Budget Study Centre   Issue 74 Sep 03, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Over Rs538bn added to circular debt in FY20, Senate body told

The Pakistan Today (Sep 03, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The Senate’s Standing Committee on Power was informed on Thursday that with an addition of over Rs538 billion during the last fiscal year (FY20), Pakistan’s total circular debt now stands at Rs2,150 billion. The committee meeting, which was held with Fida Muhammad in the chair, discussed the exact figures of circular debt, transparency in the recruitment... Read More
 

SBP reserves up $71.9m to 12.7bn

The Pakistan Today (Sep 03, 2020)
The central bank’s foreign exchange reserves increased 0.6pc on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. On August 28, the SBP-held foreign currency reserves were recorded at $12,712.7 million, up $71.9 million compared with $12,640.8 million in the previous week. The central bank cited no reason for the rise in reserves. Overall, liquid foreign... Read More
 

UK won't cut foreign aid budget - Dominic Raab

The bbc.com (Sep 02, 2020)
The UK government remains committed to spending 0.7% of national income on foreign aid, Dominic Raab has said. The foreign secretary dismissed as "tittle tattle" reports that the £15bn aid budget could be cut to pay for more defence and intelligence spending. Press reports suggest Chancellor Rishi Sunak will cut aid spending to help pay off rising debts in his Autumn budget... Read More
 

KP finance deptt, SNG hold orientation session on budget

The Pakistan Observer (Sep 02, 2020)
Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Department organized an orientation session for members of the KP Assembly to enhance their understanding of public finance management, budget analysis and key challenges of budget 2020-21. The moot was organized in collaboration with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) funded ... Read More
 

Fiscal deficit up Rs.214bn in 1H as pandemic hurts

The Dailymirror.IK (Aug 31, 2020)
Sri Lanka’s budget deficit for the first six months of 2020 expanded by Rs.214 billion in comparison to the same period in 2019 as the pandemic put a heavy damper on tax incomes as curfews imposed for nearly two months took a heavy toll on incomes of businesses and individuals. The Finance Ministry data recorded a budget deficit of Rs.735.7 billion for the six months compared... Read More
 

Fiscal deficit up Rs.214bn in 1H as pandemic hurts

The Dailymirror.IK (Aug 31, 2020)
Sri Lanka’s budget deficit for the first six months of 2020 expanded by Rs.214 billion in comparison to the same period in 2019 as the pandemic put a heavy damper on tax incomes as curfews imposed for nearly two months took a heavy toll on incomes of businesses and individuals. The Finance Ministry data recorded a budget deficit of Rs.735.7 billion for the six months compared... Read More
 

FBR surpasses July-Aug revenue target by Rs42bn

The Pakistan Today (Aug 31, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: With positive growth in revenue collection, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has surpassed its collection target for the first two months (July and August) of the financial year 2020-21 (FY21), as the board collected Rs593 billion during the period under review against the target of Rs551 billion. According to official data shared by FBR, the revenue collection during the first two months of... Read More
 

County still seeking $500,000 in 2021 budget cuts

The Heraldbulletin.com (Aug 30, 2020)
ANDERSON — The Madison County Council still must reduce the proposed 2021 budget by approximately $550,000. The council on Thursday reduced the requested 2021 budgets to $37,048,000, according to County Auditor Rick Gardner. Gardner said the council voted to remove from the commissioners’ 2021 budget the salary for the county administrator and reduced the funding in... Read More
 

Exchange rate flexibility helps Pakistan in reducing external vulnerability: IIF

The Nation (Aug 29, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The Institute of International Finance has said that the exchange rate flexibility in Pakistan was helping the country to reduce external vulnerability. The Washington-based global association of financial industry IIF, in its report “Pakistan: Commitment to Reform Faces a Test”, said Pakistan’s exchange rate was market-determined and had depreciated by 22pc in real effective terms... Read More
 

Cantonment boards yet to prepare annual budgets

The Dawn (Aug 29, 2020)
RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi and Chaklala cantonment boards have failed to prepare their annual budgets for 2020-21 even two months after the start of the new fiscal year. Moreover, both the cantonments did not hold any board meeting to approve building maps and administrative issues in the last four months. A senior official of the RCB told Dawn that a board meeting could not be held... Read More
 

Pakistan’s economy could grow 1.8 per cent in FY21, says IIF

The Pakistan Today (Aug 28, 2020)
LAHORE: A report released by International Institute of Finance (IIF) on Thursday said Pakistan’s economy could grow by 1.8 per cent in the ongoing fiscal year 2020-21 fueled by some recovery in private consumption. According to IIF, the coronavirus pandemic led to a contraction of 0.7 per cent in output during the last fiscal year 2019-20. It shared domestic demand fell by 2 per cent, whilst... Read More
 

PU Senate approves Rs9.39bn budget

The Dawn (Aug 28, 2020)
LAHORE: The Punjab University Senate on Thursday approved recommendation of the syndicate regarding Rs9.39 billion budget for the fiscal year 2020-21. Governor/Chancellor Chaudhry Sarwar had chaired the 355th meeting of the PU Senate through a video link and authorised Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad to conduct the meeting on... Read More
 

External debt and liabilities surge

The Express Tribune (Aug 27, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s external debt and liabilities mushroomed to nearly $113 billion at the end of June this year, an addition of $17.6 billion or 18.5% in the past two years, reported the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday. The external debt and liabilities - $112.8 billion to be precise - has been booked by both public and private sectors. However, 87% of the external debt and liabilities is the... Read More
 

External debt and liabilities surge

The Express Tribune (Aug 27, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s external debt and liabilities mushroomed to nearly $113 billion at the end of June this year, an addition of $17.6 billion or 18.5% in the past two years, reported the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday. The external debt and liabilities - $112.8 billion to be precise - has been booked by both public and private sectors. However, 87% of the external debt and liabilities is the... Read More
 

PHA board approves reduced budget for 2020

The Express Tribune (Aug 27, 2020)
FAISALABAD: The board of directors of the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) has approved a budget of Rs845.38 million for the financial year 2020-21, allocating almost the entire amount for non-development expenditure. Only Rs25.9 million has been placed at the disposal of the director general for development expenses. The PHA is facing financial constraints due to the Covid-19... Read More
 

Taiwan will boost its 2021 defense budget by 10 percent

The Armyrecognition.com (Aug 26, 2020)
The Taiwanese Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, said in a statement taht President Tsai Ing-wen's cabinet proposed T$453.4 billion ($15.42 billion) in military spending for the year starting in January 2021, versus T$411.3 billion budgeted for 2020. The modernization of Taiwan’s armed forces is considered as a hostile stance by mainland China, a situation « worsened » by the fact... Read More
 

Azerbaijan's Revised Budget Highlights Hit from Oil and Pandemic

The Fitchratings (Aug 26, 2020)
Fitch Ratings-London-26 August 2020: Azerbaijan's (BB+/Negative) revised 2020 budget highlights the hit to public finances from lower oil prices and the pandemic, Fitch Ratings says. The planned deficit has been raised to 12.4% of GDP from 2.3% in the original budget. An increase in the planned transfer from the sovereign wealth fund (SOFAZ) to the budget, should support the 1.7 AZN/USD... Read More
 

Pakistan's foreign loans jump to $1.8b in July

The Express Tribune (Aug 25, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan received $1.8 billion in gross foreign loans in July - 263% higher than the same month of previous year - due to the premature repayment of $1 billion of Saudi Arabian cash assistance. “In the first month of fiscal year 2020-21, the government has received $800 million total external inflows from multiple financing sources,” reported the Ministry of Economic Affairs... Read More
 

‘Public debt management improved in PTI govt’s second year’

The Pakistan Today (Aug 24, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Unlike the impression that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government has taken the country’s public debt to exorbitant levels during its first two years in power, the Ministry of Finance claims that public debt management indicators had, in fact, improved significantly during the second year of the incumbent government. Taking to Profit, Finance Division... Read More
 

KPK to look into Rp 90 billion from state budget allegedly spent on influencers

The Jakarta Post (Aug 24, 2020)
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said it would look into allegations that state funds of more than Rp 90 billion (US$6 million) were allocated to pay influencers to promote government policies on social media. “We will look closely to ensure whether such a budget exists or not,” KPK deputy chairman Nawawi Pomolango said on Sunday as quoted by Tempo. Nawawi added that the KPK... Read More
 

HMC Passes Budget For Fiscal Year 2020-21

The Urdupoint (Aug 24, 2020)
HYDERABAD, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 24th Aug, 2020 ) :The outgoing elected representatives of Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (HMC) here Monday passed a Rs3.024 billion budget for fiscal 2020-21. Speaking on the occasion Mayor HMC Syed Tayyab Hussain deplored that the Sindh government did not pay heed to the financial requirements of the corporation... Read More
 

Economy on right track, says Imran as he reveals current account surplus of $424m in July

The Dawn (Aug 24, 2020)
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said the country's current account balance had recorded a surplus of $424 million in July, signalling that the economy was "on the right track". Hailing the development in a message on Twitter, the premier noted that in July last year, Pakistan had a current account deficit (CAD) of $613 million while last month the deficit stood at $100m. He attributed the "strong... Read More
 

Ministries need more info to expedite budget execution

The Jakarta Post (Aug 24, 2020)
To address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has increased the 2020 state budget to a total of Rp 2.73 quadrillion (US$188 billion), including Rp 695.2 trillion for economic recovery programs (PEN). However, although 45.7 percent of the budget had been disbursed as of July, spending in the PEN component remained quite low. The execution of the state budget starts with the enactment of... Read More
 

PM Imran lauds K-P govt on 65% increase in revenue generation

The Express Tribune (Aug 23, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan lauded on Saturday the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government for increasing its revenue generation by 65 per cent despite the impact of Covid-19. In a Facebook post, the premier said that during the last financial year the K-P revenue authority increased their revenue generation by 65 per cent, adding that the growth in revenue surpassed all other revenue... Read More

Foreign direct investment up 88pc to $2.56bn in 2020 The Pakistan Today (Aug 23, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country increased by 88 per cent to $2.56 billion in 2020 from $1.36 billion in 2019, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The FDI improved from 2015 to 2018 and but then had a major fall in 2019 due to the depreciation of the rupee. However, it improved again in 2020 despite the economic slowdown brought about by the Covid-19... Read More

Pakistan’s public debt soars to Rs36.3tr The Express Tribune (Aug 21, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government added Rs11.35 trillion in the public debt during the first two years in power, which was more than the total debt the previous government had taken in its five-year term. In a briefing to media, the spokesman of the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday that total public debt as of June 30, 2020, increased to Rs36.3 trillion or... Read More

KP govt reforms sports sector; a hefty sports budget allocated to the province The Pakistan Today (Aug 21, 2020)

PESHAWAR: The provincial government has embarked on an extensive reform strategy in the sports sector during the last two years to strengthen sports at the grass-root level, claim the officials of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Directorate of sports, on Friday. The officials said that KP has allocated Rs26 billion in the fiscal budget to ensure the provision of stadiums and gymnasiums with appropriate facilities at ... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 73 August 20, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

PTI govt adds Rs11.3tr to public debt in two years

The Pakistan Today (Aug 20, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s total public debt – domestic and external – was recorded at Rs36.3 trillion in the financial year 2019-20 (FY20), up 154pc (or Rs22 trillion) since FY13, when it was recorded at Rs14.3 trillion, an official document of the finance ministry revealed.  During the first two years in power, the PTI government increased the public debt by Rs11.3 trillion or 45.2pc. The same in FY18 was recorded... Read More
 

SBP reserves rise $139m to $12.6bn

The Pakistan Today (Aug 20, 2020)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased $139.1 million or 1.12pc on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan on Thursday. On Aug 13, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $12,608.4 million, as compared to $12,469.3 million in the previous week. According to the central bank, the reserves increased mainly due to... Read More
 

Erratic economy

The News (Aug 19, 2020)
LAHORE: Pakistan’s economy is again behaving against the global trends. Pakistan’s growth was moving in reverse gear when the global economy was moving up; post pandemic the global economy is in tatters but Pakistan’s is showing signs of remarkable recovery. Pakistan’s macroeconomic indicators are in the best shape ever since this government assumed power. The exports are increasing... Read More
 

Brazilian lawmakers in showdown to double science budget

The Nature.com (Aug 19, 2020)
As Brazil reels from one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in the world — second only to the United States — a coalition of academic and business groups is fighting to secure more funding for research and industrial innovation in the country. The legislation that they are backing, which would more than double the core Brazilian science and innovation budget for 2020, sailed through the... Read More
 

Remittances hit monthly record high of $2.768b in July

The Nation (Aug 18, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-Inflow of foreign remittances was recorded at historic level of $2.768 billion in July this year, showing growth of 36.5 percent due to the measures taken by federal government and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Pakistan received foreign remittances worth $2.768 billion in July 20 as compared to $2.028 billion of remittances received in same month of previous year, showing an increase of 36.5 percent. This... Read More
 

Japan loses 7.8% in GDP to COVID-19 onslaught

The Nation (Aug 17, 2020)
Japan has lost at least 7.8% in its gross domestic products (GDP) to COVID-19, the latest financial figures reveal. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the country’s economy hard which contracted by 27.8% in the first quarter of the current fiscal – April-June, Yonhap news reported. GDP is the total value of goods and services produced in a country. It is the biggest contraction of Japan’s economy on... Read More
 

Budget and pandemic present challenges to Russia’s defense industrial base

The Defensenews.com (Aug 17, 2020)
The two Russian defense companies in this year’s Top 100 list — air defense missile systems manufacturer Almaz-Antey and weapons developer Tactical Missiles Corporation JSC — have again fallen in rank. Almaz-Antey has fallen to 17th place from 8th and 15th in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Similarly, Tactical Missiles Corporation JSC has fallen to 35th place from 25th and 32nd in 2018 and 2019... Read More
 

Govt’s non-tax revenues enhanced to Rs1.45 trillion in last fiscal year

The Nation (Aug 16, 2020)
ISLAMABAD             -        The government’s non-tax revenues had enhanced to Rs1.45 trillion in last fiscal year mainly due to the massive surplus profit of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The increase in non-tax revenues had helped the federal government in restricting budget deficit at Rs3.376 trillion in fiscal year ending June 30, 2020 or 8.1 pc of GDP.  The government had projected to... Read More
 

'PM Imran saved Rs2.3 trillion of poor people during past 2 years'

The Express Tribune (Aug 16, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz on Sunday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had saved Rs2344 billion of the poor people through his strategy and efforts during the last two years. This amount was more than Pakistan’s three years development budget, the minister wrote on his official Twitter handle... Read More
 

Govt asked to reduce tax rates, curtail parallel economy

The nation (Aug 16, 2020)
LAHORE          -        The business community has proposed the government to reduce tax rates and curtail parallel economy with a view to widen the tax base, as country’s tax-to-GDP ratio has dropped to a record low of almost 9% during 2019-2020 compared to 11.1% in 2017-2018, because of flawed tax policy measures. All Pakistan Business Forum President Syed Maaz Mahmood called for broadening... Read More
 

Centre transferred Rs2.5tr to provinces as share under NFC Award in last FY

The Nation (Aug 15, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The federal government transferred Rs2.5 trillion to four provinces as their share under the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award in last fiscal year, falling short to the annual projections due to a steep shortfall in tax collection. jIn previous fiscal year, the share of provinces in the federal divisible pool was projected at Rs3.2tr, subject to the collection of Rs5.55tr in taxes by the Federal... Read More
 

FPRI BMB Russia: Russia’s federal budget deficit grew a whopping 85% in July

The Intellinews.com (Aug 14, 2020)
Russia’s federal budget deficit grew a whopping 85% in July compared to the previous month. In the first half of the year, Russia ran an RUB823bn deficit. In July the deficit increased by RUB699.2bn, bringing the total budget shortfall from January-July to RUB1.5 trillion rubles ($20.5bn). The cause of the deficit has less to do with dramatically increased spending by the Russian government... Read More
 

Wars not won by mere weapons: Ready for India despite budget constraints, says ISPR

The News (Aug 14, 2020)
RAWALPINDI: The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Thursday termed Pakistan’s brotherly relations with Saudi Arabia historic and said nobody should raise questions about them. Commenting on the status of Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia and the upcoming visit to the kingdom by the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in a media briefing, Director General ISPR Major... Read More
 

Punjab, K-P book budget deficit

The Express Tribune (Aug 13, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) booked budget deficits in the previous fiscal year amid questions over the federal government’s budget numbers, which showed an unprecedented Rs936-billion record profit by the central bank. Unlike, Punjab and K-P governments, the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government of Sindh and Balochistan Awami Party-led Balochistan... Read More
 

PTI govt restricts budget deficit to Rs3.4tr

The Express Tribune (Aug 12, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has managed to restrict overall budget deficit to below Rs3.4 trillion or 8.1% of the size of the economy in its second year in power due to steep cuts in expenditures and provincial cash surpluses. The budget deficit of 8.1% of the gross domestic product (GDP) was far better than the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) forecast of Rs3.9... Read More
 

4pc of GDP should go to education, disrespectful material removed from syllabus: Senate committee

The Pakistan Today (Aug 12, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Education recommended that the education budget should be increased to four percent of the GDP for the promotion of education in the country, in a meeting held here on Tuesday. Senator Engr Rukhsana Zubair chaired the meetings of the senate committee, while the Federal Minister for Education could not attend because he was busy in the... Read More
 

Senate body recommends increasing education budget to 4 percent of GDP

The Business Recorder (Aug 12, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education, Vocational Training, National History and Literary Heritage recommended on Tuesday that the education budget should be increased to four percent of the GDP for the promotion of education in the country. The committee met under the chairmanship of Senator Engr Rukhsana Zubair. Regarding the non-participation... Read More
 

Government claims curtailing budget deficit at Rs 3,376 bn

The News (Aug 12, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The government on Tuesday informed the Federal Cabinet that the budget deficit was curtailed at Rs3,376 billion, equivalent to 8.1 percent of GDP against projection of 9.1 percent of GDP for last fiscal year ended on June 30, 2020. In the wake of lingering COVID-19 pandemic, the overall fiscal woes continued to haunt the economic managers as the situation... Read More
 

Call for Senate’s meaningful role in budget-making process

The Dawn (Aug 11, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel on Monday called for empowering the upper house of parliament by giving it a meaningful role in the country’s budget-making process. The Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice, headed by Javed Abbasi, in its meeting considered the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020, (Amendment of Article 73), calling for... Read More
 

NA body approves “The Anti-Money Laundering (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2020”

The Nation (Aug 11, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Monday has approved the “The Anti-Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020” after rejecting the proposals of the opposition. The meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue was held under the chairmanship of MNA Mr. Faiz Ullah. The Committee discussed.... Read More
 

Services trade deficit shrinks 43pc in FY20

The Nation (Aug 10, 2020)
ISLAMABAD -The country’s services trade deficit witnessed sharp decline of 42.96 per cent during the financial year 2019-20 as compared to the corresponding period of last year. During the period under review, the country’s services exports declined by 8.66 per cent, whereas services’ imports narrowed by 24.25 per cent, according to trade statistics released by Pakistan... Read More
 

Sri Lanka official reserves increase to $7.1bn in July 2020

The bizenglish.adaderana.lk (Aug 10, 2020)
Sri Lanka’s gross official reserves grew by US$407.4 million to US$ 7,102.0 million in July 2020 from US$ 6,694.6 million in June 2020, latest Central Bank data showed. By the end of July, foreign currency reserves were 6,605.1 million dollars while the reserve position in the IMF was 67.6 million dollars. Reserves in Gold were 425.6 million and other reserve assets were one million US dollars... Read More
 

Budget deficit in first 5 months up as lockdowns hit revenue

The Daily Mirror.ik (Aug 10, 2020)
Sri Lanka’s budget deficit for the five months up to May rose as the economic shutdown triggered by the pandemic hit the tax revenues, but the government cut public investments to keep the deficit from over-stretching. Tax revenues during the first five months to May fell to Rs.508.3 billion from Rs.705.0 billion during the same period in 2019 as the economy lost momentum half way through... Read More
 

Asad says Pakistan’s economy witnessing V-shaped recovery

The Nation (Aug 09, 2020)
ISLAMABAD - Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said on Saturday that Moody’s reconfirmation of Pakistan’s credit rating with a stable outlook reflected that Pakistan’s economy was witnessing a V-shaped recovery amid COVID-19 pandemic. In the middle of a global pandemic it was a testimony to the V shaped recovery, Pakistan had seen, Umar said in his tweet. He said the economic... Read More

IMF programme in limbo as key targets remain unfulfilled The Pakistan Today (Aug 08, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) would review Pakistan’s performance under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) in the last week of September. According to sources, the IMF team is scheduled to visit Pakistan to review the government’s economic performance during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (FY21), besides reviewing pending issues with... Read More

Pakistan’s exports may rise by up to $12bn by 2024: ITC The Pakistan Today (Aug 08, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: Although the country’s exports are expected to face the impact of Covid-19 in the current fiscal year, the International Trade Centre’s latest export potential assessment for Pakistan sees the country’s exports rising by up to $12 billion by 2024. “More than half of Pakistani exporters struggle with domestic and foreign regulatory barriers,” said Invisible Barriers to Trade... Read More

Software installed to keep Punjab Police’s Rs119b annual budget under check The Pakistan Today (Aug 07, 2020)

LAHORE: The finance wing of the Punjab Police presented comprehensive financial management software to stop corruption and embezzlement in the police accounts, on Thursday. The software is developed and installed with the assistance of the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB). Its deployment is also the first of its kind in any state run department in Pakistan... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 72 August 06, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

FY2019-20: Pakistan’s fiscal deficit narrows to 8.1pc of GDP

The Pakistan Today (Aug 06, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s fiscal deficit shrunk to 8.1pc of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the fiscal year 2019-20. According to sources, the fiscal deficit was actually 8.1pc in June 2020 as compared to the revised estimates of 9.1pc published in the budget. This also included corona expenditures and if these expenditures were omitted, the deficit would have been 7.3pc of the GDP,... Read More
 

Pakistan approves most expensive China-aided project to date

The asia.nikkie.com (Aug 06, 2020)
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -- Pakistan's top economic body on Wednesday approved its costliest project to date as part of the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreement, giving the go-ahead for a $6.8 billion project to upgrade its railway lines, the government said. CPEC has seen Beijing pledge over $60 billion for infrastructure projects in Pakistan, central to China's wider Belt... Read More
 

Exports increased by 5.80pc in July

The Nation (Aug 05, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-Pakistan’s exports increased by 5.80 percent in July 2020 as compared to the same month of last year. On the import side, a decline of 4.2pc, in dollar value terms, was recorded in July 2020 as compared to July 2019. This was disclosed during an internal strategy meeting chaired by advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood... Read More
 

Exports to Afghanistan down 25.46pc in FY2019-20

The Nation (Aug 05, 2020)
ISLAMABAD -Pakistan’s exports of goods and services to Afghanistan witnessed decrease of 25.46 percent during the fiscal year (2019-20) as compared to the corresponding period of last year, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported. The overall exports to Afghanistan were recorded at $888,913 million during July-June (2019-20) against exports of $1192,559 million during... Read More
 

After months of Covid-led downfall, Pakistan’s exports grow 5.8pc in July

The Pakistan Today (Aug 04, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday chaired an internal strategy meeting at the commerce ministry to review the recent trade statistics and to devise plans for the enhancement of exports. As per the data shared by the commerce ministry, the country exported goods and services worth $1.998... Read More
 

President of Belarus says oil disputes with Russia cost budget $700 million

The Investing.com (Aug 04, 2020)
MINSK (Reuters) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday his country's budget had been deprived of 1.5 billion Belarusian roubles ($700 million) due to oil disputes with Russia. Relations between Minsk and traditional ally Russia are strained. The two countries earlier this year failed to agree an oil supply contract... Read More
 

EC asked to prepare budget for LG polls

The Dawn (Aug 04, 2020)
LAHORE: Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja visited the Punjab Election Commission (PEC) here on Monday and discussed demarcation of constituencies for the forthcoming local government polls in the province. He also reviewed various hurdles in recruitment of staff for provincial and district offices of the entity, equal distribution... Read More
 

Export of transportation services falls 4.8pc to $758m

The Pakistan Today (Aug 03, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan generated a revenue of $758.02 million by providing transportation services to different countries during the first 11 months (July-May) of the fiscal year 2019-20 (FY20). According to data issued by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), Pakistan’s earnings through the provision of transportation services suffered a decrease of 4.81pc during the period under review... Read More
 

Export of transportation services falls 4.8pc to $758m

The Pakistan Today (Aug 03, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan generated a revenue of $758.02 million by providing transportation services to different countries during the first 11 months (July-May) of the fiscal year 2019-20 (FY20). According to data issued by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), Pakistan’s earnings through the provision of transportation services suffered a decrease of 4.81pc during the period under review... Read More
 

Philippines' Duterte approves 91.65 bln USD national budget proposal for 2021

The xinhuanet.com (Aug 02, 2020)
MANILA, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the proposed 4.506-trillion-peso (roughly 91.65-billion-U.S. dollar) national budget for 2021, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Sunday. In a statement, the DBM said Duterte approved the budget during a special meeting with the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC)... Read More
 

Germany provides 3 million Euros to Pakistan for skill development of returnee migrant workers

The Nation (Aug 01, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) to provide technical assistance amounting to three million Euros for re-integration of the returning migrant workers in society through their skill development. The MoU was signed by... Read More
 

Record 12.1pc collapse in Q2 eurozone GDP

The Nation (Aug 01, 2020)
Brussels-The European economy was hit by its sharpest recorded contraction in the second quarter, with GDP down 12.1 percent in the eurozone and 11.9 percent across the EU. The official Eurostat agency said that, with much of the economy paralysed by coronavirus lockdowns, the fall was “by far” the largest since it began recording the figure in 1995. “It is a shocking drop... Read More
 

FBR collects Rs300b revenue in first month of fiscal year 2020-21

The Nation (July 31, 2020)
ISLAMABAD -  Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has collected Rs300 bil­lion in the first month (July) of the fiscal year of 2020-21.The FBR has released the revenue collection informa­tion of first month of current financial year, July 2020. Ac­cording to the released infor­mation, against the assigned revenue target of Rs.243 bil­lion, FBR has collected Rs.300 billion overshooting the target by a staggering... Read More
 

Financial constraints hindering development in KP

The Pakistan Today (July 30, 2020)
PESHAWAR: Work on several important developmental projects has come to a halt in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) as the provincial government had failed to release funds for the Annual Development Programme (ADP). Sources informed Profit that due to the Covid-led reduction in the federal and provincial revenue, the federal government could not release funds for developmental purposes... Read More
 

Govt obtained $10.6b in foreign loans in FY2019-20, including $3.373b commercial borrowings

The Pakistan Today (July 30, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The government has obtained $10.6 billion foreign loans from multilateral and bilateral creditors during the financial year 2019-20. Out of this $10.6 billion, $3.373 billion were secured as foreign commercial borrowings, The News reported. The foreign commercial borrowing has become the second major source of getting foreign inflows as it constitutes 32 percent... Read More
 

Annual budget of LDA and subordinate agencies for FY21 approved

The Pakistan Today (July 30, 2020)
LAHORE: The governing body of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) on Thursday approved the annual budget of LDA and its subordinate agencies, Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) and Traffic Engineering & Transport Planning Agency (TEPA), for the fiscal year 2020-21. Total resources of LDA (U.D Wing), WASA, and TEPA have been estimated as Rs58.61 billion out of which Rs32.45... Read More
 

Post-budget HEC

The Nation (July 29, 2020)
Budget 2020-21 was approved amidst the clamour of the opposition and the chaos of COVID-19. In these wretched times when the economy was faltering and the health system was choked due to an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases, a people-friendly budget wasn’t being anticipated. Among many subjects, the budget for higher education had also been a matter of extensive debate and... Read More
 

USF’s budget of Rs11,376m for FY2020-21 approved

The Nation (July 28, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque chaired 39th meeting of the Universal Service Fund (USF) Policy Committee and gave approval for the USF’s annual budget of Rs 11,376 million for financial year 2020-21. The meeting approved the minutes of the 38th meeting of the Universal Service Fund Policy Committee and gave approval for the USF... Read More
 

Tobacco taxation can positively contribute to revenues for education budget

The Daily Times (July 27, 2020)
Society for Protection of Rights of the Child (SPARC) organized a briefing session on “raising taxes on tobacco products for revenue generation” at National Press Club Islamabad on Monday Sajjad Ahmed, Executive Director, SPARC said that Pakistan has not made much progress on its commitment of providing free and quality education to every child according to article 25-A of constitution... Read More
 

Russian Budget Lost Over $654Mln Because Of Tax Crimes - Investigative Committee

The Urdu Point (July 27, 2020)
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 27th July, 2020) Russia's budget has not received more than $654 million of tax Dollars because of tax crimes, Vice-Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Yelena Leonenko told Sputnik. According to her, the law enforcement authorities have registered 3062 tax crimes within the first six months of 2020.... Read More
 

LDA allocates Rs 3b in new budget for construction of apartments

The Nation (July 26, 2020)
LAHORE - In line with the vision of Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan for providing housing facilities to the low income groups, Lahore Development Authority (LDA) had allocated a sum of Rs 3 billion in the new budget for construction of apartments in Lahore Division.  Vice-Chairman Lahore Development Authority S.M.Imran informed this on Saturday. He told that LDA had... Read More
 

A disappointing budget

The Express Tribune (July 25, 2020)
While Pakistan remains fixated on developing its traditional systems, developed countries around the world are investing in industrialisation through information technology and artificial intelligence in order to strengthen their economics. The main reason behind the development of countries like China, the US and Korea is that they have focused more on human capital by... Read More
 

In FY20: Govt gets over $13b in foreign loans

The Express Tribune (July 25, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government took over $13 billion in foreign loans in the previous fiscal year - the second highest amount in history - to repay maturing external debt and cushion the shrinking foreign exchange reserves. During fiscal year 2019-20 that ended on June 30, the country received $13.2 billion worth of gross loans from bilateral and multilateral... Read More
 

HEC and post-budget scenario

The Daily Times (July 24, 2020)
The budget 2020-21 was approved amid clamor of opposition and chaos of covid-19. In these wretched times when the economy was faltering and the health system had choked due to an exponential increase in covid-19 patients, a people-friendly budget wasn’t being anticipated. Among many subjects, the budget for higher education had also been a matter of extensive debate and discussion... Read More

AJK Govt. Approves Revised Budget Estimates For Last Financial Year The Urdu Point (July 24, 2020)

MIRPUR AKK: (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 24th Jul, 2020 ) :AJK Government Friday approved the revised budget estimates for the last financial year amounting to over Rs.120 million out of which over Rs. 110 million spent to extend financial assistance to the deserving persons of the state, it was officially said. In a high level meeting of Zakat board, chaired by AJK Prime Minister Raja... Read More

KP awaits release of funds from federal govt for ADP 2020-21 The Pakistan Today (July 24, 2020)

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has not yet released the first tranche of the Annual Development Program (ADP) 2020-21 three weeks after the end of FY20 due to delay in release of funds by the federal government. According to sources in the KP Finance Department, the policy for the release of funds is usually formulated at the start of every new... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 71 July 23, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

India must allow armed forces to raise own finances. Defence budget will never be enough

The Print (July 23, 2020)
Ever since the confrontation with China in the mountains of Ladakh, and the threat of escalation to war, retired armed forces officers have been calling for an increase in capabilities of their respective Services, and advocating new strategies to ward off an aggressive enemy. The Narendra Modi government reacted with the usual firefighting tactics by approving arms procurement worth $5.5... Read More
 

EU Parliament Begins Budget Debate

The voanews (July 23, 2020)
The European Parliament Thursday is considering the 27-nation bloc’s next long-term budget days after European Union leaders hammered out a massive COVID-19 economic recovery package for the region that included steep budget cuts to help pay for it. The budget, worth $1.2 trillion, was negotiated in tandem with a $868 billion economic recovery package that aims to help EU... Read More
 

Lawmakers Agree On Budget Plan After COVID-19 Costs

The 9&10 News (July 22, 2020)
After a long budget battle last summer, COVID-19 forced another one as tax revenue dropped and costs to fight the virus climbed. Thursday state lawmakers came to an agreement on how to balance the budget, already 10 months into the fiscal year. Every year with the state budget there’s going to be adjustments made as there’s always some inaccuracies on what was projected and what actually came to... Read More
 

Russia Signals Return to Fiscal Conservatism With Future Budget Cuts

The Moscow Times (July 21, 2020)
Russia’s Finance Ministry wants to cut government spending by up to 10% from next year in a bid to restore the state’s finances following the coronavirus pandemic. It has proposed cutting a total of $65 billion from the Russian budget over 2021-2023, Russian news outlet RBC has reported. Parts of the budget which are not ringfenced will see a fall in outlays of up to 10%, and defence spending could be cut... Read More
 

European Commission agrees to reduced space budget

The Space News (July 21, 2020)
WASHINGTON — The European Commission slashed its space budget for the next seven years, agreeing to a maximum of 13.2 billion ($15.2 billion) focused mainly on continuing the Galileo and Copernicus satellite programs.  The budget cut for space came as part of extensive four-day negotiations in Brussels over a 1.8-trillion-euro budget for the entire European Union designed in... Read More
 

To fight pandemic, Japan keeps fiscal tap wide open on budget spending requests

The Japantimes (July 21, 2020)
The government’s budget for next fiscal year won’t set a spending cap on requests aimed at fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Taro Aso said, suggesting the heavily indebted nation would ramp up efforts to revive the coronavirus-battered economy. The government would ask ministries to keep requests for other spending in line with the current fiscal year’s initial... Read More
 

WSU provides update on budget reduction process

The News.wsu.edu (July 20, 2020)
Washington State University has announced key recommendations to help guide units throughout the WSU system through necessary budget reductions for the 2021 fiscal year. These recommendations come after an extensive hearing and review process involving department and university leaders, who are working... Read More
 

Deprived colleges get regular budget

The News (July 20, 2020)
Islamabad:For the first time, the Islamabad Model College for Boys (IMCB) Sihala and Islamabad Model College for Girls (IMCG) Bhara Kahu received regular budget for the fiscal year 2020-21. After creation of posts of teaching and non-teaching staff in May 2019, the budget IDs of both the colleges were created by Finance Division with a token amount of Rs2,000 in November 2019... Read More
 

Foreign direct investment surges 88pc to $2.56bn in FY20

The Pakistan Today (July 18, 2020)
KARACHI: Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country increased 88pc to $2.56 billion in the fiscal year 2019-20, compared to $1.36 billion in FY19, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The FDI in the country has bounced back to FY18 levels, when it stood at $2.78 billion, before falling to... Read More
 

Pakistan's weird development pattern

The Express Tribune (July 18, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Economic development generally follows the following pattern. At the initial stage, agriculture or the primary sector (farming, fishing, livestock and forestry) is the largest sector of the economy. As economic growth gains momentum, the relative share of industry or the secondary sector (manufacturing, mining and construction) in the gross domestic product (GDP) begins... Read More
 

Record Allocation Made In The Federal Budget 2020-21 For Health Sector:Asad Umar

The Urdupoint (July 18, 2020)
KARACHI, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Jul, 2020 ) :Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar on Saturday said that the federal government would fully support Karachi, the biggest city of Pakistan as record amount is allocated for health sector in the federal's budget for fiscal year 2020-21. The minister said that efforts are being made across the country in... Read More
 

The Senate Standing committee of IT is concerned over budget-cut in HEC funding

The Techjuice.com (July 17, 2020)
The Senate Standing Committee for Information and Technology have risen concerned regarding the budget cut for the Higher Education and Commission and demanded a raise in the allocated funds. The committee has chaired a meeting with Senator Rubina Khalid at the Higher Education Commission Secretariat. In the meeting, the connectivity issues that pupils are... Read More
 

27pc contraction in trade deficit helped Pakistan save $8.6bn in FY20: PBF

The Pakistan Today (July 16, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) said on Thursday that the return of normalcy after the Covid-19 lockdown and the gradual reopening of businesses around the globe has had a positive impacted Pakistan’s balance of trade. “Pakistan saved $8.6 billion as trade loss shrank 27pc in the fiscal year 2019-20,” the forum informed in a statement issued on Thursday... Read More
 

Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program budget increased to Rs203 billion

The Daily Pakistan (July 16, 2020)
ISLAMABAD - Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Sania Nishtar Thursday said the scope of emergency cash programme has been expanded to reach out to around 16.9 million deserving families with the increased budget of Rs203 billion. Initially, the programme was launched on April 9, 2020, with a budget of Rs144 billion for 12 million... Read More
 

Distt Council Present Annual Budget For FY 2020-21

The Urdu Point (July 15, 2020)
NAUSHEHROFEROZE, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th Jul, 2020 ) :The District council Nausheroferoze presented the annual Budget for the fiscal year 2020-21. Chairman District council Abdul Sattar Abassi presented the budget in a special session held here on Tuesday.In his budget speech Chairman said that Revenue target had been set for new fiscal year 2020-21 to Rs... Read More
 

Pakistan receives record $23.1 billion remittances

The KhaleejTimes (July 15, 2020)
Pakistan recorded 6.4 per cent increase in remittances that hit an all-time high mark of $23.12 billion (Dh84.85 billion) during the financial year 2019-20, the latest data shows. Analysts and experts said a steady growth in remittances to Pakistan will continue despite the worldwide economic slowdown and overseas Pakistanis may send $25 billion (Dh91.75 billion) in the present fiscal... Read More
 

Pakistan’s Military Spending and Defence Budget 2020-21

The Modern Diplomacy (July 14, 2020)
Last month the federal government of Pakistan announced its annual budget 2020-21 according to which Rs.1, 289 billion has been allotted to the defence sector. The defence budget has increased by 11.9% in the fiscal year 2020-21. However, if compared with the 2019-20 revised spending, which was Rs.1, 227 billion, the growth would be 5%. The increasing tensions between India and Pakistan... Read More
 

Rawalpindi Development Authority approves Rs3.52bn annual budget

The Dawn (July 13, 2020)
RAWALPINDI: The governing body of Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) on Friday approved Rs3.520 billion annual budget of the RDA and a Rs2.059bn budget of Wasa. The 48th meeting of the governing body was held with RDA Chairman Tariq Mehmood Murtaza in the chair. RDA Director General Amara Khan presented the budget for the fiscal year 2010-21 which was approved... Read More
 

Positive Aspects of New Federal Budget

The Daily Times (July 13, 2020)
There is no denying the bitter fact that the federal budget for financial year 2020-21, which has already commenced since July 01,2020, was formulated in a very unusual and difficult circumstances and conditions caused by pandemic of COVID-19 attack on Pakistan like large number of countries around the world one after the other. Every thing was going in the right direction... Read More
 

Pakistan likely to ease regulatory curbs to boost economy

The Express Tribune (July 12, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday approved, in principle, a set of recommendations to tap the potential of neglected sectors of the economy by lowering regulatory restrictions and digitising the economy. Over 60 recommendations in eight areas of the economy have been finalised by an economic think-tank, with representation from both the government and the private sector.... Read More
 

Pakistan likely to ease regulatory curbs to boost economy

The Express Tribune (July 12, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday approved, in principle, a set of recommendations to tap the potential of neglected sectors of the economy by lowering regulatory restrictions and digitising the economy. Over 60 recommendations in eight areas of the economy have been finalised by an economic think-tank, with representation from both the government and the private sector... Read More
 

IMF predicts recovery in Pakistan’s economy during 2021

The Daily Times (July 11, 2020)
In a report titled “Policy Actions Taken by Countries,” IMF said a gradual recovery is expected in Pakistan’s economy in Fiscal Year 2021 as the economy reopens. The report highlighted the measures taken by the present government to contain spread of COVID-19. According to this report, since mid-April, the federal government, in coordination with the provinces, has been gradually... Read More
 

Inclusive budgeting

The News (July 11, 2020)
Now that the budget season is over, and reams have been written on how good or bad the federal or provincial budgets have been, it would be good to review how strategic planning and inclusive budget-making processes makes for better service delivery. Sometimes in the times of sensationalized news, thrill laden talk shows and social media scandals, the good news is lost... Read More
 

Govt decides not to allocate any token supplementary grant in current FY

The Nation (July 10, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The government has decided that no token supplementary grant would be granted, as the federal cabinet, the National Assembly especially, the Public Accounts Committee have directed to discourage supplementary grant unless extremely critical. The ministry of finance has issued notification regarding supplementary grants. The government has decided that no token... Read More

Positive aspects of new federal budget The Pakistan Today (July 10, 2020)

There is no denying the that the federal budget for financial year 2020-21, which has already commenced on July 1 was formulated in the very unusual and difficult circumstances and conditions caused by the covid-19 pandemic which affected Pakistan as it did to countries around the world one after the other. Everything was going in the right direction, following the bold and necessary policy... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 70 July 09, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

China's debt trap increases amid budget deficit, BRI roadblock

The Wionews (July 09, 2020)
China’s boom has been powered by debt as the Communist Party began chasing superpower status with a credit card and the world knows when you buy something with a credit card, you are spending money that you don’t really have and one day you will have to return it.  The Communist Party has set ambitious targets for itself. It wants to dominate this century and wants to be the ultimate... Read More
 

Another VoA likely with Budget for 2021 in Nov.

The Daily FT (July 09, 2020)
Once Parliament is convened in August, the Government is likely to bring a Vote on Account (VoA) to cover public finances for the rest of 2020, its third for the year, and then present a Budget for 2021 in November, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said yesterday.  Speaking to reporters at the SLPP Head Office, National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa said that they were planning to present a VoA for this... Read More
 

Japanese protection service to sell off military gear to boost budget

The Nation (July 08, 2020)
"Back Serve Taro Aso told us to think around how to extend the budget, and I trust that within the future we'll be able to induce stores for at slightest one F-35 warrior fly. All stores will go to the state treasury, but I think that the endeavors of the resistance service will be taken under consideration amid the [allotment] of the budget," Kono said, as cited by the NHK broadcaster... Read More
 

Budget deficit in first four months expands to 2.9%

The Daily Mirror (July 08, 2020)
Sri Lanka’s budget deficit for January through April expanded to 2.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), from 2.3 percent in the corresponding period, last year, as the coronavirus lockdowns sapped the tax revenues while the government had to step up spending on containing the virus and keeping the essential services up and running. However, the government... Read More
 

Pakistan on brink of Covid-19 financial collapse

The Asia Times (July 07, 2020)
PESHAWAR – Pakistan’s financial woes are going from bad to worse as the national fiscal deficit surges to over 7% of gross domestic product (GDP) and could breach 9-10% as state revenues dry up amid Covid-19 economic devastation. That’s raising questions among analysts and business executives of whether the country is headed towards a budgetary blowout-induced financial collapse... Read More
 

Sri Lanka says making progress with IMF program, budget support

The Economy Next (July 07, 2020)
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is making progress with a program with the International Monetary Fund with other lenders also joining in with budget support, Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle said. Other lenders would also provide more than a billion US dollars in budget finance along with the IMF program, Attygalle said. Sri Lanka has lined up funding from a number of lenders including 300... Read More
 

IUB syndicate approves Rs5.38b budget

The Pakistan Observer (July 06, 2020)
Bahawalpur: The Syndicate of the Islamia University of Bahawalpur has approved budget of estimated Rs. 5387.983 million for the financial year 2020-21 besides giving node to re-structural plan to enhance number of faculties and teaching departments. According to the spokesman of the university Shahzad Ahmad Khalid, the 74th meeting of the syndicate held under the... Read More
 

Budget and development priorities

The Express Tribune (July 05, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: According to the theoretical knowledge of economic planning, fiscal budget is a short-run economic plan of revenues and expenditures of a nation. It paves the way for mid-term targets and long-run economic plan of the country. The objectives and goals of the long-run economic plan are dissected into mid-term and short-term economic plans. The fiscal budget is, therefore... Read More
 

Reading between the lines

The Express Tribune (July 05, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: In his budget speech in the National Assembly, Federal Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar stated that the expected recession due to Covid-19 called for an expansionary fiscal policy. Having said that, he went on to present the budget with total federal expenditures of Rs7,137 billion against the revised budget estimate of Rs8,345.3 billion in the previous fiscal year... Read More
 

Over Rs 5 billion allocated for health facilities in budget: mayor

The Business Recorder (July 05, 2020)
KARACHI: Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar on Sunday said that over Rs5 billion has been earmarked in the new fiscal year's budget 2020-21 for provision of better health and medical facilities to the people of Karachi. He said coronavirus testing facility at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital has increased the people's confidence in Karachi Metropolitan Corporation. We are trying to expand facilities at Karachi... Read More
 

$6 bn IMF programme: Govt needs to do electricity, gas tariff adjustments

The News (July 04, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Even after approval of the budget for 2020-21 from Parliament, the IMF sponsored programme of $6 billion for Pakistan hangs in balance where Islamabad will have to comply with tariff adjustments on electricity and gas as well as to undertake reform path to evolve staff level agreement on completion of second review. The IMF programme has literally been stalled at the moment and ... Read More
 

Budget Satisfaction

The Nation (July 04, 2020)
It has not been a good financial year. The coronavirus epidemic has taken a large toll on the economy, not only with the lockdown and the drop in consumer purchasing power, but also with regards to the funds that the government has had to allocate to combat the pandemic. Perhaps even more disastrously, the swarm of locust attacking crops in the country has posed a great threat to... Read More
 

Pakistani exporters fear tax refunds will remain stuck in FY21

The Express Tribune (July 03, 2020)
KARACHI: Textile exporters have voiced fear the government will not be able to release the stuck sales tax refund claims in the new fiscal year as well because billions of rupees worth of exporters’ liquidity is still lying with the government, which has not been released earlier. “Textile exporters are deliberating whether to continue operating the industrial units or close them down permanently,”... Read More
 

Asad credits treasury, Opp for smooth budget passage

The News (July 03, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser Thursday said maximum opportunity was given to the members to take part in the general debate and other processes involved in passage of budget 2020-21. “As many as 107 members from the treasury and 101 members from the opposition took part in the general discussion on the budget,” he said while talking to Adviser to the Prime... Read More
 

East, Korangi and West DMCs approve budgets

The Express Tribune (July 02, 2020)
KARACHI: The East, West and Korangi district municipal corporations (DMCs) presented the budgets for the fiscal year 2020-21 on Wednesday. Korangi Korangi DMC chairperson Syed Nayyar Raza and Korangi DMC vice-chairperson Syed Ahmer Ali presented the budget, with an outlay of Rs4.39 billion and targeting a surplus of Rs915,847, during a council meeting... Read More
 

Tax free budget to address economic woes of common man: NA speaker

The Dunyanews (July 02, 2020)
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - Advisor to the Prime Minister Dr Zaheer uddin Babar Awan called on National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser in the Parliament House and discussed various issues encompassing parliamentary business and smooth conduct of budget session of the National Assembly. Parliamentary business to be taken up in the forthcoming session of the National Assembly was... Read More
 

Budget approval

The Express Tribune (July 01, 2020)
That the federal budget has been passed by the National Assembly is no news. If there is anything that came out as news from the assembly’s budget session on Monday, it is the score line. The government managed 160 votes against the opposition’s 119 at the time of passage of clause nine of the Finance Bill 2020-21. And the same turned out to be the final score, as the opposition — having been defeated... Read More
 

WB approves $500m loan for Pakistan’s budget support

The Dawn (July 01, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The World Bank (WB) on Tuesday announced that it has approved another $500 million loan to Pakistan for the country’s budget support following its increased expenditures on Covid-19 crisis response. In a statement, the bank said its board of directors approved the financing for the Resilient Institutions for Sustainable Economy (RISE) programme to help Pakistan strengthen fiscal... Read More
 

Budget 2020-21 sails through NA

The News (June 30, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly (NA) on Monday passed the Finance Bill 2020 with a total outlay of Rs7,294.9 billion amid sloganeering and protest from the opposition giving legal effect to the budgetary proposals for next fiscal year. The amendments proposed by the opposition in the Finance Bill, 2020 were rejected by the House. The government also shattered hopes of... Read More
 

Govt succeeds in passing FY21 budget amid Opp’s protests

The Pakistan Today (June 30, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: After a long and noisy debate on the proposed Finance Bill for the fiscal year 2020-2021 on Monday, the National Assembly gave its nod to the federal budget which the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has been touting as “tax-free”. 160 MPs voted in favour of the bill while 119 opposed it. The government had unveiled a coronavirus-influenced Rs 7.13 trillion “tax-free” budget for the.... Read More
 

Budget to sail through NA however hard Opp may try

The News (June 29, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Budget 2020-2021 will sail through the National Assembly no matter how hard the combined opposition may try, said Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz here on Sunday. He was speaking at a news conference here along with Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar. Shibli said the PPP and PML-N both were responsible for the... Read More
 

Defence budget - Part II

The News (June 28, 2020)
Why are ‘military pensions’ of Rs359 billion not included in the ‘defence budget’? Answer: Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are a “common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures.” If I am not mistaken, it was Shaukat Aziz who applied GAAP and moved ‘military pensions’ out of the ‘defence budget’. Legally, military retirees are part of the civilian ‘labour force’... Read More
 

Most disappointing aspect of budget 2020

The Daily Times (June 28, 2020)
The federal government led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) presented the fiscal budget for 2020-21 in the National Assembly. Since the entire world is facing an uncertain period due to the Covid-19 pandemic, nothing extraordinary was expected from the budget. However, it was expected by many that the government would allocate a greater share of the budget toward education and health care... Read More
 

Amid pandemic: ‘Govt committed to stimulating economy’

The Express Tribune (June 27, 2020)
ISLAMABAD:The government is taking various initiatives to stimulate the economy in these difficult and uncertain times, said Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Friday. In a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, the adviser discussed several matters of mutual interest. Shaikh appreciated the continued and unwavering support that China had... Read More

KMC to present Rs24.84b budget Monday The Samaa.tv (June 27, 2020)

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation is all set to present a Rs24.84 billion budget for fiscal year 2020-21 on Monday. It will be presented by Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar at the Council Hall of the Old KMC Building. This will be the last budget of his tenure. The session will start at 2:30pm. He has presented four budgets since he became mayor in August, 2016. The fiscal budget figure for this year... Read More

How is federal budget a success story, and not the other way round?

The globalvillagespace.com (June 26, 2020)
Pakistan’s economy had already been suffering before the COVID-19 outbreak, it was in no imminent danger of a recession. The Current Account Deficit dropped by nearly 73%; the “primary balance” was positive, at 0.3% of the GDP; the credit rating had improved from negative to stable; and the country’s rank on the “Ease of Doing Business” Index had improved from 136 to 108. Many analysts... Read More

Bilawal, Shehbaz reject FY21 budget, agree on calling APC next week

The Pakistan Today (June 26, 2020)
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif rejected the budget presented by the government for the fiscal year 2020-21, and agreed to call an All Parties Conference (APC) next week in light of the evolving political situation in the country. Bilawal telephoned the former... Read More

Opposition rejects Balochistan budget, terms it anti-people

The Dawn by Saleem Shahid (June 26, 2020)
QUETTA: The opposition in the Balochistan Assembly on Thursday rejected the provincial budget for financial year 2020-21 and termed it anti-people. Members on treasury benches, however, said that despite a financial crisis in the country and other difficulties the provincial government had presented what they called a people-friendly budget. The Balochistan Assembly session was presided... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 69 June 25, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

PA passes resolution to extend Ord during budget session

The News (June 25, 2020)
LAHORE: The successful parliamentary strategy of Punjab Minister for Law Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat saved the Punjab Health Department on Wednesday from a legal crisis. The previously enacted Punjab Infections and Diseases Prevention and Control Ordinance 2020 was coming to an end. In the running session of the Punjab Assembly, Raja Basharat presented... Read More
 

Economic Crisis in Pakistan: 2020-21 Handmade Budget of IMF

The moderndiplomacy.eu (June 25, 2020)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is one of the most dangerous and disaster able virus in the world during contemporary times, which has been affecting most of the developed and developing countries. Although having all equipment’s to Europe and USA. But, has losing its battle to control on this coronavirus. When it is stretched in Wuhan, China and the whole world was in frivolous behavior toward... Read More
 

KP’s budget deficit likely to persist in FY22, FY23

The Pakistan Today (June 24, 2020)
Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Finance Department has forecasted that the budgets for FY22 and FY23 will see deficits of Rs72 billion and Rs63 billion respectively.  For FY22, the KP government is expected to earn Rs871.70 billion in revenues. The KP Finance Department estimates the provinces expenditures at Rs 944.80 billion for FY22, leading to a budget deficit of Rs72.29 billion... Read More
 

Budget and CPEC

The Nation (June 24, 2020)
Concerns over Pakistan’s national budget are high at the time, as Pakistan’s growth rate has been declining for the past two years and its effects are being felt to a large extent in the lives of ordinary people. Apart from this, the coronavirus has also caused a strange calamity not only for Pakistan but the whole world, which it has never faced before. The epidemic of coronavirus is affecting the socio... Read More
 

US says Pakistan budget lacked transparency

The Express Tribune (June 23, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: A new report by the United States has said that Pakistan’s budget lacked minimum fiscal transparency and it also did not adequately disclose all debt information amid a sharp surge in government’s contingent liabilities in outgoing fiscal year. The 2020 Fiscal Transparency Report by the State Department comes amid 21.5% increase in sovereign guarantees during first nine months... Read More
 

Defence Budget

The News (June 23, 2020)
Myth number 1: The defence budget eats up the lion’s share of our total budgetary expenses. Not true. In Budget 2020-21, ‘Defense Affairs and Services’ has been allocated Rs1,289 billion out of total budgetary expenses of Rs7,295 billion. What this means is that defence comprises 17.67 percent of the total expenses and 82.33 percent of all government expenses are non-defence related... Read More
 

Economists point out myths and facts about Pakistan’s defence budget

The Pakistan Today (June 23, 2020)
LAHORE: Amid Leading economists of Pakistan have pointed out a number of myths and facts about Pakistan’s defence budget. Farrukh Saleem, an economist and financial analyst, said that the first myth is that the defence budget eats up the lion’s share of the country’s total budgetary expenses. “In budget 2020-21, ‘Defence Affairs and Services’ has been allocated Rs1,289 billion out of the... Read More
 

Budget focuses on provision of relief to poor, say treasury lawmakers

The Pakistan Today (June 22, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Government lawmakers told the National Assembly (NA) on Monday that the budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 was focused on providing relief to the poor and deserving people of the country. Participating in the budget debate, Raja Kurram Nawaz said that adequate funds were earmarked in the federal budget for the poor and deserving people as was evident from Ehsaas Programme... Read More
 

Pakistan increases country’s defence budget despite economic fallout amidst COVID-19

The Newdelhitimes (June 22, 2020)
The government of Pakistan has announced a 2020-21 defence budget of PKR1.29 trillion (USD7.81 billion). According to budgetary documents the new allocation represents a 12% increase over the original defence budget for 2019-20 and a 5% increase over the revised expenditure for that year. According to reports in Pakistani media, the budget document shows that the defence... Read More
 

Why we do not cover the budget

The Pakistan Today (June 21, 2020)
If you are a consumer of news in Pakistan, you may be vaguely familiar with the idea that the day the federal government announces its budget is one of the biggest economic stories of the year. We at Profit, as a leading business publication in the country, may well be expected to cover it. But we do not, and the decision not to do so is no accident, but a deliberate one on our part... Read More
 

Opposition lambasts Sindh budget

The Express Tribune (June 21, 2020)
KARACHI: Terming the new provincial budget a ‘jugglery of words,’ opposition members in the Sindh Assembly lashed out at the Sindh government for its failure to mobilise development funds and complete vital schemes in the province on Saturday.At the first assembly session after the budget’s presentation, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Rashid Khilji dismissed... Read More
 

Rs 500 million allocated for agriculture in budget

The App.com (June 20, 2020)
QUETTA, Jun 20 (APP):Balochistan Minister for Finance Zahoor Buledi Saturday said Rs 500 million had been allocated for agriculture sector in the financial budget year-2020-21 which was Rs 404 million in budget of 2019-20. He said 181 teams had been formulated to prevent the attack of locust across the province through carrying anti-spray in the areas in order to ... Read More
 

Defence budget increased to address food security: Hafeez Shaikh

The Pakistan Today (June 20, 2020)
ISLAMABAD – Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that the defence budget has been addressed in order to tackle the upcoming food security challenges. He also lauded the provinces for making their budgets on the basis of their own estimates of the security challenges instead of relying on the forecasting done by the federal government, even though defence is a federal subject... Read More
 

BUDGET 2020-21: Rs923bn KP budget focuses on health, tax relief

The Dawn (June 20, 2020)
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Friday unveiled the Rs923 billion budget for the financial year 2020-21 which focuses on improvement in the health sector and tax relief for businesses hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. KP Minister for Finance Taimur Saleem Jhagra presented the budget in the provincial assembly. He told Dawn that fundamentally the biggest challenge... Read More
 

Fitch says Pakistan’s budget goal overly ambitious

The News (June 20, 2020)
KARACHI: Global credit rating agency Fitch Ratings said Pakistan fiscal targets for the next fiscal year will be challenging to meet amid the economic shock and health crisis associated with the coronavirus pandemic. “Public finances are a key credit weakness, as we noted even before the health crisis took hold when we affirmed Pakistan’s rating at ‘B-’ with a stable outlook in January 2020,” Fitch... Read More
 

AJK unveils Rs139.5 billion balanced budget

The Express Tribune (June 19, 2020)
Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government on Thursday announced a Rs139.5 billion balanced budget for the next fiscal year 2020-21 with a development outlay of Rs24.5 billion. Minister for Health and Finance Dr Najeeb Naqi presented the budget and the revised estimates for current fiscal year in the legislative Assembly session being held under strict standard operating... Read More
 

K-P unveils Rs923b tax-free budget

The Express Tribune (June 19, 2020)
PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government on Friday unveiled a balanced and tax-free budget of Rs923 billion for the next fiscal year 2020-21 with special focus on reviving the economy crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic and protecting investment in service deliveries, particularly the health sector. Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra.. Read More
 

Pakistan slashes budget for Belt and Road Initiative projects

The asia.nikkei.com (June 19, 2020)
KARACHI -- Pakistan has chopped a third of its contribution to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a high profile component of China's massive Belt and Road Initiative, setting back some flagship projects backed by China's President Xi Jinping. With the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic still being tallied, the annual CPEC allocation has been reduced from $241... Read More
 

An ordinary budget

The News (June 19, 2020)
Extraordinary situations demand extraordinary responses. We are facing an extraordinary situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the current economic crisis and the locust attacks. The government has to fight on three different fronts. Covid-19 led to an unprecedented public health crisis and aggravated the already existing economic crisis. Even though the government denies the... Read More
 

Not quite a corona budget

The Pakistan Today (June 18, 2020)
It was one of the paradoxes of the 2020-2021 Budget that the man responsible for it, PM’s Finance Adviser Dr Hafeez Sheikh, did not seem to believe the revenue collection figure of Rs 4.91 trillion would be met. At the traditional post-Budget press conference, he said the provinces were free to decide whether or not to follow the revenue collection figure in their own Budgets, depending on how much they... Read More
 

Covid-19 prompts over 16pc increase in provincial health budget

The Dawn (June 18, 2020)
KARACHI: In a bid to meet the challenge of Covid-19 in the province, the Sindh government has increased the allocation for the health sector by 16.1 per cent — from Rs114.4 billion to Rs132.88bn — in the provincial budget for financial year 2020-21. In addition to Rs132.88bn, Rs7bn has been allocated for nine vertical programmes, including polio control, AIDS, TB, thus making the total... Read More
 

Cleaning up the budget

The News (June 18, 2020)
The writer is a former adviser to the World Bank. Pakistan’s corona-related ‘lives and livelihood’ crisis is grave. One was hoping that the prime minister would make a clarion call, during the budget session, to all citizens, political parties and organs of state – similar to what President Kennedy made during his inaugural address. As a bold leader, Kennedy pivoted his address on the following... Read More
 

Sindh health sector gets a bump in deficit budget

The Express Tribune (June 17, 2020)
The Sindh government on Wednesday unveiled a Rs1,241.13 billion deficit budget for the next fiscal year 2020-21, cutting the development outlay and giving a priority to the health sector in the wake of ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Amidst noisy opposition protest, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who also holds the portfolio of finance minister,... Read More
 

KP govt expected to present a budget deficit of Rs60bn

The Pakistan Today (June 17, 2020)
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government is likely to present a budget deficit of Rs60 billion due to non-payment of its dues amounting to billions of rupees by the federal government. According to reports, due to the economic downturn, the federal government is unable to pay the province its full share of the Net Hydel Profit (NHP), due to which... Read More

Pakistan's textile sector rejects ‘unrealistic’ Budget 2020-21 The Express Tribune (June 16, 2020)

FAISALABAD: The condition of the textile industry will worsen amid a liquidity crunch and shrinking global business, and will lead to closure of industrial units, decline in exports and massive unemployment. Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA) Chairman Salamat Ali, in a statement, said the value-added textile export industry had rejected the federal budget... Read More

Pakistan budget 2020-21: The numbers don’t add up

The Orfononline.com (June 16, 2020)
For some years now, Pakistan’s economy has been in the throes of a slow meltdown. Like the previous two budgets, the third budget presented by the Imran Khan government on 12 June was supposed to be make or break, and quite like the preceding budgets, the current budget too will neither completely break nor make Pakistan; instead, Pakistan’s economy will remain in what is best described... Read More

‘Budget lacks reforms; targets too ambitious’

The Daily Times (June 15, 2020)
Leader of the business community and former President ICCI Shahid Rasheed Butt on Sunday said budget lacks reforms while revenue targets are too ambitious and incompatible with the ground realities. The mismatch between an economic slowdown and tax collection target of Rs4,900 billion to tackle an out of control budget deficit has unnerved business community... Read More

BUDGET 2020-21: Govt. tries to appease all stakeholders

The Express Tribune (June 15, 2020)
Industries Minister Hammad Azhar on Friday announced a Rs7.1 trillion budget in a bid to revive the stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, which both the opposition and experts termed unrealistic and full of internal contradictions. The government proposed primary deficit target – the total revenues excluding interest payments –at only 0.5% of gross domestic product (GDP)... Read More

Presidency budget slashed significantly

The Dawn (June 14, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The overall budget of presidency has been cut by more than 60 per cent but those of the Supreme Court and Islamabad High Court have enhanced their expenditures for 2020-21, according to the budget document. The total budget of the President House was Rs992 million for the outgoing fiscal year but President Arif Alvi has reduced it by Rs597m, or 60.18 per cent... Read More

PTI government's strategy for Budget 2020-21

The News (June 13, 2020)
The PTI-led government faces a delicate task in balancing its priorities 2020-21 amid an unprecedented crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic and other challenges arising from the government's austerity measures in fiscal 2019-20. The following will be its key areas of focus next fiscal year. No new taxes were introduced in order to provide relief to the masses۔ Proposed tax concessions will prove effective... Read More

Budget FY21: Govt reduces subsidies despite Covid-19 impact

The Pakistan Today (June 13, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Friday announced the budget for the fiscal year 2020-21, revealing that subsidies have been reduced from Rs349.5 billion for the outgoing year to Rs209 billion for the upcoming year, despite the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the masses. According to the budget documents, the government has allocated 59.33 per cent subsidy for WAPDA/PEPCO... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 68 June 11, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Pakistan’s budget deficit likely to be more than Rs3,427 billion

The Gulf Today (June 11, 2020)
Prime Minister Imran Khan has chaired meeting of National Economic Council (NEC) in Islamabad and deliberated on economic affairs of the country. According to details, the participants have suggested to cut federal and provincial development budgets by 18 per cent. They have also talked on setting Rs11,413 billion for development projects from the overall budget. Read More
 

Govt to present tax-free budget on Friday

The Pakistan Today (June 11, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is all set to present its second federal budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 in the National Assembly on Friday. According to sources, the government is likely to set the revenue collection target at Rs5.1 trillion for FY21. Sources also claimed that the government will not be introducing any new taxes, however... Read More
 

Flexible budget & stiff austerity

The News June 11, 2020)
LAHORE: We need a team of capable analysts to prepare a flexible budget, keeping in view different possible scenarios resulting out of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic after all no government can perfectly forecast where the revenues and expenses be by the time the pandemic hits its peak. Our planners would have to think and plan rationally. We have seen 30 percent decline in revenues in... Read More
 

Ill-timed suggestions for the Budget

The Pakistan Today (June 10, 2020)
It’s that time again in Pakistan─ the time when it tallies its books, double-checks all its pockets and glances dismally at the plethora of ‘summaries’ received. It is Budget time in Pakistan. Pakistan is expected to announce the fiscal budget of FY 2020-2021 on June 12. While Pakistan has ignored, and will ignore, most requests, the ones coming from the IMF are hard to ignore... Read More
 

Japan MPs pass record coronavirus budget

The Pakistan Today (June 10, 2020)
TOKYO: Japan’s powerful lower house of parliament approved an emergency budget worth nearly $300 billion Wednesday, doubling the scale of measures to pep up the world’s third-biggest economy after the coronavirus tipped it into recession. Consumer spending has slowed to a crawl despite Japan’s relatively low infection numbers and death toll from the pandemic... Read More
 

Pakistan's budget to target 2.3% growth after pandemic hit

The Reuters (June 09, 2020)
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan will target growth of 2.3% in fiscal year 2020-21, according to government officials and documents seen by Reuters that said the economic landscape would depend mainly on the country’s ability to control the coronavirus pandemic. ۔Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government is set to present its 2020-21 budget on Friday, in a parliamentary session that only 25%... Read More
 

Govt to raise Balochistan’s health budget

The Dawn (June 09, 2020)
QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has said the government has decided to allocate major share of the next year’s budget to improve weaknesses in the health sector exposed by coronavirus. The CM said the government was making all-out efforts and utilising all available resources to reduce the impact of the deadly virus on the economy, health and other sectors... Read More
 

Tobacco sector lobbying for tax concessions in upcoming budget

The Pakistan Today (June 08, 2020)
LAHORE: As the federal budget approaches the tobacco sector has stepped up its efforts to lobby for tax concessions, amid an economic slump due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to The All Pakistan Cigarette Manufacturers Association (APCMA), a proposal sent to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairperson Nausheen Javed Amjad regarding an open discussion... Read More
 

Budget 2020: put the people first

The News (June 08, 2020)
There is nothing more important today than the lives of Pakistanis and survival of businesses. Helping them should be the clearly stated goal of the coming budget. Putting the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic behind us as soon as possible will enable the economy to recover quickly. At my Institute’s recent online seminar, I urged that the budget must send the signal of a government that cares... Read More
 

PTI’s budget blues

The Pakistan Today (June 07, 2020)
In May 2019 the technical teams of the government and the IMF reached an agreement on a $6 billion bailout package for Pakistan. According to PM’s Finance Adviser Abdul Hafeez Sheikh at the time, the government could not have bridged the financing gap of $12 billion on its own that he said was created by a weak economy. To get the bailout Pakistan had to agree to major conditions which Dr Shaikh saw as being... Read More
 

Budget, Economy, Statistics and Options for Pakistan

The Daily Times (June 07, 2020)
The government of Pakistan is discussing the possible budget for country. Although it is routine thing but this year it will not be usual business due to multiple factors. COVID-19 has hit world and it has changed dynamics of world economy. The factors of economy are adjusting to new normal. Governments have been stuck between “lockdown or no-lockdown” and they will have to decide between... Read More
 

Pakistan Textile Council submits budget proposals to govt

The Nation (June 06, 2020)
ISLAMABAD - Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and his team at the Finance Division held a zoom meeting with the office bearers and members of the Pakistan Textile Council (PTC). During the meeting that was also attended by Minister for Industries and Production Mr. Hammad Azhar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment... Read More
 

KP plans deficit budget amid pandemic

The Dawn (June 06, 2020))
PESHAWAR: Covid-19 has taken a colossal toll on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s budget, accounting for a whopping Rs100 billion shortfall in revenues, forcing the government to do some belt-tightening to cope with the financial drop. Finance minister Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra told a pre-budget briefing here on Friday that the pandemic had also taken a toll on financing development... Read More
 

Budget to be presented on 19th

The Dawn (June 06, 2020)
PESHAWAR: Provincial minister for labour and culture Shaukat Yousafzai on Friday said the annual budget for 2020-21 would be presented in the provincial assembly on June 19 while observing the standard operating procedures. The budget passage process would be completed on June 28. The treasury and opposition parties in the KP Assembly met on Friday to frame a... Read More
 

BUDGET 2020-21: APCC proposes Rs1.3tr development plan

The Express Tribune (June 05, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The federal and four provincial governments have proposed Rs1.3 trillion for development spending in the next fiscal year, which is 18% less than the outgoing fiscal year’s original budget, underscoring the lack of fiscal space that will hamper economic growth. The scarcity of funds has exposed the discontent between the Centre and federating units as Balochistan chief minister staged a... Read More
 

Economic planning: Why Pakistan needs a humane budget

The News (June 05, 2020)
LAHORE: Next years’ budget requires not only the best economic planner, but a humane face as well that carves out optimum for the poor from the limited resources available in the country – a person capable of resisting political compromises. Does any member of the current economic team have the credentials anywhere near that description? All members of the economic... Read More
 

Labour body gives budget proposals to govt.

The News (June 04, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Giving budget proposals to the government for the fiscal year 2020-21, the National Labour Federation (NLF) has demanded of Prime Minister Imran Khan to fix minimum monthly wages for workers at Rs30,000. “Minimum wage for unskilled worker and skilled worker may be fixed Rs30,000/- and Rs45000/- per month respectively, the NLF President.. Read More
 

Stocks end flat on profit-taking; budget in focus

The News (June 04, 2020)
Stocks inched down on Wednesday, as caution investors took some cash off the table in the run-up to the federal budget, due on next week, dealers said. "Market showed lacklustre performance as there was no key developments which could cheer the investors’ mood,” analyst Salman Ahmad at Aba Ali Habib said “Stable crude prices helped local E&P stocks to show minimal... Read More
 

Moot says budget must put people first

The Pakistan Today (June 04, 2020)
LAHORE: Pakistan had 60 million people unemployed even before the pandemic, while the current crisis has added an estimated 20 million more, said former finance minister Sartaj Aziz during an online conference held on Wednesday by the Institute for Policy Reforms. Aziz stressed the need for a comprehensive ‘Corona Revival Plan’, adding that the agriculture... Read More
 

Thoughts on the Budget 2020-21

The Nation (June 03, 2020)
As Pakistan’s moves towards its Fiscal Budget 2020-21, likely to perhaps be the most difficult since its inception, ironically the national economic management seems to be in complete disarray. An absence of economic leadership, lack of coordination amongst various ministries, no clear-cut vision or direction to take the economy forward and the sheer inability to proactively deal with... Read More
 

COVID-19: Budget sessions of national, provincial assemblies look doubtful

The Gulf News (June 03, 2020)
Islamabad: Ahead of the annual budget sessions, that take place in June every year, a large number of members of the national and provincial assemblies of Pakistan have tested positive for coronavirus. The federal government is now under pressure to make COVID-19 tests mandatory for all members of the assemblies, instead of the usual physical tests, to ensure passage of the annual... Read More
 

Budget 2020-21: IMF to be asked to slash FBR target from Rs5,103 bn to Rs4,800 bn

The News (June 02, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: While directing preparation of combating corona budget for 2020-21, Prime Minister Imran Khan has assigned Adviser to PM on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh for convincing the IMF for slashing down the FBR’s tax collection target from Rs5,103 billion to Rs4,800 billion for next fiscal year. The non-tax revenue collection target will be jacked up substantially so the additional resources of... Read More
 

Budget 2020-21 of Rs 7,600 billion to be presented on June 12

The Dunya News (June 01, 2020)
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - Federal budget for the year 2020-21 will be Rs 7,600 billion and it will be presented on June 12. According to details, the federal government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will present a new budget on the 12th of this month with a total volume of Rs. 7,600 billion. GDP growth rate target of 3% is being considered for the next financial year. According to the sources... Read More
 

Govt to offer sector-specific subsidies in upcoming budget

The Pakistan Today (June 01, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to offer subsidies only for “targeted sectors” in the next fiscal year, sources revealed on Monday. According to details, the government would refrain from giving broad-based subsidies in the next fiscal year, whereas it would target sectors such as housing, power, export and food security, for subsidies. Sources said that the government... Read More

A difficult budget
The Dawn (June 01, 2020)

AS the government prepares to present its second budget on June 12, its economic team is trying to push through the simplification of the tax regime, ease of doing business and Covid-19 response as cross-cutting themes. It would be a tough call indeed as every segment of the population — from government servants to the armed forces, from labourers to employers and from the poor to big businesses... Read More

Budget 2020: innovative taxation

The Daily Times (May 31, 2020)
A good tax system is one that raises money with minimal distortion to the economy. In Pakistan, oppressive, unfair and complex tax system is the main cause of many distortions in economy. Budget 2020, expected on June 12, 2020, is to address the daunting challenge of mitigating economic toll of Covid-19 pandemic. In these circumstances, the government must reverse the negative role... Read More

Stocks to see volatility; focus turns to budget

The News (May 31, 2020)
Stocks ended short week with scanty gains and plain volumes, a trend that dealers said was here to stay, along with range-bound trade, until the announcement of federal budget 2020-21 and the measures to bring the COVID-19 pandemic-hit economy back on feet in the new fiscal year. Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) KSE-100 shared index rose 0.28 percent or 95 points during the outgoing... Read More

PRGMEA calls for zero rated regime restoration in budget 2020-21

The Nation (May 31, 2020)
LAHORE - The Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association, in its budget proposals for 2020-21 submitted to the federal government, has called for restoration of zero rated regime of ‘no payment and no refund of sales tax’ for export-oriented sectors including textile at least for one year to sustain the industry amidst crucial liquidity crunch due to COVID-19... Read More

20% salary, pension raise likely for govt employees

The Pakistan Today (May 30, 2020)
The budget for financial year 2020-21 has good news for government employees who are expected to get a raise of 20 per cent in their basic salary despite numerous economic challenges and feeble economy in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, a private TV channel reported on Saturday. Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh will announce the budget... Read More

PM stresses financial discipline for economic stability

The Pakistan Today (May 29, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday emphasised upon the need to ensure financial discipline and continuation of institutional reforms in order to consolidate the process of economic stabilisation while simultaneously providing relief to the masses. He was chairing a meeting to review the state of the country’s economy. The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah... Read More

Coronavirus is worsening global financial fragility, according to the IMF

The World Economic Forum (May 29, 2020)
Much the same way COVID-19 hits people with pre-existing health conditions more strongly, so is the pandemic-triggered economic crisis exposing and worsening financial vulnerabilities that have built up during a decade of extremely low rates and volatility. Our recently released chapters 2-4 of the Global Financial Stability Report focus on three potential weak spots: risky segments in... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 67 May 28, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Proposals for Punjab budget: OICCI suggests harmonisation of taxes

The News (May 28, 2020)
LAHORE: Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) suggested that in line with international and regional practices a uniform service tax law may be drafted and agreed upon by the tax authorities of the provinces and federal government, for implementation in their respective jurisdiction. Furthermore, a uniform tax return may also be introduced for the taxpayers. Read More
 

Budget 2020-21: PTI govt to focus on relief for people, business

The Express Tribune (May 28, 2020)
KARACHI: The government is determined to announce a pro-people, pro-business and no-new-tax budget for the next fiscal year starting July 1. Rather, the FY21 budget would be a continuity of the current policies of facilitating the masses and businesses to win the war against the coronavirus pandemic, officials said. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is being tasked to collect Rs5,100 billion... Read More
 

Balancing the budget

The News (May 27, 2020)
Najeeb Many think this should be a corona budget. Maybe it is more than that – a survival budget for the millions of citizens and businesses who need a lending hand. The pre-Covid-19 economy was saddled with a plethora of headwinds besieging growth to mere 1.9 percent in FY19 and to 2 percent in FY20. Budget FY21 has to design a blockbuster response to a shrinking economy between -0.38 percent... Read More
 

Islamabad traders demand hike in development budget

The Express Tribune (May 27, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: An umbrella body of traders and businessmen from the federal capital have called upon the federal government to enhance budgetary allocations for the city in the upcoming budget to ensure proper development there. This was stated by Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Ahmed Waheed in a statement on Tuesday. He demanded that... Read More
 

China’s Defense Budget Set to Grow at Slower Pace

The dsm.com (May 26, 2020)
China has announced a defense budget for 2020 that will result in a year-on-year nominal increase of 6.6 percent, the lowest such figure since the first half of the 1990s. Chinese officials announced on May 22 a topline defense figure of 1.268 trillion yuan, which amounts to $178 billion. The earmark for 2019 amounted to CNY1.19 trillion, or $173 billion. This represented an increase over... Read More
 

World Bank approves $500mn loan for Pakistan in fight against Covid-19

The Sutchtv.com (May 26, 2020)
The World Bank has approved a $500mn loan programme for Pakistan to provide better opportunities for women, strengthen its social safety nets and improve access to quality healthcare and education as the country continues to bear the brunt of the coronavirus. The Securing Human Investments to Foster Transformation (SHIFT) programme will support policy reforms to help Pakistan’s... Read More
 

B150bn from future budgets may be used

The Bangkok Post (May 25, 2020)
The government is set to reallocate 150 billion baht from the 2020 and 2021 fiscal budgets if additional funds for economic and social restoration are needed to blunt the fallout from the pandemic, says the Budget Bureau. The 150 billion baht will be spent if either the existing 400 billion baht earmarked for economic and social rehabilitation is insufficient or the global economy has... Read More
 

Market likely to remain range-bound till budget update

The News (May 24, 2020)
The capital market showed lacklustre performance owing to shortened week because of long Eid holidays, while lack of surprises on interest rate front and continuous selling from foreign fund houses. The capital market showed lacklustre performance owing to shortened week because of long Eid holidays, while lack of surprises on interest rate front and continuous selling from foreign fund houses squeezed the... Read More
 

Budgeting in a pandemic

The News (May 24, 2020)
Adviser to the PM on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, in a press release issued on May 18, 2020, noted that while preparing the next budget, “we should be more vigilant, practical, and analyze the opportunities and challenges offered by the current environment”. He added that the “government is ready to listen to all stakeholders to prepare a budget which is according to the need... Read More
 

China’s military budget growth slows to 6.6%

The News (May 23, 2020)
Beijing: China will increase its military budget by a slower 6.6 percent this year, the government announced Friday at the opening session of its annual National People’s Congress. The budget will be set at 1.268 trillion yuan ($178 billion) for the year -- the second-biggest in the world after the United States -- continuing a downward trend in military spending and lower than last year’s increase of 7.5 percent... Read More
 

Pakistan borrows $7.381b from external sources in 10 months of current FY

The Nation (May 23, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-Pakistan’s borrowing from external sources had remained lower in ten months (July to April) of the current fiscal year due to out-break of COVID-19 as the pandemic has completely halted the development activities across the country. Pakistan had borrowed $7.381 billion from the external sources in Jul to April of the current fiscal year. The government’s borrowing from... Read More
 

Minimal role of parliament in federal budget highlighted

The Pakistan Observer (May 22, 2020)
Islamabad: In a PILDAT organized online course on Parliament and the Purse Strings, speakers and participating MPs highlighted the negligible role of Parliament in influencing and scrutinizing federal budget and agreed that multi-party consensus is required to enhance Parliament’s role in the Federal Budget process. Power of the purse or control on purse strings is one of the most... Read More
 

Pakistan's current account deficit soars to $572m

The Express Tribune (May 22, 2020)
KARACHI: Pakistan’s current account deficit – the difference between country’s expenditure and income – spiked to $572 million in April 2020 but remained largely under control and affordable on the back of recent growth in the country’s foreign currency reserves. The current account deficit soared 64-fold in April compared to $9 million in the previous month of March, the State Bank of... Read More
 

China announces $178.2 billion military budget

The Defense News (May 22, 2020)
MELBOURNE, Australia — China has announced a 6.6 percent growth in its defense budget for this year, its lowest rate of increase for almost three decades. The growth in China’s defense budget would see spending rise from $167 billion last year to $178.2 billion, an increase of about $11 billion. The country has the second-largest defense budget in the world, behind only the United States. Despite the,... Read More
 

Govt to present FY21 budget on June 12

The Pakistan Today (May 21, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government will present the federal budget for financial year 2020-21 before the National Assembly on June 12, sources said on Thursday, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan has already granted the necessary approval in this regard. Sources said officers of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) engaged in preparing the federal budget have been barred from... Read More
 

Budget 2020-21: CM Buzdar directs departments to cut unnecessary expenditures

The Dunya News (May 21, 2020)
LAHORE (Dunya News) – Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has directed the provincial departments to cut unnecessary expenditures as novel coronavirus has created difficult circumstances, Dunya News reported on Thursday. Usman Buzdar chaired a special session at the CM Office to deliberate on the upcoming budget and annual development... Read More
 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa slashes uplift budget by 50 per cent

The Pakistan Today (May 20, 2020)
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has slashed the developmental budget by 50 per cent for the ongoing financial year due to the coronavirus-induced financial crisis. Sources told Pakistan Today that due to the failure of the federal government to disburse net hydel profit, state transfers and other funds to provincial government, the province has reduced its... Read More
 

Pakistan’s economy size shrinks to $264b

The News (May 19, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: With the contraction of Pakistan’s GDP growth rate that falls into zero range at negative -0.38 percent for the outgoing fiscal year, the total size of the country’s economy and per capita income are expected to shrink significantly in terms of dollar in post Covid-19 pandemic. The total size of Pakistan’s economy in terms of dollars has decreased up to US$264 billion for outgoing fiscal year... Read More
 

IMF proposes Rs575 billion new taxes in next budget

The Express Tribune (May 18, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has proposed Rs5,100 billion revenue target in the next budget for fiscal 2020-21, including additional tax measures of Rs575 billion, sources told The Express Tribune on Tuesday. A senior Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) official said that in the recent talks with the IMF via a video link, the Fund had been cautioned that business sectors had... Read More
 

Budgetary policies in times of virus

The Express Tribune (May 18, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s policymakers are in an unenviable position while formulating the upcoming fiscal year’s budget. Everyone from small and medium enterprises to large-scale manufacturing industries is looking for relief measures to cope with the Covid-19 crisis. Even without the pandemic, many would expect some relief in the existing taxation regime as the government is reaching the... Read More
 

‘Upcoming budget to be challenging for government’

The News (May 18, 2020)
Islamabad: Senior vice president of FPCCI Business Panel and President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum Mian Zahid Hussain has said the budget-making process amid crisis will be a challenge for the government. The upcoming budget should be a traditional one but a modern document to provide some relief to the masses. It should not focus... Read More
 

Murad says next Sindh budget to be impacted by coronavirus

The Dawn (May 17, 2020)
KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday said that the budget for the next financial year would be impacted by coronavirus. “Therefore, a new strategy has been worked out under which priorities will be given to health services, employment generation, social security, and innovation in education sector,” he added. This he said while presiding over a meeting to set a strategy for the budget... Read More
 

Budget to focus on health services, employment generation, says CM

The Pakistan Today (May 17, 2020)
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the budget for next financial year, 2020-21, will be coronavirus impact-oriented; according to which priorities would be given to health services, employment generation, social security, and innovation in the education sector. The chief minister was presiding over a meeting to set a strategy for the upcoming budget... Read More
 

Govt may reduce development budget to Rs530bn in FY21

The Pakistan Today (May 16, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: As the Covid-19 pandemic has left limited room for the government to spend on development projects, the Centre has planned to allocate only Rs530 billion to Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the next fiscal year, a reduction of almost Rs171 billion from the current fiscal year. According to an official privy to this development, Planning Minister Asad Umar, while... Read More

Govt plans to boost health, social sectors in upcoming budget The Pakistan Today (May 15, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: To counter the adverse impact of the coronavirus, the federal government on Friday decided to give priority to the social as well as health sectors in the next budget for fiscal year 2020-21. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh with regard to the budgetary outlook for the next financial... Read More

Pakistan’s GDP to grow 2% in FY21

The Express Tribune (May 15, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: With the projection of up to 1.5% negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth owing to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic in FY20, the country’s economy is expected to turn around to record 2% growth in the new fiscal year (2020-21), Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Thursday. Participating in a webinar on “Pakistan’s Economy... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 66 May 14, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

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 app.com (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 scmp.com (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 blueprint.ng (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
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 65 April 30, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Federal budget 2020-21 to be announced in first week of June

The Nation (Apr 30, 2020)
ISLAMABAD - The federal budget 2020-21, to be announced in the first week of June, would focus on mitigating people’s sufferings through different measures including creation of job opportunities, Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said. The budget would be formulated considering the impact of COVID-19 on the people and businessmen,... Read More
 

Budget 2020-21 to mitigate people’s sufferings: Hafeez

The News (Apr 30, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The federal budget 2020-21, to be announced in the first week of June, would focus on mitigating people’s sufferings through different measures including creation of job opportunities, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said.The budget would be formulated considering the impact of COVID-19 on the people and businessmen, he said while... Read More
 

Budget deficit to swell to 9.6pc of GDP due to lockdown situation

The Nation (Apr 29, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-A high-level meeting on Tuesday noted that Pakistan’s budget deficit would swell to 9.6 percent of the GDP, economic growth would be contracted by 1.5 percent while the impact on the poverty figures could also be higher due to closure of businesses and restricted economic activity due to the lockdown situation. A high Ievel meeting underlined several challenges the country was likely... Read More
 

‘Federal budget in 1st week of June, to focus on mitigating people’s sufferings’

The Pakistan Today (Apr 29, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government would present the budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 in the parliament in the first week of June 2020, with special focus on mitigating sufferings of people through various measures and creating employment opportunities for them, said Adviser to Prime Minister of Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. The budget would be formulated... Read More
 

India has Third Biggest Military Budget in the World Now

The Rs.news (Apr 28, 2020)
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) in its annual report said that India has the third biggest military budget in the world last year, following United States and China. The military spending of India of $71 billion was 6.8% more than its 2018 expenditure. It increased by 259% over a 30-year period from 1990 to 2019 and it grew by 37% from 2010-19. When it comes to the GDP, the... Read More
 

ADP budget faces cut as Sindh worries about its shrinking share in federal pool

The News (Apr 28, 2020)
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had earlier set a revenue collection target of Rs5.5 trillion for the current financial year, but now it is expecting to collect Rs3.9 trillion in which the share of the Sindh government has been cut down from Rs835 billion to Rs602 billion, showing a shortfall of Rs233 billion. “This is a very serious situation... Read More
 

Russia's budget spending rules hindering anti-crisis funding, economists say

The Reuters.com (Apr 27, 2020)
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The regulations governing budget spending in Russia, where the economy is slipping into recession due to low oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic, are hindering its ability to adequately fund anti-crisis measures, economists have said. Russia overtook mainland China on Monday in terms of its number of confirmed new coronavirus cases, with a national tally... Read More
 

Pakistan's economy in deep trouble

The Express Tribune (Apr 27, 2020)
KARACHI: The World Bank has warned that Pakistan’s economy can shrink 1.3% to 2.2% in the current fiscal year whereas the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the economy may contract 1.5%. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) also believes all growth indicators will have to be revised downwards. These are really very troubling times for the nation of 220 million already suffering from a range of structural... Read More
 

Govt likely to keep budget deficit target at Rs3 trillion during FY21

The Nation (Apr 26, 2020)
ISLAMABAD - The government is likely to keep budget deficit target at Rs3 trillion (6.6 percent of the GDP) during next fiscal year (FY21).The country’s budget deficit is expected to widen to Rs3.916 trillion (9.3 percent of the GDP) during current financial year. Budget deficit would swell to Rs3.916 trillion in the current fiscal year (FY20) after coronavirus situation against the early projection of ... Read More
 

Cement sector urges govt to reduce sales tax to 15% in budget

The Pakistan Today (Apr 25, 2020)
LAHORE: The country’s cement sector which incurred heavy losses in the 3QFY20 has urged the government to reduce the federal sales tax from 17pc to 15pc in the upcoming federal budget. All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) Chairman Azam Faruque in his letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Adviser on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has proposed... Read More
 

Ministries, divisions: MoF sets up desk for receiving budget orders

The Business Recorder (Apr 25, 2020)
The Finance Ministry has set up a front desk in the ministry for receiving budget orders from the ministries and divisions for the next fiscal year, and has directed that only one relevant person along with summary of demands should approach the desk owing to threat of COVID-19 spread. The ministry issued procedure for receiving budget orders/new item statements for the next fiscal year... Read More
 

ADB to provide $1.7 billion to Pakistan for dealing with coronavirus pandemic

The Nation (Apr 25, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The Asian Development Bank (ADB) would provide $1.7 billion to Pakistan during ongoing calendar year for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. The ADB would provide $800 million budgetary support to Pakistan by June 2020. The remaining $900 million will be given by December 2020. The ADB will provide this amount on concessional terms, according to the Economic Affairs...Read More
 

Pakistan hasn’t received any foreign aid to fight corona, says PM Imran

The Pakistan Today (Apr 24, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that Pakistan has not received any financial assistance from any country or global organisation despite the coronavirus outbreak in the country which has infected more than 11,500 people and claimed over 240 lives. During a meeting with social media influencers and journalists, he said the situation developing after the pandemic is a big test for the... Read More
 

Pakistan's economy to contract only modestly

The Express Tribune (Apr 24, 2020)
KARACHI: Moody’s Investors Service – one of the top three global credit rating agencies – has anticipated that Pakistan’s economic growth will shrink much less than what the country’s central bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have projected in response to the coronavirus pandemic. “We expect Pakistan’s real GDP (gross domestic product) to contract... Read More
 

Pakistan Gets Unexpected Economic Relief in a Time of Global Crisis

The Diplomat (Apr 23, 2020)
For months, Pakistan has struggled to find an opportunity that could ease the country’s balance of payments crisis. From imposing a stricter tax regime to scaling up its interest rates, the current government has done it all to increase its revenue. Despite all these efforts to uplift the economy, the indicators of Pakistan’s economic growth have remained dismal. However, that may ... Read More
 

SBP revises projection for budget deficit, predicts negative GDP growth for remaining fiscal year

The Geo.tv (Apr 23, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has revised upward its projection for the country’s escalating budget deficit to 9.2% of GDP equivalent to Rs3,857 billion in post-COVID-19 situation for the current fiscal year against earlier projection of 7.2% of GDP or Rs3,170 billion. In an online presentation given to selected economic analysts by SBP Governor Reza Baqir and Deputy... Read More
 

The IMF and Pakistan

The Business Recorder (Apr 22, 2020)
The Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Pakistan Teresa Daban Sanchez stated during an online policy dialogue organised by the SDPI that the Fund will remain engaged with the Pakistani authorities ‘advising on a good budget'. The budget expected to be announced after Ramazan, in the last week of May or early June, is in all probability already under preparation in the Ministry of... Read More
 

Central Banker Says Ready to do More to Shield Pakistan Economy

The Bloomberg.com (Apr 22, 2020)
Pakistan had taken a number of reform steps to bolster its economy before the virus hit and is ready to do more as it heads for a rare contraction, the nation’s central bank governor said. The central bank stopped lending directly to the government to help plug its budget deficit, switched to a market-based exchange rate and took other measures to improve external and fiscal... Read More
 

FY21 budget: IMF working closely with authorities: Sanchez

The Business Recorder (Apr 21, 2020)
While emphasising the need for adopting good taxation principles with sometime increase in the tax-base and sometime increase in rates, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Monday, stated that it was working closely with the Pakistani authorities on preparing budget for the next fiscal year. This was stated by Teresa Daban Sanchez, resident representative ... Read More
 

Covid poses threat to normal holding of NA budget session

The Dawn (Apr 20, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The coronavirus pandemic is likely to create a constitutional crisis for the country as the first meeting of a special parliamentary committee will on Tuesday decide how the National Assembly’s budget session will be conducted in the wake of the outbreak. The task seems to be a difficult one amid reports that two staff members of the Parliament House have... Read More
 

Govt releases Rs962.7m for revenue division projects

The Nation (Apr 20, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The Federal government has so far authorised release of Rs 962.725 million for various ongoing and new projects of Revenue Division under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20, as against its total allocation of Rs1728.238 million. Out of the total amount, Rs265.416 million have been authorised to be released for establishment of Inland Revenue ... Read More
 

Opposition support sought for K-P budget

The Express Tribune (Apr 20, 2020)
PESHAWAR: Given the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which has so far claimed 60 lives amid 1,137 cases in the province, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly Speaker Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani has decided to consult opposition lawmakers on devising a strategy for presenting the budget for the fiscal year 2020-21. The next fiscal budget is expected to be tabled in mid-June. A source at the K-P... Read More
 

Pakistan likely to miss all economic targets: IMF

The Nation (Apr 19, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that Pakistan would miss all economic targets during the ongoing fiscal year as the country is facing unprecedented health and economic shocks from the rapid propagation of the COVID-19 outbreak. The IMF in its latest report on Pakistan’s economic situation has noted that the budget deficit would... Read More
 

PPP leader urges PTI govt to focus on health in budget

The Express Tribune (Apr 19, 2020)
KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party central leader Sherry Rehman on Saturday urged the government to concentrate on the healthcare system in the upcoming budget to assist the people on the frontline in the war against Covid-19. “The medical and non-medical staff on the frontline [in the war against the novel coronavirus] should be protected and the health sector should... Read More

$1.38 bn injection to cushion economy from external risks/h1> The News (Apr 18, 2020)

ISLAMABAD: With the approval of $1.38 billion addressing external risks to Pakistan’s economy in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut down all macroeconomic targets including shrinking GDP growth, worsening budget deficit especially primary deficit, escalating debt burden, reducing remittances, and exports and investment. The Fund has... Read More

After $1.4b approval, IMF puts on hold $6b EFF programme

The Pakistan Today (Apr 18, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: In the wake of coronavirus pandemic and disbursement of $1.386 billion under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to help Pakistan address the economic impact of COVID-19 shock, Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have reportedly agreed to put on hold the existing $6bn Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme, a local newspaper reported. It has been learnt... Read More

FPCCI budget proposals seek reduction in tax rates

The News (Apr 17, 2020)
KARACHI: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has finalised its proposals for the federal budget, and recommended to reduce the tax rates to help increase competitive edge of indigenous products in both local and global markets. FPCCI’s proposals envisage revamping taxation system, documentation of economy, employment generation through... Read More

Pakistan among 76 countries to get debt relief from May 1

The Pakistan Today (Apr 17, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday said that on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s appeal, the G20 countries have decided to provide debt relief to 76 developing countries, including Pakistan, and this decision will be effective from May 1. Addressing a press conference in the federal capital, he said that this is a very timely decision and will give developing... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 64 April 16, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Pakistan's budget deficit may hit record high due to coronavirus

The Express Tribune (Apr 16, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s budget deficit is expected to rise to the highest level in history to 9.2% of the size of national economy or Rs4 trillion in current fiscal year due to the impact of deadly contagion on revenues and expenses, says a new report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In the Middle East and Central Asia Regional Economic Outlook (REO) Update released on Wednesday... Read More
 

Next budget an opportunity to revive agri sector: Asad

The News (Apr 16, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar said that upcoming federal budget as an opportunity to revive the lost momentum of the agriculture sector. He expressed these views during a meeting with the newly appointed Federal Minster for National Food Security, Syed Fakhar Imam, the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiative, Asad Omer and several... Read More
 

Budget 2020-21: preparations

The Business Recorder (Apr 15, 2020)
Preparation for budget 2020-21 has been ongoing for months and though, disturbingly, the medium-term budget strategy paper 2020 approved by the cabinet on 18 March failed to take account of the tremendous challenges facing the global economy in the backdrop of the raging pandemic with greater devastating implications on the economies of heavily indebted... Read More
 

Current account deficit contracts to six-year low, says SBP report

The Daily Times (Apr 15, 2020)
According to SBP report, the current account deficit contracted to a six-year low, foreign exchange reserves increased, the primary budget recorded a surplus. According to a report, the stabilization efforts and regulatory measures yielded notable improvements during the first half of the fiscal year 2020, however, noted that the global and domestic spread of Covid-19 has brought an exceptional set of... Read More
 

GDP growth likely to contract further in FY20: SBP

The Pakistan Today (Apr 14, 2020)
KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Tuesday that the country’s GDP growth projections for fiscal year 2020, currently at 3pc, are likely to contract further in the coming months. According to the SBP’s ‘Second Quarterly Report for fiscal year 2020 on The State of Pakistan’s Economy’, achieving this year’s real GDP growth target of 4pc had been unlikely, as the agriculture sector’s... Read More
 

NA budget session: Panel set up for working out SOPs

The Business Recorder (Apr 14, 2020)
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser Monday said that a committee has been constituted to evolve a strategy and work out standard operating procedures (SOPs) after discussion and consultation with the representatives of the government and opposition for holding Budget 2020-21 session of the Parliament. Addressing a joint news conference with Minister for... Read More
 

Russia Needs Additional $54.5bln in 2020 to Cover Budget Needs, Support Economy - Kudrin

The Urdupoint (Apr 13, 2020)
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 13th April, 2020) Russia needs additional 4 trillion rubles ($54.5 billion) this year to cover all budgetary needs and prop up the economy, and supporting business may require 2-3 trillion rubles more amid the global coronavirus pandemic, Chairman of the Accounts Chamber Alexei Kudrin said Monday. "The Federal authorities estimate missed revenue from oil... Read More
 

Speaker to discuss budget with parliamentary leaders

The Dawn (Apr 13, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has decided to consult parliamentary leaders of all political parties in the National Assembly on presentation and passage of the federal budget for the next fiscal. In a statement issued by the National Assembly Secretariat here on Sunday, the speaker said the federal budget for the fiscal 2020-21 was scheduled to be presented... Read More
 

Budget 2020-21: There is no room for additional taxation: Pasha

The Business Recorder (Apr 12, 2020)
There is no room for additional taxation in the next budget as an additional taxation of Rs735 billion in the current budget has already ruined the economy, said renowned economist Dr Hafiz Pasha. Talking to Business Recorder, he said the government should immediately restore the zero-rating facility on exports if it has a cushion of Rs 100 to 150 billion in the next budget, especially... Read More
 

Pak seeks additional $1.4b from IMF Govt likely to miss tax collection target by around Rs1500 billion

The Nation (Apr 12, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The government is likely to miss the tax collection target by around Rs1500 billion during ongoing fiscal year mainly due to inability of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and slowdown in economic activities due to coronavirus. Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar on Saturday said that tax collection could reduce by Rs1400-Rs1500 billion during ongoing... Read More
 

NA Secretariat mulling contingency plan for budget session: speaker

The Pakistan Today (Apr 11, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar on Saturday said in consultations with all the political parties, the National Assembly Secretariat is evolving a contingency plan for the upcoming budget session and in case the disease doesn’t die down. In an exclusive interview with Pakistan Today, Asad Qaisar shrugged away the impression that... Read More
 

March US deficit shrinks, but virus budget storm seen in April

The Business Recorder (Apr 11, 2020)
WASHINGTON: The March US budget deficit shrank to $119 billion from $147 billion a year earlier as receipts grew and calendar shifts reduced outlays, but the data reflect only a minimal impact from massive coronavirus rescue spending, the US Treasury said on Friday. Large outlays from the $2.3 trillion coronavirus legislation passed on March 27 and reduced... Read More
 

Covid-19 effects: Pakistan estimates 0.8 to 1.3pc loss to GDP growth

The News (Apr 10, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has made assessment of Covid-19 pandemic affects on the country’s GDP growth ranging from 0.8 to 1.3 percent and decided to prepare action plan for social/economic fronts in consultation with the World Bank (WB) to mitigate negative impacts. The Planning Commission assessed that Pakistan’s GDP growth would face effects of Covid-19 in the range of 0.8 to 1.3 percent so... Read More
 

Rs 2.5 billion relief package to be enhanced to Rs 7 billion: Firdous

The Business Recorder (Apr 10, 2020
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Thursday said that Rs2.5 billion relief package had been announced, which would be enhanced to Rs7 billion. Besides, the prime minister has also approved Rs10 billion for smooth supply of essential items on subsidised rates through the Utility Stores Corporation. Addressing ... Read More
 

Russian PM warns COVID-19 eating budget allocation

The aa.com (Apr 09, 2020)
MOSCOW: The Russian government recently published a number of decrees that revises the allocation of the state funds as prime minister warned Thursday the budget will be seriously hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Changes were made to support domains worst-hit by the virus and financing was increased by cutting programs for... Read More
 

IMF to provide Pakistan $1.4 billion to stabilise economy amid coronavirus crisis

The News (Apr 09, 2020)
The International Monetary Fund plans on providing Pakistan $1.4 billion by next week to improve the country's financial situation as it fights coronavirus, Arab News reported on Wednesday. According to the publication the aid aims "to boost its foreign exchange reserves and get some budgetary support in the wake of the economic slowdown due to the coronavirus... Read More
 

Govt releases Rs 7.109 bln for Finance Division projects

The Nation (Apr 08, 2020)
The Federal government has so far authorised to release Rs 7109.03 million for various ongoing and new projects of Finance Division under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20, as against its total allocation of Rs 11834.749 million. Out of the total, Rs 800 million have been authorized to be released for Construction of Sibbi Rakhni Road, out of its total allocations ... Read More
 

Public debt up 5.14 percent to Rs33.421trln in July-Feb FY20

The News (Apr 08, 2020)
KARACHI: Pakistan’s public debt rose by 5.14 percent to Rs1.635 trillion in the eight months of the current fiscal year, mainly due to increase in domestic debt accumulation, the central bank data showed on Tuesday. Public debt was Rs33.421 trillion at the end of February 2020, up from Rs31.786 trillion till end June 2019. Domestic debt increased 7.02 percent to Rs22.188 trillion... Read More
 

IMF delays approval of review for $450m tranche

The Express Tribune (Apr 07, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has postponed approval of second review of the $6-billion bailout programme that was scheduled for coming Friday due to delay in implementing agreed actions by Pakistan. The IMF has confirmed the development but says its priority has now shifted to the approval of a rapid financing facility of $1.4 billion... Read More
 

COVID-19 | Sitharaman must press the reset button and present Budget 2020 2.0

The Moneycongtrol.com (Apr 07, 2020)
On February 1, when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her second budget, she was broadly confronted with the following constraints. Households weren’t spending, companies were sitting on a piling mount of unsold stocks, farmers remained in distress, the world economy was shaky, the tax revenue flows were wobbly and the queue of job hopefuls was... Read More
 

Pakistan’s economic growth faces headwinds in 2020, recovery in 2021: ADB

The Nation (Apr 06, 2020)
Economic growth in Pakistan is expected to slow to 2.6 percent this year due to ongoing stabilization efforts, slower growth in agriculture and the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, before recovering to 3.2 percent in 2021 according to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) latest annual flagship economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020. “Pakistan’s strong and decisive policy... Read More
 

Lockdown affecting Pakistan’s economy: Asad Umar

The Samaa.tv (Apr 05, 2020)
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said that the lockdown across Pakistan due to the outbreak of the coronavirus is affecting the country’s economy. The economic situation was effecting the rich and poor alike, Umar said while addressing a press conference at the National Command and Control Centre on Sunday. He, however, admitted that the number of cases has gone down... Read More
 

Govt to prepare budget amidst uncertainty caused by COVID-19

The Nation (Apr 05, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The government might struggle to prepare budget for next fiscal year primarily due to uncertain economic situation caused by the prevailing coronavirus pandemic in the country. The government had earlier planned to announce the budget 2020-21 in the last week of May and had started preparations in this regard. However, the ministry of finance recently suspended the budget... Read More
 

World Bank sees Pakistan’s economic growth sliding to 1%

The Express Tribune (Apr 04, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s economic growth may slip to nearly 1% — the situation that the country went through at the time of the last severe global financial crisis – because of the adverse effects of the novel coronavirus outbreak on the manufacturing and services sectors, the World Bank said on Friday. The global lender also said the country’s budget deficit would further widen by 2% of its GDP... Read More

World Bank sees Pakistan’s economic growth sliding to 1%

The Express Tribune (Apr 04, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s economic growth may slip to nearly 1% — the situation that the country went through at the time of the last severe global financial crisis – because of the adverse effects of the novel coronavirus outbreak on the manufacturing and services sectors, the World Bank said on Friday. The global lender also said the country’s budget deficit would further widen by 2% of its GDP... Read More

German budget surplus declines to 45.2b euros

The Pakistan Observer (Apr 04, 2020)
BERLIN Germany’s budget surplus declined to 45.2 billion euros (48.8 billion U.S. dollars) in 2019, the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) an nounced. According to Destatis, all government levels recorded a positive net lending balance. The federal government recorded a surplus of 14.8 billion euros while the states even recorded a surplus of 16.6 billion euros. However, Germany’s total budget surplus declined by 8.5 billion euros compared to 2018... Read More

Pakistan’s economy to slowdown to 2.6pc this year: ADB

The Global Village Space (Apr 03, 2020)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected Pakistan’s economic growth will slow to 2.6 percent this year due to ongoing stabilization efforts and the ongoing pandemic. This has impacted badly the already tumultuous economy of Pakistan. Pakistan’s strong and decisive policy measures have started to yield positive results in reversing macroeconomic imbalances and narrowing ... Read More

Pakistan economy to loose 2.5 trillion due to coronavirus: report

The Geo.tv (Apr 03, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday worked out the impact of losses of pandemic COVID-19 virus on some sectors of the national economy and shared the initial assessment that total losses stood at the whopping figure of Rs 2.5 trillion, reported The News. Official estimates first time shared with a selected group of reporters in the aftermath of the outbreak of coronavirus reveal... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 63 April 02, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

World Bank approves additional financing of $700m for Dasu power project

The Pakistan Observer (Apr 02, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The World Bank Wednesday approved an additional $700 million financing to help Pakistan generate low-cost, renewable energy to provide affordable electricity supply to millions of users. The Additional Financing for Dasu Hydropower Stage I Project will finance the transmission line to complete the first phase of the Dasu hydropower plant that will install 2,160... Read More
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves fall $804m to $11.2b

The Express Tribune (Apr 02, 2020)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank decreased 6.7% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. On March 27, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $11,185.6 million, down $804 million compared with $11,989.2 million in the previous week... Read More
 

Rs6 billion package to give railways breathing space

The Express Tribune (Apr 01, 2020)
LAHORE: Cash-strapped Pakistan Railways has managed to secure a relief package of Rs6 billion from the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), which is expected to provide some breathing space to the company in the current crisis. The amount, approved on Monday, would be given to the Ministry of Railways in three equal installments of Rs2 billion per... Read More
 

FBR collects Rs3.06tr in taxes, misses target

The Express Tribune (Apr 01, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The month of March proved catastrophic for the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) that missed its collection target by a record Rs263 billion despite releasing Rs12 billion fewer tax refunds than what Prime Minister promised to exporters under the just-announced relief package. Cumulatively, the shortfall in nine-month tax collection jumped to Rs693 billion against the... Read More
 

UN calls for $2.5 trillion coronavirus rescue package for developing countries

The Pakistan Today (Mar 31, 2020)
The United Nations has called for 2.5 trillion dollars coronavirus rescue package for developing countries to boost their resilience to further hardship in wake of coronavirus threat. In an appeal, UNCTAD director of Globalization and Development Strategies, Richard Kozul-Wright, said the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is likely to get much worse before it gets... Read More
 

Govt approves Rs43m to set up media wing

The Pakistan Today (Mar 31, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has approved Rs42.791 million for the creation of a Digital Media Wing in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoIB) during the current financial year. Documents available with Pakistan Today disclosed that the cabinet had approved the summary of supplementary grant floated by the ministry. The government has decided to create a Digital... Read More
 

Debate over constutionality of Sri Lanka’s March-May 2020 mini-budget

The Economy Next(Mar 30, 2020)
ECONOMYNEXT – A mini-budget from March to May 2020, drawn up by the Treasury purportedly under presidential powers is unconstitutional as a vote-on-account has already been passed by parliament up to April, ex – Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera had claimed. He said a pre-election budget report referred to the newly drafted mini-budget as a vote-on-account, which... Read More
 

COVID-19: MoF suspends preparations for next fiscal budget

The Pakistan Today (Mar 30, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance has suspended the budget preparations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “The ministry has suspended for the time being all the activities with regard to budget preparation for the fiscal year 2020-21,” said a source privy to this development. The economic team had issued the budget call circular in January this year, following which the MoF had also gotten... Read More
 

Govt might suffer Rs400b shortfall in non-tax collection

The Nation (Mar 29, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The government might suffer shortfall of Rs400 billion in non-tax collection during current fiscal year due to the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic. The government is unlikely to complete the privatization programme during ongoing fiscal year due to the prevailing situation. The government had projected to generate around Rs400 billion by... Read More
 

Iran to use 20% of state budget to fight coronavirus

The Middle east monitor (Mar 29, 2020)
Iran is to allocate 20% of its annual state budget to fighting the coronavirus outbreak in the country, one of the worst-hit in the world, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday, as reported by Reuters. Iran’s death toll from coronavirus rose to 2,517 on Saturday, with 139 fatalities in the past 24 hours, as cases rose 3,076 to 35,408, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on state television... Read More
 

Govt likely to earmark Rs270bn in subsidies for FY21

The Pakistan Today (Mar 28, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government is likely to earmark Rs270 billion under the head of ‘subsidies’ for the next fiscal year (FY2020-21), Pakistan Today has learnt. According to sources, the Ministry of Finance, in its budget strategy paper for the next fiscal year, has proposed to keep Rs250 to Rs270 billion for subsidies in FY21. The figure is slightly less than the amount allocated for the same in the... Read More
 

IMF working on Pakistan’s request of $1.4b

The Nation (Mar 28, 2020)
ISLAMABAD - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is working expeditiously to respond to Pakistan’s request for additional financing of $1.4 billion to increase foreign exchange reserves and budgetary support for fighting adverse impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh had recently said... Read More
 

India’s economic growth likely to decline by 200 bps in FY21: Yashwant Sinha

The Financial Express (Mar 27, 2020)
India’s economic growth is likely to decline by 2 percentage points in the next financial year due to the impact of coronavirus pandemic and the consequent 21-day countrywide lockdown, former finance minister Yashwant Sinha said on Friday. In an interview to PTI, Sinha said India was already facing high unemployment and the pandemic has added to the woes. “My own... Read More
 

Making Budgets more Inclusive and Responsive to the Public Needs

The Daily Times by Zia ur Rahman (Mar 27, 2020)
How budget cycle works, what is cut motion, to whom the budget is presented in the first place, what is Budget Call Circular and inclusive budgeting – these are some of the question which need to be addressed since a vast majority of the parliamentarians in the federal and provincial assemblies are not aware of the budget making process, hence unable to play their effective role in... Read More
 

Pak seeks additional $1.4b from IMF

The Nation (Mar 26, 2020)
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has decided to seek additional $1.4 billion from International Monetary Fund (IMF) on fast track distribution amid prevailing coronavirus crisis in the country. Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said Pakistan was engaged in talks with the IMF for an additional $1.4 billion on easier terms and conditions. “This sum [of additional ... Read More
 

World Bank, IMF call for suspending debt payment by developing countries

The Pakistan Today (Mar 26, 2020)
The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Wednesday urged upon its bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments from International Development Association (IDA) countries to help them combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Pakistan being part of IDA countries, will also get a marginal benefit if the creditor countries agree to the joint... Read More
 

Russia's 15% Tax On Dividends, Interest Outflow May Give Budget $890Mln In 2020

The Urdupoint.com (Mar 25, 2020)
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 25th March, 2020) The proposed 15 percent tax on dividends and interest taken out of Russia will give the country's budget at least 70 billion rubles ($890 million) this year, Olga Lebedinskaya, associate professor of the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics, told Sputnik on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, Russian... Read More
 

Unanticipated challenge to budget-making process

The Business Recorder (Mar 25, 2020)
The preparations for the budget for fiscal year 2020-21 began late last year, as is the norm, with ministries/ departments projecting their current and development expenditure needs for next year, traditionally overstated to ensure their actual needs are approved by the Ministry of Finance operating under severe resource constraints; and as the... Read More
 

Monetary policy: SBP slashes interest rate by 150bps to 11%

The Express Tribune (Mar 24, 2020)
KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has slashed the key interest rate by another 150 basis points to 11%, in a bid to combat growing uncertainty amid the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement was made in an emergency meeting called by the central bank on Tuesday, a week after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had cut the interest rates. With this, the SBP has reduced the... Read More
 

KP Police demand Rs 2,450m additional funds in next budget

The News (Mar 24, 2020)
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pàkhtunkhwa Police have demanded an additional Rs 250 million in terms of fuel for the patrolling cars and Rs 2000 million for procurement of vehicles in the next financial year, a source told The News on Monday. Besides, the force has asked the KP government to allocate and additional Rs 100 million each for the cost of investigation as well as providing basic ... Read More
 

PSDP process overhaul need of the hour in Pakistan

The Express Tribune (Mar 23, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) is the apex development-sector portfolio funded by the government. In the current fiscal year, the total budget allocated to the PSDP was Rs701 billion. The government has spent over Rs11.5 trillion through the PSDP in the last two decades with little improvement in the process. Projects... Read More
 

Budgeting in the time of Covid-19

The Dawn by Khaleeq Kiani (Mar 23, 2020)
The coronavirus appears to have a contagious economic impact on Pakistan. As federal and provincial authorities sit together reporting situations in their respective sectors and areas, much larger than previously estimated economic losses are coming to the fore and counting. From exports to revenues, from industry to trading, from tourism to entertainment and from transport... Read More
 

Pakistan's $300m loan rated ‘moderately unsatisfactory’ by World Bank

The Express Tribune (Mar 22, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: An independent evaluation group of the World Bank has declared that Pakistan could not successfully implement the $300 million budget support loan that the lender had given three years ago for bringing transparency and deepening the financial sector. The findings of the Independent Evaluation Group have once again endorsed the deeply-held view that successive... Read More
 

Sri Lanka makes mini-budget till May 2020 under Presidential powers

The Economy Next (Mar 21, 2020)
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has made a three month mini-budget running from March to May 2020, using constitutional powers given to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa after parliament was dissolved as the country remains gripped by Coronavirus. Sri Lanka began 2020 with a 4-month mini-budget or vote-on-account running up to April passed by the last parliament. The current... Read More

IMF to give tax break to businesses hit by corona

The Express Tribune (Mar 21, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed with Pakistan to give tax breaks to businesses being affected by the global coronavirus pandemic but Islamabad does not feel the need to renegotiate the $6 billion package, which may also make next year’s tax collection target unrealistic. “The IMF has agreed to give tax concessions to industries and individuals,... Read More

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
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 62 March 20, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

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
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 61 March 05, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Government delays Budget infrastructure plan

The BBC.com (Mar 05, 2020)
The detailed 30-year plan was to be published "alongside" the Budget, the government said at the Queen's Speech in December. Three weeks ago, then chancellor Sajid Javid confirmed the timetable. The strategy is seen as crucial to the government's plan to "level up" regional disparities. The delay will allow the new chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to refocus the strategy, to reflect potentially larger resources available... Read More
 

SBP reserves up $166m to $12.8bn

The Pakistan Today (Mar 05, 2020)
KARACHI: Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) increased $166 million to $12,757 million during the week ending February 28, 2020, according to data released by the central bank on Thursday. The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $18,869 million. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks recorded a dip from $6,151.3 million in... Read More
 

Budget for FY21: Punjab to earmark Rs350 billion for development

The Express Tribune (Mar 4, 2020)
LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht announced on Tuesday that the Punjab Annual Development Plan (ADP) for 2020-21 would be worth Rs350 billion, which would gradually increase in later years. Speaking at a pre-budget public-private partnership dialogue, organised by the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT), the minister assured the... Read More
 

‘Govt utilised record 39pc development budget in eight months’

The Pakistan Today (Mar 04, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar said on Wednesday that the government had witnessed a record 39 per cent utilisation of the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) during the first seven months of the current fiscal year (FY20). “This is the highest recorded utilisation of the development budget in the past six... Read More
 

NA body for paying honoraria to employees served during budget sessions

The Business Recorder (Mar 03, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Government Assurance Monday directed all departments to pay honoraria to their employees who served during the budget sessions, industriously, in the Parliament House. The committee further directed that honoraria may be given to the employees of Pakistan Television (PTV), Radio Pakistan and Associated Press of Pakistan... Read More
 

IMF putting Pakistan on path to recovery, says SBP governor

The Pakistan Today (Mar 03, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir said on Tuesday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was the government’s partner in reforming the country’s current economic system. In a briefing to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which was chaired by Rana Tanvir Hussain, the SBP governor said that Pakistan’s relationship with IMF was based on... Read More
 

Pakistan’s economy moving towards growth, says finance adviser

The Pakistan Today (Mar 02, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Monday said that the outlook for the economy was strong and pick up in exports and remittances were supporting growth momentum. “In December 2019, the large scale manufacturing output expanded by 16 per cent on month-on-month basis, indicating that growth was starting to... Read More
 

Economic conditions have improved as compared to past: SBP governor

The Pakistan Today (Mar 02, 2020)
KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir on Monday said that the economic conditions are better in many areas as compared to the past. The country’s economy was not in strong position back then as the reserves and exchange rates were falling. Addressing an event of English Speaking Union held at a local hotel, he said that the economic conditions are better because of the... Read More
 

In Pakistan, stocks battered as index plummets 5.6%

The Express Tribune (Mar 01, 2020)
KARACHI: The stock market witnessed a brutal hammering as the index plunged by a whopping 2,266 points or 5.6% to 37,984 points in the outgoing week largely due to the coronavirus outbreak, which threatened to become a pandemic, among other developments hampering the economy. “The local equity bourse depicted the biggest weekly decline since June 16, 2017 in points,” stated... Read More
 

Happy IMF news but only just

The Dawn by Abbas Nasir (Mar 01, 2020)
This week’s ‘staff level’ agreement announced by the International Monetary Fund with the government of Pakistan may have surprised many economic experts as it is no secret that there still exists a wide gulf between the country’s targeted and realised tax collection. The resultant budget deficit stands at 7.4 per cent of the... Read More
 

Financial Sector in the Budget Skating on Thin Ice?

The Economic and political weekly (Feb 29, 2020)
Metaphorically speaking, going through the Union Budget 2020–21 is like reading Gabriel García Márquez’s 1985 classic novel Love in the Time of Cholera, where optimism is seen to coexist with physical diseases. After all, the term “slowdown” is conspicuous by its absence in one of the longest budget speeches in recent history, so much so that in making sense of the myriad of things that the budget... Read More
 

EU to provide €13 million as Public Financial Management Support

The Nation (Feb 29, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: European Union agreed to provide €13 million to Pakistan to help improve its macro-fiscal policies and budget preparations, said an announcement issued on Friday. The signing ceremony of Financing Agreement on Public Financial Management Support Programme-II (PFM-II)” between the government of Pakistan and the European Union was held at Economic Affairs Division on Friday. Federal... Read More
 

E-Pay Punjab fetches Rs1b revenue in less than 5 months

The Nation (Feb 28, 2020)
LAHORE - EPay Punjab, the first ever government payment aggregator for citizen facilitation and ease of business, has collected over Rs1 billion revenue from multiple levies since its launch five months back. This was informed in a progress review meeting of Punjab Information Technology Board presided over by Chairman PITB Azfar Manzoor on Thursday. Director... Read More
 

EU grants €13 million to Pakistan to improve fiscal policies

The News (Feb 28, 2020)
The European Union agreed to provide €13 million grant to Pakistan improve its fiscal policies and budget preparations, reported Geo News on Friday. The agreement was signed in Islamabad in the presence of Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar and the grant will be provided under EU’s Public Financial Management Support Programme. Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Syed... Read More
 

Circular debt increases to Rs1.9tr

The Nation (Feb 27, 2020)
Islamabad -Pakistan’s circular debt has increased to over Rs 1.9 Trillion, while the distribution companies are unable to overcome technical and non-technical losses which are burdening the national exchequer by an additional Rs40-50 Billion annually, said OICCI Energy Report 2019. The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) has launched its ‘OICCI ... Read More
 

FBR asked to incorporate PSA proposals in next budget

The Pakistan Today (Feb 27, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: To address grievances and put genuine demands of the Pakistan Stock Exchange Stockbrokers Association (PSA) in the next fiscal budget, the Policy Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has recommended to communicate with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), a local newspaper reported. Following the decision of... Read More
 

PPL earnings drop 19% to Rs24.4 billion

The Express Tribune (Feb 26, 2020)
KARACHI: Pakistan Petroleum Limited’s (PPL) profit dropped 19% to Rs24.4 billion in the half year ended December 31, 2019, dented by higher operating and exploration expenses. The company had announced earnings of Rs30.3 billion in the same period of previous year, according to a notice sent to the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Tuesday... Read More
 

The Trouble With India’s New Budget

The Diplomat by Alok Sheel (Feb 26, 2020)
India’s 2020–21 federal budget was presented on February 1 against the backdrop of six successive quarters of declining growth. Continuing frictions in the financial system have clogged the channels of monetary policy. This means that fiscal policy and structural reforms now have a critical role in stimulating the slowing economy and putting it back on a high growth... Read More
 

Planning Commission authorises release of Rs456.37b for development projects

The Nation (Feb 25, 2020)
ISLAMABAD - The Federal government has so far authorised release of Rs 456.37 billion for various ongoing and new social sector uplift projects under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20, as against the total allocation of Rs701 billion. Under its development programme, the government has authorised release of an amount of Rs 191.26 billion for federal ministries... Read More
 

World Bank delays two of Pakistan's budgetary support loans

The Express Tribune (Feb 25, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has delayed the approval of two budgetary support loans worth $750 million due to lack of progress on some of the agreed prior conditions, including disagreement among provinces over harmonisation of the general sales tax (GST) on services. The postponement would also delay the restoration of Pakistan’s budgetary support, which had... Read More
 

High time for Pakistan, Turkey to boost trade

The Express Tribune (Feb 24, 2020)
KARACHI: It is time for Pakistan and Turkey to boost bilateral trade and both the countries want to do this for their own reasons. Turkey wants to export more to other countries to depend less on its existing main export markets ie Germany, the UK, the UAE, Iraq and the United States. Turkey is craving for stronger influence in the Middle East and if it continues to earn the bulk of export dollars from the... Read More
 

Sri Lanka mini-budget supplementary allocations were not opposed, only debt hike: opposition

The Economy Next (Feb 24, 2020)
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s opposition did not oppose increases in spending on several activities in a recent supplement to the vote-on-account but only the raising of the debt ceiling, opposition leader Sajith Premadasa said. He claimed that the government asked for a large increase in debt of because taxes were suddenly cut and it ran out of money. “The opposition was willing to support ... Read More
 

Pakistan’s economy ‘on the path to recovery’: Credit Suisse

The Pakistan Today (Feb 23, 2020)
KARACHI: Pakistan’s fundamentals have ‘improved significantly’ but the ‘challenges’ still lie ahead, Credit Suisse- a Swiss financial services firm- says in its latest report. Titled “Pakistan: On the path to recovery”, the firm credits ‘assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’, ‘fiscal consolidation’, and ‘much needed reforms’ for the improvement... Read More
 

ICCI calls for reducing taxes on furniture industry in next budget

The Business Recorder (Feb 23, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the government to reduce taxes on furniture industry in the forthcoming budget that would facilitate its better growth and enhance exports. He said this while addressing a delegation of Islamabad Furniture Association that visited ICCI led by its... Read More

External public debt inflows surge to $6b in Jul-Jan

The Express Tribune (Feb 22, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Gross external public debt inflows surged to $6 billion in first seven months of the current fiscal year – higher by 138% – on the back of major inflows from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and China – the two creditors that are not toeing Washington’s line. Inflows from China and the ADB have helped Pakistan meet its... Read More

EU budget summit ends with no deal

The Pakistan Today (Feb 22, 2020)
BRUSSELS: An EU summit called to set the bloc’s next seven-year budget ended in impasse late Friday, riven by competing groups among the 27 member states and pressure to fill a funding gap left by Brexit. Differences were “still too great to reach an agreement,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters at the end of the two days of talks in Brussels. No date had yet been set for another summit... Read More

Local bodies directed to submit budget proposals

The Express Tribune by Qaiser Shirazi (Feb 21, 2020)
RAWALPINDI: After the promulgation of the new local government system in Punjab, the Provincial Minister for Local Government and Community Development (LGCD) Basharat Raja on Thursday directed the newly delimited local bodies across the province to prepare and submit their budget proposals by the end of this month... Read More

Indian Budget 2020-21 an analysis

The India Post by Nita Dhruva (Feb 21, 2020)
One more budget of the Modi Government can be viewed as a bold and pragmatic budget of US$ 5 trillion economies taking the country on the right path. The budget has kept the basic macro strategy intact. On the one hand, it provides thrust to the rural economy; on the other, it focuses on simultaneously enabling measures to transform India. It seeks to remove structural bottlenecks that were hampering.... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 60 Feb 20, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Govt budget for social sector insufficient

The Nation (Feb 20, 2020)
KARACHI-President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that runaway inflation has underlined the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Majority of the... Read More
 

EU leaders to face off in ‘very tough’ budget summit

The Pakistan Today (Feb 20, 2020)
PARIS: European Union (EU) leaders are to hold a Brussels summit Thursday to set a seven-year budget despite splits between some stingy rich nations, poorer ones wanting to preserve spending and others wanting to fund grand global ambitions. The money tussle, hard-fought at the best of times, is especially problematic this time around because of Britain’s departure from the EU... Read More
 

In Pakistan, FDI surges 66% to $1.56b in Jul-Jan FY20

Express Tribune (Feb 19, 2020)
KARACHI: Pakistan has recorded a notable growth in fresh foreign direct investment in projects related to oil and gas exploration, power production and mobile phone services in recent months. The growth in investment, however, remains low compared to the existing potential as investors anxiously wait for consistency in economic policies before initiating new projects in the country... Read More
 

Comments on Indian Direct Tax Amendments Vide Union Budget 2020-21: Pakistani Parity

The Business Recorder (Feb 19, 2020)
The Parliament of India (hereafter “the legislature") has sought to amend provisions related to direct taxes (hereafter “the proposed amendments") in the Income Tax Act 1961 (hereafter “the Act"), the Prohibition of Benami Transactions Act 1988, and the Finance Act 2013, by virtue of the Finance Bill 2020 (hereafter “the said Bill"). We have... Read More
 

In a first, MoF set to bring ‘mid-year budget review report’ before cabinet

The Pakistan Today (Feb 18, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance will present the country’s first-ever ‘mid-year budget review report’ during the upcoming meeting of the federal cabinet. According to sources privy to this development, the PM on Thursday would chair the cabinet meeting to deliberate upon a 16-point agenda, which included the mid-year budget review report of the fiscal year 2019-20. The parliament... Read More
 

New chancellor Rishi Sunak sticks to 11 March budget date

The Guardian (Feb 18, 2020)
The budget will go ahead on 11 March, the Treasury said on Tuesday, forcing the new chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to piece together a fresh tax and spending programme over the next three weeks. A delay was expected after Sunak’s predecessor, Sajid Javid, abruptly quit his job after a demand by Boris Johnson that he sack his advisers and replace them with a team jointly managed with No 10... Read More
 

Ups, downs and other major highlights from Trump’s 2021 budget request

The Federalnewsnetwork.com (Feb 17, 2020)
Like previous years, President Donald Trump’s most recent budget request includes many familiar cuts, eliminations and proposals for civilian agencies in 2021. The president’s request includes some $20 billion in agency program reductions and $28 billion in  program eliminations. It’s unclear how these proposed eliminations and cuts will fare in Congress, which has largely ignored... Read More
 

Union Budget 2020 disappoints on GST relaxation and education loan bracket, say experts

The India Today (Feb 17, 2020)
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the first budget of the year 2020 in the Lok Sabha on February 1, earmarking Rs 99,300 crore for the Education sector in 2020-21 and Rs 3,000 crore for Skill Development. It shows that the government is inclined towards skill development and creating more job opportunities for the youth of the country. Budget 2020... Read More
 

Singapore plans massive budget stimulus to counter virus threat

The Japan Times (Feb 16, 2020)
SINGAPORE/HONG, KONG – Singapore is set to deliver a strong budget this week to offset the damage to the economy from the coronavirus, with analysts predicting the biggest deficit in almost two decades. The fiscal gap may widen to 1.5 percent of gross domestic product in the year beginning April 1, the highest since the 1.7 percent shortfall recorded in the 2001 financial year, according... Read More
 

Provincial govts record budget surplus of Rs323.7b in first half

The Nation (Feb 16, 2020)
ISLAMABAڈ: The four provinces jointly provided a massive budget surplus of Rs323.7 billion to the Centre during the first half (July-December) of the ongoing financial year. The four provincial governments recorded budget surplus of Rs323.7 billion during July to December period of FY2020, as their expenditures remained at Rs1359.7 billion as compared to the revenues of Rs1683.4... Read More
 

India relaxes fiscal deficit, cuts taxes to spur growth

The News (Feb 01, 2020)
MUMBAI: India relaxed its fiscal deficit target Saturday, raising spending and slashing taxes as it seeks to attract foreign investment and increase consumption in the wake of a prolonged economic slowdown. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the changes as part of the country´s annual budget in parliament, a day after official data showed that Asia´s third-largest economy grew five... 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
 

Despite massive shortfall in tax collection, budget deficit under control

The Nation (Feb 15, 2020)
ISLAMABAD                    -                The government has successfully controlled Pakistan’s budget deficit which was recorded at Rs994.7 billion during first half (July to December) of the current fiscal year despite massive shortfall in tax collection.  The country’s expenditures were recorded at Rs4226.6 billion as compared to the revenues of Rs3231.9 billion in July-December... Read More
 

Power tariff, mini-budget sticking points in talks with IMF

The Express Tribune (Feb 14, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund on Thursday extended review talks for at least one more day after both the sides failed to break a deadlock over the contentious issue of increase in electricity tariffs, mini-budget and Chinese loans. Talks between Pakistan and IMF had started on February 3 and were planned to end on February 13 (Thursday). But neither the finance ministry nor the IMF... Read More
 

US govt facing budget deficit of Rs15,450b every month

The News (Feb 14, 2020)
WASHINGTON: The sea of red ink is getting deeper and deeper in Washington, with the federal government already racking up a budget deficit that is averaging close to $100 billion (Rs15,450 billion) a month. Treasury Department data released Wednesday show the shortfall at $389.2 billion in the first four months of fiscal 2020. That’s a 25% gain over the same period... Read More
 

House passes 2020 budget bill

The Bangkok Post (Feb 13, 2020)
The House of Representatives has voted 257-1 with three abstentions to pass the 2020 budget bill, but not without a setback. The vote on the second reading, which calls for a vote on each section, had to be redone after the meeting lacked a quorum on Section 6 on the contingency budget. The meeting consisted of coalition MPs since the opposition earlier decided not to attend the meeting... Read More
 

Pakistan, IMF agree not to introduce mini-budget

The News (Feb 13, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had agreed that there would be no mini-budget or a reduction in the tax collection target, sources told Geo News. The sources further said Pakistan was not to raise the tax rate until June 2020 or reduce its tax collection target, as talks between Pakistan and the IMF concluded here on Wednesday... Read More
 

India’s Budget 2020: Needs a few course corrections

The Rahnuma (Feb 12, 2020)
(RAHNUMA) In her marathon 2 hours and 46 minutes speech introducing India’s 2020 budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman painted an optimistic picture of the Indian economy. She stated at the outset that her budget’s goal is to boost “incomes and enhance… purchasing power” of the people of India. “Only through higher growth can we achieve that and have our youth gainfully... Read More
 

Pakistan, IMF agree not to introduce mini budget

The Dunyanews.tv (Feb 12, 2020)
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – A delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) held a meeting on Wednesday and mutually decided not to introduce a mini-budget. According to sources, the talks agreed that there will be no increase or reduction in tax target until June this year. Finance Ministry sources said that Pakistan will make every effort to achieve the tax target. It also... Read More
 

Inside Trumps upcoming $4.8 trillion budget

The Hill.com by Alexandra Kelley (Feb 11, 2020)
President Trump’s forthcoming budget due today is expected to allocate $4.8 trillion toward defense programs and veterans and cut $4.4 trillion over the next decade from social programs and foreign aid. According to the Wall Street Journal, an administration source said President Trump’s plan will increase military spending by 0.3 percent to $740.5 billion for the 2020... 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
 

The budget’s stab at trickle-down economics

The livemint.com (Feb 10, 2020)
This year’s budget speech was the lengthiest on record. It went on for so long that the American actor Pamela Anderson could have had a wedding after Nirmala Sitharaman began the address and filed for divorce before the finance minister’s concluding remarks. Few had believed the Baywatch star’s latest relationship would last, given the way her previous marriages... Read More
 

IMF talks to focus on mini-budget possibility, hike in electricity, gas tariffs

The Dunyanews.tv (Feb 10, 2020)
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – As talks between an International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) delegation and Pakistan begins on Monday after a two-day break to evaluate Islamabad’s performance for the third tranche of $450 million of the $6 billion bailout package, suggestions for presenting a new mini-budget or possibility of imposition of new taxes... Read More
 

Bilawal condemns cuts in higher education budget

The Pakistan Today (Feb 09, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has condemned cuts in the higher education budget by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government compelling the public sector universities to take loans from the private sector to run their affairs. In a statement, the PPP chairman expressed grave concern over the fact that 104 public universities in the country were passing... Read More

Fiscal deficit target jacked up to 7.5 percent of GDP

The Nation (Feb 09, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The government has revised upwards the fiscal deficit target to 7.5 percent of the GDP after reducing the tax collection target for ongoing fiscal year. Ministry for Finance recently informed the parliament that the government would keep the budget deficit at 7.5 percent of the GDP (Rs3282.5 billion). Earlier, in budget for 2019-2020, the government had projected... Read More

Sri Lanka misses 2019 budget deficit, forex reserve targets in IMF program

The Economy Next (Feb 08, 2020)
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has missed the budget deficit and foreign reserves targets in a deal with the International Monetary Fund where in built money and foreign exchange policies triggered a currency collapse and an output shock, which hit state revenues. “Preliminary data indicate that the primary surplus target under the program supported by... Read More

PMA criticises govt for neglecting health, meagre health budget

The Express Tribune (Feb 08, 2020)
KARACHI: Members of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) pointed out on Friday that the government has been neglecting the health sector despite population growth, increasing the burden on health facilities.Keeping in view the worsening state of health in the country, they called for allocating at least six per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) to the health budget, in line with the World Health... Read More

IMF asks to fully utilise PSDP budget

The Pakistan Today (Feb 07, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked the federal government to fully utilize the current fiscal year development budget under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP).  Sources told Pakistan Today that the fund’s delegation met with the officials of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives on Friday and was... Read More

No mini-budget in the offing, says minister

The Pakistan Today (Feb 07, 2020)
Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar has categorically dispelled the impression that the incumbent government has any plan to introduce a mini-budget. Talking to a private news channel, the minister said sugarcane and other crops were damaged due to issues pertaining to climate change. “This was one of the major reasons behind recent food inflation.” However, he said, the... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 59 Feb 06, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Pakistan, IMF consider additional tax measures for mini-budget

Express Tribune (Feb 06, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday discussed additional tax measures for the mini-budget amid questions over realism of the revenue potential due to lower-than-expected receipts against Rs735 billion budgetary measures. The net impact of additional Rs735 billion budgetary measures was only Rs235 billion or 31% during the first half (July-December)... Read More
 

Govt releases Rs429.17 billion for development projects

The Nation (Feb 06, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The Federal government has so far authorised release of Rs 429.17 billion for various ongoing and new social sector uplift projects under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20, as against the total allocation of Rs 701 billion. Under its development programme, the government has released an amount of Rs 190.87 billion for federal ministries, Rs136.68,... Read More
 

India: ‘Opposition misleading people on budget

The aa.com (Feb 05, 2020)
NEW DELHI, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday cautioned against attempts being made to mislead people on the union budget. Opposition and experts have been criticizing the budget unveiled last Saturday, saying it lacked boldness and foresight. Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said the budget did not offer concrete solutions to the challenges facing the... Read More
 

Bilawal demands revisiting terms of IMF bailout package

The Express Tribune (Feb 05, 2020)
KARACHI: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday announced that his party would launch a movement from next month against the government’s economic policies amid the unprecedented rise in inflation, poverty and unemployment and the downward slide in growth rate. He blamed the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) $6 billion bailout package for... Read More
 

Pakistan asks IMF to reduce tax collection target

The Express Tribune (Feb 04, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has requested the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to further reduce tax collection target. However, a mini budget of nearly Rs200 billion will remain inevitable to collect even less than Rs5 trillion in this fiscal year. In first face-to-face meeting between Pakistan and the IMF for second review talks, the government... Read More
 

Pakistan, IMF start talks to review $6bn programme

The Daily Times (Feb 04, 2020)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff mission has started discussion here with the government authorities to review Pakistan’s performance under its US $6 billion extended fund facility. Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told media on Monday that the talks will continue until February 14, adding that a successful... Read More
 

‘HEC to get Rs20 billion more budget to meet educational challenges’

The News (Feb 03, 2020)
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) will get Rs20 billion more budget from the government aimed at to invigorate and to strengthen the higher educational institutions, besides improving quality education across the country. According to the official sources, the amount will be allocated on the request of Chairman... Read More
 

Budget 2020-21: India to modernise its army with Rs2,393 billion this year

The News (Feb 03, 2020)
LAHORE: Indian government's $428 billion budget for fiscal year 2020-21 has been announced at a time when the country’s economy is stuck in its biggest economic slump in more than a decade, though the economic wizards in New Delhi are optimistic that the country's economic growth will rebound and hit a rather promising 6 per cent to 6.5 per cent mark... Read More
 

Left defenceless: Budget allocation for defence lowest since Indo-China war

The India Today (Feb 02, 2020)
The Defence Ministry's welfare component, defence pensions, now loom large over the money it spends on the armed forces. While Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman did not mention the defence budget in her speech, Budget papers show the total defence budget grew by 6%. The defence pension bill, on the other hand, grew by 13%. The pension bill hiked from Rs 1.17 lakh crore to Rs... Read More
 

Govt borrowed Rs4.11tr to finance budget deficit, clarifies ministry

The Pakistan Today (Feb 02, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Challenging the media reports of Rs11.61 million borrowings, the federal government clarified on Sunday that it had borrowed only Rs4.11 trillion in the last 15 months to finance budget deficit. According to a news release issued by the Ministry of Finance, the figure has been released as per the Finance Division’s policy to lay before the National Assembly the Debt Policy... Read More
 

India relaxes fiscal deficit, cuts taxes to spur growth

The News (Feb 01, 2020)
MUMBAI: India relaxed its fiscal deficit target Saturday, raising spending and slashing taxes as it seeks to attract foreign investment and increase consumption in the wake of a prolonged economic slowdown. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the changes as part of the country´s annual budget in parliament, a day after official data showed that Asia´s third-largest economy grew five... Read More
 

FBR revenue increases 17pc in Jan; returns surge 40pc in 2019

The Pakistan Today (Feb 01, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has released tax revenue collection figures for the month of January 2020 as well as the number of returns filed in the Tax Year 2019. According to official data, the provisional collection figures for January 2020 were recorded at Rs320 billion, which was 17pc higher than January 2019. “The figure is likely to increase due to book adjustments... Read More
 

Govt cuts civil budget by Rs 40 billion:  Hafeez Shaikh

The Pakistan Today (Jan 31, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said the government is striving for an export-led growth in the country as the growth fuelled by consumption instead of investments was not sustainable and durable. “We want quality growth which is led by growth in exports and investments and not driven by mere consumption... Read More
 

Rs72b out of Rs1.2tr budget spent on local bodies: Murad

The Pakistan Observer (Jan 31, 2020)
Staff Reporter Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that out of Rs1.2 trillion provincial budget Rs870.2 billion are spent on salaries, employees’ retirement benefits, operation expenses, grants, subsidies, including Rs75 billion to local bodies and repair and maintenance. Therefore, there remain a small space for development works, even then the provincial government... Read More
 

Centre urged to announce NFC Award

The Dawn (Jan 30, 2020)
PESHAWAR: A multiparty conference here on Wednesday demanded of the federal government to announce the National Finance Commission Award and pay Rs450 billion dues to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on account of net hydel profit in line with the AGN Qazi formula. A joint declaration issued after the moot said the NFC had to be constituted every five years... Read More
 

AJK PM for increase in defense budget following Indian PM, Army Chief’s provocative statements

The Associated Press of Pakistan (Jan 30, 2020)
MIRPUR (AJK): Jan 30 (APP):Azad Jammu Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan on Thursday called for immediate increase in the defense budget of the country following Indian prime minister and Army Chief’s provocative statements and threats to Pakistan and liberated territory of AJK. Sharing his views on different resolutions moved by the members on the floor of the AJK... Read More
 

US budget deficit forecast to blow out by mid-century

The Financial Times (Jan 29, 2020)
Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. The US will rack up budget deficits totalling $13.1tn over the coming... Read More
 

Pak-IMF talks for second review in first week of February

The Nation (Jan 29, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) would hold talks for the second review under the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) bailout package in first week of next month (February) to review the economic situation of the country. Talks for the second economic review would start from February 3, 2020 in Islamabad, which would last for around 11 days. The IMF in July 2019 had... Read More
 

Expectations of a Young Entrepreneur From Union Budget 2020

The Entrepreneur (Jan 28, 2020)
India is home to the world’s largest number of youth, the employable population in millions which joins the workforce every year. While the government of India’s flagship campaigns such as Make in India and Digital India revolutionized the ecosystem for young entrepreneurs in the country in the past few years, the economy’s slowdown in the recent past... Read More
 

Federal govt releases Rs425.7 billion for development projects

The Nation (Jan 28, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The federal government has so far authorized release of Rs425.7 billion for various ongoing and new social sector uplift projects under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20, as against the total allocation of Rs701 billion. Under its development programme, the government has released an amount of Rs187.4 billion for federal ... Read More
 

IMF team to evaluate Pakistan’s 2nd quarter progress from Feb 3

The Pakistan Today (Jan 27, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) team would start the evaluation of Pakistan’s second-quarter progress under the $6-billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) from February 3, 2020. According to sources privy to this development, the IMF team, under the supervision of its Mission Chief for Pakistan, Middle East and Central Asia Ernesto Ramirez... Read More
 

Why the Budget 2020 needs to signal India is open for business | India Today Insight

The India Today (Jan 27, 2020)
Was India the star at the recently concluded World Economic Forum summit in Davos? Did it invite the same intrigue and interest that it did in 2018 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed world leaders and sold them the India story? Clearly, the buzz around India this time around was missing. India's delegation (from the Centre) included a few bureaucrats, led ... Read More
 

Long and short of budget speeches

The Live mint (Jan 26, 2020)
New Delhi/Mumbai: The history of India’s budgets is a history of its economy. If the 1950-51 budget speech by John Mathai signalled a turn towards planning, with the announcement of a Planning Commission under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, that of Manmohan Singh would dismantle the planned model in his 1991 budget speech. The budget numbers may divulge... Read More
 

AJK initiates rehabilitation of earthquake affected infrastructure from development budget

The Urdu point (Jan 25, 2020)
MUZAFFARABAD, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Jan, 2020 ) : Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government has approved different projects to rehabilitate the infrastructure in Mirpur district affected by last years earthquake from its annual development program to be implemented by the next month, said Prime Minister Raja... Read More

Govt allocated maximum budget for youth

The Pakistan Observer (Jan 25, 2020)
The federal government has decided to expedite the process for distribution of loan cheques under the Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan Programme for youth development. PM’s Special Assitant on Youth Affairs Usman Dar has met Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar today and discussed the distribution of loans across the province under the programme... Read More

Call for consultations before budget making

The Dawn (Jan 25, 2020)
LAKKI MARWAT: A civil society body has noted that annual budgeting in Pakistan is mostly done in traditional manner as there has been no visible effort to increase efficiency and transparency in the process of budget making. Speaking at a press conference here on Friday, Community Development Organisation (CDO) executive director Haji Inayatullah Khan said annual budget represented ... Read More

What Can Businessmen Expect From Budget 2020

The Entrepreneur India (Jan 24, 2020)
With the budget right around the corner, there are many expectations of people from different sectors and different walks of life. After what can only be described as a turbulent year, the whole country will be hoping that the Modi government comes up with a few decisions that can help uplift the economy. PM Modi himself has been seen taking an active role in the decision making process in the lead... Read More

Budget expectations: Jalandhar sports goods manufacturers demand uniform GST slabs

The India Today (Jan 24, 2020)
ndia's sports goods manufacturing hub Jalandhar produces nearly 70 per cent of the total sports goods in the country. Nearly 30 per cent of the sports goods manufactured in India are exported to various countries. However, 60 per cent of the goods are consumed by the government and the educational institutions. Only 10 percent are sold in the open market. The Indian Sports industry... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 58 Jan 23, 2020

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves jump $146m to $11.7b

Express Tribune (Jan 23, 2020)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 1.26% 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
 

Speedy industrialization imperative for socio-economic development: PM

Pakistan Today (Jan 23, 2020)
DAVOS: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday expressed confidence that good times were ahead for Pakistan as the country had been put on the right economic track with a particular emphasis on industrialisation. Speaking to the prominent business personalities at the Pakistan Breakfast Meet in Davos, he said his vision was to turn Pakistan into a welfare state and ensure development as envisioned... Read More
 

Pakistan received Dh251m aid from UAE in 2019

Pakistan Today (Jan 22, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been a major beneficiary of aid provided by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with grants amounting to Dh251 million last year, data from a UAE government report revealed on Wednesday. “The UAE distributed more than Dh28 billion in international aid last year. Pakistan was the eighth most supported nation with grants worth Dh251.10 million disbursed to the country... Read More
 

In Pakistan, foreign loan disbursement jumps 156% to $5.5 billion

Express Tribune (Jan 22, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan saw a 156% surge in disbursement of foreign loans that increased to $5.5 billion in first half of the current fiscal year but non-project loans rose to 84% of the total receipts, which could compound Islamabad’s debt sustainability issues. Pakistan has taken another Chinese commercial loan of $700 million from China Development Bank as the government struggles to enhance... Read More
 

Exports increase 25% to Rs1805 billion in first half

Pakistan Today (Jan 21, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The exports from the country, in rupee term, increased by 24.82 percent during the first half of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported. The exports from the country during July-December (2019-20) were recorded at Rs1,805,074 million against the exports of Rs1,446,166 million... Read More
 

India's top 63 billionaires have more wealth than 2018-19 Budget outlay

Business Standard (Jan 21, 2020)
India’s billionaires hold a combined total wealth that is more than the Union Budget outlay.The gap between the top 1 per cent and the bottom 50 per cent of the population just keeps expanding, global non-profit organization Oxfam said in its latest annual report on income inequality. “The combined total wealth of 63 Indian billionaires is higher than the total Union Budget of India... Read More
 

Financial watchdog to get access to taxpayers’ data

Express Tribune (Jan 20, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to give the financial monitoring unit of the finance ministry access to the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) inland revenue database to curb money laundering and terror financing in compliance with the action plan of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). According to documents available with The Express Tribune, the federal government... Read More
 

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos

Gulf News (Jan 20, 2020)
Dubai: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s trip to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) will cost US$68,000 which is far less than what had been spent by his predecessors. Imran will reach Davos on Tuesday on a three-day official visit to attend the Forum. However, his trip will cost only US$68,000 due to austerity measures his... Read More
 

Digital economy to accelerate development of Pakistan: Chinese expert

The Nation (Jan 19, 2020)
BEIJING        -          There is a great growth potential for Pakistan's e-commerce and e-commerce policy makers will focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), improving e-commerce experience, developing online stores, offering job opportunities for youth, promoting exports, and vigorously developing digital economy. At the same time, the State... Read More
 

Global economic prospects and Pakistan

Pakistan Today (Jan 19, 2020)
The World Bank’s gloomy picture:  The World Bank Group recently launched its flagship report, Global Economic Prospects [GEP] 2020: Slow Growth, Policy Challenges in which expected global economic performance in the current year is discussed. Straightaway the Report highlights that trade and investment are expected to rebound after a sluggish 2019, which could result in a slight increase... Read More
 

KP govt departments ask to submit budget proposals

The Nation (Jan 18, 2020)
PESHAWAR: Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz Friday chaired a high level meeting of the secretaries committee which was attended by all administrative Secretaries while KP Finance Minister Taimur Jagra and Additional Chief Secretary Shakeel Qadir attended it in a special capacity. Taimur Jagra apprised the committee about Integrated Budget Call Circular and also issued special... Read More
 

People’ participation in budget making process stressed

The Frontier Post (Jan 18, 2020)
Timergara: The speaker at a seminar demanded of the federal and provincial government to include people aspirations and actual needs  in budget making. The seminar arranged by Citizen’s Network for Budget Accountability (CNBA) on budget making process was held at Balambat here the other day. The CNBA presented a charter of demands and urged the government... Read More
 

Pakistan economy to ‘recover slightly’ from 2021 but reforms critical for growth: UN report

Dawn (Jan 17, 2020)
Pakistan's economy is expected to recover slightly from 2021 onward as increased government revenues from a tax hike allow expanded public investment and as other government reforms required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) begin to bear fruit, says the latest United Nations report on the state of the world economy. The ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020’... Read More
 

Call for making budget in line with ground realities

Dawn (Jan 17, 2020)
CHITRAL: The Citizen Network for Budget Accountability (CNBA) has presented the charter of demands for making the annual budget of the country a true instrument to reflect the needs and aspirations of the people in real terms. Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, the local delegate of CNBA Imtiaz Hussain said that they were making advocacy for introducing... Read More
 

People’s input sought in budget making

Dawn (Jan 16, 2020)
KOHAT: The government has been asked to incorporate the input of general public in the budget making process and give people an easy access to the details of taxes and expenditures. The demand was made by the representatives of Citizens Network for the Budget Accountability (CNBA), which is a network of 15 civil society organisations working for budget reforms and accountability... Read More
 

Promoting construction sector will boost Pakistan’s economy: P.M Khan

The Newsweek Pakistan (Jan 16, 2020)
Promoting Pakistan’s construction industry will provide a boost to the country’s economy and can create new job opportunities, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday. Chairing a meeting about the construction sector in Islamabad, Khan designated its promotion yet another “topmost” priority of his government—he has already designated tourism, children’s... Read More
 

Tax collection shortfall widening with passage of every month

The Nation (Jan 15, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The government has yet to come with a plan to bridge the massive shortfall in tax collection that had already touched Rs284 billion in first six months (July to December) of the current financial year. Tax collection shortfall is increasing with the passage of every month despite the fact that the government had introduced massive taxation measures in the budget for the current fiscal year. The Federal... Read More
 

Fixing of loopholes in budget making process urged

The Frontier Post (Jan 15, 2020)
TANK: The local organization demanded to fix the loopholes in the budget making process in Pakistan with the aim to ensure fulfillment of all segment of society in the batter manner. According to the details, local organization CDA and CNBA network demanded for responsive budget to the needs of all segments of society and it consist with the requirements of the modern democratic states... Read More
 

Industrialists worried over prospects of tax hike, mini-budget

Pakistan Observer (Jan 14, 2020)
Karachi: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said the business community is worried over a continued shortfall in tax collections. The revised tax target could... Read More
 

Govt to establish 4 economic zones in all provinces: Asad

Pakistan Today (Jan 14, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Uma has said that the current government is determined to establish four economic zones in all provinces. He said that feasibility for ML-1 project has been prepared and some $9 billion would be spent to improve the railway system. Talking to the media on Tuesday, he siad Pakistan will  see... Read More
 

'Investment in Pakistan increased by 78%'

Express Tribune (Jan 13, 2020)
LAHORE: Federal Minister of Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar on Sunday said that investment in the country had increased manifold due to the prudent policies of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. Addressing an event in Lahore, he said that PTI government had not only uplifted the ailing economy but also virtually put it on a path of growth... Read More
 

Citizen Network For Budget Accountability (CNBA) Presents Charter Of Demands For Improving Budget Making Process

Urdupoint.com (Jan 13, 2020)
HANGU (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 13th Jan, 2020 ) : Citizen Network for Budget Accountability (CNBA) while expressing reservations over the budget making process in the country presented charter of demands focusing on preparation of the annual budget in line with the aspirations of the local population and their needs. The charter ... Read More
 

Goods transporters’ strike bleeds Sindh economy

Pakistan Today (Jan 12, 2020)
KARACHI: Transporters for goods continued their strike for the seventh day here on Sunday against increasing fines and taxes being slapped on their vehicles on motorways and highways. Due to the strike, industrialists and businessmen are facing immense difficulties in transporting goods to their business destinations whereas... Read More
 

Industrial Growth Imperative For Pakistan’s Economy

Business Recorder (Jan 12, 2020)
While Pakistan has been blessed with many natural blessings like four seasons, good agricultural crops, sea ports, our economy still remain very vulnerable. There are many reasons for our feeble economy, the fundamental reason is our inconsistent policies. We have never made policies which are country specific but it rotates with the change of Governments. Though we consider... Read More

Union Budget 2020

The dqindia.com (Jan 11, 2020)
The Union Budget 2020 is all set to be announced on 1 February 2020, and the Government of India has invited suggestions from citizens regarding the same. “The Union Budget represents the aspirations of 130 crore Indians and lays out the path towards India’s development. I invite you all to share your ideas and suggestions for this year’s Budget on MyGov,” tweeted... Read More

Punjab health budget increased by 27pc: Buzdar

The News (Jan 11, 2020)
LAHORE: Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that 27 percent increase has been made in the health sector budget, along with start of several health projects in remote areas during the current financial year. He was presiding over a meeting of the Specialised Healthcare & Medical Education Department at his office here Friday to review departmental performance and progress... Read More

Low export, inflation, documentation of economy still major challenges

The Nation (Jan 10, 2020)
LAHORE      -        The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front Chairman Mian Nauman Kabir has called for putting the economy on a balanced and sustainable growth trajectory, addressing the underlying structural vulnerabilities, as low export growth, limited foreign exchange reserves, documentation of economy and higher food inflation are still major challenges to the economy... Read More

Foreign exchange SBP reserves jump $14m to $11.5b

The Express Tribune (Jan 10, 2020)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 0.12% 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
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 57 Dec 28, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

World Bank revises Pakistan’s growth projections downward

Dawn (Jan 09, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The World Bank on Wednesday slightly lowered country’s growth rate projections for the current fiscal year and next two years owing to continuation of tight monetary policy and fiscal consolidation coupled with external factors. In its latest report “2020 Global Economic Prospects” released on Wednesday, the bank forecast Pakistan’s current year growth rate at... Read More
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves jump $14m to $11.5b

The Express Tribune (Jan 09, 2020)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 0.12% 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... Read More
 

Govt to set up Pakistan Corporate Restructuring Company to boost economy

Pakistan Today (Jan 08, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Following the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan to boost economic growth and create employment opportunities, the government plans to establish Pakistan Corporate Restructuring Company with an allocation of Rs 500 million as initial capital. According to the sources, the company will be established in partnership with 10 banks and will be tasked with the rehabilitation of sick units... Read More
 

FBR notices fall in WHT collection by some agents

The Express Tribune (Jan 08, 2020)
Our ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has noted a drastic reduction in the receipt of withholding taxes imposed on the supply and contracts of goods and services from some agents for the July-December period of the ongoing fiscal year. The overall revenue collection has dropped by Rs287 billion, which has also been impacted by poor collection of withholding taxes. Between July and... Read More
 

SBP fears country will miss 4% growth target

The Express Tribune (Jan 07, 2020)
KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has voiced fear that the country will miss the economic growth target of 4% as two major sectors – agriculture and industries – have failed to perform well in the ongoing fiscal year.The central bank, however, foresaw a notable drop in the current account deficit, projecting the deficit would remain in the range of 1.5% to 2.5% of gross domestic product ... Read More
 

ECNEC approves seven development projects worth Rs216.4 billion

The Nation (Jan 07, 2020)
ISLAMABAD-The Executive committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Monday approved seven development projects worth Rs216.4 billion that related to poverty alleviation, education, hydropower project and others. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Revenue and Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting of the ECNEC. The ECNEC considered and approved seven... Read More
 

Pakistan's Economy Moves Progressively In 1st Quarter: State Bank of Pakistan

Urdu Point (Jan 06, 2020)
ISLAMABAD, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 6th Jan, 2020 ):The State Bank of Pakistan Monday said during first quarter of current fiscal year FY20, Pakistan's economy moved progressively along the adjustment path. In its first quarterly report, "the said macroeconomic stabilization process picked up momentum with the initiation of the... Read More
 

Mini-budget on cards

The News (Jan 06, 2020)
Pakistan’s imports have declined to the tune of $6 billion so far, and with this new realities are emerging on the economic front of Pakistan. The country will likely readjust policies over short to medium-term. With the changing security environment in the aftermath of the killing of Iranian general in Baghdad, international oil prices might escalate... Read More
 

Pakistan can ease inflation, fight poverty with lift from FTA, CPEC: Global Times

The Associated Press of Pakistan (Jan 05, 2020)
Beljing, Jan 5 (APP):A China-Pakistan free trade agreement (FTA) and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can play an important part in leading Pakistan’s economy to prosperity. The tariff arrangement documented in the second phase of the China-Pakistan FTA, which was signed by leaders of the two countries in April, came into force on the first day of 2020, Global Times, a daily Chinese tabloid... Read More
 

FBR claims loss of Rs330b due to import compression

The Express Tribune (Jan 05, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: Amid criticism over missing the revenue collection target by a wide margin, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has claimed that it sustained losses of roughly Rs330 billion due to $6 billion worth of import compression in first half of the current fiscal year. The tax shortfall due to import compression and low economic activity has also led to the missing of the indicative... Read More
 

PM to set 5-year vision to push growth, investment

The India Tribune (Jan 04, 2020)
New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) Weeks before the Union Budget and in the wake of slowing economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started taking presentations from the sector-specific committee of secretaries (CoS) which will be the basis for setting a five-year vision for various ministries and departments. The key ministries are set to apprise the PM and the Council of Ministers ... Read More
 

2019 PAKSITAN’S FISCAL CHALLENGES

Daily Times (Jan 04, 2020)
“An unusual decline in revenue collection and steep rise in current expenditures caused a deterioration in all major fiscal indicators during FY19. The overall budget deficit during the year stood at a historic high of 8.9 percent of GDP, which was also in excess of the 4.9 percent target set in the Budget 2018- 19. Meanwhile, the primary and revenue balances worsened substantially... Read More
 

Rupee loses 3 paisas

The Nation (Jan 03, 2020)
ISLAMABAD           -            The exchange rate of US Dollar against Pakistani rupee increased by Rs0.03 in interbank on Thursday and was traded at Rs154.87 against Rs154.84 of last trading day, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported. In open market, the buying and selling rates of Pakistani rupee against dollar stood at Rs154.4 and Rs155 respectively.  The SBP further reported that... Read More
 

U.A.E. Announces $200mn to boost economic projects in Pakistan

Newsweek Pakistan (Jan 03, 2020)
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed on Thursday announced an allocation of $200 million to support small and medium-sized enterprises in Pakistan, the Emirates News Agency reported. Launched on the sidelines of his daylong visit to Pakistan, the initiative under the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development would support economic projects and encourage “innovation in... Read More
 

‘Exports depend on country’s image abroad’

Express Tribune (Jan 02, 2020)
FAISALABAD: The business community must play a proactive role in promoting a soft image of Pakistan at the international level because it is directly linked with the country’s exports, said Ministry of Human Rights Joint Secretary Malik Kamran Azam. Addressing businessmen at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), he... Read More
 

The World Economic Forum faces big challenges at Davos 2020

The New Economy (Jan 02, 2020)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting seems to have lost its mojo – particularly in the West, where globalisation is being rejected in favour of a more protectionist outlook. What’s more, most observers of the 2019 meeting found that it fell a little flat. Headline speakers were underwhelming and failed to live up to the box-office acts of previous years, which included the likes of US President Donald... Read More
 

Tough decisions: 2019 sees Pakistan economy emerge out of deep waters

Express Tribune (Jan 01, 2020)
ISLAMABAD: The year 2019 has brought stability to Pakistan’s flagging economy after Prime Minister Imran Khan entered into the “last International Monetary Fund Programme”. Pakistan has availed three IMF programmes since 2008 to address its structural problems, which still remain unaddressed. The country’s savings and revenues as percentage of total size of its economy... Read More
 

Revamping Pakistan’s economy in 2020

Daily Times (Jan 01, 2020)
The world has stepped into a new decade with the start of 2020. But, we as a nation as still standing decades behind the rest of the world. Out of many reasons for the backward crawl of Pakistan, the economy has been the burning issue for every Government in the country. With Imran Khan’s PTI leading the country in a new decade, one must be wondering ... Read More
 

Dollar depreciates Rs0.09 against rupee interbank

Pakistan Today (Dec 31, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The exchange rate of the US Dollar against Pakistani rupee shed Rs0.09 in interbank on Tuesday and was traded at Rs154.84 against Rs154.93 of last trading day, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported. The SBP further reported that in interbank the price of Euro appreciated by Rs0.21 and was traded at Rs173.58 against the last closing of Rs173.37... Read More
 

Pakistan will hit the road to prosperity in the 2020s

Khaleejtimes (Dec 31, 2019)
I am late by a day, at least, in getting back to my keyboard. Dense fog forcing the motorway closure kept me outstation - where I had gone for my daughter's wedding - until the sun I had so anxiously waited for made way for me to travel back home. And here I am, witnessing the year 2019 drawing to a close and hearing the year 2020s loud knock at the door... Read More
 

Social development among top CPEC targets for 2020: envoy

The Pakistan Today (Dec 30, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said on Monday that China and Pakistan have identified new projects in education, health, agriculture and construction sectors for the year 2020 under the new phase of the China, Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Addressing the participants of Sangam Club Gala 2019 at the Chinese Embassy, the envoy said that both China... Read More
 

US trade frictions dealt with proactively: China

Express Tribune (Dec 30, 2019)
BEIJING: China’s commerce ministry has “proactively dealt with” trade frictions with the United States this year, it said on Sunday after an annual work conference. The ministry has implemented the decisions of the central government and “resolutely safeguarded the interests of the country and the people”, it said in a statement on its website... Read More
 

IMF appreciates improvements in Pakistan’s economy

Radio.gov.pk (Dec 29, 2019)
International Monetary Fund has acknowledged that Pakistan's reform program is on track and already producing results. According to a Press Release of Finance Ministry, IMF in its latest report conceded that the business climate has improved, and market confidence is returning. The report confirmed that inflation has been started to stabilize and the State Bank of Pakistan's... Read More
 

Dubai announces biggest ever Dh66.4 billion 2020 budget

Gulf News (Dec 29, 2019)
Dubai: The Government of Dubai has allocated a record Dh66.4 billion ($18.1 billion) for the 2020 budget compared Dh56.8 billion budgeted in 2019. His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the 2020 budget along with a three-year Dh196 billion 3-year budget for the Government of... Read More

Pakistan’s debt falls to 84.7pc of GDP: IMF

Dawn News (Dec 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s general government debt (including guarantees and the International Monetary Fund borrowing) declined to 84.7 per cent of GDP, from 88pc. A recently published report on Pakistan by IMF said this decline in debts was mainly driven by the government’s smart performance in reducing expenditures, registering primary budget surplus and... Read More

Financial sectors excluded from NAB purview

The Express Tribune (Dec 14, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday promulgated the NAB Amendment Ordinance 2019 – a move which curtails the sweeping powers of the anti-corruption watchdog to act against any individual accused of corruption at will. The new ordinance provides more protection to a public office holder or government official while at the same time excludes several... Read More

IMF lauds Pakistan’s efforts to bring economy on growth track

The Gulf Times (Dec 27, 2019)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that the industrial and social sectors in Pakistan have improved, adding that its latest economic reform programme is on track too. “The government of Pakistan is now determined and committed to implementing strong and solid economic programmes with IMF’s support,” said Maria Teresa Daban Sanchez, the IMF resident... Read More

Pakistan’s debt falls by 3.3% of GDP: IMF

The News (Dec 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's general government debt (including guarantees & IMF borrowing) during the first quarter of current fiscal year, showed significant decline as it fell to 84.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), however by the end of previous year, the country's debt had risen to 88 percent of GDP. A recently published report on Pakistan by International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 56 Dec 26, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Mini-budget coming?

The News (Dec 26, 2019)
According to the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP), there are at least two points that indicate a likely revision in budget targets anticipating a dreaded mini-budget in the next couple of months. Dreaded because the public is already under tremendous pressure of inflationary trends ever since the PTI government came to power in 2018. Despite repeated claims and promises... Read More
 

IMF assumes far less-than-expected rupee fall

The Express Tribune (Dec 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: New assumptions by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest that the average exchange rate at the end of this fiscal year could be Rs160.64 to a dollar, which is significantly lower than the steep depreciation the global lender had predicted while designing the $6-billion loan programme. The fresh valuation is 6.9% or Rs11.9 less... Read More
 

IMF’s new conditionalities: Mini-budget on the cards

The News by Mehtab Haider (Dec 25, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: After revising downward the FBR’s target from Rs5.5 trillion to Rs5.238 trillion, Pakistan has agreed under the new structural benchmark condition with the IMF to take ‘additional measures’ on the eve of presenting the budget review before parliament by end of February 2020. This indicates that a mini-budget is on the cards if the need arises to achieve the envisaged annual targets for ... Read More
 

Govt seeks nod for Rs170b supplementary budget

The Express Tribune (Dec 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Monday allowed the presentation of a report to the National Assembly for approval of an additional Rs170 billion in supplementary budget, bringing total excess expenditures over and above the approved budget to Rs392 billion in the last fiscal year. The Ministry of Finance could not properly estimate the over-spending in the first year of the Pakistan... Read More
 

IMF cuts FBR’s tax target to Rs5.23 trillion

The Express Tribune (Dec 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected significant fiscal slippages and has finally cut the tax collection target to Rs5.238 trillion, which raises questions over claims of bringing fiscal discipline and restoring macroeconomic stability. The IMF expects Pakistan to miss the budget deficit target of Rs3.2 trillion and has projected excesses in almost all ... Read More
 

Balochistan's revenue collection increases by 164%

The Express Tribune (Dec 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Balochistan government has collected Rs7.84 billion revenue so far in the first half of the fiscal year 2019-20, projecting around 164 per cent increase as compared to the corresponding period of last year. “Balochistan Revenue Authority (BRA) and other departments have collected huge revenue during the first six months of current fiscal year compared to Rs4.90 billion... Read More
 

FATF: PTI govt prepares draft to curb terror financing via NSS

The Express Tribune (Dec 23, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In line with the FATF recommendations, the federal government has prepared an AML/CFT Rules 2019 draft for the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing through National Savings Schemes (NSS). It has sought recommendations from all NSS stakeholders within seven days. In case they fail to submit proposals within the stipulated time, the gazette notification... Read More
 

Is Pakistan ready for economic growth?

The News (Dec 23, 2019)
Our knowledge of history, economics, and much more owes a lot to the works of Ibn Khaldun. With his usual keen eye, he said that “Government is an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself.” What was said 700 hundred years ago still holds true today. The government’s role is key in laying the base for a nation’s progress. At our Institute for Policy Reforms, I led a project ... Read More
 

Pakistan to receive second tranche worth $452m from IMF next week

The Nation (Dec 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan would receive second tranche worth of $452 million from International Monetary Fund (IMF) next week that would build the country’s foreign exchange reserves. The Executive Board of the IMF on December 19 has completed the first review of Pakistan’s economic performance under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The completion of the review will allow the authorities to... Read More
 

Digital economy to create 2m jobs, boost GDP to $40b

The Nation (Dec 22, 2019)
RAWALPINDI - Digital economy in Pakistan has huge potential for creating 2 million jobs and boosting the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) up to the level of $40 billion in next couple of years. Transformation is required to promote the Information, Communications and Technology sectors to reposition Pakistan in the digital economy. The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and... Read More
 

Economic stability result of Govt’s policies: Hammad

The Pakistan Observer (Dec 21, 2019)
Islamabad: Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar said that economy has been put on the track with strenuous efforts of the government under the leadership of the prime minister. In a statement on Friday, he said the IMF Board’s Review is indicating success of the government’s economic reforms. The Minister said Moody’s upgraded ... Read More
 

Turkish Parliament Approves 2020 Budget

The aawsat.com (Dec 21, 2019)
Turkey’s parliament has approved the government’s 2020 budget, which includes increased defense spending and forecasts a budget deficit of 138.9 billion lira ($23.4 billion). The 2020 budget, which state-run Anadolu news agency said was passed with 329 votes in favor to 159 votes against, also projects increased spending on health and education, and foresees a rise in budget...Read More
 

Pakistan’s economic reform programme on track: IMF

The Pakistan Today (Dec 20, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has completed the first review of Pakistan’s economic performance under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), saying that Pakistan’s economic reform is on track. The completion of the review will allow the authorities to draw $452.4 million, bringing total disbursements to $1.44 billion, said a press release issued by the... Read More
 

Current account deficit shrinks 72.6pc in Nov: Hafeez Shaikh

The Pakistan Today (Dec 20, 2019)
LAHORE: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that current account deficit is down by 72.6 per cent on a year-on-year in November 2019, whereas it was reduced by 73 per cent during the first five months of FY20 against the same period of last year. The adviser said that during the last five months of the current fiscal year, the State Bank of Pakistan’s... Read More
 

19-month high: SBP reserves surpass $10b mark

The Express Tribune (Dec 19, 2019)
KARACHI: Government’s efforts to boost the foreign exchange reserves have borne fruit as the reserves held by the central bank have shot up to a 19-month high, surpassing the $10-billion mark. The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 18% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday... Read More
 

If Pakistan's economy grows over 3.8%, it can trigger imbalances

The Express Tribune (Dec 19, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The balance of payments crisis is imminent in Pakistan, if its economy grows more than 3.8% annually without fixing existing structural economic imbalances, finds a new Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) research paper. In order to avoid the next balance of payments crisis, Pakistan will have to fix its exports and reduce dependency on imports... Read More
 

Effective tax mechanism to boost economic activities

The Pakistan Observer (Dec 18, 2019)
Lahore: Low number of taxes, reduced frequency of payments and an effective mechanism of the refund payments would not only give a momentum to the economic activities but also help further improvement in ease of doing business index. Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar and Vice President Mian ... Read More
 

'Lower current account deficit a victory for businessmen'

The Express Tribune (Dec 18, 2019)
FAISALABAD: The current account deficit of Pakistan has decreased from $6 billion to $1 billion in the past four months, which is a victory particularly for the business community as it provides jobs to millions of workers, said Punjab Governor Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar. Addressing an event at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Tuesday, Sarwar pointed ... Read More
 

Foreign Direct Investment surges 78.1pc in five months

The Pakistan Today (Dec 17, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Pakistan surged 78.1pc to $850 million in July-November FY20, as compared to the investment of $477.3 million in the same period of last year. On a year-on-year basis, however, the FDI decreased to $200.1 million in November 2019 as against $285.4 million in the same month of 2018, according to the data released by State ... Read More
 

Development spending grows 27pc in July-Oct

The News (Dec 17, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Provincial governments have cumulatively spent Rs112 billion on developments during the first four months of the current fiscal year of 2019/20, depicting 27 percent year-on-year growth, finance division said on Monday. Combined development spending of the four provinces amounted to Rs88 billion during the corresponding months of the last fiscal... Read More
 

Hot money flows - looking beyond temporary relief in Pakistan

The Express Tribune (Dec 16, 2019)
KARACHI: The current account surplus reported in October 2019 marks a shift from an otherwise persistent current account deficit. It is an achievement for the government in terms of its objectives to curtail the current account deficit, particularly as it faces several challenges on the economic front. A survey of the summary of balance of payments reported by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) indicates a $253-million...Read More
 

Foreign investment in Pakistan debt markets should be seen positively: SBP

The Pakistan Today (Dec 16, 2019)
KARACHI: The increase in investment by foreign investors in debt instruments is an encouraging sign for the Pakistani economy, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Monday. “Recently, international investors have started investing in debt instruments issued by the Government of Pakistan. This is largely a manifestation of their growing confidence in the positive ... Read More
 

Gwadar port operationalised for exports

The Express Tribune (Dec 15, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Gwadar port has been operationalised for export, Adviser to Prime Minister on Trade and Industries Abdul Razak Dawood announced on Saturday, saying that it would reduce the burden on the Karachi port. Dawood said on the microblogging website Twitter that the departure of a vessel, carrying three fish containers worth $50,000 each, for... Read More
 

35pc budget allocated for eliminating inter-district disparity in Punjab

The Pakistan Observer (Dec 14, 2019)
Lahore: Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht on Friday revealed that 35 percent budget had been allocated for eliminating inter-district disparity in the province. This policy is aimed at ensuring inclusive growth so that all the people could equally benefit and grow. He stated this while addressing a seminar at Government College University on... Read More

‘Pakistan on track to fulfilling FATF conditions’

The Pakistan Today (Dec 14, 2019)
KARACHI: The government is on track to fulfilling all necessary conditions of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir said on Saturday. He was speaking at the Financial Crime Summit, a conference organised in Karachi to discuss the way forward for Pakistan post-FATF. The governor sounded cautiously optimistic,... Read More

Centre seeks deduction from NFC to pay off loans

The Express Tribune (Dec 14, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Finance Division has proposed to the country’s economic managers to make at source deduction from provincial financial shares under the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award to pay the outstanding loans acquired by provincial food departments from commercial banks. These loans are backed by secondary guarantees issued by the Finance... Read More

PIA records Rs32.7bn loss in first half of 2019

The Pakistan Today (Dec 13, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan International Airline (PIA) and its subsidiary, PIA Investments Limited, continue to bleed massively due to a variety of reasons, ranging from mismanagement to lack of transparency and weak audit controls by independent auditors as well as the Auditor General of Pakistan. Nur Khan succeeded not because of his Air Force combat experience but his self... Read More

World Bank to finance Khyber Pass Economic Corridor project with a loan of $406.6 million

The Dawn (Dec 13, 2019)
The World Bank will provide $406.6 million for the Khyber Pass Economic Corridor (KPEC) project which will promote economic development and uplift areas adjoining the expressway and falling in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). An agreement to this effect was signed in Islamabad on Friday, according to a statement by the Economic Affairs... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 55 Dec 12, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Jul-Nov FY20: Pakistan’s trade deficit shrinks 33% to $9.7b

The Express Tribune (Dec 12, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s trade deficit shrank one-third to $9.7 billion in first five months of the current fiscal year on the back of compression of imports as growth in exports remained tepid, which may again result in missing the annual target. Trade figures that the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) released on Wednesday showed that exports fell in November ... Read More
 

'India's economic recovery critical for oil in 2020'

The Express Tribune (Dec 12, 2019)
LONDON: India’s economy is suffering its worst cyclical downturn for more than a decade, which is weighing heavily on global oil consumption, and until the economy improves, prices are unlikely to see a sustained increase. If the monetary and fiscal stimulus succeeds in pushing the economy out of its current trough, faster growth would play an important role in rebalancing the oil market ... Read More
 

Asian Development Bank says Pakistan's economy is showing signs of stability

The News (Dec 11, 2019)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday said signs of economic stabilisation were emerging in Pakistan during the ongoing fiscal year 2019-20. The ADB, in its Asian Development Outlook 2019 Supplement, said that inflation in Pakistan for the first three months of the ongoing fiscal year averaged 10.1 per cent despite “tight monetary policy... Read More
 

These bugs are eating into Pakistan’s already fragile economy

The Print (Dec 11, 2019)
Karachi: Pakistan’s efforts to turn around its economy after winning bailout funds from the International Monetary Fund face a new threat — from crop-eating pests. Swarms of locusts are fanning out through the South Asian nation, gorging on wheat, cotton, mustard and other crops. That, together with unseasonal rain and a scourge of low quality seeds, has hit major crops in the country’s largest... Read More
 

ADB, Pakistan sign $1.3 billion loan agreement

The Daily Times (Dec 10, 2019)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Pakistan on Monday struck a loan agreement of $1.3 billion for budgetary support and reforms of the country. This will help stabilise the foreign exchange reserves of the country, and strengthen Pakistan’s slowing economy. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar was present on the occasion, while Economic Affairs Division Secretary... Read More
 

Russia keen to invest billions of dollars in Pakistan’s economy

Daily Business Recorder (Dec 10, 2019)
A new chapter of economic relations between Pakistan and Russia are on the brink of a new beginning, with a 64-member Russian high-level delegation present in the country keen to invest up to $10 billion in Pakistan. As per local media reports, the Russian companies are looking to invest in Pakistan's energy sector. The companies seek a $2.5 billion gas pipeline project from Karachi to Lahore ... Read More
 

Pakistan, Qatar to sign trade pacts soon

The Express Tribune (Dec 09, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Qatar have agreed in principle on a preferential trade agreement (PTA) and a free trade agreement (FTA) to enhance bilateral trade. The agreements will soon be signed after necessary formalities. Pakistan has also offered to establish a plant in Qatar to manufacture footballs for the FIFA World Cup 2022 as well as subsequent football tournaments... Read More
 

Russia pledges to invest heavily in Pakistan’s defence, industrial projects

Daily Pakistan Today (Dec 09, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Russia has signed a new trade deal with Pakistan, pledging to invest heavily in the country’s industrial sector. According to government officials, Russia would provide financial assistance worth $1 billion for the rehabilitation of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). Moreover, Moscow would also invest a hefty amount to enhance the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries. “Russia’s ... Read More
 

Iran unveils budget of ‘resistance’ against US sanctions

Daily Pakistan Today (Dec 08, 2019)
TEHRAN: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday presented to parliament what he called a “budget of resistance” against crippling sanctions imposed by arch-enemy the United States. “Next year, similar to the current year, our budget is a budget of resistance and perseverance against sanctions,” Rouhani told parliament in remarks broadcast on state radio. “This budget ... Read More
 

Cashless economy for Pakistan: challenges and way forward

The Daily Times by Syed Shujaat Ahmad (Dec 08, 2019)
Cashless economic system describes an economic state where financial transactions are not conducted with money in the form of physical banknotes or coins, but rather through the transfer of digital information between the parties. Societies of such form have existed from the time when human society came into existence, based on barter and other methods of exchange and such forms have also become... Read More
 

Russia to develop stakes in Pakistan economy in big way

The Gulf Times (Dec 07, 2019)
Internews/ Islamabad: Russia has decided to develop its stakes in Pakistan’s economy in a big way and to this effect a 64-member delegation headed by Minister for Trade and Industries for the Russian Federation Denis V Manturov is visiting Pakistan for four days from today to December 11 to attend an Inter-Governmental Commission. Russia contributed a lot towards... Read More
 

ADB okays $1.3bn loans for Pakistan

The Dawn (Dec 07, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday approved $1.3 billion in loans for Pakistan for emergency budgetary support, chiefly through a relatively expensive crisis response facility. The Manila-based lending agency announced that its board of directors had app¬roved two loan progra¬m¬mes to help Pakistan build foreign exchange...Read More
 

China's defence budget increases 850 per cent over 20 years: Top Pentagon official

The New Indian Express (Dec 06, 2019)
WASHINGTON: China's defence budget has grown 850 per cent in the last 20 years from USD 20 billion to USD 170 billion in 2018, a top Pentagon official told lawmakers on Thursday. China possesses one of the largest militaries in the world. It continues to add to its capabilities and is increasingly provocative, such as its activities in the South China Sea ... Read More
 

ADB approves loan worth $1.3 bn for Pakistan’s budget support, energy sector reforms

The Daily Times (Dec 06, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved on Friday $1 billion in immediate budget support to Pakistan to shore up the country’s public finances and help strengthen a slowing economy besides approving $300 million to support energy sector reforms. The quick dispersing Special Policy-Based Loan is part of a comprehensive multi-donor economic reform program led by the... Read More
 

Inflation surges to nine-year high

The Dawn (Dec 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Inflation rose to 12.7 per cent year-on-year, the highest level in nine years mainly driven by an increase in prices of food items, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported on Wednesday. Inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), edged up by 1.3pc over the previous month after the PBS revised its calculation methodology by setting the new base year 2015-16... Read More
 

Borrowing soars to $10.4b in PTI’s first year in power

The Express Tribune (Dec 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government took $10.4 billion worth of foreign loans in its first year in power and 46% of these were short-term expensive commercial lending, secured at up to 5.5% interest rate. The most expensive commercial loans were obtained from Chinese banks that were contracted at six-month Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate (Shibor) plus 2.5%, according ... Read More
 

IMF dismisses proposal of tax relief for builders

The Express Tribune (Dec 04, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has shot down Pakistan’s proposal to introduce a special income tax regime for builders and developers and urged the authorities to bring equity in the distorted tax system. The government shared a draft of the presidential ordinance with the IMF in the recently held talks aimed at treating the... Read More
 

Rs3.225b for non-salary budget for schools released

The News (Dec 04, 2019)
LAHORE:Finance Department Punjab has released non-salary budget (NSB) amounting to Rs 3.225 billion for public schools across the province. These funds have been transferred into Special Drawing Accounts (SDAs) jointly operated by Chief Executive Officers of District Education Authorities (DEAs) and District Education Officer (DEOs) of the districts. School Education Department has directed the CEOs... Read More
 

Pakistan makes $1 billion foreign debt repayment

The Express Tribune (Dec 03, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan has successfully made a foreign debt repayment of over $1 billion, shaking up the country’s foreign currency reserves on the day Moody’s rating agency upgraded Islamabad’s credit rating outlook to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’. “We paid over $1 billion including interest payment at the maturity of a Sukuk today (Monday),” State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) official confirmed ... Read More
 

Moody’s upgrades Pakistan’s economic outlook

The Dawn (Dec 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: New York-based credit rating agency Moody’s on Monday raised Pakistan’s economic outlook from negative to stable on the back of the country’s reforms supported by an IMF programme, but kept its credit rating unchanged at B3. “The change in outlook to stable is driven by Moody’s expectations that the balance of payments dynamics will continue to ... Read More
 

PM satisfied with economic progress

The Pakistan Today (Dec 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday expressed satisfaction over Pakistan’s current economic situation, saying that progress on development projects would accelerate the growth process. Presiding over an important meeting of the economic team, PM Imran said that economic stability and creation of jobs for youth were among the priorities of the government ...Read More
 

Moody’s upgrades Pakistan’s outlook to ‘stable’, affirms B3 rating

The Pakistan Today (Dec 02, 2019)
As a sign of improving economy, Moody’s Investors Services have upgraded the country’s outlook from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’, reaffirming the country’s rating of B3, the agency announced on Monday. Moody’s had downgraded Pakistan’s ratings outlook to negative last year in June, citing heightened external vulnerability risk due to depleting... Read More
 

Positive signals rising from Pakistan’s economy

The Express Tribune (Dec 01, 2019)
Dramatically rising from the ashes of its predecessor, a phoenix, in ancient Greek mythology, is a bird reborn after a catastrophe with more strength and power. After posting 49 months of back-to-back current account deficits, Pakistan’s economy suddenly posted a surplus. The stock market rose by over 8,000 points in the last few weeks. One billion dollars of hot money ... Read More
 

Govt controls soaring budget deficit despite facing shortfall in tax collection

The Nation (Dec 01, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The government has successfully controlled the soaring budget deficit during first quarter (July to September) of the current fiscal year despite facing shortfall in tax collection. Pakistan’s budget deficit was recorded at Rs286 billion during July to September period of the year 2019-20. In terms of GDP, the country’s budget deficit was recorded at 0.7 percent ... Read More

Economy of BRI’s countries including Pakistan gets boost with enhanced Chinese investment: Su Wei

The Daily Times (Nov 30, 2019)
China’s outbound investment has boosted the economic development of countries and regions along the Belt and Road Initiative(BRI) and brought tangible benefits for local peoples, said Su Wei, Deputy Secretary General of China’s National Development and Reform Commission(NDRC). Su made the remark at the opening ceremony of 11th China Overseas ... Read More

Once the world's fastest growing economy, India faces a slowdown

The Al-Jazeera (Nov 30, 2019)
New Delhi, India - The Indian economy expanded at its weakest pace in more than six years, according to official data released on Friday, adding pressure on a government that is already dealing with a sputtering economy. The economy grew at 4.5 percent for the three months ending September, down from 5 percent in the previous quarter and... Read More

Sri Lanka’s central bank holds rates watching tax cuts, budget deficit

The Economy Next (Nov 30, 2019)
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is holding policy rates at current levels, amid a widening the budget deficit so far this year and recent tax cuts announced to stimulate economic activity, which need clarity, the central bank said. “…[R]ecent tax revisions would support lower inflation and higher economic growth in the short term, but was of the view that greater clarity with regard to the medium term fiscal ... Read More

Effects of Azadi March on Pakistan Economy

The Nation (Nov 29, 2019)
Antigovernment Azadi March set out on Sunday afternoon from Karachi towards Islamabad. Thousands of people including seminary students, are participating in the march. Thousands of protesters in Pakistan are marching to the capital of Islamabad, calling on prime minister Imran Khan to resign over the weak economy and corruption claims. While ... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 54 Nov 28, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

SBP reserves rise $240m to $8.68bn

The Pakistan Today (Nov 28, 2019)
The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank rose 2.84pc on a weekly basis, as per the data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. On November 22, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $8,682.3 million, up $240 million compared with $8,442.1 million in the previous week. The central bank attributed the increase to official ... Read More
 

Leakages in transit trade badly hurt economy

The Express Tribune (Nov 28, 2019)
KARACHI: The misuse of Afghan transit trade still remains the biggest issue that is badly hitting Pakistan’s economy but the government is working on a plan to clear about 90-95% of imports without physical inspection by 2023-24. “If you ask me what is the biggest problem for me as a law enforcer in Pakistan, I will say it is the abuse and leakages in the Afghan transit trade,” Federal Board of... Read More
 

Credible deficit plan to help Sri Lanka sell $3 billion of bonds annually

The Gulf News (Nov 27, 2019)
Colombo: Sri Lanka must come up with a plan to narrow its budget deficit as the top Asian issuer of sovereign dollar debt after China this year prepares to sell $3 billion of bonds annually. The island-nation, which elected Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as its president last week, has to raise debt commercially to service earlier borrowings, Central Bank... Read More
 

Pakistan’s Economic Woes and the Way Forward

The Daily Times (Nov 27, 2019)
Pakistan is a country blessed with enormous natural reserves and manpower. Still, it is plunged in a downward spiral of economic recession. Some of the obvious reasons are bad governance, corruption, nepotism and impediments towards entrepreneurship and investments (both by domestic and foreign investors). Moreover, a miserable tax system has also added insult... Read More
 

The downside of Pakistan’s economy

The Business Recorder (Nov 26, 2019)
The government has recently been making frequent positive statements about on-going developments in the economy. Rightfully, success in the process of stabilization has been highlighted. The current account in the balance of payments was transformed into a surplus in October. Over the four-month period, July to October, the current account deficit has declined by as much as 74 percent. However, this has ... Read More
 

Pakistan receives $1 billion in hot foreign money

The Express Tribune (Nov 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Foreign investors have bought over $1 billion worth of Pakistan government’s debt, said Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Monday – an amount that is equal to the increase in official foreign exchange reserves in the current fiscal year. Central bank data showed that the money was predominantly invested in three-month treasury bills, suggesting that foreign investors ... Read More
 

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: US claims about loans, their impact on economy rejected: Qureshi

The Business Recorder (Nov 25, 2019)
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Sunday said the process of transparent accountability would continue in the country. Talking to media here, he said no one wanted to face accountability process, and whenever people were held accountable, they attempt to create hindrances in the way of the accountability process. Responding to a question about Asif Ali... Read More
 

AIIB okays $511 million for Pakistan’s infrastructural projects

Daily Nation (Nov 25, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will finance $511.81 million for four projects for the infrastructural development in Pakistan, mainly related to roads, energy, sanitation and mass transit. The amount has been approved for the projects including National Motorway M-4 of $100 million, Tarbela Hydropower Extension Projects $300 million... Read More
 

Retailers feel pinch of economic slowdown in Pakistan

Daily Express Tribune (Nov 24, 2019)
LAHORE: Pakistan’s retail sector is looking for some breathing space to remain sustainable during the ongoing economic slowdown. “The recent hike in taxes on the retail sector has caused turmoil and uncertainty,” said Chainstore Association of Pakistan Chairman Tariq Mehboob. “In fact, many retailers, which represent the organised retail sector, are initiating cost-cutting measures,... Read More
 

‘Pakistan in better position to attract investment’

The Express Tribune (Nov 24, 2019)
LAHORE: Pakistani handmade furniture products have great potential to capture world market with excellent modern designing, said Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar. Speaking at the 11th Interiors Pakistan exhibition held at Expo Centre Lahore, he said that Pakistan was moving forward and was in a better position to attract foreign investment. He appreciated the Pakistan... Read More
 

CPEC to push Pakistan deeper into debt burden, cautions US

The Dawn by Anwar Iqbal (Nov 23, 2019)
WASHINGTON: The United States has warned Pakistan that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would push the country deeper into an already stifling debt burden, foster corruption and repatriate jobs and profits to China. In a speech, described as “unusually specific” by the international media, the top US diplomat for South Asia warned on Thursday that the multi-billion-dollar project would take a toll on Pakistan’s ... Read More
 

Encouraging economic indicators

The Pakistan Today by Muhammad Zahid (Nov 23, 2019)
Any country’s progress, development and prosperity is linked with the national growth rate both directly and indirectly. If the economic growth rate is good, then there is lot of relief for the people at large. Pakistan is a developing country and its economic growth rate is not so high and keeps going up and down due to various factors every now and then...Read More
 

Big industry contracts 5.9pc in 3MFY20

The Pakistan Today (Nov 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Despite positive economic indicators like reduction in current account deficit and jump in the stock exchange, the fall in Large Scale Manufacturing Industries (LSMI) remains the major concern for the country. The overall output of the LSM Index decreased by 5.91pc during the first quarter (July-Sept) of FY20, as compared to the corresponding period of last fiscal year... Read More
 

Monetary policy: SBP leaves interest rate unchanged at 13.25%

The Express Tribune (Nov 22, 2019)
KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at the eight-year high of 13.25% for the next two months as controlling high inflation may remain a big challenge in the short run. The decision taken by the SBP Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) was largely in line with market expectations. The policy is an effective tool available with the central bank to tame ... Read More
 

In Pakistan, bottlenecks hold up $14b foreign loans

The Express Tribune (Nov 21, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday directed expeditious release of $14 billion stuck up foreign loans against the ongoing development projects. The directive came as the bureaucracy fails to finalise a viable action plan to remove bottlenecks to unlock the much-needed stimulus funds. Over a month after The Express Tribune reported that $21.6 billion... Read More
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves rise $45m to $8.44b

The Express Tribune (Nov 21, 2019)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank rose 0.5% 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... Read More
 

Impact of industrial operations on economy of Pakistan

The News by Muhammad Mudassar (Nov 20, 2019)
Industrialization plays a vital role in the economic development of underdeveloped countries. As the historical record shows, the developed countries of the world broke the vicious cycle of poverty by industrializing, rather than focusing on agricultural or the production of national resources. Currently, Pakistan, as a developing ... Read More
 

CPEC: unprecedented boost to Pakistan’s economy

The Pakistan Observer (Nov 20, 2019)
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), massive bilateral project to improve infrastructure within Pakistan for better trade with China and to further integrate the countries of the region. The project was launched on April 20, 2015 when Chinese President Xi Jinping and the then Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed 51 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding... Read More
 

Tackling economic woes

The News by Abdul Sattar (Nov 19, 2019)
The recent statement of Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing augurs well for the debilitating economy of the country. The envoy while talking to the media recently in Quetta said that China is setting up 19 factories in Gwadar. He expressed the desire of his government to contribute towards the development of Balochistan’s mining, agriculture... Read More
 

Economy showing signs of improvement: SBP governor

The Pakistan Today (Nov 19, 2019)
KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Reza Baqir on Monday said the economy has begun to show signs of improvement, adding that inflation would start easing soon as a result of the new measures. Addressing the business community at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Baqir said the SBP has always made efforts to facilitate trade and industry as better... Read More
 

CPEC to help expand industrial base, exports of Pakistan: Khusro

The app.com.pk (Nov 18, 2019)
ISLAMABAD, Nov 18 (APP):Minister for Planning, Development and Refomrs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar on Monday said that under next phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the industrial base of the country would be expanded, eventually to help increase the exports. The minister said that China had total trade volume worth of $4000 billion with the world ...Read More
 

Circular Debt To Be Eliminated By Dec 2020: Hafeez Shaikh

The Urdupoint.com (Nov 18, 2019)
ISLAMABAD, (APP – Urdu Point / Pakistan Point News - 18th Nov, 2019 ):Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Hafeez Shaikh Monday reiterated the government resolve to eliminate the issue of circular debt by December 2020. Briefing the leading anchorpersons of electronic media about economic performance ... Read More
 

Pakistan’s fiscal dilemma

The News (Nov 17, 2019)
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in its Annual Report 2018-19—The State of Pakistan’s Economy has strongly criticised the provinces for what it called their “lack of institutional capacity,” giving rise to “lower revenue collection that contributed less to tax-to-GDP ratio and fiscal consolidation efforts”. The report further noted that “an important agenda on ... Read More
 

CPEC effect: Taiwanese textile companies may relocate to Pakistan

The Express Tribune (Nov 17, 2019)
LAHORE: Being a cheap labour market, Pakistan can transform into an excellent destination for Taiwanese textile companies, which are willing to relocate their units outside Vietnam, said Taiwan Textile Federation President Justin Huang. “At present, Vietnam is crowded, which causes difficulties for Taiwanese textile firms there, such as labour shortages,” ... Read More

Military budget should go to common sense

The Bulletin (Nov 16, 2019)
With U.S. support for NATO waning, President Macron of France recently accused the organization of being “brain dead,” a remark undoubtedly intended to prod more robust EU leadership. Not that America’s lead’s been exemplary. Take, for example, Operation Allied Force, NATO’s 1999 air campaign over Kosovo, General Wesley Clark supreme commander. Critics called it ... Read More

Pakistan saves $3.9b as trade losses decrease

The Samaa.tv (Nov 15, 2019)
Pakistan’s trade deficit has fallen by 33.52% in the first four months of the current fiscal year in comparison to the same time last year, according to recent figures by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.This means the country has saved over $3.9 billion–the difference between the trade loss from the first quarters of last year and this year. Trade deficit figures for the current fiscal year’s first... Read More

Pakistan will thrive as more women participate in economy

The app.com.pk (Nov 15, 2019)
ISLAMABAD, Nov 15 (APP):Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar, at the US-Pakistan Women in the Economy Symposium, Friday said Pakistan will thrive as more women participate in the economy. At the event hosted by the George H W Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University in... Read More

Pakistan's economy has finally stabilised: PM

The Express Tribune (Nov 15, 2019)
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the country’s economy has finally stabilised and was moving in the right direction. While addressing the signing ceremony of Super-6 Wind Power Projects in Islamabad, the premier said there is so much potential for hydro-electricity in Pakistan, and the new project will provide affordable and environmentally friendly clean energy... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 53 Nov 14, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Foreigners invest $678m in debt instruments

The Express Tribune (Nov 14, 2019)
KARACHI: Foreigners have continued to step up investment in Pakistan’s debt instruments, mostly in short-term treasury bills (T-bills), and have partly helped strengthen the country’s foreign exchange reserves to over $8 billion at the beginning of November. The return of stability to the rupee-dollar parity coupled with high rates of return on debt instruments encouraged foreigners ... Read More
 

CPEC’s social, economic projects to begin before 2020

The Business Recorder (Nov 14, 2019)
Work on 17 out of 27 priority projects in social and economic development component of Chin-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would commence before 2020. According to official documents concerned, the meeting of 9th joint cooperation committee (JCC) of CPEC, Pakistan and China appreciated the progress achieved by JWG since its establishment. Practical cooperation... Read More
 

Stocks gain 401 points to storm past 37,000 level

The Pakistan Today (Nov 13, 2019)
KARACHI: Bulls of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) took charge of the market once again on Wednesday after a range-bound session a day before. Indices that started the day on a negative note soon took a U-turn to surpass the 37,000 points mark. Foreign investors ended up as net buyers for the fifth consecutive session on Tuesday with a net inflow of $1.22 million... Read More
 

Federal transfers: Sindh suffers Rs 109 billion shortfall in July-October: Murad

The Business Recorder (Nov 13, 2019)
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah Tuesday said the federal government during last four months had to release Rs 278.4 billion against which the provincial government has received only Rs 169.2 billion which shows a shortfall of Rs109.17 billion. “This is the position of vertical distribution of funds, therefore the provincial government is facing serious problems."... Read More
 

Remittances slow down to $7.48b

The Express Tribune (Nov 12, 2019)
KARACHI: Remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis in the first four months of the current fiscal year (July-October 2019) remained almost flat at $7.48 billion. According to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday, the remittances were 1.82% lower than $7.62 billion sent home from abroad in the same period of the previous fiscal year. Talking to The Express Tribune,... Read More
 

‘Study on budget making process at district level in Balochistan’ launched

The Balochistan Times (Nov 12, 2019)
Zhob: Action for Welfare and awakening in Rural Environment in collaboration with Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) launched its report entitled ‘ Study of Budget Making Process at District level in Balochistan, here in Zhob District, Chief guest of the session was CPDI provincial coordinator Muhammad Asif. Those who attended the session were included... Read More
 

FATF targets: FBR to intensify crackdown against banned outfits

The Pakistan Today (Nov 11, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In order to meet the condition of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) regarding the control of terror financing, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to intensify its efforts against over 2,600 individuals/assets of banned organisations. The individuals and assets targeted by FBR so far were linked with various banned organizations, including Da’esh (ISIS), AL-Qaida (AQ),... Read More
 

Govt announces Rs200bn package for exporters

The Pakistan Today (Nov 11, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to announce a support package of Rs200 billion for exporters in order to enhance the country’s exports, encourage local production and create job opportunities, said Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. Addressing a press conference on Monday, the adviser said that the State Bank of Pakistan... Read More
 

Pakistan's economy stable, improving: PBBC

The Dunyanews.tv (Nov 10, 2019)
LONDON (APP) – Pakistan Britain Business Council (PBBC) appreciating the economic policies initiated by the government of Pakistan has said that due to its prudent policies, the economy of the country was strengthening and improving. “The latest World Bank report has also recognized and said that Pakistan has emerged as an improver in terms of ease of doing ... Read More
 

CPDI launches ‘study of budget making process at district level in Balochistan’

Daily Asia Today (Nov 10, 2019)
Chaman: Budget call letters delayed, 19 out of 23 districts stated that they have not received it, budget time line is not followed properly. Out of 23 only 6 surveyed distrits conducted pre-budget consultations. 5 districts did not hold a single consultation and 12 district done it without directly involving general public. Only 1 district issued pre-budget statement the copy was not available for... Read More
 

Pakistan wins IMF's confidence, to get $450m loan tranche

The Aljazeera.com (Nov 09, 2019)
Pakistan's fiscal deficits are narrowing, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday as it announced it would release the first tranche of its $6bn financial assistance programme to the country. The IMF agreed to the three-year rescue package for Pakistan in April - its 13th bailout programme for the South Asian nation since the late 1980s - as the economic outlook for the country of 208 million... Read More
 

IMF releasing first tranche of $6bn loan package for Pakistan

The Aljazeera.com(Nov 09, 2019)
Pakistan's fiscal deficits are narrowing, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday as it announced it would release the first tranche of its $6bn financial assistance programme to the country. The IMF agreed to the three-year rescue package for Pakistan in April - its 13th bailout programme for the South Asian nation since the late 1980s - as the economic outlook for the country of 208 million ...Read More
 

IMF reaches staff-level agreement with Pakistan on first review under EFF

The Dunyanews.tv (Nov 08, 2019)
ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Ernesto Ramirez Rigo on Friday visited Islamabad from October 28 to November 8, 2019 to conduct discussions on the first review under the Extended Fund Facility (EEF). At the end of the visit, Mr. Ramirez Rigo made the following statement: “The Pakistani authorities and IMF staff have reached a staff-level agreement on... Read More
 

Pakistan flays cuts in UN peacekeeping budget

The Nation (Nov 08, 2019)
UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan has warned that arbitrary cuts in peacekeeping funding risk diminishing effectiveness of UN’s flagship operations and jeopardizing the safety of peacekeepers. “Our objective should be to enhance capabilities. This cannot be achieved by reducing resources for peacekeeping,” Aamir Khan, Pakistan’s deputy... Read More
 

Govt urged to ensure citizens participation in budget preparation

The Nation (Nov 07, 2019)
BADIN - Experts urged the federal, provincial and district governments to ensure fully and active participation of common people and citizens in the preparation of budget at district and provincial level. Addressing a seminar titled “Consultation over preparation of district Budget” organised by Indus Development Society (IDS) in collaboration with Center for Peace and Development Initiative... Read More
 

SBP reserves surge $443m to stand at $8.4bn

The Pakistan Today (Nov 07, 2019)
The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank jumped 5.6pc on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. On November 1, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $8,357.6 million, up $443.3 million compared with $7,914.3 million in the previous week. The SBP, in its report, cited no reason for the increase in... Read More
 

Is e-commerce dying in Pakistan?

The Pakistan Today (Nov 06, 2019)
E-commerce in Pakistan is burgeoning and it is burgeoning at breakneck speed. In sheer numbers, e-commerce sales swelled 93.7pc in 2018, reaching Rs40.1 billion, compared to Rs20.7 billion in 2017. This growth is supported by improved internet accessibility with 159 million cellular subscribers, 66 million 3G/4G subscribers and 68 million broadband subscribers... Read More
 

Pakistan, Qatar agree to enhance trade, investment ties

The Pakistan Today (Nov 06, 2019)
Pakistan and Qatar have agreed to strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation, particularly in the fields of trade, industry, transport, energy, manpower export, education, science & technology, finance, tourism and infrastructure. The 5th session of Pakistan-Qatar Joint Commission, which undertook a comprehensive review of all the facets of bilateral relations between Pakistan and ... Read More
 

Foreign investment in Pakistan increases by 137pc: Economic Affairs minister

The Business Recorder (Nov 05, 2019)
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs has said that the total foreign investment in Pakistan increased by a whopping 137 percent in the first quarter of the financial year 2019-20. Talking to media on Tuesday, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar briefed about the country's economic position, saying that the current /account deficit has declined by 64 percent in the first... Read More
 

Development budget of science & technology ministry increased by 600pc: Fawad

The Dawn (Nov 05, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan is heading towards the manufacturing of lithium batteries for solar power with the support of Chinese companies and this would boost the country’s efforts to meet its growing energy needs. This was stated by Science and Technology Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry during the inaugural ceremony of a four-day symposium that opened at Karachi... Read More
 

State of economy

The Dawn (Nov 04, 2019)
The last fiscal year was one of the toughest for Pakistan, and the challenges are far from over. This is the gist of the annual report just released by the State Bank of Pakistan regarding FY2019. Coming almost four months after the fiscal year concluded, the report remains timely for the important lessons it has for the present, particularly the insights it shares on why the investment scenario remains so dismal...Read More
 

Investment drifts downwards in Pakistan

The Express Tribune (Nov 04, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan has been largely off the radar screen for direct investors for quite a long time despite improvement in some economic indicators in the recent past, a highly liberal trade and investment regime and a large market. “What explains this persistent underinvestment – both domestic and foreign – in Pakistan in spite of a liberal trade and... Read More
 

Pakistan ranked amongst top 20 global economic reformers in the World Bank Report

The Gulf News (Nov 03, 2019)
Dubai: The World Bank has acknowledged Pakistan amongst top 10 economies that improve the most on the ease of doing business after implementing regulatory reform. The World Bank ranked Pakistan at number six amongst the top 20 global reformers. As per the report, Pakistan has improved 28 ranks, from 136 to 108. It has also acknowledged top 10 economies... Read More
 

WTO authorises Chinese tariffs on $3.6b in US goods

The Express Tribune (Nov 03, 2019)
GENEVA: A World Trade Organisation (WTO) arbitrator on Friday authorised China to slap tariffs on US imports worth up to $3.58 billion annually in a years-long dispute over US anti-dumping practices, a trade official said. China had asked the WTO for permission to hit the US with more than $7 billion in tariffs in the case. But the WTO ruling said it had determined that... Read More

IMF asks Pakistan to spend more on development

The Express Tribune (Nov 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday urged Pakistan to spend more on development as the combined spending by federal and provincial governments in the first quarter remained less than one-tenth of the annual allocations. The lower spending on development than the allocated budget during the July-September quarter has also... Read More

IMF hails Pakistan for primary budget surplus

The News (Nov 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities managed to keep budget deficit at 0.9 percent of GDP, or around Rs400 billion, during the first quarter of the current fiscal – an achievement that was hailed by the IMF, but the country was advised to ensure full use of the budget to achieve the development goals, sources said on Friday. Sources said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission Chief Ramirez Rigo... Read More

‘Centre, provinces working closely on fiscal, taxation issues’

The Pakistan Today (Nov 01, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said the federal and provincial governments are in continuous dialogue to improve coordination and create harmony on issues related to fiscal and budget management, multiplicity of tax rates and reconciliation of input adjustment. He made this observation while chairing a meeting at the Finance Division... Read More

Pakistan requests IMF to cut tax target by Rs300b

The Express Tribune (Nov 01, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has requested the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reduce the federal tax target by Rs300 billion to Rs5.2 trillion as shortfall in collection has widened to Rs167 billion in just four months of the current fiscal year. The request was made despite Prime Minister Imran Khan’s personal commitment to the nation that he would go all out to achieve... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 52 Oct 31, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Foreign Direct Investments–Economic Hope of Pakistan

The Business Recorder (Oct 31, 2019)
Pakistan's economy has seen several swings over the past few years. The PTI government rode to victory on the cry of economic reforms and their performance therein, became the litmus test to gauge the competency of this newborn government. Initially, the economy suffered several shocks and so did the psyche of the general populace. However, much to the chagrin of those who... Read More
 

Pakistan’s economy on right track IMF predicts Pak economic turnaround from 2020

The Gulftoday (Oct 31, 2019)
Adviser on finance Dr. Hafeez Sheikh has stated that the statistics of the first quarter of the current financial year indicate that the Pakistan’s economy is on the right track and it is gradually stabilising. He gave these remarks during a meeting with Pakistan’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Munir Akram in Islamabad. The Adviser on Finance informed Munir Akram about the measures... Read More
 

Majority Pakistanis identify economy as biggest problem: poll

The Geo.tv (Oct 30, 2019)
A vast majority of Pakistani’s have identified economic problem, specifically inflation, as the biggest problem faced by the country, according to a Gilani Research Foundation survey released on Tuesday. A press release issued by the foundation said they concluded that the economy was the major problem for the people after carrying out a survey of a nationally representative sample across the four... Read More
 

Govt moving in right direction: IMF

The Nation (Oct 30, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday said that government is moving in right direction as it reduced the fiscal deficit and also the volatility in the exchange rate in last few months. The IMF has appreciated the positive results being produced by the policies and strategies put in place by the government to remove imbalances in the economy. “The volatility in the exchange... Read More
 

Revenue targets: Punjab finance minister expects Rs 250 billion budget surpluses

The Business Recorder (Oct 29, 2019)
Punjab Finance Minister Monday said that the province will be on almost Rs 250 billion budget surpluses if it is able to meet its revenue generation targets. The government had paid Rs 56 billion debt it owed from previous government in shape of contractors' bills. Addressing the launching ceremony of “Punjab Component of Ease of Doing Business 2020 report," the minister said ... Read More
 

Rising debt hinders Pakistan’s growth

The Express Tribune (Oct 29, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The vicious cycle of low economic growth and rising public debt has limited Pakistan’s fiscal space for propelling growth rate and the country faces difficulties in reducing the debt despite tightening fiscal policies, says a new regional outlook of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, Islamabad can reduce the accumulation of public debt by... Read More
 

CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee to meet on Nov 5

The Pakistan Today (Oct 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Amid uncertainty with regard to a possible sit-in of Jamiat Ulma-e-Islam leader Fazlur Rehman, the 9th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the highest forum of the corridor, is scheduled to be held in Islamabad on November 5. The JCC, according to sources, would deliberate on recent developments pertaining to Main Line-1... Read More
 

IMF mission arrives in Pakistan amidst uncertain political situation

The Pakistan Today (Oct 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: While the country is going to face an uncertain political situation following the planned march by a political party towards Islamabad, a mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is visiting Pakistan to review and evaluate the country’s performance on implementation of the loan program — the $6 billion extended fund facility (EFF) given to the country. The IMF mission will... Read More
 

IMF mission arrives in Pakistan to evaluate performance under loan programme

The Dunyanews.tv (Oct 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sent its mission to review and evaluate Pakistan’s performance on implementation of its 39-month-long extended fund facility (EFF) worth $6 billion to the debt-ridden country as it hopes to secure the next tranche of approximately $460 million. The IMF mission will review Pakistan’s performance... Read More
 

Getting Pakistan out of FATF greylist: PM approves new strategy

The News (Oct 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister, Imran Khan, formally approved a new strategy for implementation of 27 conditions of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to get Pakistan out of its grey list. Imran chaired a high level meeting of the whole economic team as well as representatives of business community here on Saturday. The prime minister congratulated the departments... Read More
 

US budget deficit soars to almost $1 tn, highest since 2012

The Urdupoint.com(Oct 26, 2019)
Washington, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 26th Oct, 2019): America's budget deficit soared to nearly $1 trillion in the 2019 fiscal year as government borrowing swelled, the US Treasury announced Friday. The fourth straight year of broadening budget gaps underscored a new tolerance for yawning fiscal imbalances in the current political era. Republican... Read More
 

PM urges nation to pay taxes to build Pakistan

The Pakistan Today (Oct 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday urged citizens to play their role in the country’s progress and development by paying due taxes. Speaking to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) chairpersons, the premier emphasised the need for broadening the country’s tax base in order to provide the masses the best facilities. “Expanding...Read More
 

In Pakistan, businessmen worried about impact of sit-in on economy

The Express Tribune (Oct 25, 2019)
LAHORE: The upcoming Azadi March and possibility of yet another sit-in by opposition political parties have sparked a fresh wave of concern among the business community of Pakistan. Though the planned sit-in will take place in Islamabad, still businessmen, especially those focused on the export and import business, feel the political chaos would have adverse... Read More
 

In Pakistan, businesses continue to borrow amid economic slowdown

The Express Tribune (Oct 24, 2019)
KARACHI: Although Pakistan is facing an economic slowdown and there is a perception that almost every business is facing hardship, not all is bad. A few of the prominent businesses have continued to borrow more and make investments during these difficult times. The real estate sector, car manufacturers, information & telecommunications and pharmaceutical sectors remained... Read More
 

Sri Lanka parliament passes ambitious interim budget ahead of presidential election

The Reuters (Oct 24, 2019)
COLOMBO (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan parliament on Wednesday passed an ambitious interim budget weeks before a presidential election, with 1.47 trillion rupees ($8.11 billion) in spending for the first four months of 2020. The interim budget, passed unanimously in the 225-member parliament, expects 745 billion rupees in government revenue in the first four months of ... Read More
 

Pakistan seeks financing for CPEC’s western route

Express Tribune (Oct 23, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has once again sought Chinese financing for the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), requesting Beijing to sign a bilateral framework agreement for implementing the scheme that largely remains on papers due to funding constraints. The request was made during a meeting of the CPEC Joint Working Group on Transport Infrastructure ... Read More
 

2020 EU budget: Council cannot accept EP amendments

https://www.consilium.europa.eu (Oct 23, 2019)
The Council has informed the European Parliament that it cannot accept all the amendments for the 2020 EU budget adopted today in the Parliament’s plenary. This triggers a three-week conciliation process, which will start on 29 October. The Council and the Parliament will have until 18 November to bridge their differences... Read More
 

Global growth downgrade masks underlying economic strength

The Financial Times (Oct 22, 2019)
The IMF has sharply downgraded its forecast for global economic growth to its lowest level since the great recession of 2008-09 — but fears of another contraction are overblown, most data suggest. In private, policymakers are gloomy about the outlook. But the current slowdown — with just below 2 per cent growth per capita forecast for 2019 — would be a better performance ... Read More
 

IMF team to visit Pakistan as per schedule

The News (Oct 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Despite JUI-F’s march, the IMF’s review mission is scheduled to visit Islamabad from October 28 for holding parleys with Pakistani authorities under $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Pakistani official sources insist that there is no change so far in the upcoming visit of IMF review mission. The IMF’s review mission will stay in Islamabad for two weeks for holding technical and policy... Read More
 

Attacking Pakistan’s Economy Via FATF

The Nation (Oct 21, 2019)
Pakistan is getting consistent blows from inimical International pro-Indian groups, the likes of FATF, for instance, if one can say. Hybrid war model has been launched against Pakistan as a joint venture of USA & India, which is being used to shatter our economy and derail our national progress. The retention of Pakistan in the grey list is a big jolt to its already fragile economy. Moreover, it has... Read More
 

3.3pc growth in FY19, govt policies have started making an impact: Finance Ministry

The Business Recorder (Oct 21, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Finance has said that the government's macroeconomic adjustment and demand management policies for stabilization have started making an impact as visible in the moderate growth of 3.3 percent in the FY2019. As well as introduction of a host of measures to bring down inflation, jack up economic activities, strengthening of social security...Read More
 

Pakistan will achieve all FATF targets in time: Qureshi

The Express Tribune (Oct 20, 2019)
MULTAN / ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday said the incumbent government would achieve all targets of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and get the country out of the anti-money laundering body’s grey list. Talking to media, he said, “India has failed to get Pakistan included in the FATF blacklist... Read More
 

Economy on the right path, Hafeez Shaikh tells US investors

The Express Tribune (Oct 20, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that Pakistan’s economy is on the right path to stabilisation and the US businesses should benefit from investment opportunities available in the country. “The US companies should expand their footprint in Pakistan,” said the finance adviser while attending a roundtable... Read More
 

Pakistan's economy moving forward on path of stability

The Radio.gov.pk (Oct 19, 2019)
Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that Pakistani economy is now moving forward on the path of progress and stability. He was speaking at a luncheon hosted by Pakistan Business Council in the honour of visiting Pakistani economic team in Washington. Dr Hafeez Shaikh informed the participants about current economic situation of... Read More

PM lauds his team for ‘turning around’ Pakistan’s economy

The Business Recorder (Oct 19, 2019)
Prime Minister Imran Khan has lauded his government for turning around Pakistan's economy within a year. In a tweet, the premier said that it is a great achievement of our economic team to turn around the economy within a year. The PM said foreign direct investment has witnessed an increase of 111.5 percent while foreign private investment has surged by 194 percent during this period... Read More

Economy on path to recovery

The Daily Times (Oct 18, 2019)
During the last one week, there were at least 39 news items that were worthy of big headlines; however, none of these were neither highlighted in print media nor discussed in talk shows. Perhaps, influenced by the opposition parties’ propaganda accusing the PTI government of the economic mess, they conveniently forgot that it was created during the last 10 years. It has to be mentioned... Read More

Pakistan warned to curb terrorist financing

The Financial Times (Oct 18, 2019)
Pakistan has been given an explicit warning that it must do more to curb terrorist financing, as it avoided being blacklisted by a global financial watchdog over its failure to tackle the issue. The Financial Action Task Force, the standard-setter on money laundering and terrorism funding, ruled it would keep Pakistan on its “greylist” until its next review in four months’ time, a boost for Prime Minister... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 51 Oct 17, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

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

Bloombergtax.com (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 ndtv.com (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

Dunyanews.com (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 Japantimes.com (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 Scroll.in (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 Voanews.com (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 Economynext.com (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
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 50 Oct 03, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves dip $724m to $7.7b

Express Tribune (Oct 03, 2019)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank plunged 8.54% on a weekly basis, slipping below the $8-billion mark, 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... Read More
 

Inflation jumps 11.4pc in September

The Dawn (Oct 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Inflation surged by 11.4 per cent year-on-year in September from, reported the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Wednesday. Inflation, measured through the Consumer Price Index (CPI), edged up by 0.77pc over the previous month after PBS revised its calculation methodology. Based on the new base year (2015-16), September inflation came in at 11.37pc... Read More
 

Punjab finance minister seeks clarity ahead of PFC award

The Express Tribune (Oct 02, 2019)
LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht asked the finance department to get explanations on Section 189 and 190 of new Local Government Act 2019 so that no lacuna is left once the provincial government awards the next Provincial Finance Commission (PFC). The minister also instructed the local government department to provide updated records of local government... Read More
 

Pakistan will not return to IMF again: SBP chief

The Express Tribune (Oct 01, 2019)
KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor is quite hopeful that the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme will be the last one and Pakistan will not need to go back to the lender in future. The recent structural reforms implemented under commitments made with the IMF had started providing much-needed support to the economy to enable it to stand on its own feet... Read More
 

Pakistan, Germany agree to boost economic cooperation

The APP (Oct 01, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani Tuesday said that Pakistan valued its bilateral relations with Germany and desired to further expand mutual collaboration in different sectors to bring people of the both the countries closer. He emphasized the need to further strengthen the existing bilateral relations between Pakistan and Germany through... Read More
 

Sri Lanka budget deficit reaches 4.4-pct of GDP by July

The Economynext.com (Sep 30, 2019)
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s budget deficit expanded to 684 about 4.4 percent of estimated gross domestic product by July 2019, up from 3.2 percent in 2019, as revenues were hit in the wake of a currency fall last year, official data shows. Sri Lanka budgeted a 4.4 percent of GDP deficit (685 billion rupees) for the full year 2019. Total revenues fell 4.4 percent from a year earlier to 1,031.9 billion rupees to... Read More
 

Macro-economy, IMF and local pressures

The Daily Times (Sep 30, 2019)
The IMF mission recently on a visit to Pakistan gave an optimistic prognosis as Pakistan’s economy is recovering and has shown progress with a decline in current account deficit and has projected a growth rate of 2.4 percent. The IMF mission stated that “Pakistan’s economic program is off to a promising start, but decisive implementation is critical to pave the way for stronger and sustainable... Read More
 

Contrasting outlook: Economists upbeat on growth prospects

The Pakistan Today (Sep 29, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan based economists have estimated growth of gross domestic product (GDP) better than the ones anticipated by international and regional lending institutions for the current fiscal year 2019-20. They expected GDP growth within the range of 2.5-3.5% compared to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) forecast of 2.4% and Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) 2.8% for ... Read More
 

Pakistan on fast track to reap CPEC benefits, says Chinese envoy

The Pakistan Today (Sep 29, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing on Sunday lauded Pakistan’s rising status as an economically developing country, as he revealed significant progress made on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects along with upcoming developments. He expressed was addressing the participants of the ‘Friends of Silk Road’ forum her held under the aegis... Read More
 

Consumers show low confidence in Pakistan’s economy: survey

The Express Tribune (Sep 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: People’s confidence in the economy has declined in Pakistan as compared to India and global trends but respondents still have hope for improvement in the situation in the next six months, according to an Ipsos opinion poll. Ipsos – global market research and consulting firm – has conducted a survey in Pakistan for its first wave of Global... Read More
 

Peddling knowledge to those on a budget

The Express Tribune (Sep 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In a country where the pristine aisles of high-end bookstores often cater only to the elite, many throng weekly book bazaars in the quest to find more affordable and often used editions of their favourite pieces of literature. Laid on sidewalks or piled by a public square, these roadside vendors offer a variety of books ranging from history and politics to... Read More
 

ADB’s assessment

The Express Tribune (Sep 27, 2019)
Pakistan’s economy is having a hard time is no revelation. While the incumbent government, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, is doing all it can to treat the ills, many an economic expert believe it is the remedy that has worsened the malady. The policies adopted by current economic managers, meant to achieve economic stability in a country with negligible FDI and exports totalling half as much as...Read More
 

Pakistan in midst of economic crisis says UN body

The Dawn (Sep 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The ‘Trade and Development Report 2019’ released by the United Nations on Thursday says that Pakistan’s economic crisis has not been resolved despite the fact that support from China and Saudi Arabia and a large IMF loan have helped address the immediate problem. In a brief comment on Pakistan in the Asia section, UNCTAD’s annual flagship report went on to say that “Pakistan is in the midst... Read More
 

Pakistan is no longer a pawn, a joke, a bystander on the world stage'

The News (Sep 26, 2019)
Pakistan has emerged as a responsible global player and a harbinger of peace under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to an article recently published in British publication The Independent. It was just a year back, that cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan was unable to suppress a jubilant expression as his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was elected into power. His victory... Read More
 

Slowdown to persist as stabilisation advances: ADB

The Dawn (Sep 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday forecast Pakistan’s economy to slow down further and set the GDP growth target at 2.8 per cent for FY20 given the need for government to address sizable fiscal and external balances. The ADB’s ‘Asian Development Outlook 2019 Update’ said fiscal adjustments would suppress domestic demand, and demand... Read More
 

Pakistan economy continues to stabilize amidst strong headwinds

The Dunyanews.tv (Sep 25, 2019)
ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – Pakistan’s economy in fiscal year (FY) 2019, which ended on 30 June, is showing signs of recovery as the government’s fiscal consolidation and austerity measures to address the structural weaknesses started to take effect. However, the growth rate moderated to 3.3% during the period reflecting persistent macroeconomic imbalances and heightened external challenges... Read More
 

Asian Development Bank issues outlook report for Pakistan

The Dawn (Sep 25, 2019)
The Asian Development Bank's Asian Development Outlook 2019 (ADO) reaffirms that the country's economy is expected to grow slower than last year, with GDP growth projected at 2.8 per cent in fiscal year 2020. The ADO, released on Wednesday, notes that growth in Pakistan had decelerated during fiscal year 2019 and this reflected "lower investment amid policy uncertainty... Read More
 

Economic Watch: An open China, a beacon for world economy

The XINHUANET (Sep 24, 2019)
BEIJING, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- From a semi-closed nation that barely had any overseas contact, to a world economic engine with high-level opening up in all aspects, China has made miracles in expanding its market and contributing to the world. Since China set up four special economic zones in Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou and Xiamen in 1980, the country's steps of opening up its market have never stopped... Read More
 

Afghan transit trade ‘hurting Pakistan's economy’

The Arab News (Sep 24, 2019)
September 24: The Express Tribune report by Rizwan Asif states that the Directorate General of Trade functioning under the administration of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has revealed in its report that the Afghan transit and the Afghan imports were negatively affecting Pakistan’s economy and were the basic components of black economy in Pakistan... Read More
 

IMF Program

The Business Recorder (Sep 23, 2019)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Director Middle East and Central Asia Department Jihad Azour, including the mission leader for the 6 billion dollar Extended Fund Facility programme approved by the Fund Board on 3 July 2019, in a handout stated that "the near term macroeconomic outlook is broadly changed from the time of the programme approval with growth... Read More
 

Pakistan’s economy heading in right direction: PM

The APP (Sep 23, 2019)
NEW YORK, Sep 23 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said despite the momentous challenge of the biggest ever current account deficit inherited by his government, they had been restructuring the country’s economy which has now been put on the right track. Responding to questions during a conversation with in the US based think-tank Council on Foreign Relations...Read More
 

Over 30 percent of Pakistan’s workers laid off amid economic meltdown — industry insiders

The Arab News (Sep 22, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan’s economic meltdown has eroded between 30 and 40 percent jobs from the country’s labor market, pushing more people below the poverty line, as the country takes tough measures to implement conditions attached to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package, traders and economists said. Pakistan’s ruling... Read More
 

Pakistan gets $1.5b worth of foreign loans in Jul-Aug

The Express Tribune (Sep 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan received $1.5 billion or Rs237 billion worth of foreign loans in first two months of the current fiscal year, higher by 108% over the same period of the previous year, aimed at meeting the country’s financing needs. Foreign disbursements have started picking up following signing of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme, which seeks $38... Read More
 

US, Pakistan to improve economic engagement

The News (Sep 21, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The United States and Pakistan on Friday agreed to concentrate American-funded programs on economic growth, improving energy sector and other priority areas. The agreement was made during a meeting between the US Ambassador to Pakistan Paul Jones and Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar. Officials of the United States Agency... Read More

Inflation to dip, risks still there

The News by Mehtab Haider (Sep 21, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked Pakistan to avoid repetition of one-off factors that escalated the worse than expected budget deficit, in the last fiscal and now it should not jeopardise the current fiscal year’s targets. “The IMF staff and Pakistani authorities have analysed the worse than expected fiscal results of FY2018/19, which were partially the ... Read More

Russian budget: Stability still a priority but pressure to spend remains

The MENAFN (Sep 20, 2019)
(MENAFN - ING) The budget still focuses on macro stability The new parameters of the 2019-2022 budget, that received preliminary approval by the government is advertised as focused on economic growth, however, new projections are not that different from the ones presented a year ago. We interpret this as more of a verbal response to GDP growth concerns rather than an actual... Read More

IMF asks Pakistan to consider longer SBP governor term

The News (Sep 20, 2019)
KARACHI: International Monetary Fund (IMF ) on Thursday proposed Pakistan to extend the central bank governor’s term up to five years from three to strengthen the institution’s independence, which has been questioned in past owing to repeated political interference in monetary and exchange rate policies. “The tenure of the governor needs to be lengthened... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 49 Sep 19, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

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
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 48 Sep 05, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

IMF deal could be renegotiated

Express Tribune (Sep 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday did not rule out the possibility of renegotiating the $6 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal amid an admission by the tax authorities, for the first time, that they may collect between Rs4.8 trillion to Rs5.2 trillion in taxes in light of existing economic realities. The questions about renegotiating the IMF deal started surfacing after the IMF and the... Read More
 

Govt rules out any mini-budget in near future

Dawn (Sep 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Amid criticism from both government and opposition members of the National Assembly over price hike and other monetary and fiscal policies, the government on Wednesday ruled out any mini-budget in the near future, saying the improvement in revenue collection would be made through technological and administrative measures. This was the crux of a meeting of the National... Read More
 

Govt borrowed only Rs3.44 trillion to finance budget deficit: ministry

The News (Sep 04, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance on Tuesday explained that total debt and liabilities increased by Rs10.33 trillion in the last fiscal year, however, the government has just borrowed Rs3.44 trillion to finance its budget deficit. In a statement issued here on Tuesday night, the Finance Ministry stated that the government has borrowed only Rs3.44 trillion to finance its budget deficit during FY 2018-19... Read More
 

August inflation accelerates to 10.49pc

Pakistan Today (Sep 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based monthly inflation grew by 10.49pc in August 2019, as compared to the same month of last year. On a month-on-month basis, the CPI national (with base year 2015-16) for the month of August 2019 increased by 1.64pc over July 2019, Member Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) National Accounts member Dr Bahrawar Jan told the media at a press... Read More
 

Business reforms imperative to boost industrial growth: Dawood

Pakistan Today (Sep 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: By introducing business reforms in the country, the government intends to boost its industrial and commercial potential, said Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, adding that the government remains committed to increasing the volume of exports through tariff rationalisation, improving the inflow of trade-related investment and introducing... Read More
 

Economy in red zone, govt should step down: PML-N

The News (Sep 03, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Monday that the country's economy is in red zone and the government should resign it is unable to run the country. While criticising government’s Kashmir policy, PML-N has decided to requisition an emergency session of the National Assembly to discuss the vital issue in the House. Addressing a press conference... Read More
 

Yuan’s fall may increase Pakistan’s trade deficit with China

Express Tribune (Sep 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The recent currency devaluation by China, which has brought the yuan-dollar parity to the lowest level since 2008, as part of its efforts to offset the impact of its tariff war with the United States, doesn’t augur well for Pakistan. The yuan’s sharp devaluation means that, all else equal, Pakistan’s exports to China will become less competitive, while imports from China will become... Read More
 

Sindh’s economy - challenges and solutions

Express Tribune (Sep 02, 2019)
NORTHAMPTON: The field of microeconomic analysis within the broader domain of economics attempts to explain the behaviour of individuals and organisations in a given economy. Taking the same philosophy and projecting it on a country level, regional studies explain the underlying economic and social trends of regions under the wider national fabric. A recent... Read More
 

High interest rate restricts private-sector borrowing

Express Tribune (Sep 01, 2019)
LAHORE: The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) has urged the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to review its policies and facilitate the private sector because credit offtake fell to Rs607.5 billion in fiscal year 2018-19 against Rs618.2 billion in the previous fiscal year owing to interest rate hike. The key interest rate has been increased from 6.5% to 13.25% in just one year... Read More
 

High interest rate restricts private-sector borrowing

Express Tribune (Sep 01, 2019)
LAHORE: The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) has urged the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to review its policies and facilitate the private sector because credit offtake fell to Rs607.5 billion in fiscal year 2018-19 against Rs618.2 billion in the previous fiscal year owing to interest rate hike. The key interest rate has been increased from 6.5% to 13.25% in just one year... Read More
 

FATF sets new targets for Pakistan

The Pakistan Today (Aug 31, 2019)
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has set new targets for Pakistan in which terror financing, as well as the sale of jewellery and prize bonds, would be monitored. As reported by a private media outlet, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Counter Terrorism... Read More
 

Economy now capable of absorbing shocks: SBP chief

The Express Tribune (Aug 31, 2019)
KARACHI : Pakistan has achieved the most crucial milestone of economic stability. Improvement in foreign currency reserves, achieved through structural reforms under the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan programme, has helped create a buffer for absorbing internal and external financial shocks, says the central bank chief. “The State Bank’s policy and our outlook ...Read More
 

FBR to witness another month of alarming shortfall in revenue

Pakistan Today (Aug 30, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is going to witness another month of major shortfall, as the board only managed to collect around Rs241 billion so far in August 2019, against the monthly target of Rs357.3 billion. Keeping in view the track record of revenue collection in the first 29 days of August, the FBR may collect around Rs260 billion by the end of the month, a shortfall of around Rs97... Read More
 

Record budget deficit shows PM’s failure: PPP

The News (Aug 30, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Thursday said that the record budget deficit shows the inability of the prime minister and his team to run the country. How this selected government will overcome the budget deficit of Rs3000 billion,” asked Secretary Information PPP Parliamentarians Dr Nafeesa Shah while reacting to the finance report by Ministry of Finance. Dr ... Read More
 

Revised macroeconomic data

The Business Recorder (Aug 29, 2019)
Consolidated Budgetary Operation (CBO) statement for 2018-19 released by the Ministry of Finance is extremely disturbing as macroeconomic data (finalised) is markedly divergent from what was presented in the budget documents for the current fiscal year - data that was critical to enabling the Pakistan economic team led by Dr Hafeez Sheikh, Advisor to the... Read More
 

Provinces help in keeping budget deficit below 9pc of GDP

The News (Aug 29, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s budget deficit would have definitely crossed 9 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the fiscal year 2018-19 if the provinces had failed to generate revenue surplus of Rs138.87 billion. With highest ever budget deficit of Rs3,444 billion or 8.9 percent of GDP under first year rule of PTI, Pakistan’s primary deficit also climbed to 3.6 percent of GDP for... Read More
 

The ballooning deficit

Pakistan Today (Aug 28, 2019)
The 2018-2019 budget deficit was out of control. The figures are almost too wild to be true, but since they are contained in the Finance Ministry’s own Budget Operations Statement, they have to be believed. Not only was the budget deficit for 2018-2018 the highest on record, but in terms of percentage of the GDP, at 8.9 percent the highest in at least 40 years. This has happened even though development spending was... Read More
 

Pakistan's budget deficit widens to 8.9% of GDP in 2018/19

Reuters (Aug 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan’s budget deficit widened to 8.9% of gross domestic product in the financial year that ended in June, according to data on Tuesday that underlines the severe economic crisis facing the country. The deficit size compared with a 7.1% estimate Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government gave in June and with 6.6% during the year that ended in June 2018... Read More
 

PTI govt books highest-ever budget deficit of Rs3.45tr

Express Tribune (Aug 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In the first year of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, public finances deteriorated further with budget deficit rising to a record Rs3.45 trillion or 8.9% of the size of national economy because of its sheer failure to enhance revenues and control expenditures. Official figures released by the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday confirmed that the PTI government exceeded its budget deficit... Read More
 

Textile industry on the edge

Express Tribune (Aug 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the White House late last month had been the focal point for all the print, electronic and social media. However, unlike meetings held in tenures of previous governments, this one was not about financial aid, fighter jets, weapons or any other form of financial assistance, rather it brought good news and provided some relief at a time when economic... Read More
 

A wicked trade-off between development and reforms

Express Tribune (Aug 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The first-year of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is over, but is the crisis over also? Let’s look at the claims of both critics and admirers of the PTI administration. The critics cite economic downturn, high inflation, high-interest rate, high unemployment, low level of exports, higher debt and now deceleration in large-scale industrial growth as main indicators...Read More
 

Pakistan govt bans creation of new jobs, purchase of vehicles to fight rising budget deficit

India Today (Aug 25, 2019)
Islamabad, Aug 25 (IANS) Pakistan's Imran Khan government has banned the creation of new posts, purchase of all vehicles, rationalised utilities spending, provision of one newspaper and decided to keep other expenditures at the bare minimum under its austerity drive for the current fiscal year, said media reports. According to media reports, the increasing budget deficit is a major concern... Read More
 

If IMF target not met, govt to move mini-budget or cut development budget

The News (Aug 25, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In the wake of rapidly worsening fiscal position and for fulfilling the IMF condition on primary deficit, the government is left with no other options but to make policy choices either to go for mini budget or slash down development budget. Top official sources said that the policy choices will have to be made in first half of the current fiscal year as the IMF mission was expected to visit Islamabad... Read More
 

Pakistan fast gaining access to markets of developed nations

Express Tribune (Aug 24, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan is fast strengthening trade ties and getting access to markets of several developed countries around the globe in an attempt to increase exports, which is a must to do away with the pressure on the rupee, build foreign currency reserves and steer the country out of the financial crisis. “We have got increased market access to China, Europa... Read More

PM for preparing roadmap to revive economy

The News (Aug 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of plunging into severe slowdown, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed his economic team to prepare a roadmap for revival of national economy aligned with IMF conditions to kickstart sluggish economic activities. The independent economists are expressing their apprehensions that Pakistan is moving towards stagflation where the stabilisation programme under tight nose of IMF scrutiny will... Read More

Pakistan gets $440m worth of fresh loans in July

Express Tribune (Aug 23, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan received $440 million in fresh loans last month amid a gradual shift in the financing source from China to multilateral creditors due to completion of many China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. The borrowing of $440 million in July 2019 included $173.3 million in commercial loans from Dubai Bank and a consortium of... Read More

Different challenges for Pakistan economy

The Nation (Aug 23, 2019)
Pakistan has been facing different challenges regarding its economy. The economic situation of Pakistan is very critical and people are looking towards the solution of these challenges. Pakistan has different opportunities which can help it to solve its economic problem. But without tackling long term challenges and problems decisively, the country will no longer be able to take advantages... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 47 August 22, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Foreign investment down 22pc

Dawn (Aug 22, 2019)
KARACHI: The total foreign investment plunge d by 22 per cent in the first month of this fiscal year, reported the latest data from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday. The total investment fell to $107.2 million during July, lower by 21.64pc over $136.8m recorded in same month of the previous year. This could possibly be a worrying sign for the government which has been met ... Read More
 

Another hurdle crossed as FATF meetings loom

Dawn (Aug 22, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Asia-Pacific Group a regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-hasadopted Pakistan`s third Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) on strengthening of anti-money laundering and countering financing terrorism (AML/ CFT) safeguards and is expected to mal(e public its assessment shortly. The Ministry of Finance on Wednesday said the 22nd Annual ... Read More
 

Economic front of Pakistan (PTI’s one year)

The Daily Times (Aug 21, 2019)
A Year is lapsed for PTI that came into power first time with rhetoric to make a new Pakistan by brining corruption free good governance. If one may execute a quantitative analysis, economic indicators may be assumed as a tool of performance together with recovery figures through accountability and broadening of Tax Net. Good news is that the Current Account... Read More
 

Pakistan current account deficit shrinks massive 73% in July

The Express Tribune (Aug 21, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan’s current account deficit narrowed a significant 73% to $579 million in July, the first month of the current fiscal year, following the government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on implementing tough measures for a bailout of $6 billion. The current account deficit stood at $2.13 billion in the same month of last year, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported... Read More
 

Global economic slowdown set to hit Pakistan’s exports

The Gulf Times (Aug 20, 2019)
Internews Karachi: Troubled Pakistan’s economy is feared to face a shockwave as most global economic data harbouring an undercurrent recession shows it could hurt the country’s export sector and impede remittance inflows, analysts and economists said. But, some of them also find rescuer to feeble external account position in downward trend in oil prices. Former finance ... Read More
 

Aid cut improved ties with Pakistan: Trump

The Dawn (Aug 20, 2019)
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has said his country’s ties with Pakistan have improved since he cut $1.3 billion in security assistance to Islamabad, rejecting the suggestion that aid is an effective foreign policy tool. Talking to reporters at his golf resort in New Jersey on Sunday evening, the US leader also recalled his July 22 meeting with Prime Minister Imran... Read More
 

Govt. will announce Rs.900 billion development budget for the next year: Special Assistant to PM

The Techjuice.pk.com (Aug 19, 2019)
Special Assistant to the PM on Political Affairs Naeemul Haq while expressing his view on the government’s first-year performance report said that the government will announce Rs. 900 billion development budget for the next year against Rs. 500 billion of the current year. PTI govt while presenting the report claimed that the country had been put on the right track and people would start getting... Read More
 

A year in economy

The News (Aug 19, 2019)
One year ago, there was great hope when the PTI took power. Despite some very familiar faces splattered across the party, Pakistan was getting a brand new prime minister and finance minister. Imran Khan and Asad Umar took over the difficult task of steering Pakistan’s economy on August 18, 2018. On April 18, 2019, only seven months in, Asad Umar was gone. For half a decade, the PTI had insisted... Read More
 

Of 19 budgets since 2000, only five were deficit

The Express Tribune (Aug 18, 2019)
PESHAWAR: The budget outlay of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has shown that out of 19 years of provincial budgets, five budgets have been listed deficits, while 14 of them have been found to be surplus budgets in the ongoing years, starting from the year 2000. The documents released from the federal finance ministry related to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s budgets since the beginning... Read More
 

Pakistani premier’s first year: economic hit and miss

The Dawn (Aug 18, 2019)
Mohammad Tariq was one of the millions of Pakistanis who voted in the July 2018 elections for first-time Prime Minister Imran Khan and his campaign to build a corruption-free Islamic welfare state, better employment and civic amenities. But for Tariq, things have even gone from bad to worse during the first year of Prime Minister Imran's government. Unlike his predecessor... Read More
 

FBR constitutes committee to finalise tax regime for traders

The Express Tribune (Aug 17, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Friday constituted a committee to finalise a new income tax regime for traders, as the government and the traders remain poles apart over the key issue of disclosing their identity for trading purposes. The 15-member committee has been directed to finalise a “fixed tax scheme for small traders/shopkeepers and simplified... Read More
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves rise 6.93% to $8.26b

The Express Tribune (Aug 17, 2019)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 6.93% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Saturday. 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 Emirates...Read More
 

Indonesia president proposes $178bn budget for 2020 with focus on education

Pakistan Today (Aug 16, 2019)
JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Friday proposed a 2,528.8 trillion rupiah ($177.56 billion) budget to parliament for 2020, focusing spending on human resources, which was central in his re-election campaign. The 2020 budget proposals set a target of 5.3pc growth in gross domestic product (GDP), the same as this year’s, although officials have often said 2019 growth would probably... Read More
 

US Aid to Pakistan reduced by $440 million

The Global Village Space (Aug 16, 2019)
News Desk |The United States has made further reductions in the aid delivered to Pakistan, reducing it by $440 million as per the commitments made under the Kerry Lugar Berman Act. The current aid is $4.1 billion, which is slightly more than half of the total amount that was promised to Islamabad in 2010. The aid was allocated to Pakistan under the Kerry Lugar Berman Act in 2009, and the... Read More
 

Pakistan’s economic situation is changing: Reza Baqir

The Pakistan Today (Aug 15, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan’s economy is facing with a number of problems and uncertainty but the situation is changing, said State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Reza Baqir on Wednesday while addressing the flag hoisting ceremony held at the State Bank Building to celebrate the country’s 73rd Independence Day. Baqir admitted that the economy is weak, unemployment is rising and inflation is... Read More
 

De-notify Debt Inquiry Commission immediately

The Express Tribune (Aug 14, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: According to a news story, the Debt Inquiry Commission has questioned the Ministry of Privatisation and the Ministry of Energy over the closure of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and the decision to privatise liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fired power plants. Haveli Bahadur Shah and Balloki power plants, which were based on LNG, were set up during the tenure of previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz... Read More
 

IMF conditionality: government repays Rs 1.3 trillion to SBP

The Business Recorder (Aug 14, 2019)
The federal government has repaid some Rs 1.3 trillion to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in the first month of this fiscal year (FY19) to meet the International Monetary Fund (IMF) condition. While, obtaining a 36-month $6 billion bailout package, Pakistan has agreed with the IMF that financing from SBP for budget deficit will be eliminated to support the new monetary policy framework as the Fund... Read More
 

A $1 trillion US budget deficit is one big reason the Fed may have to cut rates

The CNBC News (Aug 13, 2019)
If low inflation, a wobbly economy and tariff jitters weren’t enough to push the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, there’s also the simple reason of the swelling national debt. The recent debt deal struck between the White House and Congress virtually guarantees trillion-dollar deficits well into the future as well as continued acceleration of the government’s collective IOU, which is now... Read More
 

Govt converts short-term debt into long term bonds

The Express Tribune (Aug 11, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has restructured its short-term domestic debt by quietly issuing long-term Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) to the central bank, dramatically increasing the share of long-term debt to Rs15.3 trillion or 74% of the total domestic debt. The conversion of federal government’s short-term borrowings from the central bank into... Read More
 

Pakistan receives $500 million as ADB bets on economic recovery

The News (Aug 11, 2019)
KARACHI: Pakistan has received $500 million in loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as the policy-based lending from the lender resumed after having remained suspended for two years due to ‘extremely high macroeconomic imbalances’, a minister said on Saturday. Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar said the first tranche of $500 million has been received from the ADB. Manila-based... Read More
 

Overseas Pakistanis send home $2.03 billion in July

The Express Tribune (Aug 10, 2019)
KARACHI: In line with market expectations, Pakistan received higher remittance inflows worth $2.03 billion from overseas Pakistanis in the first month – July – of the current fiscal year 2019-20 ahead of Eidul Azha. The inflows were almost 3% higher than the $1.98 billion received in the same month last year. July was also followed by Eidul Azha in the preceding year...Read More
 

Public debt skyrockets to Rs 31.8tr in FY19

The Express Tribune (Aug 10, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: In a dangerous development, the federal government added Rs7.6 trillion to public debt in the last fiscal year, which skyrocketed to Rs31.8 trillion by the end of June and it was equal to 71% of the total debt that the PML-N government had taken in its five-year term. The addition to public debt in the previous fiscal year was also more than the total public debt that the... Read More
 

Pakistan suspends trade ties with India. Who gains, who loses from Imran Khan’s move

The India Today (Aug 09, 2019)
NEW DELHI: Relations between India and Pakistan worsened on Wednesday when Pakistan decided to downgrade diplomatic ties with India, recall its high commissioner from New Delhi, expel the Indian envoy to Islamabad and suspend bilateral trade. These decisions were taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in... Read More
 

IMF package to bring economic stability

The Nation (Aug 09, 2019)
PESHAWAR - Resident representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pakistan Office, Ms Maria Teresa Daban Sanchez has made it clear that the harsh budgetary measures taken by the government of Pakistan in the recent budget are not part of the IMF fresh financial bailout package. While speaking in a meeting here at Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Ms ... Read More
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 46 August 08, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Govt to return $10bn foreign debt during current fiscal year: Hammad Azhar

The Nation (Aug 08, 2019)
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar informed the National Assembly on Thursday that the government would return over $10 billion foreign debt during the current fiscal year۔ Replying to various supplementary questions during question hour, Hammad Azhar said the incumbent government returned US $ 8.39 billion foreign debt... Read More
 

ADB approves &500m loan for budgetary support

Express Tribune (Aug 08, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday approved a $500-million loan for budgetary support to Pakistan, restoring policy-based lending after keeping it suspended for over two years due to deterioration in macroeconomic conditions. The ADB board of directors approved the $500 million in budgetary support under the $800-million... Read More
 

‘Exports surge 14.2pc, imports drop 18.3pc in July’

Pakistan Today (Aug 07, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said on Wednesday that Pakistan’s exports had increased by 14.23pc in July this year, as compared to the same month of last year. In term of dollars, the country’s exports increased from $1.63 billion in July 2018 to $1.87 billion in July 2019, the adviser informed while addressing a press conference at the ... Read More
 

Budget 2019: A step towards a future-fit India

The Fortune India (Aug 07, 2019)
Union Budget 2019 clearly underscores the theme of enablement, ease of living, and ease of doing business. Directed at enabling the world’s largest democracy to be fit for the future, institutional reforms and green technology-led growth are its underlying essence. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has driven home the point that to be a $5-trillion economy in the next five years, proactive actioning of her pithy phrases... Read More
 

US delegation lauds Pakistan’s economic reforms agenda

Pakistan Today (Aug 06, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: A US delegation, led by its Ambassador in Pakistan Alice G Wells, called on Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh at the Finance Division on Tuesday. Hafeez Shaikh briefed the visiting delegation on measures pertaining to economic reforms being undertaken by the government, saying that recent steps would ensure economic... Read More
 

IMF’s $6bn EFF program meant for economic reform, growth in Pakistan: Resident Representative IMF

Business Recorder (Aug 06, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Resident Representative, International Monitory Fund (IMF), Pakistan Office, Ms Maria Teresa Daban Sanchez on Monday said $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program for Pakistan intend to support the economic reform program and sustainable economic growth of the country. The goals of the IMF package in the medium term is debt sustainability... Read More
 

Import of agricultural machinery surges 8.73pc in FY19

Pakistan Today (Aug 05, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The import of agricultural machinery into the country during the financial year 2018-19 witnessed an increase of 8.73pc, as compared the corresponding period of last year. According to the data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, agriculture machinery worth $135.312 million was imported during the period from July-June 2018-19, as compared the import... Read More
 

Better than Egypt, Pakistan still has bumpy road ahead

Express Tribune (Aug 05, 2019)
LAHORE: Pakistan has a long history of signing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programmes to address its balance of payments crisis and structural economic imbalances. There is much talk about imitating the IMF recipe practised in Egypt recently to address Pakistan’s lingering balance of payments challenge and other structural adjustment issues. So, there is a need to compare and analyse ... Read More
 

Pakistan to get 13 million euros from European Union

Express Tribune (Aug 04, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to initiate a five-year programme 2019-2024 in cooperation with the European Union to ensure rule of law in the country along with good governance, reforms in human rights department and decrease in poverty with a cost of 13 million euros. The draft between Pakistan and European... Read More
 

IMF may ask govt to bring mini budget if FBR shortfall widens

The Nation (Aug 04, 2019)
ISLAMABAD The International Monetary Fund (IMF) may ask Pakistan to bring mini budget if tax collection shortfall widens in next couple of months. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had already faced Rs14 billion shortfall in tax collection during first month (July) of the current fiscal year. The FBR had collected Rs277 billion in July 2019 as against the target of Rs291 billion... Read More
 

Pakistan economy to grow at less than 5pc: ADB

Pakistan Today (Aug 03, 2019)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) in a recent report has said that Pakistan’s economy is expected to grow at a rate below 4 per cent in the year 2019-20. The ADB’s report titled ‘How South Asia can continue as the world’s fastest-growing region’ said that Pakistan was focused on fighting macroeconomic imbalances and domestic demand, rendering it unable to grow at a more substantial rate... Read More
 

Major discrepancies between FBR and SBP in tax receipts

Pakistan Today (Aug 03, 2019)
Major discrepancies ranging between Rs10-24 billion have been found in the tax receipts data reported by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the cash deposited in the treasury. The FBR claimed to have collected Rs280.5 billion in revenues in July, whereas media reports have suggested that the finance ministry has said that the treasury stands Rs10 billion less than this figure at Rs270 billion. Meanwhile...Read More
 

Analysis of one of South Asia’s most fluctuant economies

Pakistan Today (Aug 02, 2019)
At the heart of South Asia lies a sleeping economic giant. A country founded on the basis of religious freedom by an outstanding group of men that put their people and their religion before themselves. A country stacked with economic potential, from the coast of Karachi to the peaks of Swat. However, despite being rich in natural resources, and having potentially one of the most strategic... Read More
 

July Inflation reaches 10.34pc, highest in last six years

The Nation (Aug 02, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s inflation rate has touched double digit figure of 10.34 percent in July 2019, which is highest in last six years, mainly due to the economic policies of the incumbent government including rupee devaluation and increase in energy costs. Inflation rate has recorded at 10.34 percent in July 2019, which was only 5.8 percent in the same month of the previous year, according to... Read More
 

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves jump 2.04% to 7.8b

The Express Tribune (Aug 01, 2019)
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 2.04% 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... Read More
 

IFC may boost investments in Pakistan to support economy

The News by Mehtab Haidar (Aug 01, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The World Bank’s private- sector lending arm said on Wednesday it could increase its investments in Pakistan to revive the country’s struggling economy. “The IFC (International Finance Corporation) is looking into the possibility of increasing annual investment for Pakistan to support the country’s economy,” a government statement quoted Hans... Read More
 

US hints at greater economic engagement with Pakistan

The News by Anwar Iqbal (July 31, 2019)
WASHINGTON: The United States and Pakistan can further enhance bilateral trade if strategic ties between the two countries continue to improve, said a White House factsheet released on Tuesday. The factsheet “Working toward Peace and Stability: Building Economic Prosperity” notes that the United States and Pakistan enjoy a strong economic partnership that benefits both countries... Read More
 

FBR expands its web to non-resident Pakistanis

The Express Tribune (July 31, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has reduced the stay period of Pakistanis for tax collection purposes with effect from 2015, which may result in litigation as independent legal experts argue that substantive changes in law can only be made prospectively. The FBR on Tuesday issued a circular aimed at explaining important amendments to the Income Tax Ordinance Read More
 

The last IMF-programme

The Pakistan Today by Usman Masud (July 30, 2019)
Turn a few pages in the history of the economy of Pakistan and you will see a vicious pattern. The outgoing government hands over an economy that is plagued by all kinds of meltdown– fiscal, financial, external, and real. Faced with such a dire situation, the new government’s most immediate priority becomes rescuing the economy. With debt payments around the corner... Read More
 

Budget 2019-20 resembles historic financial plans

The APP (July 30, 2019)
ISLAMABAD, Jul 30 (APP):The recently passed federal budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 resembles historic annual financial plans, as this year the plan had been prepared keeping in view the prevailing challenging economic situation. The financial crunch has left the country’s economy burdened with increased debts, decelerated growth rate, fiscal and current account deficits and shortfall... Read More
 

US economy slows in second quarter; weak business investment a red flag

The Business Recorder (July 29, 2019)
Washington: U.S. economic growth slowed less than expected in the second quarter as a surge in consumer spending blunted some of the drag from declining exports and a smaller inventory build, which could further allay concerns about the economy’s health. But the fairly upbeat report from the Commerce Department on had some red flags for the 10-year-old economic expansion, the longest...Read More
 

Govt plans to cut down circular debt to Rs225b by Dec

The Nation (July 29, 2019)
ISLAMABAD - The incumbent government has embarked on an ambitious programme to cut down circular debt to Rs 225 billion by December. The sources told APP here that the circular debt escalated to Rs 450 billion in just one year due to delay in tariff determination, absence of proper plan to stop power pilferage and power supply to high losses feeders. However, the government since its inception... Read More
 

FBR introduces strict law against smuggling

The Express Tribune (July 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued directives for the implementation of law to curb smuggling and imposition of heavy fine and imprisonment of up to seven years on traders involved in misuse of Afghan Transit Trade. A senior officer of FBR, while speaking to The Express Tribune said that a new clause 63(i) has been included in section 156 part B of Customs Act 1969, therefore,... Read More
 

Second CPEC phase to boost industrial cooperation

The Express Tribune (July 28, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is very important for Pakistan as it will give a boost to industrial cooperation and give birth to Special Economic Zones (SEZs), remarked Sichuan University Deputy Dean International Studies Professor Dr Song Zhihui. Speaking at the ICCI, Song stressed that the setting up of SEZs would in turn create new opportunities ... Read More
 

PM chose IMF deal despite alternate solution: Asad Umar

The Pakistan Today (July 27, 2019)
Asad Umar has revealed that Prime Minister Imran Khan was provided with an alternative solution to deal with the country’s financial crunch instead of opting for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package, a private media outlet reported on Saturday. “In March, I went to the prime minister and showed him the numbers. I told him that going to the... Read More
 
  

Pakistan lacks system for recording, reporting debt

The Express Tribune (July 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan lacks a consolidated system for recording and reporting its debt and there is also no mechanism to regulate public assets that results in discrepancies and non-reconciliation of hundreds of billions of rupees worth of funds. The final draft report of the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Assessment (PEFA) 2019 of the World... Read More
 

IMF Board Members appreciate Pakistan’s resolve to stabilize, revive economy

The News (July 26, 2019)
WASHINGTON: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Reza Baqir had an interactive session with the Executive Directors of the IMF from G-7 countries (i.e. United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Italy, Japan and Germany), China, Russia and Switzerland, in their recent visit to.... Read More
 

Pakistan’s budget has lost credibility: World Bank

The Express Tribune (July 26, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s budget has further lost its credibility and the public finance management system has also deteriorated, according to a draft report of the World Bank that has downgraded the country’s ranking on almost all 31 fiscal management-related indicators. The Washington-based lender shared the final draft of the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability... Read More
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 45 July 25, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

Public debt rises by $10.841b in FY 18-19

The Pakistan Today (July 25, 2019)
A whopping $10.814 billion has been added to the public debt in the past year by the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek i Insaaf (PTI) government. The massive borrowing seems to have ignored the necessary precaution that the government should have taken in securing liabilities, and severely undermines the government’s self-proclaimed desire to cut the deficit. The heavy borrowing in the past year... Read More
 

Pakistan economic slowdown to continue

The Daily Times (July 25, 2019)
LAHORE: Pakistan is seeing its economy slow as domestic policy is tightened against a background of a slowing global economy, finds ACCA’s (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA’s (Institute of Management Accountants) Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS). The global poll of 1162 accountants shows that confidence remains above... Read More
 

Budget deficit of last fiscal may touch Rs 3,300 bn

The News (July 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The initial estimates for fiscal year 2018-19 under first year rule of the PTI suggest that Pakistan’s budget deficit is going to witness new heights of touching Rs3,300 billion, one of the highest ever absolute figure in whole history of Pakistan. This budget deficit exceeding Rs3,300 billion or 8.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will have far-reaching negative impact for the fiscal... Read More
 

US may release CSF funding for Pakistan

The News (July 24, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Ruling out possibility of any rescheduling of foreign debt under Paris Club arrangement with the blessings of USA, Pakistan might see positive movement on release of pending funds of $9 billion from USA in shape of Coalition Support Fund (CSF). But this could only happen if truce in Afghanistan struck successfully as Washington is expecting some ‘positive outcome’ by... Read More
 

Pakistan borrows record $16b in just one year

The Express Tribune (July 23, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: For the first time in its history, Pakistan borrowed a whopping $16 billion in foreign loans in just one year aimed at avoiding default on international debt obligations and financing its imports. The $16 billion worth of foreign loans have been obtained during fiscal year 2018-19, which included 11 months of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, showed official documents... Read More
 

Punjab government to abolish ‘unnecessary taxes’

The Express Tribune (July 23, 2019)
LAHORE: The Punjab government has assured the business community that it will abolish almost 50 unnecessary taxes besides clubbing the collection of property, professional and labour-related taxes. The assurance was given by Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht in a meeting with Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President... Read More
 

Pakistan needs to mobilize tax revenue, cut debt: IMF acting director after meeting PM

The Dawn (July 22, 2019)
Pakistan needs to mobilise domestic tax revenue to ensure funds for social and development programs, while reducing debt, the acting director of the International Monetary Fund said on Sunday after a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Washington DC.  The two officials discussed recent economic developments and the implementation of Pakistan's IMF-supported economic... Read More
 

The inflation challenge

The Business Recorder (July 22, 2019)
The Monetary Policy Committee of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) decided to raise in the discount rate by 100 basis points while acknowledging that the inflation projection may be revised upward to 12 percent. The budget for 2019-20 projects inflation from between 11 to 13 percent, an estimate endorsed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff report released after the Board of Directors approved the 6 billion dollar Extended... Read More
 

No political stability without economic stability

The Daily Times (July 21, 2019)
This is what International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative to Pakistan Teresa Daban Sanchez has delivered to Pakistan along a set of damning conditions attached to the bailout package. Of all conditions, the condition of establishing a stable political environment in the country is the most pressing, and a doable thing by all the stakeholders. At a symposium in Islamabad... Read More
 

Businessmen worried over missing export target for 2018-19

The Nation (July 21, 2019)
LAHORE     -    The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) former chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has expressed his serious concern for not achieving export target set for the fiscal year 2018-19, which was missed by a huge margin of over $5 billion, as the current export portfolio is marred by a lack of diversification. He observed that exports have dropped by about one... Read More
 

Govt to enhance tax net, for documenting country’s economy: Shabbar Zaidi

Business Recorder (July 20, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Shabbar Zaidi Friday said priority of the government to enhance the tax net and expend tax base to documenting the country’s economy. Taxation is the only way to forward for equitable distribution of wealth, as “we cannot have stabilized and equitable society unless we have a fare taxation system” he said this during a Policy ... Read More
 

How to stabilize Pakistan’s economy?

The Modern Diplomacy by Amjed Jaaved (July 20, 2019)
Pakistan approached International Monetary Fund for 13th time since 1988 to get a bail-out. This programme is touted as a recipe to `reduce Pakistan’s public debt’ and `stabilize the economy’. The suggested panacea is `market-determined exchange-rate’ coupled with tax-evasion. But a free-floating exchange-rate is no magic wand or panacea for economic stability ... Read More
 

FBR sets tax collection target at Rs300b for July

Express Tribune (July 19, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has set the tax collection target at Rs300 billion for July 2019. However, it is likely to report revenue shortfall in the very first month of current fiscal year 2019-20. According to sources within the FBR, the tax collection in the first 17 days of July stood at Rs170 billion while the remaining Rs130 billion has to be collected in 14 days... Read More
 

Inflation almost doubled in Pakistan :ADB

The Nation (July 19, 2019)
ISLAMABAD     -          The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said that Pakistan’s GDP growth had deteriorated to 3.3 percent in fiscal year 2018-2019, which was lowest rate in last 8 years. According to Asian Development Bank (ADB) report released. “Preliminary official estimates for Pakistan show growth in FY2019 (ended 30 June 2019) deteriorating to 3.3percent, the lowest rate in 8 years, pulled ... Read More
 

The IMF takeover of Pakistan

The Diplomat (July 18, 2019)
On July 3, the International Monetary Fund approved a $6 billion bailout package to help “return sustainable growth” to Pakistan’s economy. Throughout the deal spanning 39 months, the IMF will review Pakistan’s progress on a quarterly basis. As part of the agreement, $1 billion has been released to Pakistan. This is the 13th IMF bailout for Pakistan, with the Fund looking toward... Read More
 

Higher rates boost NSS receipts volume in FY 2018-19: SBP

The Nation (July 17, 2019)
Owing to higher rates offered on different instruments, the net receipts of National Saving Schemes (NSS) witnessed considerable growth during the fiscal year 2018-19 compared to the corresponding period of last year, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported. “The net receipts of National Saving Schemes (NSS) surged to Rs225.3 billion, compared to only Rs 48.7 billion recorded in the... Read More
 

Budget petard

Express Tribune (July 17, 2019)
The State Bank of Pakistan has predicted even slower economic growth in the fiscal year 2019-20, putting a damper on the ruling party’s claims of improvement coming soon. The fact that the announcement comes so soon after the federal budget, where the Planning Division set a 4 per cent growth target, is doubly worrying. Incidentally, the SBP, opposed to past practice, did not give a numeric  ... Read More
 

Foreign direct investment halved to $1.73b in FY19

Express Tribune (July 16, 2019)
KARACHI: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government failed to win confidence of foreign investors in the domestic economy as foreign direct investment (FDI) halved to $1.73 billion in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019. FDI stood at $3.47 billion in the preceding fiscal year 2017-18, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on Monday. “Uncertainty regarding the (rupee-dollar) ... Read More
 

Budget 2019-20, CPEC and growth trajectory

The Nation (July 16, 2019)
The incumbent government presented its first formal budget of 2019-20 in June. The total budget outlay is Rs- 8,238.1 billion with 38.9 % higher than the size of previous budget. The target for expenditures is set at Rs 8,238.1 billion and Rs 3,462.1 billion for net revenues. For Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) the budget allocates Rs 1,613 billion out of which provinces share is Rs 912 billion ... Read More
 

SBP releases third Quarterly Report on State of Economy for FY 19

The News (July 15, 2019)
KARACHI: While Pakistan’s economy moved along the stabilization phase led by demand management policies, vulnerabilities in the external and fiscal sectors persisted during Jul-Mar FY19, according to the State Bank of Pakistan’s Third Quarterly Report on the State of Pakistan’s Economy released today. This implies that the current stabilization agenda needs to be reinforced with deep ... Read More
 

IMF package-bailout for govt or for economy?

The Express Tribune (July 15, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced the much-awaited $6-billion bailout package for Pakistan, which would be received over the next three years. The transcript of the conference call on the release of IMF staff report mentions that this Extended Fund Facility has two main pillars. In the words of IMF Mission Chief for Pakistan, Middle East and ... Read More
 

Budget 2019-20 resembles historic financial plans

Urdu Point (July 14, 2019)
ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - APP - 14th Jul, 2019 ) :The recently passed Federal budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 resembles historic annual financial plans, as this year the plan had been prepared keeping in view the prevailing vexed economic situation, burdened with increased debts, slackened growth rate, fiscal and current account deficits and shortfall in revenues, hence leaving ... Read More
 

Federal Budget 2018-19 in retrospect

Daily Times by Muhammad Zahid Rifat (July 14, 2019)
PML(N)’s federal government had stepped down on May 31, 2018 on completion of its stipulated 5 years constitutional tenure. But prior to doing that, it had created a record of presenting six budgets in the five years period. It had presented the federal budget for financial year 2018-19 as early as on April 27, 2018 leaving no room for the caretakers to present budgetary proposals for the ... Read More
 

Traders shut down markets across Pakistan

Pakistan Today (July 13, 2019)
LAHORE/KARACHI/ISLAMABAD : A countrywide shutter-down strike was observed by traders in all part of the country in a protest against the “anti-business measures” taken by the federal government in the budget for the current financial year. The traders demanded that the “unfair taxes” be withdrawn, especially the value-added tax on traders. According to media reports, the strike was partially successful in Karachi, while ... Read More
 

Trade deficit shrinks 15.3% to $31.8b in FY19

Express Tribune (July 13, 2019) 
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has managed to narrow down the trade deficit by 15.3% to $31.8 billion on the back of import compression but it failed to enhance exports, which fell even below the level left behind by its arch-rival – the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Trade figures released by the Pakistan Bureau of ... Read More
 
  

Economy will improve within a year, says SBP governor

The News (July 12, 2019
ISLAMABAD: Conceding twin deficits as biggest challenge confronting Pakistan’s economy, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir on Thursday said the economic condition of the country will improve within a year. He defended exchange rate policy under the IMF conditions arguing that it should be reflective of demand-supply gap of total dollar inflows ... Read More
 

Rising Pakistan

The Express Tribune by Kwak Sung-Kyu (July 12, 2019)
Pakistan is confronted with challenges of many types, but with a new government in the saddle now, there are renewed hopes for the country to overcome all its challenges. In July 2018, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, a relatively smaller political party, won the general election. Led by former cricket hero Imran Khan, the party has started implementing his vision for a ‘Naya Pakistan’ .... Read More
 
 
Budget Study Centre   Issue 43 June 27, 2019

CPDI BUDGET WATCH

Fortnightly Budget News Alerts
 

GB Assembly approves Rs 62.95b budget

The Nation (June 27, 2019)
GILGIT    -   Gilgit Baltistan (GB) Assembly here on Wednesday unanimously approved over Rs62.95 billion budget for financial year 2019-20 for which Rs 17 billion were allocated for development projects and Rs 37 billion for non-development budget in the province. The members of Treasury and Opposition benches made detailed discussion on the budget before... Read More
 

NA passes 92 demands for grant for FY 2019-20

The Nation (June 27, 2019)
ISLAMABAD   -  The PTI government in Wednesday’s National Assembly sitting approved 92 demands for grants relating to different federal ministries, division and departments for the next financial year, disapproving all the cut-motions moved by opposition with ‘voice of vote’. The house, in a daylong session, saw maximum participation of treasury lawmakers ensuring to reject all the cut... Read More
 

KP Assembly passes Rs.900 billion budget for year 2019-20

The News (June 26, 2019)
PESHAWAR: The Provincial Assembly with Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani in the chair Wednesday passed Rs.900 billion budget for the year 2019-20 amid uproar by the opposition members protesting the bulldozing of the cut motions in their absence by the chair. The assembly approved 61 demands for grants in a unilateral proceeding of the house as the opposition members... Read More
 

Budget 19-20: Opposition members move cut motions on finance bill proposals

The Dawn (June 26, 2019)
As the National Assembly session held to debate the finance bill resumed on Wednesday, members of the opposition began moving cut motions seeking changes to budget proposals, which will be voted on by lawmakers in the House today. Prime Minister Imran Khan is in attendance today, while opposition ranks appear thin as several PPP, PML-N and other leaders are gathered at a hotel in... Read More
 

NA budget debate: Govt under fire over failed economic policies

The News (June 25, 2019)
ISLAMABAD: The female parliamentarians from the opposition parties while taking part in budget debate on Monday unleashed strong criticism on the government for failure of its economic policies and also called into question credibility of ruling party and its leadership. Former Finance Minister of the last PPP tenure Hina Rabbani Khar, PML-N government’s Information Minister... Read More
 

Senate approves 65 recommendations to NA about budget

The News (June 25, 2019)
While PM’s Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh could not make the annual budget speech because he is not a member of either House, he spoke at length at Wednesday’s traditional post-Budget press conference, untrammelled by parliamentary restrictions, and re ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Monday unanimously approved 65 recommendations to the National... Read More