Issue 51

Budget Study Centre   Issue 51
Oct 17, 2019


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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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