Issue 16

Budget Study Centre   Issue 16
May 24, 2018


Fortnightly Budget News Alerts

Govt hires UAE banks to raise $200m loan

The DAWN (May 24, 2018)

DUBAI: The Government of Pakistan is raising a $200 million syndicated loan with three United Arab Emirates (UAE) banks, banking sources familiar with the matter said, as Islamabad clings to external funding to stave off the pressure on balance of payments. The loan, with a one-year maturity, is being arranged by Commercial Bank of Dubai, Emirates NBD, and Noor Bank, said the sources.

Pakistan needs to raise funds to offset a drop in international ….Read More


Pak, UK merchandise trade increased to over £1.93bn

Business Recorder (May 23, 2018)

LONDON: The merchandise trade volume between Pakistan and the United Kingdom (UK) during the calendar year 2017 has increased to over £ 1.93 billion showing an increase of 8 percent when compared to last year (2016), Commercial Counsellor Pakistan High Commission London, Sajid Mehmood Raja, said Tuesday. “During the year 2017 Pakistan’s total exports to the United Kingdom reached over £ 1.24 billion which also showed an….Read More

Sindh Assembly approves budget for fiscal year 2018-19

The Express Tribune (May 23, 2018)

KARACHI: Despite protests from the opposition benches, the government passed on Tuesday the Rs1.44 trillion budget for the financial year 2018-19 in the Sindh Assembly by approving Rs110 billion supplementary grants for the outgoing year 2017-18. After the eight-day debate on the budget, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, who also holds the portfolio of the finance ministry, moved a motion to pass the annual and supplementary budget. Opposition ….Read More

German economy still booming but has lost some momentum-Bundesbank

Times of Malta (May 22, 2018)

Growth in the German economy, Europe’s biggest, remains robust but the underlying momentum has likely weakened and the risk of a global trade war remains, the Bundesbank said on Tuesday in a regular monthly economic report. Much of the first-quarter dip in growth was due to exceptional factors so a rebound is still likely, even if the overall growth momentum has also softened somewhat, the Bundesbank said. “We expected that the boom in ….Read More

Exports likely to cross $5billion

The Express Tribune (May 22, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is expected to become an outsourcing destination by 2020, and is likely to increase IT and ITES exports to the $5-billion mark, after launching strategic initiatives along with tax holiday and capital repatriation incentives for the private sector. There are tremendous opportunities for Pakistan as its IT and ITES-Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) exports are estimated to have crossed $3 billion already this year. A ministry official….Read More

Pakistan’s budget deficit soars to record Rs.1.48 trillion

The Express Tribune (May 22, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: The government that once took pride in ensuring fiscal discipline is now on a path of compromising Pakistan’s macroeconomic stability as it has booked a record high budget deficit of Rs1.481 trillion for nine months of the current fiscal year, which is even higher than the annual target. The overall budget deficit – the gap between income and expenditure – widened to 4.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) or …….Read More

Provincial Budget 2018-19: Gree and gloom in Balochistan agri budget

The DAWN by Mohiuddin Aazim (May 21, 2018)

THE fact that the there was no mention of the proposed Balochistan Bank in the provincial budget for the next fiscal year might have disappointed agriculturists, particularly small farmers. In his budget speech for the current fiscal year delivered on June 15, 2017, Aslam Bizenjo, the then adviser to the Balochistan chief minister, announced an allocation of Rs10 billion for the proposed provincial bank. But when the current adviser, Dr Ruqayya Saeed Hashmi, presented the next fiscal …….Read More

AJK govt presents over Rs 108bn budget for next fiscal year

Business Recorder (May 21, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir government presented over Rs 108 billion budget for the fiscal year 2018-19. According to Radio Pakistan Minister for Finance Dr. Najeeb Naqi presented the budget in the House on Monday. Presenting the budget he said over Rs 25 billion have been allocated for the development sector showing an increase of ten percent as compared to recurrent budget. Over Rs 82 billion have been proposed for the non-development expenditure… Read More

US and China put trade war ‘on hold’

The Guardian (May 20, 2018)

America has pulled back from launching a trade war with China that could have destabilised the global economy, by agreeing to put proposed tariffs on Chinese imports “on hold”. The Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said on Sunday that negotiations with Chinese officials have borne fruit, meaning Washington and Beijing can step back from imposing punishing tariffs on each other’s exports. Xi strikes conciliatory tone on trade but offers few concessions …….Read More

World Bank to invest $460m in road from Peshawar to Afghan border

The Express Tribune (May 20, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: After marked improvement in the security situation, the World Bank has decided to invest $460 million to build a new road from Peshawar to Afghanistan border aimed at bolstering trade between the two nations and creating job opportunities in war-torn federally administered tribal areas (FATA). The board of directors of the World Bank is likely to approve the $460-million loan next month for Peshawar-Torkham Expressway …….Read More

Pakistan’s current account fedicit widens to record high

The Express Tribune (May 19, 2018)

KARACHI: Pakistan’s current account deficit has widened 50% to a record high of $14.03 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year 2018, reported the central bank on Friday. The deficit stood at $9.35 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The deficit increases woes of the country’s economic managers as a widening current account takes toll on foreign exchange reserves that ……Read More

Argentina forced to seek IMP aid over fears for economy

The Guardian (May 18, 2018)

Argentina’s struggle this week to prevent a collapse in its currency and soaring interest rates from destabilising its ailing economy appeared to have ended in failure on Friday, leaving it to seek financial aid from the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF, the lender of last resort to nation states, said the South American country had formally requested an “exceptional access standby arrangement” that would allow Argentina to pay its foreign bills ……Read More


Pakistan’s external debt soars to record $91.8b

The Express Tribune (May 17, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s external debt and liabilities have soared to a record $91.8 billion, showing an increase of over 50% or nearly $31 billion in the past four years and nine months, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has reported. The external debt and liabilities of $91.8 billion as of March-end suggest that the figure may touch $100 billion very soon as the country faces grave challenges in meeting growing external financing requirements. Pakistan is scheduled to……Read More

Budget 2018-19: Ismail unveils new relief measures in windup speech

The Express Tribune (May 16, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Dr Miftah Ismail on Tuesday announced new relief measures for middle and upper-income groups in his budget windup speech, but turned down proposals that were aimed at giving concessions to non-filers of income tax returns.

While ending the debate in the lower house of parliament, the finance minister announced additional measures which would appease sitting ……. Read More


German Economy Loses Luster as Global Tensions Bite

The Wall Street Journal (May 15, 2018)

FRANKFURT— Europe’s largest economy cooled sharply in the first quarter amid a drop in government spending and weak exports—a sign that a stronger euro and global tensions are beginning to leave a mark on the German economy. Germany’s annualized growth rate slowed to 1.2% from 2.5% in the fourth quarter of last year, the Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday. This means that the German economy was growing more slowly than the U.S., which …Read More

To service maturing debt, Pakistan to borrow Rs22 trillion in 2018-19

The Express Tribune (May 15, 2018)

ISLAMABAD: As the country falls deeper into payments obligation, the federal government has sought the National Assembly’s approval to borrow a record Rs22 trillion in the next financial year to service its maturing public debt, an amount 44% or Rs6.7 trillion higher than the figure for the ongoing year. Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail asked on Monday for the National Assembly’s stamp for a record high borrowing of Rs22 trillion …Read More

The UK economy’s slowdown is clear to all. Except the Bank of England

The Guardian (May 13, 2018)

Mark Carney is not so much an unreliable boyfriend as a schoolboy who keeps getting his homework wrong. The Bank of England governor gave his quarterly review of the economy last week and yet again confounded earlier expectations that he would increase the cost of borrowing. Whereas in the past Carney has confidently predicted that the economy is robust and capable of absorbing increases in interest rates, only to find plausible …Read More

Punjab to present over Rs 155b supplementary budget Monday

The Nation (May 12, 2018)

LAHORE – The Punjab governor has summoned the session of the Punjab Assembly on Monday, 14 May 3pm to present the Supplementary Budget for the financial year 2017-18 worth over Rs155 billion. Gazette Notification to this effect has been issued by the Assembly Secretariat. Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan will preside this 36th session of the assembly. It is to be noted that Sindh government unveiled the budget for the fiscal year …Read More

Overseas Pakistanis remit $16.25b in ten months

The Nation (May 11, 2018)

KARACHI – Overseas Pakistani workers remitted $16257 million in the first ten months (July to April) of FY18, showing a growth of 3.92 percent compared with US $15643.97 million received during the same period in the preceding year. During April 2018, the inflow of workers’ remittances amounted to $1650.59 million, which is 6.89 percent lower than March 2018 and 7.25pc higher than April 2017. The country-wise details for the month of April …Read More

Sindh unveils Rs1.14 trillion deficit budget

The Nation (May 11, 2018)

Karachi – Pakistan People’s Party led Sindh government on Thursday unveiled its sixth and last budget of the expiring tenure with a total outlay of Rs1.14 trillion and Rs20.45 billion deficit. The budget comprised estimates for the whole year but Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah announced that they would authorise only its part pertaining to first quarter of Fiscal 2018-19. The opposition parties however were not satisfied with the government figures and staged protest….…Read More