highest in at least 40 years. This has happened even though development spending was... Read More
 

Pakistan's budget deficit widens to 8.9% of GDP in 2018/19

Reuters (Aug 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan’s budget deficit widened to 8.9% of gross domestic product in the financial year that ended in June, according to data on Tuesday that underlines the severe economic crisis facing the country. The deficit size compared with a 7.1% estimate Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government gave in June and with 6.6% during the year that ended in June 2018... Read More
 

PTI govt books highest-ever budget deficit of Rs3.45tr

Express Tribune (Aug 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In the first year of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, public finances deteriorated further with budget deficit rising to a record Rs3.45 trillion or 8.9% of the size of national economy because of its sheer failure to enhance revenues and control expenditures. Official figures released by the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday confirmed that the PTI government exceeded its budget deficit... Read More
 

Textile industry on the edge

Express Tribune (Aug 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the White House late last month had been the focal point for all the print, electronic and social media. However, unlike meetings held in tenures of previous governments, this one was not about financial aid, fighter jets, weapons or any other form of financial assistance, rather it brought good news and provided some relief at a time when economic... Read More
 

A wicked trade-off between development and reforms

Express Tribune (Aug 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The first-year of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is over, but is the crisis over also? Let’s look at the claims of both critics and admirers of the PTI administration. The critics cite economic downturn, high inflation, high-interest rate, high unemployment, low level of exports, higher debt and now deceleration in large-scale industrial growth as main indicators...Read More
 

Pakistan govt bans creation of new jobs, purchase of vehicles to fight rising budget deficit

India Today (Aug 25, 2019)
Islamabad, Aug 25 (IANS) Pakistan's Imran Khan government has banned the creation of new posts, purchase of all vehicles, rationalised utilities spending, provision of one newspaper and decided to keep other expenditures at the bare minimum under its austerity drive for the current fiscal year, said media reports. According to media reports, the increasing budget deficit is a major concern... Read More
 

If IMF target not met, govt to move mini-budget or cut development budget

The News (Aug 25, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In the wake of rapidly worsening fiscal position and for fulfilling the IMF condition on primary deficit, the government is left with no other options but to make policy choices either to go for mini budget or slash down development budget. Top official sources said that the policy choices will have to be made in first half of the current fiscal year as the IMF mission was expected to visit Islamabad... Read More
 

Pakistan fast gaining access to markets of developed nations

Express Tribune (Aug 24, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan is fast strengthening trade ties and getting access to markets of several developed countries around the globe in an attempt to increase exports, which is a must to do away with the pressure on the rupee, build foreign currency reserves and steer the country out of the financial crisis. “We have got increased market access to China, Europa... Read More

PM for preparing roadmap to revive economy

The News (Aug 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of plunging into severe slowdown, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed his economic team to prepare a roadmap for revival of national economy aligned with IMF conditions to kickstart sluggish economic activities. The independent economists are expressing their apprehensions that Pakistan is moving towards stagflation where the stabilisation programme under tight nose of IMF scrutiny will... Read More

Pakistan gets $440m worth of fresh loans in July

Express Tribune (Aug 23, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan received $440 million in fresh loans last month amid a gradual shift in the financing source from China to multilateral creditors due to completion of many China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. The borrowing of $440 million in July 2019 included $173.3 million in commercial loans from Dubai Bank and a consortium of... Read More

Different challenges for Pakistan economy

The Nation (Aug 23, 2019)
Pakistan has been facing different challenges regarding its economy. The economic situation of Pakistan is very critical and people are looking towards the solution of these challenges. Pakistan has different opportunities which can help it to solve its economic problem. But without tackling long term challenges and problems decisively, the country will no longer be able to take advantages... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 47 August 22, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Foreign investment down 22pc

Dawn (Aug 22, 2019)
KARACHI: The total foreign investment plunge d by 22 per cent in the first month of this fiscal year, reported the latest data from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday. The total investment fell to $107.2 million during July, lower by 21.64pc over $136.8m recorded in same month of the previous year. This could possibly be a worrying sign for the government which has been met ... Read More
 

Another hurdle crossed as FATF meetings loom

Dawn (Aug 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Asia-Pacific Group a regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-hasadopted Pakistan`s third Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) on strengthening of anti-money laundering and countering financing terrorism (AML/ CFT) safeguards and is expected to mal(e public its assessment shortly. The Ministry of Finance on Wednesday said the 22nd Annual ... Read More
 

Economic front of Pakistan (PTI’s one year)

The Daily Times (Aug 21, 2019)
A Year is lapsed for PTI that came into power first time with rhetoric to make a new Pakistan by brining corruption free good governance. If one may execute a quantitative analysis, economic indicators may be assumed as a tool of performance together with recovery figures through accountability and broadening of Tax Net. Good news is that the Current Account... Read More
 

Pakistan current account deficit shrinks massive 73% in July

The Express Tribune (Aug 21, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan’s current account deficit narrowed a significant 73% to $579 million in July, the first month of the current fiscal year, following the government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on implementing tough measures for a bailout of $6 billion. The current account deficit stood at $2.13 billion in the same month of last year, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported... Read More
 

Global economic slowdown set to hit Pakistan’s exports

The Gulf Times (Aug 20, 2019)
Internews Karachi: Troubled Pakistan’s economy is feared to face a shockwave as most global economic data harbouring an undercurrent recession shows it could hurt the country’s export sector and impede remittance inflows, analysts and economists said. But, some of them also find rescuer to feeble external account position in downward trend in oil prices. Former finance ... Read More
 

Aid cut improved ties with Pakistan: Trump

The Dawn (Aug 20, 2019)
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has said his country’s ties with Pakistan have improved since he cut $1.3 billion in security assistance to Islamabad, rejecting the suggestion that aid is an effective foreign policy tool. Talking to reporters at his golf resort in New Jersey on Sunday evening, the US leader also recalled his July 22 meeting with Prime Minister Imran... Read More
 

Govt. will announce Rs.900 billion development budget for the next year: Special Assistant to PM

The Techjuice.pk.com (Aug 19, 2019)
Special Assistant to the PM on Political Affairs Naeemul Haq while expressing his view on the government’s first-year performance report said that the government will announce Rs. 900 billion development budget for the next year against Rs. 500 billion of the current year. PTI govt while presenting the report claimed that the country had been put on the right track and people would start getting... Read More
 

A year in economy

The News (Aug 19, 2019)
One year ago, there was great hope when the PTI took power. Despite some very familiar faces splattered across the party, Pakistan was getting a brand new prime minister and finance minister. Imran Khan and Asad Umar took over the difficult task of steering Pakistan’s economy on August 18, 2018. On April 18, 2019, only seven months in, Asad Umar was gone. For half a decade, the PTI had insisted... Read More
 

Of 19 budgets since 2000, only five were deficit

The Express Tribune (Aug 18, 2019)
PESHAWAR: The budget outlay of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has shown that out of 19 years of provincial budgets, five budgets have been listed deficits, while 14 of them have been found to be surplus budgets in the ongoing years, starting from the year 2000. The documents released from the federal finance ministry related to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s budgets since the beginning... Read More
 

Pakistani premier’s first year: economic hit and miss

The Dawn (Aug 18, 2019)
Mohammad Tariq was one of the millions of Pakistanis who voted in the July 2018 elections for first-time Prime Minister Imran Khan and his campaign to build a corruption-free Islamic welfare state, better employment and civic amenities. But for Tariq, things have even gone from bad to worse during the first year of Prime Minister Imran's government. Unlike his predecessor... Read More
 

FBR constitutes committee to finalise tax regime for traders

The Express Tribune (Aug 17, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Friday constituted a committee to finalise a new income tax regime for traders, as the government and the traders remain poles apart over the key issue of disclosing their identity for trading purposes. The 15-member committee has been directed to finalise a “fixed tax scheme for small traders/shopkeepers and simplified... Read More
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves rise 6.93% to $8.26b

The Express Tribune (Aug 17, 2019)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 6.93% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Saturday. 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 assistance from the United Arab Emirates...Read More
 

Indonesia president proposes $178bn budget for 2020 with focus on education

Pakistan Today (Aug 16, 2019)
JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Friday proposed a 2,528.8 trillion rupiah ($177.56 billion) budget to parliament for 2020, focusing spending on human resources, which was central in his re-election campaign. The 2020 budget proposals set a target of 5.3pc growth in gross domestic product (GDP), the same as this year’s, although officials have often said 2019 growth would probably... Read More
 

US Aid to Pakistan reduced by $440 million

The Global Village Space (Aug 16, 2019)
News Desk |The United States has made further reductions in the aid delivered to Pakistan, reducing it by $440 million as per the commitments made under the Kerry Lugar Berman Act. The current aid is $4.1 billion, which is slightly more than half of the total amount that was promised to Islamabad in 2010. The aid was allocated to Pakistan under the Kerry Lugar Berman Act in 2009, and the... Read More
 

Pakistan’s economic situation is changing: Reza Baqir

The Pakistan Today (Aug 15, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan’s economy is facing with a number of problems and uncertainty but the situation is changing, said State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Reza Baqir on Wednesday while addressing the flag hoisting ceremony held at the State Bank Building to celebrate the country’s 73rd Independence Day. Baqir admitted that the economy is weak, unemployment is rising and inflation is... Read More
 

De-notify Debt Inquiry Commission immediately

The Express Tribune (Aug 14, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: According to a news story, the Debt Inquiry Commission has questioned the Ministry of Privatisation and the Ministry of Energy over the closure of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and the decision to privatise liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fired power plants. Haveli Bahadur Shah and Balloki power plants, which were based on LNG, were set up during the tenure of previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz... Read More
 

IMF conditionality: government repays Rs 1.3 trillion to SBP

The Business Recorder (Aug 14, 2019)
The federal government has repaid some Rs 1.3 trillion to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in the first month of this fiscal year (FY19) to meet the International Monetary Fund (IMF) condition. While, obtaining a 36-month $6 billion bailout package, Pakistan has agreed with the IMF that financing from SBP for budget deficit will be eliminated to support the new monetary policy framework as the Fund... Read More
 

A $1 trillion US budget deficit is one big reason the Fed may have to cut rates

The CNBC News (Aug 13, 2019)
If low inflation, a wobbly economy and tariff jitters weren’t enough to push the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, there’s also the simple reason of the swelling national debt. The recent debt deal struck between the White House and Congress virtually guarantees trillion-dollar deficits well into the future as well as continued acceleration of the government’s collective IOU, which is now... Read More
 

Govt converts short-term debt into long term bonds

The Express Tribune (Aug 11, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has restructured its short-term domestic debt by quietly issuing long-term Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) to the central bank, dramatically increasing the share of long-term debt to Rs15.3 trillion or 74% of the total domestic debt. The conversion of federal government’s short-term borrowings from the central bank into... Read More
 

Pakistan receives $500 million as ADB bets on economic recovery

The News (Aug 11, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan has received $500 million in loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as the policy-based lending from the lender resumed after having remained suspended for two years due to ‘extremely high macroeconomic imbalances’, a minister said on Saturday. Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar said the first tranche of $500 million has been received from the ADB. Manila-based... Read More
 

Overseas Pakistanis send home $2.03 billion in July

The Express Tribune (Aug 10, 2019)
KARACHI: In line with market expectations, Pakistan received higher remittance inflows worth $2.03 billion from overseas Pakistanis in the first month – July – of the current fiscal year 2019-20 ahead of Eidul Azha. The inflows were almost 3% higher than the $1.98 billion received in the same month last year. July was also followed by Eidul Azha in the preceding year...Read More
 

Public debt skyrockets to Rs 31.8tr in FY19

The Express Tribune (Aug 10, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In a dangerous development, the federal government added Rs7.6 trillion to public debt in the last fiscal year, which skyrocketed to Rs31.8 trillion by the end of June and it was equal to 71% of the total debt that the PML-N government had taken in its five-year term. The addition to public debt in the previous fiscal year was also more than the total public debt that the... Read More
 

Pakistan suspends trade ties with India. Who gains, who loses from Imran Khan’s move

The India Today (Aug 09, 2019)
NEW DELHI: Relations between India and Pakistan worsened on Wednesday when Pakistan decided to downgrade diplomatic ties with India, recall its high commissioner from New Delhi, expel the Indian envoy to Islamabad and suspend bilateral trade. These decisions were taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in... Read More
 

IMF package to bring economic stability

The Nation (Aug 09, 2019)
PESHAWAR - Resident representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pakistan Office, Ms Maria Teresa Daban Sanchez has made it clear that the harsh budgetary measures taken by the government of Pakistan in the recent budget are not part of the IMF fresh financial bailout package. While speaking in a meeting here at Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Ms ... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 46 August 08, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Govt to return $10bn foreign debt during current fiscal year: Hammad Azhar

The Nation (Aug 08, 2019)
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar informed the National Assembly on Thursday that the government would return over $10 billion foreign debt during the current fiscal year۔ Replying to various supplementary questions during question hour, Hammad Azhar said the incumbent government returned US $ 8.39 billion foreign debt... Read More
 

ADB approves &500m loan for budgetary support

Express Tribune (Aug 08, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday approved a $500-million loan for budgetary support to Pakistan, restoring policy-based lending after keeping it suspended for over two years due to deterioration in macroeconomic conditions. The ADB board of directors approved the $500 million in budgetary support under the $800-million... Read More
 

‘Exports surge 14.2pc, imports drop 18.3pc in July’

Pakistan Today (Aug 07, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said on Wednesday that Pakistan’s exports had increased by 14.23pc in July this year, as compared to the same month of last year. In term of dollars, the country’s exports increased from $1.63 billion in July 2018 to $1.87 billion in July 2019, the adviser informed while addressing a press conference at the ... Read More
 

Budget 2019: A step towards a future-fit India

The Fortune India (Aug 07, 2019)
Union Budget 2019 clearly underscores the theme of enablement, ease of living, and ease of doing business. Directed at enabling the world’s largest democracy to be fit for the future, institutional reforms and green technology-led growth are its underlying essence. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has driven home the point that to be a $5-trillion economy in the next five years, proactive actioning of her pithy phrases... Read More
 

US delegation lauds Pakistan’s economic reforms agenda

Pakistan Today (Aug 06, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: A US delegation, led by its Ambassador in Pakistan Alice G Wells, called on Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh at the Finance Division on Tuesday. Hafeez Shaikh briefed the visiting delegation on measures pertaining to economic reforms being undertaken by the government, saying that recent steps would ensure economic... Read More
 

IMF’s $6bn EFF program meant for economic reform, growth in Pakistan: Resident Representative IMF

Business Recorder (Aug 06, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Resident Representative, International Monitory Fund (IMF), Pakistan Office, Ms Maria Teresa Daban Sanchez on Monday said $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program for Pakistan intend to support the economic reform program and sustainable economic growth of the country. The goals of the IMF package in the medium term is debt sustainability... Read More
 

Import of agricultural machinery surges 8.73pc in FY19

Pakistan Today (Aug 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The import of agricultural machinery into the country during the financial year 2018-19 witnessed an increase of 8.73pc, as compared the corresponding period of last year. According to the data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, agriculture machinery worth $135.312 million was imported during the period from July-June 2018-19, as compared the import... Read More
 

Better than Egypt, Pakistan still has bumpy road ahead

Express Tribune (Aug 05, 2019)
LAHORE: Pakistan has a long history of signing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programmes to address its balance of payments crisis and structural economic imbalances. There is much talk about imitating the IMF recipe practised in Egypt recently to address Pakistan’s lingering balance of payments challenge and other structural adjustment issues. So, there is a need to compare and analyse ... Read More
 

Pakistan to get 13 million euros from European Union

Express Tribune (Aug 04, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to initiate a five-year programme 2019-2024 in cooperation with the European Union to ensure rule of law in the country along with good governance, reforms in human rights department and decrease in poverty with a cost of 13 million euros. The draft between Pakistan and European... Read More
 

IMF may ask govt to bring mini budget if FBR shortfall widens

The Nation (Aug 04, 2019)
ISLAMABAD The International Monetary Fund (IMF) may ask Pakistan to bring mini budget if tax collection shortfall widens in next couple of months. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had already faced Rs14 billion shortfall in tax collection during first month (July) of the current fiscal year. The FBR had collected Rs277 billion in July 2019 as against the target of Rs291 billion... Read More
 

Pakistan economy to grow at less than 5pc: ADB

Pakistan Today (Aug 03, 2019)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) in a recent report has said that Pakistan’s economy is expected to grow at a rate below 4 per cent in the year 2019-20. The ADB’s report titled ‘How South Asia can continue as the world’s fastest-growing region’ said that Pakistan was focused on fighting macroeconomic imbalances and domestic demand, rendering it unable to grow at a more substantial rate... Read More
 

Major discrepancies between FBR and SBP in tax receipts

Pakistan Today (Aug 03, 2019)
Major discrepancies ranging between Rs10-24 billion have been found in the tax receipts data reported by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the cash deposited in the treasury. The FBR claimed to have collected Rs280.5 billion in revenues in July, whereas media reports have suggested that the finance ministry has said that the treasury stands Rs10 billion less than this figure at Rs270 billion. Meanwhile...Read More
 

Analysis of one of South Asia’s most fluctuant economies

Pakistan Today (Aug 02, 2019)
At the heart of South Asia lies a sleeping economic giant. A country founded on the basis of religious freedom by an outstanding group of men that put their people and their religion before themselves. A country stacked with economic potential, from the coast of Karachi to the peaks of Swat. However, despite being rich in natural resources, and having potentially one of the most strategic... Read More
 

July Inflation reaches 10.34pc, highest in last six years

The Nation (Aug 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s inflation rate has touched double digit figure of 10.34 percent in July 2019, which is highest in last six years, mainly due to the economic policies of the incumbent government including rupee devaluation and increase in energy costs. Inflation rate has recorded at 10.34 percent in July 2019, which was only 5.8 percent in the same month of the previous year, according to... Read More
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves jump 2.04% to 7.8b

The Express Tribune (Aug 01, 2019)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 2.04% 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 assistance from the United... Read More
 

IFC may boost investments in Pakistan to support economy

The News by Mehtab Haidar (Aug 01, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The World Bank’s private- sector lending arm said on Wednesday it could increase its investments in Pakistan to revive the country’s struggling economy. “The IFC (International Finance Corporation) is looking into the possibility of increasing annual investment for Pakistan to support the country’s economy,” a government statement quoted Hans... Read More
 

US hints at greater economic engagement with Pakistan

The News by Anwar Iqbal (July 31, 2019)
WASHINGTON: The United States and Pakistan can further enhance bilateral trade if strategic ties between the two countries continue to improve, said a White House factsheet released on Tuesday. The factsheet “Working toward Peace and Stability: Building Economic Prosperity” notes that the United States and Pakistan enjoy a strong economic partnership that benefits both countries... Read More
 

FBR expands its web to non-resident Pakistanis

The Express Tribune (July 31, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has reduced the stay period of Pakistanis for tax collection purposes with effect from 2015, which may result in litigation as independent legal experts argue that substantive changes in law can only be made prospectively. The FBR on Tuesday issued a circular aimed at explaining important amendments to the Income Tax Ordinance Read More
 

The last IMF-programme

The Pakistan Today by Usman Masud (July 30, 2019)
Turn a few pages in the history of the economy of Pakistan and you will see a vicious pattern. The outgoing government hands over an economy that is plagued by all kinds of meltdown– fiscal, financial, external, and real. Faced with such a dire situation, the new government’s most immediate priority becomes rescuing the economy. With debt payments around the corner... Read More
 

Budget 2019-20 resembles historic financial plans

The APP (July 30, 2019)
ISLAMABAD, Jul 30 (APP):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 challenging economic situation. The financial crunch has left the country’s economy burdened with increased debts, decelerated growth rate, fiscal and current account deficits and shortfall... Read More
 

US economy slows in second quarter; weak business investment a red flag

The Business Recorder (July 29, 2019)
Washington: U.S. economic growth slowed less than expected in the second quarter as a surge in consumer spending blunted some of the drag from declining exports and a smaller inventory build, which could further allay concerns about the economy’s health. But the fairly upbeat report from the Commerce Department on had some red flags for the 10-year-old economic expansion, the longest...Read More
 

Govt plans to cut down circular debt to Rs225b by Dec

The Nation (July 29, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - The incumbent government has embarked on an ambitious programme to cut down circular debt to Rs 225 billion by December. The sources told APP here that the circular debt escalated to Rs 450 billion in just one year due to delay in tariff determination, absence of proper plan to stop power pilferage and power supply to high losses feeders. However, the government since its inception... Read More
 

FBR introduces strict law against smuggling

The Express Tribune (July 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued directives for the implementation of law to curb smuggling and imposition of heavy fine and imprisonment of up to seven years on traders involved in misuse of Afghan Transit Trade. A senior officer of FBR, while speaking to The Express Tribune said that a new clause 63(i) has been included in section 156 part B of Customs Act 1969, therefore,... Read More
 

Second CPEC phase to boost industrial cooperation

The Express Tribune (July 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is very important for Pakistan as it will give a boost to industrial cooperation and give birth to Special Economic Zones (SEZs), remarked Sichuan University Deputy Dean International Studies Professor Dr Song Zhihui. Speaking at the ICCI, Song stressed that the setting up of SEZs would in turn create new opportunities ... Read More
 

PM chose IMF deal despite alternate solution: Asad Umar

The Pakistan Today (July 27, 2019)
Asad Umar has revealed that Prime Minister Imran Khan was provided with an alternative solution to deal with the country’s financial crunch instead of opting for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package, a private media outlet reported on Saturday. “In March, I went to the prime minister and showed him the numbers. I told him that going to the... Read More
 
  

Pakistan lacks system for recording, reporting debt

The Express Tribune (July 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan lacks a consolidated system for recording and reporting its debt and there is also no mechanism to regulate public assets that results in discrepancies and non-reconciliation of hundreds of billions of rupees worth of funds. The final draft report of the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Assessment (PEFA) 2019 of the World... Read More
 

IMF Board Members appreciate Pakistan’s resolve to stabilize, revive economy

The News (July 26, 2019)
WASHINGTON: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Reza Baqir had an interactive session with the Executive Directors of the IMF from G-7 countries (i.e. United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Italy, Japan and Germany), China, Russia and Switzerland, in their recent visit to.... Read More
 

Pakistan’s budget has lost credibility: World Bank

The Express Tribune (July 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s budget has further lost its credibility and the public finance management system has also deteriorated, according to a draft report of the World Bank that has downgraded the country’s ranking on almost all 31 fiscal management-related indicators. The Washington-based lender shared the final draft of the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability... Read More
 
 
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 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 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 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 ...