Issue 66

Budget Study Centre   Issue 66
May 14, 2020


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

Lockdown damaged economy severely, says PM

The Pakistan Today (May 14, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said the countrywide lockdown was only a stopgap measure to contain the coronavirus which has so far claimed over 780 lives in Pakistan. Chairing a meeting of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) chief ministers via video link to review coronavirus situation, the PM said the coronavirus lockdown damaged the economy severely… Read More

Hafeez Shaikh expects 2pc GDP growth in the next fiscal year

The Pakistan Today (May 14, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: With current projections of -1.5 GDP growth rate owing to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s economy would turn around to witness 2pc growth in upcoming fiscal year (2020-21), Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Thursday. Participating in a webinar on “Pakistan Economy: Post… Read More

Experts call for further curbs on tobacco industry

The Pakistan Today (May 13, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The government should continue its tobacco taxation policy and enhance federal excise duty (FED) on cigarettes, as approximately 16pc of cigarettes smoked in Pakistan are illicit and big tobacco companies are allegedly involved in the promotion of such malpractices. These revelations were made during an online dialogue on ‘Illicit trade of tobacco in Pakistan and who is… Read More

PPP wants the budget to focus on coronavirus

The Pakistan Today (May 13, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said the government’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year must focus on mitigating the impacts of coronavirus, saying it was the federal government’s responsibility to ensure stability in times of corona. Talking to a media outlet at Parliament House on Wednesday, the PPP chief said that these were not normal times and… Read More

WB, ADB to provide $4 billion in budget, balance of payment support

The Nation (May 13, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) would jointly provide about $4 billion in budget and balance of payment support to Pakistan over the next 18 months to address the immedi­ate impacts of COVID-19, mitigate socio-economic disruption and support reforms. In addition, both the banks would continue to work with the govern­ment to accelerate or repurpose… Read More

For the economy revival, budget proposals by stakeholders to be given due consideration

The Nation (May 28, 2020)

ISLAMABAD-Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said that the budget proposals, forwarded by different stakeholders, would be given due consideration by the Tariff Policy Board (TPB) so that economy of Pakistan could be revitalized at this difficult juncture. He was chairing the 8th meeting of the TPB, held on Monday in the Committee Room of the Ministry of… Read More

Annual health budget won’t be enough to fight pandemic: Bilawal

Samaa TV (May 11, 2020)

Pakistan Peoples Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari says the one year health budget of every province won’t be enough to fight this pandemic. He was giving a speech in the National Assembly on Monday. “All provinces are trying but we think the federal government should have stood beside us in this national emergency. It should have been treated as a war-like situation,” said Bilawal… Read More

Budget 2020: Paradigm shift needed

The Daily Times by Ikramul Haq (May 11, 2020)

Budget 2020 is in the making amidst very difficult times when we are faced with economic meltdown due to Covid-19 outbreak and extreme hardships by weaker segments of society. The traditional approach adopted for decades in Pakistan for balancing the books, levying more taxes, containing fiscal deficit and other number games will have to be given up in totality under the prevalent exceptional… Read More

Govt likely to unveil tax-free budget for 2020-21

The Dawn (May 10, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has drafted tax proposals for Budget 2020-21 mainly focusing on “simplification of laws and removing tax anomalies,” Dawn has learnt from knowledgeable sources. Unconfirmed reports are that the government is likely to announce a ‘tax-free budget’, an official in the FBR told Dawn, adding a final decision will be taken after consulting with the… Read More

Health system to be upgraded in upcoming fiscal budget: Jhagra

The Pakistan Today (May 09, 2020)

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Minister for Health and Finance, Taimur Saleem Jhagra has said that the provincial health system would be upgraded to deal with coronavirus, dengue, and polio by allocating a huge amount for the health sector in the upcoming fiscal budget. Talking to media and doctors at Civil Secretariat here on Saturday, Jhagra said the government… Read More

Govt to present annual budget on June 5

The Pakistan Today (May 09, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to present the budget for fiscal year 2020-21 on June 5, it was learnt on Friday. According to sources, the Finance Ministry has recently given a presentation to Prime Minister Imran Khan with regard to the next fiscal year budget, wherein he was informed that the budget would be presented in the first week of June. Sources said the… Read More

Govt urged to reduce income tax by 50pc in budget

The Pakistan Today (May 09, 2020)

LAHORE : The country’s leading tax consultants and economic experts on Saturday urged the government to reduce income tax rate by 50 percent in the case of persons earning up to Rs3 million but should not give income tax relief to the rich in the upcoming federal budget.  Talking to Pakistan Today, leading tax consultant and an economic expert Huzaima Bukhari said that the federal and provincial… Read More

Exclsuive: Pakistan’s Fiscal Deficit to Surge, Tax Revenue to Miss Target This Year – finance Chief

The New York Times (May 08, 2020)

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s fiscal deficit will surge to 9% in the ongoing fiscal year, the country’s de facto finance minister said on Friday, as its economy reels from the fallout of the coronavirus crisis. Pakistan, which has reported 26,435 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 599 deaths, has announced it will start lifting a countrywide lockdown from Saturday in a bid to… Read More

FY21 budget: Hafeez Shaikh vows redressal of business community’s woes

The Pakistan Today (May 08, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Friday said the government was actively resolving the liquidity related issues of the business community by clearing all outstanding tax refunds on a fast-track basis. “The government was also taking progressive measures for further ease of doing business and to improve business environment,… Read More

Directive to review revenue generation budget proposals

The News (May 07, 2020)

LAHORE:Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht has instructed the excise and taxation department to review its revenue generation budget proposals and prepare the proposals in consultation with provincial minister for excise and taxation. He said that before covid-19 pandemic the pace of development projects was satisfactory, development expenditures and revenue collection was… Read More

ICCI finalises proposals for budget

The News (May 07, 2020)

Islamabad : Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) said that Chamber in consultation with business community has finalised its budget proposals, which have been sent to the relevant departments and called upon the government to incorporate them in the Federal Budget 2020-21 as their implementation would address the… Read More

Budget deficit reaches Rs1.68tr in nine months

The Pakistan Today (May 06, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s budget deficit during the first nine months (July-March) of the current fiscal year (FY20) was recorded at Rs1,686 billion (3.8pc of the GDP), according to the Federal Fiscal Operation Summary 2019-20, released by the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday. According to the report, during the July-March FY19 period, the country’s expenditures… Read More

Next budget to focus on COVID-19, not austerity

The Nation (May 06, 2020)

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to make suitable increase in the federal budget 2020-21 to mitigate sufferings of government employees because of coronavirus. The Prime Minister has stressed the need for taking measures with wisdom so that economic activity could be generated, but not at the… Read More

Experts say APTMA’s budgetary proposals ‘only to facilitate the rich’

The Pakistan Today (May 05, 2020)

LAHORE: Experts in textile industry and government circles have raised fingers over the budget proposals of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), terming these non-starter and non-productive and calling for a complete study to examine the factors that have made the sector non-productive and uncompetitive. According to a government official, APTMA’s approach… Read More

Govt working on changes in tariff structure for upcoming budget: Dawood

The (May 05, 2020)

ISLAMABAD, May 05 (APP):Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday said the Ministry of Commerce was aggressively working on changes in the tariff structure for the upcoming budget. The tariff structure changes were aimed at facilitating local production thereby moving towards local manufacturing under the ‘Make in Pakistan Policy’, the … Read More

Over Rs99bn spent on Diamer Bhasha dam project so far

The Pakistan Today (May 04, 2020)

A sum of Rs 99.238 billion including Rs 93.9 billion for land acquisition on multi-purpose Diamer Bhasha dam project has already been spent so far. Sources told state-run news agency here that an amount of Rs 61 billion would be spent on the project during the current fiscal year. Giving the breakup, they said Rs 22 billion would be spent of resettlement while remaining Rs 39 billion would be utilised… Read More

Whither the budget deficit

The Business Recorder (May 04, 2020)

There was intense speculation on the government’s ability to meet the budget deficit target of 7.2 percent for the current fiscal year, the same as projected for 2018-19, agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) even before the rampage wrought on the country’s fragile economy by the Coronavirus; today the projection maybe closer to 12 percent as opposed to between… Read More

Govt. is expected to Rationalize Taxes on Telecom Sector in the Coming Budget (2020-2021)

The Phone World (May 03, 2020)

The government is expected to rationalise taxes on telecom sector in the coming budget (2020-2021) and review budget proposals of the Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) to harmonize service sales tax (SST) 19.5 percent and the federal excise duty (FED) 17 percent on telecom services into one lower rate of the SST/FED for all the provinces and the federal capital. In this regard, the Ministry… Read More

China’s military budget will still rise despite coronavirus, experts predict

The (May 03, 2020)

China’s upcoming defence budget will be only slightly hit by the economic downturn that followed the coronavirus outbreak, and a modest increase is still expected as it continues to develop its military capability, analysts said. The government’s military budget is expected to be revealed, as is the norm, at this year’s session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s legislative body. Delayed by… Read More

Exports value to remain at $22bn in FY 2019-20: Razak
The Pakistan Today (May 02, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood has said that the country’s exports target of US $ 25 billion could not be achieved due to the ongoing situation of lockdown in the country and it could decline to more or less to US $ 22 billion. The exports decreased in April by 50 percent and home remittances also declined in this situation, Abdul Razzak Dwaood said… Read More

Pakistan-IMF technical talks underway for finalising blueprint of next budget

The News (May 02, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Technical talks between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are underway for finalising blueprint and salient features of the upcoming budget for 2020-21 in post COVID-19 pandemic situation. Top officials said that the IMF has also linked resumption of Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme with approval of the next budget for 2020-21 in compliance… Read More

Oil price crash and Nigeria’s 2020 budget

The (May 01, 2020)

With more than 70 per cent of Nigeria’s dollar revenue coming from oil export, the crash in its price has raised new challenges for the 2020 budget; In mid-2014, when the price of oil crashed from a high of $114 per barrel to less than $30, the Nigerian economy was left in tatters. Then there was strident calls by all and sundry for the government to diversify the economy moving away from over reliance… Read More

Pakistan’s economy may grow, but ‘policy shift required’ for new fiscal

The Express Tribune (May 01, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s economic growth momentum may still remain positive but from the new fiscal year, the country needs a major shift in monetary and fiscal policies to offset the adverse impact of coronavirus (Covid-19), the Planning Commission advised a top legal body on Thursday. “The public sector spending should be used as a tool to stimulate economic growth and spurt consumer spending but the finance… Read More