Issue 41

Budget Study Centre   Issue 41
May 30, 2019


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