Issue 62

Budget Study Centre   Issue 62
March 20, 2020


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

Federal govt releases Rs 12.13bn for CPEC projects under PSDP 2019-20

The Nation (Mar 20, 2020)

The government has so far released development funds of over Rs 12.13 billion for various development projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20. According to latest data issued by the ministry of Planning on Thursday, the government had allocated Rs 18 billion for around 20 projects of CPEC for the year 2019-20… Read More

Missing points in budget strategy paper

The Business Recorder (Mar 20, 2020)

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan waxed eloquent as usual about the finance ministry’s many achievements as she explained its Budget Strategy Paper for 2020, duly approved by cabinet, to the press, yet there was precious little about new measures to meet growth and revenue challenges over the rest of the year. The Paper… Read More

Moody’s expects high indebtedness, fund paucity to hurt Pakistan’s economy

The News (Mar 19, 2020)

KARACHI: Rating agency Moody’s on Wednesday painted a gloomy picture for struggling Pakistan’s economy amid coronavirus spread, saying high debt burden and weaker fiscal balances would hamstring the country’s ability to combat the pandemic. Moody’s Investors Service said Pakistani government might be “constrained by already high indebtedness… Read More

Rs7.6tr budget outlay set for next fiscal year 2020-21

The Pakistan Today (Mar 18, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Overall Rs7.6 trillion federal budgetary outlay has been set for next fiscal year 2020-21 as the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) approved Budget Strategy Paper 2020-21, local media reported. The PTI government will present its third federal budget in June. The federal cabinet approved the strategy paper the other day in which… Read More

Budget strategy paper approved by cabinet

The Business Recorder (Mar 18, 2020)

The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, on Tuesday said that the cabinet had approved budget strategy paper for the financial year 2020. Briefing the media regarding the Federal Cabinet meeting, she said the Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, while giving a briefing on the budget strategy paper,… Read More

SBP’s rate cut will not help improve country’s economy: Hafeez Pasha

The Pakistan Today (Mar 18, 2020)

Former Federal Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Pasha has said the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has not cut the policy rate keeping in view the country’s actual economic situation and the coronavirus crisis. He said it appeared that the central bank’s focus to improve poor economic outlook of the country was even below satisfactory, as its recent projection of 3 per cent annual growth was beyond reality… Read More

Major relief from IMF: Coronavirus expenses not to be part of budget deficit

The News (Mar 17, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Monday said the IMF had agreed to not include the expenditures incurred on combating coronavirus as part of budget deficit for the current fiscal year 2019-20. Talking to reporters outside the Q-Block (Finance Ministry) at the Pak Secretariat, Dr Shaikh said Pakistan was able to get a major relief … Read More

ECNEC approves six projects worth over Rs100bn

The Pakistan Today (Mar 16, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Monday accorded approval to more than Rs100-billion worth six development projects, including Winder Dam and Kachhi Canal. The approvals came at a meeting chaired by Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh at the Cabinet Division. The Winder Dam project, which is to … Read More

ICCI expects business friendly budget

The News (Mar 16, 2020)

Islamabad: President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Muhammad Ahmed Waheed has expressed the hope that upcoming budget for the fiscal year (2020-21) would be business-friendly, aiming at promoting conducive business and investment environment. In an interview with this agency, the ICCI President said that low cost of inputs and compatible… Read More

Door left ajar for IMF-Islamabad agreement

The Express Tribune (Feb 15, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: In a first serious challenge to keep the $6 billion extended fund facility on track, Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund on Friday could not reach a staff-level agreement on contentious issues but kept the doors open for the possibility of attaining one in coming days. The issues that stopped both the parties from reaching an agreement include the need for a mini-budget… Read More

Govt borrowing: State Bank of Pakistan claims contradict actual numbers

The Express Tribune (Mar 15, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has told the Monetary Policy Committee that the federal government prefers shorter term borrowings to finance its budget deficit – a claim that appears contrary to the facts. The central bank’s claim bring into question credibility of the data that is used by the MPC for making the most critical decision about the country’s monetary policy… Read More

Foreign outflow from debt market crosses $1b

The Express Tribune (Mar 14, 2020)

KARACHI: The outflow of foreign investment from rupee-based government debt securities has crossed the $1 billion mark as some investors have pulled out in panic by selling immature bonds and T-bills to go for safety in a melting global economy. Most of the divestment was recorded in the past one month “A partial recovery of the rupee against the US dollar in inter-bank and open… Read More

Rabbani calls for fianlisation of NFC Award before budget

The News (Mar 13, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Former chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani on Thursday demanded of the government to finalise the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award before the presentation of the Annual Federal budget. “The briefing of the Finance Ministry to the Standing Committee of Finance of the National Assembly was a page out of IMF conditionalities, which this government… Read More

FD assures Sectt employees of pay raise in next budget

The Business Recorder (Mar 13, 2020)

LAHORE: Regretting ‘unfair’ treatment of religious schools by the government, Jamaat-i-Islami Emir Senator Sirajul Haq has demanded allocation of educational funds for them in the annual budget. Speaking to students of Darul Uloom Mansoora here on Thursday, he said the rulers were bent upon taking full control of religious schools on the alleged dictation of the IMF and western powers. To achieve the … Read More

PSDP spending to remain 14% less than budget

The Express Tribune (Mar 12, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) spending will remain around Rs600 billion – 14% less than the budget – and there was no room for increasing salaries of the government employees before budget, the top mandarin of finance ministry briefed a parliamentary panel on Wednesday. It will be the second consecutive year when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) … Read More

Mid-term budget review report

The Business Recorder (Mar 12, 2020)

The government’s mid-year review report tabled before the National Assembly was dated as it contained data only for the first six months of the year while data for major macroeconomic indicators for the first eight months of the year is available on different websites including the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, State Bank of Pakistan, Commerce Ministry, Federal Board of Revenue, Power Division whose … Read More

KP development projects in a limbo due to shortage of funds

The Pakistan Today (Mar 11, 2020)

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) Home Affairs Department could not initiate work on some of the key projects of its annual development programme due to the unavailability of funds that were supposed to be provided by international agencies. According to documents of KP Finance Department, the department did not release even a single rupee from… Read More

Senate body rejects to approve “The Tax Laws (Amendment) Bills 2019” as money bill

The Nation (Mar 11, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Tuesday has rejected to approve “The Tax Laws (Amendment) Bills 2019” as a money bill. The committee, which was chaired by Senator Farooq Hamid Naek, has discussed “The Tax Laws (Amendment) Bills 2019” in detail. Chairman committee inquired whether the said Bill deemed to be money Bill as provided in… Read More

‘PTI to impose extra Rs900b taxes next year’

The Express Tribune (Mar 10, 2020)

LAHORE: Former finance minister Dr Hafiz Pasha has said that the government will impose more taxes worth Rs900 billion in the upcoming budget under an ongoing deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “The government has assured the IMF that it will impose Rs700 billion in additional taxes in the first year, Rs 900 billion in the second year and Rs1,200 billion in the … Read More

Govt negotiating ‘mini budget’ with IMF: Rabbani

The News (Feb 11, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Former chairman Senate Senator Mian Raza Rabbani on Monday said that a ‘mini budget’, being negotiated during talks with IMF, would eventually lead to anarchy. Reacting to media reports, Rabbani said the government was trying to renegotiate downward the collection targets that form a part of IMF agreement, which was signed behind… Read More

FDI surges to $404.1m in power sector in Jul-Jan FY20

The Express Tribune (Mar 09, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has witnessed a sizeable growth in fresh foreign direct investment (FDI) in projects related to power production in recent months. The inflow of FDI surged to $404.1 million in first seven months of the current fiscal year (July 2019-Jan 2020), whereas, during the same period last year negative growth was witnessed, according to the data issued by the Board of Investment … Read More

UK to deliver post-Brexit budget under virus cloud

The Pakistan Today (Mar 08, 2020)

LONDON: Britain unveils its first post-Brexit budget on Wednesday and analysts expect Prime Minister Boris Johnson to press ahead with major spending on infrastructure, despite the economic fallout from the coronavirus. Finance minister Rishi Sunak, who will present the budget after his predecessor Sajid Javid resigned unexpectedly last month, is also scheduled to outline … Read More

Punjab Police budget scaling up: Basharat

The Pakistan Observer (Mar 08, 2020)

Law minister Punjab Raja Basharat has said “we cannot go to accountability without improving law and order situation. Talking to media men here in Director General Public Relations (DGPR) Saturday he said Punjab government is bringing reforms in law enforcement agencies. He told the journalists Punjab police have less resources than other countries police … Read More

COVID-19 may wreak havoc on Pakistan’s economy: ADB

The Pakistan Today (Mar 07, 2020)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has predicted that the coronavirus (COVID-19) plague can cause losses to the Pakistan economy to the tune of $16.387 million to $4.95 billion, or 0.01 to 1.57 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on account of agriculture, business and trade, tourism and health. The analysis report titled: ‘The Economic Impact of the COVID-19… Read More

Imran says impossible to develop cities from provincial funds

The Pakistan Today (Mar 07, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said that it was impossible to develop cities from the funds that were provided to provinces. The prime minister was addressing an event in Karachi via video link from the federal capital. PM Imran was scheduled to visit Karachi, but he had to call it off due to bad weather. “Karachi’s development means Pakistan progresses,” said the… Read More

Foreign exchange SBP reserves jump $166m to $12.76b

The Express Tribune (Mar 06, 2020)

KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 1.32% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. On February 28, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $12,757.5 million, up $166 million compared with $12,591.5 million in the previous week. The central bank cited no reason for the increase in… Read More

14 new universities, Punjab to get 35% more share in education budget 2020

The Daily Times (Mar 06, 2020)

The annual government budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 will be announced by the Pakistani government in June 2020. The budget will be presented in session of the National Assembly.14 new universities including 9 from southern Punjab will be established with the increase in education budget for Punjab. Sources revealed that South Punjab will get major chunk of new budget. Almost 60% for new… Read More