Issue 49

Budget Study Centre   Issue 49
Sep 19, 2019


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