Issue 12

Budget Study Centre   Issue 12
March 26, 2018


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

China will safeguard national interests in response to US trade probes

Daily Times (March 22, 2018)

New Delhi: China will actively take steps to safeguard its interests as well as those of its industries, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said, in light of what he described as acts of trade protectionism on the part of the United States. The US decision to launch trade investigations is a unilateral act of protectionism, the Chinese commerce ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, citing a speech by Wang in New Delhi. President Donald Trump is.….. Read More

Govt borrowed $7.6b in 8 months

The Nation (March 22, 2018)

ISLAMABAD – The federal government borrowed $7.6 billion in eight months (July to February) of the ongoing financial year, which further increased the overall external debt of the country. The government has borrowed 94 percent of the annual borrowing in just eight months to sustain the foreign exchange reserves. The country’s reserves are depleting due to widening of current account deficit and repayment of previous loans. For the.….. Read More

Current account deficit widens 50% in July-February

Express Tribune (March 21, 2018)

KARACHI: Pakistan’s current account deficit shrank 26% on a month-on-month basis to $1.24 billion in February 2018, compared to $1.67 billion in January 2018, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday. However, in the first eight months (Jul-Feb) of the fiscal year 2017-18 (FY18), the country’s current account deficit widened by 50% to stand at $10.83 billion, compared with $7.22 billion in the same period of previous year.….. Read More

Pakistani rupee weakens sharply in likely devaluation

Khaleej Times (March 21, 2018)

Reuters/ Islamabad/ Karachi: Pakistan’s rupee weakened sharply against the dollar on Tuesday in what appeared to be a currency devaluation by the central bank, traders said, the second such intervention in less than four months. The apparent devaluation comes at a time when Pakistan’s nearly $300 billion economy is showing signs of vulnerability despite surging growth rates. The rupee plunged to about 115.5 per dollar in early trading from 110.5 at Monday’s close, which is 31….. Read More

Budget 2018-19: PSX proposes rationalization of CGT rates

Express Tribune by Salman Siddiqui (March 20, 2018)

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has proposed to the government to rationalise Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the transaction of shares, as the management seeks measures to boost the KSE-100 Index that has retreated close to 18% since it hit a record high of 52,876.46 in May 2017. Presenting budget proposals to Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Miftah Ismail, a PSX delegation, under chairperson Muneer Kamal, recommended to rationalise …. Read More

Financial Year 2018 review: States not to revert to fiscal deficit below 3 pct.

Financial Express (March 19, 2018)

New Delhi: With the UDAY burden off, state governments in aggregate were expected to revert to well below 3% fiscal deficit in the current financial year, but an analysis by FE of 14 state budgets presented recently suggests they might not. As the year is drawing to a close, seven of these states have revised their FY18 fiscal deficits to be higher than projected a year ago, with the slippage ranging from a marginal 0.1 to profligate 4.63 percentage points. Unless the other states… Read More

Govt. plans modest hike in tax target for 2018-19

DAWN (March 18, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The PML-N government is set to propose nearly Rs4.5 trillion revenue collection target for its sixth and final budget with several measures to facilitate its realisation. Top tax men have been tasked to prepare the first draft of tax relief and revenue measures in the next couple of weeks. The government has already set April 27 for the announcement of the Federal Budget 2018-19 to be followed by provincial ones. An official.…Read More

Pakistan’s external debt to climb to $103b by June 2019: IMF report

Express Tribune (March 16, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has assessed Pakistan’s gross external financing needs at a record $27 billion for the next fiscal year, but warned that arranging the financing at favourable rates will now be a challenge due to risks to the country’s debt sustainability. In its post-programme monitoring report, the IMF also forecast that due to additional borrowings, Pakistan’s external debt would jump to $103.4 billion .…Read More

PM directs for making last budget ‘extraordinary’

The Nation (March 14, 2018)

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday directed his cabinet members to prepare an ‘extraordinary’ budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 before the government completes its term, sources said. Abbasi chaired the federal cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office. A federal minister who attended the meeting told The Nation that the premier asked the ministers to work together to present a budget that could give relief …Read More

US Budget Deficit Jumped to $215.2Billion in February

The NY Times (March 12, 2018)

WASHINGTON — The federal government recorded a budget deficit of $215.2 billion in February, up significantly from a year ago as the impact of the GOP tax cuts passed in December begin to surface. The Treasury Department said Monday that the February deficit was 12.1 percent higher than a year ago, reflecting in part a drop of $5 billion in individual withholding taxes paid last month compared to a year ago. In February, employers started using tax…Read More

Outlook for UK financial services brightens, assets set to reach £1.5 trillion by 2020, EY finds

BBC News (March 12, 2018)

A well-managed Brexit and stronger than expected economic performance will boost the financial services sector in the year ahead, according to an analysis from EY Item Club. The outlook for the UK financial services sector is better than many had hoped, the findings showed, but challenges remain in the the consumer credit, residential mortgage and business lending markets. Equity markets should still perform well in the year ahead, despite, …Read More

Florida Legislature OKs $88.7 billion budget end 2018 session

MyPalmBeachPost (March 11, 2018)

TALLAHASSEE —The Florida Legislature wrapped up the end of an extended 2018 session Sunday with the passing of a budget that pushes hundreds of millions of dollars toward spending on K-12 and higher education, improving school safety and battling the opioid crisis. Approved by a 95-12 vote in the House and 31-5 vote in Senate, the $88.7 billion budget also includes $100 million for the Florida Forever program, which allows the state , …Read More

Federal Budget 2018-19 to be announced on April 27: Miftah

DAWN (March 09, 2018)

The federal government will present the budget for fiscal year 2018-19for approval from the National Assembly on April 27, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Miftah Ismail said on Friday. Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Ismail said that the government has taken all political parties into confidence about the budget, which he said would be presented on April 27 before the five-year. ……Read More